Today, I am writing about hair. It seems odd that I am doing this now that it’s October and Alopecia Awareness Month was September. Well, I am posting this alongside the video I created last month in celebration of hair, with a focus on mine which went on regular strike!
Deciding on a hairstyle is like making a commitment to yourself. It can become problematic because your preferences will change through the years (sometimes even in months or in a matter of weeks for the fickle-minded). Your hairstyle will change alongside the many phases of your growth as an individual. The process of learning, exploring, and testing will undergo many different stages of discovery that range from the annoying phase of bad hair days, the nuisance of a regretful decision, all the way to the glory of greying, and ultimately, losing hair.
I have tried all sorts of hairstyles - pixie cut, short bob, crazy curls, rebonded long hair, bald, fringes, dyed layers, undercut – name it, I have tried it. Through the years, I have subjected my lush wavy hair to all kinds of torture at the beck and call of my whim because I was experimenting with what felt right or what looked good based on where my life was at.
Looking back, I am so glad that I did all that because now I am losing my hair even more aggressively when I was first diagnosed with Alopecia many years ago. Usually, the hair I lost would grow back in a few weeks but this time, my bald patches seemed to have permanently taken residence on my head – screaming, “We are here to stay!”
It took me a while to embrace this new reality but thinking about all the hairstyles I have donned in the past helped in the process of acceptance. I do not catch myself saying “I wish I tried that hairstyle” because I have tried them all and even if I regretted some of my bad decisions at certain periods, I am thankful to have allowed myself to be spirited away when I still had a full set of hair to experiment with.
I knew how fearless felt like when I was bald but I laugh at the memory of living through the growing out phase from my bald ‘do’ to the stubs-spikes that evolved into a weird mohawk. I was cool with my undercut and sexy with my curls. I wore wigs that made me look like a different person. I tried dyeing my hair with different colors but purple was my favorite because I felt like a mermaid. When I desperately needed change to happen in my life, my hair was kind enough to endure being hacked into the shortest bob. (Thank you, hair, for your many sacrifices.)
Do not get me wrong as having Alopecia does not restrict my creativity. I can still experiment with a bandana or other hair props. On rare occasions, I am okay with just wearing my patches out in the open. What is important is my commitment to this newfound acceptance of Alopecia --- to be alright with what I have now and remember what I had with gladness.
As for you, dearest readers, I urge you to celebrate your hair (whatever hairstyle that may be), celebrate having no hair, or celebrate missing some hairs (like me) because all of these are different types of crowns to be proud of. A belated "Alopecia Awareness Month" greeting to you all.