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View Full Version : How Do You Cope With Alopecia



honeyhoney
04-13-2006, 02:24 AM
I've really been dying to loc my hair but have recently had a recurring bald patch.

Do any of the locers on here suffer from Alopecia? And how does that work with your hair?

Or have you had Alopecia in the past? How does your hair behave since locing it?

Please help a wannabe locer out!

Pooniepoo
04-14-2006, 10:49 PM
I'm not sure about the degree of your alopecia, but mines it's starting to be severe. sounds like you are going through the same thing as me. I don't have locs but was thinking about getting them, but now I think I would look silly because of these unpredictable alopecia episodes. I've been natural for like 3 years or more, when all of a sudden last year I started developing alopecia. it's a strange disease,it's supposedly an immune disorder, b ut nobody knows the cause of it or cure for it. I had "one smooth as a babies butt" bald patch, it stayed bald for like two months then one day it started to grow back. Now that patch is about three inches long. Anyway, it went away and I thought I was one of the few people with alopecia who have one episode and it never comes back. Well, just when I thought it was all good, I'm twisting my hair one day and I find three more bald patches in the back of my head. now it's like a cycle. When one spot grows in, another bald patch pops up . I went to a stylist and she agreed that it looked like alopecia. And she told me that it was possibly triggered by stress.


It's like the bald patches creep up on you overnight. Im a full time student and I don't have health insurance so it's not like I can just go see a doctor. Anyway it's traumitizing, and people don't understand it. Most people i've discussed my problem with say "IT's just hair".....It's something that most people will not understand or have compassion about until it happens to them. I've always had an abundance of hair. People have always teased me about having "hair for two or three people". So naturally, it's a big deal for me. Going from a person with too much hair , to a person who could possiblyhave alopecia totalis (total baldness)within a few months. I've cried about two rivers over this. About coping....it's hard. The best way to cope with it is to be thankful for the things you do have. In a way, I'm happy I'm just losing my hair. It could be a lot worse. Usually I Imagine those who can't see, hear, or have lost a limb..... and I automatically feel better about my situation. There are plenty of wig/ hair weave options for those who do suffer from this disease.

I''ve stopped my birth control, I take vitamins and zinc daily, drink tons of water, tried to eliminate sources of stress but this disease still seems to be winning.


As far as concealing the spots....right now my hair is still pretty thick so I just cover the bald patches with my twist. I wear wigs sometimes if I get a patch in the front, but because my hair is so thick, they always end up looking like a helmet. So lately I have been thinking about straightening my hair with lye or no lye fire cream, just so I can fit it under a wig, or get a net weave. I figure if it is going to fall out anyway, relaxing it doesn't really matter....

I am aware that my condition might get so bad that I can't hide it. And I'm mentally preparing for this. If It gets to this point, I'll just cut it bald and wear a lace-front wig. I'm starting to let go of this idea that everyone and I have imprinted on my mind that my hair is what makes me beautiful. This simply isn't true.

ms_rite
04-15-2006, 05:01 AM
Hi Mizdee - I&#39;m in a similiar boat to you...I suffer with alopecia and want locs too. I started this thread in the loc forum ages ago with only one response <_<

http://www.nappturality.com/forum/index.ph...112&hl=alopecia (http://www.nappturality.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=55112&hl=alopecia)

Its been off and on for years but i been waiting for so long now that I&#39;m just going to go for it. My last patch has grown back so I&#39;m going to start locingat the end of the year. Hopefully it will go okay...if I do have another episode I&#39;ll just deal with like I have done with loose hair. Try to cover it adequately, not to stress out about it and patiently wait for it to grow back.


Pooniepoo - I&#39;m so sorry to hear what you are going through right now. I had the same problems and more than anything I can say stress was a contributing factor. I&#39;m a student right now...and even though my hair loss started at quite an early age, the stress of studying and working last year definitely caused my hair to fall out. I am working on my stress all the time, its a continous ongoing process to manage your stress. I urge you not to relax your hair though, it may help to conceal the spots, but healthy hair grows from a healthy scalp and its likely you will damage your hair/scalp in other ways. If you plait or cornrow your hair maybe the wigs will fit better...or maybe even cut your hair down really low.

honeyhoney
04-19-2006, 02:18 PM
Thanks so much for your responses.

Ms_Rite, Good luck with your locs! I&#39;d love to hear how you get on with them. I think I&#39;m going to have to leave it for a while until I become more accustomed to living with my alopecia.

So far I&#39;ve had 2 episodes, of which the 2nd was much worse than the 1st. My patches are just starting to fill in this time, but who knows if/when they&#39;ll be back again, and whether they&#39;ll increase in size and number when they do.

Just like both of you, my patches have come at very stressful times in my life. My job entails really high stress levels and I don&#39;t think I handle it very well at all.

Pooniepoo, I&#39;ve seen a couple of doctors, who have been pretty unsympathetic and not much use at all. They basically said that the patches may or may not grow back and that they might recur. That really wasn&#39;t what I wanted to hear as you can imagine. I did buy some Regaine, which the doctor said might help, but as I said, the patches have started to fill in by themselves and I was scared by the number of possible side effects listed on the leaflet.

Lauren6849
04-24-2006, 06:41 AM
I don&#39;t have alopecia that gives me patchy bald spots. I have heritary hair thinning at the crown. My twists hide it to some extent but I&#39;m going to start locing next month so I&#39;m glad to see how others manage.

netta
04-24-2006, 11:10 PM
well, I guess i"ll join the club ladies, I have been locing my hair since january, started over a few times,things were going along fine,i have thick hair but soft hiar and one day i woke up with swolen balding pus pockets after coloring my hair! since then I have been to the dermatoligist, who says it&#39;s just an amune thing,since then i have taken meds it is getting a lot better but i still have a bald spot on the side of my hair in the front so i got scared and took out my twists before my hair locked and i hope i can put them back in when the spot grows back in,i was very disappointed but i&#39;m not giving up on my locs. my prayers to you all,by the way i take doxcycline and a steroid cream for my scalp.

netta
04-24-2006, 11:10 PM
well, I guess i"ll join the club ladies, I have been locing my hair since january, started over a few times,things were going along fine,i have thick hair but soft hiar and one day i woke up with swolen balding pus pockets after coloring my hair! since then I have been to the dermatoligist, who says it&#39;s just an amune thing,since then i have taken meds it is getting a lot better but i still have a bald spot on the side of my hair in the front so i got scared and took out my twists before my hair locked and i hope i can put them back in when the spot grows back in,i was very disappointed but i&#39;m not giving up on my locs. my prayers to you all,by the way i take doxcycline and a steroid cream for my scalp.

netta
04-24-2006, 11:10 PM
well, I guess i"ll join the club ladies, I have been locing my hair since january, started over a few times,things were going along fine,i have thick hair but soft hiar and one day i woke up with swolen balding pus pockets after coloring my hair! since then I have been to the dermatoligist, who says it&#39;s just an amune thing,since then i have taken meds it is getting a lot better but i still have a bald spot on the side of my hair in the front so i got scared and took out my twists before my hair locked and i hope i can put them back in when the spot grows back in,i was very disappointed but i&#39;m not giving up on my locs. my prayers to you all,by the way i take doxcycline and a steroid cream for my scalp.

netta
04-24-2006, 11:11 PM
well, I guess i"ll join the club ladies, I have been locing my hair since january, started over a few times,things were going along fine,i have thick hair but soft hiar and one day i woke up with swolen balding pus pockets after coloring my hair! since then I have been to the dermatoligist, who says it&#39;s just an amune thing,since then i have taken meds it is getting a lot better but i still have a bald spot on the side of my hair in the front so i got scared and took out my twists before my hair locked and i hope i can put them back in when the spot grows back in,i was very disappointed but i&#39;m not giving up on my locs. my prayers to you all,by the way i take doxcycline and a steroid cream for my scalp.

well, I guess i"ll join the club ladies, I have been locing my hair since january, started over a few times,things were going along fine,i have thick hair but soft hiar and one day i woke up with swolen balding pus pockets after coloring my hair! since then I have been to the dermatoligist, who says it&#39;s just an amune thing,since then i have taken meds it is getting a lot better but i still have a bald spot on the side of my hair in the front so i got scared and took out my twists before my hair locked and i hope i can put them back in when the spot grows back in,i was very disappointed but i&#39;m not giving up on my locs. my prayers to you all,by the way i take doxcycline and a steroid cream for my scalp.

ms_rite
04-25-2006, 05:33 AM
Thanks so much for your responses.

Ms_Rite, Good luck with your locs! I&#39;d love to hear how you get on with them. I think I&#39;m going to have to leave it for a while until I become more accustomed to living with my alopecia.


[/b]


Thank you Mizdee, I&#39;m just sick of this disease controlling my life. It stopped me going natural..in the first instance way back when. I relied on my processed hair to cover the spots and ironically I waited until my hair had fully grown back before i shaved it all off. Now I&#39;m waiting again...<_< I could of had locs down to my butt by now.... :) But its an ongoing process and I&#39;ll have to work hard to eliminate/minimise the stress in my life or at least find ways of dealing with it appropriately.

llyons
04-28-2006, 02:25 PM
I&#39;ve had problems with alopecia for years. I&#39;ll get bald spots every now and then. I have visited a dermatologist before who gave me shots in my scalp. It was years ago and don&#39;t remember what meds were given.
I don&#39;t have that many episodes of balding spots. So...I locd my hair a little over 2 yrs ago without thinking about my balding problem. I just noticed a clean baldspot last night. I&#39;m praying the hair will grow back quickly. If not I will combine the thinned loc with another loc to avoid losing it.

Here is a link to my hair album with pictures of locs and alopecia.

http://public.fotki.com/Llyons/locs/year_3/

I love my locs and won&#39;t let alopecia keep me from keeping them!

honeyhoney
04-30-2006, 11:01 AM
llyons... your locs are beautiful! Thats inspiration if ever I saw it.

My patch is right in the front at the top so might be harder to hide, but I&#39;m soooo tempted!

:wub: :wub:

jenoy
05-04-2006, 06:59 PM
I also suffer from hair loss. It&#39;s at the top, small patch in the middle from ear to ear really. With my hair loose, it&#39;s easy to camouflage, but now that I&#39;m locing, it&#39;s noticeable, but I think more so to me than anyone else. I was tempted to take my twists down, but decided against it.

If anyone does notice it, I&#39;ve come to the point where it&#39;s ok, because I&#39;ve made peace with my hair loss and unless I go completely bald, I will continue to style my hair how I like.

I wish you all beautiful locs! :wub:

I&#39;m in my 7th week. :D

honeyhoney
05-05-2006, 11:27 AM
Jenoy, I think that&#39;s all you can do. I don&#39;t blame you for going ahead with the locs anyway... hopefully as they thicken up over time the bald area will be more hidden.

Have you had the patch for a long time? If so does the hair come back from time to time or is it continuously bald?

jenoy
05-05-2006, 12:20 PM
Jenoy, I think that&#39;s all you can do. I don&#39;t blame you for going ahead with the locs anyway... hopefully as they thicken up over time the bald area will be more hidden.

Have you had the patch for a long time? If so does the hair come back from time to time or is it continuously bald?
[/b]
It actually started off as a small spot in the back first noticed in 1995. Of course, by stylist didn&#39;t attribute it to anything "chemical". Because I would get my hair done, I ony looked at it after it was finished, I never saw it growing. By 2001, it had spread to the areas I said and it was hard to cover up with thining hair in the top and the middle! Kept it going until it just mad me cry every morning to comb my hair. :(

FINALLY, in 2003 I had enough. :)

I&#39;m sorry to have gone on about it. It&#39;s easier to talk about it now, because I know what it is, and it isn&#39;t hereditary. I just should&#39;ve listened to my mom.

Here I am on my way to locs! :D

netta
06-15-2006, 12:21 PM
PLEASE CHECK OUT MY WBSITE,MY VALLEY EXPERIENCE WITH HAIR LOSS AND LOCS.

LovlyEssence
06-18-2006, 07:31 PM
I am going to get my hair locked this weekend and I have been experiencing my hair thinning. I think im just getting more scared now...but the thing is that I have a nervous habit of playing in my hair, but I always find balls and then I have to pull out the tangles. I wonder if I can trigger alopecia because my hair is just getting thinner and thinner...thanks for posting about this.

NappiNana
06-24-2006, 03:02 PM
Ladies, years ago I had 2 quarter size patches in my head. I went to a derm who gave me a shot in each patch (I don&#39;t remember what that stuff was) and told me to remove the stress in my life. I went home, kicked my boyfriend out...six weeks later my hair was growing.

I haven&#39;t had a problem since. But, I did want to recommend, especially to you all experiencing the stress. You&#39;ve got to find a way to remove the stress.

Stress kills. It can start with hair, next your blood pressure and on to other vital organs...see where I&#39;m going with this.

Are any of you exercising? If not I would strongly suggest you start, work it in your schedule.

I&#39;m in the 40+ club with 3 grandchildren and I do work out.

It really helps with stress.

honeyhoney
06-25-2006, 01:27 AM
Its so good to hear a story about a positive recovery from alopecia!

As for me, the large patches I had in the front of my hair are growing out nicely... BUT... I&#39;ve got some smaller new ones :(

I know stress is the main cause, but the only stress in my life is my job, and I&#39;m not about to leave that. I&#39;m going to have to work on my stress management skills :huh:

Djenesoul
07-04-2006, 02:03 PM
Mizdee,

I know how you feel. Alopecia can be trying and locing my hair has been the best thing I could do. I just started 5 weeks ago. I have two short quarter-sized patches in the back and thinning at the crown. The hair grows but the strands are just thinner that the rest of my head. In addition to that the rate of growth is slower on the left side of my head. The first two weeks I would only go out of the house with a scarf or hat on but when I was at home I loved the locs that were forming AROUND the spots! I have black hair and I&#39;m fair skinned so its hard to cover but in these last 3 weeks my hair has grown noticeably, people have told me. I colored my hair previously and I can see that I have about an inch of my natural color coming in. I like the newly twisted roots look but because of the spots and thinning crown I only retwist the hairline every two weeks while leaving the crown alone until its needed. And surprise! With the hair growing its starting to cover that area very well! I am very excited and I encourage you to continue/start your beautiful locs.

(I&#39;ll set up my album very soon so I can share with you all!)

--- Djene