This has been a rather difficult post for me to write. And not because I had to erase my opening paragraph and start again a total of five times. Or because I was worried I’d come across as a victim. Or even because it made me a little bit emotional just thinking about what I wanted to say. Although all of the above is true…
No, it’s been difficult because I’ve never said it before. Or not in written form anyhow. And certainly not to a load of strangers…
When I was 14 quite a lot of my hair fell out over a reasonably short space of time. Not in huge, angry clumps, but the amount of hair that would come away in my hands when I washed my hair just suddenly quadrupled. When I woke up each morning, I was picking off 7, 8 or 9 hairs from my pillow- as opposed to the usual 1 or 2. That doesn’t sound dramatic, but quite soon my scalp was becoming more and more visible across the top of my head, and my centre parting was ‘parting’ like the Red Sea.
Eventually my Mum took me to a trichologist, and after a series of examinations and questions it was deduced that I had a mild form of alopecia (I can’t remember which- the word ‘alopecia’ had freaked me out enough), probably caused by stress. This conclusion seemed a bit OTT to me. I wasn’t going bald, per se, and I certainly didn’t feel stressed. But apparently that was the crux of it: I was stressed but I was bottling it up inside and it was being released in the rather unfortunate form of hair loss. It still seems a little embarrassing to say out loud. Nothing was happening in my personal life that doesn’t happen to a lot of teenagers- my grandmother had recently died of breast cancer and I was feeling extremely pressured to do well in my GCSEs, whilst trying to be the sole mediator and voice of reason in a step-family household that was, at times, a little fraught. But I hadn’t gone through any trauma and it certainly wasn’t something I was aware of.
However, the most scary part of that time spent with the trichologist was the diagnosis that the majority of my hair follicles were scarring over, and the liklihood of hair growing again from said follicles was very, very slim. Sad face.
You’ll be pleased to know that this is where the drama and the hyperbole ends; I’m not one to feel sorry for myself and, more importantly, no-one likes the word ‘follicle’. But the long and short of it is: I don’t have a lot of hair, particularly on the crown of my head. It doesn’t help that my hair is a very dark brown. I need to only slightly move and my scalp shines through like a beacon of audacious, bald light.
I’m currently sporting a fringe, and have done for about 4 years now. I’ve found that on a good day, it provides the best ‘disguise’ for the lack of hair on top, plus it seems to suit me best. With a wedding now 14 months away I have no plans to grow my fringe out. On the contrary, I’m going to be wearing my fringe loud and proud on my wedding day- or as loud and proud as one with a rather pathetic excuse for a fringe can…
And now some photos to back up my claims, god help me…
Now you may be thinking, ‘well she can’t be that bothered if she’s putting pictures of herself on t’internet’, and to a certain extent you’re right; most of the time I’m not *that* bothered. I have a man who wants to spend the rest of his life with me, fantastic friends, a lovely job… I’m confident in enough aspects of my life not to let it get to me too much. But it does bother me. And when I see pictures like the one above, it MASSIVELY bothers me. I know that other people see it; they’re just too polite to say. And I do NOT want to look back at pictures of me on my wedding day, and, despite the smiles and the happiness that I know will be radiating from every fibre of my being, be drawn to the vast expanse of scalp on the top of my head.
And so Operation Get Good Hair begins.
I don’t want to do anything fancy to my hair for the wedding. I wear it down 99.9% of the time and try to put a bit of a wave in it most days to ‘increase volume’. I want it down and wavy on the day, just on a magnified scale of Cheryl Cole proportions…is that much to ask?
Over the next 14 months I will be exploring the options open to me and writing about it as part of ‘Operation Get Good Hair’ (OGGH) on The Utter Blog. Extensions, hair fibres, vitamin supplements… you name it, I will try it. And that’s where you come in!
If anyone out there has experienced something similar to me, or knows someone that has, please do leave a comment or get in touch. I would LOVE to hear from hair stylists and make-up artists on tricks of the trade, both temporary and/or permanent. Do extensions really make your hair fall out or could it be a temporary solution to instant volume and glamour? Has anyone discovered a miracle vitamin that has actually worked?
You can be anonymous- I’m just putting pictures of myself up on the internet because I’m mentally insane. And most importantly, even if you discover this post days, weeks or even months after it’s been published, please don’t feel like it’s too late to say something. I will always be notified and have to approve new comments, so will appreciate your words at any time.
Am I really posting these hideous pictures of me? Yes, yes I am…