I began to really notice my hair loss in my mid 30’s. I attributed it initially to stress. I was going through the death of a loved one. I always considered thin hair growing up. It had been chemically straightened, hot combed, dyed, and cut all my life. When maintaining my hair became a chore, I decided to cut it and let it have a break from all the heat and other maintenance I had been doing. So, I cut it down to a short afro and that was when I noticed from a picture, that there was thinning at the top front of my hair.
Time went by and even my hairdresser told me that the crown of my head was thinning. We watched it for a while, and it was still happening a year or more later. I went in for a dermatologist consult. A scalp sample was taken and the results where presented. I had something called Alopecia. I was encouraged not to put any unnecessary stress on the follicles by getting my hair braided, pulled or chemically treated. I found a resource for a woman who was using natural products and twisting natural hair. Thinking that would give my hair the break it needed to repair and grow back, but that didn’t work. My hair was still thinning and it was more and more noticeable. So my next alternative was to wear wigs. I have to say that I had always disliked wigs growing up, because my mother had worn them and she had a head full of hair. I never thought I could embrace wearing one.
I then began using clippers to cut my hair down to an even length. I dove into the wig pool head first. I found the right color and style and learned to customize the wig cap for my small head. It became part of my routine to look into new styles and change it up from time to time. I learned to live with wigs. I had rules like: don't open a hot oven door—that crinkling sound is the acrylic fibers reacting to the heat, and that is not good. I was part of a hair club, trying to satisfy my need to have what I thought would be a more natural alternative. IT was something that gave the illusion that hair was coming out of my own scalp. I remember saying to my husband that I wanted to “feel normal.”