Sherman's Girlfriend Has Alopecia
After two months of dating, my girlfriend, J, began telling me the story of her experience with Alopecia after her daughter was born. I could tell, as she told her story, that it was all very emotional for her. I was confused and naively told her that I don’t see any signs of Alopecia upon looking at her hair. She then told me that all this time, she had been wearing a wig. When I asked her to take it off and show me, she flat out refused to do it. I could see that the conversation was beginning to bother her, so I let it go.
From that day on, I was curious to know what J looked like without something on her head. Before meeting J, I was never very fond of women who wore wigs, because I’ve always felt that Black women were blessed with natural beauty and should wear it proudly. I began it think back to all the times when J and I were together and how everything besides the makeup she wore seemed natural. I remembered seeing her with a hair wrap on at times, which I thought made her look stunning. When she wasn’t wearing a hair scarf, she seemed to look like she spent a lot of time doing her hair. Since she was a hairstylist, I thought it was only natural that she always looked well-groomed and well taken care of. I was so impressed with how well she took care of herself that I never questioned her looks for a minute.
I began to ask J every time I saw her, to allow me to see the real her. After some time and after some discussions we had, she agreed to let me see how she looked without the wig. She made me close my eyes while she slowly took off the wig. When I opened my eyes to see her, J had taken the wig off. I had never seen the head of someone with Alopecia. As I looked at her head, all I could see was the look on her face and the curiosity in her eyes. I looked at her head and then looked into her eyes and said it’s not that bad. I realized after I said what I said, that I could have put a little more thought into it before I commented. I just wanted her to know she meant more to me than hair, and that my appreciation for her ran deeper that anything superficial.
After meeting a few other times, we began having conversations about Alopecia and her previous experiences when she revealed her condition to men before me. After a few more conversations about Alopecia, I suggested she cut all her remaining hair off. J looked at me like I must have been crazy. I asked her, “Why not?” I told her about women I saw in public who had bald heads and how naturally beautiful and attractive they looked, especially Black women. I told her they looked Nubian and sexy to me. I also told her how head scarves made her intriguing and attractive. I suggested she could even pull off a few hats since she like to wear hats. J just kept refusing to take me up on it. I told her we would turn some heads if we both walked into a room with shinny bald heads. We both laughed it off.
One day, when we were just sitting around talking, I suggested to J that she should let me shave her head for her. She again looked at me like I was crazy. I told her I was serious. I can do it and she could wear a scarf and just test it out. If she decides she is not comfortable after a while, she could let it grow back. Soon, J finally said yes and let me shave her head. I could tell during the whole time I was shaving her head, that she was extremely nervous and very uncomfortable. I, on the other hand, was sure and confident the she would look stunning. I knew with all she had going for her, she would turn heads and this could be life changing.
After I finished shaving her head, she seemed unsure of herself. I held her in my arms and said with a smile, “You look fabulous!” From that day on, I saw her confidence soar. She went from wearing head scarves and hats everyday,vto strutting her new look with style and grace. After a while, we decided to go in separate directions. I could see that J was a better person as a result of having the courage to make a life-altering decision, which I assume many women dread having to make.
A few years later when our paths crossed again, and J told me about the website she had establish and how she had dedicated her time and effort helping other women get through what she went through. She invited me to visit the site and tell her what I thought of it. When I visited J’s website, all I could see was a woman who was more than willing to share her joy for all to see. I saw the person I knew she would be: happy, successful, and at peace with herself. I felt happy to have been a part of someone else’s happiness.