DARE to BARE! How do you cover up your hair loss?

Hi Everyone!

So, I thought I'd ask if anyone had any experience of microblading.
Before you ask, it's not some new kind of rollerblading craze and I've accidentally wondered on the wrong website!
I just saw an advert for hair replacement tattoos, for eyebrows, scalps, beards, etc.

Crucially, I've been pull free for some time now (17 years, or so) or I'd never even consider it. But unfortunately, the 18 years of hair pulling damage that I did, has left my scalp with patches that are completely hair free.

So, I'm curious if this is a good alternative to wearing a wig to cover up, as I have hair at the back and sides and a minimal amount at the front.

I've worn wigs for so long now, and tried an Interlace system too. But I long to be free of having to put anything on my head when in public, and feel the wind, rain, and swim, etc, without the hassle of wigs, and scarves, and hats that fly off!

I still lack the confidence to go completely bare! (wig free, just to clarify) and never have done in public, and the thought terrifies me!

I'd also like to hear from anyone else with trichotillomania and their experience of going **hair bare ** for the first time in public, and was it as terrifying as I imagine? Did you get the obvious questions, or curious, pitying glances? and felt compelled to explain why?

Thanks for reading this, and please post back any opinions, advice, or experiences. Julie :) <3

Comments

  • Hi Julie

    Firstly - congratulations on 17 years or therabouts pull free. That is AMAZING!!!

    I have thought about microblading carefully and the more I think about it, the more I feel this is connected with the trichsteresque trait of looking for answers. Anyway, there is no harm in going for a consultation - we could go together if you want to talk about it with a microblading salesperson, but bear in mind that is what they will be.

    ***I still feel like you could try the red light therapy, especially as you have access to a professional light. I've never tried it for 20 mins a day, as recommended, and I definitely think it would work. The science is solid. I have read the science in detail and I can see how it would help in so many ways. Even if you just spend 20 minutes per day on your own healing, it would make a difference without the red light. However, unless you wear something underneath the wig each day, you will be doing more damage each day. ***

    Five years of not pulling or covering your scalp and access to red light is the only way to be SURE your hair won't recover. I think it might well do so, at least enough for you to wear it up if not 100%.

    Julie, you are the first person I have met who has done permanent damage to her hair roots after less than 20 years of pulling and I can't help feeling it was the intralace system which did the damage, not your hair pulling.

    Who did your intralace system? Would it be worth getting a trichologist's opinion and possibly asking whoever did it, to pay for your microblading, if you go down that route?

    I would also ask the NHS about funding. I can see no reason why they shouldn't help.

    Whatever you do, know that we have your back.

    And you ... yes YOU ... the one who is reading this and never posts. We need to hear from you too ... any opinion is fine. So many of you tell me you don't want to post the only wrong thing, but the wrong thing is nothing at all.

    Love and freedom
    Neo

    p.s. if anyone ever did post "the" wrong thing, we would most likely delete it, so if your post doesn't get deleted it means you did good. :-)

  • You could be forgiven for thinking it is April 1st, but https://apple.news/AUocN6SMkTlK5r8Fmv4bwNg

  • In my particular instance I can't claim any lasting damage was solely done by any one particular hair coverage method or solutions I use to cover the sparce hairs on my scalp. As over the past 17 years or so of using hair covering methods, ie: wigs, toupee clips, scarves , hair pins and (an interlace system , intermittently for 4 years or so), my hair loss and growth has fluctuated, to more or less stabilised state of coverage since stopping pulling my hair out in 2003.
    I first had the interlace system fitted only for 8 months back in 1995 because I was due to go to university, live - in student accommodation, and study Nursing. I was 23 and busy going here and there and didn't want the added hassle of hair covering worries. I just wanted to get up and go, live life, study and work, like any other girl in her 20s.
    However, moving around the country, money issues, giving birth and becoming a lone parent in 1997, and the stress of life in general, meant I couldn't keep up with the full interlace programme. I removed the interlace system (by myself)In 1997 and returned to the cycle of pulling out my hair and covering up.
    I was still pulling my hair out when I returned to the interlace system 3 years later in 2000. Mainly because my son (then aged 3-4) started noticing my hair, and as I was still pulling my hair out back then, I now had a child to hide it from too. He even knew when we were going out or staying in, (because mum put her hair on, or mum put her hat on and he'd even get excited if I was just putting it on to put the rubbish out!) I remember he was so frightened of the 'dummy head' wig stand In my room I even had to cover this up too! I was genuinely worried of the effect my hair situation was having on him, and as he was soon due to go out into the world, to nursery and then school, I didn't want him to carry any of my issues with him, and I also didn't want him to have to live with seeing his mum feeling sad, isolated and uncomfortable, as he could start to see I was so different from the other mums.
    So, In 2000, I went back to the interlace system as a solution to covering up my head, not least from my son. So I could just get up and go out and about, having fun with my lively toddler and enjoy our days, without him seeing me removing wigs or fussing about. But, because I hadn't fully dealt with the stopping, or broke the habit of the pulling action I picked at the interlace system too, often removing it by myself before my adjustment appointments! This cycle continued for a further 3 years until in 2003, until I told myself that it was hopeless and I'd have the condition for life. And I have been managing my hair loss condition by just wearing wigs ever since.
    Hiding away, wearing wigs, still pulling became a way of life, until one day in 2003, when my son, then, aged 6, was at primary school. I was alone at home, thinking about my life. I got really angry with myself. I never Imagined my life to be like that at 30! I cursed the condition- (trichotillomania) and realised how much it had ruined my life, even stopping me relaxing and just being a mum to my son who I adored. I had the added worry of covering up, hiding and making allowances for it. I couldn't even remember a time since childhood, when I wasn't all consumed by trichotillomania. I just wanted to be free of It! But no matter how angry I got , I also realised that nobody else but me, could stop me!
    So I myself, with all my rage and determination decided it's time to stop. I just said to myself no more! I thought about the years of hurt, stress, expense, inconvenience, hassle, hiding, insults, shame and embarrassment. I re-focused my mind every time I lapsed to thinking, doing something else. I visualised one, enormous hair on my head, with a sharp, jagged hair shaft and a ginormous, bloody root, and it was pointless to even try and pull it out, and if I could, or even wanted to, I'd need both hands and all my strength to do so, and I would probably die from the pain. I started telling my self this in 2003, and within months of doing so, broke the habit/cycle, and have left the hair on my scalp alone ever since. In fact, I can't even bear the thought of harming a single hair on my scalp now, and can't believe I ever did! I oil my scalp and cherish my hair now. If my head itches, I just scratch it and move on.
    Although, now, in 2019, my focus isn't and the act of actually pulling my hair out, (that, thankfully has long since gone! ) I'm fed up with the focus now being on and seeing and living with the damage I did, still focused on hair from the moment I wake up.
    I'm not seeking to hide it away anymore, because of some kind of shame of my condition or its results. I just don't want to be reminded, every day of my disfigurement. Putting on Wigs, scarves, and hats just serves to remind me of this also. I just want to truly move on with my life, and forget about my hair, but not look so different, to just pin it up and head out the door. For this reason I'm considering scalp tattoos (microblading), as I just want to camouflage the patches with something permanent and forget about it, and not have anyone else remind me about it either. So I can just get up and go out and use scarves as an accessory and not as a cover up. Go out in all winds and weathers without the worry of a gust of wind blowing my hat off,or to go swimming without hair scarves slipping off, or the heat melting me in summer, or wearing itchy wigs.
    Although the damage of constantly pulling out my hair since the age of 12 (before finally stopping at 30 ) and only wearing wigs,hairpieces, daily, since then and for the past 17 years, to this present day, means I'm still waiting and hoping for it to grow back. But, I'm also realistic enough to know the repetitive damage I've done to many of my scalp follicles means permanent damage has been done, and I will never have a fully covered head of hair. My remaining hair is still sparce with only fine hairs on my scalp, and is completely bare in places without even fine hairs, just skin.
    However, I'm still fortunate enough to have most of my lovely, soft, curly, Afro hair at he back of my scalp, and some at the sides and front. If I grow this long enough to be bunched up on top of my head, then the patches could be covered/ camouflaged -up with tattoos. So even if it can't grow back completely in places, I can at least be wig and hair piece free.
    Then I'd only need to wear a hat if I was cold, and wear scarves only as accessories (and not just look ill wearing one ) and as for wigs- they'd only be worn if I wanted to glam it up for the night (though even then I'd still rather not, hot and Itchy! bloody things! had enough of em!)
    Maybe then, I can go about my day the same as everybody else. Just glance in the mirror and look like myself- with my own style, and my own, beautiful, Afro hair! and not be worried about my hair not looking right, or wearing somebody elses hair, or style on my head! To go out and about freely and not get stared at too much, for looking different , or asked if i'm ill (which I'm not! )
    I just want to live my life!

  • Hi Julie

    Thanks for updating and giving so much information - all you have been through is so heartwrenching - I totally get it. It would be very understandable if you were to despair of ever living your life to the full.

    Microblading may be a good solution where you're concerned.

    It is heart-breaking to think of you going through the travel, expense and pain of travelling to London for intralace systems so your son wouldn't have to witness your cover-ups.

    Congratulations for finally speaking up about this and deciding on a course of action you are happy with - keep us informed.

    Love and freedom
    Neo

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