Amy Johnson, AKA @amyonwigs on Instagram, runs a group called Wig Wisdom on Facebook with her close friend @crazywiglady. They focus on educating and supporting women who are experiencing hair loss. You can also find Amy’s YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/amyonwigs, which is also full of helpful videos for new and experienced wearers of alternative hair.
As I hung up the phone, a wave of dread overtook the perfect joy I had just experienced. My oldest son had called to let me know that he planned to ask his girlfriend, his soulmate, to marry him. All mothers pray for this moment-that their children will meet the right person to share their life with. And, I was beyond thrilled about this news. Visions of a perfect wedding flashed through my mind. Suddenly, they stopped abruptly on my head-my hair, actually. I couldn’t see the beauty of the bride and groom. I only envisioned the wedding photos and how I would ruin them with my messed-up hair. That was the way I saw myself-a balding photobomber who ruined every photo, every video. This moment that should have been celebrated turned into panic.
Over two decades ago, about 18 months after the birth of my second son, I began dealing with permanent hair loss. Most women experience hair shedding after they deliver a baby due to changes in their hormonal chemistry, but that gradually reverses itself and they regain any lost hair. It’s not permanent. However, that wasn’t the case for me. My hair just didn’t stop shedding, and what came out never returned. So, I went to see my OB/GYN and she referred me to a connective tissue specialist for an appraisal of my condition. The doctor took a scalp biopsy and told me that I had Androgenic Alopecia-a genetic or pattern baldness experienced by both men and women. It is inherited from one or both parents and can be triggered by hormones at any time after puberty. Hair is lost at the front, top, and the crown of the scalp. The hair loss can vary from thinning to complete baldness. It is estimated that around 50% of women over the age of 65 experience female-pattern baldness.
Now knowing that I had Androgenic Alopecia, I had to slowly come to grips with the fact that most of the hair I lost wouldn’t be coming back. I stopped coloring my hair because I could see that the chemicals in the hair dye caused me additional issues-weakening the hand strands and creating more fallout. Having a fully gray head at that age left me looking older than I was and older than my friends. But, I just didn’t see any other alternative. I struggled to style my progressively thinning hair, pulling it back in a sparse ponytail for many years and wearing fabric headbands to hide my thinning hairline. Yet every day, I knew it was getting worse, and I wouldn’t be able to camouflage it any longer.
As it turned out, the engagement announcement was the moment that led me to search for a resolution to my problem. Hitting YouTube hard, I watched dozens of videos about hair loss, which led me to wigs and wig review videos. Seeing that wigs were NOT the sweaty, molded-cap designs they were in years past, I started to entertain the idea of purchasing one. Certainly, I would have to do it quickly if I was going to find a wig and get used to wearing one before my son’s wedding. I purchased my first wig. I immediately fell in love with her, and she was in a price range that seemed reasonable for a first wig. The day she arrived, I was SO nervous! What if I looked terrible in a wig? I would have to attend the wedding and find places to hide to avoid the photographer. I know that sounds so vain, but women count on their hair to create their look. Without it, you have to redefine your identity. It’s not easy to do without your hair!
Wearing a wig to my son’s wedding gave me courage and built back up the self-esteem I had lost so many years ago. I got many compliments on my “hair,” and when the wedding festivities were over, I was ready to add to my alternative hair collection.
That’s when I discovered UniWigs, specifically the LaVivid Collection. I began wearing LIZ, a short bob with silky Kanekalon fibers. Her color, Java Shimmered, was simply gorgeous! It looked like I had just walked out of the salon with a new haircut, color, and highlights! I also own Natalie in the color Shadow Chestnut, and I adore her too!
It is amazing to me how something as easy as wearing a wig can boost a person’s self-confidence so greatly. I only wish I had known how incredible this was going to feel years ago, not having to suffer so long.