I’m in the 0.1%

I’ll admit I have been in two minds about sharing this in a post.  My blog is after all about fashion, family, friends and fun, not alopecia.  I’m sure there are many blogs (I haven’t looked) dedicated to people like me who suffer with alopecia containing lots of medical information and support, but that’s not why I am talking about it.  I decided to share after reading a couple of comments regarding how ‘happy I always look’, and words like ‘self-congratulatory’ being mentioned in forums.  I’ll admit that I am a tremendously positive, upbeat person – I’m a Leo after all, with a lot to be happy about – but now you know I have my little issues to deal with too!  I am real, (relatively) normal, and I sometimes lose patches of hair.

To be honest I don’t really think about it that much and I just tend to get on with it when I have an ‘episode’ – what else can I do?  Worrying over it can just exacerbate the problem.  I actually consider myself tremendously lucky that I can always conceal my patches of hair loss, and, to date, it has always grown back.

I first lost a patch of hair back in 2009 around Thanksgiving.  I’d had an enormous blow out with a work colleague and I was LIVID.  Fuming in fact – so much so I cursed him out on the phone.  He was actually my employer at the time but I felt so let down by him I no longer cared what I said so I told him exactly what I thought.  The following morning I woke up to discover a bald patch the size of a quarter at my hairline.  I was devastated.  I didn’t actually link the two events until after I had visited my dermatologist.  I initially just thought I was dying – I was so gutted by what I saw in the mirror.  Since then I’ve had a couple of patches of hair loss each year and my dermatologist (who is amazing!) has always reassured me that it is purely my body’s reaction to stress, or an autoimmune response.  I never consider myself to be under much stress – I don’t think I’m a worrier – nor do I feel anxious – but stress triggers can be minimal.  There’s never any real rhyme or reason, and certainly no warning that I’m going to lose some hair.  It always occurs in the same place – on the front right hair line – except for once when it was at the nape of my neck at the hairline.

This time I think the the loss is associated with my body’s stress from travel and jet lag.  I am guessing that all the prep and organization that goes into getting the family out of the door and on a transatlantic flight has taken it’s toll.  Fortunately a quick visit to the dermatologist for a cortisone shot in the scalp, followed by regular applications of clobetasol always seems to stop it in it’s tracks.  I’ve already decided that if it ever progresses I’ll wear my bald head loud and proud.  My Grandad was bald as a coot, and my Mum suffers from psoriasis – so maybe it is an inherited autoimmune issue?  Who knows!  Regardless I am at peace with the fact that alopecia areata is now part of my life.  There are far worse things that others are dealing with every day.

Now you see it, now you don’t!

Alopecia Areata

 

I’m really enjoying my outfit of the day today – some of you will loathe it – others of you may be on the fence – but I love it.  It’s the light denim jumpsuit from Zara.  Super comfortable and I even got the seal of approval from Poppy who gave me a ‘wow Mom that’s so cute’.  On second thoughts maybe a 7 year old’s approval shouldn’t be listened to by an almost 42 year old!  This is a Medium so it is generous for Zara sizing.

Regardless here it is in all it’s glory.

Zara jumpsuit

 

Jumpsuit – Zara // Sandals – Nine West // Necklace – Target (REALLY old) // Belt – Target (REALY old too!) // Bracelet – Susie Ho

 

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22 thoughts on “I’m in the 0.1%

  1. Janice

    Joanna, Not being very familiar with alopecia I am curious to know if alcohol consumption aggravates the condition. Is it hormonal? I admire your positive attitude while suffering with this condition!

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      Gosh I don’t think so Janice – my alcohol consumption is pretty steady all year round with no significant variation! In fact it’s actually a stress reliever! On vacation I drank less than usual I think due to the heat and I still have a patch today. It can be hormonal in certain cases – it is associated sometimes with thyroid issues – but all my blood work is normal so for me it’s just part of who I am!

      Reply
  2. treasuresnpleasures

    Great of you to share this with us Joanna, and I totally know where your coming from. It’s hard when people look at your life from the outside and think you have no worries, we all have things to deal with and no ones life is perfect. My arthritis and food allergies can get me down but loads of people are coping with a lot worse so sometimes I have to give myself a stern talking too, as I’m not as upbeat and you always are! Hope it clears up soon, and your hair still looks fab by the way, lovely and bouncy and healthy looking! X

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      Hi Trea! We all have our demons don’t we!? As you say I am fortunate that my hair is pretty thick and healthy so it is easy to concela – I take biotin and prenatals every day that also help with growth – and my nails! I’m sure you are more upbeat than you give yourself credit for – we can’t wallow – we get one chance – a cliché – but true. Love ya xxx

      Reply
  3. Martha Merrill Wills

    I love that you write about this. Stress wreaks havoc on people’s bodies more than many realize. I have a terrible reaction to stress… lowers my immunities… makes me sick. Not to mention hungry! In regard to the outfit… I LOVE it. Want it. Off to cruise Zara… X

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      Hungry? LOL – me too:) It is amazing though how our immune system protects us so well but can then turn on us horribly…The jumpsuit also comes in black – and watch their new video on the website – you’ll want IT ALL!! xx

      Reply
  4. School Gate Style

    You are so brave to share this Joanna – it’s a hugely stressful thing for a woman to lose hair so your attitude to it is an inspiration. Definitely not self congratulatory…utterly and fabulously positive. A role model for the negative people on certain forums!
    Have to say, overall on this blog post, my attention was totally taken by how amazing your hair looks…so shiny and I’m loving the extra length. Can’t wait to see it growing longer. Ax

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      There’s the irony – the rest of my hair is thick and healthy lol! I can’t wait for it to get longer either – I think I’m over the biggest hurdle now I have it one length – it feels and looks so different from my undercut days! xx

      Reply
  5. Sue

    I can imagine how devastating alopecia is especially for a woman but good to know yours is manageable and you can “control” it to a degree. And I love the positive attitude you take towards it and to life in general. It’s a breath of fresh air – I’ve been round too many people who almost enjoy and thrive on having problems. Life is what you make of it and I know it’s easy for me to say coming from quite a good place at the moment, but sometimes you yourself make it what it is.

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      You know it was devastating when it first happened – but once you realize that you’re healthy and it is purely cosmetic then there’s not much you can do but get on with it! Other’s have far more obvious patches etc. so I am a lucky one – it’s odd how many women suffer and yet the attitude to women losing hair is completely different to when men lose hair. I always make good of situations – I couldn’t bear being miserable through life!:) xx

      Reply
  6. The Flaky Fashionista

    I love your positive attitude to this. My sister has a friend who has alopecia and is 100% bald. She has a blog too and it is a serious eye-opener to read about the various difficulties she experiences – being stopped at the airport because her wig sets off the security alarms for example. I often say that she should be bald and proud … but what do I know? I spend my life covering my psoriasis!! Hopefully you will be able to maintain control over these patches. x

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      Gosh – I know it must be so hard – especially the insensitive stares from others. So now we’re both part of the autoimmune club:) xx

      Reply
  7. ladyelljay

    Excellent post—as a woman with alopecia and a blogger, I know it’s liberating to write about it publicly. Mine started with a patch—which I deemed my “LBP,” or Little Bald Patch—and then consumed most of my head. I use clippers to keep it buzzed, and while I’ve come to love not having hair, there are days when I miss my wild head of hair 🙂 Enjoy it! And thanks for posting about alopecia!

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      Thank you so much for commenting! It means a lot to me – I know there are many women ‘suffering’ in silence and I really wish there wasn’t such a stigma associated with female hair loss – or alopecia in general – I think random patches can be devastating for men too. My Husband suffered from it at college when he lost patches of his beard due to stress. I’ll certainly visit your blog to see what you are up to! xx

      Reply
  8. Alex

    I loved reading this! So inspirational, and so nice to see people opening up- that’s often what blogs are there for! And I love the Zara jumpusit 🙂 xx

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      Thanks Alex! Though I’m sure some people would rather I just stick with the clothes lol. I think it’s important to remind people that bloggers are human too:) x

      Reply
  9. Diane

    I glad you have written this and admire you for your honesty, please don’t take too much of what the forums say to heart, it’s far easier for people to be critical behind the safety of a computer screen but you can guarantee people wouldn’t think much less say the hurtful things face to face.
    Love the jumpsuit by the way

    Diane

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      Oh I don’t listen to them that much honestly – I just think it’s good to remind everyone occasionally that we are just regular people too:) Lovely to hear from you again Diane! x

      Reply
  10. Cous Cous and Cork Wedges

    This was so touching to read & amazing of you to share! I’ve suffered with tonnes of quirky ailments over the years mostly due to stress & the body has a crazy way of coping with it sometimes doesnt it! You always looks so positive & confident to me! Ax

    Reply
    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      And I don’t even think I’m that stressed! Having researched it a little there are others with far more extreme symptoms than mine so I still consider my self fortunate! x

      Reply
  11. Pingback: My obsession with jumpsuits. | Poppy's Style

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