I was recently diagnosed with diffuse alopecia areata. I have significant hair loss on the sides and rear of my head. I’ve been styling my hair to cover the baldest patches. However, the hair loss is still apparent. Recently, I’ve had several people (ranging from close friends to distant co-workers) inquire about my hair loss in intrusive ways. One woman assumed I had cancer and sent me a get-well card! I tend to be a very private person, but I feel that I have to explain my balding to others. Do you have any suggestions for how I can keep my hair loss private?
First and foremost, thank you for taking the time and having the courage to write to us! Not only have you sought a formal diagnosis for your hair loss, but also it sounds like you are actively learning new ways to cope with alopecia areata. Unfortunately, the issue you bring up is extremely common. It is completely out of line for acquaintances, co-workers, and others to draw erroneous conclusions about your health. However, social tact is something learned; therefore, you’re right to want to have a plan for how you to deal with others’ impolite inquiries.
You asked specifically about how to keep your alopecia areata hair loss private. There are many ways to accomplish that goal, but two different (and perhaps complementary) approaches stand out to us as possibilities. The first includes a practical, concrete way to keep your hair loss private and the other involves communication strategies to use during these tough conversations.
A very practical way to keep your hair loss private is to purchase a high quality human hair wig or women’s replacement system. One of the many benefits of wearing a non-surgical hair replacement system is that they are so real and natural looking, others’ assume it is your natural growing hair. If people aren’t aware of your hair loss or they think it has grown-in, they will be unlikely to ask questions. With that being said, the choice to purchase a wig or women’s hair replacement system should not be based on that benefit alone. I would like to personally invite you to come in for a private, no-obligation consultation where you can try out and see the women’s hair loss solutions that are available for you and see how you feel. Take a look at yourself in the mirror. Do you feel more or less like yourself? If the answer is more like yourself, perhaps purchasing a wig or hair replacement system will help keep people quiet about your hair loss and restore your self-confidence both at work and socially.
Alopecia Areata can be embarrassing. Regardless of whether you opt for the wig, deciding how to respond to impolite inquiries about your hair loss is important. The first choice to make is whether you want to share your hair loss with the person asking. If the answer is “no,” look that person straight in the eye and tell them that it is a health related matter you are not comfortable talking about with them. If the person asking is someone with whom you want to share your story, decide how much you want to disclose. One approach is to keep it simple and clinical: “Thanks for asking. I’ve been meaning to tell you I’ve been diagnosed with alopecia areata, a hair loss condition. Thankfully, it will never impact my health and I am working on ways to cope with the emotional effects of hair loss.”
Stay strong and true to yourself. Plan ahead and speak with confidence. At the end of the day, you are in control of how much you share, when you share, and with whom you share.
Maryland Alopecia Areata Hair Loss Specialists
At Studio 5 Hair Gallery in Mechanicsville, Maryland, we offer all proven non-surgical hair loss treatment and hair replacement options for men, women, and children. We invite you to contact us today with any questions you may have.