Monday, 18 January 2016

Own it.

Welcome!!! I hope you are all well.

If you haven't seen any of my other blogs, this is the last one which you can follow to the beginning: 

Many apologies for being absent for the last few months, I have been fairly busy with moving and starting university. I have had a busy first semester.

Starting university is a daunting thing; new place, new people and new things to do. So I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. But I am being honest in saying that, alopecia was one of the last things on my mind. I am lucky in that respect as I can imagine that some people, in a similar situation may be a little more concerned about it.

I suddenly realised that at a place like a university, there is much more diversity and there’s such a wide variety of people from a range of backgrounds that seeing someone with alopecia is not a big deal. Because usually, they would have experienced it already. 

I am by no means saying that people will not mention it or it will not be noticed- but accepted, yes.

Of course when you go ‘out-out’ people will try to touch your head-- if you don’t want them to, do not let them- you deserve the same respect that they they want. (Most guys I see on a night out look like they’d flip if you touched their carefully crafted keratin). Of course drunk people will ask about it from time to time but don’t let it upset you… Just because they don’t have manners/too drunk to care doesn’t mean you don’t look bitchin’.

I truly do feel that having alopecia has helped me become who I am today, who knows, I may not even be at the university I wanted or not have been confident enough to make the friends I have. And this would be a great shame, I really am happy how I am and if offered the choice to undo my hair falling out, I wouldn’t go for it… It’s not worth the risk because what I have now is not something I want to lose.

My key piece of advice to anyone who has recently shaved their head, is to own it. This is far easier said than done but what I mean by this is: embrace it, love it. People respect you owning it- you may feel like you are playing with a handicap but in all honesty (sorry for the major cliché) personality is still key.

If I am honest with myself, I do enjoy receiving attention in general- it is not always a good thing but it is definitely a personality trait of mine. Perhaps that is why I managed to get on with my alopecia so quickly. Personally, I loved freshers’ week and having no hair created the perfect blank canvas for dressing up. Each night I sported a different coloured face paint eye brow, fake tattoos and world flags spanning my scalp also featured. It was a nice way to really express who I am and what I am about. 

Although standing out wasn’t my intention I feel it is helpful when coming somewhere new, as you are more easily recognised. Additionally, for Halloween I capitalised on my ‘strength’ to become Bane from DC’s Batman. It was something I had wanted to do since shaving my head and well it was a popular costume when out- I think the realistic bald head made the costume seem very real. And of course I very much enjoyed people enjoying the costume.

Of course me saying ‘own it’ and telling you what I have done will not make you get over your hair loss- that’s not what I am saying. I am not over my hair loss entirely but what I am encouraging you to do is to make the best of what you have. CLICHÉ WARNING- loving yourself is a big step towards others loving you.

I would like to finish with my analogy:

A wall has several coats of paint on it, to access the bare wall and actually see what it truly looks like and what it's made of- the paint has to be sanded off. If we replace the wall for ‘YOU’ and the paint for ‘HAIR’ and the sand paper for ‘ALOPECIA’, you can see what I mean about it helping you to find yourself.

Keep strong, you are all amazing- this is not an easy journey :) 

Alopecia doesn't define you

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