shave or not to shave

Hello Darkness, my old friend…The return of Alopecia and departure of hair (again).

No, this post isn’t an homage to Simon & Garfunkel, as lovely as they are. I’m merely borrowing lyrics to highlight my current mood. It’s getting darker – which is the inverse of my hair – which is getting lighter. By lighter I mean patchier. By patchier – I mean – the¬†always lurking alopecia areata is making a comeback ūüė¶

One year on

It’s been precisely a year since I started to grow my hair back in. I shouldn’t whine – I had a full head of regrowth for summer (no¬†sweaty¬†cap or burnt scalp for me)¬†and for my sister’s wedding. In the back of my mind I always knew it would come back (or go – whichever way you look at it).

When people asked me or saw an old photo of me and were puzzled – I’d¬†explain that I have¬†Alopecia – not had. I would never trust them when they said “Really, I would never know”. Such is my¬†paranoia when it¬†comes my hair.

IMG_5670

Paris, March 2016

Never really went away

I never had full regrowth, below is a list of the stuff that didn’t properly grow¬†back when my luscious mane did:

  • My eyebrows never fully grew back to the Brooke Shields/Cara Delevigne caterpillars that they were ¬†– but at least I had some – even if it did look like I’d over-plucked
  • A patch on my chest and trunk – which started when my head hair came back.
  • I had one patch of (no) hair – above a newly returned grey spot which never came back in (see below)

grey bit

 

What am I going to do this time?

You may remember last time I tried a few things? This time I don’t want to radically overhaul my diet (as I’ve been steadily¬†eating healthier foods and upping my fitness levels for the past few months). I gave¬†up smoking – in January and am drinking less alcohol than I ever have.

I seriously believe that my alopecia is either:

  • a cyclical thing ¬†– that I have no control over
  • it’s triggered by stress – which I do have control over
  • both

Point is, if I remove or react to stress better, it’s a win-win. I know how¬†mini stressful episodes affect me – I get a racing mind, laboured breath and a tightness of ¬†muscle. Whether these mini episodes have contributed to my alopecia or not – I don’t want them. So…

This time, the only things I’m going to do¬†are:

  • Try (and I do mean try really hard) to calm the f*ck down
  • Try not to stare at the ever increasing patches of pink skin
  • Remember to breathe – seriously, I’m making a conscious effort to take big long lung-bucket-fulls of breath – it’s not only good for the soul –¬†focussing on my¬†breath will¬†stop my mind racing about impending baldness

I just need to remember that I’ve been through all this shit before. The ‘worst’ that can happen is actually more of an inconvenience – having to shave my head, facial hair and patchy eyebrows off on a daily basis. It isn’t life threatening and lots of people are going through much worse than me.

I’m away to snort some oxygen and (not) look at my hair in the mirror!