Krista had very rapid hair loss from her scalp, arms and eyebrows which lasted for about 4 months. She wore a wig and worried that her young daughter wouldn’t recognise her. Krista’s hair has now regrown and her confidence is slowly increasing.
Krista felt a bald patch at the back of her head one day whilst she was at work. At first she thought it was eczema but, over the next few days, she found another patch and saw that her hair was falling out in clumps. Within 6 weeks, Krista had lost 90% of her hair on her scalp in addition to her eyebrows and some hair on her forearms. She used a steroid cream and bought a wig which she wore for several months as well as having her eyebrows tattooed on. Krista thinks the triggers of her alopecia could have been a combination of stress and changes in hormones from medications. Last year, her partner had multiple surgeries and they moved house. Krista was also caring for their young daughter and they had very little money as Krista’s partner was unable to work. Krista began taking antidepressants around this time which made her feel ill so she came off of them very suddenly. She was also taking the contraceptive pill on and off. Her hair loss lasted for about 4 months during which time she wore a wig. With hindsight, Krista says that she wishes she had shaved her hair off instead and had more confidence about herself with alopecia.
Soon after finding a second bald patch, Krista saw her doctor and was diagnosed with alopecia areata. She remembers being told that there was no cure and that they didn’t know if her hair would grow back, which Krista found very hard to hear. She was referred to a dermatologist who gave her a prescription for a steroid lotion to apply several times a day to the scalp with a cold cap over the top. She didn’t find the doctors and dermatologists very helpful in providing information about alopecia and she was left to research it online for herself. Krista also tried some alternative treatments, such as onion juice and coconut oil, but found they didn’t help. Krista’s scalp hair has now regrown back, though she feels cautious about brushing, straightening or dyeing it like she used to. Her confidence is slowly getting there but she prefers wearing a scarf to cover her neck and shoulders as her hair is quite short. Krista worries that her alopecia could return and feels panicked when she sees hairs that have fallen from her head. Krista feels that she will never be the same person as she was before her alopecia.
Krista found it very distressing losing her hair and adjusting to wearing a wig. She sometimes spoke to her best friends and family members, but she did not really tell anybody how upset she was. Krista knew there were alopecia support groups but she didn’t want to accept what was happening to her so she tended to ignore them. She now thinks it might have taken a lot of the stress away if she had joined a support group. Krista was very worried that her partner would no longer find her attractive or that her young daughter would not recognise her. Krista now feels that she has missed out on spending time with her daughter as she also stopped playing or going out with her as much. Krista spent a lot of time at home and would often wear black or grey clothes so that people didn’t notice her as much.
Despite the difficulties of having alopecia, Krista feels there have been some positives. She feels that her relationship with her partner has grown stronger as he was there for her throughout the difficult times. Krista feels she has learnt that appearance isn’t everything and says that she appreciates that other people may be facing their own battles to deal with. Krista’s advice to other people with alopecia is not to miss out on things because of having alopecia.