I Forgot... I Have No Hair
I just spent the most amazing 2 days at a private mastermind with the most amazing group of women, who have been my rocks for the last 2 years.
We started planning a mastermind at the tail end of 2019, then the world went a little mad and it wasn’t really an option. So, for 18 months we had daily WhatsApp conversations, and regular zoom meetings, until at last we could meet! Katie found a beautiful hotel, Oddballs Odfellows on the Park, and, as the event organiser of the group, planned an amazing couple of days.
Over the last 2 years that these ladies have been “my people”. We have all been on business and personal rollercoasters. There have been lockdowns, burst bubbles, babies, sickness, and death. Oh, and laughs. There have been lots and lots of laughs. They joy of leaving a zoom with a face sore from smiling was not something I expected during a pandemic, but I will be eternally grateful for it.
The Dream Team
💜 My second family 💜
And so being with these ladies was as comfortable for me as being with my family, or my IRL* friends. They watched my hair fall out over zoom. They watched the live of me shaving off my hair on a Facebook. So, while I had travelled there with my trusty baseball cap, as soon as I was with my people, the hat was banished to the bottom of a bag, and I was me
*IRL = In Real Life
The Magic Hat
Now, this isn’t a magic baseball cap. Deep down, I know that even with it on, people can still see I have no hair. It was only a few weeks ago, during the last heatwave, I said to my daughter, “oh sod it, I’m too hot for my hat – I’m going in to Tesco’s hatless.” She gave me that look. The one that says “you know we all know you have no hair, right?”. And she’s right, of course I do, but it’s a bit like a security blanket. I’m making an effort to cover it, so please just pretend you can’t tell. And I’ll pretend I’m hiding it, and that will be that.
So, I spent 2 glorious days, pretty much forgetting I have no hair. Because when the people around me take no notice, I honestly forget
So much so, that when Nic dropped me off at Stockport train station, I forgot. I had no hat on. I got to Manchester Piccadilly, and I still wasn’t wearing it. But people we’re starting to look. Just odd glances, but after a few people had stared at me, I remembered. I’ve got no hair and that’s why the odd stares.
I did pop my hat back on. The weather had turned anyway, so from Piccadilly to Preston, I hid behind my not-really-magic-hat hat.
Alopecia is normalised for me. My Facebook newsfeed is full of beautiful people with differing levels of hair, with and without wigs, tattoos and scarfs, and I love it. But it has opened my eyes to how we sometimes judge people on how they look. A birthmark, or a disability, hair or skin colour, gender choices, clothing choices. When someone allows you to see them in a vulnerable state, don’t stare at them. Smile. Make sure they know it’s ok to be different.
When I chose to shave my head, I had already lost half of my hair. Now there are just 2 little tufts at the back, and the rest is gone. The choice is gone. But making that choice changed my life. Once I shave my head and announced to the world that I have alopecia I took back control, I returned to the happy confident person I was when I had long bright pink hair. I stopped trying to hide the bald bits, and stopped being ashamed. When we try to hide things about ourselves, the fear of being found out is paralysing. Yet telling the world, and standing up and saying yes, this is different, but I’m still me, is freeing in a way I never thought possible.
And I couldn’t have done it without the support of my rocks, my family, and the wonderful ladies and gents in the Alopecia UK group. Because finding people that accept you whatever is the first step to accepting it yourself.
Be Different. Be You. And one day, you’ll forget, like I sometimes forget I have no hair!