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Why Losing My Hair Was the Best Thing to Happen to Me

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I lost all of my hair at age 2 due to the autoimmune condition alopecia. It was extremely hard growing up hiding under a wig. I was bullied and teased a lot for the way my wig looked and my lack of eyebrows and eyelashes. I felt like an outcast and hated to even look at myself in the mirror. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and allowing the negative opinions and remarks from others to consume me. I was told and made to believe, “Girls are only pretty when they have hair.”

When I look back on my childhood and journey with alopecia these last 28 years, there are so many things I wish I could tell myself. I now see my bald head as the greatest gift I never knew I needed. It is tough to have a visible difference from your peers. It is tough to have people always stare, or do a double-take when I walk into places. It is tough to have people make unwanted comments about my bald head.

But, when I look at myself in the mirror today and see my bald head shining back at me, I see strength. I see beauty. I see resilience. I see empowerment. Losing my hair made me very empathetic. I never judge others, because I know exactly how it feels. My alopecia has made me a better athlete. I have embraced this confidence in abilities and myself. I always welcome a challenge and never count myself out. I dream big, set big goals and never let anyone tell me otherwise. I get stares and remarks at races quite often, but I simply smile and run my race — in life and on the course.

My hair loss has opened so many doors and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Opportunities to share my story, to talk to kids going through the same things I went through. It is such a gift to have that opportunity to be the person I needed when I was younger. To actually say, “I know exactly how that feels” is empowering.

I spent a lot of time being upset and allowing myself to be sad over my alopecia, but today my outlook is completely different. We get to choose our attitudes every single day. It is not what happens to us, but the way we bounce back and respond.

If I could tell myself anything, it would be to strive to have a beautiful heart, not a beautiful head. To stay true to whom I am always and what I believe. And that yes, people will be mean, they will hurt you, but always rise above and take the high road. You will never regret it. And work hard at everything you do, set no limits on yourself and your dreams.

Losing my hair has shown me that beauty is what is inside of a person. I had to learn adult lessons at a young age, but I am better because of it. Though it took me many years and I hid from the reality I didn’t want to face, I now see my alopecia and hair loss as the greatest gift that could have ever happened to me. I couldn’t imagine myself any other way. I am now succeeding in life while embracing my alopecia, living and thriving with my bald head out shining for the world to see, and have never been happier.

Originally published: August 2, 2021
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