I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata at 9 years old ...
In 1985, I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and was 9 years old. It all began when I was at the hair salon. My stylist noticed two small bald patches on either side of my head. Soon thereafter, we learned more than we ever wanted to know about Alopecia Areata.
Mom searched for support and found NAAF (National Alopecia Areata Foundation). I attended their annual conference in Washington DC the following year. It was there I realized that I was not alone.
I had Areata (spots) for quite some time. A few years later in middle school, I lost quite a bit more and felt the need to wear wigs. I purchased my first piece out of a catalog. THAT wasn’t a great experience.
In college, my Areata turned into Totalis (loss of all scalp hair) which included the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes over a span of just 4 months.
So at 20 years old, I just STOPPED living life. I avoided things that I knew I would be uncomfortable doing – whether it be going to the beach, taking a boat trip, sitting outside at a restaurant – because all of these things would have been very uncomfortable in a traditional hairpiece. It was a terribly insecure state that I was living in. And whenever I looked into the mirror, the person staring back at me was NOT me.
But then I remembered something. When I was at the NAAF conference at the age of 9, I met a woman there. She was sitting on the stairs of the hotel and appeared to be waiting for someone. She had gorgeous long hair, beautiful lashes and brows and was just striking in every way.
In a bold move for a very reserved and vulnerable little girl, I went over and told her that I thought she was beautiful. And what she said back to me rendered me speechless. “I’m just like you, sweetie. I have Alopecia Universalis and wear a vacuum wig, false eyelashes and I pencil in my eyebrows.”
So fast forward to the insecure, broken 20 year old with Totalis…and I reminded myself of that woman from years ago. I had to TAKE CONTROL. I needed to find a solution that would allow me to live again and be as confident and secure as that woman appeared to be.
Mom and I went out searching for that elusive vacuum wig. We found Debbi Fuller (our fantastic East Coast Freedom Agent), who had Alopecia just like me. Her care, empathy, understanding, and knowledge helped me at a time when I was at my most fragile.
And when my hairpiece arrived…I couldn't quite articulate what it did for me. To say that it was life changing just sounds so cliche. It literally put my hair loss on the back burner. I no longer thought about it every second of every day. I started living again. It simply, ROCKED MY WORLD.
I’ve now been wearing the Freedom piece for over 20 years. It was and continues to be life changing AND it allows me the ultimate freedom to LIVE life exactly as I see fit. My goal now is to help as many as I can – those who are just like me – looking to lead a life that is FULL and WITHOUT restriction.
MORE ABOUT ME
I hold an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Tufts University and a Master’s in Communications from the University of Texas-Austin. I live in and office out of Round Rock, Texas just 15 minutes northeast of Austin. And I am honored and humbled to take care of those with any form of medical hair loss in Texas and surrounding states.
I'm a mom
My kids see me with hair as much as they do without. Yet I am still a private person with regards to my hair loss. I wear hair in public most of the time. (Yes, I've also taken my hair off in public, but that is not the norm). So, for me...wearing this piece allows me to enjoy the ability to CONTROL who I tell and when (or if I even do!)
I believe it is first about loving and accepting who you are and what you have, and then figuring out what tools you need to move forward and beyond. My hair is the tool that allows me to fit in when I want, and when I CHOOSE. And THAT is the ultimate FREEDOM for me.
I swam competitively for years. I love the water. It means so much to me that I can do this again.
i lead a very active lifestyle
This hair prosthetic allows me to be as active as I want to be -- from running, to weight lifting, to Crossfit -- you name it, I've done it.
I have fun
And I want that for you too. Send me a note and let me know how I can help you get to a better place.