First of all, hello to all and thank you for participating in this conversation. I'm so grateful to the creator of this site. I can feel the connectedness of the people who post and read here. Community and conversation makes a huge difference in this silly hair-loss thing we're all working through. I noticed my hair loss when I was around 31. No doubt it had been going on for some time before that, but that's when I noticed. Once I was out of the denial stage, it just felt surreal, and I was devastated. Ironically, before I noticed my own hair loss I noticed that my older sister's hair was not as thick as it used to be. It makes me chuckle now to think that SHE had a hair problem and I didn't! Shortly thereafter, my hair loss became much more evident, and now 13 years later I'm the one with the hair loss issue. She has less hair than she used to, but does not have a "thinning problem" like I do. Go figure. It's interesting that I didn't predict this for myself. My mother has very thin hair all over and has as long as I can remember. Her mother also had very very thin hair. I guess that's the power of denial. Somehow it never occurred to me that it would happen to me, maybe because I've always had ridiculously dense hair (fine and flyaway, but dense). It's extra "funny" because I'm a physician, and something about hair. But I'm also human, and I guess I just didn't want to "go there" as far as considering I could lose enough hair that others would notice. There's little that I can report about my reaction that has not already been written on this site. All the stages of grief were exactly that. I spent countless hours collapsed on the floor of the bathroom, weeping and feeling my life was over. It really was surreal..... I knew I didn't have a fatal disease, but it felt like my life was done anyway. And for that I felt like an ungrateful baby. I felt guilty and weak. I was single and felt it would be impossible to meet a man. My smile was gone. The light in my eyes disappeared. I look back now and realize I was clinically depressed. I withdrew, I did all the avoidance tactics I've heard about on this site. Every one of them. It's interesting to me how separately, we all instinctively use the same strategies to try to hide our hair loss to ourselves and others. I told very very few people. I'm such a private person and so, so very focused on looking like I have it "all together". I was so uncomfortable with being seen as imperfect and vulnerable. My sister looked at my hair and said "you have male-pattern baldness". Not a great choice of words, but she was empathetic. However, she told me I was "obsessed" with my hair loss. Yes I am, I thought. And I felt she would be too if this were happening to her. I resented all people with good hair. Why me? I went to a wonderful derm (after going to a bad one) named Claire Haycox. She has great hair and specializes in hair loss. She examined my scalp and told me she was sure it was adrogenic alopecia. She let me cry and wail in her office and just empathized. "Who will marry me?" I wailed. Gosh, she was patient and sweet. She recommended the usual Rogaine and iron supps. She was nice enough to offer propecia even though at that time doctors were very wary of giving that to any woman. I did Rogaine for a while but hated it. I got hair transplants and they worked well. I have great donor hair in the back. Problem is that I still wasn't happy with the density. It's hard to achieve female-type density with transplants I think. I did Hair Club and had to shave the top of my head. Poor-quality hair that matted and tangled but at least I had hair! Four years ago I switched to a topper, and I really love it. It has GIVEN ME MY LIFE BACK! My sparkle is back, and I'm ME AGAIN!! I really don't think about my hair loss much now. I'm so grateful for this. It's taken 4 years of topper experience to learn a lot about them and I've had some bad ones. I've finally come to the conclusion I need European hair to feel happy. It's expensive. I used to go to a woman who imported hair from Europe and she would find hair that matched mine and then send the hair to China to a factory she knew that would custom-make the hair. This took at least 4 months and cost $1200 for the topper. But it lasts about a year and I figure $100 is cheap considering all the money I used to spend on other stuff (and Hair Club was almost 3K a year and I hated the hair!) Meanwhile, while using Hair Club hair I met a wonderful man who I married and we have 2 great kids. I'm so lucky! This experience has changed me in good ways: 1. I'm more willing to be vulnerable 2 I'm a more empathic person 3. I really "get it" that people deal with situations in their own way, and there is no right or wrong way to deal with life's stressors. I do believe there are more life-affirming and non-life-affirming ways to deal with stressors 4. I tend to be a glass-half-empty type of person. I realize much of that is a choice and that I can choose to be happy I have some learning to do. My goal is to start handling life's hurdles with some grace and courage. Someone on this forum said something like "I just wish for once I could handle something hard without falling apart". I too aspire to that. I've decided that if I ever lose so much hair that I can't clip on my topper, I will write a long email to my friends and family and reveal to them my long journey with hairloss, ask for their support, and let them know I'm shaving my head and buying a full wig. I'd let them know that when they see me I'll be wearing a wig, unless I'm going swimming, and then they will see me bald or bald with a bandana. And I know they'll be fine with it. As of now, I still hide my hair problem and only let a very very few people in my life know. Heck, my little kids don't even know because I'm afraid they'll blab! I feel 99% free......when I can stop being ashamed of my condition and finally be honest about it all, I'll regain that 1%. This experience has forced me to choose life or death. It really felt that literal to me. I'm pleased to say I chose life. LIVING IT OUT LOUD is my next goal! Thank you to all you beautiful and courageous women. Please please don't let your light dim. When is the right time to "wear hair"? I believe the answer to that is: whenever you're spending time fussing in the mirror and feeling sad. A minute wasted there is a minute wasted of your beautiful life. I wish I'd just gotten hair much earlier. I'll never regain those hours of lying on the floor in the bathroom wailing. Love to you all. It really does get better as you get older, and I hope you seize the day!!!!