Wearing hair for the first time & co-workers reaction?

Discussion in 'Open Topic (General)' started by BTGirl118, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. BTGirl118

    BTGirl118 New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm 28 years old and have been dealing with this nightmare since I was a teen. I have androgenic alopecia which I believe was triggered by accutaine and birth control pills. I also have PCOS.

    I'm currently on BC pills and aldactone. I've been on BC pills for nearly my entire adult life. I don't even have a period anymore.

    Over the past few years my hair has gotten progressively worse to the point that I can no longer hide it or act like it isn't a problem. Hair, whether mine or someone else's, consumes practically every minute of every day.

    I had never spoken to anyone about my hairloss or the way it made me feel, until one day I just lost it and told my mother I'd rather be dead than deal with this and have to look at myself in the mirror every day. Until now, due to finances, I hadn't had many options. I have one synthetic wig that I've never left the house in. I don't like the feel of them. I don't like taking it on and off, I just don't like it.

    I'm single and I don't even date anymore due to my hair, but if I did, I certainly don't want to preface any "fun" sessions with "oh, let me take off my hair or it will fall off" - I can't imagine a bigger mood killer.

    Anyway, I finally went to one of those hair loss places and I'm having a piece made. (I'll get it in 8-10 weeks). I guess I would call it a topper or partial piece. It will be bonded to my head (no, they don't have to shave my head! :)) and will have to be re-bonded every 6 weeks. They bond it, cut it in, match the color of my natural hair, etc. I will be able to exercise, shower, sleep, and swim in it. I expected the cost to be MUCH greater than it really is. There are also no contracts! It's not cheap, but one day, I will be able to afford it on my own. For now, my mom's retirement is covering the cost.

    My issue is, I work in a cubicle farm. I have some very close co-workers and many that I'm cordial with and speak to and see on a regular basis. I probably speak to 50+ people a day and 10 of those I'd consider close friends. I've never discussed my hair loss with anyone at work, anyone other than my mother for that matter. I know this is going to be a dramatic change in my appearance and while I can deal with my close friends, I'm really concerned with dealing with all of my co-workers. It will be too obvious to say I just got my hair done. Some of my closer co-workers will likely ask a lot of questions. How do you handle that? And how do you respond to men who are obviously uncomfortable about it but know something is different? I can already feel my cheeks and chest flushing just thinking about it!

    I know it's a temporary inconvenience and uncomfortable feeling for what will dramatically improve my quality of life, but it's still very daunting.

    I do have before pictures and will take after pictures. I have some pretty dramatic pictures of my current state of hair loss. I'm not convinced I'll be brave enough to post them here, but if anyone wants me to email them privately I'm okay with that. Maybe it's just me, but seeing people's before and after photos really gives me hope!
  2. missmyhair42

    missmyhair42 New Member

    Hi BTGirl,

    Congrats on taking a step in a positive direction! I started wearing a bonded system last year and I had all the same worries as you do. I also have about 6 coworkers that I see daily and was worried about what people would say or think. Here's my advice, when you get your new hair, change up your style or color enough that that becomes the topic of conversation. Cut off a few inches, change the shade slightly, or if you want, dramatically (depending on how brave you are;)). This way, people will comment on the new style or color. It will be a distraction from the change in density and thickness, and when your friends and coworkers ask about your hair you can say, with confidence, that you were ready for a big change in your length, color, etc.

    When I got my first bonded topper exactly a year ago, I was so worried about the questions and reactions. When I realized all I was getting was compliments, I felt so good about how I looked which increased my confidence. And when you can wear that new head of hair with confidence, your great attitude is what people will notice, before your new hair. Finally, people have really short memories and within a few weeks, most people won't even remember what you looked like before. Lot's of luck to you!
  3. BamaGirl

    BamaGirl New Member

    BTGirl, I totally understand where you are coming from with the concern about your co-workers reactions. I have just gotten to the place where I have begun to research my different options. While I'm not at the place where I would want to do the bonded toppers I have been considering a clip-in topper. I am hesitant though for a few reasons. I went to a salon that does the bonded and clip-in toppers. The one that I tried on was a bit "heavy" to me so I am trying to find other places in my area that has a variety to choose from...no success with that yet. My other hesitation is the thought of what my co-workers reactions will be and how do I respond if someone asks me about it. It's almost like it is trading the anxiety of what people think of me with having no hair for the anxiety of what are they going to think when I do have hair. I've been "stalking" on a few different forums for the last couple of weeks and am slowly gaining the courage to make the move though. I see how it has made such a difference for other women. I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather endure the temporary anxiety of wearing new hair in front of my co-workers, and others I see on a regular basis, than to live with the daily discouragement of looking at myself in the mirror and being miserable as I see my thinning hair and my scalp shining through. Most people that have posted about their experiences say most people don't even say anything other than "I love your new hairstyle". I've been gradually thinning for the last 17 years. I think that those of us experiencing the hair loss are much more aware of it than others actually are. I think we will both be surprised and relieved when we take this next step in our journey!
  4. BTGirl118

    BTGirl118 New Member

    Thanks

    Thanks for the response ladies. Prior to my initial post I hadn't discussed my hair loss with anyone but my mother. Since then, I've "come out" to four more people (3 co-workers) and explained my situation and that I'd be getting new hair. The first one was the toughest, but every time it got easier and the reactions were so nonchalant. Some people had no idea what I had been going through, some recognized the issue and just thought I didn't care b/c I had never talked about it, but everyone was excited about it and one girl even wanted to go wig shopping and told me I should get boobs next, haha. I still have panic moments where I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, but this is really the only option and I can't wait to get it over with! I've also come to the conclusion that one rough week at work with strange looks and questions will be worth never worrying about people seeing my bald head again!
  5. alilou

    alilou New Member

    Hi BTGirl118,
    How do you like your topper? Is it bonded? I just ordered my first topper and I'm still nervous about it. Are you able to wash your hair with it on? How do you keep it clean if it is bonded? I'm 28 years old as well and have lost what feels like more than half my hair in a matter of three months. The doctor told me it was alopecia areata. Hopefully, I will feel better about myself once I get my topper. It is impossible now for me to style my hair without my bare scalp showing through.
  6. BTGirl118

    BTGirl118 New Member

    Alilou,

    I don't actually have the topper yet. It's being custom made and won't be ready for another 8 weeks! (Longest wait of my life!). It's impossible to style my hair w/o my scalp showing as well. I quit trying, lol.

    But to answer your question, I was told when I ordered my piece that I can pretty much do anything with it - swim, sleep, shower, etc. It is human hair, so they suggest I only wash it once a week! They suggest still washing the bio hair regularly. They told me to pull up the topper into a clip on top of my head and just shampoo my bio hair under it. I guess that leaves the bio hair under the topper (I'm not shaving my scalp) only having a bath once a week, but you can't see it. I know some women who do their own bonded toppers re-bond every week.

    Keep us posted on how your topper works out!
  7. Phillygrl

    Phillygrl New Member

    BamaGirl : What part of Alabama are you in ? I am in N.Alabama and havent found anywhere that isnt synthetic wigs.
  8. BTGirl118

    BTGirl118 New Member

    Phillygrl:

    I'm in middle TN and so is the placer I went to. It may be worth the trip if you don't mind the drive and dont have options closer. I'd think it's no more than 2 hours or so over the state line.
  9. Phillygrl

    Phillygrl New Member

    Hey ! Thanks for replying BTGirl. I know there is a place called HPI in Nashville and I met someone on here from Alabama who drives all the way to Atlanta to Jentis Studios. (They have Follea hair which is my ultimate goal, I think) I was thinking of trying that one but the long drive gives me too many chances to chicken out.

    What is the name of the place you go to ?

    Do you like them? Do they make you feel comfortable about the whole thing ? I will def check it out. Ive GOT to do something before May.

    Thanks so much ! (Im near Huntsville so its not far from the TN line) :):)
  10. Lisa5

    Lisa5 New Member

    Hi BTGirl,

    I've also told a few of my co-workers and they've been understanding. I'm also looking into getting a topper or something, it's all still so new to me so I need to do some research and see where in Sydney I can get these things.

    BTGirl, if you don't mind I would love to see your pics.
  11. BTGirl118

    BTGirl118 New Member

    I did go to HPI! I'm having a bonded human hair topper made, but I believe they sell Follea too. I definitely felt comfortable. They have people that drive there from Atlanta! I don't know about Follea, but for a bonded human hair topper, their prices were fairly reasonable from what I've seen. I'm sure you can call an they'll answer any questions for you. I think everything is custom made/ordered and I ordered mine at the end of February and it's expected by the end of April, beginning of May, so if you need something quick, don't wait.
  12. BTGirl118

    BTGirl118 New Member

    A "before" pic is attached. "After" will come sooner rather than later I hope.

    Attached Files:

  13. Phillygrl

    Phillygrl New Member

    BTGirl :What a small world, right? I cant believe you went to HPI. I have been staring at their website off and on for over a year and Im on their email list, but Ive been afraid to make the drive. There are so many scam places out there.

    Do they make you sign a contract or anything? I mean, I cant see myself getting something integrated or bonded where I will have to drive back and forth for maintenance for my first piece. I want something I can take off everyday for my first time and then move up to bonding when Im more stable financially and emotionally with this.

    Sounds like May will be too soon, but I will call them.. Glad to get some first hand info from your experience. PLEASE keep in touch and let us all know how it goes. Thanks for your bravery in posting too.
  14. BTGirl118

    BTGirl118 New Member

    NO contracts! There was no pressure at all. Stephanie is who I met with. Hopefully they can give you more info by phone before you make the drive, and I'll definitely keep you posted. I can't wait to have hair! Good luck! Stay in touch.
  15. mdk79

    mdk79 New Member

    Congratulations! You're and inspiration to me! I'm sure your coworkers are happy you're going to be enjoying your life more. I hope am strong enough to do the same if my hair loss doesn't slow down. Enjoy your new look:)
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  16. Judith2013

    Judith2013 New Member

    I wear what's called a swiss lace system.

    I'm not sure if it's real lace but it's very light.

    I guess with most things that sit on your head you notice them at first but if they're light you don't after a short time. I am quite happy with my new hair now. And I think because it looks so real then I am more confident people will think it's my own hair.:)
  17. BamaGirl

    BamaGirl New Member

    HI Phillygrl! I actually live in NC, but I'm from AL...the name BamaGirl because I'm a huge Bama fan. Roll Tide! I live in Charlotte, about 4 hours from Atlanta and have thought of going to Jentis in Atlanta to see their Follea toppers as well. I'm at the very beginning stages of my search. I've had one consultation at a place here in Charlotte. The toppers they had were beautiful and they custom make them for you, but I wasn't thrilled with the cap...it felt very heavy to me...and the price ($1600 for European human hair) is quite hefty for me. I know Follea is expensive as well, but as I've seen so many other people post...I look at this as an investment. I want to get something that is of good quality and will last as long as possible. I still have days of fluctuating back in forth on what to do. I haven't ever talked to my co-workers about my hair. I have talked with my closest friends and have told a few of them about my current path of "investigating" my options. To do something while I'm searching for toppers, I actually recently ordered the Joan Rivers Good Hair Day fill-in powder, as well as the Caboki hair building fibers, which you can get a free sample of...only have to pay for shipping. I've been using the fill-in powder for about a week now and I do really like it. I haven't tried the caboki yet...I want to do that when I'm not going anywhere in case it looks horrible. :) I might try it this weekend.
  18. BamaGirl

    BamaGirl New Member

  19. BTGirl118

    BTGirl118 New Member

    Okay, the date is set! I'll get my new hair on 4/24/13. Not too much longer. I'm nervous, but excited and looking forward to it. I'll post pictures as soon as it's done!
  20. Jerseygirl

    Jerseygirl New Member

    Good luck, can't wait to see pictures.