Monday, June 17, 2013

Alopecia Update and My Bald Beauty Regimen!

Time for another update on my DCP treatment for my Alopecia! It has been going well. I missed a week because of my wisdom teeth, but I went again last week. There is definitely hair coming in now, which is kind of cool except it looks terrible (yay patchy short hair) so I ain't exactly showing it off (I tried to photograph the progress but it is hard to capture because a lot of it is blonde)! Still not much hair on top so I joke to the person doing the treatment (doctor? nurse? student? I have no idea) that I am going to look like an old man if this keeps up.

Still no guarantee that this hair will stay, but it is about an inch long in places so that means it hasn't been falling out for a month or two. So we shall see- my next follow up isn't until the fall. I am a long way from a ponytail (my ultimate dream hairdo after wearing wigs for so long!).

I thought I would give a few "beauty" tips for other people who have full Alopecia Universalis like me, because I do require a different regimen than most girls!

1. Wigs
I gave a long update on my wigs throughout the years about a month ago. The majority of my later-years ones came from Continental Hair in Toronto. I have seen mixed reviews on them online on Alopecia boards, but I have always loved going there. They treat me really well and my current wig is 2.5 years old and still going strong! A good quality human hair wig will run you a good chunk of change (ahem almost 3 mortgage payments on this condo!), but they last a long time.

I prefer human hair because I can style it! Since I can't wear my hair in an updo, it is nice to have some options to change up my hair. I also love my hair salon because I can go in and get my hair cut and styled on my head like a normal girl! They also can change the colour or do highlights. Only issue is you have to COMMIT because it won't grow out (but you can often try on the style with the in-store wigs first!)

Same wig:
French Braid

2. Eyebrows
I don't remember when I lost my eyebrows. My body hair (including facial) was the last to go, so I imagine I was 15 or 16? No idea. At first I drew them on, but the results were hideous! Oh my gosh I kind of wish my mom would burn all those photos! Luckily one day my mom found this product at the drug store called Ibrowsers, which are temporary tattoos. You can no longer find them in stores, but they are in Toronto and ship quickly! Also, over the years their prices have gone down and their selection has gone up. That never happens! I wear style 111. I have gotten used to this look on my face so I never try new ones. I have considered getting them tattooed on for real but that is scary! A tattoo on my FACE?! What if one is crooked? What if styles change? What if it looks weird when I am old and wrinkly? So I haven't made up my mind, but it would be SO convenient! I always carry spare eyebrows and brown liquid eyeliner just in case (the eyeliner can fill small holes) and I am careful not to scratch my forehead. A pair usually lasts me a few days.

3. Eyelashes
I wear false eyelashes everyday to help frame my eyes. I just buy drugstore brand eyelashes, but I recommend finding Duo or Lashgrip brand glue. They are the best! It does take practice, but once you get it you can throw them on in 2 minutes flat.

What I do to apply is put a dab of glue on a Q-tip because it works better if the glue sits out for 30 seconds or so. I then pick off yesterday's dried glue (it is easier next day!). I apply a thin line of glue with the Q-tip and apply to my eye. I hold the outer corner with my fingers and I start sticking it down on the inner corner of my eye and place down along the eye. I hold it for a couple seconds, and then I turn the tube of glue around and use the thin edge to press between to lashes to make sure it stays down! That's it! Make sure you don't start too close to your inner eye or it will drive you nuts all day. Also, it is always toughest when they are new. Eyelashes need to be broken in and it takes a few days. I also carry glue and a small mirror with me all day because sometimes a corner can pop up. I just apply a dab of glue to my finger and use the thin edge of the glue tube to pick up a bit and fix the spot. A pair of lashes lasts me a month or two! I also have a case for them when I travel!

4. Face washing
Because my eyebrows can be easily rubbed off, I avoid washing my face with traditional face wash. Instead, I use these facial wipes I find at Shopper's Drugs Mart from Balea.
They are way cheaper than other brands and usually go on sale. They take off makeup well and make it easy for me to work around my eyebrows! I also have a case for them so they are easy to pack for travelling. Whenever I am eyebrowless, I try to exfoliate to keep my skin fresh. I find my eyebrow area can be a bit dried out and I can't moisturize it daily due to the eyebrows.

5. Leg hair
Hey! Alopecia Universalis means I don't have to shave my legs so there are no tips here- just enjoy those smooth gams!

So those are my tips for living with hairloss. Lots of women with AU choose to go wigless, but I have decided it is not for me and that is ok! I am quite comfortable going without it if the need arises, but I am just a girly-girl at heart and I like my hair and eyelashes! And as you can see, I have made the most of the blank canvas up there!

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