Alopecia Awareness Month continues...

"It's OK to not have hair. Hair is an accessory, just like my bracelet: it's an accessory. We don't really need it!"

Autumn officially begins this week! I, for one, am pretty excited to rock some cute new beanies and hairstyles out in the world once the weather gets cooler. How are you wearing your alopecia this fall?

If you’re new and missed the last issue, catch up here! And if you have anything you want to submit for the newsletter (or want to keep in touch on my socials!) my contact info is at the bottom of each issue.

xo Traci

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Meet Susana Medina, a makeup artist at Sephora who was featured in a recent video released by the company this month. In it, Susana shares her story about alopecia and how Sephora’s message of embracing all kinds of beauty helped her gain and share confidence.

“I had very thick hair as a child. But I was also very tender-headed, so I hated getting my hair combed. The first time my mother took me to the salon, I screamed bloody murder. So for the rest of my childhood she did my hair herself. And it always looked good. I grew to believe that my hair was my best quality. I could have on my best make-up, and my best outfit, but if my hair wasn’t done right—the whole thing was off. After college my boyfriend discovered the first bald spot on the back of my head. Soon afterwards I was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition. The doctor told me that I could eventually lose all of my hair. I was devastated. I immediately called my mother—and she told me we were going to fight it. We prayed and prayed. We kept finding new oils and new shampoos. But the bald spot only grew bigger. My mother started doing my hair again-- just like when I was a kid. And whenever a new spot appeared, she’d invent a new style to hide it. For the longest time no one knew. But it was so much stress. I’d panic if someone was behind me in the elevator. Dating was the worst. It was like: ‘Oh my gosh. How am I going to keep this a secret?’ Some mornings I’d call my mom in a moment of desperation. I’d tell her: ‘I can’t do this anymore. I’m going to shave it off.’ But she’d talk me out of it. She’d tell me: ‘Don’t worry. We’re going to figure this out.’ But we never did. It only got worse and worse. By the age of thirty-one I was in a really dark place. And I decided to go on a fast because I needed some clarity from God. And that’s when I made the decision. The first person I told was my mom. She’d been telling me not to do it for so long—because she was scared too. But I needed her to be OK with it. I needed her to finish this journey with me. Everyone in the hair salon was nervous. The person in the next chair was nervous. Even the hairdresser was nervous. She was like: ‘Do you really want to do this?’ But then she took out the clippers, and began to shave it off. My mother was the first one to break the silence. After the first pass of the clippers, she looked closely at my head. And then she announced to the whole salon: ‘It’s going to look good!’”
September 10, 2020

Around the web…

  • Reality TV star ZaraLena Jackson opened up last month on her Instagram about developing alopecia, and in a new interview with BBC News, she says the response to her decision to tell the world has been amazing: “I am bald, bald is beautiful. Life's way too short to worry about hair.”

  • Earlier this month, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier announced his retirement from the NFL. The 28 year old was drafted by the Steelers in 2014, but has spent the last two seasons recovering from a spinal injury. His retirement announcement was met with an outpouring of support from his teammates, fans, and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, where Shazier is a member and an ambassador.

  • Meet model and philanthropist Jordan Emanuel, 2019 Playmate of the Year: In an interview this month with HelloBeautiful, Jordan talked about why she decided to share her alopecia journey publicly despite the insecurities she initially felt.

  • Looking to connect with more people who have alopecia? Want to hear their stories? Check out The Naked Confidence Campaign, launched by advocate Nico Srut (who was featured in the last Alopecia &… issue!).

Alopecia &… Spotlight: @baldgirlbigworld

Soaking up the beauty of the Río Grande from a mineral rich hot spring bath. Preparing for the next 8 days of exploring this underrated state, a place I have felt called to for awhile now!
💧 💦
Long considered sacred by the Apache and Mimbres tribes of Southern New Mexico, the natural, mineral-rich water of these hot springs has been relaxing and rejuvenating warriors and peace-seekers for centuries. It is completely odor free, world class and untouched mineral water, pumped from deep within the Earth directly to the pools
How freaking cool?!?

📍Truth or Consequences, NM
#USA #travel #alopecia #baldisbeautiful #riogrande #wanderlust
August 29, 2020

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