Take a breath
"Having alopecia has taught me that there is nothing ‘normal’ about everyone being the same. Humans are beautifully diverse." -Molly Tuttle
I don’t know about you all, but I had no idea August was almost here. Here in California, stay-at-home orders are still important in the effort to battle COVID-19, and I’m getting more and more restless by the day. That, paired with some stress over finances and job hunting, has led to some shedding. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll know that my hair unexpectedly began growing back sometime near the end of last year. To be honest, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t last and I was OK with it if it didn’t. After all, I’ve spent about 2/3 of my life without hair, so it’s just something I’m used to.
But I’ll admit: seeing my hair grow back suddenly and not fall out right away was kind of cool. So it’s been a little bit of a bummer to wake up with more and more strands on my pillow than the night before. It hasn’t thinned out entirely, but it’s been a good reminder to manage my stress levels, which I think is what’s been causing the latest accelerated fallout. Either way – no matter where you are or what you’re going through, try to remember to take a moment to breathe.
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“Having alopecia has taught me that there is nothing ‘normal’ about everyone being the same. Humans are beautifully diverse. We all have work to do to make our world a safer and more welcoming place for everyone regardless of appearance, race, age, sexuality, gender identity, disability, or anything else that makes us human.” - Molly Tuttle (via mollytuttlemusic.com)
I was listening to musician Molly Tuttle on Deeann Graham’s Alopecia Life podcast the other week, and I loved hearing her talk about her journey toward blending her story with her art. She speaks so honestly and openly about the hesitation she felt in initially embracing her alopecia, and it’s refreshing because I think everyone who experiences hair loss has a very personal story about how they’ve been affected and what that unique journey has looked like for them. I love hearing other people share their stories because it weaves together this beautiful tapestry of our community.
I linked the music video for her song “Sleepwalking” above. It was the first time she really put her alopecia alongside her music (in the form of this video), she said, and I think it’s just lovely.
Around the web…
Dancer Christie Valdiserri recently became the first model with alopecia to appear in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit! “For quite some time prior to this, I feel like I had completely lost myself & my zest for life,” Valdiserri wrote on Instagram. “SI was the first brand to see me for me & to celebrate my unique look. This brand knows no boundaries!!!”
Dick Buerkle, an American Olympic athlete, died last month at his home in Atlanta at the age of 72. Buerkle, who had alopecia since he was 12, was best known for being of the most successful walk-ons in the history of American collegiate running. The New York Times published an obit for him just a few days ago, and it’s worth a read.
Meet Lucy Harvey, a New Zealand-based artist who specializes in scalp tattooing. In a recent interview, she explained what “scalp micropigmentation” is and why people opted for it as a solution to hair loss. (Personally, it makes me a little nervous because I don’t like the idea of a needle near my scalp!)
Could COVID-19 cause hair loss? Some recovered COVID patients have said they’ve experienced hair loss following their diagnosis, and so researchers are beginning to look for what that link is, according to WebMD. One possible answer: it might be caused by extreme stress.
In case you missed it…
Any America’s Next Top Model fans out there? While the show has its fair share of issues, I recently was reminded about one emotionally powerful moment from a couple years ago: during their “makeovers,” contestant Jeana Turner, who has alopecia, faces her insecurities about her hair loss head-on.
“Losing my hair was a symbol of strength,” she says. “I didn’t know that until now.”
Alopecia &… Spotlight: @modernmarigoldbooks
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