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Wellness > Health

My Journey with Hair Loss

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Merrimack chapter.

As many people know, hair plays quite a serious role in society for women. The stereotype in today’s society is that women need to have glossy, thick hair to be considered “normal” or “beautiful” and I’m here to say that just isn’t the case. I suffer from an autoimmune disease called alopecia. 

Alopecia occurs when your immune system attacks hair follicles. There is currently no cure for alopecia. I basically have lost all the hair on my head, and annoyingly enough one eyebrow. I have become quite confident about speaking about the disease I suffer with. I have had Alopecia since third grade, and I am now currently a senior in college. I have had years to learn and accept the disease I live with. I have had my fair share of people judging and shaming me, and assuming I’m weird because of my lack of hair. 

I have also had people come to me with questions on Alopecia, and how I cope. I’ve also had people with hair loss ask me for advice. I recently had a conversation with a sweet woman in her forties’ who was suffering from hair loss. She was so ashamed and embarrassed to even bring up the fact that she was losing hair. I told her that there is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed about hair loss. I had told her that at one point in my alopecia journey how angry I was to live with this disease. I told her how I so badly wanted to be “normal” and have hair. In high school, I would go days upon days of crying and being so angry at the world for having Alopecia. I would hide from the world, and I avoided doing things that I normally would love to do. I avoided swimming, I tried to stay out of public as much as I could, I stopped playing certain sports that I enjoyed. It took me several years to realize that even if I do not have hair, I am still normal. I am still human. I told that lovely woman that she is still beautiful. I told her that what she’s going through is going to be okay. 

Hair loss is a part of life, and it’s normal. Hair loss needs to be normalized. Hair thinning is normal, and bad hair days are normal. Thin hair is normal. Thick hair is normal, BALD spots are normal, short hair is normal, and bald heads are normal. All hair is normal. Hair doesn’t define us. Alopecia doesn’t define me.

Frequently Asked Questions about Alopecia:

Will your hair ever grow back?

It really depends on what type of alopecia you have. There are several types of alopecia that affect people.

Is there a cure for alopecia? 

There is currently no cure for alopecia, although there are several treatment options available for people, although there is no guarantee that they will work 

Is it difficult living with alopecia?

In my opinion, I would say yes it is very difficult living with this disease, but it makes me who I am and is a part of my identity. 

For more information about alopecia visit Home – National Alopecia Areata Foundation | NAAF

Nia Renzi

Merrimack '24

Communication Major and WGS minor at Merrimack College