Joy After Alopecia is Born: From Shots to Shave

Joy After Alopecia was birthed out of pain

December 2018 closed with excitement of a new year said to be filled with new experiences. It also was filled with a scalp that was full of hair. I spent the holidays with my family and had a ball. I rang in the new year with excitement overflow. As the month of January progressed, I was put on a roller coaster which unbeknownst me was stressing me out internally slowly. During my January 2019 appointment Dr. Osei-Tutu, noticed that some of the hair that had grown back was starting to fall out around my front edges. She was concerned that an Alopecia Areata flare up was creeping back up. By March 2019, the roller coaster ended and unfortunately I had to get off. The location and situation were not at all what I had expected. I felt attacked externally and as I looked in the mirror I noticed that internally my body was attacking my hair.

While I worked through the process of what was happening in my life, I was in no way prepared for the speed by which things started happening in my hair. April 2nd, 2019, was judgement day, as I had an appointment with Dr. Osei-Tutu. I arrived to the appointment with two scarves on, a head scarf and a decorative scarf. I also had several bobby pins holding up locs in the back of my head that were hanging by a couple of strands of hair. I asked her if she thought I could preserve any of my locs and perhaps rock a mohawk or something. I still remember her words, “Erika I don’t see how you are going to be able to keep any of your locs during this current flare, all of the locs in back are about to fall out now.” Although I had told myself I needed to shave my head when she made that statement I instantly became sad and thought, why is this happening to me? Why couldn’t I have just not become stressed? I literally walked out of the doctor’s office blaming myself for having this autoimmune disease called Alopecia Areata. Ironically the only person I wanted to speak to at that moment was my dad. Ironically, my dad used to talk to me about how he blamed himself for getting Mesothelioma. I was in pain and for a moment couldn’t figure out how to deal with it.

I decided that I have the power to take back control. My body can’t attack hair I don’t have right? I found Joy After Alopecia, I became an Alopecia Areata Warrior and I declared I was going to Bald and Beautiful.

Joy After Alopecia Photoshoot by The Eye of Gates Photography

Hear more about the big shave and birth of my Joy After Alopecia Journey:

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Video Editing Cred: Todd Williams