Joy After Alopecia is Exploring Love & Relationships 

The moment I realized I needed to shave off my long beautiful locs I did wonder what dating would be like. Not because I believed Black Men wouldn’t appreciate a Bald woman, but more so explaining the ebbs and flows of the Alopecia journey. As I write this I haven’t shaved my head in a week (wasn’t intentional, but adulting is what it is sometimes) and looking at the patches in the mirror is honestly bothering me. How do I articulate that to someone I am dating? Or what about the question I get far too often, why did you shave your head? Are you going to grow your hair back? While it is a teachable moment, how do you navigate that in the dating scene without coming off rude or overly emotional? For most it is seen as “just hair”, so how do I tactfully explain and be somewhat vulnerable with someone I am getting to know romantically. Joy After Alopecia is exploring love and relationships the way she knows best, talking to people who have been where I hope to be one day soon. I have these questions and so much more so I decided to reach out to a fellow Alopecian who I knew found love to not only learn more about her journey with Alopecia, but also how she navigated. Check out my interview with Kristen Maynard. 

1. Tell me a little about yourself, including how long you have had Alopecia

     My name is Kristen Maynard.  I am currently living in Georgia with my amazing beautiful partner Nicole and our fur baby Myracle.  I am a real estate agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers.  Also, I am a blogger on

Instagram @BaldByNatureNotByChoice.  I started my blog in 2019 to help inspire, encourage and empower women embracing their Alopecia journey.  As well, my page has allowed me to continue my healing with Alopecia and connect to my baldie tribe…other talented, creative,  beautiful, empowering bald women.

     I was diagnosed with Alopecia when I was 16 years old. At that age,  I never thought my hair would not grow back.  After all the shampoos and other topicals, my hair continued coming out.  It has been over 25 years since I found my first Alopecia spot.  As I got older,  I wore wigs to hide my Alopecia.  I was ashamed and embarrassed.  I felt powerless for so long.  In 2014, I stopped hiding behind my wigs and started loving myself and my Alopecia.   I was still scared about how society would receive me as a bald woman.  This is what lead me to start my blog @BaldByNatureNotByChoice on Instagram.  I started researching and found so many beautiful bald women.   I wanted to connect with other women embracing their Alopecia journeys while continuing to grow through mine.  I am grateful I started loving my Alopecia.  

2.  Were you in a relationship when you were diagnosed with Alopecia? If yes, how did your partner react. How did you explain Alopecia? 

If no, how have you approached explaining Alopecia while dating? Did Alopecia impact your self-esteem and/or confidence in the dating scene? 

     I was not in a relationship when I was diagnosed with Alopecia.  My self-esteem and confidence were both affected.   I was so embarrassed and felt like my crown was shattered.  Shortly after, I started dating and it got serious.  While I was dating,  I did not mention I had Alopecia.  I was hopeful my hair would grow back and I was covering my spots.  As we started getting more serious, I explained Alopecia was an autoimmune disease attacking my hair follicles and causing hair loss.  He hugged me and said I was beautiful.  Over the years, he said he would shave his head when I was ready to take my wig off.  I felt so much love and support.   I was not brave enough at the time to share my Alopecia with the world.  He showed me that he loved all of me.

     As I continued dating, I still found it hard to share that I had Alopecia.   With my amazing partner I have today, I know she thought my wig was my hair.  She would always talk about how great the color was and how nice my hair looked.  I was so nervous and scared to tell her about my Alopecia.   When I finally told her, I took her to my salon appointment and showed her myself with my wig completely off.  Tears welled up in my eyes, she hugged me and said how brave I was.  She said she was thankful I shared my Alopecia with her and that she loved me so much. She has been my hype woman,  my friend, my cheerleader, and my biggest supporter.   Not a day goes by that she doesn’t make me feel beautiful and sexy.  She loves my bald head too. 

3. What advice can you offer to newly diagnosed Alopecia singles looking for love? Anything else you want to share?

     For newly diagnosed Alopecia singles looking for love, I know it is a lot to process.   No one expects to have Alopecia.   Now that Alopecia is a part of your reality,  take a few deep breaths and give yourself time to digest these life changes.   As you grow in acceptance and love of yourself and your Alopecia be gentle with yourself.   You are sexy, fly, brave, beautiful and bald.   You should never have to hide parts of yourself and if people are not able to accept and love you, then they will miss out on an amazing person.  Bald is beautiful! 

     In sharing my final thoughts,  I felt like Alopecia took my identity as a woman, but Alopecia has made me stronger,  more confident,  and intensified my love for myself. 

Loving my Alopecia has been the best decision I have ever made.   It is an ongoing journey to loving all of myself.   I do not feel like I am hiding,  embarrassed and ashamed anymore.  I know some days may get hard.   Always know how beautiful,  brave, and bold you are.  You are a part of an amazing Alopecia community that is happy to love and support you through your Alopecia journey.  For continued inspiration,  encouragement and empowerment,  follow me on Instagram @BaldByNatureNotByChoice.  Alopecia is your Superpower!