Wigging Out Brenda!
Organized by: Jaime Driscoll
After reading my dear friend's Facebook post, I knew we needed to come together and help her out. These wigs are extremely expensive, and require expensive maintenance as well. Brenda is a beautiful person inside and out, and this would mean so much to her!
Brenda had no idea this post would lead to a crowdfunding campaign, but her heartfelt words are so much more than any summary written by someone who isn't affected by this, I thought we should hear it from the inspiration for this campaign, a mother, sister, daughter, friend.
Copied from her Facebook wall:
August 19 at 2:51pm
I have been going back and forth whether or not I should post the following. But, it's very personal and I feel it's important enough that I need to do this. And maybe it'll make a difference for another woman going through this too, you are not alone!!! I know it's long, if you don't care to read, move along.
Otherwise, here goes..... I would like to share with you what I have been going through. Some of you are aware, but some of you are not. And I have made a decision that will mean a significant and noticeable physical change for me. And for the sake of having awkward situations with people, I want to be open and honest about it with everyone that knows me.
So, let me start from the beginning. I spent my entire childhood and teen years being teased relentlessly about my super curly hair, which caused me to hate my hair. Some of you that made fun of me, may be reading this now. I still to this day have a complex about my hair (so thanks for that). I spent all those years in my teens and early 20’s trying to get rid of my curls as much as possible. I used relaxer after relaxer, in hopes that some of the tightness of my curls would come out. Finally, in my late 20’s I realized it was time to stop fighting it, and just try to work with it and take care of it so it looked its best. I finally started to find the right products and someone that could actually cut my hair without totally messing it up.
Most schools don’t teach much about naturally curly hair, so it is hard to find someone that truly understands how curls work (or not work, they can be unruly!) But then I started to notice that my hair seemed to be thinner than it had ever been. I thought at first maybe it was just going through 3 pregnancies, one miscarriage, and 2 C-sections.
So, I went to a dermatologist and after having scalp biopsies done, I was devastated to learn that there was nothing much I could do. That this was just heredity and I had to “suck it up”, which was next to impossible to do. [note: Brenda is adopted, and didn't know this was in her medical history--imagine how hard that would be to learn AS IT HAPPENS TO YOU]
Losing half of my hair over the past few years has been very hard for me. It has been an emotional battle for me; I developed social type anxiety over it. It was so bad, that I had to get on medication. I was having lots of physical manifestations because of the anxiety. I also became consumed with my hair loss and hair in general.
All I do is think about it, I am constantly looking at others hair, jealous of those with thick, full heads of hair. I also looked at others to see if they have hair as thin as mine, and when watching TV or movies I found I would only be looking at the actress’s hair. I may not really like my curls, but it is a big part of what makes me, me. It makes me unique, everyone knows me for my crazy tight curls. And now I feel like I am losing a huge part of my identity.
I get super depressed when I wash my hair, when I touch it, when I look at it. I am constantly losing hair, any time I touch it hair falls out. I see hairs all over my desk at work; I have hairs all over on my clothes. My poor husband has to constantly clean out the drains because of my hair loss. I no longer feel confident, and my being overweight just makes it that much worse.
I am trying to get myself healthy again, but like I said, I can’t do much at all about my hair loss. Sure, I can put a chemical on my head and cross my fingers it works, but even that is no guarantee. And minoxidil (AKA Rogaine) is the ONLY proven thing to work for some people, and you have to use it for the rest of your life, or your hair will start to fall out again. And there really is no chance for any re-growth anyway.
I fear taking pictures since you can see right through my hair if the lighting is just right. I am lucky that I have curls so I can fluff them out, so then it’s not as noticeable. I chopped my hair as well, so that has helped a little too. But this is my reality. At some point, I probably will have bald spots. Women’s hair loss is different than Men’s, as we have total diffuse of hair on the entire head, and then the balding is just behind the front hair line and the back of the head, some times the temple area as well. And I can not handle walking around like that. Some women can, but I can’t. That is just me. There are a lot more women that deal with female pattern baldness than you probably think.
I know that I could be dealing with something so much worse. And I am trying to remind myself of that every day. But, I am sick of this consuming me. I am sick of the depression and anxiety over it all. I don’t want my girls to remember their Mom this way. Someone who just can’t stand to look at themselves in the mirror. I do not want them to ever think that way about themselves, so why should I be thinking this way?!?! I have done so much research about hair loss in women. I am learning as much as I can, I am finding other women’s stories and know that I am not alone in this at all. I know how hard it is, how much it affects your psyche, self-esteem, and emotions.
With all my research, I realized that there is something I can try. Something that may make me feel good about myself again. Something that will make all this stress, anxiety, and depression go away. I have decided that I want to try a human hair wig. I have to save, as they are not cheap, but I hope it will be worth it. I have seen so many videos of full lace human hair wigs and can’t get over how real they look. You would never have known they were wearing wigs. I am approaching it with positivity.
Think of the possibilities! I can literally have any hair that I want. I can change it up when I want. I can have LONG hair! But of course, I tend to care too much what others thinks, so that is my ONE struggle with a wig. What will others think? Will I once again be teased about my hair? Will people make me feel awkward? What about at work? I have been there over 10 years; everyone knows what my hair looks like. So what do I do? How do I get past this? But someone really important to me said this: “F’ what everyone else thinks! You do what makes you feel good. And you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Others may act weird, make it awkward at first, or make comments, but it will pass quickly and not be a big deal at all” And you know what, she is right! I am doing this for ME!
So, go ahead and make fun of me if you feel like that is what you want to do-be a middle schooler if you must. Or, support me and make this transition easier for me. Either way, I can’t control you or your actions. All I can do is take care of me and do what makes me happy and feel good about myself and feel beautiful again.
Every little bit helps, and your contribution is greatly appreciated! Brenda is facing something that (I'm sure) every woman would dread. Thank you for your support and understanding!