So, it has been a month since the end of Wig Free Week – how time flies!
I apologise for the lack of blog posts in November, I was just so exhausted after the week ended and ready for a well-earned break. All the fundraising activities, blogging and admin really took it out of me and once Monday arrived I had totally run out of adrenaline!
As well as being extremely tired, I also found it very strange putting my wig back on. Having not worn it at all for a week, I suddenly realised how uncomfortable, itchy and hot it could be. Even though it is one of the best wigs on the market, and far better than many cheaper versions, you can’t escape from the fact that wearing a wig is uncomfortable and frustrating.
Quite a few people suggested that if I was finding it uncomfortable, maybe I should just keep it off but I felt like I wanted to try getting back to ‘normal’ and that to me means wearing a wig. However, I do feel that going bald some of the time might be an option, but I want to give myself a bit of time to reflect before I make a decision.
I have had a couple of opportunities to go wig-free since the end of the week. The first was when we took my boyfriend’s nephew Kyan swimming. He is only 3 and hadn’t seen my without my wig before. I was pretty nervous coming out of the changing room because I knew that he would be very confused to see me with no hair!
One of the hardest things about alopecia is interacting with children because they find it harder to understand, and also because they don’t have the social barriers or taboos that stop adults from making comments about it. However, you have to try not to be hurt by children saying “why does that lady look strange?” or “why do you have no hair?” and accept that children are only curious.
Kyan stared at me when he first saw me bald and seemed a bit surprised, but he quickly got used to it and went back to being his usual playful chatty self. Later on, when I had my wig back on, he did point at it and ask me “why no hair?” so I tried to explain as best I could. I was happy that we were able to talk about it, and hopefully the next time he sees me without my wig on he won’t find it such a surprise!
I also decided to go wig-free for a whole day one Sunday. My friend Priyanka had been away during my Wig Free Week and I know felt sad that she wasn’t able to be a part of it, so I decided to take my wig off to go and meet her!
It was a very cold frosty day so I had to put a hat on to go outside, as my head gets a bit nippy. It actually felt great to step out of my front door without my wig again, and that liberating buzz that I had had during Wig Free Week came flooding back again!
We had brunch in a local café in Brixton and I told Priyanka all about the success of the week and how positive it made me feel. I am really pleased that I chose to go bald to meet her, because it helped me to prove to myself that what I did wasn’t just a one-off and that actually I could make it more of a regular thing!
As I have said previously, the amazing thing to come out of Wig Free Week is that I now feel like I have the option to choose whether to wear a wig or not. Beforehand, I really felt like I would want to put my wig back on immediately after the week ended but I ended up surprising myself at how much I enjoyed being out and about without it! I also can now look at myself bald and actually like the way I look, rather than wanting to get rid of the photograph.
It just shows how much you can change your perception of yourself in a relatively short period of time. The lesson – don’t let your insecurities hold you back! 🙂