It’s not so secret that not all of these blonde locks are mine. Since I’ve outed myself (and also recently wrote about my hair loss journey in Women’s Health), I’ve received many questions about my extensions—how I wear them, how I conceal them, and general hair health. After all of the excitement from this past week’s photo shoot for our next journey—our life-changing app—and thanks to Chrissy (who killed it with all of the photo shoot hair looks), I wanted to share a list of my hair care favorites, my hair loss story, plus some behind-the-scenes photos from our Transform App shoot.
As women, hair is something that makes us feel feminine, and by the looks of it, you’d never know I’m experiencing a severe form of Androgenic Alopecia. In simpler terms, I’m going bald at 34. Yes, really. So much of my message that I spread and truly feel is, “Be authentic and real, and embrace that we are all perfectly imperfect.” But I’ve gotta be honest…facing the reality that I’m genetically predisposed to and experiencing balding has me contemplating, “Who am I going to be without this—without my hair?”When I’ve talked about how this feels—and how hair makes me feel feminine—on social media, I’ve gotten a decent amount of backlash. People slamming me for associating hair with femininity and beauty. The funny thing is that I NEVER connected the two before, but you don’t know unless you’ve been there, and I can’t help how I feel. Background: My mom has an absolute thick mane of hair… my dad went bald by the time he was 26. I have three brothers, and every single one of them has incredibly thick hair. And I—the only girl—am the ONE lucky enough to inherit my dad’s hair gene and am losing my hair in my thirties. 😉
Why such premature hair loss? Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with too-low calories (as many have guessed). I’ve been cycling between 2200-2600 calories for nearly 2 years now. That’s def not the problem. My sweet friend, Carly, at the National Hair Loss Association, enlightened me on the subject. Apparently, all of the stress I’ve encountered over the last 5 years (my dad’s death, pregnancy and childbirth, 4 kidney surgeries, umbilical hernia surgery, and sleepless nights in general as a really busy working mom) have, in essence, kick-started me into my not-so-lucky genetic destiny.
NOTE: If you are noticing SHEDDING, you are not going bald! This is just your hair going through the natural stages. We shed nearly 100 hairs a day! You know you need to worry when you notice your hairs shriveling up and “dying”—getting finer, thinner, and more brittle. If you notice it in the midline part, front sides of your hair, and the crown, these are signs of Androgenic Alopecia. Here’s a look at one of my before and after photos during this work in progress.
While there isn’t a way (at this time, at least) to REGROW my hair that’s been lost, there are tools to help stop hair loss dead in its tracks. And there are ways to cover it while the damage is being repaired. Here are a few of the tools I am using:
- Capillus 272 Laser Cap: It’s beaming lasers into my scalp as I type this! #NoShame The medical-grade lasers are supposed to dilate the shriveled up “anorexic” vessels in my scalp to make them obese again! The one time obesity is a good thing. 😉 Apparently, over time, those vessels that once fed my hair follicles are now smaller and further away from the surface of my head…making it much tougher for the hair follicle to receive nutrition. With the lasers essentially FORCING my vessels open, my hairs can finally be fed again! I use this 4 nights a week, 30 minutes each session…RELIGIOUSLY.
- Monat Revive Shampoo and Monat Revitalize Conditioner: This sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner combo is loaded with the right ingredients to treat your “weak” scalp and volumize your hair. I use these products on my real hair, then Inphenom Hair Treatment Shampoo and Conditioner on my extensions every time I wash. It’s much thicker, heavier, and more nourishing for the natural beaded rows.
- Monat Intense Repair Treatment: This spray-in treatment has a cocktail of peptides and essential oils that are supposed to stimulate the scalp and encourage growth. I use this at night before bed or right before the laser cap.
- Anuva Scalp Vitalizing Complex: These are liquid vitamins that I use right after I wash my hair. To be honest, I don’t know how effective it is, but I figure it can’t hurt at this point, and I might as well add it to the line up of products!
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections: In short, PRP is where they draw your blood, spin it, and inject just the platelet-rich plasma back into the affected areas. Many people with injuries have this done to help heal the affected areas quickly. We are trying to heal and bring attention to my scalp. It’s basically a nice little boost, but it’s only effective when combined with the laser treatment above on a regular basis. I have NOT done this yet, but I am scheduled for my first appointment on March 17th. I will post about it!
Now let’s talk about how we can hide signs of hair loss until these products start kicking in:
- Extensions: Options range from clip-ins, to halo, to natural beaded rows. All of them have their pros and cons. If you don’t need/want long hair every day, go with the clip-ins or halo. Halo is the least damaging, but not so inconspicuous in my opinion. For every day, I would opt for natural beaded rows over clip-ins, as the clips will actually create balding spots when used over long periods of time. NBRs are much less damaging. Go see Chrissy—she’ll hook you up no matter which route you want to go!
- Hair Dusting Fibers: This “sprinkle in” powder will help hide areas of your scalp that your hair won’t cover by dusting it with colored fibers.
- Style Edit Root Touch-Up: Similar to the hair fibers, this will cover up balding spots by coloring your scalp to match your hair, but it’s better on the hairline than the fibers mentioned above.
Whew! That’s a lot. But regardless of all I mentioned above, THE most important piece of my hair care regime is…drumroll… knowing that with or without hair, I am still beautiful and feminine. It’s hard to believe in my moments of weakness and insecurity, but I have to remind myself of this daily. As a woman, it’s hard to separate the two—hair and beauty. But the reality is that kindness, positive intentions, love, confidence, and owning all of the good that you are is what makes you beautiful and feminine. <3
Even still, a good hair day is Always. Worth. Celebrating. 🙂
Please share your hair care secrets below…balding or not!