Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Throughout my life my hair has always been a very defining feature of my personality. When I was younger it was blonder than the sun and exhibited my love for the outdoors. As I grew older, it began to curl and frizz. That was my awkward phase and allowed me to grow stronger.

In high school, I did everything anyone could imagine to it. When I was shy and confused, I hid behind long, mousey, brown locks. When I was bold and excited, it was cropped into a 40s' doo and dyed platinum blonde. When I was into theater, it was long, curly and dark brown like Christine in the Phantom of the Opera. From long to short, from blonde to black, my hair has seen it all. That’s why this year became one of the most difficult ones of my life.

I know it is embarrassing to say that my hair affects who I feel I am as a person, but I'd be lying if I said it was not true. You see, this year I found out that my hair may all be gone in the course of a few months due to a condition called Alopecia. It is a medical term for baldness that is often caused by stress and genetics. As a true diva, this hurt me to the core. I went in to the doctor when I started to notice just how thin my hair was actually getting.

I grew more and more worried when I discovered that my hair was no longer growing. I am a freshman in college, the time in my life where I should be feeling liberated and excited to start my future. I sometimes find it hard to face myself at all. I see all of these girls with long, gorgeous hair with fun pigmented colors and there I am again, the shy girl with the mousey brown locks. I often looked at pictures of myself with my thick and gorgeous hair and realize that I may never have that look back again.

It took awhile for me to realize that my appearance may never be the same and that the bald patches do have a chance of staying there my whole life. But through a journey of self-acceptance, I have taught myself to realize I am not my hair. Though I could never lie and say that long hair is still not a dream of mine, I can say that my character is not affected by my appearances.

I am in a relationship with a wonderful guy who met me after all of my hair began to fall out and loves me regardless. I find that in times of struggle and personal despair that people discover the kind of person they are meant to be. I can still be my diva self through my actions and attitude and not solely because my hair changes color every other month. All in all, Alopecia has taught me that I am fierce from the core and that while hair is a wonderful attribute, it is not the only measure of beauty.