Bernie’s Story

My personal journey with hair loss.

I started losing my hair 17 years ago, two years after the birth of my second child. At first it started to go in patches. I had a beautiful head of thick hair. It was devastating to see more and more hair fall out – on my pillow, on my clothes, in the shower. I became very sad and totally consumed by my hair loss. It affected all confidence I had in myself. I grieved for my hair – because like all grief it is a loss. I was changing and I had no control over it. In an attempt to gain control I explored every possible medical reason as to why this was happening to me. I wanted an answer and more importantly I wanted a cure; but there was none.
 
I was desperate to have my hair back (and with it the old me) and when conventional medicine failed I tried alternatives like faith healing and acupuncture, but again there was no answer. I worried about how my husband would look at me, how he would feel about me, I guess I worried about our relationship. I worried about my children, who asked in a very concerned way "is it hereditary, will it happen to me?"

My first time buying a wig.
My first time having to go look for a wig was very traumatic; trying to find a place that sold good wigs was an impossible task. Two of my sisters came with me – I cried a great deal – it was so hard. It was so strange trying on a wig; my emotions were all over the place. My husband had been away and when I met him at the airport I felt so conscious, but his reaction was great. When I wore my new hair in front of other people for the first time it was very stressful; did people know it was a wig? Would the students in my school guess? When they came up to my desk, right beside me, I was afraid they might touch my hair and know.

Family and friends helped me to cope.
For a long time, my own parents and sisters tried to avoid talking about my hair loss, because they did not want to upset me, and therefore themselves. My friends too, were uncomfortable talking about it until I started to talk more about my loss – then they were brilliant, one friend in particular helped me so much to accept myself and to do all the normal things that I needed to do to get my life back. I didn’t tell people for a long time because I was not strong enough. I was trying to cope with my own emotions I couldn’t handle their emotions as well. Slowly I got used to wearing my new hair, the feel of it on my scalp, how to care for it while wearing it, and how to wash it. I would cry with a friend or a family member or my child or my husband and all of this was necessary. It was in expressing my emotions with people that I came to accept my loss.

My New Hair.
I wore my new hair until I was pregnant on my third baby. During the pregnancy my hair started to grow back I was so excited it was just fantastic to see my hair on my head. I stopped wearing my wig towards the end of my pregnancy. I was so delighted, my hair was patchy, but I didn’t care, it was coming back. Then by the time my baby was four months old it started to fall out again. By six months it was falling out in clumps at an alarming rate. I was so upset again, it was heartbreaking. It was so hard to cope with but I did, especially with the help of my husband, children, friends and family. Because it was falling out so fast I needed a wig straight away. My friend came with me, to help me, once again, go through having to choose yet another wig. It was very upsetting even though I had gone through all of this before. That night when I came home, before I went to my granny’s funeral, my husband shaved off the rest of my hair, I felt it was best to get rid of it altogether rather than watch it fall out day by day, until there was no more. I cannot express in words how hard this was, how I cried, how emotional it was for both me and my husband.

In sickness and in health.
As I recall all of this my marriage vows come to mind - ‘in sickness and in health’; when we are healthy life is good, it is easier to be there for each other, we are certainly put to the test in our relationships when we have to cope with health problems. My husband was just so kind to me, always accepting me, supporting me, loving me for the person I am. I was still that same girl that he married although I looked so different now. I also lost my eyebrows and eyelashes this time, this even made it harder to cope with as I do care a lot about my appearance and now I had to spend so much time every morning putting on my face i.e. my makeup.

My hair looks so real.
It has taken me years to find the best wigs on the market. It has been out of my own need to look my absolute best and to feel confident that I put so much time and effort into this search. I have travelled all over the country looking for the wig that would make me look good; but I could not find great looking hair that looked up to date and did not look like a wig. I have now found a range of wigs that are up to date with a fabulous range of styles and colours to choose from. Now I can offer you the chance to look and feel your absolute best, you can benefit from my years of searching. Since I have been wearing a wig from this range so many people have complimented me on my hair colour and style, asking where I get my hair done. I take their compliments graciously and laugh to myself so delighted that my hair looks so natural. There are lots of people whom I am in daily contact with, who still have no idea that I wear a wig; this is a testament to how good my hair looks. When I tell people that I wear a wig they are truly amazed.

Living a full and active life.
I have had a long journey of coping with and accepting my hair loss. I have to accept what life throws at me, and move on if I am to live life to the full. I have learned to live with my loss, this does not mean that I never get sad about my hair but it is easier now. I can still remember the beautiful head of hair that I had, and I remember how it made me look and feel, I still miss the feeling of running my fingers through my hair and flicking it back. But I have moved on; I have learned to cope; I live a very active life, I play golf at least once a week and tennis twice a week, I have even been skiing, all whilst wearing my wig.I have also completed the Solas 10 mile run for life three times so far with my sister Ruby.The Solas run for life takes place every year in October . It raises very valuable funds for the Solas centre in Waterford which is a cancer support center funded entirely by charity .Wearing a wig has not stopped me from doing anything that i want to do in life , it may be a little more challenging but you know what every one has something in their life that they have to cope with , the important thing is that we learn how to cope and make the most  of this life that we have been  given . I now believe that I look good  and this allows me to be confident in all aspects of my life. 

 

 

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