If you are inflicted with the condition of Alopecia Areata, Totalis or Universalis, I understand exactly what you've been through all these years .... because I'm just like you.
1st January 1984
I still remember vividly that it was on this day that I first realized there was a little bald patch, the size of a 10¢ coin, on the back of my head. I didn't really bother too much about it, as I thought it must be due to the regular tying and braiding of my hair. "It will grow back anyway", I told myself. However, that turned out to be the beginning of the worst nightmare of my life. I lost all my hair in just 6 months!
"Why is this happening to me?" "Why me?" I kept asking. I cried myself to sleep every night. I refused to go to school as I knew very clearly that I could not handle teases, stares and hurtful remarks. I knew I would break down the minute people call me "botak head" (meaning bald head).
My mum frantically put me through all sorts of treatments, both orthodox and unorthodox. But after spending thousands of dollars, not a single strand of hair ever reappeared on my scalp. All the doctors and physicians told me many success stories and possibilities, but none of their treatments worked for me.
Finally, couldn't take the disappointment any longer, I told my mum to give up and just let me die. My mum broke down in front of me and wept. It's the first time I saw mum cry! She blamed herself for bringing such mishap upon me.....for it must be her wrongdoings that such 'punishment' happened.
She shouted to god to let her suffer instead. It was then that I realized I was not the only one suffering. I didn't want my mum to feel guilty and worried. I decided that I should just get on with my life and must not cry in front of her anymore.
Losing my hairs during my teenage years shattered all my beautiful dreams. Wearing those synthetic-hair wigs made me feel abnormal & ugly. I was afraid to maintain eye contact with people for fear that they would notice there was something unnatural about me, something wrong with my hair, my eyebrow, my eye lashes...that I had none of these.
I started to withdraw into my own little world, avoiding people, avoiding making new friends, so as to avoid being asked questions about my weird hairdo and what's wrong with me. I used to be a jovial and talkative person, often picked by teachers to represent the class for story telling competition. But with my hair gone, I no longer had the courage and confidence to stand in front of people with my head up.
I became very quiet and introverted. I walked with my head down, not just because I had no confidence but also to prevent my wig from falling off my head. Strong wind became my biggest enemy. Swimming, overnight camping were strict 'no-nos'. I avoided attending proms, Dinner & Dance as no matter how much makeup I put on my face, I would still look nerdy and ugly with the same hairdo (as synthetic wig could not be styled).
I felt uncomfortable and helplessly 'exposed' when it's time to buy a wig at the wig shop. To avoid getting possible questions that would accompany a sudden change in hairstyle, I had the same style, same square look for almost 2 decades!
I have lived with Alopecia Universalis for more than 30 years now, but it was only in 2003 that I regained my self-esteem & confidence. For the first time after so long, I felt I'm normal again...to have a head of hair that looks as if it grows from my scalp! With the vacuum-fit hairpiece, I can swim, and shampoo my hair just like everyone else. I will never forget my tears of joy the first time I had my 'hair' styled and blew-dry at a crowded hair salon along Orchard Road. I have finally found the freedom to be myself again.
With this amazing hairpiece, nobody can tell that I am actually wearing a wig. But I can’t wait to share this good news with all other alopecians who are still searching for that perfect hairpiece to let them live a normal life again. After two years of struggles, and lots of encouragement from my dearest hubby and family, I finally picked up the courage to step out of my shell and start Freedom Hair Asia, to provide alopecians with that perfect hairpiece.
I have made it my mission to share my story and motivate people who have the same medical condition as me. I would be glad if I can help you get back your self-esteem, your confidence, your smiles...the real you.
Founder - Freedom Hair Asia