02 / 21 / 17

Heather’s story

Hello! My name is Heather and I’m the new blogger for HLS. I’ve been Chrissy’s client for just a few months. A few life-changing months.

Let me start at the beginning.

When I first realized I was losing my hair, I was in the arms of Poison front man Bret Michaels.

It was 1990, and Bret- being the genuinely nice guy he is- was posing for stage door photos with his fans. I was one of those fans: twenty-two years old, with a bright smile and long, thick, spiral-permed hair.

However, when I got a first good look at the photos taken of me and Bret, I noticed a white zigzag of scalp running through the part of my hair. I thought it was odd, but chalked it up to using too much mousse (these were the days of ‘big hair’) or a wind gust that had blown my hair out of whack.

A few years later, I was French braiding my hair and caught my reflection in the mirror. Now there were glaringly white zigzags of scalp everywhere. I called my mother in tears. I was only in my early 20s; how could this be happening? Hair loss was something that happened to men- OLD men- not young women!

I went to a dermatologist, who proceeded to cut away a tiny bit of my scalp and tell me it was alopecia. Female pattern baldness. There was nothing really to do about it. Use Rogaine. That was all he had for me.

I guess I was lucky in that my hair loss progressed slowly. I was able to cover it fairly well over the years, first with hair clips that would pile my hair over the thin spots, and then with powders like Toppik.

Nothing was a perfect solution, and I still spent most of my time painfully self-conscious. I hated being in bright light; I was sure everyone could see the way my scalp shone through my hair. I loathed staying in hotels, because the bathroom lights were always harsh and I could see every single spot where I should have had hair. Windy days could put me in a cold sweat. I even stopped going swimming because I didn’t want anyone to see me with wet hair.

My hair had limited my life.

When my daughters were born, I lost even more hair. I was so depressed about it that my husband and I agreed I should go to one of those “hair club” places and try treatment.

Well, treatment was ridiculously expensive and inconvenient. It did work, sort of, but I felt the treatment center was too snooty and exclusive for me. I wasn’t comfortable there. Eventually I stopped going and decided I’d try to just “live with” my hair loss. I spoke to a counselor about it. I read books about accepting myself as I was. And they helped, a little. But my thin hair affected me far more than I wanted to admit.

Finally, a few months ago, I lost a strip of hair right at the front of my hairline. It was just gone one day, and all the blending powder in the world wouldn’t hide this now. And after years of saying, “I have to do something about this,” push had come to shove.

I called Chrissy. It was the third time I’d called her over the years, because I would chicken out when thinking about actually walking into a hair loss clinic. It was ridiculous of me, but it took me years to summon the courage to literally walk across the threshold of Hair Loss Solutions.

But within ten minutes of walking into the comfortable, welcoming HLS office, I was in a private room and Chrissy had already found a perfect solution for me.

For me, the answer was a “topette”: a top-of-the-head extension that covered all my bald

spots while seamlessly blending into my own hair. It looks so much like my real hair that I have to tug on it to figure out where the topette ends and my actual hair begins.

The first time Chrissy put the topette over my hair, I burst into tears.

All of a sudden, a burden I had carried for so long was just… gone.

It sounds cliché, but Chrissy changed my life. My self-confidence is higher than it’s ever been. I feel pretty for the first time in many years. I feel young and spunky, and considering I’m 48, that’s saying something.

I passed a mirror the other day at the mall. Until this week, when I saw a mirror I would avert my eyes, not wanting to see the scalp appearing through my hair. This week, I looked at my reflection straight on, tucked a stray strand of hair back into place, and smiled.

I’m me again. And I’ve missed me.

So, that’s my story. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be writing more about the hair loss journey of myself and others, answering any questions you might have about Hair Loss Solutions, and keeping you all updated on hair loss products and research.

Next week we’ll talk about taking that dreaded first step: walking across the threshold of HLS! Until then…