No Hair, Who Dis?
Today I cut off all my hair. Yes, I know. It’s a little shocking to think about at first. No, I did not join a cult, nor am I going through a quarter life crisis (okay, that second one might be slightly true). Nevertheless, there is a story behind what I did today and I would love to share it with you:
Most of my friends and followers on social media have seen me post about my struggles with Alopecia Areata, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes one’s white blood cells to attack their hair follicles, ultimately resulting in hair loss in random places around the scalp. I have had alopecia since I was 14, so about 7 years now.
I have been optimistic and generally confident about my hair loss over the years. I have seen the Lord bless me and use this to give me opportunities to encourage others. I have seen the Lord use this to make me less self-aware and more accepting of others. Even through the struggles and the feelings of inadequacy, my Heavenly Father was faithful and loving. He spoke to me in the darkness and loneliness of this journey and told me time and time again that He loves me, despite the perfect flaw of my baldness.
But on the flip side, I have had my share of struggles. I have seen the look of confusion (and almost pure terror… ha!) on the faces of guys when I tell them I am half bald. I have struggled to find styles that cover the bald spots. And I have looked myself in the mirror every day for the last 7 years knowing that my hair would never, ever be normal again if I kept with the status quo.
My positive and optimistic attitude hid my struggle so well that only my parents really understood the deep impact losing my hair had on me. Fast forward to about a month ago. I saw a video on social media about a woman who had Alopecia and she decided to shave her head. I had NEVER contemplated getting rid of my hair, but seeing this woman do it gave me confidence and made me a bit curious. “What if that is exactly what I need to do in order to give my hair a fresh start?” My family was extremely accepting and supportive of the idea because they had seen the struggle I’d had for the past several years.
So I began to pray… a lot. I wanted to make sure this was something that God wanted me to do and that I wasn’t doing it out of vanity or self-gratification. I asked him to give me some sort of encouragement in whichever way He wanted me to go. The next day, my mom and I went to check out some wigs. I knew that the only way I would go through with this was if I found a wig that didn’t look completely fake and that made me feel somewhat comfortable.
Out of the several different wig shops in our area, my mom and I just so happened to choose one whose owner also has Alopeica and was incredibly helpful and inspirational. Then the moment of truth came. I tried on the first wig… and I no joke looked like Dolly Parton. I was a little discouraged. But then she put the second one on me. It was the exact same color of my hair and looked SO real. I looked at my mom with tears in my eyes and said, “I HAVE HAIR!!”
I cannot explain the feeling of having a full head of hair for the first time in 7 years. I wasn’t worried about getting my spots covered up. I wasn’t worried that my comb-over part looked weird. I felt AMAZING!! I looked at myself in the mirror and for the first time in a long time, I saw hope.
And that’s where I found myself today. Sitting in front of a mirror with my family next to me, cheering me on as my wonderful “hair doctor,” as I affectionately call her, cut my long hair off.
My hair may never grow back again correctly, and you know what? That is okay. My hair may grow back perfectly and even more beautiful, and you know what? That is okay. I am completely at peace with the notion that this is in the hands of the One who created me and knew me before I was even born. No matter the results of this, the Lord has a plan and it is well with my soul.
My hair dresser warned me that this experience would be a bit traumatic, and she was right. But now, as I look at my reflection in the mirror, I see a free and new woman. This experience today reminded me of the new life we are offered through Christ. Even in our darkest hour of rebellion and loneliness, Jesus calls us to follow Him and have the ugliness of sin removed through the power of His blood. We are given the opportunity to walk in newness of life, by being washed as white as snow.
Are you sick of the status quo? Are you tired of looking at yourself in the mirror every day and seeing your painful past? Call out to Jesus. His grace, love, and opportunities for new beginnings are waiting for you.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17
(P.S. WIGS ARE AMAZING!!)