the hair diaries: the struggle with genetic hair loss – Becca King
amika connect would like to introduce a new blog series called “the hair diaries”, where we tell the personal stories of individuals and their hair. Since everyone’s relationship with their hair is unique, we want to celebrate that!
I have a confession – I have alopecia areata. Not many people know this about me. Because I’m a very open book most of the time, some of those who know me well will even be surprised when reading this article.
Since the age of three, alopecia areata seems to define my whole life, so you can see my relationship with my hair isn’t all nice and sweet. In case you are wondering what alopecia is, it’s “a common autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable hair loss.” With around 6.8 million people diagnosed with alopecia in the States according to the Nation Alopecia Areata Foundation, you can say it is a common disease.
Am I ashamed of this genetic disease? Not really, but it just tends to cause more trouble than it does good.
“Can you die from this?”
“Do you have cancer?”
“Are you sick?”
No, no, and no. Alopecia areata is not fatal, but it does make an impact on my life. I’m constantly struggling between “this doesn’t define me” and “this is a part of me”. As I don’t want anyone to treat me differently, I only open up about this to my closest friends. Because I know for a fact that, I’m still the same Becca, with or without hair.
Speaking of volume faking and holistic hair growth methods, I’ve tried almost every single one of them – wigs, extensions, steroids injection into my scalp and brows microblading. I feel so grateful for my parents who were constantly trying everything there was my entire life to make me feel beautiful and confident.
Truth be told, my hair is exhausting and the ups and downs are unbelievably draining. It’s an ongoing battle trying to make peace with this disease for the last 20+ years. Unfortunately alopecia can not be cured and it tends to come in waves. There have been times in my life where I’ve had all my hair, but there are also times where I’ve been completely bald. This disease is unpredictable. Not able to be in control of it has caused me lots of anxiety and stress.
On the bright side, if there’s one thing I have to thank for alopecia, it’s finding my purpose. Not being able to style my hair or braid like other girls did have me turned to makeup. I immersed myself in watching YouTube tutorials and reviews. When it was time to consider my path or college, I knew what I wanted to do more clearly than other people my age. I am passionate about beauty because it doesn’t define me and it sets me free.
Now guess what! Here I am working for a hair care company. Sometimes, life is just funny like that. Initially, it worried me that I might not be able to connect to the brand, because how can I when I can barely even use the products? However, it cannot be further from reality, amika is a safe place that values inclusivity. This role has connected all the dots in my life. Not only have I built some amazing relationships with my colleagues, but I have also obsessed with so many of our styling tools and hair care products.
Thanks to amika, I have FINALLY found products that help me with my hair. I can’t imagine my life without the 3D Volume and Thickening Shampoo + Conditioner. I try not to wash my hair every day, but when I do wash, this duo gives my hair volume I’d never dreamt of while cleanses and nourishes my strands. To make sure my hair is moisturized, I use only a tiny bit of Soulfood Nourishing Mask so it’s not weighed down. My tips for cleansing thin hair is to rinse hair thoroughly before applying any product. After washing, I apply some Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Spray onto wet hair and blow-dry for ultimate weightless-ness.
To conclude; I love and hate my hair at the same time. There are times when I long to be like everyone else, but there are also times when I simply embrace it, telling myself this is what makes me – Me. As the saying goes you don’t get dealt with what you can’t handle, and I am a firm believer in this statement. We all have SOMETHING that we hate about ourselves, but why let it bring you down when you can let it lift you up?