This bald and beautiful mommy is currently traveling with her loving husband and daughter, exploring the world, and living life to the fullest. She has shown me that it is possible to enjoy life, even with your family right by your side. Check out her story on how she became a baldie and enjoy these beautiful photos to go along with it.
I've had Alopecia Areata for about ten years. Always trying to hide and cover the spots. It was a constant concern. In May 2016 my hair suddenly stopped growing and everything fell off in a couple of weeks. At that time I was full of hormones after being pregnant and breastfeeding and under a lot of stress taking care of the baby, working and fixing our home up for sale. I think that's why my Alopecia Areata developed to Alopecia Universalis.
The biggest challenge with alopecia was accepting myself. A stranger was looking back at me in the mirror and I had to battle the feelings of being so ugly and a freak. It is also so much shame involved with this disease. The fear that someone will see you without hair, so naked and revealed. Like skin is something disgusting.
I was more afraid to be bald around people who aren't close to me but know who I am, like neighbours or acquaitances at work. So I started being bald on vacations and holidays. Knowing that the people I met there would never see me again. Then I went bald to the gym - which felt great. It was so much freedom with nothing on the head when it was hot and sweaty.
This autumn we left Sweden and are now on a six month journey around the world. Me, my husband and our baby girl. In the beginning I constantly used a baseball cap, especially on every picture. I had a wig in the bag but posted it back home after one month since I didn't use it. It was just to hot to have the head covered with a furball!
We have taken thousands of pictures to document our trip and show some of them on our blog and instagram. Those photos became a way for me to get used to my new apperance. As time was passning by I got more and more confident in the baldie look and the baseball cap has now been in the backpack for several months.
I am most proud that I have accepted who I am and don't have anything to hide anymore. Strangely it was loosing all of my hair that finally made me free after all those years with hairless spots.
After travelling around the world and visited so many countries only a handful of people have reacted on my baldness. A few have asked what's happended but more have given me compliments for my cool haircut. Two women shared touching cancer stories to me, what a gift to be entrusted! I have also met other people with alopecia in the most unexpected places. Baldness unite!
Our journey has made me realise that it's just hair, and people really don't care. Everyone is in the end of the day seriously just busy thinking about their own problems!
My bald is freedom! And saves lots of extra space in the bag as a backpacker. No shampoo, hair dryer or styling products. ;)
I had the pleasure of working with this beautiful young lady by the name of Madison Chin also know as LittleMissBaldie. She's a 6 year old Alopecian Beauty who rocks her baldness and she rocks it very well. She has an amazing mother who supports her and everything she does and I commend her for being strong for her daughter every step of the way. I share this story to empower young girls and teens out there to own your baldness and never allow it to get the best of who you are. Hair doesn't determine your beauty or your self worth, You do.
In December 2013, 25 days away from her 4th birthday my daughter Madison was diagnosed with Alopecia and I felt hopeless. I had no idea what Alopecia was and worse no idea how to help her. From age 2 our baby girl Madison had beautiful dread locks. We would style them, put pretty ribbons in them and occasionally dress them up with a cool hat. She loved her hair. But when I started seeing patches and then we started finding Locs in her bed and in the play area we knew something was wrong.
Time went by and eventually all of her Locs were claimed by Alopecia and soon her eye brows and eye lashes followed. We saved her Locs in a special box in hopes of using them to maybe make a wig for her. In the meantime we adorned her head with hats. Lots and lots of hats. Hats that were cute. Hats that were not so cute. Some that were small and others that were too big. All too often these hats got in the way of Madison just being a "uniquely" normal 4 year old, who wanted to run and jump and have fun.
So my husband and I decided to search for wigs. Unfortunately, there were many obstacles in the search, as we were looking for something age appropriate and culturally fitting. We reached out to some of our Social media friends for suggestions and our request basically went viral. At least to us it did. People started offering to donate their hair, to cut their dread locks. They offered their time and their advice and solutions. It was amazing.
But the amazement soon turned into to further disappointment as we hit more road block with some of the suggestions and referrals to well know organizations who accepts, processes and uses donated human hair to creat wigs for those suffering from hair loss. There we were with such brave and selfless people ready and waiting to make the big chop for our little girl and we had to basically turn them away.
You see, none of these popular organizations for donated hair were versed in dealing with dread locks, nor were they able to fulfill our request for a natural wig that was culturally fitting. We really wanted something that was similar to Madison's hair before and resembled the hair of others she sees and identifies with on a daily basis. One stylist took on the challenge and created a signature wig- which she calls Crowns. From this one experience the stylist Hadiiya Barbel said, the process of creating the crown for Madison was divinely fulfilling for her. "It's the energy and love put into the details and creative process of customization that makes the difference between a wig and a crown, and this one is really special." On september3rd, 2014, the start of Alopecia awareness month Madison was Crowned. Since then Madison has been crowned twice with two other customs from stylist who put great time and talent into the pieces that they made special for her.
We have been blessed to meet so many people great people on this journey including The beautiful baldie Nell Coleman, a true inspiration and visionary. Nerissa Irving, whose kind heart moved her to post about our quest for a wig for Madison. And Sammy Jones of Guam, who in browsing on Instgram Madison's page, read her story and decided to shave her head in support of Madison's struggle with Alopecia. It's amazing. This total stranger is now our great friend and we lend support to each other as we have embraced and joined not only the Bald Movement, but also Team Bobbie. A support team for Sammy Jones' mom who is ill with cancer. And Stephanie Croker of Sdotbeautyproducts and Chrissy J who made her first wig totally from locs that were donated. And soooo many more, that I now hash tag every photo of Madison with the the saying "it takes a village".
As a family we strive NOT to cover up Madison's Alopecia, but to be proactive advocates for her and this disorder. One of my greatest concerns is that we might not be able to shade her from the cruelty of this somewhat difficult world. Baldness is far from the normal acceptable qualifications of beauty as far as this society is concerned. So we encourage Madison to constantly recognize that her inner beauty is what makes her outwardly beautiful and that with or without her Crown/hat or scarf she is the epitome of beautiful. We instill in her the importance of peace and humility, cultural identification and the strength to accept the individual uniqueness in all of us.
I am proud to say that my daughter Madison has claimed the victory over her Alopecia and has come to embrace, grow and love her baldness. It has positively affected us all and made us a stronger family unit. She radiates with such joy, confidence and strength it's infectious and us around her can't help but to be stronger, happier and more confident too. Alopecia is not who she is, it's just a small part of a bigger, successful, witty little girl, who just happens to have no hair and totally rocks at being bald.
AT THE AGE 7, MY HAIR BEGAN TO FALL OFF.
I was diagnosed with AT (Alopecia Totalis). It was a traumatizing experience for me as a child simply because I was so used to seeing myself a certain way and in a blink of an eye, it had all changed. I began to wear wigs just so I could be like the rest, but somehow the kids at school knew that something wasn't right. My school days were the hardest I had to deal with because of school bullies who would threaten to remove my wigs, and sometimes they actually would. I'd cry and complain to my parents and siblings about how hard it had been for me at school. My mother was such a strong pillar in my life. In my weakest moments she was always there to keep me smiling, if I needed something she'd do anything in her means to get it for me. My mother always encouraged me to pray for my hair to grow, and told me it was going to be okay. Sadly she passed away when I was in high school, it was something very hard for me to deal with, but I'm all so grateful for the wonderful times I had with her.
MY MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE AS A BALDIE
Was when I finally got the courage to accept that I was bald, let go of the wigs and began to embrace my beautiful bald head. Taking this step gave me so many wonderful opportunities that I never thought I'd have. I got an amazing opportunity to walk the runway for one of our locally recognized designers and it was such an amazing experience. And being a photographer, I feel like being bald has given me a more artistic appearance and I love it!
I may not really know if my baldness is temporal or permanent, but whatever the case I'm still going to rock it! Anyone out there who may be struggling with accepting the fact that they are bald, well there is only one you and no matter what the circumstance, you have to love yourself for the beautiful person you are! Acceptance is probably one of the most difficult tasks to do, buts its definitely worth it. I've learned to embrace my baldness and I'm loving every minute of it Go on, Rock Your Bald, turn heads, because "Bald is Bold".