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Tips for Women With Alopecia: Talking to Your Coworkers About Your Baldness

Posted by Thea Chassin

May 28, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Meta-photo-sOver the years you may have seen an infographic from Bald Girls Do Lunch highlighting the major challenges and concerns of women with alopecia areata. We were delighted to hear recently that the infographic is being put to good use: Meta, who lives in Pennsylvania, posted it at work to educate visitors who were surprised to come in and see a bald woman in the office.

A Misunderstanding at Work

When we asked Meta what gave her the idea to post the infographic, she said it was the day a male visitor came into the office and addressed her as “sir” (her back was turned at the time). The man apologized profusely and she laughed it off, “but when you’ve had long curly hair for 30 years, it still jabs you in the heart a bit.” Meta has a wig that she wears in most public situations, but she prefers not to expose it to her workplace’s rugged manufacturing environment.

Posting the infographic not only saved Meta from having to answer the same questions over and over again, but it allowed her to educate others about alopecia areata in a proactive and professional way. Most had never heard of the condition and said they could imagine how hard it must be for a woman that has it.

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You can download a PDF of the infographic here if you want to print and post it at your own workplace!

Struggling With A Proper Diagnosis

When Meta first started losing her hair, she was going through an extremely difficult time, trying desperately to get pregnant and suffering several miscarriages. Doctor after doctor said her hair loss was stress-related and that it would grow back. They prescribed steroids, creams and other treatments, but when nothing worked, Meta finally saw a doctor who gave her a correct diagnosis: alopecia areata. While relieved to have an answer, Meta needed some time to come to terms with this major loss before her healing process could begin.

Throughout the uncertainty, Meta experienced feelings that are familiar to many of us:

  • It’s like having a bad hair day every day.
  • Being a woman is taken away from you.
  • You look in the mirror and don’t recognize who you are anymore.
  • You’re afraid your partner won’t find you attractive.

Meta got through it by reading and learning everything she could about AA, including the great wig and makeup options available, and realizing that to those who loved her – including her husband – she was a lot more than just her hair.

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Topics: women living with alopecia, stories of women with alopecia