Ashley’s Story

Ashley's Story

My father and I both were diagnosed with alopecia when I was 13 years old. He found a small spot on his face and chalked it up to shaving too close. Then he got another on his face and one on his head and it just spread from there. Within 3 months, I found a small bald patch on the back of my head. My mother somehow managed to get us both to Dr. Vera Price in San Francisco where both my dad and I underwent our first steroid injection treatment. My dad got injections in his eyebrows whereas I was only affected on my head at that point. It was hard to find a dermatologist in Las Vegas, which is an hour away from Pahrump where we live, who would administer the 10% steroid solution as opposed to 5%. We did find a doctor that would do it. My dad didn’t go through with it as long as I did because he wasn’t as concerned with having hair as much as I was. I would get the injections once every month until my bald spots were completely filled in with baby hair. Every winter, I would get another spot and repeat the process all over again. I became a human pin cushion. I remember having to tell the nurse who was poking me that the needle was dull several times and some of them would actually argue with me as I wiped the dripping blood from my face that had trickled from my head. I could feel when the needle was getting dull not only because it became more painfull but also because I could feel it start to pop through my scalp, rather than slide in easily when it was sharp. I did this all through high school without allowing anyone but my family and closest friends to know what I was going through. I had always had such beautiful long blonde hair. I was captain of my varsity cheer squad my sophomore year and had a lot of friends. At the same time, I didn’t want to subject myself to being made fun of at school. It was stressful enough to go through it all without being bullied. Luckily I hid it well but my senior year I was forced to quit cheer leading because I could no longer hide my bald spots with my hair up. I graduated high school with honors and moved to Las Vegas. The dermatologist had started only giving me 5% and the alopecia was spreading faster than the medication could catch up. I was basically going once a month to get stabbed repeatedly in my head for nothing but stress. It finally got to the point where I needed to buy a wig. I remember bawling my eyes out while my boyfriend at the time buzzed the remaining blonde locks from my head. At first I didn’t know what wigs to buy at all. I look back at pictures and laugh because I look so funny. I’m 28 now, happily married and have a beautiful baby girl! It’s taken me so many years to finally know what to look for when I buy a wig and it’s still so darn hard! Its hard to find lace front wigs at an affordable price that have enough lace so the hair tracks are undetectable. They tangle up and eventually end up looking and feeling like my old barbie’s hair. I probably buy a new wig about every 3 months. I like the full lace ones because I can put my hair up but the tape unsticks and rips out the hair if you’re not extremely careful. I have worn some that are synthetic and have front and back lace. I think I like synthetic better because I don’t have to style it everyday. I style it once and it stays put for about a week even if I wash it 🙂 I like the lace front because it looks more natural and I can tape it to my head so it’s not sliding around all the time. It’s so nice to finally go out on a windy day and not have to hold my hair on! I’ve gotten pretty good over the years at styling and maintaining my wigs and making them look natural. I wanted to share my story because I know how hard it is to deal with. I used to be embarrassed by it and never told anyone. Now, I talk about it freely so more people are less ignorant. I don’t like it when people feel sorry for me because there are so many people out there to feel sorry for that have situations so much harder to deal with than mine. I am very glad that I got alopecia rather than my mother or sister because I don’t think they would be able to look at things the way my dad and I do. My husband thinks I’m beautiful regardless and I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s nothing I can do about it right now but embrace it and live my life. I dont have to dye my hair, I just buy the color I want. My husband gets a made-over wife every 3 months so he digs it 🙂 I was a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas for a couple years and I had fun going to work with different hair all the time. Yes, it’s itchy. Yes, it’s hot and frustrating to be limited on hairstyles. Yes, it’s stressful sometimes. I just look at everything good in my life and I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family. I wish I could be even more bold and walk around bald! I still have some issues that I’m working on but I’ll get there. I would love to help kids that are struggling like I did. I would love to answer any questions about my life and my struggle with alopecia. I’m sure I left some stuff out but that’s my story and I’m happy to share 🙂


Please sign up to get updates from us