My hair was nothing short of amazing and I loved it! It was low-maintenance, glossy and easy to style and I didn't realise how good it was until I lost it. My friends often commented on how manageable it was and were amazed it didn't need conditioner, blow-drying etc.
I first lost a patch age 13, but that grew back within 6 months and it didn't occur again. Next time around I was 22 when I started losing my hair; I started gradually losing a patch at a time and it quickly escalated. It took about 18 months in total to lose all my hair; initially the hair on my head was falling out which took about 10 months and after that had finished, I started losing it from my body. I now have zero hair except for a couple of stubborn patches and have lost eyebrows, eyelashes, leg hair and body hair.
This is without doubt the hardest, most trying situation I have ever been in. Initially I was swinging between paranoia, checking my hair hourly, to denial, ignoring it completely or making jokes! Along the way I've been through denial, anger, upset, indifference, and the biggest one is Guilt!
Being open about the problem and the process with my friends and family has been the best thing I did. They were really supportive and it helped weed out the people who aren't worth my time! My boyfriend is amazing and still tells me I am beautiful and they've accepted every mood swing I've been through!
At first my confidence plummeted. I kept pushing people for compliments, worried about going out and my whole behaviour changed. Now, I'm back to where I was before - a really confident person - and I'm probably even more confident now! It's definitely made me more outgoing with my appearance!
I don't want my hair back at all and I want others to know that! Also, during my loss process I got really frustrated with others attitude to alopecia; both sufferers and non-sufferers! A lot of sufferers have a very depressed, negative attitude and there's very little support! Non-sufferers can treat you differently because they're not sure what to say. I really really want to drive for change and change people's attitude to it! I'm really proactive and want to support others to see it's really not the end of the world!