Diary of a Bald Woman, Part Two: Taking Control of Your Hair Loss

by guest blogger Jodi Pliszka, M.S., the world’s leading Solutionologist®

“To be or not to be,” is the question that most women, going through hair loss issues, face on a daily basis. Do they let their bald spots “be,” allowing them to dominate and control their lives, or do they muster up enough courage to take control and choose for their hair to “not be” around any longer, by shaving it off? I have some insight into this issue, and want you to feel assured that you are not alone in your struggle. Be it cancer and chemo treatments, alopecia or trichotillomania, losing your hair is difficult process for any person to endure. Let me start by sharing a little bit about my Bald is Beautiful: My Journey to Becoming story with you.

When I was 13, my mom was braiding my hair and found a bald spot, the size of quarter, on the back of my head. I learned that Alopecia was an autoimmune disorder that caused my body to produce too many white blood cells, which think hair is an infection and kills it off (Alopecia is the manipulation of one gene that has been altered and there are NO cures to change this gene back to its original form). I had Alopecia Areata, which is where you lose only spots of hair on your head. By the age of 16, I was receiving between 60-80 injections in the hairless areas, on my scalp, at each appointment. This was a painful process, during and after treatment. The cortisone would produce lumps on my head that were very tender, making it difficult to sleep at night. Just driving by the dermatologist’s office made me so nervous that I would make myself sick, thinking about the shots.

When I was 20, I was in a car accident that shocked my system, even more. The process of watching my hair fall out, one strand at a time seemed to be the most brutal, agonizing task that any woman can endure.   Here is an excerpt from my book Bald is Beautiful: My Journey to Becoming. After my car accident, my parents came up to the college that I was attending, to check on me – I’m glad they did. Here’s my story:

“I pried myself out of bed and turned to straighten the covers when I noticed something on my pillow. I felt the old sting of recognition. I stiffened, not wanting to believe what I was looking at. I wanted to scream, but sat down on the bed and started out the window, beyond my parents. My mother took one look at me and left her chair. She saw it and said a soft, “Oh, no.” Her arms folded around me. I leaned softly into her and became her little girl again. On the pillow was large clump of my hair. My body healed, and bruises disappeared. But every shower became another torment. Every shampoo, however gentle my approach, claimed more hair. Shampooing less frequently didn’t help either. On the way to the shower, I bargained with God. If he would let my hair stop falling out, I would change my life. He was silent. Nothing worked. The hair kept coming out. On the days that I washed it, I made sure nobody else was around. The embarrassment of exposing my bald spots, even in a community shower (in our dorm) where we were all somewhat vulnerable, was too great. This took some effort, and patience. I often made four or five attempts before finding the showers empty.

I can’t remember feeling so helpless and destitute. In the shower, I rinsed gobs of hair off my fingers, and watched them cascade to the drain. I closed my eyes and leaned up against the wall, void of hope, of good will, void of all joy, or any promise of joy. The water flowed over me and I prayed. I bargained and I begged until I realized water was rising up to my ankles. The drain was clogged with my hair. I picked the soft mass off the drain cover and was wrapping it in a paper towel when another girl walked in. I dropped the hair on the floor and quickly made a turban with my towel…….” “I approached the mirror, dropped the towel, and combed my hair, of what was left of it. A stranger looked back at me. Or something wild. “I don’t know who you are. And I hate you. Go away.”

I became the queen of comb-over. That was me. I suddenly had empathy for old vain men. The more hair I lost, the more elaborate I twisted and turned the remaining strands. I plastered them in a wavy rows and sections. I held everything in place with bottles of White Rain.”   “ I had lost so much hair that there was no way to conceal it any longer. All my delight in perfection turned to loathing and with the identical strength. It’s funny how that works. How perfection, or the dream of perfection, and vanity are so intimately acquainted, one with the other. And just how close rage lies beneath it all. “I hate you! I hate you!” This was my new mantra. I was lost. Suddenly lost. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest… Oh, if this was only a fairy tale, it might promise me some happier ending. But I couldn’t see one. I couldn’t see much of anything. Only this savage lost thing in my mirror.

Disgust turned to fury. I jabbed the point of a rat-tailed comb into my scalp. “I hate you!” I jabbed until blood ran into my eyes. A shadow fell over my heart.”

Isn’t that heart wrenching? I share this excerpt from my book to help people that may be going through a similar situation, as I did. I want to help these people avoid the pitfalls that I fell into, and help you move past these moments, more gracefully. I went back to school to obtain my Master’s degree and PhD work in Psychology to be better equipped to help people, like myself. I want to encourage anyone who is losing their hair to “take control of your hair loss” by shaving off the remaining hairs. As you read, in my story, there is nothing worse than feeling like you are out of control. If you are proactive, and control your hair loss before it controls you, you have the winning factor to happiness and success. Don’t deny the inevitable and try to pass through the hurdles that affected my life.   We all need to go through the five stages of grief, when we are losing our hair; trust me, the sooner you get to the acceptance phase, the better off you will be!

Jodi Pliszka is the world’s leading Solutionologist®. She is the celebrated host of Ripley’s Believe It or Not Radio’s Weird Medical Maladies and the inventor of No Sweat® liners by Headline It!® Jodi is the award-winning author of Bald Is Beautiful: My Journey to Becoming and the Bella and Gizmo’s Adventures series. A clinical therapist and president/CEO of Pliszka’s Adventures, Jodi has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, and countless other newspapers, magazines, and talk shows, sharing her alopecia story of Tragedy to Triumph.  Jodi was a Top Finalist on ABC’s American Inventor and has been featured on Lifetime TV’S Health Corner, as well as NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC news and more. For more information about Jodi Pliszka, the Solutionologist®, please visit www.JodiPliszka.com or www.theSolutionologist.com.

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Diary of a Bald Woman, Part One: Purchasing “New Hair”

by guest blogger Jodi Pliszka, M.S., the world’s leading Solutionologist®

Purchasing a new wig can be very scary, especially if this if your first time. Don’t worry, I am here to help ease your apprehensions and share some stories to help you gain the confidence to pick out the wig that is best for you! When I first started losing my hair to alopecia, I was only 13 years old. By the age of 20, every bit of hair, over my entire body, was completely gone. I was devastated. I felt so lost and so angry at everyone and everything. I remember my mom suggesting that I needed to go “wig shopping” with her. I was very resistant and remember yelling at my mom, saying “wigs are for old ladies!” I was in denial and didn’t want to come to terms with the fact that my hair was really gone and that there wasn’t anything I could do about it. This denial makes it really hard for a lot of women to go shopping for a wig, to replace their beautiful, lost hair.

I was mortified when I stepped into my first wig shop, Les Wig Boutique. There were foam heads, painted with gaudy makeup, false eyelashes, and cheap synthetic “old lady wigs” sneering at me. I wanted to run outside and cry. There weren’t even any dressing rooms for me to try on the different styles, and I felt so exposed and naked, baring my bald head to others in the shop. I felt violated and humiliated.  Needless to say, this wasn’t a positive memory for me. It’s amazing how times have changed and how online shopping has really helped women avoid a lot of the emotional angst that is caused by having to enter a wig shop and endure this process. My perception of “wig shopping” has really changed, though, in the past 28 years.

Purchasing a new wig is a very emotional decision for women because we are losing control of the situation before us. Many women feel that they are forced into societal conformity by having to cover their bare heads. Even though we can’t control our hair loss, be it due to alopecia, chemo, trichotillomania, or other disorders, we can control the way we react to this process. Wig websites are truly a gift from above for us all. They have  explain the colors, styles, materials, cap options, and even offer accessories, like No Sweat® liners by Headline It!®, to help make wigs feel more comfortable. The process of researching and shopping for wigs online is very comforting and reassuring, allowing women to process their emotions, privately and discreetly.

Women can gain back control of their hair loss, by simply buying wig, which becomes your your “new hair.” I encourage women to use this terminology to empower themselves and take back control over their situation, whatever it may be. After all, it’s hair, it’s new, and it’s yours. So, be confident that you will find the right style, color, and fiber that is best for you and in your budget.

However, please remember that hair is just an extra piece of glamour for any women. Our true beauty comes from within and we should be judged by who we are and not by what we look like from the outside in. Don’t be afraid to try out a fancy new hat or comfy scarf or just go sans hair to mix it up a bit. Do what is right for you, not what others expect of you. You only have one life to live and–hair or no hair–make it the best life it can be. As I outline in my award-winning autobiography, Bald is Beautiful: My Journey to Becoming, try to turn your obstacles into opportunities and focus on your health and wellness. Remaining positive is the key to health and success. There is life after hair loss, and I’m sure that you’ll look great wearing a fun new hair style or color, or maybe you will find something that looks exactly like your hair, prior to losing it. Either way, keep the faith and always believe in yourself. Your attitude will inspire so many people, even if you aren’t aware of it.

Losing my hair helped me find who I am. It also helped me complete my Master’s degree and PhD work in psychology, to better help women, like myself. I was  featured on countless TV shows, like Lifetime TV’s Health Corner, with my story on alopecia, and I was a top finalist on ABC’s American Inventor as the award-winning inventor of the patented No Sweat® liners by Headline It!®.

If you are looking for a little extra comfort under your wigs–as I always was doing–please try my No Sweat® liners by Headline It!®. My liners are made from a very soft, high-tech “wick wear” material that pulls sweat away from your head and traps oils, salts, and odors in the liner, not your wig. This allows you to wash your wigs less often, saving you money by extending the life of your wig. My liners also block wig fibers from irritating your scalp and help regulate your core body temperature, through hot flashes and cold moments.

Jodi Pliszka is the world’s leading Solutionologist®. She is the celebrated host of Ripley’s Believe It or Not Radio’s Weird Medical Maladies and the inventor of No Sweat® liners by Headline It!® Jodi is the award-winning author of Bald Is Beautiful: My Journey to Becoming and the Bella and Gizmo’s Adventures series. A clinical therapist and president/CEO of Pliszka’s Adventures, Jodi has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, and countless other newspapers, magazines, and talk shows, sharing her alopecia story of Tragedy to Triumph.  Jodi was a Top Finalist on ABC’s American Inventor and has been featured on Lifetime TV’S Health Corner, as well as NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC news and more. For more information about Jodi Pliszka, the Solutionologist®, please visit www.JodiPliszka.com or www.theSolutionologist.com.

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Wig Accessories & Proper Wig Care

wigaccessoriesPaula Young wigs for women carries a full line of wig accessories–shampoo, conditioner, styling products, wig stands, wig liners, and more–to help you extend the life of your wig and keep it looking fresh, vibrant, and stylish. Check out this helpful how-to video for a demonstration of how to use our specially formulated products to properly care for your wig.

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No Sweat Wig Liners by Headline It!

Sweat can be an issue for many wig users in the summer because sweat can stain your wigs and leave oils, odors, and salt-stain residue behind. The more you sweat, the more you need to wash your wigs—and the quicker you are going to wear out your wig and have to buy a new one.

Don’t worry! There is a solution. No Sweat Wig Liners by Headline It! are the #1 wig accessory designed with high-tech wickwear that pulls sweat away from your head and into the liner. In fact, the liners retain four times their weight in sweat, which keeps your head cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

In addition, by trapping all of the oils, salts, and odors, you drastically reduce how often you need to wash your wigs, which saves you time and money. No Sweat Wig Liners by Headline It! are disposable, and each one can be used for 80 hours, or about 10-14 days of normal use.

No Sweat Wig Liners by Headline It! extend the life of your wigs and provide comfortable, no-slip coverage to keep your wig in place and scalp protected from the scratchy fibers that can poke through a wig’s cap.

Jodi Pliszka, M.S., an alopecia survivor of over 29 years, created No Sweat Wig Liners by Headline It! and was a top finalist on ABC’S American Inventor TV show and has been featured on Lifetime TV’S Health Corner, as well as programs on NBC, CBS, ABC, and other international media outlets. Jodi wrote the award-winning autobiography Bald is Beautiful: My Journey to Becoming, as well as the children’s books Bella and Gizmo’s Adventures, The Hairless Sphynx Cats, and Bella Gets a New Sweater, which help kids learn how to deal with differences like alopecia, cancer, braces, glasses, and more.

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NEW Jaclyn Smith Wig Styles Coming Soon!

Get ready…five NEW Jaclyn Smith wigs are coming October 27! But you don’t have to wait until then to get a celebrity hairstyle. Jaclyn Smith’s Style Collection includes many beautiful wigs you can get now!

Check out this exclusive clip from TV’s Extra, which spotlights Jaclyn’s new wig styles and her great work for cancer survivors through City of Hope. And here are some sneak-peek, behind-the-scenes shots from Jaclyn’s recent photo shoot. We can’t wait see more of her exclusive new wigs, which include styles with names like Malibu Waves, Hollywood Lights, Sunset, Seaside, and Rodeo Style. So romantic. So California. So gorgeous. So Jaclyn!py_new_jaclyn

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Large Cap Wigs from Paula Young Wigs for Women

py_largePaula Young wigs for women carries large cap wigs in a variety of lengths, styles, colors, and fibers. Shop our collection of large cap wigs to find a style in the size that fits you AND your budget!

(For more information on large cap wigs, or for guidance on how to measure your head for a perfectly fitting wig, check out our “Find Your Size” page on PaulaYoung.com or this blog.)

Here are just few of the dozens of fab large cap wig styles we have:

Ryan WhisperLite® COOLCAP® Wig by Paula Young® is a breezy shag-style wig with exclusive COOLCAP®, construction, which allows air to circulate and wicks perspiration away from your skin. COOLCAP® wigs are the perfect choice for warm weather because they allow you to beat the heat! Ryan is available in the large wig cap size.

Erica Wig by Paula Young® is a classic, can’t-go-wrong mid-length bob wig with bangs. Easy-care synthetic Kanekalon® fibers hold the style with minimum upkeep.  Erica is available in the large wig cap size.

Gayle Wig by Paula Young® has long, luscious waves and face-framing bangs that make this wig a true must-have hairstyle! Gayle is available in the large wig cap size.

Cover Girl WhisperLite® Wig by Paula Young® is a sassy short style that’s lightweight, comfortable, and features full-bodied versatility, natural lift, and rich texture. And the frizz-free, droop-free WhisperLite® fibers make this wig so comfortable and lightweight you won’t even feel like you’re wearing it! Cover Girl is available in the large wig cap size.

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Lace Front Wigs at Paula Young Wigs for Women

Paula Young wigs for women is proud to carry a fabulous selection of lace front wigs.

Lace front wigs are constructed using delicate lace material at the front, which creates a seamless, completely natural-looking hairline.

If you like to wear your hair off your face, lace front wigs allow for that styling versatility. Lace front wigs mimic how hair grows naturally, so no one will be able to detect that you’re wearing a wig…even up close!

Watch below to learn more about lace front wigs.

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Synthetic Wigs at Paula Young Wigs for Women

Kanekalon® fibers, which offer natural-looking, light, soft styles with gorgeous body, have been used to create the highest quality synthetic wigs and hair extensions for more than 50 years. That is why synthetic wigs in the Paula Young® collection are crafted exclusively with this premium-quality fiber.

Best of all, synthetic wigs are very affordable and very easy to care for. Styles stay set, and colors remain vibrant! In fact, our exclusive range of WhisperLite® wigs are made of superfine Kanekalon® fibers that are half the width of fibers found in traditional synthetic wigs.

You should note, however, that Kanekalon® synthetic wigs are not heat-friendly, nor are they heat-stylable. Never expose synthetic wigs to excessive heat. Even standing in front of an open oven or over a hot stove can damage the fibers of synthetic wigs.

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Monofilament Wigs at Paula Young Wigs for Women

A8190_1488A_TAYLOR12_045Paula Young wigs for women is proud to carry a fabulous selection of monofilament wigs.

Monofilament wigs, unlike most wigs, do not have cloth caps. Instead, monofilament wigs are constructed using  a sheer polyester or nylon material. Monofilament wigs have caps–or sections of caps–in a thin, breathable fabric that allows skin color to show through for a very natural-looking hairline and scalp.

Monofilament wigs feature fibers that are hand-tied to the sheer fabric so that they fall naturally, no matter which way you choose to part them. Because they are less irritating than a regular wig with a standard cloth cap, monofilament wigs are ideal for women with sensitive scalps.

For example, the wonderfully wavy Taylor Wig by Paula Young® features a monofilament front that allows your own skin tone to show through for a more natural look. The hand-tied front and crown offer lightweight versatility and a realistic-looking hairline–even close up.

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Wiglets for Thinning Hair

Paula Young’s wiglets are the perfect solution for women with thinning hair.

Wiglets add volume, texture, body, and coverage exactly where you need it–the top, crown, front, or back–all without having to wear a full wig.

Our Delicate Touch wiglets, Lite Touch wiglets, Modest Touch wiglets, Crowning Touch wiglets, and Lasting Touch wiglets give you the confidence of healthy-looking hair by adding instant volume, texture, body, and coverage with a high-quality hairpiece. Wiglets attach quickly and securely with two clip-in and two flexible combs. Just pop on this attractive hairpiece and go!

Wiglets come in lots of colors and are available in easy-care synthetic, super-light WhisperLite® fiber, and 100% real human hair, so you’ll be sure to find one in the size, shape, color, and fiber that’s perfect for your particular needs.

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