Sunday, 5 September 2010

Lost Locks

As the double edged sword of Telogen Effluvium (post partum shedding) and alopecia areata (autoimmune hairloss) continues to sweep through my hair, I thought I'd show a selection of the fallen.

Several bloggers have shared with me their personal struggles with hair loss (unexplained or medical) and thinning and it made me realise how much just knowing you are not alone can encourage you on your darkest days.

So, I am psyching myself up to let go of the embarrasment/shame/whatever I have over this battle and show you some images of what I am facing. Hopefully, it will help someone. However, I will ask that you understand the following :

  • Sisterlocks did NOT cause this hair loss. 
  • Interlocking did NOT cause this hair loss.
  • I did not wear my hair in tight hairstyles, i.e. this is not TRACTION ALOPECIA.
  • I did NOT overtighten my hair while interlocking i.e. this is not TRACTION ALOPECIA.
  • Dying my hair did NOT cause this hair loss.
  • ALOPECIA AREATA and TRACTION ALOPECIA are NOT the same thing. One is medical/clinical (ie caused by internal factors) - the other is mechanical (ie caused by external factors).
I feel I have to state the above clearly so that I don't receive any more comments about how 'those tiny locs make your hair fall out' or 'you must have pulled them too tight'. Really. I'm tired of those comments. I'm only sharing these things to educate and encourage.

You can see my 'good' ones on the left hand side (tight pattern all the way to the ends); and the 'naughty ones in the middle and right (with bunch ends). 

The bunching happened when I stopped banding, the curly ends doubled back on themselves and created those fat ends (I call them big bums).  

The double headed dragon there was created when the thinning first started and my consultant tried to save the loc by combining it with another. Then they both died. Funny that (at least to me). 

I have several like that - sometimes I have like 5 combined. My intention is to cut off the extra heads (when my hair grows back) and sew them to the new locks so that I don't have that odd mixture of long and stubby locs like I did last year after the Prince was born. 

However, in addition to those still 'hidden' in my hair, I have a little case filled with lost locs - waiting patiently to be reattached... someday I hope. Someday.

Peace xx

Welcome to  These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'!  My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my affair with my hair - my locks.  WELCOME TO THE TAPESTRY OF ME....


Titus 2 Thandi said...

Hmm.Some day sis. I'll be happy with you when that day comes.Ugh, ignorant comments irritate me no end.Obviously you KNOW what does and doesn't cause your problems.My daughter is 4 and her locs are falling off and considering they are thicker than SL it can't be because they are too thin.I don't tighten them too tightly...I don't know.Someone told me it's because she is too young.Which I'm not sure about considering other kids have locs and theirs aren't falling.I find it more distressing than she does, obviously. Unlike your 'worse' disease, there are no visible bald spots but it's not like there's an infinite number of locs :(I don't know why I'm sharing this.Thanks for sharing YOUR challenges.

Bajan Lily said...

Hi Thandi and thanks for sharing. hair loss of ANY kind is distressing - I'm glad that your daughter isn't that bothered by it at the moment though, what a little champion!

From what I've learned this summer - her hair loss could be related to a medical condition or a vitamin deficiency (like zinc, magnesium or manganese). Sometimes the most unrelated things lie at the root, and when we find out we're like 'the hair was falling out because of THAT?' lol.

Hang in there - trust God. I believe we shall be whole again. Someday :)

Unknown said...

omg it reminds me so much of when my locks fell out this year after baby girl, it was just lost falling left right and centre! I just wish i had the forthought to save them. I think I was a little aranoid about people making voodoo dolls out of them LOL. Stylish voodoo dolls... :\

CaribSun said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. My little 8 year old daughter is losing her hair in patches because of Alopecia Areata. It is very, very distressing to me. Less so for her, and I am trying my hardest not to transmit my anxiety to her.

Bajan Lily said...

@Yahvinah - once again you've made me laugh hehehe. Voodoo dolls indeed! I didn't save any last time and when the hair started growing back, the consultant I saw suggested I stitch them back on - she couldn't believe I'd thrown them away - so this time I figured it couldn't hurt to keep them - just in case :)

@CaribSun - I hate alopecia areata, I will show (some of ) my patches in the next post. I totally feel you when you say you're trying not to transmit your anxiety to her. Like Thandi above, it would seem as though children deal with this a whole lot better than us adults eh? I will continue to share my treatments etc, maybe something will help your little one too.

K said...

Well my dear, you know I suffer with the same, and since it lasts around 2 years after each pregancy I have hopefully until the end of the year for it to subside.

I had to reign myself in this week to prevent my usual chopping, but I survived.

Seems after the little ones' second b'day it multiplied with a vengeance. But my patches from the second pregnancy have filled in around the hair line, but I have new ones from the last pregnancy, especially one hanging by a strand loc, which I have been carefully nurturing, will see if it lasts until I visit my loctician at the end of this month.

I have been resting my hair from retightening for 3 months now, so she will fill in the blanks etc when I go.

Anonymous said...

Oh my word, girlie, losing all ur lovely hair. I'm so sorry this is happening - we kno how much our hair means to us, especially us Black women. I commend u for writing about is and sharing your journey with us. Plse God wat ur going thru will pass soon, and your locks will come back with a new lease of life. LPBx

Anonymous said...

I have been suffering hair lost for about 2 or 3 yrs. My hair was just walking out from the roots. I thought it was from my locks so i cut them. But it continued to happen.

Thankfully, because my hair was very thick and long before most people have not noticed that I have a problem with my hair. It just looks normal to them.

It turns out that I was severly anemic. I had problems with anemia before but did not realise it cause hair loss. Did you check to see if you are anemic? The doc told me that alot of women often experience hard lost because to this. Anemia could happen after the baby."

Kreyola said...

Thank you for sharing. I started crying when I read your post because it true about the misinformation that is out there. That is why I document every single aspect of my thinning hair and locks on my blog. I want more people to share their story as well. One person had the nerve to state that I shouldn't have done my locks that small anyways. I know the reason my hair is thinning and hence me losing locks and my consultant having to create two head dragon. The reason for my hair thinning is due to stress. Right now I’m doing thing to hopeful prevent and help my hair to grow back in that area. But before I had sisterlocks I had to shave my whole head because of hair thinning. Be blessed and once again thank you for sharing your story.

Bajan Lily said...

Hey Kreyola,
Thanks for stopping by. I popped over to your blog and will definitely be following your journey. Thanks for all the information you posted re: your own struggle.

ps Those comments about 'small locs' are really annoying huh?

Kreyola said...

ps Those comments about 'small locs' are really annoying huh?

Yes those comments are not only annoying but are not base on fact. That is why we (the sisterlocks community) have to push to right information though. Glad I found your blog, keep up the good work!


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