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User Info: Kylo Force

Kylo Force
4 months ago#1
But not in the male pattern baldness way that I expected to inherit from my parents, but in a really slow progressing form of alopecia areata. It's an autoimmune disease that causes coin-sized patches of hair to fall out over time. I have a slightly larger than half dollar sized patch on the right side of my head above and behind my right ear, and then two much smaller patches (about dime-sized) on the top forward of my head that are more or less coverable by the rest of my hair. After getting my hair cut yesterday, I found hints of other small spots that may be on their way to go as well.

It's been progressing slowly since around February, when I found that first spot was about the size of the tip of my thumb. Apparently recovery can take months to a year (if it happens at all) and everything I've read about treatments from doctors is all over the place- steroids, topical creams, just leaving it alone.

I've mostly gotten used to it and because it hasn't affected my health otherwise so far, I don't mind letting people know who ask know what's going on. And because it's mostly invisible when I'm looking at myself in the mirror, it's also not super affecting appearance-wise because it's pretty easy to explain.

Assuming it doesn't get much worse (and I have literally no idea if it will or not) I feel like I have two options here.

1) Start growing my hair out now and in about a year or so I'll have enough hair (even if the other spots progress negatively) to mostly cover it up or change my hair up so that I can keep the spots that are bare cut very close. This would also necessitate me being okay with having an infant manbun for a long time until my hair grows out more (there are gigantic plusses and minuses here)

2) Get ahead of the curve and start seriously considering changing my hair so that it's cut way, way shorter (or cut it all off and start wearing hats and stuff all the time.)

A third option would be to continue getting my hair cut the way I normally do for now and just sort of see what happens, but I'm not entirely sure that's the best course of action either.

Yeah I'm not entirely sure what I'm going for with making this topic but I haven't really discussed this at any length with people so, naturally, I'm putting it here. I don't actually know how common this is. I actually thought at first that hereditary baldness was catching up with me and thought it was finally time to embrace "bald is beautiful" before my barber told me what was up with it.

And yes, I am planning on seeing a doctor about it, as soon as I can identify a new GP since I have new health insurance from this year.
"Sa taong walang takot, walang mataas na bakod."
"To those without fear, there is no such thing as a tall fence." - Filipino Proverb

User Info: PaperSpock

PaperSpock
4 months ago#2
It's good to hear about someone else here going bald. You sound as if you've thought it through quite a bit. I hope that you're able to find something that you're happy with long term. You got me curious, so I did a little research and found out that there are actually treatment guidelines that exist for alopecia areata (goo.gl/znMWYA) and they pretty much line up with what you said, as there's no clear consensus for treatment due to lack of randomized controlled trials for many often used treatments. Studying it is also complicated by the fact that up to 80% have it get better on its own without doing anything.

Anyway, I totally feel the pain, having started to go bald (the usual way) quite early, I think 4-5 years ago when I was in my early 20s. At first it was small enough to mostly ignore, but by now, I've got maybe a 3-inch-or-so diameter bald spot. I'd quite like to continue to pretend it doesn't exist. I'm not really a fan of any of the super short hairstyles either, so I'm quite reluctant to make the transition, despite the fact that it's increasingly needed.
Fame is but a slow decay.
-Theodore Tilton

User Info: Kylo Force

Kylo Force
4 months ago#3
Yeah, I decided a long time ago that if/when baldness (in the usual way) starts to strike, I'd immediately embrace "bald is beautiful" to sort of cut it off at the pass. I didn't expect this to happen in this way, so it's made me reconsider my options.
"Sa taong walang takot, walang mataas na bakod."
"To those without fear, there is no such thing as a tall fence." - Filipino Proverb

User Info: willis5225

willis5225
4 months ago#4
As someone who also suffers from a mildly disfiguring and maybe not the best thing for you in the long term autoimmune disorder (I have partial albinism which isn't a big deal because I'm white!) I validate your feelings of that sucking, even as I reassure you that like eh, it's live-withable. In the same way that I have had a beard since I was 17 to cover up my weird face pigments, you from the age of uh... like... thirty? will not have a beard to cover up your weird hair having, and in this way the universe will remain in balance.

I'm curious what your eventual dermatologist will have to say! They want to expose me to UV radiation and whatever microneedling is. Apparently the microneedling works because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ so it probably works as well for your thing as well as it does for mine.

I also validate the baldness thing (I have a receding hairline, but basically only when I have shoulder-length or longer hair. The second I cut it, there's a nice island of stability). I validate all body types, because I watched an episode of the new Queer Eye the other day.
Willis, it seems like every other time you post, I need to look up a word that's in the OED or Urban Dictionary but not both.
-Mimir

User Info: Kylo Force

Kylo Force
4 months ago#5
willis5225 posted...
As someone who also suffers from a mildly disfiguring and maybe not the best thing for you in the long term autoimmune disorder (I have partial albinism which isn't a big deal because I'm white!) I validate your feelings of that sucking, even as I reassure you that like eh, it's live-withable. In the same way that I have had a beard since I was 17 to cover up my weird face pigments, you from the age of uh... like... thirty? will not have a beard to cover up your weird hair having, and in this way the universe will remain in balance.

I'm curious what your eventual dermatologist will have to say! They want to expose me to UV radiation and whatever microneedling is. Apparently the microneedling works because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ so it probably works as well for your thing as well as it does for mine.

I also validate the baldness thing (I have a receding hairline, but basically only when I have shoulder-length or longer hair. The second I cut it, there's a nice island of stability). I validate all body types, because I watched an episode of the new Queer Eye the other day.


I am feeling special solidarity with you Will because my beard powers are pretty feeble and there's a small pinkie fingertip sized patch of my beard that the alopecia is affecting also, but you'd hardly be able to tell because my beard powers are so weak to begin with. Truly there is balance.
"Sa taong walang takot, walang mataas na bakod."
"To those without fear, there is no such thing as a tall fence." - Filipino Proverb

User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
4 months ago#6
Hold up, Will, you're albino? I had no idea. Two albino PMSians; what are the odds? How is your vision? Also, why do you say that albinism is an autoimmune disorder?

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Have you ever stopped to think and forgotten to start again?

User Info: willis5225

willis5225
4 months ago#7
'Cause it's a different thing, where the immune system attacks melanocytes (vitiligo). No vision problems (from that anyway).
Willis, it seems like every other time you post, I need to look up a word that's in the OED or Urban Dictionary but not both.
-Mimir

User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
4 months ago#8
Oh, I haven't heard of vitiligo referred to as a form of albinism, although it is a hypopigmentation disorder.

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Have you ever stopped to think and forgotten to start again?
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