*This is a true story about one woman’s experience with hair loss. Her name has been changed to protect her privacy. This story was written with her full consent and approval of the content.

In January 2013, Nicole went on vacation with her daughter and young granddaughter. Her granddaughter wanted her to get in the pool, but Nicole had to refuse. If she got in the pool, the eye shadow she had on her scalp would wash away and expose her thinning hair.

“I was missing all the fun” Nicole said, “I had to do something.”

Over the past three years, Nicole’s hair has been progressively thinning. She has tried many different techniques to cover it up; wearing hats, back combing or teasing her hair, and applying black eye shadow to her scalp. Finding black eye shadow without sparkles in it was difficult, so when she could find it she would buy three at a time and each one would last her about three weeks.

Although the eye shadow masked the problem, Nicole never felt comfortable going out. She couldn’t be out in the rain or heavy snow for fear the eye shadow would wash away. Every time Nicole washed her hair, she spent half an hour colouring her scalp with eye shadow. No one knew about this, not even her husband.

“Am I being vain?”

Nicole asked herself this question many times, as she contemplated seeking help. She was aware that there are more serious conditions and diseases out there, and that her hair loss, thankfully, was not life threatening. However, it was seriously affecting how she felt about herself and holding her back from doing the things she wanted to do. She was unable to truly enjoy her life.

Part two of Nicole’s Story will be published June 4, 2013.

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