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Alopecia: Jessica's Story

One Woman's Journey Living With Alopecia as an Adult

By Jessica Franck

Alopecia: Jessica's Story

Jessica and her husband on their wedding day.

Photo © Jessica Franck

As an adult, from college years till now, I have become pretty good at blending in. Wig styles have become increasingly more natural looking, so most people don’t question it or even notice. When they do, I just explain it to them and we move on. Most of the time, people have heard of Alopecia or even know someone who has had it.

The internet has been my saving grace in the last 10-15 years. I can browse through thousands of wig styles and colors from my living room. I have tried several different styles throughout the years, but tend to prefer synthetic hair as opposed to human hair. I have worn many of both, and while human hair wigs feel and look more natural, the maintenance and the cost are much more than a synthetic. Synthetic hair wigs are available in a wide variety of prices, styles, colors and lengths. I’ve recently discovered lace front wigs. They can be worn with a visible hairline while still looking pretty natural. I don’t know a whole lot about them yet. I’m still in my “testing” phase, but I am wearing my first one right now and we’ll see how it goes. With proper care, a wig can last several months.

Even though I don’t personally know anyone else with Alopecia, I have found support groups online, the best of which is the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. They offer support in every way imaginable. These people are there to help. They even have an annual conference. Many of these people choose not to wear a wig, and I truly envy their confidence. Maybe someday I will get there myself.

Now, I am a happy, well adjusted, married, mother of two beautiful blond-haired boys - who desperately need a haircut, because I forget about that kind of thing. I’ve had alopecia for 26 years and have tried every treatment under the sun to no avail. I stopped trying to “fix” it many years ago and accepted that this was me, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

I have never shared my story this openly before, so I hope if any of you are experiencing similar things, you can find some comfort in knowing this is not the end of life as you know it. There are options, you are the same person you’ve always been and will most likely become stronger because of it.

Guide Note: I would like to personally thank Jessica for sharing her story with me and with all of you. It takes incredible courage to step out of your comfort zone to share such a private journey with complete strangers. I am truly touched by her strength, wisdom, and most of all, her beauty. Thank you, Jess.

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