Mein Coming Out: Ich trage ein Haarteil!

My coming out: I wear a hairpiece!

Hair loss in women is still an absolutely taboo subject. In society's perception, full, healthy hair makes up a large part of a woman's attractiveness. Of course, the pressure of suffering is all the greater when the hair suddenly no longer wants to be the way a woman wants it. I still remember very well the time when my main hair suddenly became thinner - at the age of 15, one should really be surprised about sprouting hair, not about it falling out. At first, no one wanted to believe that my hair was falling out. When I asked someone about it, the reaction was always "I don't see anything there!". But that changed after a few months and my Hair Loss Story began.

My everyday life with hairpiece: The fear of discovery began

When I was twenty, I started my hair replacement career - and with it, the fear of discovery became my constant companion. Especially in the beginning, I had difficulties letting the hairpiece look natural. My hair looked "wig-like" and the bondings that attached the hairpiece to my own hair kept flashing out. That was the time I had my first coming out. The pressure of others discovering something weighed so heavily on me that I made a decision: I would tell my best friends at the time.

We were a clique of about 5 girls and saw each other every day in college. So one day I took advantage of a moment when everyone was together and made short work of it: I have hair loss and I wear a hairpiece! The reactions were absolutely positive - they were naturally curious and wanted to know more about it; and from then on I was much more relaxed in my everyday life. Because now I had allies I could ask at any time if it was a bad fit or if everything looked normal. This helped me incredibly through the first period, when insecurity (and paranoia) accompanied me everywhere.

Again, the big silence ...

The more experienced I became in dealing with my hair integration, the less I felt the need to tell others about my hair loss. I just wanted to be "normal," to date, to be found attractive. So, aside from my five girlfriends who I initially told, no one knew about my hair replacement for a long time. My biggest effort was to keep the whole thing a secret. Accordingly, I was always unsettled when the eyes of my conversation partners wandered to my hairline and "stuck" there. Like a bat, I wanted to squirm out of such situations, for fear of being spoken to about the hairpiece.

Of course, this was especially bad when Dating. Who wants to fall at the first meeting with the door into the house and say: By the way, this is not my hair! Exactly, almost no one. Therefore, I tried to delay this moment of truth as long as possible. But let's face it, there are a few interpersonal encounters where it's getting harder and harder to keep such a hairpiece a secret. Not what you think! In the morning in the bathroom, for example, when washing and blow-drying hair. So questions kept coming up about why I was taking so long and why I was locking the door to do it. Anyway, at some point in the getting-to-know-you phase, I always found the courage to talk about it. The reactions were never negative, even with the men - but mainly because I didn't choose superficial assholes. You can also look at the whole thing positively: If you can stand by your hair loss, it acts as a filter for inappropriate people who don't like or love you for who you are.

I wear a hairpiece - how do I tell colleagues?

Fast forward 10 years - because I had my second real coming out at 33. In the meantime, I was no longer at university, but had both feet in the professional world. Not much changed at first - my hair loss was still not a topic I talked about with friends or colleagues. Until one day in February 2018. The hair system I had been wearing for 12 years now was driving me further and further crazy. Just three months ago, I had bought a brand new hairpiece for 1,600 euros - and it was already ruined. The hair was incredibly straw-like, matted and could only be worn in a braid. I was really close to despair.

However, by total coincidence, I discovered a hair loss community on Instagram who wore wigs and toppers. It looked so much more natural on these women than it did on me. Without further ado, I made the decision to order a topper for the first time in my life. I don't think I need to mention here that I don't regret that decision, do I? It was a blond topper with a dark base - but I am naturally dark blond to light brown. This difference seemed to me but too big that no one at work would notice anything. Therefore, I decided at that moment that I would probably have to tell everyone - and I did the next day! I came to work in the morning and got some comments, "Wow, did you get a haircut? Did you get your hair colored? It looks great!". Basically, I didn't have to say anything except, "Yes, I did!". But I had already decided that, so I told everyone: No, that's not my hair.

Openness sets you free!

The funny thing is, even if you tell people something like that straight out, many still don't believe it. My boss thought I was pulling his leg and still didn't believe me a few weeks later, when I had long since changed my hair color 3 times a week. Some colleagues have not understood it until today or it is not noticed to them. In short: I have made the experience that other people simply do not think about my hair as much as I do. And even if you make such a confession, it is just not as significant for the others as it is for you. For me, however, everything has changed since that day. I am so much freer in my actions and I am no longer afraid of discovery. I can finally do everything I dreamed of as a teenager: Blonde hair, highlights, long hair, curly hair, straight hair .... who knows, maybe one day I'll buy a pink wig!

I haven't regretted this coming out for a single day, and I haven't received any negative reactions to it - on the contrary. Of course, I don't want to claim that everyone else has to feel the same way. I have very nice and open colleagues from whom I don't have to hide my shortcomings. That may be different in other companies. But one thing is a fact - if you are open about it, you prevent blasphemies behind your back. What should these people say if you are open about your hair replacement? I think the advantages of this openness absolutely outweigh the negative aspects that could come from it. I would therefore wish that hairpieces and wigs are simply seen more as an accessory and less as a shameful crutch. So, join in and be open!

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