I am not embarrassed to admit that in the first few years after losing my hair -- to alopecia universalis, in case you’re interested -- having no hair used to regularly ruin my day. I used to obsess over the ways in which it made me look (and therefore feel) different to everybody else, and all the ways I might be "found out." So I worried about having my headwear pulled off or blown away. I worried about my false lashes falling off. I worried about water splashes ruining my drawn-on eyebrows. You name it, I worried about it. And all I can think of now about that period is what a massive waste of time that was.
It may be easy to say this now, with the benefit of hindsight, but I get annoyed (and a little sad) thinking of all the times that self-consciousness stopped me from playing with grabby young relatives, or going near water, or jumping in a convertible, or walking on a windy pier. Because now I realise that the key, really, is working out exactly what worries you, and preparing for it -- so that you don’t have to worry about it, ever. So from my years of experience, here are my five tried-and-tested tips to stop having no hair ever ruining your day:
|A little waterproof sealer on your eyebrow makeup goes a long way|
1. Waterproof yourself
If you know you’ll be going near or on water, a little planning ahead ensures you’ll be as comfortable and carefree as possible, and not a flinching killjoy on the sidelines like I used to be. Use waterproof sealer on eyebrow and eye makeup so it stays firm in the face of spray and splashes (click here for my video tutorial) -- or go further and use a waterproof pen liner for both brows and lash-line, for 100% confidence (tutorial here.) If water’s in the mix, forget the false lashes -- you’ll just be worrying about them coming off -- and use softly smudged eyeliner to recreate the look of 3D lashes instead (but don’t forget the sealer over it.) I also like to carry a small make-up kit with me at all times with a brow pencil and my sealer, so I can repair or re-do my brows if the situation gets a little messy.
|Me on holiday this year, sporting my giant shades|
I used to be very self-conscious about the way my eyes looked without lashes, and became deeply attached to my “liquid liner and false lashes” combination, which I love to this day (click here for the tutorial.) This meant the idea of losing a lash or having my liner running due to watery eyes (or even tears) became a big concern. If it’s your concern too, carry a pair of sunglasses with you in your bag at all times, even in winter -- so if you lose a lash or get smeared, you can just cover up the whole crime-scene ASAP with shades. (Tip: those big “Jackie O”-style sunglasses are also great at hiding rubbed-off eyebrows. Two problems solved in one!)
|Wearing my trusty anti-wind ribbon hairband|
In a situation where your headwear might blow away or fall off? Stretchy hairbands in pretty colours are the best for slipping over whatever you’re wearing up-top, to ensure it stays put, so carry one with you. This is, incidentally, my personal tip for rollercoasters, where I wear a tight cap and not one but two headbands over it. If you don’t like headbands, try a slim scarf tied over your headwear instead, 50s-style.
|Just one of the drawers in my house housing my hat collection|
I used to have a recurring nightmare about being out of my home and somehow mislaying or losing the headwear I was wearing. (Stand down Dr. Freud! This dream seems pretty obvious.) Once I started carrying a spare cap in the bottom of my bag with me always, these worries went away. My favourite cap to carry is the Kimmy by SuburbanTurban, because it's so perfectly small, and to me, it's as necessary as the spare tyre in my car.
If any or all of these things make you feel more comfortable in your own skin, and carrying them with you gives you reassurance and confidence: embrace them! Never feel like you’re fussing, or over preparing -- because if having this stuff with you when you’re out in town or on a night out makes you feel like you can do all of the things you used to do with hair, that’s worth it. Enjoy!