Wednesday, 17 December 2014

5 Plan-Ahead Ways To Stop Having No Hair Ruining Your Day

FYI: This post originally appeared on Suburban Turban's blog!

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
2. Sunglasses are your friend
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
3. Hairbands keep everything locked down 
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
4. Pack a spare
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.


5. Finally: make no apologies for carrying all this stuff!
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!

30 comments:

  1. Dear Carly, I want to thank you so much for this blog. I may or may not have alopecia (the dermatologist is not ready to give me the diagnosis yet), but I’m loosing my eyebrows and eyelashes fast and have two other autoimmune diseases, so alopecia would be a good guess as to why I’m loosing my hair. Until I read your blog I feared the day my brows and lashes would thin to nothing. Your blog not only gives me hope that life will still be good, and I will be able to look normal – beautiful even – when that day comes. It actually gives me the tools to do it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Rikke (Denmark)

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    1. Thank you Rikke -- I'm SO glad this has been helpful to you. I know exactly how you're feeling, because I was in exactly the same position as you nearly ten years ago. Whatever happens, you will still look "normal" (whatever that means!) and you will absolutely look beautiful. Feel absolutely free to message me any time with questions or anything via these comments, I'd be very happy to answer them. Wishing you all the best xo

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  2. I stumbled onto your youtube video about eyebrows. My mother in law (whom I love dearly) has little to no eyebrows, losing her eyebrows and some hair. She's terribly self conscious about her eyebrows and I want to learn some techniques that I can teach her. Thank you for the fabulous tips!! And by the way you are absolutely gorgeous!! (Texas)

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    1. Hey Liza, awesome to hear these tips have been handy for you and your MIL! Losing eyebrows can really shock people in how different they make you feel at first, but luckily they are pretty much the most achievable feature to put BACK on your face with simple (and budget) make-up. Hurrah for make-up! And hurrah for you for taking the time to help her out with this. Please wish her all my best. Feel free to comment on her behalf with any questions any time! xo

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  3. First, thank you thank you thank you for helping me find my eyebrows after AU took them away! It's taken awhile to get into the eyebrow groove, but think I've found it. Even had TWO very strong compliments on how good my brows looked! Second, YES! I always carry eyebrow/eyeliner with me, just in case! I wear a wig, so I always also have a ponytail holder and a hat, just in case. Anyway, just want to thank you for being awesome, sharing your tips/tricks and being so likable! Happy New Year!

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    1. And Happy New Year to YOU Kim! Thanks for taking the time to comment! Here's to giving AU a big kick up the arse. xo

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  4. Wow! this is an amazing blog, I actually found you from this article >> http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/news/vita-magazine/make-tips I've very impressed! I am actually trying to get a bunch of people together to donate high quality makeup baskets to local chemo centers here in the US and was trying to find some good pictures or videos to post on the facebook group I have going for it. Would you mind if I used some of your tutorials to get everyone excited?

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    1. Thank you Ashley! Great to hear you came here from Breast Cancer Care. Please feel free to use these tutorials in whatever way is helpful :) xo

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  5. Love your videos!! Can you please tell me where you purchased (pr if there is a name for) the black cap you where under the scarves you tie? I am having a surprsingly hard time finding one. Thank you!

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    1. Hey Isabella! The little dark cap I wear under my headscarves is called a Kimmy hat from online retailer Suburban Turban. They ship most places around the world! XO

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  6. Hi Carly! Just wanted to let you know that your videos have inspired me! I lost my eyebrows and eyelashes to chemo and have had a issue with them wearing off during the day. Im very excited to give your method a shot!

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    1. Hey LaShayla, sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you! SO glad to hear you've been inspired to give "my method" (ooh, I like the idea of "the Carly Method") a shot. If you have any more questions, just let me know! xo

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  8. Hi Carly, I love your videos and posts. I've been dealing with alopecia areata turned totalis for a year and a half and it now seems to be going the way of universalis - losing eyebrows and lashes. You are inspirational to me in a trying time in my life; it gives me hope to see you happy and so matter of fact. I'm having quite a time trying to come to grips with all of it (I used to have super thick hair that I kept to at least the middle of my back). Thank you for putting yourself and your content out there! I'll be trying your techniques out on myself imminently :-)

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    1. Hey Karina, thank you so much for your comment -- it made my day, truly! Trust me, I know exactly how you feel, as someone that had thick hair down their back too :) I promise, promise, promise you that you are so much more than your hair -- and that you can "draw back" the bits that you really want and feel 'make' your face in a super-easy way. I'm not just saying this to be hippy-dippy and 'everything happens for a reeeeason' about all this (although some of my best friends are hippies), because I know that there are some days in the stage you're at right now where you can feel kind of overwhelmed and ill-suited to the sheer speed of change. Don't let anyone tell you how to feel about these rough patches (not even other people with AA/AU!) I would love to know how you get on with the techniques -- if you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment here and I'll back to you ASAP. (Work is keeping me super-busy right now, which is why I'm not responding in my usual extra-quick fashion: but I will get back to you, promise!) xo

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    2. Thank you so much :-D
      The eyeliner technique works beautifully, though I'm still not proficient in eyebrows - I think it's my level of patience that holds me back haha! I'm doing much better, mood wise, than I was. I've seen the top Alopecia specialist in my city now, and she basically confirmed what I already learned: Alopecia does what it wants, when it wants. But she did propose I try a DPCP treatment (I had already tried cortisone/kenalog injections for 10months without any significant results for me). But the treatment is apparently akin to having eczema on your head during treatment... not sure I want to do this! I have a few lines of transparent blond fuzz that have grown on my head since I last wrote... Kind of feeling I should just let nature run its course. We'll see... the appointment is for Sept. 10 but I can change my mind at any time to not go through with it.

      Hope this finds you well! :-D xo

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    1. Hey Jeanie, I see you deleted this comment (I got an email copy) -- hopefully that's because you found what you were looking for elsewhere on this site! :) I wrote about the (woeful) discontinuation of SheLaq here, but also about my joyful discover of an even BETTER (and actually available) sealer here. Hope this helps you! xo

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  10. I have viewed your eyebrow, lash (upper and lower), and your infinity scarf videos. I will be doing chemo shortly, and I needed these. You have helped more than you could ever know. Thank you.

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    1. Hi D.J. -- thank you SO much for leaving this message, I truly appreciate knowing you've found these tips helpful. Really hope they make your brief hair-free stint during chemo a little easier, until it comes back. If you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to leave another comment (I get an email every time someone comments, so I'll definitely see it.) Best of luck for your treatment xo

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    2. Thank You. Your tips will give me confidence as I take this journey. By the way you are very beautiful and your smile is radiant! Looking into Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner now!

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  12. Hi! I cannot believe I only found your blog and all now. I literally was close to tears when I saw that you, someone like me, has become such a beautiful representation of what I want to be like. You see, I'm 18 but I have a skin condition that caused me to never have hair to begin with. So I thank you for creating this blog and being such a confident role model. I only wish I found you sooner!

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    1. Hello sweet unknown, and I am SO sorry I didn't reply to your message when you first posted it! I am so glad you've found this site helpful. If you have time to post a reply and let me know how you're doing, I would love that. C xox

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  13. Hi My mane is Jacqueline How long does the fake eyelashes last when you dont have eyelashes

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    1. Hey Jacqueline, I'm ashamed of how long it's taken me to reply, apologies! I can make my lashes last all day (7 am through midnight), and then tend to reuse them for as long as they're looking okay. Hope that helps! xo

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  14. HI my name is Donna. I think this blog and you Carly are going to save my life...Im so depressed and self-conscious about my disease ( its taken a long time for me to say that word even) ... Then I find this wonderful site and all these inspiring women. I have hope!! Thank You!!

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    1. Donna, thank you SO much for taking the time to comment! I promise you that things get better -- they truly do, as hard as it is to remember that in the moment! I really hope you find these tutorials helpful. Let me know if you ever have any questions by just leaving a comment here. xox

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  15. These tutorials are priceless to me! You are beautiful inside and out and your loving energy is life-changing.. Please keep posting.. Thank You Carly

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  16. All your hard about curating this informative post on hair growth is much appreciated. Hair Transplant Clinic in Hyderabad

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