#31 Healthtalk goes live!

It’s been quite a while now since I posted anything on this blog – university life is so busy and hectic that some days it’s hard to even find time to just sit for a cup of tea. I also haven’t had much to say – until now!

During my first year of uni, I took part in a project at Oxford University on alopecia (and other skin conditions) in young people. 15 months later, the final project has been released online. My hours of talking about my experiences has been cut down to 14 videos, which you can see at http://www.healthtalk.org/young-peoples-experiences/alopecia-coming-soon/rosie

Having looked briefly at the final result myself, I came to realise a few things about myself. 1) I fidget when I get nervous. 2) I speak with such a posh, snobby accent (which none of my family have) it actually hurts. And 3) I know quite a lot about alopecia. My housemate, the first person beside myself to view the videos, didn’t hesitate to confirm all of these realisations, calling me the queen of knowledge. She also told me I’ve spoken with that much of an upper-class British accent the entire time she’s known me, and was significantly less horrified than me at hearing my voice on tape.

I hope that by putting the Health Talk website link on this blog, someone will find it useful (as opposed to just watching the videos repeatedly to laugh at me). The website doesn’t only focus on alopecia; the project also involved people with other skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis, as well as things like diabetes type 1, cancer, depression and eating disorders.

In terms of my own progress with alopecia (which really was one of the main functions of this blog in the first place), I have actually had quite a bit of luck with hair regrowth in the last 6 months. I currently grow thin patches of hair on my scalp, which I keep trimmed down. This is not a new fact, but it is good to see that deadlines and exams have yet to stop this regrowth. I also have recently noticed some other hair regrowth – I officially have one singular eyelash and approximately 10 eyebrow hairs. This obviously isn’t much, and it isn’t noticeable, but this is the first time in my alopecia history that my eyebrows and eyelashes have actually started to grow back. Unfortunately, the eyebrow hairs I have don’t actually grow where I draw in my eyebrows, but I refuse to pluck them – they’ve worked too hard to get onto my face for me to remove them.

I also have acquired new wigs; four to be exact. I received two synthetic wigs with my NHS allowance, and bought two other synthetic wigs back in October off a wholesale website. My two NHS synthetics are a dark brown colour, very close to my natural hair colour, with one cut at shoulder length and the other cut a short bob. My online purchases are two different other colours – one is a reddish brown bob, nicknamed the ‘can I speak to a manager’ wig almost immediately by myself. The other is blue, and I mean turquoise neon blue. Surprisingly, I can pull off all of the colours and styles. This is one of the best advantages of being very open with wearing wigs – I can choose which style or colour I want to rock at any time. More recently, I’ve been rocking the ‘no wig at all’ look – but that’s just been because I’ve either been too unwell or too lazy to draw on eyebrows! That is one thing I will say – wearing a wig without drawing in your eyebrows looks very strange. Most people have seen photo-shopped celebrity photos so their eyebrows are removed, and have undoubtedly laughed, it provides the same amount of hilarity when you wear a wig without pencilling at least a line on your brow bones.

It is quite obvious to me that, without restarting treatment with DCPN, it is unlikely that I will regrow more than patchy hair for at least the next two years. But maybe, I’ll get some more facial hair. Fingers crossed it isn’t a beard.


One thought on “#31 Healthtalk goes live!

  1. Hello!

    I am currently building a body of work/research in relation to alopecia and its effects on the sufferer.

    The project is inspired by my own mother who has suffered serious hair loss, and after witnessing the lack of information available, I want to create a greater awareness both in the community and online.

    As a photography student studying at Falmouth University the work will most likely take on the form of a series of portraits.

    If you/or anyone you know would like to get involved in the project – perhaps being in the photos themselves. Or just being able to chat with me about their experiences? Then that would be great.

    Best Wishes,
    Emily Gardner


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