Salon nightmare and hair extensions

Posted: June 30, 2015 in Musings

In many of my meetings with the gal who prescribes me my meds about how much I would love to have long hair again. She’s a sweet gal and I have been seeing her long enough that I am more comfortable with her, enough so that I was able to admit how painful and life-altering having this disorder is.

I am going to be a bridesmaid at the end of July and I can’t imagine having someone try to style my few strands of hair and then going in front of all those people looking like this.

She suggested that I get hair extensions. The thought of going to a salon terrifies me for obvious reasons, but I also had a terrible experience a few years ago. In 2005 as my wedding was coming up I started thinking of the possibility of having my hair, what little of it is/was left, professionally styled for my big day. I thought that maybe, just maybe I could chat with the stylist and tell her about my disorder and she would have heard about it and been understanding and willing to work with me. After days of working up the courage to call I finally decided to just go for it and make the appointment. I called a local salon, told them I needed three appointments, one for myself, another for my maid of honor and another for the flower girl. We got those booked and then I asked her if she had ever heard of Trichotillomania. She slowly said, “Noooo…” as if it freaked her out a little. So I said, “It’s a disorder that causes people to pull out their hair.” Her reaction? She laughed. Not just a little “tee hee,” but a full fledged hysterical “Holy shit you have to be kidding” kind of laugh. I promptly canceled all three appointments and have not had the courage to even step foot near a salon since.

So when it was suggested to me that I get hair extensions, the thought sent me into an anxiety and depression spiral. What so many people take for granted us trichsters go through hell for. . .

I told my counselor about my experience at the salon and she was completely shocked that anyone would do such a thing. Of course, she is used to working with people who have mental disorders so she is much more understanding of their feelings.

She told me about a lady here in town named Audrey. She tells me she is very sweet and won’t laugh at me, that she will help me and can do hair extensions for a decent price. She gave me her phone number, written on a Post-It . . . I tucked it into my wallet, and then every time I reached for my debit card, library card, etc. there was this yellow piece of paper staring back at me . ..  seven simple numbers. I’ll make the call tomorrow, then tomorrow would become the next day and the next day.

One day when I was feeling particularly pissed off and frustrated I grabbed the note and threw it in the trash. There was no way I could make that call.  . .

Last week, when I realized how soon my best friend’s wedding is, I decided that maybe I should try again. I am 34 and have not had long hair since I was 13. I long to know what it feels like on my shoulders again, what it feels like to pull it up in a pony tail or push it away from my eyes. I’m desperate.

I made a phone call today. Not to Audrey . . .  but to my counselor, and left a message asking for the number again. I am hoping she will call soon before I lose my nerve. I have to do this, for myself, I have to try to get long hair again, even if it is just for a few weeks. Maybe that will give my self confidence enough of a boost to fight this even harder.

I will let you know how it goes . . .

  1. trichdr says:

    That’s horrible how the woman reacted when you told her about trich. I know how hard going to the salon can be. I had a great hairdresser growing up. She never asked me about the patches, and would schedule me when there were no other customers. It was like she knew I didn’t want to talk about it and just made me feel normal. When she retired, I went the longest time without getting my hair cut. Now my cousin cuts my hair at her house. I still avoid going because I hate anyone to see my hair, but she is also very understanding. Good luck, be brave.


  2. trichdr says:

    Reblogged this on Trichy Insights and commented:
    The anxiety over going to the salon when you have trich can be overwhelming. Having a negative experience like this makes it that much harder to go back.


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