• Larry
    24
    Hi Everyone.
    I'm a Christian man. Even though I love my bald head, I love to wear wigs. Wearing wigs have been very useful in some of my ministry projects in the past. While I'm pleased that wearing my wigs have helped a lot of people needing encouragement with self esteem issues, I find I could use some support myself.
    It's never been easy being a straight guy who doesn't wear wigs to hide being bald, but simply because it's fun, they allow me to enjoy different looks, getting compliments (especially when I'm feeling sad or depressed), and wearing them makes me feel special since no other guys are doing this. No, it's never been easy when you're different, but the blessings have always out weighed the insults, being abused, disrespected, and made fun of. I don't know if it's because I'm now 55, or have become disabled, but I'm not "feeling the love" as much as I use to, and even my Church family doesn't seem as supportive as they once were. Any kind word,or positive feed back would be appreciated.
    God bless,
    Larry
  • animallover
    295
    I'm sorry you are going through a hard time right now. Life can be so difficult, and it seems like at these trying times in the world with all going on that life can be overwhelming at times. People can be insensitive and cruel and have more outlets to use for their means. BUT there are people out there who still have values and ethics and don't judge others. Being an aging woman in a world that worships youth can be trying and I always wondered how I would handle aging. I have my moments but I have chosen to strive to be myself, the self I have always been. If someone doesn't like how I look, what I wear, what I drive, etc....I don't care. If I get a rude stare or comment, I just smile. I don't feed into it. Hold your head high and be proud of who you are! God is our one and only judge. We all will meet God and I keep that thought in my head. I also am a firm believer that we are here on this Earth as spiritual beings having an earthly experience with lessons to learn that we chose before we came here.....sometimes I laugh at myself and ask myself why I chose so many lessons and so many difficult ones! Keep your faith, head held high!!
  • Larry
    24
    Hi animallover,

    Thank you for your very thoughtful response. I almost didn't post my request for support and encouragement. Not because I don't need them, but because I found it hard to write about it. I am a writer, have had some articles articles published, and am even working on a book. I have no title yet, so I just call it, "the book." Hmm, yes, well I'm usually considerately more creative than that. "The Book" is about baldness, wigs, faith and self esteem.

    I've had to go through a lot of changes in my life -- some good, while others not so good at all. I became disabled in 2013, and I moved back home to help with expenses, and help my Mom take care of my Dad after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He passed away in March 2015. It was rough; he and I were very close. Not wanting to deal with keeping up a house, plus a yard, Mom and I moved into a senior's retirement community in November 2016. She loved it here, but only got to enjoy it for a year. She died without warning in November 2017. The only immediate family I have left is a sister who is two years younger than I am. I continue to live at Crescent Heights and am very content here. My family has grown with the addition of my little girl Boston terrier. I and or my family have always had a Boston terrier. All five had been boys named Sam; from Sam I (the first) to Sam V (the fifth). Mom had always wanted a girl, and to name her Georgia (after Dad's baby sister, whom Mom had been very close to). On the night before we were going to look at some puppies, Anne (my sister) found one of Mom's cook books while cleaning out her bedroom. In the middle of that cook book, Anne found a banker's envelope. On it in Mom's hand writing were the words, "$600 for dog." When we looked at the puppies the next day, one was a girl and she cost $600. We took that as a sign, so I came back home with Georgia I, instead of Sam VI. She is the cutest and most precious thing I've ever seen (I think she is smarter than any of the five boys we had before). All the residents here adore her, so Georgia has a bunch of honorary Aunts and Uncles!

    Several weeks later I got a phone call from a dear college friend of mine. As we chatted, Sheila asked me if I still wore wigs. I laughed and said no. While working on my degree in Human Resources, a requirement for one of the courses was to create a peer support group. I chose to make a support group for people with alopecia areata. I have androgenetic alopecia and shave off any remaining hair that hasn't fallen out naturally. I love my bald head,and I'd never take medications or have treatments that would regrow my lost hair; I do however, love to wear wigs.

    I discovered my love for wigs when I ran the peer support group for people with alopecia areata. Because of my Christian faith, I felt that it was important that losing your hair meant losing your beauty; I also wanted to stress that baldness doesn't have to mean the end of having a joyful, rich, and full-filing life. You can love, and you can be loved. I, some of the people in the group, as well as videos and articles that backed up my assertions. It was also important that people had to find their own and unique path to self acceptance first, and then on to self love. When I first started wearing wigs, I wore different colored ones, and then one's of different lengths and styles.

    I began to get compliments, I formed friendships with women easier, I dated more, and people sought me out when they had a problem and needed someone to talk to. When Sheila asked me why I stopped wearing wigs, I laughed and said that graduating meant having to be an adult. Everyone knows you stop having fun when you became an adult.

    Sheila read me the riot act. After all the excuses, and reasons why I shouldn't wear wigs any more, she started to make me change my mind. I began to think of new ministries that I could wear wigs for. Sheila told me that it was great that I wanted to find ways of serving God, and help people while wearing wigs. She then said:

    "Larry, you don't need a reason to wear wigs. You want to wear wigs for fun, getting compliments, and expressing yourself in different ways. You don't need any more reasons than to do something you enjoy."

    She was right. I'm wearing wigs again. Though not necessary, I've a new ministry. I address groups of people about causes and issues that are important to me. Also, for this time around, I now have a stylist. Her name is Julie, and not only does she discourage me from making shall we say, questionable choices in buying new wigs, but she re-cuts and restyles them so they are unique to my skin tones and facial structure.

    I have to admit that I'm catching more grief about wearing wigs now, than the first time when I was in college. My brothers and sisters in Christ are praying for me, which is always a good thing.

    God bless and Love,

    Larry
  • Sunset
    466
    Hi Larry, it's so sad how people can be so judgemental about someone enjoying wear wigs. Wear them all you want. What counts is who you are on the inside. I can tell you are really a very nice person & that's something that is commendable to me. It's crazy how we live in such a world where people are treated like royalty if they are young & then dismissed when they get older. I was purchasing something the other day & the young guy said he included my discount. I asked if he meant a senior discount & he chuckled saying he didn't want to use the word senior. I told him it's a gift to get older & is much better than the inevitable. We all get wiser as we get older, or at least we should. (LOL) Don't ever let anyone put you down or make you feel bad if you want to wear wigs. I understand how you feel after what just happened to me with the guy asking me if I was wearing a wig. I felt like I had committed a crime with the way he asked. He has called me several times since that time, & I think it's funny how he seems interested in me. I told him we can be friends if he would like but that I don't think we are a match in the romantic department. He seems to be OK with that. If I ever see him again I think I'll just throw on my baseball cap & have my thin little ponytail hanging out the back of it. I feel comfortable lots of times wearing one of my baseball caps, and for sure I'm not wearing a wig then. (LOL) I will continue wearing wigs when I feel like it. I always wear one of my synthetic Jon Renau wigs to my neighborhood bible study. They always say they like my hair. I don't know if they know I'm wearing a wig or not. They've never asked, they just say my hair looks nice. I let my own baby fine hair hang down under it & wear it like a topper. It matches so well with the ends of my hair that it's incredible.
  • Larry
    24
    Hi Sunset,
    I belong to a great church. When I decided to wear wigs again, I asked my Priest (I'm Anglican) if it was ok if I wore them to services and Bible study (I didn't want to be a distraction), he just laughed and said I was more than welcome to wear my wigs. I haven't asked, but his Dad was very bald and wore one of those hair replacement systems -- basically gluing a toupee on his head, and wonder if that is why he is so, er, "wig friendly." (lol)

    Not all of my experiences have been good ones. At Thanksgiving I was told by the Aunt who was hosting the Christmas get together that I couldn't come if I was bald or wearing a wig that wasn't short and brown. I was very upset, and I decided not to go. Several weeks before, I was looking at myself in the mirror as I adjusted what is probably my favorite wig . . . it isn't brown. It's a gorgeous shade of red that goes well with my gray eyes. My lady friends like it so much,they call me 'Ginger.' I didn't ask them to, Several of them, who don't even know each other, started calling me that out of love and affection. They know I like it when they call me that because I blush (like right now as I write this).They giggle when they make me blush (proof I'm a real red head according to them). Well, I didn't go to my Aunt's for Christmas because I couldn't come as 'Ginger.' It turned ok to be a good Christmas anyway because a car full of cousins who knew why I had been "banned" from the family get together, came to my apartment and so I got to spend Christmas Eve with some of my family after all.

    The other night,after I had finished saving my head, and at my wigs that were drying -- hey it was head washing day (rolling eyes), and saw that I have a nice looking bald head,and great looking wigs that had been styled to suit me to a "tee," why is there so much hostility about me being either bald or wigged? I'm not hurting anyone, and God has even used how I like having different "looks" to help people with self esteem issues (and not just those with hair loss), so why do some people want to hurt my feelings, call me vile names, and want to make fun of me in public? I used to want to know why, but now I'm not sure .. . probably because I think the problem is their's, and not mine.

    God bless and love,

    Larry
  • Larry
    24
    Sunset,
    I just wanted to ad that you are a real joy to talk to.
    As I read over your last message again, you reminded me that not everyone hates or mistreats me because I alternate being bald or wigged. I call my wigs "my hair" not because I dislike the word "wig", which I don't, it's just that when I get a new wig, As soon as my stylist takes it out of the box, places it on my head, she cuts and restyles it so it is unique to my face shape and bone structure. Anyone who buys the same wig, it will not look like mine. My Priest and his wife have a large family, some of the kids are biological, others are adopted, but all are their children. I call my wigs my hair because it doesn't matter if I grew it or bought it, it's my hair now .. . and I have the receipt and pink slip to prove it. If you want to call your wigs or toppers your hair, go for it!

    Larry
  • Sunset
    466
    Hi Larry, you're right about it being the people who treat someone badly who have the problem. I was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer 19 years ago. I was shocked by how some people treated me. One of my so called friends hung up on me when I told her, and I've never heard from her again. I suddenly wasn't the same person to her. I always listened to her about all her problems, because I'm the type of person who does listen to people & try to help them. She didn't like it now that I suddenly had a problem & the focus wasn't on her. I heard through someone we both knew that she claimed I was making up I had cancer. I wish I had, but why would I or anyone do that?? This crazy woman claimed she had ovarian cancer when she was 23, and I now suspect perhaps she really didn't. I had other people telling me I must have eaten wrong to get it, and a few said it must be bad karma that was punishing me. I rarely tell anyone now I ever had it, because I don't want to take the chance of strange looks or bizarre behavior. I finally realized these people are really the ones with cancer, and the very worst kind. They have cancer of their heart & souls. I have never treated anyone like that with any kind of illness even before my diagnoses. The best anyone can say is I'm sorry to hear it & I hope you'll be OK.

    Soon I have to go in for my annual mammogram & I always get nervous they're going to tell me they see a problem again. Please add me to your prayer list regarding this. I want them to tell me we see nothing & go home. (LOL) I see lots of men bald, so I don't know why your aunt would say you couldn't even come bald, and if you wore a hairpiece or wig it had to be a certain color. I've heard it all now!! I can see why you didn't bother to go. I'm glad you had other friends you saw who enjoy your red wig & call you ginger. It's best we hang out with people who are kind to us & stay away from the people who choose to be cruel. I can't understand how they can live with themselves treating people like that.

    God bless you,
    Sunset
  • Larry
    24
    Hi Sunset,
    My Mom and my sister are breast cancer survivors. My Mom fought breast cancer three times and lived. She died two years ago from a stroke she had in her sleep. She lost a breast from the first two times. You can imagine how shocked we were when she was diagnosed a third time -- I mean, don't you have to have a breast to get breast cancer? It turned out that the surgeon did a lousy job when he removed her second breast. He had left some of the breast tissue attached to a bone. It was that remaining tissue that caused her to have breast cancer a third time. It was a year and a half ago that Anne (my sister) was diagnosed. Given that most of my Mom's women relatives have had cancer, Anne chose to have both of her breasts removed.

    I have a ministry now of educating people about issues and causes that are important to me such as my born again birthday, breast cancer awareness, and alopecia areata to name a few. When I address groups about these things, I wear either a new wig, or one that the group I address hasn't seen me wear before, to aid in drawing attention to these causes. On national Breast Cancer awareness day (after addressing the ladies on the importance of monthly self examination and to keep appointments to get mammograms), I also address the gentlemen . . . "please note I said Breast Cancer Awareness, and not Breast Awareness day! So don't go up to the ladies and stand there staring at their breasts unless you like getting slapped and called a pervert!"

    My Aunt is overly obsessed with what people think about her and her family. She has not been told that one of her grandsons died from accidentally over dosing illegal drugs. They've told her he died from a rare liver disease because according to her, there are no addicts in her family and there never will be. She will not be hosting the Christmas Eve family get together this coming Christmas so I'll wear, or not wear (should I be in a "bald mood") whatever wig I want to.

    As always, it's been nice "talking" to you.
    God bless,
    Larry
  • Taylor75
    0

    Larry after reading what you wrote, about some people being judgmental about you wearing wigs, I could relate. I discovered that if I wear a wig that is basically undectable generally I don’t run into so many critics. I enjoy wearing different color wigs, even Pink. When ever I change the wig that I am wearing to a shorter or longer length people do notice and make comments. I later got tired of the comments, and stuck with two wigs that I got the most complements on. Stevie by Amore and Jon Renau Zara. The comments I received, are “ I love your hair color” What salon do you go to? If you start to care about what others think about you, then you will have to wear what pleases them, and not yourself.
  • Larry
    24
    Thank you, Taylor.

    Normally getting static from other people has never been a problem, but I've had changes in the circumstances of my life.

    Even though I'm only 55, I live in a senior citizen's apartment community. How I ended up here is a long story which I won't bore you with. I take meals in a common cafeteria, so I'm living "cheek by jowl" with a lot of folks who have no filter on what they say good or bad.

    Now as I've said in other posts, I started wearing wigs again after a twenty year break. While I was taking a college course, I had to create a peer support group. I chose to do one for people with alopecia areata. That was when I first starting wearing wigs. Some of my friends and women I dated loved my wigs, others hated them. Well, I loved them! I liked the variety of looks I had (I had different colors, different lengths, and different styles), I liked how I made more women friends, and most of all I liked how God was using me and my unusual life style to help people with all kinds of self esteem issues. He took a college project and turned it into a ministry, and because I'm a Christian that was a wonderful blessing. So, even though I love my bald head, with wigs I could enjoy having hair, too. I wrote an essay about that experience called, "A Special Wardrobe." I've posted it on various web sites (including this one), so some of you have read it. If you haven't but would like a copy, please feel free to email me for one.

    For a number of reasons I stopped wearing them -- until last year. While talking to an old and dear friend from those days on the telephone, she asked if I still wore my wigs. When she asked me why, I told her that I didn't have a ministry any more that wearing wigs would be helpful.

    There was a moment of silence. She then said, "Larry, you don't have to have a ministry to justify wearing wigs. We both know you'd like to, and that is reason enough. I had to admit she was right. We made plans to get together, and the last thing she said was, "Now, when I get down there, you'd better be ginger when I see you!" One of my best and favorite wigs from those days was light auburn. That even became sort of a nick name, and in private I have to admit that I liked it.

    So last year I started wearing wigs again, and after not wearing them for so long, it felt like it was for the first time. The reaction of the residents here has been different than when I did it before. They don't hesitate in telling me what they think, good or bad. I don't know if it's because they are elderly, the ones who don't like them don't pull punches. I have a core group of friends both here and at my Church that are very supportive. In fact, when I asked my Priest if I could wear wigs to church (I didn't want them to be a distraction so I wanted his approval first. He knew my story of wearing wigs in the past, so he not only approved, he insisted that I wear them lol). Another good thing about wearing wigs this time, is that I have a stylist helping me. She thinks it's great that I want to wear wigs, and she even comes here to do my wigs. And yes . . . the first one I bought was light auburn, and I'm starting to be called "Ginger" again by some of my lady friends. When my friend came to see me, they heard her call me that, and they call me that because they like to make me blush (rolling eyes).

    You'd think I'd be twelve kinds of happy wearing wigs again. For the most part I am. The reason I asked you all for some encouragement, is because I'm sort of shocked by the anger and hate I'm getting from those who don't like me wearing wigs. Some of the negative remarks can be down right hateful and nasty, and I wasn't expecting that.

    Thanks for letting me ramble on.

    God bless and love,

    Larry
  • Taylor75
    0
    Hi Larry, you seem like the kind of person that takes care of your appearance. I encourage you to continue. Why are some people so hateful and nasty? My guess would be that they are unhappy people.
    I use to work in a retirement community, and some of those people feel abandon by their families, therefore they tend to take things out on the other residents there. Another reason some of the residents may speak without a filter, is they are retired and they don’t have to worry about losing their job, or getting into trouble so they say hateful comments. Always be mindful of that, and know that you have to do what makes you happy. They are really not bothered by your wigs Larry, they are bothered by your positivity. I would just ignore and avoid those people and don’t let them bring you down. Wigs make some of us happy, and I am waiting on a new one coming in the mail soon. I always get excited when I get a new wig.
  • Larry
    24
    Thanks Taylor,
    I get excited when I get a new wig to.
    God bless,
    Larry
  • Cici
    1
    Hi Larry, Do what you want to do. If you like wigs, then, just wear wigs. You are the Unique and Best!
  • Larry
    24
    Thank you, Cici.

    I've been doing what you have suggested. It's not easy some times, so getting a kind word of approval and support means a lot -- a lot more than I can say.

    I think where I'm living is a factor.

    Even though I'm only 55, I live in a seniors community. How I ended up here is a long story. I've discovered that most elderly people don't have filters, and if they don't like something they aren't shy about making their feelings known. It doesn't help that about 70% of the residents have some degree of dementia. They aren't happy about change, and aren't tolerant with people who have a life style that's not "normal."

    So what is this "lifestyle" of mine that's got a whole lot of old people bent out of shape?

    Although I love being bald, so much so that I shave my head to make it completely smooth, I also love to wear wigs because having hair can be nice to. Wigs allow me to be "haired" as well as bald, and I'm not limited to just one color or style. Simply put, I like to wear wigs because it's fun! The women I date like me bald or "wigged" because they enjoy my variety of looks I have; indeed, some of them start wearing wigs to and for the same reason. My wigs help me make friends with women a lot easier, and both men as well as women want to talk to me about their problems -- especially after they learn about my work with women who had alopecia areata when I was in college. Most important of all is how God has used my experiences with baldness and wigs in several ministries.

    You'd think that my life living with senior citizens would be sweet, but you'd be wrong. Many ask questions about why I'm wearing wigs, but will turn away without waiting to hear all of my answer to their questions. Why? Because what I do isn't "normal." Others hear distorted versions of my stories and experiences, and they basically shun me. I've been called many derogatory names and accused of doing some very strange things. Some have minds that are lost in the fog of dementia, and others have hearing problems. You have got to remember that this is my home now -- a place to be comfortable, a place that's safe, and a place where people patiently help one another. I have to get in my car and go to friends and extended family for those things.

    God bless you all,

    Larry
  • Rugtopper
    0
    Hi Larry,

    I think you are quite brave following your desire to wear hair. I wish I was that brave. People are going to do and say what they want regardless of their age or health issues. At the end of the day, you still have to "wake up with yourself," as the song says. Still, I wish I had that extra degree of bravery you have.
  • Tav
    1
    I apologize for being so late to the conversation. I hate to hear all you are going through over a hair issue. It's a wonderful thing to have wigs as an option. Unfortunately, for some, it's less of an option than others.

    I've been on both sides via chemo. It might seem nice that my hair has come back in strong. However there's now a large cowlick in the middle and front of my head with Gandalf standing there shouting "You shall not pass!" to every hair that attempts to cover it. Henceforth, my little hobbit head gets trimmed so I can keep wigs on. Oh, did I say little? Wrong, my cranium is almost genius sized.

    Hair on the left is super thick while the right is thin. Since I keep it short, the right side looks like Boris Johnson on a windy day. The left side looks perfect. I have to keep trimming it because the thick side likes to push wigs off my head.

    I deal with resistance to my wigs from family, mainly mom. She tries to steer me towards certain wigs I own and away from ones I enjoy. I shouldn't have to explain or justify my choices, but I do almost daily. The one wig she approves of seems to be frizzing it's self off to an early retirement.

    I've said a whole lot and not sure if there's anything other than joint commiseration to be found here. You are not alone.
  • Larry
    24

    Thanks for sending the message, Tav -- it's never to late to post comments or send emails to me, and so if you (or anyone else reading this <grin>, want to write to me about anything please feel free to do so.

    I'm sorry you are having so much trouble with your bio hair. What you've said doesn't surprise me though. From what I've read and from talking to chemo "survivors", most are surprised that bio hair can significantly change from pre chemo to post chemo. Most experience a change in color. This can be that they have a lot of gray now, but had no grays before, to some people who had brown hair before,now have red hair. Changes in texture and curliness are even more common experiences, so you're not alone in what you're going through.

    I am surprised by the number of women of women that continue to wear wigs after their hair grows back from chemo, even if the regrown hair looks the same as it did before. "That's the problem, Larry," said a lady to me over the phone, "I hated my hair before chemo, and now that it's back it's still too thin and fine!"

    I'm sorry that she discovered the benefits of wigs from having had cancer, and gone through chemo, but she is neither the first nor the last woman who has decided to continue wearing wigs even after their hair grew back. If you enjoy wearing wigs, then please do so. It's not hurting anyone, and if they make you feel better about your self, then don't let anyone stop you from wearing them.

    God bless,

    Larry
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