Wednesday, 19 December 2012

My Must Haves...

Hello lovely Alopecia followers.  I was just thinking the other day that as I have not updated in a while it would be nice to just do a quick run down of all my favorite products that I use on a daily basis.  After trying everything under the sun to help me look good with my Alopecia it has got very precise. I also no longer have the time I used to get ready with a toddler and I have another baby on the way... So will have even less time than I do already!
This is me in my I Wig.  Looks so natural!

  • My must have item is as you have probably read a million times before is my Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner.  I have used Mac and the consistency is great but the colour is not right for me personally.  I like the dark dark brown sepia colour from Bobbi Brown.  Black I find is a little too harsh and then the next shade up with Mac is too light for me.
  • Although I have permanent make up after a while this does fade and to keep the colour of my brows an nice rich colour I use a Brow Powder.  This could be a specialist brow powder or just a brown eye shadow.   I like to use a brush with a point on it so I keep as close to the lovely shape that the tattoo artist has created.  I do not like to go too dark here just a nice natural colour.  
  • The wig i am currently wearing is by a company called iwig and they are my latest find!  Very happy with my hair right now as it looks to healthy and glossy.  For years I have put up with my hair getting all bushy at the back after a few hours and it getting matted but the hair on this wig is amazing.  It also lined with the same fabric you would find in a sports top so if you get a bit warm and hot and sticky under your wig you will not feel it as it draws any moisture away from your head.  I love love love this feature.  Makes it really comfortable to wear as well as it is really soft.  I could go on and on about this wig so I will do a blog just about the wig if you are interested with lots of pic's etc.  
So that is about it really.  What about the false lashes I hear you cry!?  Well not too much time for them these days... just special occasions   If I do wear them I get the eylure natural lite ones and use strong adhesive glue that is used to keep toupees on.  But be sooo careful as this glue is sooo strong you need a tiny amount.

Please visit my website where you can see how my story has been in the Daily Mail, GMTV with Lorraine Kelly, Marie Claire and how i have worked with the little princess trust charity and Trevor Sorbies Charity 'My New Hair'

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Alopecia does not define who I am

In my early years of wearing a wig I found telling new friends I had Alopecia a bit tricky.  I wanted to be able to tell new friends in a confident, casually drop into conversation kinda way....  but this rarely happened. 

Talking to the friends I have known for years before wearing wigs was so much easier. Occasionally my Alopecia came up in conversation but it was never the main focus as there is so much more to me and our friendship than just my Alopecia.

When telling new friends, I would either find it too upsetting or I just wanted to feel normal and have girly conversations about hair... not ruin the moment buy bring up my hair (or lack of) even if the perfect opportunity presented itself.   I also felt after telling some people it made them feel uncomfortable and they did not know how to react.

In other instances it would be all people wanted to know about... people would want to know more about my Alopecia and not about me as a person.

To bring Alopecia up too soon in a new friendship felt like it defined who I was as a person.

The way I handle discussing my Alopecia now is by talking to those I trust. After having Alopecia for the past 15 years, appearing on national TV and papers, I am a lot more comfortable talking about my Alopecia yet it is still not the first thing I want people to know when they meet me. 

Please visit my website where you can see how my story has been in the Daily Mail, GMTV with Lorraine Kelly, Marie Claire and how i have worked with the little princess trust charity and Trevor Sorbies Charity 'My New Hair'

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Exercising In Your Wig

One of the most common questions I get asked at the moment is….  

What do I do when I exercise in my wig?

So many of us (me included) do not feel comfortable to go without our wigs even when we exercise… although it would make life a whole lot easier and more comfortable!!  

In the past I have either set aside a wig just for exercising in… I have an old one that I do not use anymore or a synthetic style that can be quickly washed and the style dries quickly.  I make sure my exercise wig has a base that is not made with any polyurethane inside.  The polyurethane is the smooth shiny material inside your wig that you attach wig tape to or it grips to your skin.  This stuff makes my head so hot so I avoid anything like this.  I am trying to move away from this material all together but for now it is what is inside my favorite wigs.

I have been thinking of another option...  I have not tired it but you could get a wig that has an integrated head band section at the front.  It would be much cooler than a full wig and there would be no hair getting in your eyes.  I am tempted to give it a try...

I use to run first thing in the morning before work so it was much quieter and I felt more comfortable just wearing a head scarf or a hat in the winter.  I have not got any magical suggestions but just knowing that we are are all finding it difficult is kind of nice to know in a funny sort of way!? If anyone else has some suggestions that would help us all out it would be great to hear from you.

I would like to start running in my lunch hour at work, with a baby I no longer have time in before or after work... I can't help but worry about what I would do with my hair.  The main issue is that the hair I wear in work is very different to the hair I would run in and would be totally obvious to any colleagues passing me.  I tell myself off in my head... pull yourself together Aimee you are Mrs Alopecia Beauty Tips!  But it does not stop me from wanting to keep my look consistant.

I am about to be sent some samples from a company called iwig who make wigs with a material in the base that keeps your head cool and dry.  I am really excited about this and will keep you all informed if its any good.

Please visit my website where you can see how my story has been in the Daily Mail, GMTV with Lorraine Kelly, Marie Claire and how i have worked with the little princess trust charity and Trevor Sorbies Charity 'My New Hair'

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

My Wig History

I have been wearing wigs since I was 16 years old I thought I would talk you through each one so you might learn from my experience.

My first wig was an off the peg synthetic wig from a really old fashioned wig salon.  Even the man who fitted it looked like he was out of the 1970's!  I cried when he fitted it as it was just so awful… they kept bringing out more styles for me to choose from but each one was worse than the one before.   I went home with the wig in a bag and I never even wore it.

My mother and I then went to the hospital and I was given a prescription to take to A&A wigs in Edinburgh as I lived in Scotland at the time.  A&A were fantastic and the girl who did the fitting was really lovely, fashionable and young.  She fitted me with a wonderful human hair custom made wig that was so comfortable.  It was really long and the dark brown colour was gorgeous.  It took me a while to actually wear it out in public… I started just wearing it to the shops and walking the dog and finally I wore it to a party and I got so many compliments!  Ever since then I have not looked back and just got more interested in wigs.

I wore A&A wigs for a few years but then I moved to Manchester to go to University.  I was worried that I would have to keep traveling back to scotland for my wigs but I was put in touch with Hudsons who are part of the brand Trendco.  Although I did not find Hudsons until my current wig was on its last legs, so my once dark brown hair had lightened beyond recognition to an unsightly orange colour and had lots of things wrong with it!  My wig from them was the most eagerly awaited wig ever!  Unfortunately the NHS system in Manchester was not the same as in Scotland so I did not get a prescription and had to pay a whopping £2000 per wig.  I was a struggling student though so my family helped me out.  One wig tended to last 2 years if looked after well.  So once you divided it up over time it was about £80 a month… the same as what most women pay every 4-6 weeks to have their hair  cut and coloured.

I wore wigs from Hudsons for years!  I have such a petite head size that I could not buy off the peg wigs.  I needed the ones that were custom made to measure.  Every year I would order the same style, colour and length.  I daren't try anything too new or different as if I did not like the style it was a very costly mistake.  

I learnt that if I ordered the hair colour to be too light that by the time the following year came round the hair had lightened so much I was nearly blonde!  So I would always order my hair colour to be very dark brown so it just lightened naturally over the year and was much cheaper to maintain.  

I decided to try something new from a wig company called NU Hair Technology and that was just a disaster.  The whole base of the wig was made with PU and my head just got so hot that after wearing for half and hour it was sliding all over the place.  The way they knotted the hair into the PU at the base made the hair look a mess in seconds.  For expert wig makers I was just so disappointed in the wig and felt like I could have done a better job!  They would not even give me my £2000 back and just made me another one which still had the same problems as the first.  They were based in New York and I just kept calling them and eventually I found the whole thing so upsetting I gave up and wrote it off as a mistake that I would never make again!  

Once I set up Alopecia Beauty Tips and went on GMTV and was in the Daily Mail I had a few wig salons that gave me some made to measure wigs.  There was Optima hair in Birmingham… They were great but I felt I still preferred my Hudsons wigs but they were free so I tried to wear them as long as I could.  Then I had an offer to wear a wig from Hairoom in Leeds as they were developing a new wig they they wanted my feed back on.  This too was ok but still no where near as nice as my wigs from Husdons.

When I appeared in Marie Claire Trendco Provided an off the peg wig that Trevor Sorbie styled for me… it was so exciting as I decided to go for a short style as I wanted something different to my usual long hair.  It was fantastic.  I was just about to get married and was going on Honeymoon to lots of different places all over the world and this off the peg synthetic wig was so easy to look after.  It meant I just washed my hair quickly and it was dry and styled in minutes.  Perfect holiday hair. 

The next year I moved to a different area just outside manchester that provided real hair wigs on the NHS!  I was so excited and I was given a prescription that I could take with me to Hudsons.  I found it funny that all those years I purchased my wigs from them thinking there was probably something even better out there I should try… I tried loads of different things and found that what I had been wearing all along was the best.

Although I feel I have found the best I am still on the look out for an off the peg option.  My dream is to have a wig wardrobe with blonde, brunette, long, short, curly straight!  I would really like to find a company that can provide a perfect fit for my tiny head off the peg so I can have some fun with my hair.

Please visit my website where you can see how my story has been in the Daily Mail, GMTV with Lorraine Kelly, Marie Claire and how i have worked with the little princess trust charity and Trevor Sorbies Charity 'My New Hair'

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

I have my down days too...

I always try my best to be a positive role model for anyone coping with Alopecia.  Helping others with my Alopecia Beauty Tips website has been the driving force behind my own acceptance.  The response I get from so many people on a daily bases really motivates me to continue creating positive awareness, but it also helps me when I experience any negative feelings about my own Alopecia. 

For the majority of the time I am very accepting of my Alopecia, but sometimes I can go a bit quiet on my blog, Facebook or tweets… this is mainly due to being a busy working mummy, but recently this has also been to do with experiencing a few negative feelings.  I feel that I need to stay positive for everyone else, but to be positive when I am feeling down myself is hard.  I have recently come to the conclusion that many of you would love to hear that I too have my down days.  

I am a very positive and sunny person.  So when I am a bit down my Husband, Family and Friends naturally worry.  I don't like to worry people so sometimes I keep my feelings to myself. But this is no good as keeping feelings bottled up inside over a period of time makes everything worse.

The most important things in my life are my Family, Friends and my Hair!  I don't like to admit that but it is true.  It just feels so vain but it is important to me.  When my wig is looking its best I am at my most confident, but when my wig is not right I feel everything else suffers.   

I took a trip down memory lane and was looking back on the most positive points of my life so far and the wig I was wearing at the time... I realised that my wigs were not always the best and had their issues, but I was happy and didn't care.  

So I have come to realise it is not always my hair that is getting me down, but my Alopecia is first on my list to blame.  I think from now on when I get down about my wig or my Alopecia I am going to try and take a step back and ask myself is my Alopecia really to blame here?

I am sure anyone with a body image insecurity can relate to this.  I am not able to change how I feel but I know it is only natural to have these feelings.   
The supportive e-mails that I get from all my followers has been so amazing over the past 5 years and I am sure I would have a lot more down days without you all by my side.

Please visit my website where you can see how my story has been in the Daily Mail, GMTV with Lorraine Kelly, Marie Claire and how i have worked with the little princess trust charity and Trevor Sorbies Charity 'My New Hair'

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Being a new Mummy with Alopecia

I cannot put into words how much I love my baby girl.  She is amazing.  Yet, having her turned my whole world as I knew it upside down. Everyone warns you and you know life will change but nothing quite prepares you for it!!    I love love love being a mummy but I have had to learn how to live my life with only a spare moment here and there for myself.

I had always spent a great deal of time and effort to look my best as it made me feel more confident and it was also my way of dealing with Alopecia.  I used to have my hair looking perfect, full face of make up and false eye lashes every day!  As I got older I grew to be more excepting of my Alopecia and I have relaxed slightly with my morning beauty routine.  However, I could still spend ages getting ready!   I am very much your typical girly girl in that sense.   If I did not have the time to look my best my confidence would really suffer and I would not be Aimee. So it has always been a priority for me to have that time to myself.

In preparation for the birth of my baby girl I got myself a short style wig that my little babies clingy hands could not pull at and I also had my permanent make up... In the end the shorter wig style did not massively help as my baby girl was still pulling handfuls of it out.  All I can say is that this is a benefit of wearing a wig... my other mum friends inform me that this is rather painful!  Also, to be quicker in the morning I have not been applying wig tape and I kept on having visions of my hair being pulled off my head while sitting in cafe!

Worrying about silly little things is something that I have always done... I could have so many little concerns running through my head that sometimes I could not sleep!  I find talking them through with friends (or anyone who will listen to me!!) and writing lists have been my way of coping with this.  Since having my baby I have found that so many of the concerns about myself have gone out the window, only to be replaced with new ones for my baby mind you!  But still, I am so much less caught up in my self and my Alopecia.  Now I just want to make her proud of her Mummy and do the right thing by her.

Lots of people ask if I am worried about my baby girl developing Alopecia...  When she was born she had a very full head of hair and I was delighted! However,  I am not that worried as it is not a hereditary condition in mine or my husbands family.  If she were to develop Alopecia I would be a great role model for her and help her in a way that no one else ever could.

My ambition is to work with wigs and become a permanent make up artist to help other women with Alopecia.  This is my dream, but I am going to have to work hard to get there with a young baby in tow.  But for now I just want to enjoy my life with my husband and my baby.  Life is for living and not wishing it away to future aspirations, places and circumstances.

Please visit my website where you can see how my story has been in the Daily Mail, GMTV with Lorraine Kelly, Marie Claire and how i have worked with the little princess trust charity and Trevor Sorbies Charity 'My New Hair'

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Alopecia Hitting The Headlines Again!!

It has been an exciting week in the media for Alopecia I am delighted to see!

Not only did we have a fantastic children's program by the BBC called  "My Life Without Hair" which was about 2 inspirational kids Kim and Dan, who are both growing up without hair... It shows how they both find it difficult but they both realise that life really can be ok without hair.

I loved this programme and brought back so many memories for me as a child.  However the support network out there now is just amazing and I would have found life so much easier if this support existed 15 years ago.

Yesterday Joanna Rowell won gold at the cycling world cup, millions of TV viewers watched as she threw off her helmet and stood proudly on the podium to collect her medal. With her bald head uncovered, the 23-year-old Olympic hopeful had no idea she would become an overnight ‘poster girl’ for alopecia sufferers.  Indeed, after losing her long auburn locks aged just ten, she spent years covering her hair loss under hats and wigs.  But after finding her confidence through top-level cycling, she now feels at ease with her condition. In fact, she credits the alopecia for creating the determined and tough young woman she is today.

Joanna is such an inspirational lady... I love how she mentions that having Alopecia has made her more determined to succeed.  I know having Alopecia has made me the strong person I am today... I have taken a lot of mean comments and had my fair few strange looks over the years and now I just don't care.

It takes a while to come to terms with Alopecia and each person finds their own way to deal with it.  My way was to look and feel the best I could do by wearing the best wigs and having Permanent Make Up applied.  This is why I set up my website and this blog to help anyone else out there who is new to having Alopecia.

Please visit my website where you can see how my story has been in the Daily Mail, GMTV with Lorraine Kelly, Marie Claire and how I have worked with the little princess trust charity and Trevor Sorbies Charity 'My New Hair'

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Stamp Me Fabulous

It has been a while since I have been THIS excited about a product that could help us girls with our Alopecia!

Firstly, I was excited because a lady with Alopecia I very much admire called lady Georgia Van Cuylenburg contacted me about this product when I reached out about great products on Twitter. 

Secondly, I was excited because I could instantly see how this product could help so many women who have lost their eyebrows and are not hugely confident about drawing them back in with pencil themselves.

Before I launch into why else I think this product is so fabulous I will tell you a little more about it.

The product is called Stamp Me Fabulous. It is a kit that comes with an eyebrow shaped stamp and some long wear ink and a few other tools too easily create natural, beautiful looking brows.

Although I have always been happy to draw in my brows, every now and then I would have an off day where I could not get my brows to look right!  This product would take away all of that as it applies beautiful looking brows every time!

I think this product would be perfect for...
  • Anyone thinking about having their brows tattooed... I found going from no brows to full on tattooed brows quite a shock!  I think if i had been using this product for a while beforehand the transition would have been far easier.
  • Children.  Children should not have permanent make up till they are 16 at the very youngest.  If you have a brow tattooed in when you are too young they could become the wrong shape for you in the future.  These are a fantastic substitute until you are older. 
  • Anyone who wants permanent make up but can not afford it... Permanent make up although fantastic, is costly and worth saving up for.  But this is the next best thing!
  • If you have only just lost your brows and you think that they could grow back as they so often do.  This is something you can use to make life easier...  
Watch this how to video!

Go to the website for more information.

Please visit my website where you can see how my story has been in the Daily Mail, GMTV with Lorraine Kelly, Marie Claire and how i have worked with the little princess trust charity and Trevor Sorbies Charity 'My New Hair'