Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hair

Transitional Tale: Megan's Story

Today's story is that of a beautiful young diva named Megan, who is on a natural journey as well as a road to recovery. Megan unfortunately suffers from what is called scarring alopecia. When asked about the condition, she explains that "Scarring alopecia is basically when the hair follicles die and the scalp becomes smooth due to scar tissue being formed. It happens a lot in African American women most likely due to chemicals and heat. The symptoms include itching and soreness, and this happens when the scalp is 'active.'" Megan is currently transitioning, as she feels that the chemicals in her relaxer treatments only exacerbated her condition. Below is an interview Protecting Your Crown & Glory conducted with Megan regarding her journey to natural tresses:
PYCAG: How long were you relaxed?
Megan: I received my first relaxer around the age of six, and I'm twenty now, so approximately fourteen years.

PYCAG: What inspired you to go natural?
Megan: During my sophomore year of high school I noticed that my hair was thinning a lot in my crown area. I ignored it for a long time and then finally thought of it as a problem during my freshman year of college. My mom didn't think anything of it even when I tried to tell her that something was wrong. The thinning and spreading continued to get worse. During Thanksgiving break of my sophomore year, my mother finally thought I should get checked out...so I did in December. I had a biopsy done in January and the condition that I diagnosed myself with really was a reality. I have CCCA aka scarring alopecia. I received my last perm October 2008 and decided to go natural in December. I believe that the chemicals were making my condition worse. I'm originally from a suburb of Chicago and I moved to California in 2003 when I was fourteen. My hair wasn't thinning in Illinois, so I came to the conclusion that the perm I was receiving in California was extremely strong. It definitely sped up the amount of hair loss.

PYCAG: How are you currently caring for your hair and or treating your condition?
Megan: I suffered from an itchy, sore scalp, but was given a topical cream and now I never have itching or pain in my scalp. Once the hair follicle is destroyed and scarred over (the scar isn't visible) the hair will more than likely never grow back. I take cortisone injections, which should assist with growth, and I also take Biotin, exercise more, and drink lots of water. In addition, I wash or co-wash about every other day, and believe that also helps with the itching. I have noticed that the spreading has stopped a bit, which is great! I also do a deep conditioning treatment once a week.

PYCAG: Why did you opt to slowly transition versus do the BC?
Megan: I'm still getting cortizone injections to help bring some growth back to my crown. I want to do a long transition because my crown is so thin. While it hurts to know that I am losing my hair, it feels good to know exactly what the problem is and that I can get treatment for it. I try to stay as happy as possible and never stress about it. Being optimistic really helps the situation.

PYCAG: What products do you currently use?
Megan: My products include Elasta QP DPR-11 for deep conditioning, and Nature's Gate organics conditioner. I made my own leave-in with water, conditioner, and EVOO, and I also use Elasta QP Mango Butter.

PYCAG: What are your hair goals?
Megan: As far as transitioning, I would like to reach a certain length before I BC…mainly because of my extra thin crown. Being that I'm only twenty, it somewhat bothers me that there is so little hair in that one spot. While I have no problem discussing my problem and I'm happy to finally know what it is, I would like to continue to disguise it. Healthy hair is most important to me. I rarely think about my alopecia because I see the rest of my hair growing in beautifully, and all I can do is smile because it is gorgeous! I'm not the type that is hoping for a certain texture...I think all napturals are beautiful. I just want to get to the point where I can comfortably BC and embrace my healthy hair without the ugly permed ends. It's amazing that something that I used to think was so ugly (new growth) is now the most beautiful thing to me :-).

Thank you, Megan, for being brave enough to share your story with us. We truly appreciate your contribution, and wish you the best of luck on your hair care journey!

5 comments:

Avillacorta said...

Good luck on your hair journey. I just recently found a recipe for making my own leave in conditioner and glad to see someone else is doing the same. I have the same problem in my hairline. I'm not sure I have what you have but the problem is similar in that my hair line burns and is tender all the time. Well it used to be when I was getting my hair relaxed and since April it has been feeling much better, just hope my hair eventually comes back in that area. Good luck to you and all of us ladies that are striving for healthier hair.

Dani in NC said...

Thank you for giving Megan a place to share her story. I think her mother's initial disbelief is a symptom of what we as black women have been willing to accept in the name of beauty. I know plenty of women, myself included, who have been a little concerned about hair loss but not enough to stop using relaxers.

I can also identify with Megan's last statement. Now that I am more focused on moisturizing my hair, my new growth appeals to me much more than my straggly permed ends!

d said...

Wow! What a touching story! Megan, I wish you the best and more. You have an uplifted spirit and that matters more than anything to cope with any condition. I wish my daughter's dad would read your story. He and his new wife wanted to put a perm on my girls' hair without consulting me when they were the age of 4 and 8. Good thing I called my daughters everyday that they stayed with him at that time and found out about their plan through my 8 year daughter. My daughters are now 6 and 10 and still natural. Thanks for this story. God bless.

Emcee said...

Thank you so much!..one for posting my story...and two for the comments. :) One of the reasons I stay strong is because of you natural ladies!

Dani: it's interesting what you mentioned about black women accepting things for beauty...mainly because I have just decided on my senior thesis topic and it's about the black woman's hair lol.

Once again..thank you so much for putting my story out there! I hope others in the same situation are uplifted by it :)

love the blog btw.

DPrincess28 said...

Thanks girl! So glad you shared your story :-)!