Living With Thyroid Hair Loss - Barb's Success Story | Daniel Alain
We know that hair loss can have a devastating impact on all areas of life. Feelings of embarrassment and low self-worth can lead to isolation and even loneliness. People’s social habits may start to change, and it can become increasingly difficult to appear confident around others. Hair loss can be all-consuming, dictating how you dress, where you go, and how you feel.
Here at Daniel Alain, there’s not much we don’t know about beautiful hair. We’ve spent over 20 years in the industry, creating an unrivaled collection of superior-quality human hair wigs and toppers, and championing the development of clinically proven, patented hair loss technologies. Through our work, we’ve met and helped thousands of women experiencing the pain that can accompany hair loss and we’re here to reassure anyone going through the experience that they’re not alone in their journey.
We recently had the pleasure to sit with motivational speaker and real estate broker, Barb Betts, as she shared her hair loss journey with us. Like many, Barb’s hair loss led her to seek solutions, but it wasn’t until she accepted wearing wigs as part of her identity, could she truly celebrate the strong woman she always knew she was. Feeling like her true, authentic self, instead of hiding her insecurities, brought about a new-found confidence that she transformed into business success.
“Authenticity has always been a part of who I am.”
I lost my identity one strand at a time
The morning Barb Betts woke up to find two bald patches on her head is a day she will never forget. At the time, she was working through a stressful transaction at her job as a busy real estate broker. Waking up to find she had visible, stress-related bald spots on her scalp was a complete shock.
“My initial reaction was fear. Then confusion, stress, overwhelmed…I had it all,” Barb recalls. However, with the same ‘let’s fix this’ attitude she uses when faced with most problems, Barb immediately booked an appointment with her dermatologist to seek advice and guidance.
For Barb, this moment would mark the beginning of a lifetime living with hair loss.
As a child, Barb had thick, curly hair that reached down to the middle of her back, and hair loss was not something she imagined she would have to deal with as an adult. But after that first trip to the dermatologist’s office and subsequent extensive testing, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s – an autoimmune disorder that creates antibodies that attack healthy thyroid cells, and Hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid. The Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism diagnoses coupled with the genetic hair loss that ran in her family, caused Barb to experience a continued thinning of her hair.
But, as Barb admits, “At no time did I think it would progress to where I’m at today.”
Looking back to that time, Barb reveals she had begun to lose her sense of self. Usually brimming with confidence in a professional environment, at work, she began to feel insecure and embarrassed about her hair loss, especially when meeting with clients face to face. She made several attempts to cover it by parting her hair differently, cutting bangs, or trying out different styles that would make her hair seem fuller.
“The amount of scalp you could see was becoming significantly more noticeable and that made me feel extremely self-conscious.”
Like many people who suffer from hair loss, Barb started to feel like she was losing her identity along with her locks. Even her social life was impacted; Barb didn’t want to be around friends and family like she had before, and she avoided being in photos.
Barb relied on root powders to give the illusion of hair fibers, and this was effective at concealing her hair loss for a while. But eventually the powder wasn't enough and Barb had to admit she needed to take more drastic measures.
Knowing she had to meet her hair loss problem face on and on her dermatologist’s recommendation, Barb tried PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy – a painful and expensive procedure that involves injecting the patient with their own platelets to stimulate hair regrowth. Barb endured an emotional roller coaster when the hair she did manage to grow back through PRP therapy ultimately fell out again a few months later.
“I spent thousands of dollars on these injections that were painful [and] stressful. And ultimately the results weren’t sustaining.”
Barb even found herself considering a hair transplant, but with no guarantees it would work, she decided it wasn’t an option for her. With few other options available, Barb started to look into wearing alternative hair but she was worried a wig would look fake and unnatural. When she discovered Follea wigs by Daniel Alain from an internet search, she began to change her mind.
Barb made an appointment for an in-person consultation with Ashley, a consultant and stylist at Daniel Alain. Barb was intent on looking at toppers but Ashley gently explained that she likely didn’t have enough bio hair on the top of her head to be able to wear a topper. Ashley was correct; the clips pulled at her thinning hair and were uncomfortable. Barb had to admit that she simply didn’t have enough hair for a topper and would need to consider a wig. Still, Barb had hesitations about wearing a wig. At 40, wasn’t she too young to be wearing a wig? Wouldn’t everyone be able to tell? What about the stigmas? Despite her apprehension, she allowed Ashley to show her an array of premium human hair wigs, made from 100% European hair. Through a series of appointments that were filled with nervous laughter and comforting support, Ashley worked with Barb to allay her fears and find just the right wig for her.
It didn’t take long for Barb’s Follea wig to feel like a part of her and she began to regain her confidence and shed the insecurities that had been holding her back for so long. Barb began to feel beautiful again. And Barb’s loving husband, Harold, was excited for the world to see his wife as the woman he had always known her to be: confident, beautiful and sure of herself.
While some people who wear alternative hair prefer to be discreet about it, Barb chooses to be open. “Being honest and authentic has always been important to me. I wanted to be me, through this process.” With public-facing roles as a broker and keynote speaker, she made a conscious decision to talk about wearing a wig. It is in her nature to seek an authentic life, and for Barb, that means sharing her hair loss story with her online following and at public speaking engagements. She realized that by having the confidence to authentically share her own struggles, she might be able to help someone else in the process.
I don’t apologize for being myself
Barb turned insecurity, self-doubt and shame into strength and found a way to honor her true self by opening up about wearing wigs. These days she’s proud and excited to share her story with others and her new-found confidence led to improved relationships with others, and with herself. At Daniel Alain, we know that hair loss can be a process that leaves you feeling depleted and lonely, but we want to reassure you that it doesn't have to be that way. You are not alone. We’ve worked with thousands of women, and we’ve been honored to help them rediscover their true selves. We are passionate about making women feel beautiful and confident again.
Just as we helped Barb on her journey through hair loss, we are available to assist anyone who is ready to seek guidance and support to begin their own journey. If you’re ready to take the first step, our empathetic team of consultants is available to meet with you and advise you through every step of the process.
For more real-life experiences, check out some of our other amazing journey stories.