Friday, 2 November 2018


Our normal posts are usually very positive - the clothes we like to wear and the places we like to visit.  But at 60+ we've both had our ups and downs over the years, though we don't often dwell on these.

This week I'm going to talk about something which is less than positive and which I have only just decided to share.  The full story, which I don't propose to go into huge detail now, can be found on Sixty and Me here.

I have Lichen Planus Pilaris - in English that means I have a fairly rare form of alopecia and am pretty much bald. My hair never grow back as the stem cells and follicles have been completely destroyed.  For the past five years I have worn a "topper" which for those not familiar, is like a wig but clips on to what hair remains, so it's perfect if you have thinning hair, or if like me, you have a large bald patch.  I absolutely love my new topper and will be tagging it in Instagram posts when I wear it - which will probably be permanently now.

I decided to write about my problem because a few people - who did not necessarily know about my own alopecia - have mentioned that their hair is either receding or going very thin, something which is not uncommon post-menopause.  While not everyone will go as bald as I have, perhaps it will be reassuring to know that we are not alone.

I am also not writing about this to elicit sympathy, but rather to try and help others who have be going through the same thing.  My condition is not life-threatening, but has certainly been life-changing.  And I do understand that worse things can happen, for which I am obviously very grateful.

I was approached by the lovely people at Uniwigs in the USA to write a piece about wearing a topper, (see photo above) so I have gone one better and have produced my own video or vlog - (Oh dear I sound awful on tape!) which you can see below. The topper I am wearing is an Amber 12" silk top real hair topper  in G4 medium brunette, which is virgin hair and fabulous quality, and because it is real hair, it means I can style it using straighteners, curlers and even a hair dryer, though on a low heat.

Uniwigs are available online, and they have a large selection of toppers and wigs to suit most requirements, so they are well worth a look. They are great if your hair is thin, receding, or if you have bald patches, and they are really easy to wear.

Having worn synthetic toppers for a few years, I can tell you that they do not last more than 4-6 months before they go crunchy at the ends, since the heat from the sun or even from the cooker/oven destroys acrylic hair. I have got around this by wearing my hair up, and have continued dyeing my remaining hair to match the colour of the topper.

Of course most of us of a certain age will have permed, dyed, straightened and generally abused their hair over the years. I have been a blonde and a red-head with various shades of deep purple in between, as well as my natural brunette, but it is safe to say that not everyone who has done the same as I have loses their hair.  Maybe I was predisposed to being follically-challenged since I never had luscious locks anyway.  In fact here are a few old photographs of me with various hair-styles (taken during the late 70s and early 80s), some of  which frankly look ridiculous now.....

Definitely permed in these two and then blow dried!

Permed again but left looking like a shaggy dog!

On to the blonde look now - initially to cover up the grey

And just so the other Anne isn't left out this week - here's a picture of both of us taken circa 1996! She still to this day has beautifully thick hair which she hasn't coloured or permed for years.

I started with a small bald patch when I was 60 - five years ago - and despite a cocktail of different drugs with nasty side-effects, nothing has stopped my hair falling out, so I decided not to continue with treatment.  I have previously bought my wigs and toppers from the helpful and sympathetic ladies at Betty Brown in York, who supply wigs for the NHS, and who have given me lots of practical advice and even trimmed the beautiful Uniwig sent to me from the USA. Uniwigs also have useful advice about hair loss here.

The truth is I now have to live with the fact that I will be wearing wigs, topper and hair-pieces for the rest of my life. So expect to see me changing my "hair" in the coming years, as often as changing my clothes!
© Sensational Baby Boomers

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