Helper Hair and House Guests

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I LOVE this time of year.

Right now I’m sitting by my fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. The Christmas tree is lit, the decorations are up, and everything feels so home-y and cozy.

The weather is chilly, so I get to spend a ton more family time indoors just watching movies or playing games or reading. Aside from the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, everything feels much more relaxed.

Except when my parents come to stay and I WANT TO TAKE OFF MY DAMN HAIR.

Reminder for those readers that are new: no one—aside from my husband—knows that I wear hair. Not even my parents.

They’ll be arriving shortly before Christmas, and I’m already dreading the fact that I’ll have to wear hair from the moment I wake up until I go to bed.

Usually my days go something like this. I get up, I get ready for work, I work. I come home, we eat dinner, spend some quiet time together, then shuttle the kids to bed.

My husband gets the kids in their pajamas while I slip into something a little more sexy (read: sweatpants) and take off my hair.

No, it doesn’t really bother me—it doesn’t feel uncomfortable or anything like that. But, after a long day working I just want to relax, and removing my hair plays into that.

It’s hard to explain, but even though the hair is clean and swingy and looks great, it just feels icky at the end of the day.

(Those that wear hair, is it just me? Am I crazy?)

Plus, since it’s a longer style, I think taking it off early in the evening increases its lifespan.

Why?

Because the friction between the fibers and my shoulders cause the hair to wear out more quickly.

Also, the more you wear a piece, the more frequently you have to wash it, which in turns wears it out. My current habits allow me to go two weeks in between washes even though my Milan is seven months old (which is pretty dang good for synthetic hair!). Usually, you have to wash much more frequently as pieces age to help retain their softness. This old gal is still alive and kicking.

I know it’s silly to complain about, but I’m just not looking forward to wearing it all the time.

But, there’s one good thing that come with wearing hair with holiday house guests:

Christmas morning pictures! I’ll quickly be able to get ready in the morning so that I can focus on the kids, their excitement, and the great pictures we’ll take (which I’m actually willing to be in now that my hair looks good).

If we didn’t have guests, I’d probably not even bother putting on my helper hair…but then I’d avoid all the photos because my bio hair looked so bad. So, there is a silver lining, and I’ll gladly take it.

Tell me, am I nuts that I’m dreading this? Does anyone else just love to fling their hair off at the earliest opportunity sometimes?

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Survey request! Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Biology reached out to me and ask if I would link to a survey they are conducting.

If you currently conceal your hair loss (examples: powders/sprays/whatever, wigs, toppers, etc.), consider taking this anonymous survey. The purpose of this study is to help inform cosmetic treatment options for patients suffering from hair loss.

This study will provide insight into how beneficial these cosmetic treatments can be for patients’ sense of well-being and may help to increase physician recommendations of these products.

Got two minutes? Take the anonymous survey now (but come back and leave me a comment!).

82 thoughts on “Helper Hair and House Guests”

  1. I just came across your site today and I love it!
    I am just the same way. The hair comes off right when I get home. I love to wear cozy knit hats though because I find my head gets cold. Especially at night. Travelling is tough though. It poured on us at Disney a few months ago and I looked horrible. My husband, bless his heart, said I looked great. I went through the whole day looking goofy in my opinion and had to rewash and re style that night. Terrified I would loose my hair on a fast roller coasters I opted to avoid them altogether. I did space mountain though. My snapshot was of me with my hands holding my hair down. Eeek. Anyways, I am 36 and have a severe case of Trich which began when I was about 12-13 years old. I feel like I have been through it all. I am at the mercy of a wig for the rest of my life it seems because of the damage. And I am at peace with it and my husband loves me through it. However, I have a crazy small head and full hair pieces never fit. Petite wigs that are wonderful looking and are not childlike are hard to find. Right now I am wearing a Raquel Welch HH piece and I love it. But the size! Would you have any recommendations for petite heads??

    Reply
    • The visual of you zipping through space holding your head is kind of hilarious. The struggle is real, eh? 🙂

      Petite wigs are hard, I agree!! What is your typical style? Patti at Wigs by Patti’s Pearls offers a service where she will customize any wig to your specs if you send in your measurements at purchase. Something to think about if you find a style you love?

      Reply
  2. Hi Lauren!

    I am responding to this super late, but I love the post. We just got back from a two-week stay with family over the holidays and …as much as I hated leaving, the one bright spot was having my own bathroom and place for my hair. Aside from my husband (who still doesn’t exactly understand what I wear ) only a couple people know I wear hair and I say they are extensions. I just have a hard time talking to people who aren’t faced with the same situation. It’s funny because that was one of the things I was so worried about on our trip and, as always, so nice and comforting to know I’m not the only one who was a little anxious traveling over the holidays because I don’t know where I’ll keep my head and hair at night!?

    Reply
      • One of the bedrooms we took over has a decent sized closet (and very near the bathroom) so I just tucked her in there…although I had it on about 99% of the time it seemed! My two year old had a hard time sleeping so I was up a lot at night and worried I would run into someone but didn’t happen. Funny the things I worry about…..but if that’s my biggest worry then I suppose I’m doing pretty darn good.?

        Reply
  3. I just found your blog, and reading about it is really great. My hair recently started falling out due to stress, my husband had just lost his job. This is the second time it has done that. Do you have any inexpensive places to get wigs or hair pieces from? I cant afford much right now but I would like to get something to hide it.

    Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth – I’ve found the best prices are at galleryofwigs.com or namebrandwigs.com. You generally have to add the item to the cart to see the lowest price. Glad to have you here!!

      Reply
  4. Oh, also: how do you have this site without anyone in your family knowing you are a hear-wearing goddess? I’ve wanted to post hair reviews in the past but figured you had to be ready for the world to know. : )

    Reply
    • Um, hmm, I dunno? I figure since so many people are in the closet about this, if someone were to stumble across my face they wouldn’t mention it to anyone (except for me!) because then it would be admitting they also have hair loss. Just my thinking.

      I know someday people will find out, and I think I’m ok with it. But I’d prefer them to find out on my own terms, you know?

      Reply
  5. Lauren, I’m so glad I’m not alone in my sleepover/guest anxiety. I am traveling to see my husband’s family for Christmas and his mom is so excited for us to sleep at her house rather than a hotel. They are in another state and we rarely see them, so even though it will cause me stress to get ready in her one-bathroom house and have no downtime without helper hair, I figure its important enough for my husband that I’ll suck it up and deal. But it’s a major bummer that having this “secret” adds a level of anxiety and a level of … I dunno, lack of true authenticity with family and friends. I’ve thought about just coming out with it and telling them so many times, but I don’t want to be treated differently and I feel like once I tell them, I can’t take it back. I also haven’t had the best of reactions when I told my side of the family (they love me and tell me I’m gorgeous, but they never seem to want to talk to me about it… And my mom originally acted like losing your hair–your crowning glory–was so awful she was surprised my husband didn’t care, etc. she didn’t mean it to hurt me, but… It wasn’t a great bonding moment.). So I’m tentative about telling more people. Plus, my husband’s side of the family has beautiful thick hair. So….I feel you!! And I’m not looking forward to sleeping in hair/running to the bathroom in the middle of the night wondering if I should throw on hair or risk it, and showering and faking the blow dryer so it makes sense that my hair is dry when I leave the bathroom. Blah. But knowing we will all be doing this over the holidays really helps. Here is to a great holiday, looking beautiful, and not giving a damn we wear hair.

    Reply
  6. Am I the only one who HATES the sight of myself without my topper on? after years and years of thin, stringy hair I’ve gotten used to the thick beautiful hair that my topper gives me. I keep it on right up until my head hits the pillow and it stays on my bedside table just incase.
    Sometimes I swap it out for a wig if I’m going to be laying on the couch, I find the topper clips pull when I lay down.

    Side note* Does anyone feel a pang of guilt when given a compliment on how beautiful your hair is? I kinda feel like a phony 🙁 … I almost feel like I should cop to wearing helper hair :/

    Reply
    • I don’t hate the sight of myself per se, but I don’t see that as “me”, so I don’t prefer it. 🙂

      I don’t feel guilt when someone compliments me. Case in point, I posted a new pic on Facebook last week. Everyone replied with what you typically see on Facebook: “Gorgeous pic!” “You’re so pretty!” “Lookin’ good, mama!”. Blah blah blah.

      1) These people don’t see me when I wake up in the morning
      2) What I didn’t do was reply with my entire makeup routine and an explanation of what I do to make me look like that. Because…why? They could care less if I wear foundation, eyeliner, lip gloss, etc. It’s expected. I get that wearing hair isn’t expected and that’s why we feel weird about it, but why would an explanation be necessary? I don’t tell anyone when I wear Spanx, either.

      Just look them in the eye, smile, and say “thanks!”

      Reply
  7. When I visit my daughter I throw a towel on my head when getting up to go potty in the middle of the night …. So far I have only passed a bleary eyed adult in the hall and not any of the grand kids. Speaking of the kids, One of them is a special needs child, and an affectionate sweetheart. He always grabs a hold of my hair when he gives me a hug and I always wonder is this going to be the time that he yanks the thing off my head ? My daughter knows how horrified I’d be, so she always runs to rescue me and untangles his hand from my hair. so far none of the kids know gramma wears hair, and they are tough critics and brutally honest. They do say ” gramma , your hair looks different today ” if I switch to a shorter style, to which I reply ” yes, I took my extensions out ” .

    Reply
  8. Happy holidays Lauren. You have helped to change my whole outlook on this. Right now I am not wearing hair. My loss is not that bad and has seemed to stabilize. Currently I am using Signature Club A hair powder for the scalp and I put rollers in my hair or braid it the night before for more volume and waves during the day. Much love!

    Reply
  9. Hi Lauren!
    Great post 🙂 I too look forward to your updates in my inbox. I thought I would weigh in on my experience with the topper off thing. I’ve been wearing a topper for a couple of months now thanks in LARGE part to this website. I love it. I have a similar story as I am also on maternity leave and figured now would be a good time to try something new. We live in a small town so I have been very honest about my hair. Ok – I don’t shout from the rooftops that I wear a topper…but I when I get a compliment I often say – “thank you. Most of it isn’t mine, but I’m loving the change!”. It takes some serious balls to have those types of candid conversations. One of the first people I told was my step dad. He is Jewish and I asked him if he knew of any good wig places where he is from as there are a lot of Hasidic Jewish women there and they wear hair coverings on the daily. In fact, their beliefs allow only their husbands to see their bio hair!

    Also, when people stay at my house and it’s time to get jammies on and such, I just take my hair off and put my bio hair in a ponytail. Then I don’t say anything about it unless they bring it up haha! I just pretend like that is the normal thing – because for me, it is! Plus, it’s been so recent that I started wearing hair that I think most of the time they must think – “oh there is the Amy I remember” lol! Because of my honesty, I have also had friends and family who have shared their experiences and also shared good resources (books, stores, websites, articles) with me. For me, it was a matter of normalizing it. If it’s normal for me, then it can be normal for whomever is around me. Maybe that is selfish, but I have no shits left to give haha! I try to keep the perspective that I am who I am no matter the amount of hair (or lack of) on my head. Having said that, I’ve got up twice while writing this because I thought someone was coming to my door and I’m not wearing my hair hahaha!

    Lauren I wish you a very happy holiday season. Thank you for all of your candid writing and for keeping us all informed, entertained and feeling accepted. I truly appreciate it.

    Reply
  10. Hi Lauren,
    I was wondering what you do on the holiday if you have to cook and use the oven. My mom knows I wear a topper so she sticks her head in the oven to retrieve whatever dish is cooking. I was told emphatically to stay away from ovens! That would be a disaster if my hair melted on a holiday 🙂 lol
    Also, I wanted to ask the other gals on the blog if anyone has experienced any issues on a date, especially if it’s with someone you have been dating regularly. Like what happens if you start getting frisky and smooching? I’m always afraid my hair is going to move, or he is going to try to touch my hair and feel the clips in the topper. It’s too soon for me to come out, but I did tell him I wear extensions. And to be careful of the clips. I mean, it’s killing my romance because I’m so worried about it I’m not enjoying the moment 🙁
    Laurie

    Reply

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