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Story Time: I Went Bald in High School


Tales of a Bald-head Scallywag



I went bald in high school. Right, smack dab in the middle of my head. I don’t really remember my hair slowly falling out; it was just one of those things where I woke up one morning, needed a ponytail for slab of weave I had, and the ponytail was just …gone.

This was my junior year in school, so we’re talking senior portraits. I was class president, so we’re also talking yearbook shout-outs. Hot, damn mess!

When I noticed that this was an issue, I had to practice styling my hair in a way where the top of my head wasn’t as noticeable. So I started doing comb overs like old white men. I was still perming the hell out of my hair and the professional hair stylist that was doing my hair at the time was still perming my hair, but avoiding all the issue spots.

Around this time, my mom started putting straw curls in my head, so that my hair looked natural and I could hide the top of my head with picked out curls. My hair was thick enough to where this would help hide the top but if you looked closely enough, you could tell something was amiss. Picture this! ’m sitting in class and the jokester of the class/ my verbally abusive crush stood over top of the class and said

‘…her hair is matted at the top!’

One of the other boys stood up to look but by then I had learned to do the duck and hide, so I kind of leaned back in the chair until the teacher noticed enough to tell them to move the fuck on!

Again, this blog if for people that have either made the same mistakes, or for those that are falling in that rabbit hole to split ins and thin, cobweb ass edges. So here’s what I did to bounce back like my gut after Thanksgiving.

Cut if off like Karate

Cutting off those dead (and I do mean dead ends) will give your bald head a chance to bounce back. Clipping those ends allows you a chance to start over with a new routine and halt breakage from continuing up to the roots.

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I chose to cut my hair completely, a la Fantasia circa 2004. But if you want to slowly grow your hair out and snip, snip. Do that! Don’t do something that will make you uncomfortable to walk around with.

Just remember, if you do chose to keep most of your hair and clip the ends as you go along, you will have to be even more meticulous about creating a new routine that will promote growth.

Absolutely No Chemicals

I can only speak from my experience but I know for sure that chemicals were a huge issue for me; perms, color, and even the wrong types of hair mask and treatments. Strip down to the bare minimums concerning your hair products and examine if you truly need it.

If you can’t live without perms (no judgement), just make sure the remainder of your products are as natural as possible. I was perming AND coloring, so my hair took a beating!

I was also using boxed perm and boxed color, the ones that read: PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY. And even after I chopped my hair off; I still saw breakage because I continued to color my hair. These types of texture altering chemicals leave your hair in a weakened state.

Not properly handling these chemicals as it pertains to your hair will leave you balder than Myra from Martin. When I stopped using chemicals, I saw a lot more length retention.

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Develop a Routine

Remember when you use to wrap your hair when it was permed? And every day, without fail, it would fall right back into place when you took it down? Same thing! But this time, keep your hair on a routine schedule so it grows to know what to expect and when to expect it as it pertains to your hair. If you hair already knows how to act, it will meet you there.

Sunday: Wash, Detangle, Deep Condition

Monday: Moisturize w/ Cream

Tuesday: Moisturize with water/oil

Wednesday: Moisturize w/ Cream

Thursday: Re-twist. Moisturize with water/oil

Friday: Moisturize w/ Cream

Saturday: Pre-poo overnight

You get the gist. Develop a routine so that your hair knows what to expect. Routine is key!

Weekly Treatments

I’ve always done weekly treatments, even when I was processed, I still remained faithful to making sure my hair was properly conditioned and treated. Once I became Patch Adams at the top of my head, it became even more important. So I did some research and made sure the treatment I used was going to treat my primary issue–which was over-processing. Protein treatments were the best treatment options for me because protein fills in the gaps of your hair to strengthen them. Imagine you hair is a spaghetti…

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Follow me! Your spaghetti hair has a bunch of mini holes in this one noodle. Without repairing those holey ass noddles, your spaghetti hair will continue to snap wherever the holes are. The protein treatments work to repair those holes to make you hair …whole again. OW! To date, I still use a protein treatment as needed to make sure that my hair follicles are sealed and can receive the conditioner and expensive ass oils I use.

Correct Mistakes

I suffer from eczema. I’ve known this since I was a wee-lad. What I didn’t realize was that eczema was growing on my scalp! A regionally small area where my head would feel tender to touch and itchy. So every time I processed my hair, I was irritating that sensitive patch of eczema on my scalp known as Cradle Cap. Even after I stopped perming my hair, I continued to color it and this would continue my issues (on a smaller scale) until I stopped coloring my hair. I know we black women like looking like we’re headed to a dancery in the Summer with our Mary J inspired looks…

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…but you better consider other temporary options if over processing is one of your issues and correct it! Asap!

Check Yo’ Self

Take a inventory of self. Are you drinking enough water? Are you exercising? Do you smoke? Are you stressed out? Sometimes, its not all about the outside factors that are affecting your hair but the shit you’re not dealing with internally. I’m no doctor but I know during this period, I was applying for colleges, struggling with insecurities and worried about my bald head. My stress level was on an all-time high. Forcing myself to address the shit going on inside my head allowed me to heal externally and my shit been growing like ‘don’t stop, get it, get it‘ every since.

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