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Charlotte Reese(Women's Issue)

Updated: May 5, 2022

The struggles of Alopecia

The small town of Moore haven Florida is where I was born and raised. I have five siblings and have a strong belief to follow the spirit of Christianity. Joining the USAF at eighteen years old, straight from high school gave me structure. I was stationed overseas for most of my career as an active duty member. I received my bachelor's degree and decided to further my education by enrolling at Liberty University in Virginia gaining my master’s degree. I then became an employee for the city of Norfolk, and I am currently a resident of Virginia Beach.

Alopecia hair loss has bullied its way into my life. It is one of the major threats amongst African American women and has caused a huge difficulty with my hair growth. My mother and sister have naturally long hair, so they’ve never experienced any of these horrible effects of this condition when it came to losing hair.

The damage began at a young age, I learned to style my hair using home remedies since I couldn't schedule an appointment with a beautician. I began purchasing perm kits on a routine basis, it was affordable back then, so this was the norm for me. I had a nice length of hair, but it was very thin. I began coloring my hair, purchasing wigs, and placing weaves in my hair as well. In the past five years, I diligently began purchasing wigs to cover the areas of hair loss. I started noticing my hair was thinning even more and the bald spots began to form. I immediately made appointments with a dermatologist or specialist to treat the condition. I was spending countless amounts of money and tried everything that was recommended by using home remedies, rubbing garlic, taking pills, etc.

I decided to just continue wearing the wigs until a better treatment is available. One of my cousins and I had a conversation about me not being true to myself, I didn't believe this to be true since I felt I was. I began to look at how I was disguising myself behind my hair and putting so much pressure on myself which was weighing me down. The spirit of God began telling me to trust in him and let this go. I was indecisive but I knew I wanted to be free but I was scared. Hair was a comfort for me even with the alopecia my hair was a part of me.

I planned a day to go to a barber and get it cut off, but I also did my homework on all the questions that people would ask, what they would say, and how it would make me feel. People tend to make all sorts of assumptions about your life and the reasons your hair loss has taken place.

Once I decided to cut my hair the freedom of the heavyweight that the hair carried felt so good because I finally let it go. I realized how important hair was for me and I began to get scared. I ran to my car right away to shelter myself. I spoke to God and said; I wasn't ready lord, I felt people looking at me weirdly and I don’t feel accepted.

Having my hair allowed me to express myself, so without it, I felt lost since it was a huge part of my identity. This journey was rough for me even though my hair failed Alopecia, having my hair was never bad for me because it gave me expression. When I was home with family members, I would always make sure I was the first one up so I can place on my wig, and no one would see the condition of my hair loss. I needed the hair to help me feel comfortable! I began to look at myself in the mirror and I realized it was time to make a change and let it go. putting on these wigs made me say; “Charlotte you're not being real.” I finally released and let go of the wigs, knowing that they've been keeping me in bondage for so long. I shook my head and said; God this feels so refreshing why didn't I do this years ago, it was then I learned to trust in the lord so much more.

I’ve been bald since December 2019 and I’m never going back. Learning to live for me and accept who I am, has given me the strength to trust God. The Lord has opened so many doors for me since I began my bald journey. So many women have gained the courage to go bald through my motivation. I’ve learned to be the queen that I am and wear my crown as such by walking in my truth. Going bald has also taught me to yoke up with like-minded people. I've engaged with a community of women with bald heads and I enjoy rubbing my head as well, it feels so good!

My baldness is that I’m beautiful, bold, and vulnerable.

My motivational quote;

“Your perfection affects your direction, what you perceive is what you believe, and what you believe impacts what you achieve.”