It was a flippant remark from a relative that first tipped Nikita Laing off to the incurable situation she had no clue she was dwelling with.
The Tauranga, New Zealand native was simply a young person when certainly one of her uncles teased: “I can see your head through your hair! You must be an adult now, you just stress too much and you’re going bald.”
Remembering the second over a decade on, Liang tells 9Honey: “I just laughed it off and then I started looking at my hair in the mirror and I was like, ‘Wow, my hair is thinning’.”
Just 17 years previous on the time, she headed to the GP who instructed her it could possibly be “basically anything” inflicting her hair loss, from the contraceptive capsule to her antidepressants.
She was referred to a dermatologist for extra checks and that is the place she was given a daunting analysis for a teenage woman; Liang had androgenic alopecia, often known as male-pattern baldness.
“It was a dark time. It was a really crap time in my life. I went home and just lay in bed for a few days and cried, my mum was heartbroken for me as well,” she admits.
It solely acquired worse when Laing realised she would not be capable of deal with her hair loss, as one of many drugs on provide was identified to trigger start defects and the opposite was painfully costly. She realized that the laborious approach.
“I took my prescription into the pharmacy all excited about getting minoxidil and they turned around and told me it was $300. I didn’t have $300,” Liang says.
“I just burst into tears because I didn’t have that money. I couldn’t do what I needed to do to fix it so I would just hide it until I could afford to fix it.”
Unable to afford even a single course of minoxidil, Liang resolved to discover a remedy for her alopecia.
Each day she’d spray her hair with powder that matched her hair color to disguise the fast thinning and she or he tried “all sorts of weird and random” cures to deal with her hair loss.
“I tried all these natural medicines, I tried acupuncture, I did like everything you can imagine, even past life regression. I did reiki,” she remembers.
One pure thyroid remedy appeared to work and her hair grew again, however after six months it stopped working and “all my hair fell out again”.
After getting a greater paying job at age 21, she might lastly afford minoxidil however by that stage her hair loss was so important the therapy did not work properly sufficient to be price the fee.
WATCH: Alopecia sufferer Nikita opens up about her hair loss
For 10 years since, Laing has been utilizing hair powder and hats to cowl her bald spots however even that takes its toll.
“My whole management of my hair made me feel like I was going insane, because everything had been about trying to make sure that none of my bald spots were showing,” she admits of the psychological battle.
“Anytime someone would look at me, I would get paranoid that they were looking at my hair or that I hadn’t concealed my balding. It becomes a really invasive thought, every time you get any attention you just assume it’s negative attention around your hair.”
Paying for the hair powder is a big monetary burden too, as she will undergo a can meant to final three months in simply 4 weeks.
After years of hoping for a remedy, Laing lastly determined to spend money on a hair ‘topper’ as a extra long-term answer, however even that might value as much as $3,000.
“Weighing up the costs of what I do already for my hair versus the cost of buying a wig, I spend probably about $2,000 a year on hair loss products anyway,” she reveals.
“I figured if I spend between $2,000 to $3,000 on a wig, it’s basically the same as one year’s worth of hair loss products.”
That did not make it any much less daunting when she arrived at Beverly May Hair Salon in Adelaide, South Australia to lastly have her topper put in.
Laing had no thought how she would react when hairstylist Danielle match the customized hairpiece to her head; she thought she would possibly cry, however the one tears that day had been of pleasure.
Her greatest worry was spending hundreds on a wig that was apparent or appeared misplaced, however the outcomes had been gorgeous – nobody might inform it wasn’t her actual hair.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Laing captured a fast video on TikTok so she might share it on Instagram.
She by no means anticipated the footage of her first moments in her wig would go viral.
“When the comments started coming through, I didn’t want to read them because everyone’s so mean on the internet,” she says of the sudden consideration.
“The comments were so lovely and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was expecting the opposite to be honest, because you see how everyone gets roasted on social media.”
Though she initially feared merciless feedback and indignant messages as a result of not everybody with hair loss can afford a wig, Laing was as an alternative flooded with assist and reward from different ladies in related conditions.
Now she’s sharing her journey with alopecia and her new wig on social media within the hopes of ending the disgrace round hair loss and empowering different ladies like her.
“Things do get better,” she provides – her rising reputation on-line is proof of that.
It’s additionally boosted her confidence to see all of the feedback complimenting her new locks, although she has some considerations about ‘catfishing’ accusations sooner or later.
“I have had a few serious relationships and they’ve known about my hair loss and they’ve been fine about it, but it’s a whole new level now I’m a wig wearer,” Laing laughs.
“It feels very much like I’m going to be inviting in all of the catfishing comments if I turn up with a wig and then say, ‘just so you know, this isn’t my real hair’.”
In the meantime, she’s benefiting from her newfound confidence and could not be happier along with her wig, which she’s cheekily named Sophia in honour of her female new look.
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