When I was 21 my moms health turned for the worst and she passed away. When she went into hospice, I was simultaneously diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called, Alopecia Universalis. I lost all of the hair on my body in 6 months and became faced with the hurdle of loving the new "me."

My purpose for doing this is to raise awareness for Alopecia. There's currently:

No known cause

No known cure

No known safe/effective treatment

& Most insurance companies will not cover wigs unless the patient has cancer or leukemia.

& maybe get the attention of Ellen or someone who can broadcast this worldwide and finally give alopecia the attention it deserves.

My Proof: https://i.imgur.com/hFJL7sH.jpg

EDIT: WOW! I’m floored with the responses! Thank you guys so much for being interested in alopecia and helping to raise awareness. HERES MY BEFORE PIC: https://imgur.com/gallery/NpDdx

EDIT 2: no I don’t have nose hair. I didn’t think this would be asked this much lol

EDIT 3: oh god, I fell asleep. I work overnights. I’m so sorry!! I will answer as much as I can. YAY #alopeciaawareness

EDIT 4: Just because there's been several comments... I use Sephora brand eyelashes #21 Audacious and sephora "Plume" lashes, Anastasia eyebrow powder in "taupe" and I use a specific eyebrow brush from Anastasia.

EDIT 5: 18:14 I have to say, I'm absolutely blown away with this response. I am so so so happy that there's been some attention brought to Alopecia and it's challenges and I truly hope one day I can have my brown hair again. You've all helped more than you know, and thanks for gold!!!! :D

EDIT 6: A day later and I am SO happy with this outcome! Thank you all for your questions and I'm so happy I was able to give all of you an insight on Alopecia!!!!

Comments: 2633 • Responses: 92  • Date: 

alopeciatakesover2721 karma

Definitely eye issues more so than anything. Sweat in the eyes is painful as hell

gmoneygangster3260 karma


At first I was like that sounds sweet, no shaving anywhere, less body hair means less body odor, ect

Then it hit me eyelashes are hair

krathil42 karma

Is body hair really related to body odor? I thought that was just a myth?

alopeciatakesover154 karma

Can confirm, not related. I still smell .

ipa_cow2225 karma

Hey! Welcome to the club! Lost all my hair in the ninth grade (I’m a guy), I’m 33 now and never looked back.

Did you try any (are they still trying any/these) treatments? My folks had me try cortisone shots into my scalp, cream that intentionally made my scalp really itchy and something where I would stand it what seemed like an upright tanning booth (this sort of worked for me).

me: https://imgur.com/a/xlhJH

Edit: added photo

alopeciatakesover1337 karma

Yes I’ve tried all of the approved treatments with no luck

My first thought when I saw your photo was “hey he looks like me!”

XenusMom212 karma

That's what I thought when I saw your post! This is me, my eyebrows and eyelashes are slowly losing the battle and I need to learn how to draw them back on, I'm not very good so far, any advice? I think you look beautiful.

This season on America's Next Top Model there is a contestant with alopecia who went bald for her makeover (and is crazy gorgeous). Have you seen this? What do you think about it?

alopeciatakesover195 karma

This is me

I think her being on the show is great. Any awareness like that is so helpful.

I went down to sephora when thsi was happening and I was like TEACH ME HOW TO DRAW EYEBROWS & I was very clear that I wanted fake eyebrows with imperfections not these fake eyebrows that look like caterpillars.

XenusMom76 karma

I'll have to brave the mall then. Do you always rock your smooth head? I love the way it feels but I get a little self conscious about my spots. I had a coworker with alopecia who always worried about passing in her wig but I sort of think it would be fun to change my hair with my outfit. Have you done that at all?

alopeciatakesover119 karma

I have. I like being a red head during the summer and a brunette during the winter.

SirLenzalot1567 karma

Is there anything unexpectedly positive you can find about your condition? Like maybe another level of appreciation for satin or silk bedding?

alopeciatakesover5226 karma

YES! I treated myself to these very nice sheets from wayfair and every night feels like that “freshly shaven legs in freshly washed sheets” and it’s amaaaazing 😍

ryderx31534 karma

Hi do you still have hair inside the nostrils?

alopeciatakesover1072 karma


The_Tic-Tac_Kid1516 karma

What do you do with all the time you save not having to shave or do your hair?

alopeciatakesover2008 karma

I workout!!!

anonymous_user_96977 karma

How often do you have to deal with people pointing out that you have no hair?

alopeciatakesover1671 karma

Every. Single. Day

blackvans1234347 karma


alopeciatakesover1131 karma

So I’ve done this.

I’m an EMT and I had a patient for some reason say “you had hair before we left for the hospital!!!!” ( he was a psych)

So my reply was like “oh yah I rolled the window down and it all fell out “

mind blown 🤯

TheWinslow301 karma

Ah, EMT... a nice stress-free job (I used to be a paramedic). You definitely need to mess with any new EMTs that come through by making up a ridiculous story about how you lost your hair on the job (preferably doing something routine)!

alopeciatakesover254 karma

lmao, I didn't say "SCENE SAFETY, BSI" before a call and this psych came up and shaved all my hair off...so make sure you say that...regardless of your partner...every.time. :D

blackvans123442 karma

you'd be a stunning redhead.

ah yes, psych patients. You should've told him barack obama stole it because the aliens told him to.

Next time someone dies on the rig, just shave their head. Instant win.

alopeciatakesover74 karma

I have a read head wig. I love it. If I could figure out how to post a picture I would.

Gogglesornaw919 karma

How fast are you? (Low wind resistance)

alopeciatakesover558 karma


Mr_Magpie838 karma

I've always aimed to live a life based on making the best from a bad situation.

So with that in mind, here's my question.

Have you ever wanted to grease yourself up, lay a tarpaulin down and slide around the place like an oily sausage? Because if not I think you're not treating your god damn super power with the respect it deserves.

I'm hairy as shit, but not manly enough to pull it off, so I'm a hairy, lanky chap. I can tell you now, not having to shave everything would save me so much money.

I know it must feel shit. I can see why it'd make you feel low so I hope you can see the funny side of this comment.

Fucking wear it with pride. You got dealt this hand. It's YOUR hand. And if you ever do get low again, get one of those knitted dwarf hat beard thingies. That way you can still feel as manly and rugged as you want to.


alopeciatakesover449 karma

Oh I love this. I’m going to have to do that this summer!

FriendlyCatholicGirl827 karma

Hello! What are some of the main challenges brought about by your condition and how do you deal with them?

alopeciatakesover2221 karma

The psychological challenges of Alopecia are worse than the physical challenges. Like I mentioned, this was an adult diagnosis for me so I know what life with hair was like.

I can't walk into a room and feel comfortable. Ever.

I can't let subtle comments "go" I always have to defend myself instead of walking away.

I can't happily look in the mirror ( I know it's dramatic but it's reality)

My diagnosis has been attributed to stress, so I'mc constantly trying to reduce stress which is impossible.

The eyelashes that I buy that are the most natural looking ones are $18/pair and only last for 2 uses. I can certainly get cheaper options but they're a bit too "i'm about to go FSU at the club-like."

ThemCrookedBuzzards258 karma

Well I think you look great and you're doing a wicked job of staying positive in what are definitely horrible circumstances. I have nothing but admiration for you (my wife suffers the opposite due to pcos). You are a very brave lady to carry on:

walking into rooms

defending yourself

looking in the mirror

You got this. Keep positive. Kindest wishes from London, UK.

alopeciatakesover135 karma

You’re so kind. Thank you and good luck to your wife

Toad32142 karma

Those are good eyebrows! You know outside of eyebrows and a wig, that is the only hair that has any value. I know several African American women who wear wigs daily, and they have regular hair they just don't like it. If done well, I can't tell the difference.

Also, you don't need a wig. Shanaid O'Connor. Bald women with large earings is hot.

alopeciatakesover309 karma

I went as Sinead OConnor for Halloween last year :p

n1ywb123 karma

Did you bring a picture of the pope?

alopeciatakesover258 karma

Yes and wore a black turtleneck

Phptower63 karma

What is FSU at the club-like?

alopeciatakesover234 karma

lol, i'm tired. i'm about to fuck shit up at the club! Those cheap eyelashes are poppin!

Yotsubato272 karma

Have you tried Asian brand false eyelashes. They’re extremely common in Japan and Korea and girls wear them to normal events and everyday life. So they’re not cheap looking but priced alright

alopeciatakesover209 karma

I would have never thought of that!!! Let me check em out!

DethStork2 karma

I'm not a girl so I don't know this but how do eyelashes have limited uses?

alopeciatakesover3 karma

Yah unfortunately. I try and take he glue off for each reuse and sometimes with the pulling lashes will come out.

ballsonthewall804 karma

This is an awesome AMA! My question for you is about body hair that serves function. Do you notice yourself being colder than average? Any nasal issues? What about eye problems with the lack of brows and lashes?

You really are a beautiful woman, hair or not. Don't let it get you down!

alopeciatakesover621 karma

Yes, i'm always cold. I'm really sensitive to cold drafts so i'm a big summer weather fan lol. My only nasal issues is that it just comes out...like I can't control it. So working as an EMT and bending over a PT can sometimes get tricky because it's just fallen out of my nose on several occasions. Absolutely mortifying but what can ya do.

ChemistBuzzLightyear704 karma

Weird question. I'm assuming all of the hair in your nose fell out too. Do you notice a difference? Like coughing more since the hairs aren't there to help block dust and other particles from entering?

alopeciatakesover1085 karma

YES !! My ear hair fell out too. I was in Ireland for awhile and the wind bothered my ears.

NathanFillingIn656 karma

Do these things still feel good? https://m.imgur.com/gallery/rlyrG

alopeciatakesover749 karma

OH MY GOD I GOT ONE FOR CHRISTMAS! still sooooo goooood 🤤

jzerocoolj168 karma

HOW? HOW CAN IT BE GOOD? I am a bald guy that shaves every other day (hate stubble) and those things make me want to pull my head into my rib cage like a turtle. The feeling is way over the top too intense for me lol.

alopeciatakesover208 karma

oh i get those like full body goosebumps that make my toes curl :p

mr-shine-him-diamond569 karma

Have you found any bright sides to having this condition? no more waxing, more streamlined in the pool etc. I also wanted to add that you are incredibly cute, i bet that smile lights up lives wherever you go. Don't let this get to you, you are beautiful!

alopeciatakesover803 karma

Oh thank you 😊 yes I have a new appreciation for good friends. I had a lot of friends flee when shit hit the fan.

gpc11448 karma

Wow who the fuck is that shallow?

alopeciatakesover1811 karma

Buncha bitches evidentially

ITsPersonalIRL17 karma

That's something I find really, really shitty. You had friends drop because you lost hair? Fuck those people. You pull off hairless very well!

alopeciatakesover79 karma

All of my high school friends were no where to be found when my mom died and I lost my hair.

One of them texted me the day of my mother’s wake saying something along the lines of I have tickets to the Red Sox and can’t make it to the wake today I’m so sorry


alopeciatakesover527 karma

Oh yah I basically told them to fuck off and now I live my happy independent life and rely on my family.

alopeciatakesover508 karma


semple37461 karma

What questions do you get that irritate you the most?

alopeciatakesover2845 karma

“Will it grow back?”

Like fuck off Susan your guess is as good as mine

Robivennas448 karma

My brother has a friend who was recently diagnosed with alopecia and she is having a hard time with it. What advice would you give someone who is recently diagnosed? He says she is constantly trying to reduce stress and eating a very strict healthy diet.

alopeciatakesover594 karma

It’s going to take it’s inevitable course and no one is going to understand what it’s like. You’re literally transforming into a new person.

My advice is to do the things you enjoy.

FishyDickens385 karma

Have you ever met someone who expressed a sexual attraction toward your lack of hair? If so, did that make you feel better/worse about your condition?

alopeciatakesover850 karma

Nope no one.

Well there’s this one guy at a place I frequent who touches my head every time. He’s seems normal. He jokes about it. Great now all I’m thinking is that he’s fantasizing about My head.

jmanpc310 karma

What is your ideal breakfast?

alopeciatakesover349 karma

Bacon and eggs

SuchFaithlessness291 karma

What is your drag coefficient?

alopeciatakesover162 karma


LousyTourist274 karma

does sweat drip into your eyes because you don't have eyebrows?

alopeciatakesover451 karma


LousyTourist162 karma

could you smear some vaseline or something on to provide a channel to route sweat away from your eyes?

alopeciatakesover185 karma

Yeah I suppose I could

ShackThompson220 karma

You look so happy in your picture, and you have a beautiful smile. Thanks for doing the AMA!

You have had such a life changing experience, especially emotionally I guess. How has your outlook on the world changed from before you knew about your mum's diagnosis and now (not least as most people struggle enough with the transition between youth and adulthood at the best of times!)?

alopeciatakesover198 karma

I was so naive and took everything for granted. It taught my that everything can and will change in a second and you have no control. I try and use that mindset and incorporate it into my daily life but unfortunately I’m drowning in student loan debt and I can’t afford the activities I’d like.

kingochaos178 karma

I've had alopecia since I was 11. How many different doctors and specialists did you go to before giving up? I think I saw about 20 before I said fuck it.

alopeciatakesover221 karma

Yeah I saw probably 8 and then the bills started rolling in and I couldn’t afford it and just gave up

kingochaos109 karma

Also... a huge fear of mine is passing this on as a genetic disorder. I have a 1.5yr old girl. Do you have the same stresses?

alopeciatakesover107 karma

Yes huge fear

BleachedJam137 karma

Have you considered getting silly or colorful wigs just for fun? Make them an accessory! Also you must have so many options for1 brows. Any color or shape you want, change it up every day! Glad to see your so positive about this!

alopeciatakesover186 karma

Yes I have a purple one

peekabluedsteel112 karma

When was the last time you touched your shower drain?

I all seriousness, you look happy and beautiful in the photo above. Would you like a wig? Maybe reddit can support a GoFundMe or something?

alopeciatakesover80 karma

Well thank you so much, I am happy. But I have my days.

TonySsoprano_103 karma

I know it doesn't help anything until you believe it too but you really are a beautiful woman.

My question is, do you find yourself dwelling on old photos of yourself from when you had hair?

I know it's not the same thing but I'm a balding man and I miss my hair so much. I had shoulder length, beautiful, thick hair when I was younger and it was glorious. I look at old photos all the time and try to relive those days haha.

I hope you find peace with your situation soon and recognize your natural beauty. You also seem like a very funny/fun person from your responses. Beautiful and funny is a lethal combo.

alopeciatakesover124 karma

Yes I look at old photos and it destroys my mood. I miss my hair :(

Phptower94 karma

Is it fake eyelashes?

alopeciatakesover102 karma

yeap, all fake

Negative_Clank76 karma

Have you considered tattooed eyebrows?

alopeciatakesover108 karma

No! I’m too nervous

scottcmu83 karma

What Halloween costumes have you tried? I recommend Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

alopeciatakesover99 karma

Sinead O'Connor

EthanCalder68 karma

Have you ever thought about getting your arms sleeved up and rocking the biker chick look?

alopeciatakesover117 karma

Yes I have. I have several non visible tatttoos

MentalFracture68 karma

How smooth are your legs?

alopeciatakesover213 karma

as smooth as a babies bottom 😍

cowspaceboy65 karma

Do you think stress of being a caregiver for your mom is what triggered the illness? I'm in the same role now, and for me symptoms of PTSD are evident

alopeciatakesover96 karma

Yeah that’s definitely what triggered. The week after she went into a nursing home I found my first spot.

lantz8362 karma

Is complete hair loss the only thing this condition causes?

alopeciatakesover167 karma

Physically yes. Emotionally no

amontrealnarwhal47 karma

What was your hair color before the diagnosis?

alopeciatakesover54 karma


alopeciatakesover55 karma

I was not! Thank you so much for sharing

dracomatic34 karma

on the bright side is it convenient to not have to shave your lady parts? must be aesthetically pleasing down there(no razor bumps)

alopeciatakesover74 karma

Fuck yah! It’s awesome. Best perk of alopecia and being female!!!

Dumptruck_Johnson32 karma

Have you been able to link up with others with this condition? It would seem like a good idea if you haven’t. Being around folks that have shared your experience is often a wonderful therapy. Also they might give some pointers and tips on how to get insurance to pay for wigs or eyelashes maybe?

alopeciatakesover106 karma

I have and it’s just like meeting another person. I’ve never felt any relief from meeting others with this condition.

ilivlife21 karma

How much in a year do you save on shampoo? Looking on the bright side.

alopeciatakesover19 karma

I don’t know exactly

Jarnbjorn20 karma

I know it's incredibly different with me being a guy, but I would love this. I shave my head daily and have thought many times if I could lose all of my hair and never need to shave again it'd be worth it. Though I have bushy eyebrows and would look like Uncle Fester without them.

That said, being bald for me is a choice and still it's annoying when I get bald comments and jokes. We've heard them all and none are clever. This has lead to me making jokes, probably to an annoying amount to my wife, proactively such as when someone compliments her hair I say thank you while rubbing my head, get's an eyeroll every time. Have you come up with any good bald retorts?

Bald appears to suit you! Some people don't have the right head shape for it and can look lumpy. I wish you the best and remember sunscreen!

alopeciatakesover17 karma

Oh I’ve had so many clever responses I can’t even remember them

Rexrowland20 karma

Not a question. Bald women are beautiful and you are top of the group. Who cares about hairs?

alopeciatakesover31 karma

I know it’s hard to adjust to tho

Chipsandcaso20 karma

Have you considered locks of love? They donate to people with alopecia instead of cancer because it’s a more permanent condition. Also, is there anything that surprises you about losing the hair? Are you cold more?

alopeciatakesover39 karma

I haven’t because I always consider those who aren’t comfortable enough with the condition to go bald everyday. They need it more than me.

alopeciatakesover15 karma

Bidet for you! Bidet for you! Bidder for youuuuu!

blackvans123410 karma

Judging by your post / responses you don't wear a wig?

alopeciatakesover14 karma

No I can’t afford one that looks decent but it’s ok

Jiggyfly32510 karma


If there was someone to donate their hair, could you accept it? I have really long brown hair and was going to donate it. It would be super cool if I could choose who to donate to. I know it's not a cure but anything helps, right?

alopeciatakesover38 karma

I’m comfortable bald. I’d want someone who isn’t comfortable to have it

LittleTiny8 karma

Your eyebrows looks great! Whats the secret?

alopeciatakesover26 karma

Thank you! Anastasia eyebrow powder in “taupe”

Rxasaurus6 karma

Do you have an Amazon wishlist we can order things from for you?

_duckswag6 karma

If not, you should make one.

alopeciatakesover83 karma

Oh god no, I don’t want anything but awareness to be raised. However I sincerely appreciate it :)

3LM0N5T3R2 karma

With no nose hair, does that present any additional challenges with filtering the air you breathe? For example, do you suffer from allergies any worse than before? Are you more susceptible to airborne illnesses?

Related question: if you go without false eyelashes, so you notice any difference with the practical role of having eyelashes? Other than cosmetic, how important are they?

alopeciatakesover5 karma

No changes from no nose hair.

No eyelashes is no different. I just like looking less like an egg and more like a human

PlatypuSofDooM422 karma

First. You are still crazy beautiful.

Second. Thank you for doing this. I never knew this affected humans. ( I had only heard of animals having it. )

Third. I saw someone else talk about the Amazon wishlist and the price of those eye lashes. And you said you aren't asking for anything except to raise awareness. I am more aware now. This will be something I talk about now and I would like to trade the cost of one trip out to eat to help make your life at least slightly better.

Now for the question.

You are to be the first person sent to mars. You can only take one CD. One tv series ( whole series ) and one movie. What do you take ?

Bonus question what meal would you like to be sent with you ?

alopeciatakesover5 karma

One CD: Blink 182 take off your pants and jacket TV: Veronica mars Movie: American beauty Meal: errrrrrr shepherds pie 🤤

ClusterMisery20171 karma

It is so easy for me to sit here and think ‘OH so cool!!’ because obviously I am not going through this. I see perks for days but understand this must be a drastic and difficult change!

What are the downsides that most people do not realise. Apart from the obvious ones like loss of identity, financial ramifications and mental health issues?

Do you have issues regulating body temp or increased likelihood of getting sun burn now? Do you have any vellus hair? Lastly, do you have any issues with oil production?

Genuinely hope you can find comfort in yourself somehow.

alopeciatakesover2 karma

Yes, I got my first scalp sunburn this summer and it was very painful. It caused me to actually grow some vellus hair that subsequently fell out after the burn healed.

I have some issues with facial oil production. It’s more prominent now.

Murbarron1 karma

Have you seen the episode in Nip/Tuck? Would you do something similar?

alopeciatakesover1 karma

Haven’t seen it

jebedie1 karma

I once met an Asian man working at a PF Chang's with your same condition and I found it fascinating... My question is, have you considered getting into competitive diving/swimming?

alopeciatakesover1 karma

I’m a lil’ bit to curvy for that but I do crossfit!

alopeciatakesover1 karma

Yeah like nothing

unhcasey1 karma

You mentioned no "safe/effective" treatment options...are there unsafe/non-effective options and if so is it because are they still in a trial phase? Are there any promising cures in the works that you're aware of?

alopeciatakesover7 karma

Yes. Immunosuppressants. I could be on daily prednisone and likely have a full head of hair one day. But I eventually want kids....and a healthy liver...and to not get tuberculosis (I’m an EMT)

Yonski31 karma

Have you considered wearing a wig?

alopeciatakesover4 karma

Yes, but as I mentioned insurance won’t cover one because I don’t have cancer. I’ve tried cheaper wigs and they look cheap, they fall apart quickly and I’m more comfortable bald at that point.

DarkestJediOfAllTime1 karma

Hi, there. You mentioned not using wigs due to their expense, but do you wear any other head covering like hats or scarves?

By the way, I think you look beautiful.

alopeciatakesover2 karma

Just a hat in the winter cause Massachusetts is cold as shit!

kayoss_1 karma

What's your relationship like with your family? Did it change a lot after your mom passed away?

alopeciatakesover3 karma

Never been an issue. We’re all very close.

n1ywb1 karma

Have you looked into medical marijuana? It can be pretty effective against auto-immune disorders but I'm not a doctor and YMMV.

alopeciatakesover1 karma

I’m drug tested for my job

alopeciatakesover1 karma

Gunna gonwith a no

alopeciatakesover1 karma

That’s how I feel most of the time. No choice so might as well rock it

wineddinedand69ed0 karma

I read some stories of people who claimed to have found effective treatment in the Paleo AIP diet/ lifestyle. What is your take on that?

alopeciatakesover3 karma

Funny you mention that. I have tried too many times than I can count to try and go AIP but I’ve failed. It’s a lot harder than you think and requires an excessive amount of preparation for something that may not work.

I fully believe In the mindset behind it. Too often in our culture do we hide symptoms with medication and not find the root cause.

stonedchapo0 karma

Would you consider starting a company that sells realistic hair replacements ?

I saw in your previous post that you wear $18/ pair 2 use lashes. I think you’d be able to make something similar/ better for significantly lower cost.

If you have realistic hair needs there’s someone else likely to have the same needs.

alopeciatakesover1 karma

I’ve thought about it but I have no idea how to even begin something like that

Mulanisabamf2 karma

Hopping on here with a sort of derivative train of thought: You say your eyelashes cost 18 bucks a pair and last two uses.

It will be worth the effort of finding out if you can buy them in bulk and get wholesale price for them. It might be a bit of a search though but you should be able to get them way under a tenner a pair.

alopeciatakesover1 karma

I’ve thought about contacting Sephora to do that but I thought I was being too high maintenance .

utnag-7 karma

there was this kid in my high school with the same condition, his hair fell in huge chunks, and soon after he was bald everywhere.

i can somewhat relate how extremely unhappy you are, and there is no doubt and needless to say that it feels terrible, but it also shows the psychological strength a person has during difficult times.

my question is: do you actually tell yourself that youre beautiful? if so why?

i simply want to know, not bashing. i hear a lot of people tell themselves they are pretty etc, or beautiful even if fat or whatever. is that like a sort of psychological defense mechanism, where the brain is trying to prevent clinical depression.. or simply ignorance.. i always wondered. i tell myself im fugly all the time.

edit: also dont take me wrong, not being mean but im not the sort of person who would tell youre beautiful simply because i "should", or who would somehow try to desensitize your condition with humor in order to feel better for myself and for you.

alopeciatakesover3 karma

Not offended whatsoever. I don’t tell myself that ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. And that’s a problem!!! It’s easy for people to say “well you rock it so you should feel beautiful...” that’s all well and good until this is your reality. Until you have to throw away all of your hair products, hair straightener, curled, $40 hairspray that you once loved. It’s hard as hell.

boredinwisc-15 karma

Four answers in two hours... What were your hoping this would be?

alopeciatakesover10 karma

Sorry, working