Off To The Races

Once upon a time, I was an avid endurance runner. You know the kind. I was one of those people who thought it was fun to spend a Saturday morning running 13.1 miles to get a medal, all the glory, and a sweet gram pic of me crossing the finish line with my hands in the air waving around like I just don’t care. I had a very standard race day look:

1. Nike running crops
2. Athletic running top (the long-sleeved purple target option for cold runs)
3. Brooks running cap
4. New balance running kicks

I’d throw my hair into a pony and off I’d go. It was through these races that I met a fellow running loon, Troy. I was running a Kooky Spooky Halloween ½ marathon and noticed a runner who seemed to be having the TIME OF HIS LIFE. He was singing along to his tunes, snapping selfies, posing for the race course photographers. Through the power of Instagram hashtags, I found his account. After that race, we would frequently bump into each other at future races. Troy knew the pre-alopecia Supriya and all of her pony tail glory.


Fast forward to the hot chocolate 15K in October of 2015. This was my first race post alopecia. I had decided that I would just maintain my normal race day look sans pony. At this point, I wasn’t comfortable working out in a wig. I only had my Follea, and there was no way I was wearing that piece for a run. I could barely ride in a hot car without it turning my entire head into a fountain of sweat. I decided to just plop a cap on my bald head and go. I figured, it would look just like I had my hair pulled back in a pony tail anyhow. The art of deception!


The race started, and my friend Michelle and I took off. The hot chocolate is a blast of a race. Snacks and treats throughout the entire course and a piping hot bowl of chocolate fondue at the finish line. The best part of running is the food! Am I right?! In typical Denver running addicts anonymous fashion, I saw Troy throughout the race. In typical Troy fashion, he snapped many fun “runfies” (runner selfies for you non-running folk).

When the race completed, I received notifications that I had been tagged in some of Troy’s photos. I excitedly scrolled to the pics and froze. I wanted to throw up. It did not look like I was wearing my hair pulled back in a pony tail. It looked like I was the baldest of bald chicks who slapped a hat on her head to hide it. I panicked. I hadn’t publicly told anyone other than my close circle that I was bald. I was so scared that someone would see me in these pics and my secret would be out. I untagged myself and cried like I often did at the beginning of my alopecia journey. I wanted the old days back. The days where I could feel my pony tail bouncing on my back, while I attempted to PR a run. The days where I felt like I looked like a bad ass in every race pic. This was the first time I felt embarrassed and ashamed of what I had allowed myself to look like on the race course.


Chocolate Fueled Racing w/ Michelle


I recently reconnected with Troy and he was kind enough to send me these pics. When I look at them now, I realize something…I do look like a bad ass in these. I look strong, I look healthy, I look happy! I look like I’m doing something that not a lot of people can do and loving the shit out of it. I look the way anyone should look when they are running a race with HOT CHOCOLATE in the title. I couldn’t see it then, but I can see it now. It is just another reminder that hindsight is 20/20 with alopecia. In the hardest moments its so hard to see anything other than BALD, BALD, BALD. It is so hard to look in a mirror or look at a photo and think positive thoughts. It is so easy to look at yourself and call yourself ugly. It is easy because you actually feel those things. It is not until you take a step back and let yourself heal that you start to see things for what they are. Beauty is not hair. Beauty is loving yourself the way you are. Beauty is the times you stayed strong when you didn’t think you could last for another second. Beauty is when you can find happiness and peace within yourself as you are. To all my baldie boos who aren’t there yet, please keep fighting to get there. I was you too!! I didn’t think happiness was ever going to be in the cards again. I didn’t think I’d every be okay with alopecia. I didn’t think that this day would ever come, but it did!! This means it will come for you too!! Keep the faith! xoxoxo

Thank You Troy.

To Shave Or Not To Shave? That Is The Question…

What up baldie boo crew! Its been a week of fighting off the bronchitis for this girl! I swear everybody and their brother is sick in my office. Nothing like the sounds of hacking coughs and flem to kick off a work week. Ick! Thanks to the magic of some meds, an inhaler, and a netti pot, I seem to be on the mend. So much so that I was able to spend two hours navigating the jungle that is IKEA yesterday, and made it to a basketball game to watch my CAVS get sadly demolished by the Nugs. Womp womp. I’m just happy I’m not a feeble Franny snot fest anymore, so I can’t complain.

For this week’s blog, I thought I’d address something many alopecians face…to shave or not to shave? That is the question. This is a really tough one, and one that I definitely struggled with. Looking back, I’d say I waited wayyyy too long to shave my head. When my hair was falling out, I could not fathom losing it all. In my head, I was going to grow it back. The pills the derm had me popping were gonna work. The homeopathic shampoo bar and oils were going to work. My paleo diet was going to work. Meditating was going to work. I was convinced something was going to freaking work. It was not an option for me to shave, because my hair was going to grow back!!! Shaving it meant I was accepting it, and I was so far from that. I wasn’t about to succumb to a razor and become a bald woman. No way Jose. Turns out when my body hears “no way Jose” it just laughs while doing whatever  the hell it wants. Who knew?!

The thing about holding onto those last few strands, is that it amplified my alopecia emotionally. There was so much pain that came with physically feeling my hair fall out every single second of every single day. Even when I was sleeping! My poor cat Jasper (shout out Twilight) used to love jumping on my pillow and sleeping near my head. As a crazy cat lady, I obviously loved every second of it until alopecia struck. During this period, I HATED it. I would wake up multiple times throughout the night in a panic that more and more hair was being ripped out each time he jumped up on my pillow for cuddles. Way to ruin cat cuddles alopecia. As if you weren’t already rude enough!

While I wasn’t “sick”, I looked sick. It looked like I was battling far more than my autoimmune system being an asshole. One day I was facetiming with my mom crying as usual. Crying seems to be a common theme for my alopecia journey. My mom suggested shaving my head. She said it might make me feel better, and she ended up being right. Yes mom, you read that correctly, I said you were right. This ONE time you were right. 😉 I did cry my eyes out (staying on brand) while getting my head shaved, but afterwards it felt better not having to physically feel the loss anymore. It was a new normal, but the constant dread that came along with washing my hair, taking off my topper (my hair would get stuck in the clips and rip out), feeling pieces fall on me at work, waking up and seeing how much less hair I had than the day/week/month before was finally gone. That dread caused me massive amounts of anxiety, and it was freeing not to feel it anymore. I suppose its sorta like breaking up with a shitty boyfriend. You know the type. The one you will bend over backwards for to keep, even though they treat poop better than you. Even so, when you break up you think your world is ending, but what really happens is that you have your come to Jesus moment and realize life is so much better being free of that pain……in the ass douche canoe. We’ve all been there LOL.

2015 vs 2019
Then vs Now. Thank you better lighting, makeup, and false lashes for the glow up.


What should you do? Shoot this is a hard one to give advice on because alopecia is soooo different for every single person. There is no guarantee that your body will act like mine, and there is no guarantee your body won’t act like mine. What I can tell you, is that you should seriously consider the impact on your emotional health. If you’ve lost a crap ton of hair, is it going to benefit you emotionally to keep hanging on, or would it be better to just shave it, get wiggy with it, and wait and see what happens after? I’ve yet to meet a single alopecian who regretted shaving the last pieces off. Talk to your friends, talk to your family, or even talk to me! Get yourself a solid support system that will have your back no matter what your decision ends up being. Always listen to your gut, and know there is a whole baldie boo community out there who will have your back! We got you boo! We got you!