Story #3 - Eyelashes

The third story in our series from author Jayne M. Rose-Vallee's sister who was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata at the tender age of 13.

DLIMH donates a portion of proceeds to the NAAF.

Alopecia sufferers not only lose hair on our head, but we lose eyebrows and eyelashes. At thirteen and fourteen, most girls went to school worried about if their makeup looked right, and if their hair was perfectly styled. My mornings were filled with questions asking myself, “Will anyone notice I have no eyebrows or eyelashes today?” “Will anyone see my bald spots!” “Will my wig fall off in gym class?”

In my early years with Alopecia, I remember my mom bought me fake eyelashes. She thought this would help me feel more “normal.” This was truly a reach on her part since I was definitely the most tomboyish girl at school. I had no experience with makeup, which in retrospect, made this even more challenging and ridiculous. We opened the package of fake eyelashes together and were both confused and over-our-head. My mother's makeup drawer consisted of two different shades of lipstick.  We struggled through this endeavor and gave it our best try. I found I wasn’t comfortable with them. I felt more fake wearing the eyelashes than I did without them. One thing I remember vividly about my Alopecia journey was the day I ran over the eyelash tube of glue with the vacuum cleaner.  It made an incredible mess. The eyelashes looked back at me from my dresser, never to be worn again.

After my failed eyelash attempt in my early teens, I did eventually learn how to paint my face.  I have become a pro with the eyebrow pencil and a good liquid eyeliner. Eventually my mom and I could laugh at the eyelash fiasco. It is much easier remembering back . . . than living through, that's for sure!

Written by Jayne's sister 2016.