“Healing More than Just Hair: Cultural and Personal Aspects of Alopecia Areata” , a lecture by Dr. Angela Christiano, published 10/14.

I was fascinated by Dr Angela Christiano’s YouTube Video that begins with comments on Richard Stein’s insightful book, Split Ends – A Woman’s Life With Her Hair and expands into her personal experiences with hair loss and finally onto her research to find a cure. Dr. Christiano, is a professor of Molecular Dermatology at Columbia University who studies inherited skin and hair disorders. She has recently discovered the genes implicated in Alopecia Areata, the hair-loss disorder that she herself suffers from.

After viewing this video, you may want to learn more about Richard Stein, a master hair stylist living in New York City – I did. Richard quickly rose up from the trend-setting London salons in the early sixties, moving to New York and creating the very popular “Shag”, a women’s lib hairstyle if there ever was one! (Jane Fonda had the prefect hair for this style.) I’ve always known there was more than met the eye when it came to why our hair is so important to us. Below are a few quotes from his book that are particularly relevant to us women living with Alopecia who have chosen to wear a wig.

“… there is an intimate connection between one’s outer appearance and one’s inner world, i.e., healthy self-image, and the ability to perform well in life.”

“Not all hairdresser/client relationships have an immediate “chemistry;” most have to be worked on and developed over time. As in all relationships, listening empathically to each other is key. I personally view each individual as a work in progress, which enables me to create a viable style agenda -a kind of personal database of styles that I use and can constantly hone and refer to over our collaboration.”

“Glamour is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, and it has no single, accessible secret. It is allure, charm, fascination, with just a hint of witchery. It is art and artifice and alchemy. No “glamour.com” site exists to guide the novice in its wily ways. Acquiring it takes personal daring and the connivance of inspired and sympathetic experts. It’s the whole package -makeup, clothing, accessories and, of course in my view, a brilliant hairstyle. And, quintessentially, it’s the attitude of the woman who wears them.” Amen!