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BB Blog — Hair Loss

My cancer story, twelve years on... Lotte is now a teenager!

Posted by Emilienne Rebel on

My cancer story, twelve years on... Lotte is now a teenager!

Olivia was 3 years old and Lotte just 7 months old (still being breastfed) that fateful Wednesday twelve years ago when I was told I had cancer. My 'Cancer Journey' is very much linked to my children and being a mum 

Joking with the Breast Surgeon that I hadn't come to my appointment to get the results of the previous week's biopsy on my own... I had the baby with me! I had found the pea-sized hard lump under the skin whilst breast feeding and knew this wasn't 'my normal'... but still I wasn't really worried. I had no family history, I was not overweight, I'd never smoked, drank little, vegetarian and breast fed both my babies... couldn't be anything right? Wrong.

Investigations, lumpectomy and lymph node removal and various scans proved the cancer was aggressive... I had Grade 3 advanced Breast Cancer. Without intensive and immediate action my life was in danger and I wouldn't get to be a part of my children's lives; I wouldn't get to be their mummy. The worst thought for me personally was that they were too young to remember me. 

I had to do everything I could to ensure every year possible... to get to an age where they would remember me... feel my love for them and know how precious they were to me. I repeat, my cancer journey' is very much linked to my children.  

Twelve years ago this weekend just gone Lotte had her 1st birthday and whilst I was too ill to arrange a party for her we started our new tradition of 'Birthday Breakfast' and I vowed to make every other birthday very memorable for them.

I had my second chemotherapy infusion on that day at home. My hair had already started to fall and I'd shaved it in preparation. Quite a traumatic experience and I with hindsight urge any woman needing to shave her head to entrust this to someone they trust and is very sympathetic, whomever that may be (which may not be the obvious choice).

Losing my hair with Chemo whilst it was difficult to deal with at the time with my young family. I looked very ill. I lost the hair on my head and all over, including my eyebrows and eyelashes and combined with the bloating from the steroids, I looked very different.

My hair loss however set me on a path to start my business Bold Beanies and make a range of cancer alopecia headwear and gifts to make a terrible situation a little bit more bearable. I designed them with younger cancer patients in mind with an emphasis on style as well and for comfort and ease. 

I was unable to lift my arms for long after my mastectomy and lymph node removal and therefore tying traditional headscarves was too difficult for me. I needed something soft and simple to slip on and get on looking after my children. I also felt incredibly cold at night. The wooly beanie hat I wore was itchy and often got too hot, so I would take it off and then I would get cold quickly. My chemo headwear needed to be made from thin natural cotton material, soft, stretchy, breathable and temperature controlling. Its so much easier to face the side effects of cancer when you're able to get a good nights sleep. 

Having received a lot of flowers by post from well meaning friends and family, I also felt it very important to provide gift solutions for cancer patients, helping those around them feel less helpless. 

With every year that passes I gain strength in the bond I have with my girls. I teach them, I guide them to grow into confident young women who very much know they are loved whether I am with them or not.

Whilst I continue to battle with making my life count, battling the feelings of borrowed time, a bucket list of dreams and the normalities of being a single parent with a growing business and people in my life who are determined to make it harder than it needs to be... I hope that others who are at the start of their story with cancer that they get some comfort from my 12 years... sharing the positive stories is so important. I'm still here and enjoy every day with my children and look forward to the exciting times in their lives that I get to be a part of. 

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Jo Tucker is a ' baldmothertucker ' & raising Alopecia Awareness

Posted by Emilienne Rebel on

Jo Tucker is a ' baldmothertucker ' & raising Alopecia Awareness

Jo lost 90% of her hair in two weeks after her third pregnancy... "Losing 90% of my hair in 2 weeks redefined my thoughts on beauty" she says. 

39 year-old, mother of three, Jo Tucker lost 90% of her hair in two weeks after her third pregnancy. What followed was a journey of self-acceptance, a love affair with wigs, and a redefinition of what it means to be ‘beautiful’. Ahead of Alopecia Awareness Month, she’s sharing her hair loss story.

It was just before Christmas. I had just returned to work after my third child and I wasn’t sleeping. Without any warning, I noticed that a small area of hair loss was turning into rapid hair shedding and whole clumps began falling out in the shower.

I booked an appointment at the doctor and I was diagnosed with alopecia areata and sent on my way with a leaflet. I was devastated and confused as my blood tests were healthy. It’s incredibly frustrating to know you’re broken, but not sure which bit or how to fix it.

Christmas came and went and by the time I went back to the doctors I had lost 90% of the hair from my head in only two weeks. I bought shampoos, hair growth serums, treatments – but nothing slowed the loss. By April, I had lost all hair on my head and my body. A dermatologist told me that the more you lose, statistically the less likely you are to get it back. I had reached the most extreme Alopecia Universalis and my odds didn’t look good.

I knew I’d need to return to work after the Christmas holidays but I wasn’t ready to be bald. Suddenly I felt like a wig was my only option. My mum knew of a hairdressers which made wigs and I booked an appointment. I was taken through all the different types of wigs, the construction, materials etc. I had no idea it was so complicated – or so expensive!

I instantly loved the confidence that wigs gave me and I soon became obsessed. I enjoyed the different looks you could achieve so effortlessly. And the more I bought, the more styles and colours I tried! I wasn’t shy about wearing a pixie one day and then long hair the next. I embraced this as one of the positives. Before losing my hair, I was always in that awkward growing-out stage between a pixie and a bob and the wigs looked much better than my actual hair ever was!

I own a lot of different wigs now but I have three favourites that are my go-to: a classic long bob, a pixie cut and long, beachy waves. I never had long hair before, so it’s still a novelty and I like being able to wear it back in a plait or up in a messy bun. When I first started wearing wigs, they were really itchy but there are bamboo and fine mesh caps that put a barrier between your scalp and the material the wig is made from to prevent any itch.

Alopecia has been a huge learning curve. Learning to look at myself in the mirror and appreciate what I see. When it first happened, as it was so sudden, I felt incredibly lost. I dreaded seeing people I hadn’t bumped into for a long time and them seeing the difference in my appearance.

But now I’ve learned not to place as much value on appearance and looks. It doesn’t change who you are inside. Beauty really does come in all different shapes and sizes, and I don’t feel less beautiful. I feel like I’ve gained so much. If anything, it makes you a stronger character.

Since starting my Instagram @boldmothertucker, I get lots of messages from other alopecia sufferers. It’s so lovely to have found a community where you have that common ground and there are charities like Alopecia UK which offer support and advice and private Facebook groups and wig chat forums which act as a safe space to share concerns, worries and ask questions.

[Bold Beanies also supports Alopecia UK and are the perfect complimentary alternative headwear for when you don't want to wear a wig... around the house or in bed for example.]


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HeadWrappers Recommends Bold Beanies Trusted Headwear Online

Posted by Emilienne Rebel on

HeadWrappers Recommends Bold Beanies Trusted Headwear Online

Bold Beanies is very proud & happy to be a trusted supplier & recommended by HeadWrappers. 

HeadWrappers offers FREE support for those suffering hair loss as a result of Cancer treatments. 

Visit the online support service and join a session at many Maggie's Centres and Macmillan Cancer Information Support Centres

This service is for anyone who has lost or is likely to lose their hair due to cancer treatment. During a HeadWrappers Appointment you can expect to:-

  • Either have a private appointment for up to one hour or a two hour group session with trained volunteers who understand the impact of losing your hair

  • Feel more confident coping with hair loss

  • Receive practical tips on caring for your hair and scalp before, during and after treatment

  • Learn how you can make the most of scarves, hats and hair pieces as an alternative to wigs

  • Learn scarf tying techniques

  • Try on a range of different headwear to see what suits you best

  • Receive your personal Wish List with detailed information on how to purchase items

  • Talk through any concerns you may have about your hair loss

  • Receive guidance and sign posting to other charities and support organisations

  • Receive your Bold Beanies Online Shop Headwear Discount Code.

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New Gorgeous Liberty Double-Sided Head Wraps

Posted by Emilienne Rebel on

New Gorgeous Liberty Double-Sided Head Wraps

Bold Beanies are proud to introduce new double-sided Liberty Print Head Wraps to their head covers selection of products for women and teen girls undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer or more permanent hair loss such as Alopecia Areata.

Beautiful Liberty Prints on one side and a co-ordinating plain on the other. The Head Wraps are about one and a half metres long and can be wrapped on their own or over a Bold Beanies hat to add a stylish turban style interest to the face. The wraps can be tied in a multitude of ways depending on mood and the look of the day. The double side is not just economical but practical too, offering many more options to wear and style. 

Made in the UK using the highest quality fabric and finish. Due to the stretchy nature of the fabric they are very easy to tie or tuck in and so no lengthy lifting of arms is required... just wrap, tie or tuck in - easy! One less thing to worry about. 

We are adding new styles of this new product weekly, but please contact Emilienne ( directly if you have anything specific in mind? Maybe you are having chemotherapy and attending a more formal event and need something to co-ordinate with an outfit.

A bespoke hair loss head wear hat, headscarf and head wrap service is available.

The fabric is naturally breathable and UV protective and designed with style and comfort in mind. 

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Cute Pretty Cancer Hats

Posted by Emilienne Rebel on

Cute Pretty Cancer Hats

Are you looking for Pretty Cancer Headwear? Do you need to feel feminine during chemotherapy treatment? 

We make feminine, flattering floral and pretty Liberty Print Hats, Headscarves and Head Wraps for ladies suffering hair loss from chemotherapy treatments or non-medical Alopecia Areata. Designed with Style and also comfort in mind; our headwear is also easy to put on. No lengthy lifting of arms. 

Gorgeous beautiful prints from Liberty of London for women of all ages. Available in standard size which fits most women and also extra large size. 

The Liberty print (double sided with a co-ordinating plain side) head wraps and headscarves offer height and interest off the forehead and can be worn either side and folded over offering multiple ways to be tied depending on your mood or clothing. 

Or beautiful range of Bold Beanies cancer hats can be worn as daywear or as a breathable temperature controlling night cap. Plenty of cute prints to choose from and match your nightwear. 

The stretchy thin cotton fabric fits snuggly onto the head and doesn't slip around like other cancer headwear. Our high quality Liberty fabrics are naturally sweat-wicking, breathable and UV protective. 

Which one will you choose? Free UK Delivery on all orders over £40. Fast Worldwide Shipping.

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