Yesterday, a rainy, dreary Saturday, I found another reason why a great stylist is so important in helping my oldest walk through life with trichotillomania (trich for short).
According to the Mayo Clinic:
Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh) is a disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop.
My oldest has an extreme case of trich. She started pulling her eyelashes and eyebrows when she was 7 years old, and about 18 months ago, she started to pull the hair on her head.
With no definitive treatment available, she's struggled to get it under control. The results have been dramatic.
All she had left was new growth "fuzz" and a modified Mohawk running from the center top of her head, down the center back of her head, ending in a short tail.
The tail was adorable, because she has - had - lovely, curly hair.
After several discussions about headbands, hats and haircuts, she decided it was time to cut off the long stuff and make it all one length.
Wowza! That meant a very short hairstyle.
She said, "Mom, we should have Miss Val (our awesome stylist at Hair by Val) use the clippers and cut the long stuff off, like you do for Dad."
That's when I reached out to Val and asked for an appointment. Val has been a great friend and invaluable resource to my girl as her hair changed over the last several months.
Having her as a trusted friend with a private salon means we don't have to explain what's going on every time my girl sits in a stylist's chair - Val already knows.
With her 20+ years of experience, she encouraged us to not use the clippers, but to stick to a scissor cut. The clippers tend to be a very dramatic, even traumatic way of cutting a woman's hair.
Trusting her as we do, Saturday morning, my beautiful, brave girl got her hair cut to one length. See that gorgeous smiling girl at the top of this post? That's my girl.
She's beautiful. She's nearly 13 years old, is smart, funny, creative, artistic and a joy to this momma's heart.
She's OK with the haircut, too. It's cute on her. She wandered off to find her sister (who had her very long hair trimmed first) as I paid Val.
That's when I broke down. It's so hard to watch my girl go through this and not be able to fix it for her.
Val just hugged me. She didn't offer advice, she didn't tell me everything was going to be OK. She just hugged me. It's all I needed; to know that as I support my girl, I have friends that are supporting me.
God does give us more than we can handle, because He wants us to reach out to Him for help. I could never make it through a day without God's strength carrying me.
Without God, I wouldn't be able to see the good that is coming from my girl's struggles. Through her courage and cooperation, we're bringing attention to the most common disorder most people have never heard of.
Even if you don't have trichotillomania, it's likely you are facing a challenge in your life. Learn from my girl - be courageous. Stand strong and know that you are beautiful, because God created you in His image.
Psalm 139:14 (ESV)
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Do you have trich? What has helped you to stop pulling? What hasn't worked for you?
Tell me about it here in the comments, the stop by my Facebook page and like it! You'll find funny and thought-provoking memes, encouraging conversations and new blog post threads.
Be sure to read the rest of my girl's trich story here.
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