Kalika Blake

 

Let’s Talk About Hair
For most people our relationship with hair is deeply personal. It serves as a direct reflection of our identity, personality, and creativity. And for women, hair usually serves as a symbol of femininity.
So what happens when you lose your hair?
You redefine those labels.
September was Alopecia Awareness month so it served as the perfect time to share my journey and bring awareness to a condition so many people experience.
Alopecia is a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles causing hair loss. While there is no known reason why this happens, Alopecia can affect people of all ages, genders and races.
It’s not physically painful, it doesn’t make you feel sick, and it’s not contagious; but it can have a dramatic affect on self- esteem.
When my journey with Alopecia began at 9 years old my life changed instantly.  In the early stages of this condition I went through phases of hair loss and regrowth, but by age 12 I was wearing a wig everyday.  For 28 years I’ve hidden this condition from most people in my life, only my family and a few friends knew why I wore wigs – and most had never seen me bald.
I had convinced myself that “everybody” wears weaves, wigs and bundles so I would go along as if it were just my fashion choice.
But this year, I decided to stop masking my truth and disclose everything. I decided to not only share the real reason I wore a wig but also what I looked like with out it. Yep… super scary… but I decided to love myself out of this secret.
Now, I’m a woman, and a fashionista, I love glam, a bold lip and a fierce look. And I wanted that to come across as I spoke of my life with Alopecia.
So I curated how my journey would be shared… I partnered with dear friend and photographer Demond Meek.
The photos are breathtaking and the moments that came out of this shoot were beyond my wildest dreams. A movement intended to heal my spirit has taken on a beautiful life of its own.

The outpouring from across the country of people that have reached out to talk about life with Alopecia or to say they’ve been inspired to share their own story has been an overwhelmingly amazing side effect.
Throughout this process I couldn’t believe that me choosing to lift a weight from my own heart, to gift myself freedom, could allow someone else to experience a freedom of their own.
Your YES to freedom can be the reason someone else experiences theirs.
How amazing is that?
To anyone who from my sharing has thought twice about talking about your “thing” (because we all have something, right?) Your pain, or your triumph. You can do it! And it can be AWESOME and Beautiful!

“If you’re going to heal, let it be GLORIOUS.”
-Warsan Shire