Arti  . UPDATE: Southampton Half has been cancelled, I'll be running it (participating virtually) on the 27th of July around Southampton city centre (guided by my good friend Alex on his bike who went to uni there). Thanks so much for all the donations.

A lot of you will be aware that I began running a lot during lockdown. I’ve decided to run Southampton Half Marathon on Sunday 9th August fundraising for Alopecia UK to commemorate (probably not the right word) living 5 years with alopecia.

As it is not a terminal or debilitating illness, and those who have it spend a large portion of their time hiding their alopecia from other people, there is often little money dedicated to research and little awareness. Alopecia UK is great charity, celebrating 15 years of existence this year, who provide support, awareness and research.

I’m hoping the marathon will go ahead, but if it doesn’t, I will run it whenever it is rearranged to. Please give generously! Thank you so much.

Here are some ramblings of my experience of alopecia over the last 5 years in case you'd like to know: alopecia areata, huge social anxiety when first diagnosed, being told its because of stress despite not feeling at all stressed, paranoid when anyone was behind my head, sitting right at the back at lectures, not wanting to go out to see people, people talking about me behind my back, people asking if it is contagious, trying the smelly topical minoxidil on my bald patches, having the painful intralesional corticosteroid injections on my bald patches, learning about different types of wigs, being ripped off for my first ¾ wig, realising a human hair wig isn’t worth it, learning how to take care of wig, alopecia totalis, waiting ages to get referred to a dermatologist, grieving my thick curly hair, trying to get NHS partially funded wigs, going to an Alopecia UK support group, alopecia universalis, people assuming I have cancer, people asking if I have cancer, tattooing eyebrows, looking seriously ill without eyelashes, trying to use a head scarf, attempting and failing to use fake eyelashes, having the number of NHS partially funded wigs cut from four a year to two a year, people commenting that at least I don’t have to shave, friends trying on my wigs, trying various herbal remedies including using garlic and onion juice, someone pulling off my wig in a bar because they think it’s funny, having regrowth on my head and getting hopeful, having my hopes crushed by all body hair going again, not swimming at the beach because I’m too scared to take off my wig in front of other people, managing to go surfing without my wig, being too hot wearing a wig in heatwaves, getting sunburnt on my head forgetting it will need sun screen when without my wig, holding on to my wig when it is super windy, students at school asking if I wear a wig, telling new friends about my alopecia, friends telling someone else about my alopecia without my knowledge, letting the single white hair on my head grow because woohoo I have a hair, going to Alopecia UK Big Weekend learning about research and meeting other people with it, getting a little hopeful about regrowth but also being prepared to be disappointed, running with a wig. Arti .