I was sitting in a local Starbucks and noticed a woman was staring at my hair/wig. I noticed her but didn’t really pay her much attention. Until she walked over…she had the LOOK! Now, fellow Alopecian’s or those with hair loss. You know the look.! The one when they are not looking into your eyes but at your head. They have a little gleam in their eyes as they are approaching. Kinda’ like a wolf in sheep’s clothing! You know the look!
While, she is approaching my thoughts are running, “Please no!” “Not interested!” “What is she selling?”
She approaches me and ask if I had hair? Actually, she said “Hi, I’m Jane Doe. I was wondering if that is your hair?” I instantly answered that it wasn’t. She keep staring at my wig and asked, “Wow, that’s a really nice wig.” My response, “Thank you.” Here it comes, I know she is selling something!
Lets have a side note before her advertisement began: As I was watching her approach, I noticed she had a small bang glued to the front of her head and the sides were thin and somewhat bald. I wondered if she had worn weaved hair and it may have damaged those areas on her head. I’m not sure, but it reminded me of Traction Alopecia. Traction Alopecia is caused by individuals who use hair weave, wear tight ponytails, braids, or even hair rollers. Unfortunately, these methods may pull/damage the hair with little to no regrowth. While looking at her hair, it appeared that she had attempted to make some repairs with the weave bang in the front and she had brushed the bang behind her ears to cover the hair loss on both sides of her head. Hmmmm….
Back to her sales pitch: Her immediate response, “I have a product that will grow ALL of your hair back!” ALL? I gathered myself and smiled. I made eye contact with her and thanked her for her offer. I explained that I have had Alopecia for over 40+ years and am comfortable with my decision to wear wigs. She was insistent that I try her product. I calmly stated, “Thank you, but I’m not interested.”
Honestly, I immediately thought, she doesn’t know about Alopecia Areata. Yes, a teachable moment!! I began explaining about the autoimmune disease and how Alopecia impacts our lives. Got her!! She was very curious and wondered about her hair loss. I graciously spoke to her about the different kinds of Alopecia diagnosis: Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis, Alopecia Universalis, Androgenetic Alopecia and Traction Alopecia. Wait…She’s sitting at my table!
Yes!! Knowledge is power!
After finishing my small tutorial, she patted the top of her hair (the bang area) and stated, “You know I have a spot at the top of my head and it won’t regrow. There are a few others in my family with the same thing! Is that Alopecia?” I encouraged her to visit her practitioner or ask for a referral to her dermatologist. I informed her that she should have concrete advice from a medical professional.
She left my table with a huge smile on her face! The gleam in her eyes was different! She smiled, shook my hand, and thanked me!
How was this different than any other time I’ve been asked to purchase gimmicks? I wasn’t offended or ashamed. I was open to discussion without being “tricked” into another gimmick.
You may be thinking, “Well, that would not work for me.” “I don’t want anyone to approach me.” “Why can’t they just go away!” I understand your concerns and desire to NOT be approached by those selling a “GET HAIR QUICK SCAM.” But just think, a simple answer…
- “No, thank you.”
- “I have alopecia and I’m okay with it.”
- “I’m not interested, but thanks anyway.”
Just a simple answer. It may be your best response. Remember answer with a smile and confidence!
Will this always work? I’m not sure, but I believe your confidence to say, “No, thank you!” This is a simple way for you to let them know that you are not interested and would like to enjoy your coffee!
Keep smiling and stay empowered!