At Sauce we often hear how our hats are a comfort to those dealing with hair loss. One cause of hair loss near & dear to us at Sauce is Alopecia.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation’s website, ‘Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body. In fact, it affects as many as 6.8 million people in the U.S. with a lifetime risk of 2.1%. People of all ages, both sexes and all ethnic groups can develop alopecia areata. It often first appears during childhood and can be different for everyone who has it.’
Sauce founder, Shayla, a sewing enthusiast and long-time cross country ski racer, began making racing hats to improve on the hot, itchy, ugly hats her ski team wore. The Sauce hats were designed to be attractive, colorful, comfortable and easily washable. In an unexpected turn of events, Shayla’s sister, Rayna, developed alopecia in her mid-twenties and began using the hats daily for head coverage.
When asked to share why she adores her Sauce hats, Rayna said wearing the hats makes her feel like herself again. She finds renewed confidence; appreciating the vibrant colors, feminine patterns, and soft comfort. Rayna wore Sauce hats on her pre-alopecia adventures and wearing them now reminds her of the spirited, courageous and self-assured person she is today – in spite of alopecia’s challenges.
Many of our products have been endorsed by individuals dealing with hair loss due to alopecia or other causes like chemotherapy. Read below for more information on each recommended product or Shop the collection
More About Alopecia
From the National Alopecia Areata Foundation’s website:
“With all forms of alopecia areata, your body’s own immune system attacks your healthy hair follicles, causing them to become much smaller and drastically slow down production to the point that hair growth may stop. Depending on which type and severity of the disease you have, you might experience hair loss in different areas and your hair loss and regrowth may be unpredictable and cyclical (happen over and over) for many years. Though for some people, hair may also regrow in a few months.
Three of the more well-known types of alopecia areata are:
• Alopecia areata patchy — The most common form, with one or more coin-sized hairless patches on the scalp or other areas of the body
• Alopecia totalis — Total loss of the hair on the scalp
• Alopecia universalis — Complete loss of hair on the scalp, face and body"
Q & A with Rayna by sister and Sauce founder, Shayla Swanson
Q: Rayna, can you share a bit more about how your alopecia presented?
A: Sure. I had small bald spot when I was 12 years old, but it all grew back. Then when I was about 23, I started to experience some very significant hair loss. It started behind my ear on one side and worked it’s way up the side. This was a challenging time as I was beginning to understand that I may lose all of my hair. I was trying to hide it from my new boyfriend, avoiding wind, constantly tucking my hair. After a few years the hair loss was so extensive that I started wearing wigs.
Q: I know it doesn’t compare in the slightest way to what you’ve gone through, but it has been hard to watch you have to deal with this. You have handled it with such courage and I am just so proud to be your sister. One thing that has been amazing to me is the way that you have been able to stay positive and maintain a sense of humor throughout this process.
A: One thing I try to always remember is that although this disorder sucks, I am otherwise healthy. I was reminded of that when I ran a half-marathon shortly after shaving my head. I kept having to stop and walk because I hadn't trained properly for the race. Everyone who passed me was cheering me on with great enthusiasm because I think they thought I was recovering from chemotherapy – I didn’t get a chance to tell them I was just bald and out of shape. Putting it in perspective like that makes me feel lucky. Everyone has a ‘thing,’ mine just means I don’t have to spend as much time getting ready in the morning! While I was dating my now husband, I remember telling him, ‘you thought you were into brunettes, but turns out you’re into bald girls!’ He laughed.
Q: Do you have any advice you would like to share with other people who are in a similar situation?
A: Everyone's experience with hair loss and alopecia is so different it is really difficult to give general advice. I do think allowing yourself time to grieve the loss of your hair and physical identity is important. Then getting a great wig, hat or rocking a bald head or bald spots, whatever it takes for you to feel like you again and gives you the ability to be comfortable participating in your favorite activities.
We have heard from many others who wear our products to cover their heads while dealing with hair loss. If you have a story of how Sauce products have helped you while dealing with hair loss please share with us.