Italian Adventure

So after my graduation ceremony, and before work starts, I found myself with a large period of free time in which I was unsure what to do with myself. After consulting with my younger sister, we decided an adventure was in order and we booked ourselves a whistle stop tour around 3 cities in Italy. We flew into Rome, travelled up to Florence by train, and made our return after another train journey took us to see Pisa. It was only a 6 day trip but we certainly packed it full of activities!

ROME

I think Rome was my favourite place of the 3. We stayed in a hotel just outside the centre and used the great bus and metro links to take us first off to Vatican City. Of the parts of Italy we explored, Vatican City was the highlight for me. The history, buildings, architecture, religion and artwork were all fascinating and I highly recommend getting a tour guide to anyone who is visiting. Following the Vatican, we walked over 13 miles around Rome, stopping at the Spanish steps, the Pantheon, the Trevi fountain, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and finishing off our journey with a walk up the Aventine Hill to an orangery to watch the sunset. Beautiful.

FLORENCE

Florence had a much more romantic feel to it. I felt there was less to see but that may have been because we didn’t spend as long there. I loved the Ponte Vecchio bridge – a stone bridge over the river, covered in quaint souvenir shops, jewellers and leather merchants. We had a lovely meal just after crossing. I can’t remember the name of the place for the life of me, but it was authentic Italian – pizza, of course, followed by none other than tiramisu.

PISA

We rounded off our carb-fuelled trip in Pisa. Beyond the piazza dei miracoli (where the Leaning Tower is situated), there really isn’t much else to see as it’s a pretty small place. However, still plenty of shops and cafes to explore, but you could do the whole place in a day (as we did). Naturally, we had to spend a vast amount of time getting some comedic pictures at the Tower. We even paid to ascend the Tower steps which was great fun; it had some outstanding views at the top!

One of the real reasons I shall remember this trip is because for its entirety, I did not wear a wig once. I took one, admittedly, but it ended up being screwed up and unloved in the bottom of my backpack. I’ve managed to perfect the art of doing short hair styles to cover my remaining patches. Plus, I also have a coloured spray which I can use to diguise patches if I’m really struggling. Having said that, I don’t often need it, and with the help of others I can get away with some sneaky styles that cover a couple of balding sins.

It felt liberating to walk around with my hair on show. It is starting to grow back at the front where my fringe once sat, but for now I have to pull what hair I have forward in order to simulate a smaller forehead and create a more convincing hairline. If there is no breeze then I’m safe in the assumption that it wont move.

So hair growth wise, things are growing well. I’m using the Nioxin hair range and I think it is helping my hair to thicken. Perhaps the Italian sun helped it…and hat gives me an excuse to plan another adventure soon 😉

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Graduation

On July 18th 2016, (the hottest day of the year at the time) I put on my burgundy graduation gown and made my way across the stage to collect my degree. It was a day filled with celebrating, tears, flowers, hugs and very sore feet – but it was one of the best days of my life.

I had hoped that my hair may have grown back enough for me to have gone without a wig. However, it turns out wigs are much more stylish than I could ever make my own hair, so I opted for my ‘professional bob’ wig, as I call it. I must admit, wearing a wig does have its perks; I don’t have to worry about my hair going flat for one!

It was so lovely to be surrounded by my friends, in the sunshine, reflecting on what we have achieved. I will really miss Bristol, and the people in it, who have made the last 5 years a time that I shall never forget.

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I’m a dentist! 😁

I did it! I am an official employee of the tooth fairy! 😎 

After 5 years, countless exams, and more revision food than I care to admit, I am FINALLY Dr Imogen Proctor.

There were times over the last 5 years I didn’t think I could do it. Especially when all my hair fell out; I had moments where I just wanted to crawl under a rock and admit defeat. However, these flashes of doubt were only brief and, along with my class mates, we made it to the end.

In addition, I am chuffed that I have secured a job near home. It’s actually in a practice I did work experience in when I was at school! I’ll be working as a general dentist 4 days a week and will be spending the other day in hospital assisting in oral surgery. So far at dental school I’ve really enjoyed oral surgery – so am over the moon about this opportunity!

I cannot express how hard the last 5 years have been – but everyone faces hardships and, in the end, hard work really does pay off. 

I am happy. (And I’m still BALD&BOLD😉) 

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Bank Hol Bunches! 💁🏻

I sat my first 6 finals exams a couple of weeks ago, and am currently on study leave again (for another two weeks) before my last 3 exams. To say I’m nervous is an understatement; these are clinical exams or ‘vivas’, and you can’t mess up whilst being quizzed by a consultant! 

So this bank holiday weekend I had a short break to Scarborough to see my family. It was lovely to have a change of scenery…and even more lovely to show them my hair growth! 

After watching my mum stylishly doing my cousin’s hair before she went to work, I insisted my mum attempt some bunches on my short barnet. I wasn’t expecting her to be able to get a hair bobble around my locks, but she managed! 

So I’m very happy to say I’m the proud owner of 2 baby bunches! Hurray! I hope each and all of you had a lovely bank holiday. I will reply to all comments as soon as my exams are over: I PROMISE!


BUNCHES&BOLD😊

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May Day

I cannot comprehend how it is May already.

I’m currently revising for my dentistry finals exams, hence how dire I have been at posting anything. The last couple of months have been a whirlwind. I had my preliminary exams, or ‘gateways’, which I had to pass in order to sit my 9 finals. Fortunately I passed them and it’s onto the next ones! The first 6 are in a mere 2 weeks time and the rest are at the beginning of June. Fortunately I have just booked an ‘end of uni’ holiday with some course mates…which is what is keeping me going!

So April was a big month for me. I passed my gateways, and I also took up an opportunity to share my alopecia story on BBC radio Bristol. I thought it would be a good way to raise awareness locally, and perhaps I would reach out to a few people at the same time.

Well, that one radio show turned into a media frenzy! The team at BBC Bristol asked if I would record a short video after we had been on air, to which I obliged. The idea was to repeat my story and chip in with what I’ve learned and how it has moulded me as a person. I was happy to give my story a voice, and let people experiencing hair loss know that they are undoubtedly not alone. I was expecting the video to stay local, and perhaps get some views on the BBC Bristol website; I could not have anticipated how it was received…

Within hours it had had thousands of views. I was GOBSMACKED! The response was, mostly, very positive; it was heart warming to see the support. I’m not really sure what my aim was as I sat there talking to the nice chap filming me. I wasn’t keen on making it ‘me, me, me’, because I know everyone experiencing alopecia handles it differently. Admittedly the video clip is very much about my personal experience, but I only hope people watching can take something from it. Whether that be an insight into the condition or an appreciation for how much it can impact a life.

The video made it’s way on the local TV news, Victoria Derbyshire’s news programme, and even the main BBC news itself. It was in the top 3 most watched videos on the BBC website, and I was inundated with media opportunities – people wanting me to make TV appearances or talk on their shows. Unfortunately, I had to turn most of them down due to my academic commitments at present, but I made time for my local station back up in Lincolnshire. To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of the attention. By the time I had my own Facebook troll 12 hours into the video release I decided I’d had enough of the limelight! In any case, I was proud to spread the word about alopecia. Plus, it got the BBC talking about hair loss. They even interviewed other women on TV, and had a medical expert giving his opinion!

I’ve included a link to the video in this post. I’m sorry to those who are watching it in the hope of answers. I’m afraid don’t have them. I have an experience, a story, and a desire to support others.

BALD&BOLD ❤

 

 

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Betty Brown Wigs, York 💁🏻

My Nanna was recently diagnosed with endometrial cancer and has just started her chemotherapy. Fortunately, she has had successful surgery and the chemotherapy seems to be just a safety measure. So, in view of losing her hair, Nanna and I have been wig shopping! We arrived in York at Betty Brown’s wig store and were made welcome by Beth, the sales manager. There were many options to pick and choose from, some which suited us and others which really should have come nowhere near our heads. We joked Nanna looked like a hippy when she tried on a long, brunette (albeit lovely) number….

As well as the welcoming service, we were also impressed by the prices. I’m not sure if I’ve just had a history of unknowingly going to more expensive outlets, but the two wigs we bought today were only £107 each! Considering the quality of the beautiful, styled, highlighted, caramel, lace-fronted piece I picked out…I was pleasantly surprised. 
I haven’t had a synthetic wig with a lace front before and that’s what I opted for today. It wasn’t a deliberate choice; I tried on multiple styles and designs and this one ticked all the boxes! Nanna has always liked ‘height’ in her hair styles and so chose a wefted cap with backcombed roots. She’s a natural redhead and so kept up the tradition with a red and blonde crop. 

I’ve attached the website link and also the business card information. Beth tells me the website is being updated presently so do keep looking! Definitely recommend this company to anyone near or far.

http://www.bettybrownwigs.co.uk/

BALD&BOLD

   

    
    
   

   
 

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The real test.

I’ve been contemplating, since losing my hair in 2013, whether or not stress is the true predisposing factor to my hair loss. 

When it first fell out I spoke to my family and friends; they all told me they thought of me as somewhat of a ‘stresshead’, particularly when it comes to academics. In fact, my mum told me I’ve been worrying about spelling tests at school since I was about 4 years old! 
Well the time has come for the stress theory to be put to the test. At present I would say I have around 80% regrowth. I still have patches, but where it’s growing it’s coming through thick and (seemingly) strong! In precisely 7 days my finals exams begin – to culminate my 5 years at dental school. In total, I have 14 exams. They begin next week (with one a week for 4 weeks) then there’s a few weeks off before they continue up until June! 

IF my regrowth can sustain the stress and turmoil that is BDS finals, I honestly think it’s ready to take on the world! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to get my hopes up or jinx my follicles, but I’d really like to think it’s a positive sign if I still have this hair by the end of Summer. 
If anyone has any updates on current research in alopecia regarding stress, predisposing factors or viable treatment options then please get in touch! 
Bald&bold&reallyhopingIpass!

Wish me luck…

❤️❤️❤️

    
 
 

 

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