Those feelings can be common, according to Robbin Scholfield who opened up Bravada’s Wig Store in Overland Park about a year ago.
“One of the things people hear whether they’re going through cancer treatment or alopecia – it’s just hair no big deal. But it is a big deal,” explained Scholfield.
That’s something Torrey can relate to. But after years, she no longer hides her alopecia.
She’s a nurse in Lee’s Summit, runs and swims, even recently finishing a triathalon.
A lot of the comfort came when she discovered alopecia caps.
“They are made internally with silicone and grippy material that really hug the head, making it more comfortable to do athletic activities and every day life,” said Scholfield.
Bravada’s is one of the few places in the metro that carries such a product.
“It has changed my life,” said Torrey, who is now able to do the things she loves the most.
Scholfield says she is seeing more people with alopecia come in to be fitted for a wig or hair piece than ever before.
“A young lady with alopecia universalis says at her school alone there are three people with alopecia right now,” explained Scholfield.
For them, social support is crucial. That is why Torrey created an alopecia support group.
“There are people new in their journey wondering, ‘Is this normal? Is that normal? Why am I so sad?’ We can say, we’ve been there. It gets better,” said Torrey.
There is no cure for alopecia but hair can grow back in some cases and types, even after years of extensive hair loss. But it will never grow back fully.
Cortisone injections are one type of treatment, but that and several others did not work for Torrey.
The next support group meets on March 7 at 6 p.m. at Bravada’s off Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.