Summer, summer, summer! It's everyone's favourite few months. The sun comes out, the tan is topped up, and everyone just seems to be ten times happier. But while many people are off gallivanting by the seaside or frolicking in sun-drenched meadows (people do that, right?), for trichotillomania sufferers, the summertime can often pose new problems within everyday life. This post is a little insight into how trich effects people's everyday lives, how it can restrict the things many people look forward to, how supposedly relaxing activities immediately fill us with extra dread, and, most importantly, steps sufferers can take in overcoming these anxieties.
Swimming Is Scary!
There's nothing better in the blazing heat than to cool off with a dip in the pool. Or so they say. When you wear wigs, glue on false eyelashes, or draw your eyebrows on, the swimming pool becomes a no-go danger zone. I would rather frazzle in the heat than risk my eyebrows dripping off in the water, so the pool or sea are just completely avoided. A few tips to get you wallowing in that water is to invest in some waterproof eyeliner and use a number of different products on your brows (layering up with a pencil, tint or powder); this way, it becomes more stubborn and water-resistant. While there is always the risk of kids splashing water about, swimming with your head above water is an easy way to join in the fun without being totally drowned in anxieties. (Drown, pool, geddit?)
With summer comes ridiculous temperatures. With ridiculous temperatures comes sweat. With sweat comes the fear that your eyebrows are going to melt off your face. Ever been to the gym or for a walk on the beach on the hottest day of the year and felt relief at the feeling of wiping the sweat off your brow? I haven't. Having to draw on brows to cover trichotillomania means that the eyebrow area cannot be touched EVER (unless you want to wipe off part of your brow). Overcoming this could be as simple as resisting the urge to dab the beads of sweat off your face, or employing the same brow make-up techniques as above. Facial spritzes are also fab at cooling your face down and absorbing any excess oil, so it may be worth picking one up as we approach summer.
My Glue Is Melting
Before I couldn't be arsed to wear them anymore, false lashes were the bane of my life during the summer months. The heat of the summer would melt the glue which holds the lash strip to your lid, meaning I found these pesky false eyelashes flapping across my face on multiple occasions (especially on holiday!). The best way to avoid this happening is to get some really sturdy glue (I love the glue which comes with Kiss lashes) and apply a line to the lashes and along your eyelid where the eyelashes will be applied. This will ensure they are kept in place for a little bit longer, It may also be worth layering up on glue, meaning you have two or three lines on the base of the lashes before you apply, or dab some extra over the strip after it has been secured in place. If you can't be bothered with this, the best solution by far is to go false lash-free. A smudge of eyeliner is sometimes all it takes to distract attention from any gaps; why should you bother with all the faff with glue when you could use that time enjoying the sunshine?!
Holidays Are Actually Quite Stressful
If no-one knows about your trichotillomania, going on holiday with friends or family can often induce many a panic. So much fear comes with the thought of taking your make-up off in front of people in the evening, or having to painstakingly draw your brows on with others around every morning. Most people are incredibly understanding of trich and will support you all the way (as I found last summer), but this doesn't mean the process of telling your nearest and dearest about it isn't terrifying. While there isn't much beauty advice I can offer for this, I would wholeheartedly urge anyone stressed about summer holidays to relax; trich isn't everything, although it may seem like it. Be prepared to be open about trich; if anybody asks, just be honest. It isn't something to be embarrassed about, and I'm 99% sure everyone will be accepting and understanding. A holiday is there to de-stress you, so try and spend less time worrying about what you look like to others, and more time having oodles of fun and making some amazing memories!
Is there anything you dread about the summer? What advice would you offer?