My name is Octavia Cohen, the Founder/Creator of Shades of Blue: Alopecia Awareness. The purpose of Shades of Blue: Alopecia Awareness is to create a comfortable platform to heal, build confidence and to inform the masses about Alopecia Awareness as well as my journey and others' experiencing Alopecia.
So many people experienced Alopecia in one way or another and had no idea there is such a term for it.
Alopecia is the medical term for "hair loss", whether it is temporary or permanent.
Blue is the color of Alopecia Awareness. When the name, "Shades of Blue" was given to me, I had no idea WHICH shade of blue truly represents Alopecia Awareness, so in my defense, I use ALL shades and hues of blue.
I experienced Alopecia as a child. The Alopecia that I have is hereditary, however, I believe that I have more than one type of Alopecia. I was born with a full head of hair and by the time I was 10 years old, my hairline and temple started to thin. As I grew into a teenager, hairstyles were limited. I had to wear styles that covered my thinning hairline. There were times that my hairline would barely grow in.
Wearing locs was one of the hairstyles that I have always wanted to wear not because they were beautiful, it also taught me patience and it was what I needed at that time in my life. I wore my long locs for about 6 years...then I began to notice thinning in the crown of my head. Some of my locs started thinning at the root...I had no idea how to repair them. I thought that my ONLY option was to cut them with the possibility of starting over. That was not the case for me. I accepted that fact that locs was no longer a style that I was able to wear...and then I made the decision to cut them, without the thought of ever having locs again.
After cutting my locs, I felt FREE! I had a small afro, then transitioned to a low haircut and then a year or so later, I decided to shave my head bald. I was tired of barbershop-hopping only to get a cut that I was unpleased with while still experiencing hair loss at the same time. I was in my lane and it felt GOOD!
My choice to cut my hair not only freed me, it also helped others!
Most of the women who I have met has no idea what Alopecia is and what it looks like. The same women who I have met, complimented my courage and boldness. In their confessions, they did not have the courage to expose their truths; they made it about the opinions of a spouse or family members and friends that keep them in bondage. She did not know how to let go of the wigs, weaves and extensions. After meeting those women in my community and travels, in May 2018, I was given the vision to create the Shades of Blue: Alopecia Awareness event.
I had my 1st Alopecia Awareness event in September 2018, in Cross, SC. I have been on a few local news segments and other platforms that explain my purpose of my cause and mostly to educate the community about Alopecia. Since then, I feel that I need to continue to educate the world about Alopecia. With your help, I will be able to organize events and create products and other opportunities to heal, build confidence and educate the world!