The Journey of Alopecia x Beauty x Self-Love

The Journey of Alopecia x Beauty x Self-Love

The Journey of Alopecia x Beauty x Self-Love

A conversation with Keya Trammell x Weléla Mar Kindred

You are bald and beautiful!!!!! How are you sis?  Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me - I personally love your confidence, loving energy and peacefulness you carry. My mother has had Alopecia for over 25 years, I know the struggle of this walk is real.

I first want to say thank you for reaching out and being such a joy everytime I come into The Silver Room. You bring an ambiance of peace while I shop and I truly appreciate that essence. I also appreciate you sharing about your Mom. Many women, approximately 21 million women in America, experience Alopecia or some type of hair loss. Some women live their truth underneath wigs, some are bald and proud...either way, we are all one big family and I am grateful to be in that number.


Tell me more about your experience with Alopecia. Also, what does beauty mean to you?

This may sound crazy, but I sometimes wish I had the luxury of an actual bad hair day. Women who complain, " I don't feel like doing my hair", or the infamous , "I have too much hair, I just want to cut it all off,” can annoy me at times. Most times though, I'm grateful that I was called to such a responsibility to have Alopecia; to show off my bald, patchy head. 

Funny thing is, I grew up in my Aunt's hair salon. While there, I observed every wrist movement when the stylist gave a slight bump to a curl and I oh so loved the smell of spritz on a fresh French Roll hairstyle. I felt the clients and hair stylists were so much like me yet I felt so different. They believed in the rhythm of beauty; so did I. They believed in allowing black women to cater to their needs, beauty and shop talk therapy, so did I. 

Although I loved the shop, I often felt I didn't belong. What's a bald girl to do in a space where she couldn't get serviced? I guess I learned to enjoy hair through others who honored their weekly, bi-weekly appointments and wished it was me. There were actually a few years where my hair grew back. (4-6 yrs of age) but, by the time I was in the first grade - I wore wigs. I would actually shake the wigs off of my head while in class. Maybe it was my way to get attention, to make a joke of myself would somehow beat anyone who could potentially make a joke out of me. That was just the beginning of me trying to cope. I guess then I had a hard time accepting my Alopecia, because I couldn't distinguish if I was different or unique. 

Honestly, Alopecia saved my life. It helped guide me to my purpose - in which is to help others be okay with things they cannot change. To love themselves within first. To know that you are the BADDEST BALDEST THING WALKING.  Whether I'm at home, recording music or shopping at the Silver Room, I'm beautiful. Not because of the notion that if you are bald, then you are to be confident and knowing of yourself. I'm beautiful because of my heart posture. I'm beautiful because I am love. I'm beautiful because I believe in the good in the world. I'm beautiful because I carry faith in my heart.

When did you realize you were beautiful?

I think we as women have moments where we feel beautiful and other times, not so much.  I'd always been fond of my eyes and the beauty mark in the middle of my forehead. I knew that when I smiled & laughed, I felt good. When I modeled, I felt good. When I danced, I felt good. When I sang, I felt good. When I shopped with my Mom, I felt good.

How about I tell you about the first time I experienced the rush of confidence concerning my Alopecia?... I was 18. Senior Year in High School. I was goofing off in class one day, put my head down (laughing, rocking back and forth) and my wig FLEW off in class. No, I didn't intentionally pull my wig off like back when I was in the first grade. This time I was completely unprepared for the embarrassment that rushed over my body. I ran to the bathroom. Tears uncontrollable. I'd felt seen yet misunderstood. 

Thank God one of my classmates came to that bathroom to check on me. Ironic, she had a full head of hair but her comfort reminded me of my Aunt's salon. She hugged me with the rhythm of beauty.  The next morning, I woke up earlier than usual and shaved the hair I had left on my head, off. I remember my Dad, who is an early riser, gasping at his daughter's act of bravery. Once I finished shaving, I looked in the mirror and felt invincible. Although I went to school with a wig on that day, I knew I'd gained something in me that I'd never truly experienced before. CONFIDENCE.

When you wear wigs now, do you do it for survival or for the fun of it?  I say survival, and I think all women can relate to this, sometimes - you just need some hair to get through the day.  Tell me your thoughts.

Sometimes, I consider my wigs my 'protective style'. Protecting my energy when I don't want to attract a lot of attention. Protecting my head when it's cold, if I don't feel like shaving or if I just choose to come with a different vibe. Within the past few years, I've noticed that when I walk out bald I get an exponential amount of attention. Not even bad attention per se. I get compliments like, "I just have to say, you are really rocking that bald head" or "You are so pretty to be a bald girl." I always appreciate someone taking the time to give me a compliment even if the words sting a bit. The most weird times are when strangers walk up to me and ask if they can rub my head (pre-Covid) {laughing}. I also consider wearing wigs to be fun! I'm currently in love with my 21inch knotless braid wig! It just gives me lifeeeeeeee!

What taught you about jealousy, your spiritual walk and being content with what was given to you?

I learned about jealousy through many circumstances. I've learned that jealousy/envy comes from admiration that you don't understand. I used to experience jealousy with peers who had beautiful hair and now my closest friends have the most beautiful hair - I live through their hair. (In which btw, I hadn't realized until recently).  I've even experienced feeling a bit jelly of another woman with Alopecia. She has 3x the followers I have on social media and is absolutely stunning!  I had to ask myself, "Keya, are you being a hater?” (admiring what I don't understand) “Are you fearful that someone could take your shine?” “Or are you disappointed because you haven't shared more content on your page and because she's doing it, you actually see that you've been holding yourself back?" 

The answer was yes to all of these questions. But more so, I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself because someone who resembled my appearance was going viral and doing exactly what God put her here on earth to do!  So, I messaged her! I told her how much I admired her and that I appreciated her for allowing myself and everyone else who follows her into her world. Her quick response had me in tears. She said, verbatim,  "It was YOU that made me feel prideful about my bald head. Without you, I don't think I would have ever started my journey of self worth. Thank you soooooo much!" 

I thank God for stirring me up to express my admiration rather than to dwell in what I didn't understand. God reminded me that we are all one big conglomerate of his grace, and that we are on a mission to help others. The cool thing is that regardless if I contacted her or not, she was inspired by my willingness to accept my self-worth years ago. I didn't know the 18 year old girl who shaved her head from embarrassment, would one day inspire people who mirrored herself.

When you began your healing and wellness journey how did you begin?  What did you eat? How did you practice love and how to serve others?

I believe healing/wellness comes from spiritual awakening. I remember when I allowed one of my first boyfriend’s to see me without a wig. He'd begged to see my bald head for so long and was actually hurt that I had such a hard time showing my true self around him. It was so hard for me to do at 17 but when I learned to be okay with me, he was also okay with me. 

 I remember when God told me to make singing videos-but do it bald. I was so scared when I first felt that nudge to do so but, when I did it went viral in less than 24 hours! 1.3 million views to be exact! I remember when I felt God tell me to stop wearing wigs in a specific season in my life and I ended up meeting a little girl with Alopecia. She needed to see someone who looked like her. I also needed to see her strength. At the time the little girl, Zion, was 4. She'd already told her father, who happened to be a barber, to shave the rest of her hair off. When I shared our story through social media, we went viral. 

I believe healing comes from listening to that small still voice. One of my most recent spiritual awakenings came through heartbreak from a former partner. The heartbreak carried me straight to the treadmill. It was like the more I ran, the more I could tackle the pain. Working out naturally led me to eat better. To sustain my workout. I consumed more veggies (brussel sprouts, green smoothies, detox smoothies) more fruit and more water. I barely drink pop, juice or even wine nowadays. My Mom calls me a vegetarian way too often but, I refuse to get caught up in that hype! I still love the occasional 4 piece wing w/ a dash of lemon pepper or a nice slab of salmon. I don't need anyone catching me slipping lol like, “I thought she said she was a vegetarian!” 

I try to be intentional about my life. My recent motto is: choose consciously, evolve consciously. Practicing love is doing the things you like/love! I love to sing, skate, shop, gift, laugh, dance, run, write, try new restaurants, and visit the conservatory. When you are true to consistently discovering the best version of yourself, you become more aware. You become the heightened version of yourself - in which makes it easier to serve others. It becomes easier because you also learn to observe others at their highest and lowest. Depending on what they need, if you have it, you gift it to them.

Where would you like to see women, especially Black women be in 2021 after learning more from you about: Self-Acceptance, self-love and faith?

I would like to see us Black women as a collective to continue to discover grace. Mistakes come natural, so forgive yourself. Believe and have COMPLETE TOTAL FAITH. Write that book, get on a health/fitness plan, start that haircare line, produce that film, score that music, allow yourself to cry, allow yourself to praise other women, purchase a new fragrance/perfume, allow yourself to smile, have patience for the elderly, spend time with your loved ones, try to practice safe sex.  Let this be the year where you finally go and get a therapist if needed, tell yourself you are beautiful & go shopping at the Silver Room.  You'll feel like you are home as soon as you walk in the store.


Blessings and Abundance Keya! 

Thank you!


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To Follow Keya T. A.K.A Gifted Keys:

Instagram: @keyatrammell

YouTube: Keya Trammell/Gifted Keys


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