Nobody likes the thought of losing his or her hair. Luckily, as college students, we don’t have to worry about this until we grow older. However, for sophomore Bodie Wade, losing all his hair was pressed on him at an early age. He has found a remarkable way to cope and share his story through music.
Wade suffers from an autoimmune disease called alopecia universalis, in which his immune system attacks his own body, targeting hair follicles. While the disease is not contagious, it can cause complete hair loss, including one’s eyebrows and eyelashes.
The disease is incurable. Even worse, it has no effective treatment. While it attacks one’s hair, it leaves the follicles alive. This means that even after someone loses all their hair, it can grow back. In his senior year of high school, about two years after completely losing his hair, Wade started to grow it back.
Wade’s hair continued to grow in nicely until about five months ago when he noticed bald spots dotting on his head. Exasperated, Wade realized that his hair was starting to fall out again. In response, Wade looks to his music as an outlet.
Since he was young, music has been an important part of Wade’s life. “I was always a band kid.” Throughout high school, he played in multiple jazz bands and in his own rock band where he strummed rhythm guitar and sang as the lead vocalist. He gained a particular knack for hip hop in 2010.
Wade spent some time his freshman year at Vanguard creating music with band members Preston “Prestige” Butler and Daniel DC Corona in the christian hip hop group “War Krew.” Within this past year, he has released the two albums A New Creation and College; the Lecture earning him a name as Vanguard’s “HipHop Hipster.”
“It all started with me trying to find my identity in the hip hop scene,” Wade says. The song “HipHop Hipster” started as a joke, but as the title gained momentum, he eventually went with it.
Wade was introduced as the “HipHop Hipster” in February while on the Ventura County Christian radio station, KUNX 1400 AM. They featured Wade’s testimony and a live performance of a few of his songs.
Wade fully embraces his hair loss as part of his identity in his new EP, “Bald is Beautiful (Push Forth).” According to his Facebook page, the music video is to be released on iTunes today, April 24th. The video features Wade sporting his newly shaved head. A handful of his close friends will also feature in the video exposing their recently shaved heads. By shaving his head, Wade makes a bold statement about himself to the community: that he is not the kind of guy who would try to hide who he really is, like one would with a bogus comb-over. Rather, Wade is intentional about being comfortable with himself and finding beauty in weakness. Whether he has his hair or not, he will continue to make music and stay unshakably true to who he is.
Check out BodieWade’s “Bald is Beautiful (Push Forth)” here!