Rome native shares insight with first book


SYRACUSE — A central New York woman is connecting with former celebrity talk show host Ricki Lake in sharing their story about hair loss.

Because beauty has been a long-time attainment women endeavor to gain to feel good about themselves, along with acceptance in society, Lake’s national story caused attention, criticism and inspiration as she revealed a short haircut and 30-year struggle with hair loss last week.  

A local woman said she understands Lake’s plight after struggling with hair loss herself for 30 years, which inspired her first book called, “Under the Rose-Colored Hat,” about her condition, stress, and acceptance with total hair loss. 

Celebrating her silver anniversary in 2020 as a central New York woman business owner and staunch supporter and promoter of other women entrepreneurs, Rome native Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, founder of Women TIES, LLC, shared her personal story of living with alopecia, an auto-immune disease which led to complete baldness, in her newly released book.

Taking a part-time medical sabbatical, while maintaining her business, Chamberlain Higginbotham lost her physical identity when she became a bald woman in late 2018, agreeing with Lake’s recent CNN statement on hair loss: “It’s been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things you imagine.”

Chamberlain Higginbotham said she felt compelled to write her book about lessons learned through her alopecia experience mainly due to the kindness and compassion she received from strangers who thought she looked sick.

“In our society where there is so much bitterness and divisiveness, I discovered the exact opposite when I wore my rose-colored hat in public covering my bald head,” she explained.  

Her book walks readers through why beauty was important to her, the emotions of losing one’s hair and identity, and the kindness that carried her through the darkness into the light.

“I have received a plethora of emails, texts, and social shares on Ricki Lake’s story about hair loss because I’ve been honest about my own struggle with the issue. After 25 years of sharing my entrepreneurial story to help others, it made sense for me to share my personal story in a book to help anyone else with the hair loss and self-image issues,” stated Chamberlain Higginbotham.  

“Under the Rose-Colored Hat” was released on Amazon on Thanksgiving Day and has received five-star reviews from readers reaching the Top 100 in numerous book categories. 

Syracuse University alumni Kathrine Switzer, a friend, and mentor of Chamberlain Higginbotham, wrote the book’s testimonial that appears on the back cover.  

“I learned from Kathrine to be a fearless woman in running and life so I was honored she wrote the positive testimonial for the book and is sharing it with her global community of women in 261Fearless,” Chamberlain Higginbotham said.

Female running icon Switzer was a Syracuse University junior in 1967 when she entered the Boston Marathon before women were officially allowed to run the race. Switzer returned to Boston for her 50th anniversary gender breaking barrier run on April 17, 2017, with Higginbotham and 110 other runners by her side.

In 2020, Chamberlain Higginbotham is taking her lessons locally, regionally and nationally to share the messages learned in the book and especially to share the kindness and compassion she discovered in society to help uplift others with hope and inspiration, and to spread love, especially to younger people who are bullied for how they look.  

For more information, go online to or call 315-708-4288.   


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