I feel a bit nervous writing this post, but here it goes……..
I have suffered from hair loss for the last 5 or 6 years. Its something I have wanted to blog about for a long time but to be honest I was worried about what people may think. In the end I thought if anyone else is suffering too then they may benefit from this post.
The type of hair loss I have is female pattern hair loss and its also made worse if I am stressed. I am coming to terms with it and how to handle it – thankfully I had a lot of hair before the alopecia started and so I still have a considerable amount of hair.
My hair loss is something that has really depressed me at times and also made me really paranoid. When I meet people, I cant help but think to myself have they noticed my hair? Are they looking at my hair?! At times it really gets me down but I am trying to overcome that as much as possible. Its just not something I would have ever expected to happen to me when I was growing up. This started in my mid 20s and it took a long time to sink in that it was happening.
When people meet me they will see I am a confident person, but I am not as confident as I may appear, my hair loss is something that makes me feel really insecure. For a long time I couldn’t talk to anyone about it without crying, even now I have good days and wobbly days.
When it first began no one else noticed it – my family thought I was imagining it and basically didn’t believe me. I didn’t tell my friends as I was so embarrassed about it. Its still something I don’t really talk about – well until now that is!
My hair is not falling out in clumps, nor do I have a bald patch, I just have thinning hair. Its particularly bad on my crown and at the front of my hair. As a teen and up to when this started it was hard for me to find a parting as I had SO much hair, but now my scalp is fairly noticeable I am losing hair (just like anyone else) but I am not seeing new hair replace the old. I think by now I have lost about 35% of my hair. I am just glad I had a lot of hair to begin with!
My focus now is looking after my hair and maintaining what is left of my hair, to try and reduce the hair loss.
As my hair loss is stress related I have *tried*to not let things affect me so much, reducing stress but its easier said than done.
I have found at the following things really help, so if you too think you may be suffering I hope these are helpful:
Use gentle shampoos and conditioners which do not irritate the scalp.
Avoid too much SLS in products, this contributes to my point above.
Avoid using too many heated hair products like straighteners and blow dryers.
Avoid using permanent hair dyes, perming or bleaching the hair, its better to semi-perm dyes if you are going to colour your hair.
Make sure your diet is healthy and in particular, is rich in Iron, Omega 3 and vitamins – these foods can really help.
Use deep conditioning treatments such as coconut oil etc to nourish and pamper the hair.
Scalp massage can really help with hair loss, in particular if combined with natural oils like argan or coconut oil, some essential oils like rosemary are good for hair growth and conditioning, so you could add some to the massage.
Have some layers cut into your hair to add volume.
Dry shampoo can be used to add volume too.
Avoid washing your hair too much – when the hair is wet it is more prone to breaking, and more damage.
Invest in a good quality hair brush, this will ensure the damage is lessened when you have to brush your hair.
There are some chemical treatments for hair loss which I have tried and only had minimal results with. One of these was Regaine. This works for about 40% of users, but it didn’t work for me. I do use a product called Fullmore, its a coloured spray which I use to mask my hair loss, without this I wouldn’t be able to leave the house. No joke. I don’t know what I would do without this spray. I will review Fullmore in detail in another post.
Over the next few months I will be trying out more hair care products targeted at hair loss sufferers. I hope these reviews will be helpful for anyone else who is going through the same thing as me.
I still think there is a lot of stigma about hair loss, particularly in women. Its pretty much accepted that men will lose their hair, but its much less accepted and talked about that women will. All of us will experience some hair loss in life, its natural – but abnormal hair loss is something said to be increasingly common and a lot of people are experiencing it, I have been told. There is even an awareness week from 18th Feb!
If you think you are experiencing hair loss then its important to find out the cause of it. Some illnesses like Polycystic Ovaries can cause increased hair loss, as well as some thyroid conditions (I have very recently been diagnosed with a thyroid condition but this doesn’t effect my hair loss). Even when I went to my GP about my hair years ago I was told I was wrong and I didn’t have any hair loss – if this happens to you, keep going back until you get to see a specialist.
In a lot of cultures a womans hair is a big part of her perceived beauty. Celebs like Gail Porter have been so brave and gone out there without covering up in wigs. If my hair ever gets that bad I don’t think I would be able to do that so I have a huge amount of respect for her.
One way I have overcome some of anxiety caused by losing my hair is that I think about all the people out there with much much more serious problems than hair loss. I am extremely grateful for everything I have in my life and the fact I am more or less healthy in other ways. I have so much to be happy about and not so much to complain about. I also dont take anything for granted any more. Not one thing.
I wanted to post pictures of what my hair is really like, without the spray that I use to try and disguise my hair loss, but I cant bring myself to do it. Maybe one day I will be able to do it, but not right now.
I really hope this post helped anyone who is also going through hair loss and I hope the reviews will help in due course too. I’m sorry for the long post.
If anyone wants to email me about this because you are going through something similar, rather than leave a comment, please do – my email is email@example.com
Thanks for reading!
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