My History of Hair Loss: The Frightning Phenomena of Women Losing Their Hair

Hair loss can be a touchy subject even for men who, to some extent, accept it as a natural part of aging.  For women it can be devastating and really impact self esteem.  Here’s a little bit about my own personal battle with hair loss.

Having always had a head full of very thick full hair (which I write about probably all to often), I kind of took it for granted.  Hair loss was, in my mind, something that happened to men as they got older, and was something that would never effect me.  So when, nearly 3 years ago I found a 10p piece size bald spot while washing my hair, I was pretty deeply distressed.  I obsessed over this very minor hair loss as much as the very stressful situation I was going through at the time. 

 
From the day I found the bald spot, more and more hair came out each time I washed.  In a few short weeks I went from having a thick mane of hair to counting the bald spots on my head, and throwing great balls of hair which was gathering round the drain into the bin.  This was more than was natural, I knew this.  Before long I had lost most of my hair.  It had previously been long, thick and curly, though partway through my journey to near baldness, I took off most of the length so its patchiness wasn’t so obvious, and so the frightening amount of hair I lost each time I washed my hair would not look so bad.
 
I consulted my Doctor, and there was nothing she could do.  I considered a wig, but instead bought colourful bandanas to hide the worst of it.  I had a little rats tail of gathered hair out the back but that was it.  It looked like a small ponytail, so only I really knew how much hair I had lost as I hid it from those around me.  In truth I was ashamed and embarrassed.  I met my soon to be husband at this time and hid it from him too.  When we knew each other a little better, I would not even stay round his house for the night for fear of my bandana coming off and him finding out that I was, at least in my mind, a bald freak.


A rare photo from my year of hair loss

 

Looking back I remember those feelings so vividly, almost more than the terrible life issues that I was going through at the time.  It was as if my hair loss was a physical manifestation of the deep sorrow I felt, despite meeting the love of my life.

In hindsight I should have sought help.  Spiritual help, to deal with the turmoil in my life and medical help to deal with the hair loss.  Trichology is something I had vaguely heard about on shampoo adverts, but it is so much more than just wash and go.  Shuna Hammocks has worked at the world renowned Kingsley Institute in London, and in 2011 she opened Sussex Trichology.  Understanding and treating the causes of hair loss are what trichology is all about, and Shuna aims to spread the message that we needn’t live with hair loss.  With the aid of her assistant, she is able to treat hair loss, scalp problems and out of condition hair.  Having worked in the industry for over 14 years, and like myself being a working Mum to two children, she knows just how upsetting it can be to feel powerless to control something which has become synonymous with ones identity.

My hair has since grown back and is as thick, frizzy and out of control as ever, but I won’t ever take it for granted again, and if I were to experience hair loss again in the future, I would not hesitate to get help from a professional.

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