I wish this post would be something more uplifting, but that isn’t the way hair loss always works is it? I sit here during my ninth year of hair loss all puffy from the crying spree/ meltdown I’ve just endured. Why today, why now? For the most part I have really accepted my hair loss and the thinness of my hair. But I guess the pain, sadness and frustration still floats close to the surface even though I usually keep it under wraps pretty well.
So what the heck happened?
It’s been over a year since I’ve been in for my annual hair cut. My hair is way too long for the thinness that my hair currently has. I can’t go back to the salon, my hair is too thin and I would be way too self conscious. I previously confided my hair loss to my hair stylist and she was understanding and careful not to tug on my hair and also let me comb it out after it was wet. But that was over a year ago and I’m even too embarrassed to have her cut my hair in my home. On a previous visit she had told me she could do that for me, which I thought would be great, until now. Here I am, stuck, helpless and tired.
Who can just cut my hair? I need a stylist who has hair loss, who is sensitive to the issue and who lives in Los Angeles and who can come over to my house, OR a stylist who works for a salon that has private rooms. I was recommended a local place by a friend in the network (Thank you Lisa) but it is a hair replacement salon, and I am afraid that after they get a gander at how thin my hair is that they will want to push me toward that direction of adding hair to my own, and I’m not mentally ready for that yet. I just want a haircut, why can’t I get a haircut? [click to continue…]
So yesterday was suppose to be a nice relaxing Sunday. I had the day planned with my mom, we were going to go to the spa in the morning, have lunch and do some shopping. Well for my spa treatment I chose a massage. I told the massage therapist I didn’t like having my head rubbed, I don’t go into any explanation or anything, I just leave it at that. I think everyone can pretty much understand why I wouldn’t want my scalp massaged, I don’t even like touching my own head, I just tie in a pony tail and leave it there till I wash it.
So there we are, I’m feeling relaxed enjoying my massage and we are nearing the end when the therapist tells me he had another woman who told him she didn’t like her head touched either because she had a bad experience where her hair was pulled. He says, “I think it is because your hair is so very fine that you don’t like your head to be rubbed, it’s probably more sensitive.” UHHHHH. I felt so awful after that. Someone should have snapped a picture of my face because words can’t describe the utter shock and horror I felt. I don’t think he meant to be cruel and MAYBE he was saying fine as in naturally baby fine hair, but it hurt like crazy. Really put a damper on my morning. I tried to push past and just enjoy my Sunday with my mom, and I did, but I kept staring at my hair in the rear view mirror of the car, his words echoing in my head. It’s not often you actually get told to your face how thin your hair is **Sigh. I know it, I know it’s thin, but I don’t my reality being told and thrown at me by complete strangers, I have a mirror for that. Tell me I’m fat, tell me I’m short, tell me I’m too skinny, tell me you hate my clothes, but whatever you do please don’t tell me my hair is thin!
I was at the mall yesterday with my fiance and he pointed out a young girl that was working at a mall kiosk. She was very young, definitely still in high school, and she had severe female pattern hair loss. It appeared she had put some extensions in as well which were quite apparent due to the extreme thinning. She was interacting normally and didn’t really seem shy. I was thinking how hard it must be for her, to go to high school and work in a mall with a lot of young people and have to be going through something like hair loss. It was very hard on me to begin to lose my hair at a 21,but I can’t even imagine how hard it is to have to go through it while still in high school. Everyday I see so many women losing their hair, some are young girls and some are older. I’ll never forget a librarian I met back when I was 21 and in the infancy of my hair loss. I was of course at the library researching hair loss to try and help myself. She was sitting at a desk and I went up to ask her a question. Her part was so very thin and wide and I thought to myself “Oh my god, thank god my hair loss isn’t so bad,” but I was also worried I would be in her shoes very soon. From that point on I began to compare my hair loss to everyone around me. Her’s isn’t as bad as mine… mine isn’t as bad as hers etc etc. Sadly my answers are more toward the first statement nowadays. This was just recent though, mainly the last couple years. Before that, even though I was losing so much hair and suffering inside I was still able to fake it to the world. But I didn’t enjoy what I had along the way for that day, how could I when it continually fell out?
I look back and I wish I hadn’t missed out on so much because of my hair loss. The few people I had told about it along the way were always surprised to hear I even had hair loss. They didn’t know me before and know the thick thick hair I once had. My hair is so much thinner now, but I try and not let it get in my way anymore. After all, I’ve missed out on so much already. I’ll be 30 next year and realize I missed out on my entire 20’s. So why am I writing this? I want the women who are just losing their hair to know a couple things.
Hair loss is a journey. For some it is short and they luckily recover quickly, for others such as myself, we have to realize we have a long road ahead of us. The right side of the road is paved with sadness the left with happiness and in the middle there is acceptance. I spent 8 years walking on the right, always depressed, and never realizing I could move to the other side. I would try and get toward the middle but there always a strong force pulling me back. I am happy to report that more and more I stay to the middle of the road walking on acceptance and sometimes even making it along the border of happiness. Oddly enough this epiphany happened when I was at the thinnest stage of my hair loss. I don’t want other women to miss out on their lives. I know from the depths of my heart how hard and devastating hair loss is. I live it everyday. But at some point we have to appreciate what we have for that day and just do the best be can with what we have.
I still get sad about my hair loss and have my low days, I still run past mirrors to avoid looking at myself. [click to continue…]
Hair loss and bright lights don’t mix. As I was responding to some comments left today on the blog my thoughts were turned towards mirrors and bright overhead lighting. For me that is my kryptonite. I actually select my chair at a restaurant based on overhead lighting. I pick the darkest spot at the table, always. My fiance doesn’t like overhead lighting either, but he’ll take the bullet for me if we are out to dinner so I can be comfortable in my dark spot. I run past mirrors in department stores, at all costs avoiding looking in their direction. It makes buying clothes quite a difficult task. Abercrombie has the worst overhead bright lighting, while Gap has nice dark dressing rooms The things you pay attention to when you have hair loss. At least I do. I keep track of all the restaurants that are nice and dark. I’m most comfortable there because that way I don’t have to feel my head is on display the whole night.
I got some wonderfully helpful comments today and I think others would benefit from reading them as well so I’m posting the links to them here so other women can get to them quickly. Thanks again Julie – You are a strong, beautiful woman.
Comment on The Daily Hair Loss Grind
Comment on Regretting Past Decisions
Comment on My Secret World
Do you talk about your hair loss with anyone? Do they understand? I am very secretive about my hair loss, I don’t like sharing my feelings about what is happening with family or friends. I rather pretend it didn’t exist, but I know they know. It sort of forces me into seclusion, withdrawing from social events because it is too much of an ordeal to deal with my hair… or maybe better said, to face my hair in an attempt to make it look normal and not like the thin, lifeless disaster that it is. My fiance is very supportive, but I don’t even like talking about it with him, he knows of course. He sees my suffering, and wants to help… but he can’t.
Hair loss has made me incredibly self conscious and very isolated.