Hair loss drove me to suicide but now..I’m proud to have ditched my wig

by admin on January 9, 2008

Hair Loss Drove Me To SuicideI found this article that was posted yesterday on the Mirror.co.uk site. It is about a woman whose hair loss nearly killed her. It is a very touching article so I’m reposting it here for all of the readers:

Shoving a handful of pills into my mouth, I washed them down with a big swig of vodka.

I didn’t even know what I’d taken – I’d grabbed whatever was in the medicine cabinet and hoped it would end my pain. Then, I called one of my friends.

“I’ve taken an overdose,” I sobbed into the phone.

My mum Teresa picked up the receiver downstairs and had heard everything.

She piled me into the car and took me to hospital, near our home in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

“Why?”

She kept asking. “My hair!” I cried. “No one knows what it’s like.”

Up until the age of 13, I’d been just like everyone else. Then, suddenly, my long brown hair started to fall out in clumps.

At first, it was just a few places, here and there. But, gradually, more patches began to appear. I tried covering it up, doing my hair in different styles, using hair thickening creams and sprays. But nothing worked. There was no getting away from it – I was going bald.

The doctors diagnosed alopecia. “We don’t know what has caused it,” the specialist said. “It could have been shock.”

One of my grandmothers has passed away and I’d moved house and schools.

But I’d never dreamed it would make me lose my hair.

Going to school became a nightmare. “Hey, baldie!” the kids would shout at me down the corridor.

The doctors didn’t know whether my hair would grow back. But while it was gone, I felt in limbo.

I saw taking an overdose as my only way out.

Thankfully, I didn’t take enough pills to do any permanent damage. But my extreme behaviour worried my family.

My mum got me to see a counsellor, who encouraged me to talk about my feelings more openly. It helped a little but then, when I was 16, the little hair I had left fell out. too.

I was devastated and started to wear a wig permanently. I left school, got a job at Morrisons and tried to get on with my life. Shortly after I’d started my job, I met Paul through a work friend. I told him that I wore a wig. “It doesn’t bother me,” he said.

But the relationship didn’t last long. Two weeks after we split up, I found out I was pregnant.

Surprisingly, while I was carrying my baby, all my hair grew back and, by the time I gave birth to my son Callum, I had a full head of hair. I was overjoyed.

It didn’t last, though. Just six weeks after Callum arrived, I started losing my locks again. And this time, my eyebrows fell out, too.

Home alone with my newborn son every night, I began falling into depression.

I put on weight and stopped caring what I looked like. And when I did pluck up the courage to go out, my worst nightmare came true. I was on the dance floor when a friend from work spotted me.

When I didn’t hear him he tugged my “hair” instead. To my horror he pulled my wig clean off.

I shoved it back on and ran to the toilets where I burst into tears.

“I’m so, so sorry,” my friend kept saying. I didn’t blame him for what had happened. But I’ve never been so embarrassed.

My confidence was boosted when another guy asked me out but when he dumped me on the second date, my self-esteem hit an all-time low.

“I just can’t handle the fact you wear a wig,” he admitted.

His words made me feel as though I were a complete freak. It was ages before I had the courage to try dating again. Then, I decided to use the internet – it was easier to meet blokes that way, especially as I had Callum at home.

I soon got chatting online to a 22-year-old bloke named Lee Fenn.

His messages made me laugh. We spent hours emailing each other and I began to feel hopeful about the future.

It was three months before we finally arranged to meet up in person, in November 2006.

I have to admit that I hadn’t told him about the wig as I was petrified it would scare him off. Our first date went like a dream. Lee was everything I’d hoped he’d be.

We started spending more time together and I kept meaning to tell him my secret. Weeks passed and I still hadn’t got round to telling Lee.

Then, one weekend, I took him to meet my nana. My auntie Rita was there, too.

“So, has Lisa told you about her problem with her hair?” she asked.

‘No,” Lee replied, frowning in my direction.

“I’ll explain everything later,” I told him, as my aunt steered me into the kitchen to apologise.

But it didn’t matter – she’d made my job easier. There was no getting away from it now.

Back at our hotel I took a deep breath and blurted out: “I’m bald.”

“I kind of knew something was wrong,” Lee said. He persuaded me to take off my wig and show him what I really looked like.

Trembling, I took the wig off – expecting him to dash for the door.

“I still think you’re gorgeous,” he smiled, studying my head.

I breathed a big sigh of relief, it was an amazing feeling to have finally found a man who accepted me for who I am.

We’ve been going out for more than a year now and living together for 11 months. In that time, Lee has totally changed the way I feel about myself.

I’ve joined a gym and started looking after myself again. I still wear my wig when I’m out but, behind closed doors, I often don’t bother.

I didn’t even mind when Callum pulled my wig off at his fourth birthday party. Now I’d love to be able to afford treatment for hair replacement but it’s so expensive it’s just a distant dream.

However, I’m trying to raise funds – I can’t give up hope that, one day, I’ll have a head of hair again. But, for the time being, if I’m young, sexy and bald then so be it.

I don’t care who knows it. Lee helped me see that I may not have hair but I’m all woman.

Lee Says: “Out of all the girls I met online, she was the one who stood out the most. In many ways, we were like two peas in a pod.

“On our first date I took Lisa to a club. I felt her hair brush against my cheek when we were on the dancefloor together.

“It didn’t feel right somehow but I didn’t say anything. I just let it go. That’s why when Lisa told me what her problem was I wasn’t overly surprised.

“When she took off her wig for the first time I was a little shocked but it didn’t affect the way I felt about her. I still fancied her like mad.

“I’m used to seeing Lisa without her wig now. She may look different without it on but, the way I see it, that doesn’t change her personality, or who she is inside.”

AS TOLD TO KELLY STRANGE

>>Original article can be Viewed Here

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah January 13, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Something tells me her hair loss is hormonal. The fact she regrew her hair when she was pregnant then lost it again after giving birth. That is so fascinating. Somebody in the medical profession needs to do a case study on her! Glad she’s happy and healthy!

admin January 17, 2008 at 9:14 am

Hi Sarah,

It is always good to hear when women have made peace with their hair loss and are moving on. It gives me hope that I can be in that place myself someday. Do you know several women have found this site by searching for “i want to kill myself because of my hair loss” that makes me so sad. It shows how hair loss rips women to pieces. The medical community doesn’t seem to understand that and the callus doctors that say “it’s just hair loss, it won’t kill you” need to take a closer look at what it really does to us.

~Y

Cindie February 11, 2008 at 9:54 pm

GOD BLESS YOU, HONEY! You’re a brave woman.

Peace and Blessings, always.

heather February 12, 2008 at 4:43 am

Hang in there, Julie. I don’t know you, but I love you. Reading Lisa’s story and the comments just brought me to tears.

It’s so true that those who don’t know REALLY don’t know. They have no idea. I was having a particularly “bald day” today, ie having a hard time arranging my hair to cover up the loss, and one of the clients at my internship asked if I have cancer! I wanted to die on the spot.

I wish I knew what to say… just know that we care about you, all of us. *hug*

Shanlaree February 12, 2008 at 5:47 am

Lisa,

I too was brought to tears by reading your struggle. I have spent several nights crying not wanting to have this issue and asking the Universe to test me and help me grow in a different way. I want to share an email that my dad sent me while I was not coming out of my room for 24 hours. I was sooo depressed and upset I
got Shingles and strep throat on top of it. Yes and that shocked my system so much that it actually help
me realize that life is worth living and an on line community like this can help and support you. You are our fellow sister and we love you through knowing the pain you bare. You can make it through this! This is hard but you can move through this. I would also suggest coming to this site and reading and chatting with us girls that know your pain. Please visit this site often. We are here for you. You are not alone!

ShanLaree

Shanlaree February 12, 2008 at 5:50 am

….letting the Universe guide your energy flow….

Wanted to share an email my dad sent to me. It was sent to me at just the right time and means the world to me and I wanted to share it with you Lisa!

——————–

Hope you’re doing better and better….letting the Universe guide your energy flow….remembering that “you” or “I” are really just a formation of particles attracted together for a period of time within this bigger energy field called the Universe or God and not separate from it.

Don’t forget to pay attention to this “inner you” and actually “feel it” and its bigger connection to the Universe deep inside you as you go about your business of the day. ….

I love you. Feel my arms around you….my energy field vibrating with yours….in peace and love…we are never alone.

Sending you a healing hug now!!

Shanlaree February 12, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Julie,

Sorry for the name confusion. I wrote two comments to you but calling you Lisa, I beg your forgiveness ;o). I hope you are feeling better today and please know that we all care!

Shanlaree

sheila March 23, 2008 at 9:39 am

has anyone heard of PCOS, polysystic ovarian syndrome?It is a hormonal imbalance,and also insulin resistance that causes female pattern baldness and hair loss, anyway chek out this site for more info…

http://pcos.insulitelabs.com/

hope that helps…read the testimonials,and see the symptoms, irregular periods, extra hair where you dont want it, but hair loss on your head like a man gets. it is hormonally related, a cause of allopecia and general hair loss in females, see how she GOT HER HAIR when she was pregnant, the hormones are all wacked out…please view the site for info

Karen August 2, 2008 at 7:46 pm

2 weeks ago, my brother shot himself because he lived a tortured existence worrying about his hair loss. I know now that he must have had body dysmophic disorder. We are still grieving harshly.
So with kindness I say to you who are suffering, be sure first of all that you really have hair loss and are not dealing with a mis-perception about your hair.
Secondly, a person’s worth and value have nothing to do with hair. You are precious and your hair or lack of it has nothing to do with how priceless,unique and important you are.
Third, my heart goes out to anyone who has to feel so bad. I ache for you because I know it is very hard to deal with.
And finally, I saw a young woman on tv recently who was totally bald. I think she shaved her head on purpose. She was wearing loop earrings and nicely made up and she looked funky, cool, edgy and totally gorgeous. With no hair at all.
And you are beautiful too! To you brave and beautiful people I say, enjoy life and to hell with anyone who doesn’t like the way you look. They aren’t perfect themselves.

admin August 4, 2008 at 10:45 am

Dear Karen,

Please accept my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy on the passing of your brother. I am so so sorry.

I very much appreciate you reaching out to others to tell them that our lives are more valuable than our hair. I have read more than once, the stories of women who consider suicide because of their hair loss, because the pain is so deep they cannot see an end to their suffering. I’ve heard from women who have had cancer and said losing their hair was way worst than cancer. Hard to imagine, but it is how deep it cuts us and affects our self image.

I am incredibly saddened by what has happened. I wish I had more to say, I am sort of at a loss for words, again I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

~Y

Tricia August 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm

After reading all of your struggles, I felt like I had to post a comment. I have not suffered from baldness as many of you have or are experiencing now, but my 15 year old daughter has alopecia ariata (I don’t know if the spelling is correct). She is beginning her 1st year of high school and is completely bald, with no eyebrows and over the summer her eyelashes fell out as well. She has been to doctor after doctor, lab after lab with so many blood tests taken that she said she feels like a pin cushion and doesn’t want to do it any more. I watched her tonight at her high school open house, she walked into that building with her head high and looking people directly in the eye,almost daring them to ask. She is a brave, beautiful young lady whom I am proud to call my daughter. It breaks my heart everyday to think about her suffering at not only the words or actions of others, but her own feelings of shame or depression due to her hair loss. I ask her if it bothers her, if people make fun of her, etc…she says no, people think she is just wierd and shaved it herself, or they think she has cancer, she usually isn’t shy about telling people when they ask.
What I believe this is doing for my daughter is teaching her to see beyond the surface of people and be more accepting of others, no matter what she might see on the outside.
She still has a great personality, outrageous sense of humor and can out-think her mother or most anyone else in the room at any time. My daughter has chosen not to wear wigs, she is afraid that it would fall off, she said that would be worse for her than just being bald in the first place. I have respected her wishes there, I have also offered to cut my hair and make it into a wig for her..she wouldn’t take that either. Sorry this was so long…but I just felt the need to share.
I’m so sorry to hear all of the tragic stories that were posted, and all of you are in my prayers.
I will definately pay attention to my daughter, to make sure the great attitude that she has now doesn’t stop once she enters high school, thank you all for opening my eyes to how truly damaging this can be to a person’s self-esteem.

Jodie April 25, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Hi there,

I have alopecia caused from shock after I was hit by a van cycling to work. I can relate, as it is hard to feel you don’t have control over this aspect of your appearance, and it is distressing when the hair loss continues.

I find yoga really helps. The focus in a class setting is on the internal gaze, so people aren’t staring at you but are focussed inward. Its peaceful, and it helps with self-esteem to be building the body.

I am so glad this site is here to reduce the isolation women and girls can experience around this disorder.

Thank you to everyone for sharing so generously.

Best,
Jodie

James July 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Karen
Please accept my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy on the passing of your brother.
The truth is I have been thinking about doing the same thing your brother did when i decided to google the internet for a support group and this site was the first one I found. I hope no one minds if I gain some support by reading about how women feel because I have
similar emotions. I read a book called “I Will not Be Broken -5 steps to overcome a life crisis ” by Jerry White. The book helped me with my depression and my be helpful to someone out there. One quote in the book by the Dalai Lama is ” there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’ There is no ‘we’ and ‘they’ All are one” Thank you for this project

Jessica August 27, 2009 at 6:36 am

Hi, I am going through the horror of this image altering nightmare.
My hair has gone from being average thickness to extremely thin
in one year. The hairs anagen phase (growth phase) lasts only a month or two
on average, meaning the hair is very short. I hate the image in the
mirror and I’m learning to abhor myself.
I just found this sight after googling “hair gone suicide”. I am thinking
about suicide as a way to stop the agony and self hatred. I know
this must sound ludicrous as yes, ‘it’s only hair’, but it’s
wrecked my self image and effecting my spirit in such a destructive
manner. So I know how you all feel and as tears well my eyes
I feel stronger knowing that there are others who bare the same
pain as I.
What to do know? Maybe shave my head and wear a wig. The image
is horrible as I imagine the wig stand beside the bed. The nylon
threaded through hessian and the ichyness on my scalp in the heat
of the sun. I suppose it fades into oblivion when compared to
a new paraplegic who faces the idea of a wheelchair until death.
A wig on a wig stand until death! I wish I had a sinead o’conner
head with looks to boot but my scull is rather cone shaped oh
what a mess.
Thanks for listening and thank you for this space to
direct my grievence.
Btw I know I can’t kill myself because I don’t have the
courage or the strengh. I admire people who do and believe
it is our right todo so but would never recommend it to anyone.
I just wish I had the strengh.

Janeviv August 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Hi Jessica. I know exactly how you feel. I have been up all night, my anxiety going through the roof. I am 44yo and have had hairloss for my entire adult life but had under control untill last few weeks. Now my hair is shedding excesively and there are bald spots developing where there weren’t before. I fantasised about killing myself last night but I just cant co’s I have a 16yo son who lost his dad 2yrs ago to cancer. I’m all he has, so I just cant. If I didn’t have him, who knows what i’d do. I probably would just continue searching for a solution and maybe top myself if I found out there would never be one!!! no seriously, you dont know what may happen. I developed bald spots in my 20’s and was devestated but got hormonal treatment that stopped it getting worse. In my 30’s i started using coloured hairspray to hide the baldspots and has worked well until now, I’m shedding again and beginning to freak out. I’m thinking of trying a laser comb, they are much cheaper on ebay. goodluck, dont give up : )

jj January 10, 2010 at 10:10 pm

I always come back to this site when I’m feeling down about my hair loss…I have been thinking a lot about suicide . That is how I ended up on here again. I am in my twenties and have been slowly been losing my hair for about five years now. It is so horriable how I feel. I feel lost unwanted ugly and alone. I am also married and very worried that my husband will find me unattractive when I loose all of my hair. I just want to say that this site makes me feel a little less alone….and that I am thankful for it

Melissa January 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm

I have mixed feelings right now about reading all these stories and comments. My hair loss has definitely caused some major depression, but I hate the idea of taking drugs to fix it, especially when I see how this drug or that drug can cause it to get worse . . . Lately the thinning seems to be worse, and I feel like everyone who looks at me at work is seeing my hair loss and not me. I don’t think I could ever actually take my own life, but I often think it would be a blessing to just not have to deal with it anymore. I’m 31, and single, and while I don’t think having a man in my life is the answer to everything, it’s something I very much want, and a recent letdown in the romance department makes me think that this whole hair thing is the beginning of a long lonely and depressing lifestyle. :( When I get on here and read everyone else’s stories, sometimes I feel really encouraged, and at other times I just get more depressed. Tonight, thankfully, I think I’m a little more encouraged. I always learn a little more when I come here. Ideas and thoughts to take to my doctor to try to figure it out and maybe fix it if it’s fixable, or at least identify it so I can move on. Here’s to hoping for the best, for myself and for all of you.

Amy January 28, 2010 at 11:35 pm

hi i have lost most of my long full hair due to chronic disability and several autoimmune disorders including Rheumatoid arthritis, migraines severe, sjogrens syndrome, severe osteoporosis – seven surgeries for endometriosis, adhesions, cysts, heavy periods, 2 blood transfussions age 15 and 21 , scleroderma, tendonitis, bunions both feet , erosions feet from arthritis, depresion, abuse, alcoholic husband and raise son by myself with no help, urinary incontinence, celiac disease, malabsorption syndrome, hypoglycemis, the hair loss is mostly from my recent trial of arava for my rheumatoid arthritis which is classified as severe. i am 34. i have bald spots and it is so short i cant look at myself, dr. doesnt know if it will grow back/ i can relate i hate every day is there anyway someone like me can get a wig or help with love locks? does a wig help hair grow faster or does anyone have tips i am so desperate. ; (

Lee February 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Amy- if we knew how the hair would grow make.. the word alopecia would disappear.. This condition has made me hu i am.. and i dont mean it in a gud way.. as every 1 else says yes it made me hu i am, im stronger etc etc.. no! it made me a very violent person.. im not saying this was the best way to deal with my problems.. but wen u get pushed to the floor and beaten.. just so that kid can grab your hat and take a peep under it.. u noe why and how i became me.

Lindsey ballard August 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I have had alopecia since I was 14 years old. I would have small spots fall out and then grow back. Now at 51 my hair all fell out in the last 6 weeks. I thought that I would be able to handle it now that I am older but I was wrong. I am completely devastated. I have been thinking about killing myself. I cannot do it because I have two small children that need me. But I am so miserable over my hair loss that I do not enjoy my children, I do not enjoy being a mom, and do not enjoy anything. I just wake up every morning a go through the motion because I am responsible for the well-being of my two children. I wish that I would get killed in an accident. I had a really bad and lonely day today. I am just trying to find a way to accept this and find a away to be happy. I see that I am not alone. I hope that we all find some kind of acceptance and peace. My family does not understand why I am so devastated. They are acting like nothing is wrong. This is killing me.

mary December 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I have been losing my hair too and I want to die everyday. I try to be positive, but I can’t take it anymore. I am so ugly I want to die.

Maria December 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I have suffered from hairloss for many years. But just maybe this year I noticed how thinning my hair has gotten. There is no way to hide it anymore. My older sister that has no hairloss says well at least you should be grateful that you dont have Cancer or a terrible disease. But what she does not understand that is killing me anyways. Everyday that I look in the mirror. I know and im sorry for all that people that have cancer but losing my hair it’s a terrible to me. I wish I did not care so much about my hair but this society is terrible. I get people asking me did you know that you are going bald? I dont answer because I dont want to cry in front of them. I noticed that I am going bald every single day, hour, minute etc.

madmeggy January 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Hi all, I like all of you suffer from the nightmare of female pattern baldness. I remember 3 years ago when this all started happening. I started school and about a month in noticed a lot of hair in the shower. I have very fine hair and it was quite long so I just figured it was due for a haircut and that I should lay off the straightener. Then one day when I was home I bent down to pick up the laundry and my mother gasped and said ” what the hell happened to your hair.” The area was on the back side of my head to the left. I never saw it bc who really looks at the back of their head right? I started panicking and after what seemed like an eternity of blood work my PCP came up empty handed. I had also been extremely tired and a little sore (probably from sitting on my butt studying all day) so they sent me to rheumatology to look for an autoimmune disease. That wasted about a year of my precious time. Finally I was cleared from rheum and they sent me to derm who took one look at me and said- female pattern baldness mentioned something about women’s rogaine and walked out. I was stunned, absolutely stunned. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as female pattern hair loss. I was in denial for about another year but used the crappy women’s rogaine anyway. Whoever thought it was a good idea to invent a greasy product for thinning hair should be beaten. I didn’t believe the dermatologist bc I didn’t like her and didn’t feel she did any tests and didn’t prove that’s what I had. Then she started noticing hair loss that was not part of the “fpb pattern.” She flipped out and scared me into doing a biopsy. When the results were back she came in with a smirk and said “i was right, it’s FPB.” I remember the ride home with my mother as I tried to hold back the tears long enough to get into my apt and into a bathroom away from public eyes. She quietly said “its ok” and I screamed “no its not i’ll never be ok again.” It’s 4 years later and I wish I could say I wasn’t right but I am. Obviously I’m not ok since I’m on a site that I found by typing women’s hair loss + suicide. I’ve tried every bullshit product and probably spent 1000s of dollars of my student loan money. People have no idea what this is like. The worst part is that both my mom and dad are one of seven children and none of my 12 aunts and uncles or 30+ cousins have this. How can they honestly tell me it’s genetic? I live in an isolated world where I randomly have panic attacks and bouts of depression and scream at my family and friends. I finally told them I can’t see them all anymore. The worst part is, since I already have a history of depression they think this is just “stress and emotional issues.” My sister told me ” i was lucky in her eyes bc I don’t have something horrible like cancer.” She also told me I should go to a therapist and get antidepressants. After she said that to me it shoved me into a deeper depression and made me feel shallow and supperficial and ashamed. Worst of all it made me feel isolated and alone. I can’t even look at her the same anymore. They spend hours in the bathroom making their non-thinning hair look perfect every day before they go out the door but I’m vain bc I spend hours in the bathroom trying to cover thinning areas so that I can at least go to work and make it through the day with the tiny amount of dignifity I have left? I wish I could handle this better but I just can’t. I spent my whole life feeling ugly and unwanted and when I finally accepted and loved myself for the way I looked all my hair starts to fall out. It’s a cruel joke. Every morning I wake up angry bc I went to bed hoping I would die in my sleep. Every time I have to take a shower or do my hair I start crying. Every single second of every single day I stare at women’s hair and compare it to my own. Every day I curse the day I was put on this earth and pray that I leave it as soon as possible. Every day I get closer to ending my own suffering and pain. What we are experiencing is suffering. So how dare anybody ever tell us that FPB is “purely cosmetic.” It’s so much more than that.

madmeggy January 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm

p.s. I’m a medical student and unfortunately I have seen a few women get a cancer diagnosis. When they received the diagnosis and found out they needed chemotherapy, every single one of them cried and asked if they were going to lose their hair. That should say something to those people who sit high on their thrones and have the nerve to judge us.

Vesna May 5, 2013 at 2:20 am

I started loosing my hair suddenly about 6 weeks ago and now I estimate that I have only about 40% still left. I have been hiding from the “world”, except for visiting doctors, and the diagnosis so far is that my problem is probably telogen effluvium triggered by severe physical and psychological stress. But I am still going for (yet another!) blood test to check if there could be some other unerlying medial problem, and biopsy to see if the dermatologist’s diagnosis is correct.
I just got myself a wig, which my very understanding (and a lot younger boyfriend) helped me to select. Contrary to everything I found on the net, like you should go for similar style and colour, I got something completely different. It feels a bit strange, I only got it yesterday, but I hope to get used to it and use it as long as I need it, or for ever if my hair does not grow back. I am still struggling with the fact that I will need to see people who knew me with my ‘old’ hair but, unless someone picks up the fact that it is a wig, I will just lie through my teeth and claim I needed a ‘change’! I have no idea how I will explain the fact that it will not grow any longer over time, but that’s something for another day, I can’t afford to stress any more than I already do.

Lainie July 28, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Hi to all of you: i started seeing lots of loose hairs in the comb after shampooing about Feb. or March of this year. I tried to ignore it, but since I have fine (highlighted) hair, it wasn’t long before I could see my scalp. My family doctor isn’t interested in my problem and to see a dermatologist (in Canada) will be an 8 month wait, but by then, I will be totally bald. My hair is thinning all over, from what I can determine. I requested blood, thyroid and hormone tests – the first two were done. My iron levels and thyroid were fine. I am 74 and she sort of shrugged her shoulders re the hormones saying “you don’t need that test, as what’s the point” …. I feel she was thinking that I’m too old so why bother. She has lovely thick coarse hair – enough for six of us gals suffering with hair loss.

I have had chronic back/leg pain for 20 years and take pills for it every day, then my knees needed replacing, my feet now hurt (all spine structural issues) – all of this makes walking very painful. (I loved walking.) I also have arthritis in my neck, fingers, elbows, etc. plus fibromyalgia – I basically hurt everywhere. I lost three front teeth (a drunk driver hit us headon) my head went right through the windshield and my teeth broke off in the dash (seatbelts weren’t in vehicles in those days). I’m legally blind in one eye (age 39) due to a disease which left weakened areas in the remaining one. Last October, I was told I now have macular degeneration in the remaining eye! That really shook me up, I’m so scared of losing my other eye! I know it’s (M.D.) common as we age, but most people who get it, have at least two eyes, not one!

Now to see the hair falling out like mad 5 months after the vision news has left me devastated. I identify with so many of you; I find myself nodding in agreement when reading your letters. I find I keep feeling it to determine how much I have left, dread washing it, as I see more hairs fall out and find I look at other women’s head to see if I can find a fellow “sufferer”. Due to many pills I take, I find I get hot easily especially on my scalp and neck, and just can’t imagine how I will ever bear wearing a hot wig and wear my regular eyeglasses and my other darker wrap around glasses (for outside) on top of that!! I think I will go nuts in the humid summer months. I now start to think that if there really is a God, why does He have to take so much away from me all the time and keep piling all these physical hurdles on me.

I am nearing the stage of buying a wig as I just can’t spread my hairs around the scalp much more, and I am very aware of my scalp showing when out in the sunlight. I’m short so most people will easily see the top of my head.

I take eye vitamins for the macular degeneration and I have a sneaky feeling that, perhaps, my hair loss is due to that (just a hunch) but if I stop taking them, I’m afraid my eyesight will get worse! No one understands how hard it is to be a woman with skimpy, or no, hair!! It frames our face and can hide forehead wrinkles as we age, and when it looks great, we feel better about ourselves. I guess I will finally be going to a wig salon in the very near future. Thanks again to all of you for listening. By the way, I totally understand suicidal thoughts! Lainie

Lainie

Lizzy October 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Hi, I hope by sharing my hair loss story will be carthetic for me. I had the type of hair people would comment on ‘you have such beautiful hair’, I am not or ever was vain, but who doesn’t like a compliment. A few years back I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two battles later, two rounds of chemo that caused entire body hair loss, a double mastectomy, weight gain, permanent shoulder pain and now hair thinning. Visits to two dermatologists an endocrinologist, my oncologist and three doctors, no one has a medical answer for my hair loss. My labs are fine, hormones are perportionately balanced, thyroid okay, scalp biopsy fine, the list goes on. My doctors tell me to ‘get over my hair loss’, my hair is ‘cosmetically acceptible’ or ‘I’ve had cancer, I should be grateful to be alive’, no one has taken the devastation of my hair loss seriously. Out of everything I have gone through, my hair loss has been the most emotionally painful experience I have ever felt. I have fallen into a clinical depression which I cannot come out of. Intense therapy isn’t working. I grieve everyday not for the loss of my breasts, the loss of my job, or the loss of my friends (the latter two a side effect of my cancer diagnosis) but for the loss of my hair. I fought so hard to beat cancer, now just wanting to die because of my hair. Loosing my hair to chemo is one thing… There’s the knowledge that the hair would grow back. Loosing my hair with no diagnostic reason or hope it will grow back is another. A reality my ‘beutiful hair’ may be permanently gone is a reality I cannot seem to face. I’m ashamed of my hair loss, I’m ashamed of the impact is has on me. I too feel isolated alone and very misunderstood. I just want to die in my sleep, have an end to the emotional suffering I endure every waking moment. No female can know or understand the impact of hair loss unless it happens to them.

Louise November 23, 2015 at 7:31 am

Thank you to all that shared your stories. It helped me to know that I am not alone. My hair had always been thin and by my 20’s, it just got worse. I put my hair up in a bun and gained weight. I looked much older than I am because of the lack of hair. I finally had the courage to try wigs at 35, and I loved it. Suddenly I looked young for my age. Some men claim not to care about my hair. I like to switch it up and over time when people at work or on my team in a sport I play in realize that something is off about my hair, their attitudes change. Some can’t look me in the eyes for fear of looking at my hair as if that’s somehow better. Some simply avoid talking to me. A few really lay on the sweetness and touch my hair and compliment it, trying to get at why I wear it. Some days I just want to stay home and avoid the world. Most people are assholes, I’ve learned this at a very early age. Some days like today, I contemplate on suicide and how’d I go about it. I have no family of my own. The family that I do have (father, aunts, uncles) are dysfunctional at best and I cannot see them for more than once a week. I feel drained and hopeless when I see them. I have friends that are sweet enough to include me in their family gatherings and such. While it’s nice and I enjoy myself, it’s just not my family. I am reminded of them, their incapability of celebrating life and feeling joy. My friends try to support me with my hair loss and again, I love them for trying. Sometimes it works. Other times their saying how unimportant it all is and how stupid society can be really doesn’t help. It minimizes my pain and I withdraw even further into my shell. I get tired of dealing with all this. So very damn tired.

Julie August 27, 2017 at 4:51 am

You are so lucky finding a man like that, u deserve to be happy. I myself feel like i never will as the thought of showing a man myself without my wig on is scary. I have no eyebrows and about 4 or 5 lashes left and it has effected my confidence beyond repair. Its so good to hear that u have found true Love. Hope u have a happy life together ?

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