On The Devastation of Hair Loss

by Y on January 21, 2024

Women with hair loss are so often dismissed, they are often told, “At least it’s not cancer,” as though the pain and trauma of losing yourself should be celebrated because you didn’t have something else, worse, something that society understands and universally deems far more traumatic… life threatening. 

The thing is, over the years I have heard from many women who did have cancer, women who experienced hair loss outside of having cancer, that shared the trauma of that in its own right. 

Part of healing involves being seen, it involves having your feelings validated, but women’s hair loss is so misunderstood and so heavily dismissed and invalidated, it creates and even more difficult path to healing. 

This was a DM message I received from KM, in reply to one of my stories, where I shared about the woman who wrote me as a 5x cancer survivor, who later in life got hair loss outside of cancer and said that, that hair loss was worse, than any of the times she had cancer and any of the hair loss associated with it at those times.

I share that story and with permission the words of KM from her DM.. in this post, because I want your feelings to be validated, the loss of self is real, the struggle you feel is not nothing. That is not to say you cannot move forward, find acceptance, find happiness if you feel that is gone, rather to let you know, what many of us already do, hair loss is no small thing, some women who have had cancer have drawn their own comparisons of Cancer and Hair Loss, of the pain and trauma that speak for itself. I’ve been told by a woman that works with cancer patients, some women choose less effective chemo, or alternative therapies, to not lose their hair, this is no small thing.

These aren’t my words, they are lived experiences from women who have had cancer.

I hope there comes a point that society, doctors, family, and friends see hair loss as the devastating life alternating affliction that it is and it is treated with the respect it deserves including the insurance coverage needed for treatment and wigs. 

Thank you KM for letting your words be heard,
So that women suffering and struggling in hair loss can be seen and validated. 

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