Losing hair sucks. It sucks and there’s not much anyone can say or do to make you feel better about it. Watching hair come out in your brush, finding stragglers in the sink, multiple strands on your shower wall, and falling out between your fingers is traumatizing. Whether you start off with luscious locks or a thinner head of hair determines how long it takes for others to actually believe what you’re going through. It’s brutal listening to people try to comofrt you by saying they lose hair all the time, too. Hey, I know some people lose up to “100 hairs a day," but I also know what’s normal for me, and I wouldn't be this sad if I was used to have a receding hairline and bald patches.
To anyone who has told a friend or family member “I lose hair all the time, too” in an attempt to make them feel better, don’t worry. Part of being human is trying to connect with people when they’re suffering and show empathy. When someone tells me they know what I’m going through because their body naturally sheds excessive amounts of hair, it DOESN’T make me feel better, though. In fact, it makes me feel worse knowing they can lose just as much hair and not have nightmares they look like Benjamin Franklin.
So, what if you're reading this post because your friend has been diagnosed with a disease that makes them lose hair? I feel best when my friends just say “that really sucks. I’m so sorry” or “I hate that you’re going through this. Let me know if you want help researching ways to get your hair to grow back.” I even had a friend send me tons of headbands in the mail to help cover one of my bald spots. Those people validated my feelings without normalizing what I was going through.
So, you’re losing your goddamn hair? Ugh, I feel you boo. My hashis, PCOS and Alopecia has wreaked havoc on my once beautiful head of hair. I’m able to keep it looking full-ish with the following tricks. I’m a white gal with bald patches and a receding hairline, and these are tricks that have worked with my slightly wavey hair:
1. Find a stylist you trust. Ask for recommendations from friends, look in hair loss support groups and “date” stylists until you find a good fit. If you’re in Denver, make a date with Angela at Indie Six. She’s the best.
2. Dye your hair. I LOVE my natural dark brown hair color, but it made my widening part more obvious. When you add bleach to your hair it damages the strands making them appear thicker and fuller AND helps camouflage your scalp.
3. Add layers. Adding layers gives your hair movement and makes it feel lighter.
4. Blow-dry your hair every day. I am the kind of lady with a low-maintenance beauty routine and used to walk out the door with a wet mop. Sadly, I can’t do that anymore. Blow-drying my hair ensures it lies nicely, covers my alopecia spot, and makes my hair less stringy. Wake up 15 minutes earlier each morning and give yourself a blowout. You won’t regret it.
5. Use a clarifying shampoo once a week. This helps strip your hair of any extra product and makes your hair lighter. Follow this with a lightweight conditioner though, as it can really dry out your hair.
If you’re experiencing hair loss and you can afford it, find a therapist. My therapist makes me say over and over again “even though I’m losing my hair, I still love and fully accept myself.” I know losing hair is emotionally draining and I'm sad to say, you may end up struggling with it for the rest of your life. A therapist can help you work on healthy coping mechanisms to get you through these disappointments.
Finally, love yourself. Love yourself so fiercely that you can come to terms with the fact your hair does not define you. It may be a sign of health in our society but it is not a sign of worth. At the end of the day, no one is part of your life because you have nice hair. Hang in there and feel free to contact me if you need to vent to someone who understands.
All my love,