It's not just women going through chemotherapy who have to cope with female hair loss. Everyone is aware of how common it is for men to lose their hair, but little attention is given to the fact that many women also experience a degree of hair loss. This can happen when on some medications, or after giving birth. So here are some tips on how to cope with female hair loss …
1. Medical Advice
The first step in learning how to cope with female hair loss is to consult your doctor. You may need tests to rule out or identify any medical issues. For example, it can be caused by thyroid problems, and can also be a side effect of some prescribed steroids. If your doctor isn't sympathetic (hair loss is often seen as a male-only problem), look for someone who will take the problem seriously.
2. Support Group
Online and local support groups can be a great help when it comes to coping with any medical condition. This may be even more true concerning less recognised issues like female hair loss. You may feel that you are the only one going through this; you are not alone, and talking to other women with the same experience can really make a difference.
Hair loss affects your self-esteem and makes you feel less attractive. Women are so used to it being a "male problem" that it's a real shock if it happens to us. It's only natural to lose confidence in your appearance when our hair is so much a part of our image. Yes, it's easy to say, but try to still see yourself as attractive. If you're very self-conscious, you'll give off an impression of not being at ease.
4. Cover up
There are several ways of covering up hair loss. If the weather's not too hot, wigs can be very useful. Some women wear them just for a change of image, so it won't look odd if you don a wig. Or you can try a fabulous hat, which will also protect you from the sun or cold. Then there are so many gorgeous scarves that can be wrapped around your head, or put on a wide headband.
Many women have experienced increased hair growth during pregnancy, thanks to increased hormones. Unfortunately, this means that they subsequently lose noticeably more hair after giving birth. This can be worrying, but give your body time to settle down after all the changes it has been through. Do consult your doctor if the hair loss really seems excessive.
6. Don't Expect Miracles
Men often try pills and potions in an attempt to reverse their hair loss, and end up disappointed. Miracles don't happen, so be realistic and don't believe the hype of advertising. There isn't a guaranteed cure. If you try any over-the-counter treatment, be aware that it may be a waste of time and money. The same goes for anything that promises to cure the problem and leave you with lush locks. By all means try treatments, but don't be disappointed if they don't work.
7. Confide in People
Find someone to confide in about your hair loss and how it makes you feel. Keeping it to yourself can make you feel very isolated. It's particularly important to admit that you have a problem if you suffer from trichotillomania (the compulsion to pull out your own hair), and to seek professional help.
Female hair loss may be a hidden issue, but it is surprisingly common. It can happen at various times in your life, from new motherhood to old age, and it's always a shock when it happens. Often the effect is temporary, and your hair will recover its former thickness. Get medical advice if you're concerned, and there's no obvious reason for the hair loss. Have you ever experienced this - if you have, how did you deal with the psychological impact?