For those of us who have dealt with hair loss, for whatever reason, or find ourselves dealing with it now, this is not news. We know that hair loss is generally more accepted in men, despite women accounting for 40% of all hair loss sufferers in the US. Hair loss, regardless of gender, can be devastating. It can dent a person’s self-esteem and negatively affect their overall quality of life, the experts tell us. Yes, this is not news to those of us dealing with it every day.
It seems experts agree, however, that women are significantly more likely to suffer emotionally as a result of hair loss and that one in three women will, at least temporarily, suffer from hair loss at some point in their lives.
“Hair loss in a woman is so emotionally devastating that it can trigger a wide range of social and emotional issues that can negatively impact healthy daily living and overall quality of life. I have heard of women that retreat from social situations has diminished work performance, and even alter their healthy living – avoiding exercise, overeating, not treating other medical illnesses – due to their hair loss,” said Dr. Francis. “Due to societal perception differences, it is much more emotional for women, as there is limited cosmetic acceptance of a bald woman. increased societal pressure on a woman to be attractive. The negative quality of life is worse in women.” (Medical News Today)
I have written about this before, but the current talk I am seeing on social media, inspired me to highlight this subject again. It seems that there is a great gap between the need for more research, more help from pharmaceutical companies, more educated doctors (on this subject), and the reality. There has been much more research and activity in the area of male baldness and its cure.
So, here we are, and we must be our advocate for change. We must be the ones leading the way in asking why more has not been done to find the causes and cures. We must step out of the “box of shame” and tackle the issue just as if we were fighting for a cure for any other condition.
The challenges will be different for everyone. There is no one rule about how to handle this, and there is no one answer. Finding answers will be different for everyone, and the acceptance process will be different for everyone. No matter if you are an introvert or extrovert, or always confident or not so much, losing one’s hair is a huge issue. Your hair has been with you all your life; it has been a part of your identity, the way people see you, and who they think you are to some degree. You’re the girl, lady, woman with the long brown hair and silly laugh, or the person with the cute blonde pixie and full of energy. People see you and your hair is part of it. Now your hair is betraying you—your body is betraying you. How you deal with that can make a big difference in your life, but you will need to deal with that, and how you do that will depend not only on the reason for your hair loss but how much support you have.
I am not a psychologist, but one of my best friends is, and I didn’t even talk to her about my experience for a long time, and after I had dealt with it all myself. If you have someone to talk to it can help, even if they know nothing about wigs. Wigs are done so well now that there is no reason for you to ever tell anyone that you are wearing a wig unless you want to do that. Learn about wigs and what is available for you. Take advantage of our wig blogs, helpful demonstrations, YouTube videos, and other forms of education. You can learn not only about wig options but wig construction and care. Ask for help if you need it, that is the most important thing.
Until next time, fight the good fight.