Beauty, Hair

Female Hair Loss: A Silent Pain

Hair loss in women in very rarely spoken of, despite estimates of 8 million women in the UK currently experiencing it.

It can be hard to notice at first, especially if your hair is long and likely to hide the areas beginning to thin. For this reason, some women can feel silly bringing it up and worry people will think they are making a fuss over nothing, especially if it’s initially hard to spot.

There are different types of hair loss, as well as different reasons for losing it. For example, it’s really common to experience hair loss after you’ve given birth; it happened to me after I had my daughter. Luckily, its usually only very temporary as it is due to the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. This type of hair loss requires no action and eventually sorts itself out. Experimenting with different hairstyles can easily conceal it.

Unfortunately, some chemotherapy drugs can cause hair thinning or loss- if it’s going to happen, it will usually occur within the first few weeks of treatment. When chemotherapy is the cause of hair loss, the hair usually starts to grow back once the course is complete (or in the case of stronger drugs, a few months after).

Another very common, but more long-term type of hair loss is known as Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA). This type of hair loss is thought to be hereditary and affects men and women alike. It is the leading type of progressive hair loss and causes hair to thin to an almost transparent state.

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So what can be done?

Firstly, learning to talk about it can help ease some of the stress you are feeling about losing your hair; a problem shared it a problem halved after all. It’s really important to address how your changing appearance is making you feel. Discussing it with a friend can open all kinds of unexplored avenues- they may even have experienced it themselves. Building a good support network can help you deal with the negative emotions that commonly accompany hair loss.

A trip to the hairdresser for some advice may help regain your confidence. Try phoning beforehand to explain the situation and discuss your expectations, this will help you feel relaxed when you arrive to your appointment. These days there are a lot of salons around that specialise in both hair styling and selling wigs, it might be beneficial to find out if there is one near where you live, if you don’t already have a regular salon.

If your hair loss is only getting worse and you are finding it increasingly difficult to disguise, it might be time to consider looking into the treatments available. It’s worth noting that despite common misconceptions, hair transplants are not just for men. Media coverage of hair transplants usually centres around men because they are more willing to discuss the subject.

Hair transplants are really advanced these days, with non-invasive, non-surgical options available. This means recovery is quick and complications are unlikely. These new types of hair transplants are know as ‘follicular unit extraction’ (or FUE) transplants and are even available on precision areas such as eyebrows. Although it’s a good idea to research the possibilities, it’s best to book a consultation before getting your heart set on a particular treatment.

Whichever path you choose to take, surround yourself with friends you can talk to. Break the silence today.

 

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Female Hair Loss: A Silent Pain

  1. I started to lose my hair last year after suffering from a terrible illness called DRESS Syndrome, I became sepsis and all sorts so no wonder my hair freaked out!
    Anyway, it was awful, I was mortified but thanks to my friends and family I got through it.
    My hairdresser was amazing and reassured me it would grow back, giving me hair cuts that would help. I thought the best thing to do was to cut it really short but apparently not!
    I also purchased a shampoo bar called New from Lush as I didn’t want to use anything that had a lot of chemicals in to help my hair grow. I would recommend this though! I had a medicated shampoo at first due to my scalp shedding skin (:/) but I got sick of the smell and wanted to feel glamorous when I was washing my hair even though it was all going down the drain.
    I think it’s a horrible thing for any woman to experience and I think it’s fantastic that you’ve written about it 🙂 xxx

      1. She really is! And yes, it has thank you 🙂 I think it started to grow back in about May last year and I still have some tufts! They look a bit like layers though 😉
        I have my hair in a bob now and it looks so much thicker 🙂 awww thank you 🙂 xxx

  2. I am constantly telling my boyfriend and Mum that I feel rubbish because my hair is falling out and they always just laugh and brush it off telling me I’m being silly! It’s not them pulling out handfuls of hair every shower time though 😞 I’ve even told my doctor about it twice and they just mumble something about having had a baby – albeit that was 2 years ago! Fingers crossed my doctor is right but thanks for bringing it up, I bet there’s loads of people out there struggling with it by themselves xx

    1. I was reading that it can be down to diet, or rather sometime lacking in the diet, causing something in your body not being made. I didn’t include that reason because it seemed quite complicated and not easy to explain but you could always as for a blood test.

      I think loads of people don’t like to talk about it and it’s so easy to feel like you’re being paranoid when there’s no visible bald patches. Thank you for getting in touch and I hope your Dr listens if you go 🙂 x

  3. Awesome post!

    I have alopecia areata. It’s an auto-immune condition that causes patchy hair loss – but it can also result in the total loss of all hair. Mine’s been dormant for a while so I haven’t had any issues in a few years.

    But I will never forget the horrors of losing 80% of my hair in under two months. And that also included my eyelashes. I had zero body hair – OK, that was great – but having to cover my hair (or the lack of it) for almost three years had quite an effect on me, my husband, my family and my friends.

    Back then I read up on the subject – because I knew my GP at that time was an idiot. So I went on a gluten-free diet. I felt like a different person after one week. My eczema almost went away in just under a month (I still have the occasional flare-up, but I would no longer call myself an eczema-sufferer), and ALL my hair grew back. I had peach fuzz all over my head after 10 weeks of going gluten-free. And I knew it wasn’t spontaneous regrowth which can also happen – because all my hair started to grow again at the same time.

    My hair is absolutely gorgeous now. Just as it was before. No one would even guess what I’ve been through if I hadn’t got the photos and the hospital letters to prove it.

    Anyway, gluten-free might not be the solution for everyone – but it might be the cure for some of us. The reason – in very basic terms – is that people with either celiac disease or alopecia areata (and a few other auto-immune conditions) have the same defect on a certain gene.

    Gluten is also linked to androgenetic hair loss if that’s due to PCOS. Again, it won’t be the solution for most people, but it has been established that gluten can have an effects on the thyroid glands and there is a link to Hashimoto’s (another auto-immune condition).

    As someone who’s life has been turned around by avoiding gluten, I would always recommend it. It’s probably only helping a minority of people, but if’s definitely worth trying it for a few months.

    And no matter what the reason for hair loss is, there is support – and there is a women-only hair loss forum out there. It’s called heralopecia.com. The community is wonderful and people share their stories. And there’s always someone who can offer support and advice.

    Long comment, I know. But if it comes to female hair loss, I just have to share my story. 🙂

    1. Thank you for this comment, it’s so informative! And how wonderful that your hair has returned to how it was before!

      It was really interesting to read about how gluten can affect so much. I have eczma that I have never been able to completely shift, I might look into avoiding gluten.

      Thank you so much for reaching out, I think your comment is far more helpful than my post haha! X

      1. Thank you!! xx

        Well, I used to spend every free minute of the day educating myself on alopecia.

        With eczema it apparently depends on where you have it. Apparently it’s more likely than not gluten-related if you’ve got problems with your elbows, knees or buttocks. I had major problems with eczema on my elbows most of my life. It was gross. But fortunately that kind of ‘eczema’ was limited to my elbows only. And I haven’t had any issues at all in years = since I’ve gone gluten-free.

        If you go gluten-free you have to be serious about it. My husband has given up on all things gluten as well so that there is not a chance in hell (!) of cross-contamination. He did it because he saw the difference it made – not just for my hair growth, but also for my general well-being.

  4. I used to have the same problem till I realized that Nutrition plays a huge part. Nutrients &
    vitamins will first meet the needs of vital organs including hair. Bone broth “http://healthjess.com/bone-broth-benefits-guide/” has been my number 1 go to to strengthening and regrowing my hair. But it is not a quick overnight fix. You will see gradual benefits in you hair skin and nail over a 2 – 3 month period. Try it, it works!

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