Monday, 20 January 2014

Dealing with female hair loss.

I've been wanting to write this post for a really long time, but kept finding an excuse not to write it, or put another post up in it's place. Well no more excuses, it's time to write it. I understand that this might not be a post that everyone wants to read, or will even be interested in, but it is something that is important to me and a lot of other females. It might be a slightly taboo subject, but I thought that today I would just go for it.

I'm writing this post from a personal point of view as I have suffered from hair loss for the past 8 months, and now that I've learnt to manage it I thought it would be a good time to help others. Female hair loss is something that I was quite ignorant towards until it happened to me. I think that a lot of people only think of males loosing their hair. I was one of those people and was only one to make jokes about my uncles bald head. Of course I was always aware of Alopecia, and other such causes of hair loss. But I never thought of females actually losing their hair. 
Then in July 2013, on a visit back home to see my mum and dad, I had booked myself in for a hair cut at my old workplace. After having my hair washed when my old boss/hairdresser came to start cutting she noticed two bald spots in the back of my head about the size of a 10p coin. I was pretty devastated, but was reassured the my hair follicle was still visible so it was almost certain that my hair would grow back. I was quite lucky as I have very thick hair, so the patches were easily covered, but I was constantly aware of them. A few months went by and I slowly began to forget about them. In October, the week before I went to Mexico, I went back home to get another hair cut. This time the patches had grown to more than twice their size, and there were a few smaller ones too. I went home and cried.  I felt stupid that I hadn't noticed them, and that I hadn't been to see a doctor about them months ago. I booked an appointment with my GP for the next day but still didn't know what to expect. At my appointment, I burst into tears before I had even told the doctor what was the matter. Once I had told her, and she had examined my scalp, she told that I had Alopecia Areata. I informed her that my Dad had suffered from Alopecia a few years previous, but his hair had grown back. She was so lovely and reassured me that it is more common than people think in females over the age of 18. I was prescribed some medicated shampoo, which was aimed at aimed at clearing up any areas of dry or unhealthy scalp. 
After two weeks of using this every other day, I noticed a real difference in my hair growth. I was starting to get a very thin covering of hair, kind of like a shaven patch of head, with fine white hairs. Having brunette hair, I was worried that I would have white streaks, but in the end I wasn't too bothered as I just wanted the hair back. I noticed that I was loosing less and less hair whilst washing it and brushing. As I was advised to use no heat (something I rarely do anyway) the rest of my hair became stronger. I was also told to use little or no products on my hair, giving the new hair a chance to adapt itself. Regular check ups with my GP meant that I could clearly see the progress and keep it monitored. I have also started to use a caffeine shampoo, which has also help along with healing oils. 

There are some amazing organisations that can help anyone dealing with hair loss. A lot of them have online information which really does help, and the advice of various doctors so you know that you are getting the advice that you need. There are also a lot of products that claim to promote hair growth, although these can be quite pricey so my advice would be to ask your GP for an examination and then query any products with them, before you buy them. I now have only one very small patch with no hair, the rest has started to, or has grown nicely and is getting closer to my natural colour every day :)

I apologise that this has been an extremely long post, but I do hope that it has helped some of you who might be suffering and didn't know what to do. I was going to include some pictures in this post, but I don't have any from the start of my journey and feel it wouldn't show the right results if I showed you pictures from halfway through my treatment. 

If you want to find out more here are some of the organisations that I have found to be extremely useful:

1 comment:

  1. I have nominated you for a Liebster award! Check out my blog post for details & the questions I have asked you xx


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