The business of bad hair: getting to the root of the problem

Having spent a long time hiding away, scared to show my hair in public, it’s taken me a long time to build up the courage to start this blog.

What eventually motivated me to take the plunge was how annoyed I felt at the amount of money and time that I’d wasted trying to fix my hair loss – with very varying results.

A big part of that was my own reluctance to go and get the proper help (it took me FOUR YEARS to finally make an appointment with a dermatologist!) but I also got a lot of bad advice along the way, and I want to stop others from falling into that trap.

For four years, the extent of my hair loss had varied but in the months leading up to the appointment, it was so bad that I mostly avoided seeing anyone other than family and very close friends. My hair was so brittle it would fall away in my hands and it came out in clumps when I dried it. My hair was very uneven, with most of my hair loss on one side of my head, and some sections less than an inch in length.

The most important – and the most difficult – step for me was definitely making an appointment with my GP and getting a referral to a specialist. While in my particular case that didn’t actually lead directly to a diagnosis, it gave me the confidence to start looking into what I could do to fix the results of my hair loss, which by then was too extensive to disguise using clips or even head scarves.

It was a hard thing to do but ultimately the thought of sitting in the doctor’s surgery with my hair uncovered was much harder than the reality. Doctors are trained to be sensitive and personally, I found that seeing a female doctor meant that she already understood that this wasn’t just vanity but a problem that had gradually taken over my life.

The doctor referred me to a dermatologist who specialised in hair loss. Seeing her was definitely more challenging than seeing the doctor: hearing that she had no idea what the cause of my hair loss was really shocked me and made me feel like I was abnormal.

Ultimately though, and with the encouragement of my family, it gave me the confidence to follow her advice and visit a hairdresser who specialised in hair loss solutions.

That was seven months ago and since then, albeit after a lot of setbacks and complications, my hair is finally starting to grow back and I’m working on rebuilding some of the self-confidence I lost over the last five years.

So, if any of this resonates with anyone reading this, I would say don’t follow the path I took and get help now! Although that help may be imperfect, it is out there, and confronting the problem and seeking solutions is so much more empowering than hiding away like I did.

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