When I realise that no one notices your imperfections anyway.
One thing I’ve noticed since starting to lose my hair to alopecia, is other people’s hair! It’s one of those things isn’t it? If you are pregnant then you seem to notice lots of other pregnant women, and if buy a silver Ford Fiesta then you suddenly notice many other silver Ford Fiestas on the road. It’s the same with hair. If you are losing hair, you see a vast number of women with thinning or receding hair everywhere you look. Were these women always there? Of course they were – I just hadn’t noticed the fact they had less on top before. Even women I know quite well – friends and acquaintances – I’m now detecting bald spots, wide partings and sparse sections of hair that I swear weren’t there a couple of months ago!
So what does this mean? Well, it obviously means I’m quite unobservant generally, but then that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Because if I’ve never noticed other people’s hair loss, they, more likely than not, won’t notice mine!
In other news – my receding hairline has slowed down and rather than put myself through another biopsy to determine the exact type of scarring alopecia I have (frontal fibrosing or otherwise) – either on the NHS or privately (with an eye-watering excess of £500 to pay) – I’ve decided on the following plan. My GP suggested having a consultation at the surgery in a few weeks time to take stock of the situation and see at what rate my hair is receding (or not, as the case may be). If I’m losing hair at a worrying rate, then I’ll be referred back to the dermatologist for a deeper biopsy, and if not, then I’ll leave it for the moment with a view to restarting the dermatology process all over again in the future, should I need to.
See you soon
10 Positive Ways I Have Found To Cope
Sometimes my hair loss seems like a bad dream I will eventually wake up from – but that’s not happened yet. It’s still early days for me, I know, with a part diagnosis last week and biopsy results still pending, but I have to remain positive for the time being. I still have to go to work, pick up from school, go to the supermarket, meet up with friends etc. etc. I can’t (and won’t) let it defeat me.
So, following on from my last post about my feelings towards my hair loss, here is a list of 10 ways I have found that help me deal with what is happening:
- I count my blessings – Sounds corny but it works. There are sooooo many things I am very grateful for and happy about in my life. There really is always someone worse off than you.
- I look after myself – I’ve started going to bed on time, eating super well and relaxing when my body’s tired (something I’ve never been able to do in the past). When I wake up in the night and start worrying about my hair (or anything else), I listen to a meditation (there are some great ones on YouTube) and I practice deep breathing. I stop working earlier in the evening and make sure I spend time with friends and family. I surround myself with positive people when I feel low. I go out and indulge my hobbies (e.g. singing in a choir).
- I have altered my self-talk – When I’m down, I speak to myself as I know my friends and family would, and give myself the advice I know they’d give. I’m kind to myself. N.B. This is one of the most important things I have done and has made a big difference to how I feel.
- I have told people about my hair loss – I can imagine that some people don’t mention their hair loss to people until they absolutely have to or can’t hide it anymore. In fact, I read somewhere that nearly half of women (42% or some such figure) even hide it from their partners! For me, I’d much rather tell people. Once it’s out there you don’t have to worry about constantly covering it up. You don’t have to explain why you’re wearing a scarf or your hair looks scraggy etc. You can just be yourself. Most people I have told have been lovely about it – and have offered advice or told me about other people they know with a similar thing. I don’t think people judge you in any way for something like this – what’s to judge anyway?
- I have experimented with scarves – Wearing a scarf to cover up the front of my head is about the extent of this at the moment, however, I have ordered some chemo caps from Amazon just so I have them at the ready should I need them (see point 9).
- I have told my hairdresser – I told my hairdresser yesterday so that when I go back in to the salon, he knows my issue already and will be ready to help. I decided today that my hair is looking so thin all over that having it cut short is probably the best option at the moment.
- I have listed all the positives of having this condition – Yes, there are some! I think they’ll form the basis of a separate blog post as there are quite a few.
- I realise that this condition is not as bad as other things I have dealt with in my life – I recognise that if I was strong enough and brave enough to face some really tough times previously (which I did), I can certainly cope with this.
- I have worked out how I would feel about the worst case scenario – The worst case scenario would be that I go completely bald or that my hair is so receded or thin that I can’t not wear some sort of headwear. I have thought long and hard about how I would feel about this (because after all, it’s all to do with how we feel about things, as the condition only really affects me and no one else). After much thought, I have concluded that it wouldn’t be a disaster. Worse things happen to people and I don’t need hair from a practical point of view.
- I have investigated a few options for the worst case scenario – And there are lots! If I have the information and I know what the options are in advance, I can feel there is a safety net for me. So I have found out that there are wigs, toppers, an intralace system, scarves, turbans…… and just being bald!
See you next time 🙂