Even if it is not our favourite feature we do seem to make the effort to look presentable day in and day out.
Our hair is an essential part of our image, and therefore our identity.
This makes it all the more disturbing if it begins to fall out. Hair loss can be the result of chemotherapy treatments; a severe side effect experienced when we are already fighting for our lives. It can be caused by Alopecia Areata, a condition that can cause bald spots or total hair loss. We may also lose our hair due to genetics or the natural aging process.
Whatever the cause, losing our hair can have a significant impact on our self-esteem and overall wellbeing. It is never an easy hurdle to cross, but there are certain ways to help cope with some of the more severe emotional and physical effects.
Reach Out for Help
It may sound cliché but now more than ever is a great time to reach out for help. Support may come in the form of close friends and family members. It can also come from online forums and social media groups. Share your story verbally or in writing and you may be surprised by how therapeutic it can be.
Speak to your spouse and those closest to you about what you need at this time. Many women suffering from hair loss complain that their husbands don’t complement them or reassure them as much as they’d like, but this can often just be a matter of asking for what you want.
Let your partner know that you need verbal reinforcement at this time; that their support will be vital in your adjustment to your condition.
Seek therapy if you’re having a hard time coming to terms with your new appearance and how it makes you feel. These are feelings that should not be held inside. If left untreated they can easily turn into depression.
What to Wear
If your hair loss is expected and you are able to prepare for it, do make a point of deciding how you will dress your bare head. You can examine wig options and even go for a private wig fitting. This way, when you do lose your hair you’re able to still feel like ‘you’ when you look in the mirror and when you go out.
As a general rule, choosing human hair wigs will provide you with the most natural look; they also last the longest. They can be cut and styled to just like your normal hair, allowing you to create a look that really works for you. Synthetic wigs, however, can also be of very high quality. Innovations in manufacturing have allowed for the production of very slender fibres that can look great.
In terms of comfort you’ll want to search for the most light-weight wig you can find. Search for those with soft mesh caps, specifically made for people with sensitive scalps.
You can shop for colourful scarves and hats – a combination of the two can be great for keeping your head warm and covering up. Plus it’s never a bad idea to pamper yourself with silk, soft cotton, bamboo fabric, lamb’s wool or cashmere, all of which will feel wonderful against your scalp. Natural fibres allow your head to breathe.
If you’re already losing your hair you can also take part in the above. Decide what works for you – some women feel best going out bald, while others really prefer to cover up. You may even decide on different looks for different occasions.
Plenty of Self-Care
Now is a time when it’s natural to experience a whole range of emotions, ranging from self-doubt to outright jealousy of those with a full head of hair.
One of the best ways to prepare for these feelings is to really take the best care of yourself possible. Take the time to do things that make you feel good, to engage in activities that you truly enjoy.
Keep yourself healthy with nourishing foods, and stay hydrated with at least 2 litres of water per day. All of these things will help you prepare mentally and physically for the challenges to come.
Close attention to your emotions and feelings, a plan for what you’ll wear and being sure to care for yourself during this sensitive time should help you cope with your hair loss.
If you have been through the process yourself and have any tips, please share them with our readers.