Hair Loss Hell

Latest Posts
  • Bald Female Celebrities!
    June 29th, 2012

    Angelina Jolie with a shaved head, and nearly bald - from her role in the 1998 movie Gia.

    Did you know tons of female celebrities – famous actresses, models, and singers – have shaved their heads and been bald at some point in their careers? News broke recently that actress Charlize Theron shaved her head for her new role in Mad Max: Fury Road, and I was a little shocked at first. A-lister Charlize is known for her gorgeous blonde hair, and as hair loss sufferer, I am always wishing that famous women would shave their heads so that it can pave the way for regular women to do it too.

    After searching for pictures of Charlize, I realized many female celebs have already gone bald for various roles, or just for fun – I just never noticed before! For example, a lot of women with thinning wish Angelina Jolie would shave her head because she is one of the most famous women in the world – but it turns out she already shaved her head in her 1998 movie Gia! I’ve even seen that movie and I forgot about this! Before I had hair loss, I was so horrified about the idea of shaving my head that it probably would have taken an offer of a million dollars to even consider it. Now, of course, I dream about doing it every day! Below are several more famous women that have been bald, or had shaved heads and buzz cuts, and some of these women have become famous because of their signature shaved heads!

    Charlize Theron:
    Charlize Theron bald
    These aren’t the greatest photos of Charlize Theron, but this is her new look for the Mad Max movie. She looks great here – unlike how she looked in the movie Monster – remember that? And on a side note, I loved her movie Young Adult, and her character has Trichotillomania (hair pulling) in the movie!

    Demi Moore:
    Demi Moore bald
    Demi Moore is, of course, one of the most famous A-list celebrities that shaved her head for a movie – 1997’s G.I. Jane. When that movie came out I was horrified at the idea of ever shaving my head. Back then I had a hard time figuring out what was worse – going around with no hair, or being naked in a movie with bad bolt-on breast implants – a la Striptease.

    Sigourney Weaver:
    Sigourney Weaver bald
    Sigourney Weaver probably had the other most famous role as a bald woman in a movie – in Alien 3.

    Natalie Portman:
    Natalie Portman bald
    Natalie Portman had her head shaved in the movie V For Vendetta. That shocked me quite a bit at the time too, because in 2005 I still had hope my hair would fix itself, so I would have been too freaked to consider shaving my head – even if I was getting paid a ton of $.

    Britney Spears:
    Britney Spears bald
    I couldn’t really find a good picture of Britney Spears bald. That feeling of wanting to say “f%*k it” and shave off all your hair – I now know how that feels Britney! Britney can’t win with her hair – I wrote about her hair extensions issues here.

    Cynthia Nixon:
    Cynthia Nixon bald
    Sex And The City alum Cynthia Nixon recently shaved her head to play a cancer patient in a play in New York City. Lately she’s been spotted wearing wigs.

    Solange Knowles:
    Solange Knowles bald
    Beyonce’s little sister sometimes ditches her wigs and weaves and wears her hair cropped super short.

    Sofia Vassilieva:
    Sofia Vassilieva bald
    This young actress beat out more famous actresses (like Dakota Fanning) for her role in My Sister’s Keeper because she was actually willing to shave her head for the role. Cameron Diaz’s character also shaved her head in the movie, however Cameron wore a bald cap and didn’t actually shave her head. Sofia was brave because she had really long beautiful hair before the movie, but I would have done the Cameron Diaz move if I could get away with it.

    Sinead O’Connor:
    Sinead O'Connor bald
    Sinead is probably the most famous bald female singer. To this day she still shaves her head, and the only time I’ve seen her with hair was in one of her videos, and she was wearing a wig.

    Robin Tunney:
    Robin Tunney bald
    In the movie Empire Records Robin Tunney shaves her head (which I totally forgot about until now). You’ve probably seen her on the current TV Show The Mentalist.

    Willow Smith:
    Willow Smith bald
    Aside from being Will Smith’s daughter, ironically Willow Smith is best known for her song “Whip My Hair.” I’m not sure what inspired the 11 year old to shave her hair off, but it looks super cute in this pink color. But if it was me I would grow my hair back out, because she’s a spitting image of her dad – hairstyle and all!

    Mena Suvari:
    Mena Suvari bald
    I’m not sure if Mena Suvari, best known for her role in American Pie, got a buzz cut a few years ago for a movie role, or just for fun. It looks cute.

    Judith Light:
    Judith Light bald
    Judith Light shaved her head for the same role, in the same play, that Cynthia Nixon is currently starring in. On some episodes of Law & Order, I had noticed she was wearing a wig. Remember that horrible hair, and hair color, Judith had on Who’s The Boss? It was sooo big! Apparently that wasn’t all her real hair, and she wore falls, or whatever kind of fake hair they had in the 80s!

    Lori Petty:
    Lori Petty bald
    Probably best known for her role in the movie Tank Girl, actress Lori Petty always seems to sport super short hair, or even shaved hair nowadays. Remember her crazy hairdo in Tank Girl?

    Grace Jones:
    Grace Jones bald
    Grace Jones is a model, singer, and actress, and she’s known for her crazy hairdos – but she’s sported the bald look as well!

    Ellen Page:
    Ellen Page bald
    Before she was famous for her role in Juno, Ellen Page shaved her head in the movie Mouth To Mouth. I wonder if shaving your head in an indie film helps pave the way for bigger and better roles?

    Cate Blanchett:
    Cate Blanchett bald
    A-list actress Cate Blanchett shaved her head for a role in the 2002 movie Heaven.

    Agyness Deyn:
    Agyness Deyn bald
    The model-turned-actress is usually known for her short light blonde hair, but here she is with a shaved head. On a side note, she lied about her age when she started modeling (by six years), and that news didn’t come out til recently!

    Alek Wek:
    Alek Wek bald
    Alek Wek has made a career out of being a bald supermodel!

    Amber Rose:
    Amber Rose bald
    Amber Rose is a model and socialite (AKA she dates famous men), and even though she obviously has super thick hair, she’s worn it shaved short for the past few years. I really love her look, and am jealous that she can pull off having almost no hair, while wearing nerd glasses, and she still looks super hot. And I’m jealous that she could grow her hair out tomorrow if she wanted to, and it would look awesome.

    Annie Lennox:
    Annie Lennox bald
    Annie Lennox, the singer for The Eurythmics, has made cropped, short hair her signature style since the 1980s. I love that color!

    Bai Ling:
    Bai Ling bald
    The Chinese actress, known for her wacky outfits, and for being on the “worst dressed list” all the time, shaved her head for a movie role.

    Wow! That is a lot of bald female celebs! And there are even more – actress Toni Collette shaved her head in a movie, models Jenny Shimizu and Eve Salvail were known for their bald heads, or super short haircuts, and there are lesser-known celebrities I haven’t included here. Supposedly Halle Berry did, or will, shave her head for a movie called Nappily Ever After. And who am I forgetting? Let me know! Other famous actresses have bravely gone out in public bald, or nearly bald, while they’ve fought cancer (Kylie Minogue and Melissa Etheridge come to mind).

    There are a lot of famous women that also have sported partially shaved heads – such as: Rihanna, Avril Lavigne, Cyndi Lauper, and Cassie. Then there are actresses that have cut their hair super short for a movie, but it’s not quite as short as a buzz cut. Anne Hathaway just hacked all her hair off for Les Miserables, Hilary Swank got a boy haircut for Boys Don’t Cry, Michelle Williams’ short haircut has given her A-list status, and Emma Watson cut her hair into a pixie cut after Harry Potter, because she could!

    I’m not sure if seeing all of these bald celebrities makes me feel better or not. Most of them got paid a substantial amount of money to go bald, or they are models, so they can pull off the no-hair look. And I don’t think any of the women even have hair loss (aside from Britney Spears), so they can grow out their natural hair, if they haven’t already. Nonetheless, I’m sure the first time they shaved their heads was quite a traumatic experience. What’s your take on these celebrities, and what’s your feeling about shaving your own head?

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  • Jessie J Wears Wigs To Prevent Hair Loss
    June 20th, 2012
    Jessie J wig
    Jessie J’s trademark black bob wig

    Until recently I had no idea that pop singer Jessie J regularly wears wigs – and she wears them to prevent hair loss! Did you know she wears wigs? When I saw Jessie J for the first time, I was jealous of her perfect, thick black bob, but I had great hair at age 24 too, so it didn’t dawn on me that she could be wearing a wig. I am sort of shocked that Jessie J had me fooled for the past year, and even though her trademark black bob doesn’t have the most realistic looking part, I just figured she had naturally thick hair. I had also never seen her with any other hairstyles, and that would have clued me into the fact that she wears wigs!

    In the May 2012 issue of Glamour magazine, I was shocked to see Jessie J sporting her natural hair, and I was shocked she talked about hair loss! A female celebrity talking about hair loss? That’s almost unheard of (although Lady Gaga has recently admitted her hair is falling out too – from over-bleaching it).

    Here’s what Jessie J says about her hair in Glamour:

    Glamour: You wear a lot of wigs, right?

    Jessie J: It’s so tough to explain to people. When you have half an hour to be ready at four o’clock in the morning, you don’t have time to get up and glue in extensions or blow-dry your hair. A hairdresser who did my hair said, “You, my darling, have something that we call ‘successful’ hair,” which is basically battered hair that’s split and falling out in the back because you’ve had to blow-dry it every day. I don’t want my hair falling out, so I wear wigs!

    So while Jessie J doesn’t exactly admit to having ongoing hair loss, to me her thinning hair is kind of obvious in the pictures of her in Glamour. I guess I feel bad for saying that since she doesn’t mention the hair loss I see on her (in the front and on the sides). And the wearing wigs to prevent hair loss thing is interesting to me. I know a lot of celebrities (like Julianna Margulies on The Good Wife) wear wigs to prevent having to spend hours styling their hair every day while on set. But I am paranoid that if I wear a wig every day it will start to tug at my real hair and cause traction alopecia, but maybe if I find the right wig it won’t be an issue.

    So let’s take a closer look at Jessie J and her different hairstyles and wigs:

    Jessie J hair loss
    This is one of Jessie J’s pictures from Glamour magazine. She’s wearing hair extensions or a clip-on ponytail in the back, but you can see her receding hairline in the front.

    Jessie J hair loss
    Here you can see her thinning hair on the sides at the temples – Jessie J, I have the same exact thing happening too.

    Jessie J's hair loss
    Here’s another shot of her natural hair.

    Jessie J hair
    Here is Jessie J performing without a wig.

    Jessie J bob wig
    Here she is in her trademark wig, which I totally thought was her real hair!

    Jessie J purple wig
    I love the color of this purple wig!

    Jessie J bob wig
    I’m not sure if this is the same purple wig, or a different one, but it looks a lot more realistic. I would love to wear a wig like this! And she’s wearing a Swatch watch – I love Swatches!

    Jessie J long wig
    This is a cool looking long wig with a technicolor ombre thing going on.

    Jessie J bob wig
    Another two-toned wig – this time in red.

    Jessie J blue wig
    I love this blue color, but why do crazy colored wigs always have to have such fake parts? This looks like a Katy Perry wig – or other crazy celeb wigs.

    Jessie J bangs
    Jessie J sporting her real hair, but with clip-on bangs (and probably a clip-on ponytail too).

    Jessie J long hair
    I think this is Jessie’s real hair, plus extensions, but I’m not sure.

    Jessie J real hair
    Again this looks like Jessie’s real hair, worn down with waves, but I don’t know for sure.

    I’ve really liked Jessie J, ever since I first saw her performing her song “Mamma Knows Best” on Saturday Night Live last year. I’m happy that she’s comfortable talking about her hair and the issues celebrities face when it comes to their hair. And I love that she’s not afraid to talk about wearing wigs. Every celebrity that admits to wearing hair makes it that much easier for us thinning non-celebs to gain cultural acceptance. On a side note, when Jessie broke her foot last year and was told she would never be allowed to wear high heels again, a friend of mine was so devastated for her. At the time I didn’t know she had hair issues, so I thought – who cares because at least she has tons of hair! Now I feel doubly bad. Well at least she has money, and a lot of talent!

    Do you have any opinions about Jessie J’s hair, wigs, and possible hair loss? Do you like her music?

    *Click Here To Get Hair Loss Hell Updates Via Email!

  • Why I Stopped Propecia
    May 13th, 2012

    stopping PropeciaI abruptly stopped taking Propecia for my hair loss in late March because of some horrendous health problems I experienced. I had been on the medication for about 5 months, and I felt like my hair shedding was finally slowing down, and most of the side effects I initially had from it had disappeared. I don’t know if I had experienced any growth from the medication, but my hair stopped getting worse while I was on it, and if I had stuck with it just a few more months, I would have known for sure if it was working or not.

    So why did I stop it? Things were going decently for me in February and March and I had started eating healthier again, I was trying to make more money, and I started up a new regimen of daily running (something I had never done before). I was feeling good about myself, and then one day I developed this bladder problem where I felt like I drank a giant Big Gulp eight hours earlier and couldn’t find a bathroom. The feeling was constant (even after I peed), and it was horrible. I never gave much thought to women that had overactive bladders, but it’s an awful feeling. I ended up in Urgent Care for the first time in my life – that’s how freaked out I was. After seeing a few doctors and testing negative for UTIs, I decided I had to go off the Propecia in case it was causing the problem. Since Propecia changes your hormones, and there are estrogen receptors in your bladder, I figured there was a chance the Propecia was the culprit. I also had been having really heavy periods for the past year (which started when I went on Spironolactone), so I thought maybe Propecia was causing a fibroid to grow (or causing some sort of hormone imbalance).

    After seeing a Urologist who told me I probably had an incurable bladder inflammation disease called Interstitial Cystitis, I lost it. I went into the worst depression of my life and almost ended up in a mental hospital. The doctor told me the urgent urination problem may never go away, and between that, the fact my hair was falling out and I had to give up Propecia – my last ditch effort to save my hair, and the fact that I had no money and no idea how to get a decent job, the stress was just too much. Looking back, I know that Propecia can cause depression, but I was doing okay until the bladder issue struck, so I don’t know if Propecia had any impact on my mental state.

    I went down to eating like 500 calories a day because I was so depressed, and between that, going off the Propecia, and my extreme stress and depression, my hair started shedding dramatically again. The only good news is that I finally lost the 15 pounds I’ve been trying to lose the last 5 years. The fact that I couldn’t lose weight until I nearly starved myself to death makes me think I really do have a thyroid problem, which could be making everything worse. I will soon be going to a doctor that does bio-identical hormone testing, which includes testing for thyroid issues, adrenal problems, and hormone imbalances. I’m starting to think my extreme stress has caused an adrenal problem (and maybe the running was too much for my body?), and I have had thyroid problems before that I have never able to treat successfully.

    Because of the extreme depression, I was started on an antidepressant. I have been anxious and depressed for years, but was afraid to go on medication because they all potentially cause hair loss and weight gain. Of course my depression and anxiety were so bad these last few years that they probably made my hair loss worse than what any medication could do. I was initially treated with Effexor, but had a severe reaction to it (Serotonin Syndrome), which has permanently changed the vision in my left eye (after just one dose). I then started on Zoloft, and within four days I could feel it working, and now that it’s been a few weeks, I’m back to where I was emotionally before this whole nightmare began. I’m not happy – but I’m able to function. I also started counseling at a free mental health clinic (at least one thing is free, unlike the doctor bills – good grief).

    Now that I know I’m going to live, I’m back to facing the fact that my hair is horrible (and it’s a lot worse than it was just two months ago). Even though I feel like this mess was a sign I should stay away from Propecia, I’m still contemplating going back on it. That’s probably a bad idea. I had a pelvic ultrasound done, and it was discovered that I do have a fibroid, and probably a uterine polyp – both of which could be causing the heavy bleeding. And both issues could have been caused by the Spironolactone (and maybe the Propecia).

    My bladder problem is better – but not completely cured. There are moments, and even hours, where I feel okay. I still don’t know if I have Interstitial Cystitis or not. For the last few weeks I’ve been on an elimination diet to see if I have hidden food sensitivities that are causing the bladder problem. Since I’ve had sooo many health issues during the past twenty years, I keep wondering if all of my symptoms are caused by one thing – maybe it’s food allergies, or mercury poisoning, or a hormone imbalance, or hypothyroid, or maybe my depression and anxiety are causing most of the issues. I hope I will get some answers from the bio-identical doctor.

    I have basically given up on my hair at this point because I’ve run out of hope it will ever get better. Maybe the Zoloft will help, and if I go back on the Propecia maybe that will help too. But I think I’m nearly a lost cause. I had to give up on my hair to save myself, if that makes sense. So that’s what’s been happening with me. I know my blog is frustrating because I am trying to find a cure for hair loss, and I just end up with one dead-end after another. Am I crazy to consider going back on Propecia?

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  • Has Selma Blair Beaten Postpartum Hair Loss?
    April 3rd, 2012
    Selma Blair beats postpartum hair loss
    Selma Blair’s postpartum hair loss is over!

    Selma Blair is one of the few celebrities that is refreshingly open about her experience with postpartum hair loss after giving birth to her son Arthur on July 25, 2011. About three months after having the baby, the actress told People magazine, ”This is so not glamorous, but it’s true – I need to take longer showers so that I can collect the hair that falls out and throw it away so I don’t clog the drain. Why do actresses never talk about that? It just started falling out at the three-month mark. And I’m not a girl who likes extensions, so Selma’s going to be bald!”

    I can totally sympathize with the fear of going bald – even though I’ve never had a baby! I admire the fact that Selma didn’t bother to cover up her temporary wide part, and she was too busy doing more important stuff – like taking care of her new baby.

    This first photo was taken in mid-March 2012, and it appears she has beaten postpartum hair loss and her lost hair is starting to come back. She made it through the ordeal without going bald, and without relying on extensions or Joan Rivers Great Hair Day, which I would have used, since I’m apparently more vain than Selma. If she used a hair loss cover-up product and didn’t talk about her hair loss, no one probably would have noticed. But I’m glad she’s talking about it so that other new moms don’t feel so worried if it happens to them, since it’s totally normal.

    Why does postpartum hair loss occur? When you’re pregnant, hairs that would have normally been shed stay on your head longer than normal due to higher hormone levels in your body. A few months after giving birth 40-50% of women experience excessive hair loss as estrogen levels plummets and many of the hairs hit the telogen (resting phase) at once. Postpartum hair loss is also called postpartum telogen effluvium, and the shedding normally peaks at three to four months after giving birth. Six to twelve months after giving birth, most women find their hair returns to normal. Selma Blair had her baby a little over six months ago, so her hair is already filling in nicely. However, some women report that their hair never returns to its pre-pregnancy state after giving birth, and sometimes having a baby can kick in genetic hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia).

    Let’s take a look at Selma Blair’s hair throughout the different phases of her life…

    selma blair beats postpartum telogen effluvium
    Here’s another photo taken very recently to show she has beaten postpartum hair loss, and her hair is on its way back to normal.

    selma blair hair
    This photo was taken recently, and from afar it might appear she has hair loss, but up close you can see she just has gray roots. Again I admire an actress that doesn’t feel compelled to rush out and touch up her roots every week.

    selma blair prepregnancy
    This is a picture of Selma Blair before she was pregnant, so you can see how her hair normally looks.

    selma blair pregnant
    A very pregnant Selma Blair.

    selma blair pregnant
    Another pregnancy photo of Selma.

    selma blair and baby
    Here’s Selma Blair and her baby Arthur. It’s hard to tell if she’s experiencing hair loss in this picture.

    selma blair hair loss
    In this photo you can clearly see the postpartum hair loss Selma was talking about.

    selma blair postpartum hair loss
    You can see her slightly wider part here.

    selma blair hair loss
    You can see Selma’s temporary hair loss here too. If her hair wasn’t black it wouldn’t even be that noticeable.

    I’m happy Selma Blair seems to already be on the road to getting all of her temporarily lost hair back. Have you experienced postpartum hair loss? Did all of your hair come back? Do you have any tips for coping with it?

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  • Hair Loss And Weight – Can Your Hair Fall Out If You’re Too Thin?
    March 14th, 2012

    hair loss and weightCan hair loss be affected by weight gain or weight loss? If you become Angelina Jolie-skinny, could your hair suddenly fall out, and if it does, will it come back? And does being overweight put you at greater risk for losing your hair?

    When I first noticed my hair was thinning, it was about ten years ago, and my body was at the thinnest it had ever been. In the past I’ve always been at a normal weight for my height (around the middle of the BMI – body mass index), but in my mid 20s I had dropped down to the low end of normal on the scale. I was initially ecstatic because I could finally wear whatever I wanted to without worrying about cellulite and muffin tops. At the time I had given up trying to lose weight because diets never worked for me – but I started eating a little less when I moved from one city to another because I couldn’t afford to eat out anymore, and after a few months I lost ten pounds.

    After a few years at my “perfect” weight, I also noticed my part was wider, and my hair didn’t have the same volume it used to. More than one doctor told me I was too skinny, even though I was within the healthy range of the BMI scale, and I was still ten pounds heavier than any Hollywood celebrity. Telogen Effluvium (temporary increased hair shedding) can be caused by weight loss and nutritional deficiencies, so I then made it a point to try to eat as healthy as possible, even if that meant I would have to gain weight. Every time I felt a hunger pain I would worry my body was starving to death and my hair would flee my head, so I would constantly snack. For the next few years I didn’t gain too much weight, nor did I regrow any hair. And even though I felt like I had a low thyroid problem, doctors wouldn’t listen to me because I wasn’t overweight.

    During the last few years I’ve gained about twenty pounds, despite eating relatively healthy foods, and I finally have the answer to whether or not gaining weight and not being too skinny would solve my hair problems. My hair, of course, is worse than ever, yet I’m definitely not too skinny anymore! I am totally average, yet my hair is anything but that. So in my case gaining weight didn’t do a damn thing, despite a few doctors telling me that was my answer. I guess being thin and not eating that well could have taxed my body and spurred my genetic hair loss faster than if I had been eating perfectly…

    Now I’m currently trying to lose weight because I have a closet full of clothes that don’t fit and I have massive cellulite, varicose veins, and jiggly arms, and I feel really unattractive. I know I’m not supposed to hate so many things about my body but I do. I still associate hunger pains with my hair falling out – I know I’m nuts. Now I’m in a constant struggle between my weight and hair issues (but I doubt my hair will ever come back, which is why I’m back to focusing on losing weight). And now I also think my thyroid problem is back, but that’s a whole other story.

    • Weight Loss And Hair Loss
    I do believe if you’re too skinny that it can affect your hair negatively because when you’re trying to stay thin and only eat 1200 calories a day, it’s hard to get enough nutrients in those limited calories. So you must be vigilant about your diet if you’re prone to hair loss. There are so many super thin celebrities that don’t have any hair loss, so maybe they have excellent eating habits, they’re just genetically lucky, or they wear fake hair and we just don’t know about it. I have noticed a lot of the models in magazines seem to have thin hair and wide parts, so it does make me wonder if being super skinny puts you at risk for hair loss (these models probably fall below the healthy range on the BMI). When I was in New York City, there were a lot of skinny women with hair loss but I don’t know how much their weight affected their hair. On the other hand, I’ve seen many anorexic women without obvious hair loss, so I think if you’re not prone to hair loss you can do just about anything to your body and your hair will stay put.

    Rapid weight loss can definitely cause temporary hair loss. Gastric Bypass Surgery can also cause extensive hair loss (which I will write about at another time). Hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid) can cause both weight loss and hair loss!

    In theory if you lose weight slowly it shouldn’t be a problem for your hair, and if you eat really well, your weight shouldn’t have that much to do with your hair if you stay within a normal weight range. However there are other health factors that can contribute to hair loss (poor absorption of nutrients, low stomach acid, etc.) that I haven’t talked much about yet, and it is definitely challenging to stay slim while getting a perfect balance of nutrients to support your hair. Back when I was young, thin, and I had lots of hair, I used to drink Frappuccinos every day (and when you’re using up 400 calories on sugar, there’s not enough calories left for healthy foods).

    • Weight Gain And Hair Loss
    There are many medical conditions that can contribute to both weight gain and hair loss. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), Diabetes, the pill, hormone imbalances, Depression, Hypothyroid (low thyroid), and side effects from medications are just a few issues that can affect both your weight and your hair. Or, of course, weight gain on its own can cause or worsen many of those same diseases, thus possibly making hair loss worse.

    Overall I don’t know if overweight women have less of a chance, more of a chance, or the same chance, of having hair loss than women who aren’t overweight. This is a topic that’s interested me for several years now, but I don’t know the answer.

    • Conclusion
    This post is my way of expressing my frustration with not only my hair loss but my weight issues too. I am not trying to show off by saying I was once really happy with my figure and my weight – I’m just frustrated that when one thing is going well in your life, something else comes along to overshadow the positive. Now that I can’t lose weight to save my life, it does make me wonder if my thyroid is acting up again. And I do think  a big issue in today’s society is the difficulty in getting the proper nutrients absorbed into our bodies. Between the expense of organic foods, the pesticides that taint fruits and vegetables, the hormones given to animals, the genetically modified foods, the tap water that is questionably safe, and the omnipresence of unhealthy foods everywhere – I do wonder if this is having a huge impact on female hair loss. What do you think?

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  • Viola Davis Goes Wig-free To The Oscars
    March 1st, 2012
    Viola Davis goes wig-free at the Oscars

    Viola Davis wears her natural hair to the 2012 Oscars

    For me, the highlight of the 2012 Oscars was when I saw Viola Davis walking the red carpet sporting her natural hair – going wig-free. I don’t know if the Oscars were just really boring, or if I’m too obsessed with hair since that was my favorite moment of the night. I had never heard of Viola Davis before seeing the movie The Help, but I admired her performance in the movie, and I’ve enjoyed seeing her all glammed up in her various appearances since the movie came out. I didn’t even notice what her hair looked like in the movie (I was too focused on the horrible curly wig they put on Emma Stone).

    So why am I writing about Viola Davis’ hair? After looking at photos of her throughout the years, it appears she always wear wigs. For celebrities that perennially wear wigs or weaves (Wendy Williams, Beyonce, Dolly Parton, Cher, and other wig-wearing celebs), going sans wig seems like a sort of big deal – especially since our society is so fricking hair conscious. No matter what race you are, having hair that meets certain beauty standards is rewarded and revered. I love that Viola Davis went without a wig to the Oscars (the biggest night in Hollywood) and let the world see her real hair. But I’m also envious that Viola has a nice full head of hair to show off! It’s ironic that African-American women are encouraged to wear wigs, even if they don’t have hair loss, yet women of other races are ridiculed if they’re caught wearing wigs. But God forbid any women walk around with a balding head.

    I wish I could cut my hair super short like Viola’s and wear different wigs every day. Well my first wish would be to have my real/bio hair back and never have to worry about my hair falling out for another day in my entire life. But my second wish is that it was acceptable for me to wear wigs every day, and not have it be some huge deal that I’m wearing a wig to cover up my bald spots. I know I can do whatever I want, but it would take a lot of guts to show the world I’m wearing a wig – just like it took Viola a lot of confidence to prove she doesn’t need a wig to be beautiful in Hollywood. And finally I wish I had enough self worth to just shave my head and give up on hair altogether, but I don’t see myself going that route.

    Viola Davis at The Oscars
    Here’s a full-length picture of Viola Davis at the 2012 Oscars. She was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

    Viola Davis natural hair
    This is a recent photos of Viola Davis sporting her bio hair.

    Viola Davis wears wig
    Viola wearing a wig in an Oprah style.

    Viola Davis actress
    Cute picture of Viola with straight hair.

    straight hair wig on Viola Davis
    Cute wig, but the part is unrealistic. Does that even matter?

    short hair wig
    Short haired wig on Viola.

    Viola Davis Oscars
    This is the hairstyle I want for myself (but a little longer).

    Viola Davis hairstyle
    Another cute wig, but again the part doesn’t look that real.

    I picked these photos because I like Viola’s hair in all of them. She’s worn her hair in all sorts of other hairstyles throughout the years. And now I’ll be a hypocrite and say I actually like her hair better with bangs (more so than the hairstyle she wore at the Oscars). So you can’t win – no matter how you wear your hair, someone is going to judge you – even a girl that hardly has any hair;) Would you feel comfortable wearing different wigs every day, and in essence telling the world you’re sporting fake hair? What was your favorite moment at the Oscars?

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  • Will My Hair Loss Medication Cause Hair Shedding?
    February 24th, 2012

    hair sheddingHow’s this for irony: most hair loss medications list hair shedding as a possible side effect! What?? If it does occur, excessive hair shedding from hair loss medications is supposed to be temporary, but that’s not much comfort when the last thing you need is to lose even more hair in the short term. I’ve initially lost more hair from just about every hair loss medication I’ve tried, and it’s extremely common to hear this complaint from other hair loss sufferers.

    Every person dealing with hair loss should question whether their newly prescribed hair loss treatment could cause further hair loss, and what the likelihood is that it will happen. I have come to the conclusion that the chance of a hair loss medication causing initial increased hair shedding is extremely likely:( For me personally, almost every hair loss medication or treatment I’ve tried has caused me to lose even more hair at the beginning (and sometimes the increased shedding never stopped). Many doctors will tell you that it’s a good sign if you see increased shedding at first – they say it means the medication is working, and that you’ll probably have a good response. The theory is that the thin and weak hairs are being pushed out, and the follicles are getting ready to grow new, stronger hairs. This is a hopeful theory, and I do believe it’s true sometimes.

    Unfortunately, sometimes a medication that is supposed to help your hair just ends up making it worse. As far as I know, the only way to gauge your response to a medication is to try it yourself. I have a theory that if someone is prone to hair loss (either genetic hair loss – Androgenetic Alopecia, or temporary hair loss – Telogen Effluvium), they are also more prone to increased shedding from hair loss medications. Their hair is simply more sensitive to treatments that affect hair. This is only my theory, and while it’s definitely true in my case, it’s not true for everyone.

    The only “good” news is that while almost every hair loss medication I’ve tried has caused increased hair shedding, I do still have hair, so most of the lost hair did grow back in. My hair has gotten worse every year for the past ten years, so overall it’s hard to know if the treatments have helped my hair (despite the shedding), made it worse, or had no impact. The best way to test a medication is to only use one new thing at a time, and give it at least six months (but of course speak with your doctor if you have side effects, or if the increased hair shedding doesn’t stop within the time frame listed in the medication instructions).

    Below is a list of common prescription and over-the-counter hair loss treatments that can cause increased hair shedding, at least initially. I’ve experienced excessive hair shedding while on every single one of these medications, as I’ve documented on! However, my hair often sheds a lot (100+ hairs a day, even though my hair is 70% thinner than it was 10 years ago), so I don’t know for sure if each of these medications was fully responsible for the shedding.

    Birth Control Pills
    The Pill is often prescribed to women with hair loss to regulate hormones and decrease androgen levels. However, many doctors unknowingly prescribe the wrong pill, making hair loss worse. And even the best pill for hair issues can initially cause increased hair loss, or worsen hair loss in some cases. I write about birth control and hair loss here, and there’s a link there to hair-friendly pills. During the first three months of starting on the pill, or switching from one pill to another, increased hair shedding is a common side effect. After three months the shedding should subside, but if it doesn’t, a doctor will need to help you figure out your next step. Surprisingly, of all the hair loss medications I’ve ever tried, going on the pill has never caused me increased hair shedding!

    Going off the pill, though, always causes me to shed excessively two months afterwards, but the shedding ends a month or two after that. Temporary increased shedding after stopping the pill is extremely common – even women without hair loss report this issue. As I’ve written in the article I linked to above, going on the pill for the first time is something you should not do until you extensively research the topic – many women report the pill caused their ongoing hair loss, along with other health issues.

    Rogaine (Minoxidil)
    Just about every doctor suggests Rogaine as the go-to treatment for hair loss, even though few women report real satisfaction from this topical medication. I write about Rogaine side effects here. Rogaine’s packaging says increased shedding can happen the first two weeks of use, but many people report increased shedding the first three months (or during the entire use of the product). Yikes! The first time I used it, I didn’t notice an increase in shedding, but this time around I definitely did. My hair has been on a shedding spree the last few years, and it got worse with the Rogaine. My hair is a little worse a year after starting the Rogaine, but it probably would have been anyway. The crazy shedding has stopped, and Rogaine didn’t make me go bald, but it also didn’t bring on a miracle.

    Rogaine is really tricky because the packaging says it’s a “good sign” if you see more shedding initially, but if you’re still shedding excessively three months into it, when do you give up? My hair shed a lot the first eight months of Rogaine use this time around, but it could be because I was under immense stress for half of that time, and I was also using more than one hair loss medication at the same time. Finally, if Rogaine actually does work for you, if you stop it, you can expect to lose any of the hair that it helped keep on your head:(

    This is an anti-dandruff and anti-fungal shampoo that is commonly prescribed by doctors to treat hair loss. Doctors may prescribe the 2% prescription version, or instruct you to buy the over-the-counter 1% version. I’ve tried both versions and experienced increased shedding every time I shampooed with it. After a few weeks I gave up. Maybe if I waited it out I would have seen results, but I’ve also seen some before and after pictures of people that lost tons of hair after using Nizoral, and I got a little freaked out. And of course nothing is more horrifying than shampooing and seeing twice the normal amount of hair coming out of your head.

    Many people claim absolute success with Nizoral because it has anti-inflammatory properties, and supposedly it has androgen blocking properties too. Studies have shown the product decreases hair shedding, increases the thickness of the hair shaft, and decreases scalp oil. I’m starting to think maybe I should give Nizoral one last shot. You’re supposed to use it 2-3 times a week, and leave it on your scalp a few minutes. Maybe my increased shedding was another “good” sign? If anyone else has tried Nizoral, what were your results?

    DermaSmoothe and Luxiq
    Many women with genetic hair loss will be given prescriptions for topical corticosteroid creams, lotions, and foams like DermaSmoothe or Luxiq. Neither of these are indicated for treating hair loss, but Dermatologists prescribe them off-label. Both medications list hair loss as a possible side effect, and both products caused me to shed extra hairs each time I used them. I didn’t keep up with either one long enough to see results, but since the medications say to discontinue use if hair loss is a side effect, that’s what I did. Has anyone used DermaSmoothe, Luxiq, or something similar for hair loss, and actually had a positive result? After using Luxiq, my Dermatologist said my scalp looked better, but my hair shedding of course got worse, not better.

    I once used Nioxin shampoo, conditioner, and scalp treatment for thinning hair, and I recall increased hair shedding after switching from cheapo regular shampoo to this salon hair line. What the heck? This was early in my hair loss adventure, but after the bottles were done I gave up because my hair didn’t get better and the shedding freaked me out. The products also didn’t make my hair appear thicker or healthier. Some women report success with Nioxin, and I wonder if it’s a placebo effect. But on the other hand, if it’s not doing anything, why did it increase my shedding? Have you tried Nioxin products?

    Spironolactone (Aldactone)
    I’ve written a lot about my experiences with taking Spironolactone. During almost the entire time I was taking Spiro I experienced a lot of shedding, and except for a brief period, the shedding never let up. In my case it’s hard to say if the Spiro made the shedding worse or not because I was already experiencing heavy shedding prior to taking it. But it definitely didn’t decrease my hair fall the entire time I was on it (9 months). Many women say Spiro halts their excessive shedding within a few weeks, but it seems like just as many women report an increase in hair loss from the medication. It’s so frustrating, but like all the other hair loss treatments, you won’t know how you will react until you try it.

    Propecia (Finasteride/Proscar)
    I’ve been on Propecia for 4 months now and my shedding was pretty bad until 2 1/2 months in. It got even worse two weeks after I started it until the 2 1/2 month mark. During this time I was getting over an extremely stressful period, and I had stopped taking Spiro, so I was sort of a mess. At 2 1/2 months, my shedding finally let up a bit to where I would call sort of normal – for the first time since I can’t remember. Initial shedding from Propecia is supposed to be less common than it is from Rogaine and Spiro, but it’s still a possibility. And once you go off Propecia, any hair that it helped keep on your head will vanish shortly thereafter.

    Hair Shedding Conclusion
    The journey of the hair loss sufferer is especially cruel, and most hair loss medications have the propensity to cause increased hair shedding. The increased shedding is usually temporary, but there’s also no guarantee the hair you lose from a medication will grow back. In my case, everything I’ve tried has initially made things worse, and going off medications can also cause extra hair fall. Over the long term, I think the hair I’ve lost from hair loss medications has grown back in, yet my hair still continues to thin. Unfortunately, the only way to know how you will respond to a treatment is to try it yourself (with your doctor’s supervision). Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that none of the treatments I’ve listed above work well for many women (which is why you should research them before trying them). Yet they do work for some, which is why they all offer a sliver of hope. What I suggest (and should have done myself) is to get a hair piece ready to go so that you have a backup if things get really bad.

    What hair loss medications have increased your hair shedding? Did the shedding ever stop? Did you see positive results?

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  • Why Does Kathy Griffin Wear A Wig?
    February 17th, 2012

    kathy griffin wears a wigAs far as I can tell, actress and comedian Kathy Griffin wears wigs all the time now for hosting gigs, public appearances, TV show guest appearances, and during her stand up shows. Does Kathy Griffin have hair loss? Otherwise, why wear a wig?

    A few weeks ago I caught Kathy Griffin as a guest star on the TV sitcom Whitney, and I thought, “that’s got to be a wig.” Her hair was so big, and so perfect on the show. Sure some people have hair like that, but hers was sooo big and sooo perfect that it made me curious. I did some research, and it turns out it’s no secret that Kathy Griffin wears a wig! She admits to it – at least according to what I’ve read on the internet. I have never heard Kathy actually say she wears a wig, but other people claim they have – I guess that’s what Judge Judy would call hearsay. It turns out she has a best-selling book: A Memoir According To Kathy Griffin, so I wonder if she mentions it there?

    As annoying and fame-whorish as she can sometimes be (sorry Kathy), I love that Kathy is open and honest about her struggles with accepting her appearance. And I appreciate that she, along with Joan Rivers (who makes my favorite hair concealing product), talks openly about her experiences with plastic surgery. I know it’s nobody’s business what you’ve done, but I am bad at keeping secrets about myself, and if I was a celebrity I would probably go on and on about what I’ve had done (including hair stuff). Since Kathy Griffin admits to having liposuction, a nose job, brow lift, face lift, eye lift, teeth veneers, Botox, and more, I believe that she probably has admitted that she wears a wig too.

    • So why does Kathy Griffin wear a wig?
    I have a few theories. Since Kathy’s had so much work done on her face, there’s a good chance she has scars from plastic surgery near her hairline, or her hair could have receded in the front from the face lift. It’s actually common for women to experience hair loss at the site of face lift incisions, and a receding hairline is another common side effect from the surgery.

    Also, Kathy Griffin is now 51, so she could have some age-related hair thinning. She may have normal, average looking hair, but obviously she cares greatly about her appearance, so why settle for average hair, when you can have Hollywood hair instead? I am reminded of fellow redhead Christina Hendricks, who also has average hair, but Christina achieves Hollywood hair by wearing hair pieces and wigs. In Hollywood, it’s go big or go home. It seems like a lot of female celebrities will do whatever they can to achieve perfection – Kathy Griffin says getting lipo almost killed her, yet she later went back for more! So wearing a little fake hair is obviously no big deal when you think about it.

    Finally, even when I had normal hair, I hated styling it all the time, and it never looked that good, so it’s probably easier to pop on an expensive wig and be out the door. Although, I have a feeling even a wig needs to be professionally styled for an hour to look perfect, so I don’t know how much time it would really save. Judging from older photos, it’s obvious Kathy Griffin has worn hair extensions in the past to add length and volume, but maybe she’s discovered that causes traction alopecia, plus permanent hair loss, where the pieces are attached. So wearing a wig could be less damaging to her real hair.

    • Pictures of Kathy Griffin’s real hair:
    kathy griffin real hair
    I assume this is Kathy’s real hair (but I guess it could be a wig). It looks nice here.

    kathy griffin hair
    I also assume this is her real hair. Again it looks nice – and it looks very average/normal.

    kathy griffin hairstyle
    Here you can see Kathy’s real hairline, and she looks like either she has a naturally high hairline, or it could be a bit receded from the face lift. But overall she doesn’t appear to actually have hair loss (except maybe in the front).

    kathy griffin natural hair
    Here’s another picture of Kathy Griffin’s real hair. Except for the high hairline, her hair still looks pretty thick.

    • Pictures of Kathy Griffin wearing wigs:

    kathy griffin betty page wig
    Here’s a cute photo of Kathy Griffin dressed up as pinup Betty Page.

    kathy griffin wig
    This looks like a wig, although it could be Kathy’s real hair, plus hair extensions.

    kathy griffin wears a wig
    This looks like a wig, although again it could also be her real hair, plus extensions.

    kathy wig
    I love this over-the-top hairstyle. It looks like a wig because there’s no hair part.

    she's wearing a wig
    This has got to be a wig!

    straight haired wig
    I like this lighter red hair color on her.

    I like the highlights here, and her hair is so shiny!

    cute wig
    This is a cute picture. Unless she has really thick hair on top, that’s a wig.

    Kathy Griffin – if you’re doing Google Alerts on yourself and you find this blog post, please fill me in on your hair secrets! Whether Kathy is sporting her real hair, hair extensions, or a wig, I normally like what she does with her hair. The only difference between her and other female celebrities is that she divulges her beautifying secrets. So now you know – whether or not she “needs” to, Kathy Griffin wears a wig to achieve perfect Hollywood hair.

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  • Lack Of Empathy – No One Cares I’m Going Bald
    February 9th, 2012

    going baldOne of the most shocking and disheartening aspects of my hair loss experience is the complete lack of empathy from just about all of my family and friends. I’m not alone with this – countless women report the same issue, and obviously it makes the emotional impact of hair loss that much worse. Nothing makes you feel more alone than knowing you’re going bald and no one cares.

    I get sympathy and empathy mixed up because they are similar. Sympathy means someone feels sorry/sadness/pity for your situation, they have compassion, and they may reach out to offer their condolences. People have been less than sympathetic over my situation as well, and while I don’t expect them to feel sorry for me, the lack of sympathy still saddens me. Empathy means identifying with, or understanding the person’s situation, or it’s “the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings.” So it means the person could put themselves in your shoes and imagine that it would really suck to be going bald. How hard is that? Apparently it’s damn near impossible for some reason.

    When it comes to my hair loss, all I would want is for someone to say “wow, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to be losing your hair. That must be devastating.” Okay maybe men won’t be as caring because a lot of men don’t care if they go bald, and it might be difficult for them to understand the psychological impact hair has for women. Most women love their hair and they actually enjoy going to the hairdresser, and they draw immense pleasure from having nice hair. So why are most women so callous about my hair loss, and why do so many other female hair loss sufferers report the same phenomenon?

    Reactions to my hair loss from doctors
    Most of the doctors I’ve seen have had a horrible bedside manner and have made me feel worse about my hair loss. Almost all women with hair loss say they are met with negativity by doctors, and they end up feeling worse after seeing a doctor for the issue. A few of the comments I’ve heard from doctors include, “you should be lucky that it’s only hair loss,” “don’t worry – you won’t go completely bald,” “stop stressing out – it’s not a big deal.” What’s weird is that I thought doctors were there to help people, and these are the reactions I get from Dermatologists, who supposedly treat hair loss. WTF? I understand that there are bigger health issues out there, but still… I’ve stopped taking rude comments from doctors personally, and now try to laugh at their insensitivity. One of the reasons I’ve thought about becoming a Physician’s Assistant, or Nurse, is so that I could be that rare person in the Dermatology field that actually shows empathy for my patients.

    Reactions to my hair loss from friends and family
    When I told my mom my hair was falling out, I was met with various comments like “you’re always exaggerating and catastrophizing. Your hair is fine. You’re just imagining it. I’m sure the doctors say your hair is fine. I’m not balding, so you didn’t get it from me.” My dad said, “who cares if you go bald – there are people with bigger health problems out there.” In reality I got the balding gene from both of my parents, but to this day my mom refuses to admit how thin her hair has gotten on the top of her head. My dad could care less that he’s bald, and my mom is obviously in complete denial about her hair, so I guess that’s why my parents don’t care about my hair. You would think they would have empathy for their only daughter, but they really don’t. They finally feigned a little sympathy once I explained that a doctor diagnosed me with genetic hair loss (I’m not making it up), and that while it may be a “superficial” issue, it’s still the worst thing I’ve experienced, and it’s caused me to fall into a deep depression.

    Friends that I’ve told about my hair loss have either also told me I was crazy and making it up (I don’t make things up), or they expressed the least heartfelt sympathies and changed the subject to more important issues, like shopping and TV shows. Some of my friends have kids, so I understand your physical appearance takes a backseat to your kids. Maybe if I had kids I wouldn’t care about my hair anymore (but lots of women have kids and are still devastated by their hair loss). Nothing is more maddening than being told you’re imagining your hair loss, or making it up. I love telling jokes, so I would prefer someone express true sympathy for me, and then make light of the situation, rather than telling me I’m crazy.

    Personally I haven’t had friends say horrible things to me – they just deny there’s a problem, or act completely apathetic. The horror stories I’ve heard from other women about the way their friends and family treat them is shocking. Other women have been ridiculed by their friends, mocked by coworkers, kicked out of a wedding party because their hair wasn’t good enough (and wigs were unacceptable), or had husbands leave them because they lost too much hair. Then these women also get ridiculed for later wearing hair to improve their appearance. I’m forgetting most of the horror stories I’ve read – but people are sometimes shockingly cruel!

    Why don’t people care?
    I know I’m not dying (even though depression and suicide are common “side effects” of hair loss), and I don’t expect a pity party over my hair, but why are people so damn insensitive? Maybe most people just lack empathy? I’ve always had the ability to put myself in someone else’s shoes and to try to imagine what it would feel like to be in that situation, but maybe no one else does that. Some of my theories about why no one cares about hair loss include: people can’t imagine it happening to them, so they just don’t care. (Female hair loss is extremely common, but I guess most women don’t know that until it happens to them.) Maybe people are uncomfortable hearing about my hair, so that’s why they change the subject and act like I’m crazy. Maybe none of my friends care about their appearance (I know this isn’t true), so they wouldn’t care if they were bald. In my mom’s case, she’s in total denial about her own hair, so that’s why she pretends she has no idea what I’m going through.

    Or maybe people are too wrapped up in their own problems to care about mine. Or maybe they just don’t understand how much of an impact this whole thing has had on me, so they think it’s no big deal. Or maybe they just thought I was exaggerating because my hair loss was never that obvious before (but now it’s pretty apparent I wasn’t lying). Maybe people think there’s an easy cure for hair loss, so they assume I can just go take a pill and suddenly be cured. Or maybe I somehow brought this on myself (which is not true). I have really become wary about my relationships with a lot of people after experiencing a complete lack of compassion. Ironically, one of the only people that has given me any sort of sympathy or empathy was some random person I used to always see at Starbucks. He was just some man I would talk with all the time, and I happened to tell him about my hair because I had just come from the doctor. He was actually empathetic and believed me and expressed honest sympathy, and then later we joked about both going bald. That’s all I want.

    I guess I’m ranting. If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you are experiencing hair loss, and I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to a lack of sympathy and empathy over your hair issues. For people that haven’t spent years watching hundreds of hairs fly out of your head every day, maybe you just think I’m whining. I guess I’m just sad that as if hair loss wasn’t bad enough, the reaction from friends and family just makes it that much worse. I really don’t know why it’s so hard for people to be empathetic about hair loss. I can guarantee if it happens to them, they’ll be feeling just as horrible. If you’ve been brave enough to tell friends or family about your hair loss issues, have you been met with the same lack of sympathy and empathy?

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  • Wearing A Hair Replacement System – Why I Keep Procrastinating On Doing It!
    November 14th, 2011

    hair replacement systemsWearing hair, getting a hair replacement system, buying a hair piece or wig, whatever you call it – it’s something I desperately need to do, yet I’ve managed to think of about 1000 excuses to put it off during the last several months. For me, taking the steps to getting a hair piece is almost on par with going to the dentist to get my teeth drilled, even though the benefits will probably mean getting my life back. So what’s holding me back? In my defense, a few months ago I took the first steps and ordered a hair replacement kit from – it’s the beginning of the process of getting a custom hair piece. A few horrible life events have happened in the meantime, but now that I’m ready to deal with ordering my hair piece, I still keep procrastinating. Here are some of my reasons:

    1) It’s hard. I don’t know what I’m doing!
    The learning curve of wearing hair is hard, and it’s a challenge I’m dreading. I never grew up wishing I could wear fake hair, and now that the unfortunate time is here, I still don’t have any interest in learning the ins and outs of the process. Susan from Crowned Beautiful has her whole training course about hair replacement, so there is help out there. Hair Direct also offers help in choosing the right hair piece for women (and men). It still doesn’t mean I’m excited. I am lazy and only like to do things I want to do, and this is at the bottom of my list. But it’s not like I wanted to spend half my life researching hair loss, but that’s where my life has ended up, so I know I should just embrace this next hair wearing chapter. I don’t enjoy doing my taxes, going grocery shopping, or cleaning my house, but they are necessary – and having decent hair is necessary for my well-being. 

    2) It’s expensive
    This is when I wish more than anything that I was rich. I would hire someone to figure out who the celebrities use to create their undetectable hair pieces, and I would hire that celebrity hair specialist to come to my house and fix me. I wouldn’t care how much it cost, and I would have that person come every week and do my hair for me. Problem solved! Of course I have no money, and all of my hair replacement expenses will go straight on my credit card. I’m paralyzed by the idea of spending thousands of dollars on something, and what if it’s not even right?

    I could go to a pricey hair replacement system clinic, I could pay for a training program, I could buy a cheapish wig from China or off eBay, but none of those are guarantees I will be happy, and then I’ll end up having to spend more money after that! For now I’m starting with the Hair Direct route since the price isn’t totally outrageous, and I know it will be cheaper than going to a clinic in person. Once I get the hang of things, the expense will become fixed – something I will just have to budget for. I have already spent tens of thousands of dollars going to numerous doctors (not covered by medical insurance), and on hair products, and medications, etc. At least hair replacement will be a real solution.

    3) I’m low-maintenance
    I’ve always prided myself on being able to roll out of bed and not being embarrassed if someone saw me that way. When I developed bad acne in my 20s, that was the first time I was afraid of someone seeing me first thing in the morning – makeup-less. Luckily I learned how to get rid of my acne, so until recently I was still able to be that girl that wasn’t ashamed of her au natural look. I could go swimming, camping (not that I’ve been camping in 20 years), and do any sports-type things without worrying I looked like hell. Now I worry if I get a hair piece or wig I won’t be able to roll out of bed without putting on my hair first, but I guess if you get bonded hair, that would solve that issue. I hate the idea of having to do stuff just to live normally – but I already have to wear glasses or contacts to see, use a retainer to keep my teeth straight, take medication to keep me healthy, and slather on wrinkle creams to keep the aging at bay – so what’s one more step? Hmmm, maybe I’m not low-maintenance after all. As my boyfriend likes to say, as you get older it takes twice as long to look half as good. I guess that’s life:(

    4) What if the hair piece ruins my real hair?
    I’m going to start out with a hair piece that clips onto my real hair, because I’m not ready to shave parts of my head yet to bond on a hair piece. I worry the clips will cause permanent bald spots. That’s a real possibility, but initially I don’t have to wear the hair piece every day. While I’m giving Propecia a shot (my last hope of getting my hair back), I don’t want to totally ruin my bio hair, since there’s a slim chance my hair will get better. So I can initially just wear the hair piece here and there, and I can also have lots of clips sewn into it, and rotate which clips I use. That way there’s less pressure on specific areas on my head.

    However, I worry that once I start wearing a hair piece I won’t want to be seen without it. Once I have a thick head of hair, I know I will think my real hair looks thinner than ever, so it will be hard to emotionally be okay without the hair piece. And I’m not 100% ready to ruin my real hair by wearing hair clips that cause traction alopecia. This is partly why I thought wearing a wig was a good idea, but the wigs I’ve tried on felt so tight, and they felt like they pulled at my real hair, so it’s hard to believe they don’t damage your bio hair either. Well within a year I should know for sure if my real hair is worth saving, so none of these issues will matter then. In the meantime, I know I need to have a hair piece ready to go because my real hair gets thinner and thinner each month.

    5) Having to deal with people
    I want my new hair to look good, so I’m sure some people will notice I went from crappy hair to nice hair overnight. Half my friends already know about my hair issues, so the whole thing won’t be a surprise to them. It will just be nerve-wracking having to tell acquaintances I got fake hair. Or maybe I’ll say I was stressed from horrible life circumstances, which caused my hair to fall out, but now it’s grown back in. Or maybe I’ll just say I got hair extensions, or use the got a new: haircut/color/hairdresser lie. I wish I could go away somewhere exotic for six months, and then come back to my old life with my new hair. Then people will have forgotten what my old hair looked like, and they will think my exotic adventure helped me sprout a new, luxurious head of hair.

    6) All of my hopes are pinned on this turning out right
    Right now my life is in a holding pattern – I’m completely miserable, and feel the only way towards happiness is if I can be happy with my hair again. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope that someday I won’t be miserable anymore. But what if I spend thousands of dollars on hair, and it doesn’t look good? As low maintenance as I am, I do want extremely realistic looking, beautiful hair. What if I don’t get that? Then I will really be miserable forever and ever. I will go into debt and will never recover. These are the thoughts (maybe irrational) that plague me. I know there are good solutions out there – I’ve seen lots of women with great looking hair pieces and wigs – but I still worry nothing will look right on me. I’ve tried on every wig in Las Vegas I could find, and they all looked terrible and fake on me – it’s no wonder I’m freaking out!

    So those are some of my big reasons for putting off delving into the world of hair replacement systems. I know I’m not alone in this – there are so many women going through the same thing. I also know that putting off the next step towards wearing hair is my way of checking out of life, but I can’t do that forever. What’s holding you back? What’s your next step?

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