Lack Of Empathy – No One Cares I’m Going Bald

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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Tags: Categories: Female Hair Loss

28 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Angie
    February 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I have a baby and I can tell you…I am still very devastated about my hair loss. It actually makes me very upset. And like you, both my parents have very little hair. Unlike you, I don’t have the guts to really discuss it with anyone…friends or family.

  • molly
    February 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    My hair loss completely devastated me when it I began noticing it last year. I was lucky to have supportive friends and parents who understood. My boyfriend (now husband) still has trouble dealing with my emotions regarding the hair loss. He hates to see me upset about it but I don’t think he fully gets how important my hair is to my identity. I’ve pretty much stopped talking to him about it since i never get the reaction i want from him (which is just to acknowledge i have hair loss and to empathize). funnily enough, he has hair loss too and it bothers him. but he doesn’t like to admit it’s bothering him and he doesn’t want to do anything about it.

    “It’s just hair” is a terrible thing to say to someone who is in emotional pain from going bald. I’m sorry you’re being met with such insensitive reactions. It’s not “just hair”! It’s a really freaking important part of how us women relate to our beauty.

    My hair loss continues to worsen to the point of having to apply nanogen fibers if I don’t want tons of scalp showing through. It completely sucks. I’ve tried various treatments – spiro, supplements, sulfate-free shampoos, diet changes. I’ve seen the notorious dr. redmond. I think mine is genetic – my mom has super thin hair, as does my grandma, and my dad. Mine used to be bountiful, and the gradual loss is still so, so shocking. I’ve cried so much about it. Now that I’m pregnant, I can’t do much in the ways of experimenting with different remedies, which is kind of a relief. I’m having a topper being made in nyc. very ambivalent about wearing hair that’s not mine, but i think i will get used to it and feel better knowing i have it as an option. especially after i have a baby and all that post-preggers hair shed i can’t afford to lose happens!

    ok, i probs got off topic there but i just want anyone who is experiencing hair loss to know it’s totally normal to mourn your hair. it’s traumatizing, and since hair loss usually happens gradually, it’s like a slow-moving nightmare. at the very least, us hair loss sufferers have each other to empathize with, and that is a major source of comfort for me. here’s hoping to a breakthrough in hair loss recovery within the next few years!!

  • Christa
    February 9, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I do share my feelings about my hair loss with friends and family. I’ll even direct their hand to my head and have them feel how it’s “all head, (almost) no hair.” I’ll ask my friends about which salons and services they use, and then explain that I have one of my kids trim my hair because I’m too embarassed to go and get a “real” haircut.
    It’s like talking about my depression or how much I weigh; the more I say it, the easier it gets.
    Sometimes the feedback is helpful; my daughter read somewhere that I should keep it dyed, that the color will thicken my microscopic strands of hair. ( I had been leaving it grey for long stretches thinking that was healthier.)

  • Mary
    February 10, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Jeni, your post is SO right on the spot. I think a lot about that too. Why do people not want, or why are they not able to show compassion?

    I feel so alone and unrespected as well. The doctors are either denying my hair loss or just leave it with that it might be genetic and tell me that minoxidil is about the only thing i could do to slow it down, but it’s not as bad as I think. (Oh no, it’s not!? Why did I pay to go there?)

    Friends and people I’ve tried to talk to are ALWAYS telling me that it’s not as bad at all (Oh no, it’s not!? Why did I bring this up?) and/or just turning into another subject. And no, I don’t think people care less about their looks after having kids. But in periods you are so busy with the family and tired from not having slept one night properly for years that all you can think of is about survival. Which means that you can’t give any extra to others nor to yourself. But in that case you don’t have that extra energy to “hang out” much either.. so I don’t think that kids or not are what matters here.

    My mother gets totally quiet, but I notice how she’s holding back her tears. She is the one cutting my few strands and has been for ages. No way that I would have the guts to go to someone else.

    The only one that supports me is my man. He also helps me to judge my hair, if I can leave home looking like this or if I need to use more concealer etc. We are strong as a couple after going through a lot together. Unfortunately we have noticed that people react about the same way whatever the cause of the trauma is (me and the oldest kid have had some “bad luck” in life).

    I can’t handle to be more hurt by people’s stupid behaviour so I’m pretty alone these days…

    How do you others handle it? Are you able to remain friends and care about other peoples problems when they obviously not care about your’s?

    • Rizal
      March 26, 2012 at 6:49 am

      I lost a lot of hair and used aromatherapy hair loss frmluoas very successfully to re-grow my hair. They are made with essential oils which bring blood circulation and nutrition to the hair follicles. They are very healthy for scalp and hair and stimulating new growth.It is also important to find out what is causing your hair loss: To learn all about female hair loss and how to prevent it:I hope this helps. You’re hair shouldn’t be falling out that much.

  • Patricia
    February 10, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I am sooo glad you’re still writing on here!! I came across your website and signed up because I am going through the exact same situation. I am devasted about it and like you, no one seems to care or understand, I don’t get it! Like you said, I guess they don’t care about it until it happens to them. I am at this awkward stage in my hairloss to where it’s really noticeable and obvious to me and it’s SOOOO hard to style and manage but it isn’t bad enough to wear supplemental hair. No matter what treatment I’ve tried, my hair isn’t growing back or getting better so I almost wish it was just worse so I could go forth with a cosmetic option. I think I would wear a glueless lace cap wig, I would try a tipper or something but I think it would be to hard to blend with my natural hair. I’m not looking forward to it but this girl on You Tube makes it seem so easy and realistic looking. You should check out her You Tube videos if you haven’t already, just type in “my0little0secret” and you’ll find several vids, she has been such an inspiration to me and given me hope that wearing hair won’t be so bad. I’m sorry for the long comment, it’s just nice to hear from someone in my same situation because no one around me takes me seriously and it has made me fall into a deep depression. I look forward to reading more from you, take care.

  • Melissa
    February 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    The one thing I’ve learned about having hair loss is that no one wants to hear it. You would think that people who supposedly love you and care about you would want to talk to you about something that causes such sadness and anxiety and fear. Women who don’t have hair loss just do not see the big deal. They’re the first ones to say “It looks fine! You’re being silly.” Well, I think, how about you lose your hair and we’ll see how silly you are about it. I’ve stopped talking about it. Now, if it’s a particularly bad day and someone notices, I just don’t talk about it. They wouldn’t know what to say, they would probably wish they’d never asked.
    I understand that there are worse problems. I have a friend who recently lost a baby – no, I don’t dare sit there and complain about my hair when she’s gone through such a devastating loss. I could have cancer, I could have a disease … I almost WISH I had something I could point to and say that’s it, that’s why I’m losing my hair, rather than “it’s genetics, too bad!” which is my reality.
    No one could ever empathize or sympathize, couldn’t put themselves in our shoes, and know what it’s like to look in the mirror and see scalp instead of hair, to actually be afraid of certain lighting and sunlight, to never want to bend down or bow your head or have someone see the very top of your head, or to have to actually consider shaving your head and gluing someone else’s hair on top.

  • KS
    February 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm


    I found your blog a few months back when my hair loss first started and subscribed to your posts. It’s been a while! Glad you are back.

    Things have gotten much worse for me, in fact I am 100% completely BALD now. It turns out I have alopecia areata and hashimotos disease. The website has been such a help to me – people at all stages of their hair loss offering suggestions and tons of mental support. You should check it out!

    Also, I have to say in my experience, being bald is a thousand percent better than having hair loss. I was so embarrassed about my scalp showing thru that I let it ruin a vacation in the Bahamas! I tried the powders and concealers. Those got me thru a few weeks, but then I had to turn to hats. Luckily I work in an office where I can get away with wearing a hat all day. I was so embarrassed to take OFF my hat though, and lived in fear that a strong wind would expose me to everyone on the street. And I would hunch in the corner of the store to try on hats, so I’m sure they thought I was shoplifting! LOL Once I shaved my head, it was so much less embarrassing. I can take off my hat and at least I have a nice consistent bald head, not just patches of hair here and there. Unfortunately, due to so much cancer in the world, the sight of a bald female head really isnt’ that shocking anymore.

    I wasn’t able to wear a wig until two weeks ago because the alopecia caused me pain in my scalp. Now everyone at work is wondering which wig or hat I will wear each day. Everyone is supportive and positive about it, I realize I am very lucky after reading your post. At first I got some pity but now everyone is cool. Its a bit embarrassing that every single DAY I have to talk about my hair and explain it to someone. I would like to just be NORMAL. They have no idea how lucky they all are to just have normal hair attached to their heads!!

    Anyway, I hope you are feeling less bummed out. You are not alone!

  • CMC
    February 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Hi, just wanted to let you know a good way to avoid traction alopecia from a topper is switching the clips around frequently or have more than one with the clips placed in different positions. Not sure if you have one yet or if you decided to do the hair direct thing, but I am also a redhead and wear pieces from Top Secret Hair. They are a little pricey, but well worth saving for and at least feeling confident in leaving the house without having a meltdown because I hate what has happened to my hair. If you cannot go that route, I would recommend the Milan from Noriko. Really pretty in the dark rust color, I am more of a lighter red so having the human hair I can dye to my color works better for me.

  • Natasha
    March 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I think that people are insensitive to us because without thinking it through, hair does seem like a sidenote, unnecessary for anything. But any moron who takes a second to think about it should be able to reason how important it is. My parents nor my boyfriend (at the time) or the few friends I’d told about believed me until I was diagnosed either. My parents were/are somewhat sympathetic, but they don’t take much interest in hearing about it. I’ve had the same thing from doctors (most non-dermatologists I tell- and I do because they ask why I’m using some of the medications I am- look astonished that such a thing as female hair loss is possible). Female friends tend to ignore it or act apathetic too. I think they just have no idea what to say either. I am still very much on my own.

  • Amanda
    March 11, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! It’s like you read my mind. I have only recently been able to admit to myself that I really have a hair loss problem, and have tried several doctors to see if there is anything I can do about it. They have all said something along the lines of “There’s nothing really wrong with you, be happy that women usually don’t go completely bald, try some Rogaine.” Absolutely no sympathy, all of them acted like it’s not a “real” problem. Same with my mother – she always thinks I’m being dramatic and says something like “well, you should be happy you don’t have cancer.” Which makes me feel like a horrible person. I AM happy that I don’t have cancer…but I’m also really sad that I am a single woman in my 20s who is losing her hair. Sigh.

  • Luke
    May 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I’m 16 and I’ve noticed my hairline receeding for months. Unfortunately, my parents being the ingorant twats that they are will reply “Your dad’s not balled, so you won’t go bald!”.

    But it’s already happening. And I feel they only way they’ll accept it is if my crop looks like a fucking horse shoe. And if on the off chance they’ll entertain my “theory”, they’ll say “it doesn’t matter if you go bald honey”.

    THAT IS SO EASY FOR THEM TO SAY. Because they AREN’T losing their hair now, at 40 something, and weren’t losing their hair before they could legally drink alcohol.

    I have a twin who is the least vain person in the world and won’t even listen to me, and my older brother has lost so much hair in the past year and refuses to accept it. And in effect won’t listen to me,

    I’ve got a job now, and I hope there’s some doctor I can talk to without being ridiculed or judged. I’m not paranoid, I can fucking tell that my hair is falling out. My grandfather on my mother’s side is bald, and her brother is also *nearly* completely bald. That leaves no wiggle space.

    So I guess with my ranting, I’m trying to say, as something most likely half your age. I know how you feel.

  • V
    June 3, 2012 at 10:53 am

    hi i’ve just read your post and i really couldn’t agree more.
    well, im 16, female and yes, i am also starting to have female hair loss. my parents, strangely enough, have A LOT of hair, even though they are already in their 50’s. no kidding, they (parents and sisters) have massive amounts of hair,sometimes, i’ve even thought of ripping off theirs just to let them experience how i feel everyday. anyway, i’ve noticed my problem since i was maybe 13-14 years old. ever since i was young, my sisters have teased me about having little hair. heck, even every hairdresser i went to told me i had little hair. of course, this really made me devastated at how insensitive they were towards my feelings.

    recently, my hair parting got worst,in a way that it started to get really long and it only ended at like half of my entire head. like you,i told my friends and parents about it and i had the same response. my parents thought that i was exaggerating and told me that it was just psychological, that i had psycho-ed myself into believing that i was balding. and I KNOW FOR SURE THAT I AM since there are photographic evidences.i told my friends about it too and they all brushed it off like it was nothing. perhaps it was because they were not the ones suffering.
    my sisters were such bad liars. when i told them about it recently, they told me that i had a lot of hair and that everything since young was a joke. i could tell from the way they looked that they were just trying to comfort me.
    i’ve also asked for my mum to buy me minoxidil because i was already really desperate but instead, she got angry at me for wasting her money on wanting to buy unnecessary things.
    i don’t even go out with my friends anymore because i refuse to go out with my current hair condition. some days, i even cry myself to sleep because of how unfair it is- teenagers my age aren’t suffering from these problems so why should i?

    okay, long story short, i just want to let you know that you’re not alone :)

  • godsgirl
    June 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I so appreciated this post of honestly. I too am experiencing the same darn thing. I have always had a somewhat nice head of hair even though I have a huge forehead, and after going through a very traumatic experience last year, all my hair fell out over a course of months and came back super thin and lifeless. I use all sorts of oils, massages, a ton of vitamins and herbal supplements with no change, it’s not coming back or getting better. My kids and husband, sisters all refuse to acknowledge and agree with me that my hair sucks and all I want them to do is show true empathy. Empathy… something people just don’t have time to even figure out what the word means now days. I stay locked up in my room most of the time because of how my hair looks and no one seems to care or even try to understand what I am going through. I am turning 45 this year, and my life feels like it is over officially already. Life sucks when you are going bald especially when your stupid doctor had no answers or real guidance to figure out what is going on with you. I am sure it is peremenopausal and I have tried all types of herbs to counter DHT & lack of estrogen (too much testostrone) but a damn test from the doctor could probably fix this if only doctors gave a hoot. :-(((( My life was hard before going bald, but now I feel like shaving my head and putting a bullet through it most of the time. My heart goes out to every woman having to deal with this issue.

    • Jeni - Hair Loss Hell
      June 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      I’m sorry you’re going through the same thing:( I know it’s maddening when your friends, family, and doctors don’t care! I don’t know if you’ve checked out the Women’s Hair Loss Project website – but there are a lot of women there going through the same thing that are helpful with offering support. I had to recently seek the help of a mental health person because everything got too overwhelming, and I would encourage you to look into that as well! I feel a lot better than I did a few months ago, and I never thought I would.

  • Chanelrocs
    July 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I am 22 years old and have been has been having hair loss since last year. I sm so embarrassed! I feel I have no one to really talk to about it. I am devastated about this situation. It went from thick beautiful lengthy hair to short damaged hair I can just pull a little and stands come out. I want to cry everyday but I can’t let myself. Is it like a AA type meeting I feel so alone. :(

  • Mitzkity
    August 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Hello, I’ve been reading with interest. I’m at a different end of the spectrum, being 63 yrs old. but let me tell you, it’s no different at my age – people think it’s weird, horrible, and icky, and they are kind of sorry for me, but mostly they just shudder and are glad it’s not them. I don’t work, but my friends and my husband are mostly quite a bit younger (he’s 45 and yes, we’ve been married almost 24 yrs). I’ve been losing hair steadily, held back with bouts of Rogaine, and made much worse whenever I’ve had a surgery or anesthesia, even a recent 48 lb weight loss caused a shed. Anyway, I just want to say “I CARE” and feel very bad for you all. I am extremely fair (blonde, blue eyes) and have some pre-cancerous areas I have to guard from the sun, plus I hate sun, so I have an excuse to wear frumpy SPF 50 hats – AND I DO! In fact, I don’t even go out in the sun any more since the last bout caused a ton of burned scalp and more hair loss.

    So now I have a whole skin care/hair care/scalp care regime I have to adhere to or lose it for real and get cancer. I’m learning to live with it, but I hate the hell out of it!!! I even bought 2 wigs to wear for certain occasions, evenings, when I’m not worried about sun on my face. Otherwise I stick to those forgiving hats!

    Best of luck to all of you. I use Rogaine (used to use 5% but got a horrible burn), Nizoral, Health’s Gate products without sulfates or anything harmful to follicles, Derma smooth scalp oil 4x week, metrocream for rosacea, Restatis for chronic dry eyes, and Banana Boat skin and scalp sun block. Every day, most of them TWICE.

    Stay out of the sun! Dr. said my follicles were being incinerated (I’m a California girl).

  • Oloriel
    September 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Would just like to say maybe there are no people around you that symphatize but we are here and we hear you and understand.I have one really good friend i talked with about this issue.She was always honest with me and never said..oh it looks ok.She said it is hard for her to react sometimes as she doesn’t know wether it is best to say “yes it’s bad” or if it would be better to push me through crisis with some pep talk.I guess it is hard for others to react too, maybe they don’t wish to put you down and make you feel bad, i know that’s what my mom feels even though her looks are sometimes worse than anything she could have said…
    My current working diagnosis is androgenic alopecia.So far what i was able to do was imprive the quality of hair by proper eating and vitamin and mineral suplements but where i really noticed the difference and some regrowth(so that people who did not see me for a year stepped to me and said.. “you know..your hair looks way better than it did last year” was with this
    I did one treatment with patches and i am on continued treatment with the serum, but i use after every second hair washing(as it is not the cheapest).I write this because i read the entry whit everythig you tried and just wanted to suggest sth that worked(to an extent, there is still scalp visible.)I also did not notice any extra shedding when i started the treatment, i did notice some extra hair loss now, after the summer but i contribute it to my less than gentle regime at the seaside.
    Best of luck and push on.

  • sunray
    October 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm


    I just want to add to everything that all of you have said. I suffer from the same thing and feel terrible about it. I actually don’t like people talking about it, as I don’t want them to draw attention to is, as I feel embarassed and ashamed. Only my family and 2 best friends know about it, and I still don’t like to mention it.

    WHen I started experiencing the problem I worked with this guy who one day came in wearing a funky hat. I told him “ooh, cool hat!” and he said “Oh, I wear it to hide my acute baldness” and I have to say his hair wasn’t bad at all! but obviously for him it was a great issue. I fetl uncomfortable talking about it (as if I would have to admit I had the same problem) so I said something like I think you’re fine or I can’t remember what., It wasn’t bevause I didn’t care or I thought it was not improtant. I was suffering and worrying for the same thing, I just didn’t want to make it more painful.

    If one of my friends mentions something about my hair without me having said anything I will feel very uncomfortable and very sad. Of course I am losing my hair, they can see that, why do they have to talk about it?

    I don’t know…you can’t really win this one.

    But I am happy to read all of your experiences. It’s true, we’re not alone. But why am I the only one of my friends, or of my colleagues with this problem?

  • d
    December 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    this is all so depressing . i have been slowly losing my hairline for id say seven years. i used to notice in in the shower but not anymore i feel like its in a pause phase and is now very slowly thinning so slow that my girlfriend says ive had the same amout of hair for the past three year since she met me. im sure its very depressing for a women however i used to love my long hair and wanted to be a guitar player , now with short hair i have giving up on my dream because i don’t want to be on a stage anymore. people tell me im good looking and i really have to hold back from just calling them on their bull shit. however it does seem to be an invite in conversation with other guys even ones that say they are balding and i can’t even tell. so i do deeply feel sorry for women going bald because its so rare. more than half of men go bald but let me tell you it still doesn’t help. i seriously hate myself because of this and i spend my days in a bar and i think about killing myself everyday. my biggest question of all is why me everyone in my family has a nice full head of hair except one great uncle out of 25 people he and i are the cursed ones. hopefully i get killed or the world ends before i have a fucking toilet seat on my head.

  • DR
    December 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks Jeni for writing this blog, it is so helpful to read comments from you and the other women who posted. I inherited my thin hair and hair loss from my mom and have been dealing with it all of my life although it has gotten worse in my 30’s. It is without a doubt, the bane of my existence. I think about it constantly and I agree with everything that you and the others wrote – it is extremely difficult to talk about it with friends and family (even with my mom who sympathizes but then gets really upset because she feels like I blame her for inflicting this problem on me and causing me to be miserable). I was put on all of the crazy medication years ago when I was in my teens and twenties but after feeling like I was a guinea pig, now I just use Rogaine, an iron supplement, and vitamins. No miracle but I think things would be worse if I didn’t use anything. I’m contemplating extensions or a weave of some sort but worry that I’m not even a candidate for such things because my hair is so thin. I’ve already been told I’m not a candidate for hair replacement. And, it’s so hard to find a trustworthy place to go to. If anyone has suggestions in the NYC area, please post.

  • S
    February 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Hair loss probably won’t be much of an issue in coming years, with hair cloning and genetic treatments being developed. Just wish they’d speed it up! It would be one less thing to worry about. They could turn people into Cousin It.

    Your blog probably helps people feel like they’re not alone. That can be comforting.

  • Bernardo J. Sharp
    May 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    My experience is that if you see a bald woman or child a little equation starts in people’s heads baldness = chemo = cancer = death! I didn’t lose a lot of hair on my brief chemo regime but I did suffer total alopecia a year or so later and of course everyone assumed it was connected at first. I was OK with my bald head. It was chilly in the winter and it was fun wearing wigs but in summer I longed to get my scalp out in the fresh air but didn’t want to have every one doing that double take, oh quick look away thing and then start thinking dark and dismal thoughts, maybe remembering a loved one who’d died for instance.

  • cody
    May 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    i’m curious, do you have amalgam (silver) dental fillings? have you ever been to or its forum? two things i’ve found that are big factors in early hair loss are heavy metal toxicity/build-up and poor scalp circulation (which is interrelated, but affected by many other things..).

  • Isela
    June 8, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Well, doctors are right : compared with everything else in the world losing hair might not be a tragedy. On the scale of 1 to 10 it may be a 6 or so.
    I am losing a lot of hair, also I have lost probably 40% of my teeth and I only 42 ( I have been wearing partial dentures since I was 36) , is this the end of my life as I know it? No, it just means that maybe one day I will wear a wig and a denture; but none of those things will make me less of person – unless I allow that for myself.

    One thing is empathy and another is to enable another human being to stay in an eternal mourning instead of moving forward.I can understand your feeling of loss , what is not healthy is in becoming just a condition and mourn for that the rest of your life.

  • Guneet Dhar
    July 22, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Hey Jeni, Im a guy who is 21 and have just found out that I have male patterned baldness. My struggles are just about to begin :( The doctors have been really cruel to me as well and I completely get what a blow it is to one’s self image. I have begun to hate myself because I know il look ugly bald and I already face problems with acne plus my hair was never really good but at least I had it. I don’t know why but I felt like telling you that I hope you get really happy soon even though I know its fucking hard to get this thought out of your head for even a second. I think about this from the moment I get up till I fall asleep. I know its terrible because you have to deal with it for every second and even if someone does empathise with you, you can’t keep talking and cribbing about it all the time even though in your heart you know you want to. The only boon Ive seen baldness give to me is that I have become sensitive about people turning bald and I would definitely try my best to help anyone with this problem to the extent that il be happy to date a girl who’s turning bald for the rest of my life just to make her feel special again. I would have never done this but I thought I should share this with you, don know why. Hope things get better for all of us :)

  • emmy
    November 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    No one cares I’m going bald….that says it best. I think people write it off as not being a big deal but to the person going through it, it is in fact the biggest deal of all. Try as you might you simply can not make people understand. I feel so insecure when I go out, if someone looks at me the first thing I think is that they are looking at whats missing from my head. Living in a predominantly Indian community makes it even harder to be a women going through hair loss when Indian women are known for their long, thick hair. Why is this something that is so hard for people to empathize with?

  • Thomas Anderson
    April 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    ‘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.’

    This couldn’t be further from the truth. Nearly all men will lose at least some of their hair, most to a noticeable degree by a certain age as well. So while you may think we may not understand, men are actually FAR more than likely to understand. I’m a guy thats just turned 30. I’ve spent the majority of my 20s with a receded hairline. I’ve been mocked, humiliated, insulted by both men and women for it. This goes for many other guys as well, so much so that there a number of forums dedicated to finding treatments and cure for hair loss;,, and many others with each one being host to tens of thousands of members. Most men will understand your situation far better than you can imagine. The real question is; will they care? Most people don’t give a rats fvck about anyone else so it shouldnt be surprising that men nor women will sympathize. As a balding woman youre actually better off than men for sympathy, since men are for the most part to suck it up, grow a pair and deal with it… yet if theres a chance these same people have deemed baldness an acceptable condition to humiliate people with.

    It’s the ONLY condition that I can think of that is genetic and gets this much ridicule.

    Anyway, you’re not alone, there are many of us who can easily identify with you. Trust me, I know exactly what it feels like to be robbed of my identity and have society toss you aside for it. The dating scene has not been pleasant to me at all, I feel unwanted and isolated… I greatly fear of ending up forever alone and dying on my own without a person of significance near me.

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