Is really debilitating, no matter what kind it is.
I have suffered with thinning hair since I was fourteen, but only in the past two years have I really noticed my bald head underneath the sparse strands of hair right at the front. All of this screams to me that it could be nothing other than Androgenetic Alopecia, or Female Pattern Baldness, which is similar to Male Pattern Baldness except it doesn’t usually result in complete baldness, just semi baldness.
Still, what woman wants to be semi bald?
Obviously there are many temporary solutions, like hair fibres to hide the scalp, or hair toppers, which are semi-wigs, or rearranging your hair so that it doesn’t show. But that means you can’t go swimming, you can’t get your hair wet, and you certainly can’t let other people touch it.
I used to swim a lot as a child. I remember when I used to live in the hot and dry desert, and we had a massive pool. Sometimes a group of families would rent out a pool enclosed in a personal garden with swings. There were bathrooms and a kitchen, and a massive recreation room. We would have pool parties and games and just talk way into the small hours under a clear sky studded with stars. Us kids used to be in and out of the pool all day. When we stepped out onto the burning paving stones, we would be dry within minutes.
I just remember running around, my hair really curly and wet, flinging sprays of water everywhere. I remember as it dried it would spring up, thick and curly and heavy, locks galore. I remember people touching my hair and commenting on how gleaming and perfectly formed my ringlets were, even though they were only washed in chlorine water.
Several years later, one summer when I returned to the same place, with the same people, I climbed out of the pool and was making my way to the showers when I was stopped by a girl I knew, who was a few years older than me.
She stopped me and took me aside and said, ‘I don’t want you to feel bad, and I am only telling you this because I have gone through it myself, but I think you have hairloss.”
I wanted to laugh in her face, manically. I wanted to tell her scornfully that I knew, I knew, and how could I not, when the thought of it occupied every waking minute of my life?
But I didn’t. I listened to her story, how she started noticing it at age 16, how it got worse and worse at uni, until even hair fibres wouldn’t hide it anymore, and how she lay in bed all day, half her head bald, and how she stopped going to lectures. She told me her mother got the plane to the country where she was studying, and pulled her out of bed and took her to a specialist where they prescribed minoxidil to her. Obviously it was the first time I had ever heard of minoxidil. I swallowed every word she said and kept them close to my heart.
That was three years ago this summer.
Now I know all the ins and outs of minoxidil, I know all the options available to me, I know all the natural remedies and the fake remedies and all the wigs and toppers and brands of hair fibres. I know everything.
I also know there is a cure for everything. Even hair loss. Even cancer. There is a cure. I know this even though it’s not made public. I know because these companies capitalise on ‘treatments’ for hair loss, hair transplants, hair rollers, laser hair treatments. All this costs a fortune, so naturally they wouldn’t want any investment in real cures, because people would stop coming to them with their bank accounts wide open.
I am going to fight for my hair. I am going to fight until I am bald, and then keep on fighting. I won’t wear a wig until I absolutely have to, and I am going to find a cure even if it means going to university and studying medicine extensively. I will never stop fighting. I promise myself this.
So, future Len, if you ever give up hope, remember, I will never stop fighting. So get up, and carry on.