Female Hairloss

 

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.

Unknown

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A Scattering of Thoughts

“Oh, you’re wearing a lot of makeup!” My mother squints at me in the dim light of her bedroom.

“I’ve been here for three hours how did you not notice?”

“I didn’t really look at your face,” was her nonchalant reply.

Well, that’s my mother. I do love her, despite our differences. She is a good mother, never mind she doesn’t like to give out hugs. She sacrifices a lot for us kids, and we don’t half treat her as well as she deserves. She comes from good mothering stock, that’s for sure. Her mother was wonderful. One of the best women I know. In fact, I will go so far as to say my grandmother is the best woman I have ever come across, and our family feels her loss very sorely. I mean, right now I could do with a soft warm hug that smells faintly of herbs. I used to play with my Nan’s hands; her skin was paper thin and so so warm and soft, her fingers swelled at the joints with arthritis, poor thing, but she would knit away everyday. I learnt how to do a braid on my Nan’s hair. Long and silver and silky smooth, although thin because she was on blood thinning medication and that made her lose a lot of hair. She smelt wonderful and warm and like motherly love. Do you know that smell?

Anyway. My mum’s going away for two weeks and she is stopping in Turkey for a flight change and I am scared and worried and anxious for her. I do hope she will be okay. She kept saying things like ‘I’ll leave all my bank details, and if anything happens you have to take my death certificate to the town hall and get a probate.’

I don’t want her bank details, I just want her. Oh dear.

Also yes I am wearing lots of makeup. It’s the end of the week. Tomorrow is bank holiday! I am wearing several layers including primer, foundation, concealer, bronzer, highlight, blush, setting powder, eyeliner, three coats of mascara and a lime-crime velvetine in Riot.

I feel very glamorous, even though my hair is a bush and you can see my scalp very clearly. I shall just muss it about and hide it and carry on with my work.

Ta-ra folks!

How to Create the Illusion of Hair

Hello.

Are you a female (or male) with long hair that is thinning? Do you have alopecia, or Female Pattern Baldness? Is our hair thinning for an inexplicable reason?

Are you constantly looking wistfully at people’s scalps, and comparing to your own shiny scalp? Do you dream of long, thick, sensational locks to swish around your face and comb?

Well. I can’t help you with that, my loves. However I can help you look as though you have a voluminous head of gorgeous locks, to save you some upset and increase your daily confidence.

That’s right! Not possible, I hear you say? Ha. Keep your incredulity where it belongs. In the bin.

Now. Get yourself together. Here we go!

Ingredients:

  1. Hair. (Obviously thinning hair).
  2. Deep conditioner (home made or otherwise).
  3. High quality hair oil (natural organic Argan oil, if you can. If not, olive oil or coconut oil is good).
  4. Plastic bag/shower cap/cling film to cover hair.
  5. Heat protecting serum.
  6. Blow drier.
  7. Straighteners.
  8. Hair powder (Caboki, Kerafibre etc)
  9. Strong determination and will power.

Method:

Brush hair first. If hair is very sensitive, take a comb through your locks and get rid of all your knots. Very gently. Oil your roots with high quality preferably organic hair oil. If you don’t have any, never fear. Extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil is good enough. Part your hair in sections and apply the oil to your scalp using your fingertips. Rub in gently. Repeat process all over your head. Then deep condition the body of your hair (not roots!) using home-made or bought deep conditioner. If the shining scalp beneath your sparse hair bothers you, ignore it and inhale the scent of natural oils and/or essences instead. Bring your hair to the top of your head in a loose knot (don’t stress your roots) and cover with a shower cap, cling film or a plastic bag. Leave for around an hour.

Now that your hair has sucked in some good revitalising nutrients, give it a good old wash. Don’t scrub too hard, and wash preferably with your head upside down over the bath. I do this because my hair is curly, and when it dries, it springs up slightly because it’s been washed upside down, adding to the volume effect.

Once it’s washed, wrap in a T-shirt and gently pat dry. Do not use a towel. Towels are harsh and can cause split ends and also hair breakage. You do not want to break your hair anymore than it already is, do you.

Now, use a hair protecting serum first before you bow dry your hair upside down. That’s right. Blow dry upside down so you can have big hair; and yes I know you have very little hair. Very little hair can look big too.

Once it’s dry and big, you can take a comb through it or a brush, and gently comb/brush out any knots.

Now you can straighten.

I generally straighten the top layer of hair, and slightly straighten the bottom layer. The waves underneath the top layer create the illusion that I have more hair than I do. It also makes my hair look tidy as well as thick.

Now. You probably are wondering what I should do with the shiny scalp showing on top. Well never fear, dears. Take some hair powder (caboki is the best kind, to be honest) and sprinkle on top. Muss your hair about with your fingers (you will have to give your fingers a wash afterwards), arrange your hair so it looks thicker (I give mine a side parting), and voila.

Good luck!

Black Hair Painting

A General Piece of Information

This is a small update to note that on the left side of my frontal scalp, a small bald patch is appearing. It is not in keeping with the diffuse hair loss taking place at the top of my scalp. It appears, curiously enough, to have accelerated the hair fall in that particular area more significantly than any other.

Once the side I showed to the public, being so full of hair and new growth, it has now become the shameful side that is a little worse than it’s symmetrical opposite.

I think that I am beyond being sad about it all. I just want answers now. I demand answers, in fact.

I am printing out a five sheet research paper on hair loss, possible causes, and have even delved into the pure biochemistry of it all, with some equations and explanations of the various enzymes causing my hair follicles to weaken and drop out at a higher rate than they deign to grow in. I have listed the possible inhibitors which will inhibit the inhibition that is causing the production of the evil sister of testosterone, and which is causing my hair to fall out.

You may think that this is pretentious. But I have been seeing GPs since 2012. GPs are not hair specialists, and most of those I spoke to about the medical reasons behind my hair loss (years of extensive research) hadn’t a clue what I was talking about. So how can they help me if they don’t know what I am talking about?

I am going to present my research to my General Practitioner when I go in on Monday to discuss the fairly normal results of my  most recent blood tests. I will discuss my conclusions, and use them as an earnest argument in my case to be referred to a hair specialist. I shall show my doctor images of my hair from six months ago, to today. There has been a significant change.

My doctor might think me odd, or assume I am suffering from hypochondria, but I shall persevere. I am quite tired of being shunned by the medical world. Hair matters, folks! It’s not cancer, but it matters.

I will end my post with a quote that I find oddly fitting, never mind it came from the mouth of an atrocious woman.

The distance the shot-put goes, depends upon the effort that you PUT INTO IT. PERSPERATION! – Agatha Truncbull, Matilda, (1996 film).