Time for a Chop!

I had a haircut today. The lady (who works from her front room) chopped off all my spilt ends and dried my hair so nicely that it bounced up in these wonderful voluminous curls all around my head.

I was so pleased, as you can imagine.

I feel quite brand new, and cleaner, somehow, without the frizzy mess hanging down in gloomy straggles from my thinning scalp.

She said to me, “Now remember, because you’ve got curly hair, you never really need to brush it. Just go through it with a wide tooth comb when you’re conditioning, and that’s all you need.”

When I do brush my hair it explodes into this fuzz halo around my head and it’s not particularly pleasant.

Anyway. Like I said, I have an appointment with the dermatologist later this month, so fingers crossed something good will come out of it, and if it doesn’t, then on we go on  a new route.

I will say though, that having curly hair is a blessing. I used to hate my curls, because they are so hard to deal with, but honestly, the way my hair becomes so voluminous after a shower, makes it so much easier to hide the thinning and balding. Small mercies, eh?

I do feel great today, though. Nothing like great hair to make you feel good, that’s what.

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

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!

Is This Information Understandable?

This is a scheduled post. I am still here, just drowning under a tottering pile of my work and maybe a little of Damian’s. Why I do this to myself I do not know. But I want that first class degree. So badly. So I am trying my best!

UPDATE: They have put me on iron tablets. Twice daily. The ferritin levels for normal hair growth should be 70mg. That is the level at which hair can grow anew. The lowest end of ‘normal’ is 20mg. The highest, 200mg. My ferritin level is 21mg. Just 1mg above the lowest end of the spectrum, and far, far below the normal rate required for hair growth. Ferritin of course, is to do with iron levels in the blood. They test for iron levels by testing for ferritin.

Have I repeated myself too much?

Is this information understandable?

I hope so.

I am genuinely hoping that this hair problem is to do with iron deficiency. I am monitoring my iron very closely.

I will say, though, that it was me who did he research on ferritin and read research papers written by doctors in the field. I then went to my own doctor with the information. She said she hadn’t thought about that before, and prescribed me some iron.

I am pleased she looked into it further, but can’t help but worry a little as I was under the assumption that doctors should know everything, and should look into everything, ruling each diagnosis out after thorough examination.

Perhaps that costs too much money?

Perhaps our NHS is too weak now, after the Tories have settled in like a disease, and we can no longer get the adequate healthcare that we deserve? After all, so much of our income goes to taxes to keep our healthcare service running!

I can still see my scalp shining like a lonely beacon, through the sparseness on the top of my head. But yesterday I straightened my hair after blowdrying it, and it looked fabulous. So, oh voluminous.

It was long, and the patch was hidden, and if I fluffed it up around my face well enough, it looked like I had professional hair, and plenty of it.

Oh, so voluminous.