Many people associate a great deal of their personality with their hair. So as your hair starts to fade, it can feel like a part of yourself is going with it. While there are great hair loss treatments out there, it’s important to address your emotional needs as well. Read on to learn how to address hair loss, on a physical and emotional level.
Explore Treatment Options
For those of you newly acquainted with hair despair, you should know that there are treatments out there worth exploring. These treatments aren’t just smoke and mirrors either. They’re legitimate, FDA-approved, and thousands suffering from hair loss have found relief using them.
Medications are some of the best treatments on the market, and there are two major players: finasteride and minoxidil. Finasteride works by curbing your body’s production of dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that contributes to hair loss. Minoxidil, on the other hand, improves your body’s blood flow, ensuring plenty of nutrients reach your scalp. You can get the best of both worlds by combining the two in a topical finasteride and minoxidil solution.
Besides medication, there are other steps you can take toward encouraging hair growth. Low-level laser light therapy may encourage hair growth via cellular stimulation. Or you could get a hair transplant, taking hardy follicles from other areas and replacing those lost on your scalp. Wigs and micropigmentation are also great options for those who don’t want to endure an invasive procedure like transplantation. You may be surprised by just how many options there are on the market for hair growth and restoration.
Learn to Self-Soothe
As mentioned, dealing with hair loss can be a stressful experience for anyone to endure. Worse, unmitigated stress can actually further contribute to hair loss, creating a vicious cycle. So it’s vitally important to invest time and energy in taking care of yourself. Focus on learning how to soothe yourself so you can operate at lower levels of stress. Don’t see self-soothing as a “nice-to-have” — it’s a must.
That said, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for what’s really a very personal practice. What makes someone else relax won’t necessarily calm you down, and vice-versa. To find what works for you, set aside some time to think about activities, practices, and habits that soothe you. Self-care is all about recharging, reducing stress, and enhancing the overall quality of your life.
Common self-care practices include meditation, gentle yoga, nature walks, drinking tea, reading a good book, and taking a hot bath. All of these activities center around calming yourself and relaxing for extended periods of time. Reflect and find the intersection between your interests and activities that soothe. You could meet with a friend who always makes you laugh once a week or go for a drive down in a place that makes you happy. Once you find activities that help soothe you, do your best to incorporate them into your regular routine.
Find a Shoulder to Lean On
As your hair continues to fall out, you may feel the urge to withdraw socially. You may feel embarrassed about your appearance and worry about how others may see you. However, retreating is the exact opposite of what you should do. Life is already hard enough as it is. You don’t need to have hair loss be another reason to make it harder for yourself.
By nature, humans are social creatures. Despite the fact that people are sometimes cruel to each other, remember that — ultimately — people just want to be accepted by others. Perhaps paradoxically, one of the best ways to endear yourself to others is to support them. And what better way to support someone than by helping them through the very same experience you’re going through?
There are support groups for all different kinds of struggles, with alcohol via Alcoholics Anonymous being one of the most famous. Hair loss affects millions of people worldwide — it’s a common issue — so know that there are support groups for you too. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation, The Bald Truth, and the American Hair Loss Association are just a few of the many out there. Reach out to find help from others sharing in the hair loss struggle and remember that you don’t have to go it alone.
Everyone has bad days and many struggling with hair loss have ones that are particularly dark. However, if you just can’t seem to shake the gloom, consider reaching out to a professional who can help. Therapists and other licensed mental health counselors can help you navigate the darker corners of your experience with tact. They can illuminate blind spots you might not even know you have, easing the emotional weight you carry with you.
Thankfully, finding a therapist is easier than ever before. There are numerous online therapy sites such as BetterHelp, Talkspace, Cerebral, and more. Using these sites, you can consult with a licensed practitioner from the comfort of your home. Or you can pursue traditional alternatives, seeking in-person help via in-network therapists. Reach out to your insurance company and ask them to provide you with a list of therapists in your area.
Keep in mind that it may take some trial and error to find a therapist who works for you. The first one you talk to might not be the right fit and that’s OK. Keep at it and persevere to find someone whose personality and therapeutic style matches your needs. There’s no shame in discontinuing work with a therapist because you want to find someone else you prefer. It’s your life, time, and money,
Be Kind to Yourself
Losing your hair is not easy, and, as mentioned, it may often feel like losing a part of yourself. You will likely experience significant periods of frustration, but don’t let that affect how you see yourself. Treat yourself with kindness, as you are intrinsically valuable just as every person is. Keep your worth at the forefront of your mind and use the methods on this list to navigate the challenges of hair loss.