Been happening a while actually.
A few years in fact. Started off thinking post partum hair loss – normal, all normal.
Something called Telogen effluvium where levels return back to normal, causing hairs to switch from their growth to shedding phase and result in larger amounts of hair shedding than we’re used to.
But it wasn’t that. It isn’t that.
Day by day I’m losing vast amounts of hair.
I wake up with hair all over. Hair clogging the sink. Hair stuck in clothes in the washing machine. Just brushing my tangled hair leaves clumps on the brush. Washing my hair is an exhausting task, knowing that there’s just more hair… More hair on your hands than on your head.
It’s upsetting. Is that shallow? Perhaps. Are there worse things in the world? Of course. Does that make losing your identity – your hair – any less hard? No.
“Alopecia is a general term for hair loss. Alopecia areata is a common cause of non-scarring (does not cause scarring to the scalp) hair loss that can occur at any age. It usually causes small, coin-sized, round patches of baldness on the scalp, although hair elsewhere such as the beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, body and limbs can be affected.
In some people larger areas are affected and occasionally it can involve the whole scalp (alopecia totalis) or even the entire body and scalp (alopecia universalis).”
(Paragraph taken from British Skin Foundation)
It means I’m losing my hair. I’m losing my eye lashes. I’m already overweight, I’m losing more confidence in my appearance.
Alopecia is not contagious – what happens is that the immune system attacks the hair follicles (structures that contain the roots of the hair), causing hair loss.
With alopecia areata, your body’s own immune system attacks your healthy hair follicles, causing them to become much smaller and drastically slow down production to the point that hair growth may stop
This disease most often occurs in otherwise healthy people. It is also thought to be triggered by stress.
My blood has been tested several times over the years being told by family members “probably your thyroid” or “you’re pulling your hair out” (called Trichotillomania) – really ignorant, irritating comments.
So, I kept going back to the GP “please help me I’m losing my hair” and the reply “sorry, you’re healthy nothing we can do.”
Is it great I’m healthy? Definitely. Is it sad I can’t find a cure, a preventative? Definitely.
This photo is the hair ball I lost today (and orange size comparison) from just washing my hair, this is nothing in comparison to every day and I know eventually there will be nothing left on my head.
Over the past 18 months I’ve touched on the subject of Alopecia and even shown you Insta stories showing you my reality, my feelings on the subject. Trying to talk about it. To acknowledge it. To feel by addressing it I can just feel better. To make others aware of what it is or to understand it.
I’m trying to accept “it’s only hair” and if it gets worse I will have to cut it all off – maybe get a wig or cute hats – I’ve already lopped off 4 inches myself in emotional states – a Britney Spears 2019.
Hopefully it’ll grow back, maybe the hair will stop coming out but the entire year this has been my reality.
And it makes me sad, I can’t help it.