Hair loss is a common health condition that afflicts millions of women. The condition isn’t life threatening, but it isn’t harmless, either. Hair loss can have long-lasting effects on a person’s mental health. Women who experience hair loss often report the condition has negatively impacted their confidence, self-esteem and quality of life.
Hair loss isn’t always reversible, but it’s never too late to gain a more positive outlook. In honor of National Hair Loss Awareness Month, the following insight can help you overcome the mental struggles of hair loss and make peace with the new you.
Hair loss is common in women
Women struggling with hair loss should know they’re not alone. Hair loss is commonly viewed as a health condition that affects men, but more women struggle with it than you may think. It’s estimated that 40 percent of women in the United States will develop signs of hair loss before they turn 40 years old. There’s a good chance someone in your life struggles with hair loss or will experience it in the future. Remember that many women out there understand exactly what you’re going through.
Hair loss becomes more prevalent as women approach menopause. Menopause triggers a dip in estrogen levels, and hormonal imbalances are often associated with hair loss. As estrogen levels decline, women may notice more hair in the shower drain than usual. Hormonal changes might also shrink hair follicles in the scalp, which can lead to thinning strands and the inability to replace them with new growth.
Certain hairstyles and treatments can accelerate hair loss, too. Women with long hair often pull it back into tight braids, ponytails or cornrows. This places tension on the roots and wears down hair follicles over time. Perms, dyes and relaxers contain chemicals that weaken strands and make them prone to breakage. Women may not see the effects of these hairstyles and treatments until many years down the road.
Change how you think about hair loss
Hair loss often leads to low self-esteem and a negative self-image. As your outer appearance changes, so does the perception of yourself. Reclaim some of that old confidence by considering how others view your appearance. Chances are, you care way more about the hair loss than they do! Putting yourself in other people’s shoes will help you realize hair loss can never take away all your amazing qualities.
Many forms of hair loss are beyond a person’s control. You have no say in how much hair falls out or when it starts to affect your life. Counteract the anxiety, embarrassment and frustration by accepting the situation for what it is. Bodies change throughout the course of life, and hair loss is just another chapter in your story. You will feel more at peace once you learn to accept the hair loss.
Women dealing with hair loss tend to focus on what they’ve lost. Boost your self-esteem by focusing on what you still have. Try new hairstyles that conceal the hair loss and make you feel confident. Previous styles might not work for you anymore, but styling your hair in different ways can help you feel good in your skin!
Daily habits that can slow hair loss
Proper hair care will preserve healthy strands and earn you even more confidence. Start by swapping your current hair tools for ones that can minimize hair loss. Replace your brush with a wide-toothed comb, since it won’t tug on the hair as much. Let your hair air dry, or at the very least, use your blow dryer on the coolest setting. Ditch the straightener and curling iron and opt for heatless hairstyles instead.
Some women experience the most hair loss at night. If this is true for you, try sleeping with your hair tucked into a scarf or hair net. This can prevent loose hairs from rubbing against your pillow case. You might also consider switching to a silk pillow case, as this fabric creates less friction than cotton when you move around at night.
You can slow the progression of hair loss by moving away from tight hairstyles and chemical treatments. Wear your hair in a low braid or pony tail and keep it loose to avoid pulling out weak strands of hair. It’s best to avoid chemical treatments altogether, but your hair salon might have access to organic dyes that are gentler on the hair.
It’s perfectly normal to feel a wide array of emotions as you experience hair loss. Remember that outer appearances don’t define your worth, and you have the power to change your mindset. Hair loss might be inevitable, but you still have control over how you feel about it.