Nothing, absolutely nothing freaks me out more than the thought of losing my hair.
Women aren't supposed to go bald, right? But the fact is, 60% of us will lose our hair at some point. And unlike so many other trivial vanity issues we deal with --cottage cheese thighs, the absurdity of dealing with pimples after age 35 and even boobs that seem to be in a race to your knees -- thinning hair can completely shatter a woman's self image. But it doesn't have too.
There are a million reasons why we lose our hair: Hormonal changes at childbirth, medications, heredity, or harsh chemical relaxers (like I have had every eight weeks since age 15). I remember when I first started noticing the strands along my hairline looking wispier than I remembered. I was totally paranoid about one day waking up looking like George Jefferson.
I purchased thickening shampoos and serums which thankfully helped. For my good friend Ann, who inherited her father's male pattern baldness, no rinse could fix that. She even endured getting shots of some supposed follicle-stimulating solution injected into her skull every month for a year -- and nothing.
A glance in the mirror could lead to a meltdown. Beautiful hair makes us feel feminine. For her, it wasn't just about having a bad hair day. It had become, 'How do I live without any hair at all?' After a lot of tears and "why me" moments, she realized the fastest, simplest, and most sanity-saving solution was a cosmetic one. She didn't go as drastic as a hair transplant -- the thought of skin grafts gave her the heebie-jeebies. Wigs were out too because she lived in fear of it flying off in a gust of wind.
Ann opted for a weave. But not the clip on hair extensions the celebrities love wearing. She went to a place that specializes in women's hair loss from cancer treatment and alopecia called New Horizons Beauty Salon in New York City.
I watched as the stylist attached a human-hair "Volumizer" matching Ann's texture and color. Her hair was pulled through the mesh unit and secured using these little crimp beads. It's hard to explain, but it was pretty incredible. If I hadn't known her before, I would have no idea that wasn't all her hair.
Her transformation was AMAZING to say the least. But it wasn't just about the new full, flowing mane. She had a confidence I hadn't seen in a long time. That shop's motto was "We can replace enough hair to make a difference in your life." It most certainly has for Ann. And there are a lot of other places giving women back that self esteem, like Advanced Hair Concepts in San Diego and Mirage Hair Systems in Eugene, Oregon.
And if you are not ready to go as far as Ann did, there are other things to try. Fiber fillers are popular too. Basically, these little particles stick to your strands like magnets. Caboki and Toppik are two brands with buzz. Point is, DO NOT GIVE UP. Women don't have to go bald gracefully. If you can't grow it, you can most definitely buy it.
See one hair replacement technique in action here:
Are you afraid of going bald? What solutions have worked for you?
Image via Justj0000lie/Flickr