The words together with the horror on her face made me feel instantly nauseous. I’d been internally debating for months now if I was simply imagining things and intellectualising about how this just might be the case… observing myself looking in the mirror more often, getting closer to the mirror, brushing my hair more often, cleaning the brush more frequently…in psychology it’s called something like confirmatory bias…ah yes just enough psych knowledge to be a danger to myself!
But louder than the chronic self-analysis and attempts at reassurance was the voice that said, ‘You’re losing your hair like an old woman. You’re not even menopausal. You eat fabulous food and have too much energy for your own good but you’re starting to look like you’re ill’. The horror. I felt instantly like a fraud.
But my daughter’s confirmation was crucial. It put an end to my paralysis. I was losing my hair and the affected areas were absolutely classic for Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) (mid-centre part and parietal scalp without compromise of the very first rows of hair along the perimeter)…something I had researched, seen and treated in so many others. Time to move on with the solution. Luckily for me I had had many success stories in clinic under my belt with alopecia…but would it work for me?
FPHL is the most common cause of alopecia for women all other the world and about 1 in 5 will experience it – yet it is a grossly misunderstood and often trivialised condition. As a clinician who’d heard other women’s concerns and at times, thought, ‘I can’t see it, maybe they’re over-reacting,imagining, a bit too focused on it ‘ and then experiencing the true horror of hair loss myself, I would never have that thought again.
By the time we can objectively confirm our patients fears about hair loss, they typically will have lost 50% of the hair in a given area. We need to recognise the condition and start treatment sooner. So here’s a good review paper on diagnosing and differentiating different forms of female alopecia and if your want to know what I use for my clients with this and myself…when push came to shove…check out the latest Update in Under 30. ‘You fixed it Mum!’ never sounded sweeter 🙂