I have always had hair envy. I was a teenager in the '60s, when all those sleek Vidal Sassoon styles were around. I would take a picture from a magazine along to my hairdresser who would run her fingers through my stringy mop and say "well I can try..." I had a reasonable amount of hair at that time, although it was very fine. The fashion for hairpieces helped me enormously.
During the menopause, my hair thinned noticeably. My doctor assured me this was only to be expected. Then bald patches appeared but the hair always grew back. Five years ago, my hair started to disappear altogether. This was a year before my retirement, an event which I had been looking forward to enormously. I was planning a retirement party at my workplace where I had been for 37 years. By my retirement date the hair loss was so severe I could hardly bear to leave the house. The retirement party was cancelled! I knew someone would take photographs and the thought horrified me.
My GP sent me for tests, the results of which showed nothing that could cause hair loss. Her words to me at my last appointment were "why don't you get a wig?" I tried lotions, potions, old wives' tales, recommendations from friends and family. I would spend every spare moment trawling the internet for possible solutions and every lunch hour going into various hairdressers in the town where I worked asking for help. I must have spent thousands on products which had no effect whatsoever.
My marriage began to suffer, not because my husband cared whether I had hair or not but because I was so unhappy and reluctant to go out.
Instead of being happy, my last year at work was horrible. I worked with a lovely group of ladies who were sympathetic but obviously sometimes the conversation would turn to hair, I would get up from my seat and sit in the loo until I thought the subject would be changed. I have never cried so much in my life. Of course I realise that my experience may seem trivial to some with such awful things happening to people. I have had my fair share of tragedies in my family too. But for some reason my hair loss totally floored me.
Eventually I found my solution in a very good (but expensive) hair piece. Now at least I feel able to face the world again. If there are any positives to this story, people tell me I look 10 years younger! The people at the salon I go to are wonderful, many of them having suffered similarly. And in my case the effect it had on me impacted greatly on my family too.
A woman's hair is part of who she is and when it goes it is devastating.
You can add your comments on Kathy Morris's post to the thread.