HAIR loss is distressing, no matter who you are, but for women, it can be especially hard. To help raise awareness, with the Institute of Trichologists‘ Hair Loss Awareness Week starting on January 31, one March woman has spoken out about this embarrassing and often taboo subject.
The bald spot at the back of the 60-year-old’s head was first spotted by her hairdresser at a routine hair appointment in July.
“I had noticed that the back of my hair on one side wasn’t going like it normally did, but I thought it was my hair being contrary,” the woman, who does not want to be identified, said. “But then I went to the hairdressers and she told me I had a patch. She said, ‘I think you have alopecia.’”
The patch of noticeably thin hair had developed since her last appointment, just five weeks previously.
“I was completely devastated. I had visions of myself walking around with a head like a billiard ball.
“It’s a bit like waking up in the morning and finding all your teeth on the pillow.”
Luckily the patch was not too large and with some clever hair styling, could be hidden. But over the next few weeks, she had problems with her scalp and scratching made her hair loss worse.
The woman went to her GP, but was told the hair loss could be caused by any number of things, including stress or depression.
A battery of blood tests showed she was borderline for an autoimmune disease, a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.
However the only advice her GP could give her was to avoid hair products and hair dye and wait to see if her condition improved.
After researching her condition online, going to a trichologist – someone who scientifically studies the health of hair and scalp – seemed to be her best option.
Tracey Walker MIT at The Hair & Scalp Clinic, in Ramsey, met with her and spent a couple of hours examining her hair and scalp and talking about the condition she had.
Tracey, who is currently Cambridgeshire’s only registered trichologist, was able to suggest some products that may be beneficial and so far, her techniques appear to be working.
“Obviously, hair loss is still occurring, but it has slowed down. There is a very good chance it will clear up. It takes about six months for hair to start regenerating itself and I can see signs of that happening.”
The woman is positive about her condition and hopeful that her hair will regrow in time.
“It’s not the end of the world. Once I came to term with it, I realised there are people in this world who have worse things to contend with.”
The woman advised anyone experiencing hair loss to visit their doctor first of all, as there may be an underlying medical condition causing it.
• For more information about the Institute of Trichologists, visit www.trichologists.org.uk. Tracey Walker can be contacted at the Hair and Scalp Clinic on 01487-812741.