Hair loss really can feel like you are losing part of yourself. It's a break up. It's a death. I don't want to sound all doom and gloom, but you and I both know just how debilitating hair loss can be. You have to go through mourning over the loss of your hair. You have to go through all those feelings of grief.
It's a hard thing to explain to other people. Those thick-haired, long locks sort of people just don't get that feeling of loss. Your hair becomes part of your identity. It's so attached to you. And losing it really does feel like you've lost a loved one. Like you've lost a cherished friend.
I want you to hear this from me. This is a normal feeling. Your feelings of grief are valid. Your feelings of grief are true. Don't let people tell you that 'it's just hair' or 'you shouldn't be this upset, people have it way worse'. Yes, physically it is 'just hair', but emotionally it's so much more than that. Your experience of grief should not be diminished by the struggles of others. Your grief is natural.
It's important to feel those feelings. To process what is going on. Feeling these emotions is the first step in your path to healing and overcoming. So let it all out. Cry. Get angry. Spend a day at home in bed eating icecream and watching 2000's high school movies. Feel those feels.
But after that, it's time to start looking forward. Don't let yourself get stuck in grief. There comes a time where you have to work through it and move on.
What does that look like? Your journey through grief and towards healing is unique to you. However, these are some things you can do to start moving on.
Accept the Facts
Learning to accept the facts of hair loss can help you to get perspective. When I started losing my hair I was so consumed by things that I couldn't control. I couldn't control that I lost my hair. I couldn't control that I have genetic hair loss. And medication only works for 1 in 5 women. That doesn't mean I'm broken. That doesn't mean I'm a lost cause. It just means these are facts I have to acknowledge and accept. I can't influence or change these things. I can only accept them
Find a Community or Support System
Having people in your life who you can support you through the tough times and share in your wins can make all the difference. Opening up to someone about your hair loss can feel super freeing. Suddenly, you're not alone in your journey. You have someone to turn to when you need to talk. Don't be afraid to lean on your friends and family during this time. If you don't have someone IRL you can talk to, we're always here. You can email or message us whenever. You can also join our private facebook group to meet other women on a similar journey to you.
This is the time to give yourself a little grace. It's more important than ever to practice a bit of self-love. Do things that you love to do. Spend time with the people you love. Watch those crappy TV shows you've watched a thousand times before but just feel so nostalgic to you. Dance in your bedroom. Try something new. Do things that make you happy.
Seek Professional Help if You Need
Sometimes talking to someone who really knows their stuff can be so helpful. There's so many resources out there to help. There's absolutely no shame in seeing a psychologist/therapist/counsellor. I've got mine on speed dial!
Everyone is on their own journey and it's important to not compare yourself to others. Healing is not linear. You are going to go through ups and downs. A decade after losing my hair I still have my down days. I still have days where I feel it's so unfair I lost my hair. But these days have become fewer and fewer over the years.
Grief was once described to me as a ball in a box. Imagine a big box with a huge big ball inside of it. The ball represents your grief and the box is how much you feel it. When you first lose your hair, the ball is so big that it touches the edges of the box and you feel the grief almost constantly. But as you start to work through your grief and heal, the ball gets smaller and smaller. It bounces around the box and hits the sides. On some days you'll feel that grief, and other days not at all. The smaller the ball gets, the less you feel your grief. The grief of losing your hair may never be fully gone, but it will become easier and easier to manage.
If you have any advice on dealing with the grief of hair loss, I'd love for you to share it in the comments below.