The emotional side of hair loss (and how little support we get) ...

OK, a serious one for you today lovely,

Hair loss can and does effect everyone in different ways but if there is one thing that I've learned in my 22 years of living with hair loss and my 7 years of running Aspire Hair it is this ...

No matter how it effects an individual it does have SOME kind of effect and not just in the obvious physical way. It effects a person emotionally and that my lovely lady is a fact.

Another fact (and a pretty sad one at best) is that so many women experiencing medical hair loss take themselves off to their GP's looking for help and advice and, sadly, they leave with neither. The emotional side of hair loss seems to be swept to one side and many of us then go on to beat ourselves up about things.

I realised very quickly that my job at Aspire Hair was going to be so much more than simply "selling wigs" to women that needed alternative hair.

I didn't want a job that was purely down to selling anyway. I'm not a trained saleswomen and when Aspire Hair was created I had no background experience in sales but what I did have a wealth of experience in was wigs and wearing them.

I also had a good many years of experience with actually living with hair loss and living on a day to day basis with the feelings and emotions that came along with having alopecia.

The bottom line was that I wanted to help people if I could and help them feel confident again. Help them to feel more like themselves again.

As luck would have it this little introvert that I am through and through had always had a bit of a nack when it came to listening to people and empathising with how they felt.

I can't even tell you how many times complete strangers have started randomly chatting away to me when I'm out and about doing my daily things and 20 minutes later they'd still be chatting away about things that are happening in their lives and thanking me for the chat.

" Well it's been wonderful talking with you and thanks so much for the advice!"

This always left me a little bemused because during almost all of the conversation I had usually said (and done) very little!.

I'd have said the ocasional "ah" and nodded my head in a sympathetic manner, offered a kind smile and (on the odd occasion) even a re-assuring shoulder squeeze but that was it.

I very rarely actually had given any advice!

I'm an introvert remember?

I'm quiet. I'm the girl seen walking with my eyes to the floor. Not because I'm rude. Not because I'm scared but just because ..... well, I'm me and that's me being me.

Never-the-less it was lovely to watch people walk away smiling.

During consultations at Aspire Hair we do a lot of chatting whilst trying on alternative hair and styling. It's almost like therapy and the difference now is that I feel qualified to give advice when it comes to wigs after all the years of wearing and craing for them. I understand those feelings so very well and can relate. I realised by accident that my purpose is to help others in the same situation I was in all those years ago.

It's just such a shame that some kind of emotional support Isn't always offered right at that first GP visit as I'm sure it would save a lot of heartache and anxiety for women with hair loss in the long run.

What was your experience at your Dr's like when you first started losing your hair?


Janice Ryder said…
I had alopecia on and off as a child so I don't remember the first visits back then. But I do remember my first visit as a teenager around 15 I went on my own as it had started to get worse. The patches was no longer small coin sized they was getting really big.
As a teenager I'm sure you can imagine how embarrassing it was so I went to the doctor to see if anything can be done. I remembered as a child getting creams. So hist figured I need to go back and get more.

The doctor simply said "it is just stress with exams and things and will grow back" and sent me on my way... that put me off going back again for about 5 years. By which point I was encurraged to go by a lovely wig fitter who told me about NHS...

My first NHS hospital visit.. They simply told me nothing can be done but you never know in 10 years there maybe a break through (very encouraging :0/ ) gave me the wig presciption and sent me on my way.

I went a different hospital a couple years later. Had blood tests scans etc all found nothing. That doctor was friendly almost like he wanted to find a cure.. In the end he was leaving so he suggested (and I have on medical record) iron tablets, zinc and 10 Gummy Bears a for the gelatin.. ;)

The replacement doctor refused to give me a prescription unless I took another blood test... I went to the vampire and she cut me leaving a scar. I've never bothered going back.

I've got to the point thinking you know I'm otherwise healthy just crack on :)
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