Coping with Hair Loss Wisely, Graciously, and Courageously

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As an aesthetician, I’m very sensitive to our patients because so often the effects of dermatological conditions reach much further than just skin deep. One good example is hair loss, or alopecia, because hair defines so much of our identities. If you or someone you know is experiencing hair loss, I’d like to share some tips for dealing with it wisely, graciously, and courageously.

Sometimes, the key to reversing alopecia may be wise clinical advice such as a simple change in lifestyle or a deeper change of mind. For example, hair loss can be caused by diets with an iron or protein deficiency or an excess of vitamin A. Chemical or heat styling habits can weaken hair and damage the scalp. Serious stress, childbirth, and eating disorders like anorexia can also trigger alopecia, as can chemotherapy. A physical examination can confirm my suspicions, or may suggest a medical approach. Many patients see a noticeable improvement with minoxidil, an OTC drug approved for hair loss in men and women. Depending on the cause, the dermatologist may also prescribe a corticosteroid or finasteride (for men only).

Sometimes, though, the key to coping with alopecia is gracious, courageous acceptance. Take care never to conflate your sense of confidence, worth, or attractiveness, with your hairline. Sex appeal, masculinity, and femininity all come from within. The more confidently you embrace your natural state, the more people see your smile rather than your scalp.

Short-cropped hair or a shaven head is a smart, sexy look for any man. Comb overs and perpetual hats really only accentuate the issue. Wigs for women work like hats, but better. Socially speaking, wigs are a far more accepted and fashionable alternative, especially for completely bald women, than toupees are for men. Also, in a sign of changing societal views, the striking profile of bare-scalped women is an increasingly frequent sight.

No matter the cause of hair loss, my hope is that by sharing my insights on coping with it, I can help people do so more wisely, courageously, and with grace.

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