Do you want to help your friend suffering from hair loss but find the situation challenging? Your feeling is valid because hair loss is a tricky problem to deal with. Apart from the actual hair loss, there are other things involved such as emotions, health conditions, and other related hair loss problems. For this reason, your question becomes urgent: What should I do when my friend is suffering from hair loss? Here are 8 effective tips to prevent things from getting worse and for you to be the support system your friend deserves.
1. Understand Your Friend’s Spectrum of Emotions
Even with the best intentions, your efforts to help your friend coping with hair loss can be not that as efficient if you do not understand their feelings. Understanding the impact of hair loss on one’s well-being is an essential first step that will help you approach the issue properly. You see, you have to understand that hair loss is not a superficial matter for your friend. For example, did many people suffering from hair loss consider the issue a huge blow to their self-esteem?
2. Downplay the Negative and Listen to your Friend’s Woes
The seriousness of hair loss can easily lead to negative perceptions. Negativity may be inevitable but it’s not something that should remain constant. A great way to help people with hair loss problems is to downplay the negative side of the situation. You can do this by simply listening to your friend’s woes and by not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with what he or she is sharing. This allows your friend to just talk and feel heard.
3. Don’t Mask the Situation with Premature Positivity
In the face of suffering caused by hair loss, it is easy to succumb to the temptation of being overly positive and cheerful to uplift the spirits of your friend. This is a common mistake that does the opposite of helping people with hair loss. You must not go ahead of the sufferer in terms emotions felt.
Hair loss, even its early manifestation, can already be very distressing. Certainly, there are lots of reasons to be positive later on, given that there are hair solutions like hair transplantation. But always begin by recognizing your friend’s suffering instead of masking or disregarding it with premature positivity.
4. Never Use Hair Loss as a Joke or Insult
Never ever mention your friend’s hair loss in a joking or insulting manner. There are already too many bald jokes upsetting your friend, and being a laughing stock affects an individual more than anybody realizes. Don’t think that you can make hair loss any less serious or “lighter” by repeating any of these jokes. Remember that jokes can be very hurtful and can reinforce the negative social effects of hair loss.
Some hair loss sufferers may make fun of their own condition as a coping mechanism. But remember that self-referential humour is entirely different with other people laughing at you. A good rule to follow is to never tease a hair loss sufferer even if they are humorous about the matter and tease themselves about it.
5. Separate Fact From Fiction
It’s of utmost importance that you arm yourself with facts to prevent perpetuating common myths. For example, did you know that higher testosterone levels in men and women is not the cause of hair loss? As in the case of men, hair loss in women is not about having too much testosterone but about one’s sensitivity to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is not exactly the same as testosterone but a much stronger compound.
Information like this may appear unnecessary at first, but knowledge is key to properly and effectively help your friend. Also, know that there are free consultations for hair loss problems to help you and your friend know the medical solutions available.
6. Help Find a Support Group
Encourage your friend to be part of a support group for health conditions. Support groups are important because sometimes your own limited experience hinders you in supporting them. Interaction with other people dealing with hair loss can be incredibly helpful for your friend. It can make your friend realize that there are others experiencing the same challenging situation.
Also, support groups are great venues to know more about the health conditions affecting hair loss. For example, it’s not only hormonal imbalance that can cause balding. Other health issues can also play a significant part in hair loss, such as malnutrition, stress, and some cancer treatments. Since the feeling of being alone is one of the effects of hair loss, a support group can provide great opportunity for bonding, building relationships, and information.
7. Tell Your Friend Hair Loss is Not About Vanity
Make sure you remain supportive by telling that self-image is not about vanity and that it’s okay to be concerned with one’s appearance. Some people consider it narcissistic and frivolous to be affected by how one looks. The prevalence of this attitude makes sufferers feel guilty when they get upset about their condition. The guilt can be stronger in the case of hair loss in men because society expects them to not care so much about how they look. These affected men try to brush it aside because of what other people may think. Reassure your friend that it’s okay to battle hair loss, improve oneself, and that there are hair loss treatments to help solve the problem.
8. Be Respectful of Your Friend’s Decision
Hair loss is a fact of life and it incites people to know what helps prevent hair loss. Helping your friend means exploring the preventive measures and the available treatments for hair loss. But remember that it’s still up to your friend to decide which one he or she is comfortable with. As a friend, you must respect your friend’s choice of treatment. All you can do is to help your friend come up with the best decision and for you to be supportive of his or her decision.
It’s true that hair loss can be a debilitating condition and should not be taken for granted. However, with these tips for the best support for people with hair loss problems, you can be part of the solution. Being a friend does not only require you to be present. It also means that you are effective at helping your friend to feel and look better.