Hailed as the crowning glory, hair accentuates your facial features and completes your overall physical appearance. It is no wonder that most people deem having a full head of hair as a yardstick of beauty. Moreover, habits that involve hair are also ingrained in people’s daily lives — shampooing, styling, touching your loved ones’ hair to show affection, and so on.
It is understandable, then, that men and women start going into a process of grief once they experience hair loss. Even if you are not after vanity, hair loss in men and women can have devastating effects on self-esteem. Know that it is totally normal to undergo different phases when dealing with difficult times. Let this guide help you on your journey from battling hair loss to overcoming it. Here are the 7 stages of acceptance when experiencing hair loss.
Finding Yourself Shocked And In Denial
Struggles involving losses vary from one person to another. The process also differs depending on the circumstances and the severity of the loss. While the stages do not necessarily have to follow a certain order, almost every person begins with an overwhelming sense of shock and denial.
You start noticing that your hair is getting thin and falling out. The volume of hair that you see on your hair brush and in your drain terrifies you. The bald spots appearing on your scalp only adds to your alarm.
But you are confused. You ask yourself questions like, “What is happening to me?” “Why me when I’m still too young for hair loss?” and so on. The impacts of hair loss in men and women can be terrifying, which is why denial is a typical defense mechanism when faced with an unusual ordeal.
As the gravity of the situation sinks in, an array of unpleasant and irrational emotions can very easily blind you. This results in you feeling bad about yourself. You become insecure about how you look, and so you refuse to go out like you used to when you had thicker hair.
You may be fuming mad at the possible causes of your hair loss even if factors like heredity and diseases are beyond your control. You may also feel pangs of guilt for doing things that you believe could have caused your hair loss. You resent this change in your hair appearance and you may also resent other people and even random, inanimate objects.
While no one can escape from these emotions, you can go through this stage in the healthiest possible way. Avoid bottling it all in. Vent out to a dear family member or a friend. Talk to professionals such as dermatologists, hair doctors, and psychologists, if needed.
Trying To Regain Control With Bargaining
There is more to losing one’s hair than thinning locks — you also lose a sense of control as you helplessly watch your strands go down the drain. To cope with this, you attempt to stay on top of things through bargaining.
Bargaining in this sense means refusing to accept hair loss and so you try to negotiate. You are only too willing to do things you never knew you would do just so you can get your hair back. For instance, you begin searching online habits that are harmful to hair growth. You cut down on hairstyling, unhealthy eating habits, and you start incorporating healthy choices into your lifestyle. You also explore hair loss treatments and you say to yourself, “I will try this product, but this has to give me back my hair.”
While there is nothing wrong with trying to be proactive, you need to ask help from the right people and to go for the right hair loss treatments. Otherwise, you may only set yourself up for unsatisfied expectations, which brings us to the next stage.
The lack of good appearance brought by thicker hair can adversely affect your confidence. This is especially true with hair loss in women. According to a 2012 study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, hair loss in women is not only common, but is also greatly associated with depression.
During this stage, you will feel terribly upset about your condition. Moreover, pinning your hopes on hair loss treatments, only to find them ineffective, can aggravate your problem.
Contrary to what people who brush off depression say, being depressed is a serious and legitimate concern. Once you catch yourself in this trap or once your loved ones reach out to you, don’t be afraid to seek and receive help.
Reaching The Turning Point
Every process entails a certain turning point or that stage when things take either a good or a bad turn. You can continue being sucked in by depression. On the other hand, things can start looking good from here. It all boils down to how you decide for yourself.
You’ll be reflecting on the stages that you have gone through. You may feel confused and overwhelmed as to what direction to take. This can be tough to process, but simply take your time and you’ll get there.
Putting Back The Pieces With Reconstruction
Getting hold of yourself is not easy, but it is not impossible. Once you have gotten past the turning point, you will find yourself at the start of a momentum and you will be decided to truly act on the situation. Relapsing into earlier stages such as pain, frustration, anger, and depression may occur, but these are perfectly normal. After all, you are undergoing a long process of dealing with tough times.
At this stage, you are taking a different approach to your hair loss problem. You may be looking at hair loss treatment options again, but you are now trying to do it right. It is therefore crucial that you consult a professional hair restoration doctor to help you with hair loss treatment.
You may also be considering further measures such as hair transplantation. In this case, learn everything that you can about this topic. Do your own research, and weigh the pros and cons so you can arrive at the best decision.
Being On Your Way To Acceptance And Hope
After what seems to be a rollercoaster ride of emotions, you will arrive at this most important stage — being on your way to a better you. First, you will begin accepting that hair loss is only normal. Again, it may not be easy, but you can do it.
Then, you will be more hopeful as you try to bring back your hair and to reconstruct your life. This may appear like you are entering the bargaining stage again, but it is different. You will now have a more rational approach to hair regrowth, having carefully done your research, especially on procedures like hair transplantation. You have also learned to keep your expectations in check so you are hopeful and realistic at the same time.
Dealing with hair loss in men and women is no walk in the park. It is a struggle and a battle that you do not have to fight alone. Let go of all of the emotions that you feel. Allow your physical, mental, and emotional well-being to just go with the flow. Then, start taking small steps towards regaining not only your hair, but also your self-esteem. In time, you’ll be glad that hair loss will be a thing of the past.