For many women and girls, hair is closely linked with a sense of identity. Young girls discuss hairstyles and try new things, teens may learn to shave and control their body hair, and adult women often feel like their hair is part of what makes them feminine.
When a woman or girl develops a disease such as alopecia areata, that can all change in just a few weeks. Girls as young as 6 years old can end up losing all of their hair and have to face the questions of their first-grade peers about why they don’t have any hair at all on their head or face.
No matter what age or gender you are, losing all of your hair can be a huge shock, as well as an emotional blow. That’s why it is so important to provide a strong network of support for those who suffer from alopecia, especially if their hair is closely linked with their identity. Here are some tips on how to cope if you or a family member have alopecia.
Focus on Confidence
You did not disappear along with your hair. If it is a young child you are trying to support, it’s important to remember that they are more than just their alopecia. The first step in guiding someone through this difficult time is to remember that they are more than their hair.
Avoid making alopecia the central topic of every conversation, and keep your child busy with sports, new interests, and other things to help keep their focus away from their hair.
This is good advice for adults as well. If your mind is full of learning a new language or training for your marathon, there will be less room for worrying about your hair.
For many people with alopecia, confusion from those they work or study with can cause a lot of embarrassment. Alopecia is rare, and it’s common for peers to think a bald woman has cancer or what she has might be contagious.
If possible, take the time to talk with a class before the beginning of school, or the office before the start of work, and talk about what alopecia is. By educating them, you’ll not only break the ice and avoid individual embarrassing conversations about hair but also help others with alopecia who they may come across later in their life.
If possible, meeting with other people who have alopecia can greatly improve your outlook on life. Seeing someone else who has been there and being able to ask questions or commiserate can go a long way to easing your mind.
There are several support networks available online for other people experiencing this same problem.
Some types of alopecia are treatable, while others are not. It’s important to be realistic about what your options are. A trichologist can help sleuth out what the cause of your alopecia is, and whether it will grow back.
In some cases, alopecia is temporary and will grow back just fine. In other cases, it’s permanent and no amount of Rogaine or Vitamin B will fix it.
The good news is, there are still options available. Hair loss clinics can help guide you through your options of hair systems and other treatments that work alongside your diagnosis seamlessly.
Alopecia can be a difficult and sometimes traumatic illness. It can strike people of all ages and ruin the confidence and self-identity of those who aren’t on their guard. A solid support network, loving care, and treatment where possible can work together to help support those dealing with this difficult disease.
For more information, or to schedule a free consultation with our experienced trichologist, contact New Look Institute in San Jose, California today.
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