Why does HAIR have to be such a big part of who we are? Even at birth, the first words (except in breach births!) are, "wow, look at all the hair!" And throughout infancy and childhood there are comments and activities involving our hair. How much or how little hair a baby has, always prompts visitors to recall something about THEIR baby's hair stories. If it's thick or thin, straight or curly, light or dark....there will be many years of dealing with HAIR!
If there's not enough hair to tie up in a ponytail or add a ribbon, the sex of the child is often mistaken. If everyone in the family has dark hair and one child is blond, the PARENTAGE is even questioned. People either don't know, or tend to forget how certain genes can appear several generations apart, but something as simple as your hair color can be an issue throughout your lifetime!
For little boys, the first haircut can be a major event. First it can be an agonizing decision for the parents. When to do it, where to have it done, crying when that first "baby curl" is cut off, spending DAYS sneaking peeks at the little guy because you can't believe how the haircut has "aged" him!
Then there's 13 years (or more) of the dreaded SCHOOL PICTURES! No matter how beautiful the smile or how the eyes are twinkling with youthful joy, there's always something about the HAIR that makes you want to burn all your pictures! How many centuries have parents been saying, "I can't believe the photographer couldn't take a second to either 1) fix that cowlick or 2) run a comb through!"
As we get older, we start the search for the "perfect" hairstyle, shampoo, and all kinds of expensive treatments, equipment and accessories! We go through thousands of hairdressers to find someone who can tell us what is best for our type of hair. Some of us are slaves to style and have to follow the latest celebrity hairstyle, whether it's short, shoulder length, straight, curly, hair extensions, or shaved! Then there's those of us who are dated by our hair because we've NEVER changed the style. There are entire talk shows created out of "makeovers", and what is always the most important change? The HAIR!
After all these years (over 50 for me) of HAIR issues, what do we have to deal with? LOSING our hair and then FINDING it again, but in places we never expected!! It's still expensive too, although now the treatments we seek out are for coloring it to hide the grey, and hot oil treatments to try to keep it from drying out so much. But the most precious tools we now own are a pair of tweezers and a magnifying mirror! Most of us have found at least one dreaded "chin hair" and some suffer with an unacceptable amount of facial hair (and even "unmentionable" places), forcing us into another expensive search for a solution! What are the options? Electrolosis? Waxing? Shaving? To me this means either expensive, painful or "5 o'clock shadow"! Plucking seems to be the most acceptable solution to me, but it's still not the answer for every situation.
The most prevalent type of hair loss among women is female pattern thinning, known medically as Androgenetic Alopecia (genetic, diffuse hair loss). But there are many other reasons for women’s hair loss, including menopause-related hormonal imbalances, postpartum/ stress-related shedding, chemotherapy, and Alopecia Areata (spotty hair loss). Some hair loss is actually self-induced: The use of harsh chemical relaxers (Scarring Alopecia), or tight hair braiding (Traction Alopecia) can permanently damage the hair follicle.
Some prescription drugs also induce hair loss. In addition, between 4 million and 8 million women in America have varying degrees of trichotillomania (chronic hair pulling), an obsessive-compulsive disorder that can cause permanent damage to the hair follicle.
Menopause, Hormones and Hair Loss:
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA), commonly
described as pattern hair loss, is thought to be
caused by a combination of factors including age,
genetic susceptibility and hormones. Hair growth
is also influenced by the hormonal milieu and
consequently hair loss has been associated
with the beginning of menopause.