Two very different women experienced a dramatic version of the same illness, but chose very different solutions. We look closer.
Female Hair Loss In The Media
There has been a noticeable uptick in the number of articles we see covering the issue of hair loss for women. Celebrities have inspired many by publicly sharing their own experiences that run the whole gamut of potential hair loss – from those that suddenly appear without warning like alopecia areata to the self-inflicted trichotillimania and problems created by hairstyling.
We came across two articles featuring women who went through incredibly difficult hair loss experiences, but who both came through it and found their own, very different, solutions.
It was assumed for a long time that “trich”, as it is called, was associated with stress and anxiety. Thinking has moved on however and these days it is considered an obsessive-compulsive disorder… like biting your nails. Even the name is up for review with the word mania getting a makeover to better reflect the nature of the illness… we are to call it “hair pulling disorder” in the future.
Regardless of what it is called, or even what causes it, the fundamentals will stay the same. Trich will affect mostly teenagers and young adults with girls disproportionately suffering. The condition sees them pulling out their own hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and even pubic hair. It triggers feelings of low esteem which doubtless create a cycle of behaviour that can make it very difficult to live with. There is no treatment.
Sara is a 28 year old Italian model who began pulling her hair out as a 12 year old. She wore wigs and headscarves to mask the problem but has now accepted, embraced even, her baldness and wants to inspire others to do the same.
Sara posts on her Instagram page talking about life without hair and recently took the bold step of posing naked without her wig… “In the end, your ultimate goal is not to feel beautiful without hair, it is to understand how much your smile has far more power than your hair” she says.
Siobhan’s trich troubles started later in life, she puts the blame on the cumulative effect of several stressful events… though she did have a brief experience with it in her teens. For Siobhan, a hard-working cancer nurse, the problem resurfaced when she became a single mum following her divorce. The result was a large bald patch slightly off centre from the crown of her head.
Her solution turned out to be a fairly expensive meshed hair system. It returned her to her pre trich state and gave her the confidence to step out of the house with her head held high, quite literally.
HIS Hair Clinic
So two women with the same problem, one embraces it to the extent of taking her clothes off to be photographed and then posting the results on her social media. The other just wanted to be able to return to “normality”. It goes to show that the problem is not one where a single solution (unless it is a cure) will do the trick. Our best wishes go out to both of these ladies, along with our thanks for sharing their stories.
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