Tuesday, July 27, 2010
My Hair Obsession- A Tale of Loss and Recovery
Meet one of the products in my "hair beautification arsenal." This product was once a shameful secret, now it is a priceless "lifesaver."
When I was five years old, I met my maternal grandmother and I was confused why she had "spider webs on her head." What I didn't understand was that my grandmother had a form of Alopecia. Her hair was very thin and wispy and to a five-year old, it resembled spider webs. My mother had very thick black hair for most of her life. When she entered her thirties, she began to lose volume very slowly and by the time she was 43, her hair was visibly thin. Now, at 35, it is my turn. Unlike my grandmother, my mother, and her sisters, I have Rogaine and I started it early.
In 2008, my hair down to my shoulders. I loved it long. I really did. However, when I was in Northern California for business in May of that year, I noticed that my hair was beginning to look stringy and lanky. It wasn't thick like it was when I got married 12 years before. My hair was always been fine, but now it was thinning too. Great. I cried. I decided my hair would "thicken up" if I got a shorter cut. I had my stylist, Corry, cut my hair into a chin-length bob.
For a while, my hair seemed thicker. This was especially the case when I had it colored platinum blond with black underneath. Then I had it colored black and pink, then all black. Despite my attempts to color my hair blues away, my hair was still thinning. I really noticed the lack of volume kick in when my hair was black. In July 2009, I went off the Pill after being on it for 15 years, and then real drama started. My hair was falling out. Most people will lose about 50 to 100 hairs per day. I decided to collect my shed hair and count it at the end of the day. I had to stop after 250. I cried. I cried hard.
One day, I realized the crying and coloring were over. I went to my dermatologist and told her about my family history with hair thinning and the fact I went off hormones. She said the hair loss due to a hormone imbalance was to be expected and in most cases temporary. However, because I had been losing volume over time due to an inescapable heredity, I needed to start Women's Rogaine now. Let me tell you, when I heard my doctor udder the words "you are losing your hair," I thought I was going to lose it. I teared up a little but I kept myself composed.
I went to the grocery store after my appointment and bought my first bottle of Rogaine. I quickly shuffled to the checkout and hoped the lady at the register wouldn't notice my shame. Nothing happened and I was just given my receipt and a friendly smile.
I began Rogaine in September 2009 and after a couple of months of continous use (1 ml in a dropper applied twice a day), my hair continued to fall out. I felt frustrated, angry, and sad. I found myself looking at women with envy who had thick stresses. I realized I was getting obsessed and stressed out about my hair. It was all I seemed to think about. At one point, I almost threw the Rogaine out but my mom told me not to stop and that it would take time.
As the early winter and spring of 2010 progressed, I noticed my hair was no longer coming out in heaps in the shower. My stylist noticed too. He said my hair felt thicker. I was elated.
Now, here it is late July. I have been using Rogaine for almost 11 months. I feel like my hair is like its old self again. I have not had hair this thick since I was in my early 20s. I have to keep using the product for the rest of my life and that is okay. I am willing to use "suck it up" to have hair.
I know that in the scheme of things, hair is not a big deal. At the end of the day, if hair is the only thing I have to worry about, I should consider myself lucky. It silly how insecure I am be over something as simple as hair but I have to admit I am happier Rogaine is working for me. I am overjoyed I have decent hair to cut and style.
So, for all you ladies out there in the same boat as me, if you are worried about hair loss, go see a dermatologist.