Losing sleep over hair loss
I haven’t cried in a long time but last week, I bawled my eyes out. We are talking rivers of tears. And all because of that stuff that sits on the top of my head: hair. We all have that thing (or two) that we wish we could fix about ourselves. For me, as I've whinged about before in this space, it's my hair. I’ve been wearing sewn-in extensions for about a year and half. But I didn’t realize just how much I loved them until I took them out.
I thought it wise to take a little break, reconnect with my own hair and give my scalp a good scrub. But once I did, I was SHOCKED! My hair had grown to the length of the extensions but it looked so thin, especially the ends. Rats would be insulted if I compared their tails to my strands. I immediately chopped off two inches myself.
It still looked like crap. I figured shorter would make it look fuller and healthier. My hairdresser was too busy to see me right away so I begged my mother to come over to lop off another 2.5 inches.
That’s when I really got upset. I know the extensions added volume (which is the main reason I get them) but still, I was sure my fine hair had thinned, and due to the extensions, I hadn’t noticed. Or, equally upsetting, the extensions had done some damage.
I started obsessing. I spent days online researching extensions and thinning hair. I inspected my scalp with literally, a fine-toothed comb. I went through tons of old photos, looking for evidence of thicker hair. And if it was thinning, would it continue to do so?
I learned that anywhere from 25% to 50% of women will experience hair loss or thinning at some point in their lives. There are many causes, including hormones, genetics, stress and vitamin deficiencies. I also learned that while hair loss in itself is not a life-threatening condition, it can be a life-altering one, having a serious impact on the psyche. Tell me about it. Not only had I lost hair, I had also lost some self-esteem.
I went straight to the natural food store and got special multi-vitamins for thinning hair and a big bottle of bamboo silica. Whatever they were recommending, I was buying. Science tends to scoff at some of these remedies but anecdotal evidence on silica has me intrigued. I’ll keep you posted.
Next, I ran to an Aveda store to grab their new line – shampoo, conditioner and a hair serum all designed to strengthen thin hair that’s prone to breakage. I’m less convinced this will work but it’s worth a try.
Then I got crazy. I didn’t want to leave the house without my old clip-ins. I even had them in at the gym, because I didn’t want people to wonder why my lush pony had turned puny.
Finally, I went to see my hairdresser Krystal who’s worked with me for almost 20 years. She inspected my scalp and pronounced that she didn’t see damage from the extensions and yes, my hair was always this thin.
I’m still not convinced. I think it has thinned over the past few years and I’m going to maintain my new product and supplement regime to try to improve the state of my natural hair.
One week later, the extensions went back in and I felt like me again. At least, the me I want to be. I’m going to continue to take little breaks from them and keep a close eye on my scalp and hair health.
New extensions – happy again!