I thought something was weird with my hair, but I didn’t realize it was a real problem until she said something. She thought it could even be a medical issue. So, I did what I normally do with medical problems . . . ignore it until it goes away. (Spoiler alert: This plan never, ever works.)
I managed to ignore it for a while, until this family wedding. There was a professional photographer snapping pics the whole night and within 24 hours, there were oodles of pictures on Facebook. What I saw in one of those pics horrified me. There, a picture of someone taken from behind with a big old bald spot on their head was tagged as me–in fact, it was me! I immediately untagged and then called a dermatologist. The ignore all my medical problems plan had failed again!
I went to see the dermatologist and after a series of tests for more serious diseases that could cause hair loss came back clean (phew!), she told me that I was a girl who just happened to be balding. She said I should pick up Rogaine for Women (an over-the-counter hair growth treatment), apply twice a day and go along on my merry way.
Well, I did the first two steps, but the last one—go along on my merry way—was way tougher. I cried in CVS when I paid for the Rogaine and cried even harder when I applied it for the first time. And every other time that week.There’s something really emotional for me about my hair and I’m guessing it’s the same for most girls. The thought that I was losing my hair was overwhelming. It felt like I was losing a big part of me. Also, I was embarrassed. What if people found out? Or someone saw the Rogaine in my bathroom? I really couldn’t handle the thought of it. So, I decided to keep my hair loss a total secret.
And then Hurricane Sandy hit. The storm shook up a lot of New York, and it also shook up my relationship. See, I just started dating this guy and thanks to the storm, our Sunday night date turned into a 48-hour marathon together.
To pass the time, we played an epic game of truth or dare with this deck of “truth cards” that I have leftover from my sleepover days. One of the questions was, “What’s the part of your body that you’re most self-conscious about?”
I knew my answer right away. My hair. But, I hesitated before telling him. Would he still like me if he knew that I was balding? That I was a girl using Rogaine? After considering for a few seconds, I spilled the beans.
And he was fine. He just moved on to the next question. “Ok, so, have you ever cheated on a significant other?”
“Wait, you’re not weirded out by that?” I asked. “You don’t want to leave?”
“First of all, not at all,” he said. “I think you have great hair. Who cares how you keep it looking great? And second of all, it’s a hurricane. Leaving would be a death wish.”
That was it. He didn’t care at all. And that’s when I realized that this hair thing is just as big of a deal as I make it. Honestly, right now it still feels like a pretty big deal, but I’m working on caring a lot less. And working on focusing on the fact that someone called my hair “great!” That hasn’t happened in a while.
Has your hair gotten thinner at all? What would you do if you found out you were losing your hair? Tell me in the comments!