I sat down, switched on my iPad and started to talk, explaining to people what I had personally been going through, what Alopecia was, showing them my hidden bald patches, and then sang a song as music had helped me through the toughest of times. I posted it on Facebook before really thinking. I had never been a public person, but for some reason, there was no doubt in my mind that my act of self-help had to be done in a very public way. We are all different, and this was my way of dealing with it.
Interestingly, although we blame this loss on androgens, if you measure a woman’s circulating level of testosterone in the blood after menopause, it is generally not elevated. So how can low androgens cause androgentic alopecia? It’s partly still a mystery, but we do have some clues. Compared to the dramatic decrease in circulating estrogen, testosterone is relatively high. After menopause, the ratio of the hormones becomes reversed.
Trich is under-researched in the UK, with the NHS pretty pushed for resources to try and treat it. I was referred to CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) when I was 10, which just made me more anxious and depressed. Trying to identify Trich-triggers is incredibly difficult; they can be emotional, physical, situational and differ vastly between individuals. For me, currently it's mostly when I come up against confusing stuff in my PhD research; anxiety and stress also induce it.
Thick hair and femininity are intrinsically linked. Cutting your hair off or shaving your head as a women is seen as a rebellious, daring move, or plain crazy (remember Britney's meltdown?). But think of all the attractive male celebrities with bald or shaved heads. Thinning hair is seen as a masculine trait, so when a woman suffers from it, it can make you feel less of a woman.
The basic approach is to stimulate hair growth at the root by giving your body the support it needs. Many women find that a nutrient-rich diet, high-quality nutritional supplements and a little stress relief can do wonders. If you find your hair loss is connected to a thyroid, hormonal, or stress imbalance, a specific herbal combination product will help to rebalance your body naturally.
Finasteride (Propecia) is used in male-pattern hair loss in a pill form, taken 1 milligram per day. It is not indicated for women and is not recommended in pregnant women. Treatment is effective starting within 6 weeks of treatment. Finasteride causes an increase in hair retention, the weight of hair, and some increase in regrowth. Side effects in about 2% of males, include decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculatory dysfunction. Treatment should be continued as long as positive results occur. Once treatment is stopped, hair loss resumes.