Beginning Your Hair Loss Journey
Blog by Key Contributor Bradley Webber
It is often talked about as possibly the most daunting time in the hair loss journey; the beginning, a point at which you have acknowledged that something isn’t quite right, or your hair is quite clearly beginning to fall. Even if this is something you have been expecting due to medical treatment, nothing can quite prepare you mentally for how you are going to feel when the time finally comes.
When facing an event in life like this, we can often feel at a loss of control and like we’re scrambling to make sense of it all; desperately seeking out as much information as we can to get our heads around what is going on.
The keyword that always comes up for me – and perhaps it is because I have trouble letting go and allowing things just take place – is ‘control’. The most empowering way, I find, to tackle a problem is to educate myself or to seek information from somebody who is a professional in the field; seek support from those close to me or others going through the same thing (because let’s face it, sometimes its easier talking to strangers than our own friends about matters which we’re not ready to discuss totally openly yet). That is how I manage to feel less like something is happening to me, to take my place securely in the driving seat and do what I can.
At Aderans we have recently launched a podcast to talk about all things hair loss and were lucky enough to talk about taking those first steps with Sue Schilling from Alopecia UK.
That important first step for many is to consult a general practitioner or medical professional, as it usually is when we experience changes in our physical or mental well-being. The experiences of those first visits do seem to vary though, as we touch upon in the podcast (I am keen for you to give it a listen, can you tell?), but I don’t want these experiences to deter you. That initial first step is probably the most empowering one you will make and is key for you to regain that feeling of control. Psychologically, when we act against a problem it already begins to get better in our own minds. It is at this point we learn of the next course of action and begin our hair loss journey.
You can expect your GP, if not a specialist in hair loss to send you on your way with a referral to a dermatologist to take a look at the area of hair loss, who may or may not be a dermatologist who specialises in hair; at which point you may feel that you would have benefitted further from visiting a trichologist (somebody who specialises in hair).
Of course, you could skip the first couple of steps and fast track to a trichologist who can analyse the situation, and your lifestyle and help you to begin to understand what is happening and what can be done to prevent further (or assist you with managing your) hair loss. For all, I appreciate that this may not be an option, or may cost a lot in your local area, and many have sufficient experience when going through a local GP.
My final point to leave you with is to remember that you’re not alone, regardless of how isolated you may feel. There are free-of-charge support groups run through companies like Aderans and many events and an entire support/advice network available through charities such as Alopecia UK.
If you’d like to know more about these initial steps so that you, yourself, can know how to take action for yourself or for someone else, check out the latest episode of our new podcast below.