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Where's My Hair? Dealing With Hair Loss

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The Bible describes a woman's hair as her "pride and joy."  Hair is esteemed so highly in society, that women will spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year to maintain a perfect hairdo. Hair is often celebrated in our culture so there are few moments more devastating to a woman's self esteem than when she realizes that she is experiencing hair loss.  

Hair loss can occur in women for several different reasons. What might first come to your mind is chemotherapy. A diagnosis of cancer can be life-changing enough. The thought of losing hair, in addition to battling a destructive disease, is like rubbing salt on a wound. A diagnosis of alopecia, an auto-immune disorder which causes hair loss, can be psychologically brutal. Other auto-immune disorders such as lupus and Hashimoto's thyroiditis can also cause complications which lead to hair loss. Whatever the reason behind your hair loss may be, there are resources that can help you be the best you despite your hair loss.  

Determine the Reason for Hair Loss

If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy, you can easily identify the source of your hair loss. However, if your hair loss is the first symptom, you will need to seek out the help of a dermatologist, like Henry E. Wiley, III, M.D. A dermatologist is a doctor that treats disorders related to hair, skin, and nails. Your dermatologist can help to identify the source of your hair loss, including any underlying physical causes. Your doctor can form a diagnosis by examining your scalp, running blood work, and sometimes taking a biopsy of your scalp. Once the cause of your hair loss is determined, you doctor can begin treatment.

Treating Your Hair Loss

Depending upon the reason, hair loss can be treated in many different ways. For example, in the case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a daily pill can help get your thyroid hormones to a healthy level.  For alopecia, monthly steroid injections can decrease hair loss. Your dermatologist can help you develop a regimen that will increase the likelihood of full recovery. 

Alternate Solutions

In some situations, such as certain types of chemotherapy and alopecia universalis, total hair loss is unavoidable. In this situation, you can learn to boost your self-esteem by finding alternate solutions such as hats, scarfs, and wigs. Search out fashionable boutiques to find colorful scarves and hats. Ask your doctor for a referral to a woman's boutique in your area that specializes in hair pieces. A dermatologist might also be able to assist you in receiving insurance reimbursement for your wig.

No matter what the cause for your hair loss, the psychological effects can be traumatizing. When first noticing your hair loss, you might be unsure what your course of action should be. Consult a doctor to learn your options. No matter the reason behind your hair loss or the direction you take in treatment, remember that you are more than your hair and learn to let your beauty shine!