I’ve heard of male pattern baldness. I’ve heard of life changes for women. I’ve even heard of receding hairlines for both genders. But what in the ever-loving — is this about?? Every year it’s the same old thing. Every September.
I start to go bald.
One shower and one brush out and I have enough hair to nearly fill up a Ziploc baggie. This isn’t a new phenomenon either. This has been going on for years. At least as far back as 2005 actually earlier. 2005 is when I moved out of my last apartment in the D.C. metro area and relocated to Pensacola for work. I lived in that apartment for 10-years almost to the day. Every year it was the same old thing.
Once a month I’d have to call the office and have them send maintenance over with a snake and run it down the drain. It was unreal how much hair I was losing. (Charles H. Roast, you wish). It stopped for a while and then came back again with a vengeance about a year or two ago.
This time last year I ended up in the endocrinologist’s office with multiple Ziploc baggies of hair. “THIS is from ONE shampoo.” “THIS is from brushing my hair ONCE.” and so on.* She did an assessment and on a scale of 0–6 with zero being you’re fine to six being you’re bald I scored?
I was SO over scooping up handfuls of hair out of the tub. I had to use an old fashion broom on the bedroom carpet BEFORE I could run the vac. Otherwise, it would clog it up. The broom I could hold over the kitchen trashcan on the back deck and pull the lost hair off by the handfuls too.
(Which reminded me that any day now I’m supposed to have a follow-up scan of my thyroid done. They found a “thing” earlier this year but it was too small for them to tell what it was. So they wanted to let it grow (I’m sorry, WHAT?) and then rescan it to see if they could make out what it was at that time. I just shot the Endo a message through the patient portal.)
So my fellow Boomers male and female alike, is this what I have to look forward to as I age? At 58 am I washed up? A has been? I’m over? Done? My hormones have gone on permanent vacation so now my hair is following suit?
I pulled up Google and got busy. Wait. That didn’t sound right… anyway… in the list of hits who did I see but our good friends at AARP! I’m a poet and didn’t know it! Here’s what they had to say.
There are several causes of hair loss in women, including medical conditions, certain medications, and physical or emotional stress. Here are five categories of hair loss affecting 50-plus women.
Changes in hormones — menopause
Family history of pattern baldness
Stress (physical or emotional)
Diet — i.e., poor nutrition
Three for sures and two mehs. I think I see where the problems lie. What can you do about it? The first place to go is your doctor. Rule out any health reason that could be causing it. Your doctor may want to do some blood work. After that? The peeps over at Huff Post have a few suggestions.
- Avoid hairstyles that pull at your strands, like braids, ponytails, or buns, as these can put too much pressure on hair and damage follicles.
- Be careful with heating tools such as curling rods and blow dryers with brushes. If you do use these tools, keep them on the lowest settings and also apply a heat-protecting spray to your locks.
- Avoid overdoing chemical processing, like straightening, bleaching, or lightening hair can damage the hair shaft.
- Boost your intake of foods high in vitamins such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 through diet or dietary supplements, to help revitalize thinning strands.
- Try essential oils to condition the scalp. For example, massaging a few drops of rosemary, cedarwood, lavender, or clary sage into your head can invigorate your scalp and improve hair growth.
If all else fails there are plenty of products that can be used to regrow hair (talk to your doctor first! or plain old-fashioned wigs. Don’t laugh. I like some of them better than I like my own hair!