What to Do When You Experience Alopecia

Hair loss of any form can be troubling and devastating. Trust me. I know from experience. It can be a truly troubling time. These steps helped me tackle my hair loss. Hopefully, they can help you too.

Dealing with alopecia

(1) Freak out . . . just for a little bit

Losing your hair is a totally justifiable reason to have a freak out moment. You may scream, cry, or get very upset. Emotional responses are reasonable. Just don’t remain paralyzed in that feeling. You have to face your situation head-on. When I lost my hair, I had my own panic moment. I even considered not sharing the problem on the blog. In the end, I felt that wouldn’t be a wise decision and I’m glad I wrote about it.

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This feeling should be temporary

(2) Find the root cause

Knowing the cause of the issue is very important. With this knowledge, you can figure out how to address it. There are many reasons why people lose their hair. It could be from having a tight hairstyle (traction alopecia), an autoimmune disorder (alopecia areata), genetics (androgenic alopecia), having a baby (postpartum shedding), etc. It may be easy for you to determine the cause or you may need the help of a professional. Look at your typical routine. How were you styling your hair? How was your diet? Are you in good health? Are you having a stressful time?

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I have experienced two major types of hair loss. The traction alopecia was easy to figure out. I had braids that were too tight. When I took the braids out, my edges went along with it. The other type of alopecia was more difficult to diagnose. I went to see three different professionals about it. No time to play games. Having the knowledge helps with the next step.

(3) Develop a plan

Having a plan to tackle your hair loss is important. You can develop a plan once you know the cause of your hair loss. Some plans will be really easy while some may be for complicated. For example, if you notice traction alopecia early, you can stop doing tight hairstyles and your hair may grow back. Some types of hair loss resolve on its own. Others require specific treatment. The treatment may be prescribed by your doctor or trichologist. You can do your own research on your type of hair loss to get an idea of what to do. Please be mindful when checking some of these sites because they may provide a worst-case scenario. This may not be what you need.

(4) Execute the plan consistently

Once you have a solid plan, execute it consistently. It takes some time to see results. On average, a healthy hair follicle grows about 1/4 – 1/2 inch of hair each month. Give it time to heal. When I experienced my hair loss in December, I developed and implemented my plan pretty consistently for the first few months. I saw significant progress after 3 months. Since then, I’ve relaxed a bit and my hair is still growing. I believe my hair loss was due to stress and poor nutrition.

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(5) Change/revise the plan if it doesn’t work

Be ready to make changes if your plan does not work. Give yourself a deadline for progress. You may determine this with your professional.  Mine was six months. Please bear in mind that some forms of hair loss are permanent and nothing can be done to help those follicles. If this is your case, a professional can offer alternatives like hair transplants or wigs.

Have you ever experienced hair loss? How did you deal with it?