Hair Loss Advice


Rogaine Women Frequently Asked Questions about Psychology and Thinning Hair


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My hair is thinning, and this is causing me to feel extremely depressed. Is it unusual that I should let something like my hair make me emotionally low?

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Hair thinning is emotionally stressful for most of the 43 million women over age 18 who experience it. Contemporary American culture places a great deal of pressure on women to look young and beautiful, and a woman's hair has been traditionally referred to as her "crowning glory."

Almost 40% of women with thinning hair never expect it to happen to them, so the realization may come as a shock. You can find tips on this website that can help you address both the emotional and the physical aspects of hair thinning. If you continue to feel depressed, you may want to contact your physician for an evaluation.

Is it normal for me to feel alone or inadequate?

Many women who realize their hair is thinning, or who are unhappy with some aspect of their bodies or appearance, feel inadequate or inferior as a result. Women with thinning hair may feel especially alone because their condition isn't talked about as openly as is male hair loss.

In fact, women's hair thinning has been called "the last beauty taboo." But while you may feel alone, you're actually not — there are millions of women who are experiencing similar hair loss and similar feelings. And, of course, having thinning hair does not mean that you are inadequate, even if you feel so.

It may help to keep in mind not only that millions of women are in a similar situation, but that the state of your appearance as a whole says nothing about your value or adequacy as a human being. Imagine what you might think about another woman with thinning hair.

Your opinion of her would be largely based on her personality, her attitude, and her behavior — and even your opinion of her appearance probably wouldn't be as harsh as her own, since most women are their own worst critics. If you can view yourself with the same perspective and kindness (which may take practice), you will feel much better.

I feel like I'm losing my femininity. I feel less attractive to my partner. Why am I feeling like this?

Women often associate their hair with their femininity. Research has found that women with thinning hair often report feeling less feminine and less attractive. This website can provide you with styling tips that address some of your concerns.

I've become obsessed with my thinning hair. What can I do to focus on something else?

Great question! You are much more than your hair, or even your appearance. While there's nothing wrong with doing what you can to address thinning hair, focusing too much on one's real or perceived flaws is unhealthy.

Make sure your life is well-rounded (your personality, too!). Find hobbies and activities you enjoy, and engage in them with relish. Consider doing volunteer work in which you help others less fortunate.

Make a "gratitude journal" in which you list and write about only those things for which you are grateful and about the good things that happen to you each day or week — from a beautiful sunset to a compliment at work or a hug from a friend or loved one.

(While many people do find it helpful to write in a journal about distressing experiences, keep any such writings separate from your gratitude journal. That way, you can read through your gratitude journal for a pick-me-up when you're feeling down.)

Do yoga, tai chi, qigong, or other practices that calm the mind and increase appreciation of the body. In other words, live your life! If you still find it difficult to stop thinking about your hair, consider consulting with a psychologist or other therapist to learn behavioral techniques to counter obsessive thinking.

I've accepted the fact that my hair is thinning, but I feel that my partner is having a hard time with it. How can we talk about it?

One possibility is to bring the subject up when you're alone together. You could mention that you've sensed he or she might be having a difficult time with your hair loss, and ask if your perception is correct. (It's possible that you might be mistaken. Of course, sometimes we project onto others feelings that really belong to us.

Other times the other person might truly be having some emotional difficulties, but for completely different reasons than we thought — reasons that have little to do with us.) If your partner is willing to talk about your concerns, it would be important not to get defensive or judgmental about any shared feelings — your partner may be embarrassed or ashamed of them and afraid of hurting your feelings.

It might help to share some of your own process of moving from denial to anger to sadness to acceptance, or whatever your journey has been. If you are in a loving relationship with an emotionally healthy partner, you both will continue to care about each other no matter what your hair is like, and your relationship may become deeper as a result of working through any troubling feelings.

I have a friend who is losing her hair. What can I say or do to help?

Helping your friend can be a touchy matter. A lot depends on whether she has acknowledged her hair loss to you. If she has, one option is to ask her if she wants to talk about its effect on her.

Really feeling heard and understood by another can be powerfully relieving and healing. You can also ask her how you might help. She may want reassurances that she's still attractive and lovable, or an honest opinion on hairstyles, coloring, or other aspects of her appearance.

You can also tell her about this website as a resource for information about the emotional and physical issues of hair thinning. If she hasn't mentioned her hair loss to you, you have some choices to make that depend upon what you know about her.

Does she realize that her hair is thinning, or is she in denial about her hair loss? Would she want you to bring up the topic with her, or wait for her to bring it up herself?

One possibility is to mention that you've learned that millions of women are experiencing hair thinning, and you have wondered if that could be a problem for her as well.

If she acknowledges it, you could then mention the Women's Institute for Fine and Thinning Hair and direct her to some of its resources — and, of course, offer that willing ear and shoulder to lean on.

But one of the most important things you can do is to continue being a friend in all the ways you have been up to now, which can help remind her that she's loved and valued no matter what the status of her hair.

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