Whether we like it or not and despite many attempts to change preconceptions the standard model of female beauty hasn’t really changed. The normal expectation of a “beautiful” woman is that she’ll have long glossy voluminous hair. You have to look quite hard in any of the media to spot a bald woman who hasn’t been chosen for a medical piece about hair loss or cancer. So, why would anyone deliberately shave their head? Well, scarring alopecia is one reason.
Scarring alopecia has no chance of recovery
Mandy Lee, a blogger and author told of her experience with hair loss and her decision to shave everything off recently in the Washington Post. After a particularly difficult period that was fraught with grief and general unhappiness Mandy started to lose her hair.
Anxiety can cause shedding in different ways. Alopecia areata is thought to be triggered by anxiety and telogen effluvium and trichotillomania are both stress related. After a biopsy Mandy was diagnosed with scarring alopecia which ultimately can result in total hair loss with no prospect of it growing back. It was at this point that she decided to shave it all off.
Enough is enough – time to take control again
Mandy’s decision was based on the simple fact that she’d had enough and that there was no point in trying to hang on to her hair, when she knew the scarring alopecia would win out in the end.
Although she loved her waist-length style she found that the potential that she would lose it was making her obsessed and unable to function normally without constantly thinking about how she looked and what would happen next. In her words “I decided that I had given too much of life up to uncertainty, fear and anxiety. I took matters into my owns hands”.
Whilst she probably wouldn’t say she’s delighted with the bald look she feels that the decision empowered her and gave her back control of her own looks. It also stopped the constant worry and obsessive behaviour and allowed to get back on with her life without the scarring alopecia looming over her. Her husband, who suffers from male pattern baldness has shaved his hair off too and she happily claims that neither of them have looked back