While no one would suggest it’s easy for a man to lose his hair, baldness is at least a fairly socially acceptable phenomenon. And what’s more, a man can shave his head without anyone batting an eyelid.
For women, although hair loss is nearly as common (the American Hair Loss Association reports that women make up 40% of all hair loss sufferers), it is still something of a taboo.
So why don’t we talk about female hair loss, and are things ever going to change?
Feelings of shame
For many women, their hair represents a lot. To have long, lustrous locks is often considered a sign of beauty, and a strong hairstyle is a great way to tell the world something about yourself.
So when a woman starts to lose her hair, for whatever reason – and there are many: postpartum hair loss, menopause, female-pattern hair loss, alopecia, to name but a few – she quite naturally might feel that she is losing a part of her identity.
But huge numbers of other women are also struggling with hair loss. So perhaps if we could begin to talk about it more, we might find more coping strategies, or be able to share experiences of treatments that work.
There has been some movement towards a more open attitude to female hair loss in recent years, as some celebrities have come forward to talk about their own experiences.
Ricki Lake famously announced her brush with female baldness in the form of alopecia to the world on her Instagram page earlier this year. This prompted many other women, both famous and otherwise to open up about their own hair loss stories.
But while alopecia areata might be the most extreme form of hair loss women experience, it’s far from the most common.
Female-pattern hair loss
Just like men, most women will begin to experience some form of hair loss as they grow older.
But unlike its male equivalent, female-pattern baldness doesn’t take the form of complete and progressive hair loss in certain areas (most commonly the hairline and the crown). It presents as a diffuse thinning across the whole scalp, making it even more difficult to treat.
How to deal with female baldness
How you choose to deal with your hair loss is a very personal thing, and there is no right or wrong answer. Some women, like Ricki Lake, choose to go bald and proud. Others prefer to just brave it out and have it cut in a style that hides the worst of the thinning.
You might decide that you’d like to try a hair replacement system, or maybe you would like to try some hair loss treatments to repair the damage.
Whatever you decide to do about your hair loss, know that you are not alone and that hair loss doesn’t have to be something you hide away.
If you’d like to speak to an expert about your hair loss, why not contact us today to book a consultation with one of our hair loss specialists.