Stress...it might be the only constant in our lives. And how we deal with it can change, but how your body deals with it, is often out of conscious control.
I have an anxiety disorder. This means that tasks that most people do not find stressful or anxiety-inducing can and do make me anxious. I get anxious over buying groceries or taking a shower. I obsess over what time to go bed at night and in what order I should do my chores in.
My anxiety is pretty bad and I am working on it. But my body has a natural response to chronic stress: it makes my hair fall out. I don't mean I pull my hair out; that is a conscious response to chronic stress although it is equally as important.
I notice that my hair falls out when it feels more brittle, won't get as soft in the shower, and clogs up my brush more quickly.
My hair began falling out when I had my eating disorder at the age of 13. At the time, we (as in my family, doctors, and myself) all thought my hair was falling out due to a lack of nutrition, which was probably partly true. I thought once I recovered from the eating disorder, my hair would gain back thickness and stop falling out; this didn't happen.
My hair is thin. It wasn't when I was little but after puberty, it became thin. But it does get thicker and thinner depending on the level of stress I am under.
It is truly hard to lose your hair when the media tells you that women with thick hair are the beautiful ones. Women with thin or balding hair are often hidden from the media. Hair care commercials show hair thicker than humanly possible and talk about how to get your hair that thick. Hair loss commercials talk about how you can regrow your hair. Having the hair you currently have is never acceptable.
I have often been embarrassed about my hair. It is hard to do certain hairstyles with my hair because I don't have enough of it. I would love to dye my hair a crazy color, but I can't risk the bleaching process.
It is time for the media to stop making people with thin, balding, or no hair feel as though they are less or not beautiful. Hair does not define beauty.
I have decided to take a stand against my negative self-talk towards my hair and towards myself. I have spent a great deal of money on hair thickening serums and special hair care products and all that accomplishes is to make me stressed about how much money I am spending.
I am working to have a positive outlook on my hair. While some days I just want to shave my head, and that might be a super cool fashion statement, I cannot let my stress win.
So I like to look at the little victories. A little victory for me is that I know my hair falls out when I am stressed; therefore, I can recognize when life is becoming overwhelming and I need to take a step back.
For all of my readers with thinning, balding, or no hair... you're beautiful! You're perfect. And you do NOT need to spend money purchasing hair care products that are not even proven to work. Just flaunt your differences because they make you, you. And I will try to do so, too.