I’m very excited to share Annabelle as my guest blogger with The Happy Healing Hut, a mental health organisation.
Her genuine interest in mental health and her own open struggle with Body Dysmorphic Disorder is inspiring and I know her posts will help anyone with mental health struggles.
Annabelle has had multiple plastic surgery procedures and can relate to anyone struggling with their appearance and confidence.
Hair Loss, Mental Health and Wigs
Great hair has been associated with health and vitality for thousands of years. Especially for women, hair is an essential part of who they are, their identity and how they feel about themselves. Numerous psychological studies have shown that hair loss can have a devasting impact and this is more so for women. Feeling depressed about hair loss almost carries its own taboo, with many people not wanting to admit that they feel intensely sad or extremely anxious, since they started to experience hair loss. This is in part, due to the fact that hair is seen as a purely cosmetic concern and the severe psychological effects of hair loss are often not talked about.
Last month was International Hair Loss month and one of the main aims was to highlight the emotional difficulties hair loss can cause and how it can negatively impact mental health. Now the month is over it is important to keep talking and spreading awareness. I hope this post will go some way towards increasing understanding about, how men and women of all ages are often psychologically affected by hair loss and the symptoms to be aware of if you or someone you care about is experiencing difficulties coping.
Mental Health Disorders Associated With Hair Loss
- Major depressive episode(s)
- Social phobia
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PSTD)
- Paranoid disorder
- Suicidal thoughts
Symptoms to be Aware of in People Experiencing Hair Loss
- Avoiding or canceling attendance to events or business meetings
- Withdrawal from social media and lack of regular contact with family, friends and work colleagues
- Preferring to be alone and not talking when in a group social or work environment
- Questioning peoples responses to them both socially and at work
- Becoming emotional for no apparent reason
- Irritable and difficult to talk to
- Changeable mood, ie seeming happy and then sad, or changing from quiet and withdrawn to active participation
If you are concerned about someone and think they may have suicidal thoughts do not be afraid to tell them. Asking someone if they are feeling suicidal or have thought about ways they could kill themselves, will not increase the likelihood of them committing suicide. In fact, research has shown that asking these questions can actually help the person to open up and start talking honestly about how they are really feeling, enabling them to get the support and help they need to become mentally well.
Coping with Hair Loss: Wigs and Hairpieces
Regardless of the type of hair loss, there is a limitless choice of wigs and hairpieces that can help you regain your confidence and feel better about your appearance.
Thinning Hair or Small Bald Patches
Thinning hair and, or even small bald patches can make you feel self-conscious. Hairpieces can add volume, cover bald spots and give you back your 'crowning glory'. Easy to wear, light, comfortable and undetectable, choose a shade as close to your own hair colour as possible. When selecting a hairpiece also consider your hair type and texture, to ensure the hairpiece blends in seamlessly, leaving you free to live your life without the worry that people will notice you are experiencing hair loss.
Extreme Hair Loss
Extreme hair loss can limit your options, depending on where you have the most hair loss you might want to consider a 'half' wig which is placed just behind the hairline. Simple to position, you just need to leave a small section of hair loose at the front of your scalp which you can then position and clip back into the hair of the wig to make it extra secure. As you own hair line is on view the effect is very natural and gives you multiple styling options.
A full wig may be the best option if you do not have sufficient hair for a 'half' wig. Don't be scared to wear a full wig, when worn correctly it will look completely natural.
Lace front wigs are very popular as they are light and easy to position. Alternatively, you might want to choose to try a wig with a fringe, or even a 'fun' option like a brightly, coloured bob. There are multiple apps that will allow you to upload a photograph and then change your hairstyle. Utilising these before choosing a wig can help make the decision process less complicated and give you extra confidence that the style and colour you select will suit your face shape and skin tone.
Whatever you decide, whether it be shaving your head and enjoy the freedom that gives you, wear a hairpiece or wig or choose to wear beautiful headscarves, you don't need to feel alone when coping with hair loss. Joining support groups and talking with other people in the same situation can help you to feel better and find new coping strategies. There are multiple online groups and Alopecia UK can also help you to find a local support group online or if you want to go somewhere in person.
As well as blogging, Annabelle has her own website, cosmeticsurgeryadvancements.com.