Hair today gone tomorrow
Ain't ageing grand?
I suppose we all have our weak spots and mine appears to be my hair. I sort of knew and ignored the issue of thinning hair, especially on my crown, but last year in France, a hairdresser took a photo of my hair and I had the most awful light bulb moment, my crowning glory which had always been more fluff than a mane, was barely there in parts. I was shocked and a little hurt. No one in my family had mentioned the obvious elephant in the room!
Now, we can blame a lot of things, stress, ageing, environment, chemical colouring, hormones or lack of them, celiacs disease and finally poor hair genes! Which one could be the culprit? God only knows, possibly a combination of factors and my goodness I have led a stressful life!
I had hoped that with a little TLC and more self care, my hair would miraculously reappear? Sadly, no and yes, in the end I felt quite upset about it. I mean, 'not a lot of hair' can really age one rather dramatically and also, I just didn't feel like me anymore!
I hadn't been able to grow my hair length wise, since having my ovaries removed nearly 8 years ago! Gosh is it really that long ago? Then followed a rather major operation around 6 years ago and lots of house/country moves. I first noticed the thinning during lockdowns and had hoped using box dye's was the major issue, but no, no amount of searching for what caused it was helping me.
What to do?
I mean, was I ready for a wig?
No. Would I ever be?
Who knows, I am keeping my options open and anyway Barbra Windsor was always rather glam with her various blonde siren wigs! However, the thought of pulling my hair off along with my bobble hat did nothing but fill me with dread! I needed an in-between solution really.
Alongside my hair, my lashes and eyebrows have thinned and I'm only 54! So, I've been psyching myself up for the bald eagle look, somewhere down the line and you know what? There are worse things than loosing ones hair I'm sure. Still, each hair loss journey is a unique one and no one can take that away from you or I. It is what it is, as they say, until it isn't?
I just plodded on until one day, I picked my youngest up from having hair extensions. She looked amazing and that beautiful smile was firmly back on her face and in her eyes. Even at the tender age of 21, she had also suffered some hormone and auto immune issues, not to mention a fair bit of stress in the last year or two. Her hair was and is still very thick, but it just wouldn't grow past a shoulder bob. She really wanted her hair back and so she decided to have hair extensions! The results were amazing and she will absolutely tell you, that she feels more like herself now, that's how important our hair is, 21 or 79. Its part of our personality! If our hair feels good, we feel glorious!
Well, it's just not groovy.
When I picked her up that fateful day, always hopeful, I asked for a hair assessment for myself and the lady quickly referred me to a hair loss hairdresser. I was mortified. I was bereft. There was now no getting away from that elephant in the room and I left compelled to do something positive about it!
I contacted Sam who has worked with hair loss ladies for over 18 years. She herself suffered alopecia at the tender age of 18 and has turned her hairdressing career into a clinic helping women like me get some hair and confidence back!
She's a Hairy godmother!
Let me tell you all, that by this stage I had tried every cream, shampoo, hair grow serum and tablet on the market and my bank balance sure felt it! Nothing worked and I was now at the stage of hair replacement even if only for a while.
Sam couldn't fit me in before Christmas, but just after in the new year, I had my assessment with her and last Friday, I finally had a crown piece fitted (they are made to order) and a few extensions put in, to beef it out a bit. I have to tell you its really, really strange watching the process in the mirror and to be brutally honest I didn't want to look, so Sam turned me away and got on with the job at hand, working her hair magic.
Once everything was fitted, she trimmed my new hair to my specifications i.e chopped a fringe in and popped a few layers in too. The hair had been dyed to match my real coloured hair with a root. There was nothing not to like, especially when I watched the years fall away and my smile come back!
I'm still getting used to the bonds, which keep the crown piece and extensions firmly in place, so no flying off into the ether with a gust of wind, thankfully! The ultimate fear! The bonding process is painless, but they are tight at first and finding a comfortable place to sleep has been another journey I'd rather not repeat. The bonds are metal and tend to dig in if one sleeps on them. They will gradually loosen I'm told, so this issue resolves itself, but I'm only 5 days in, so I can't tell you if thats the case yet.
If I cannot cope with the bonds, there are other options.
There have been a lot of firsts with my new hair, the length is lovely, but washing it was really strange. The weight of the hair wet was quite a shock and drying it took forever, but bonus, I only have to wash it once or twice a week!
The hair and I are still getting to know each other! Everything is different, even if 'good different'. I catch sight of myself in the mirror and think 'who's that?'. I can dress differently, make up differently, feel a million bucks again. Of course I didn't enter into this process lightly. It is expensive, high maintenance and can cause more damage to already fragile hair if done badly. I would also say that the first few days are a little painful. All in all, even at this early stage, I would do it again. Once you see yourself with your 30 year old head of hair, you won't go back!
In the end, I feel like another part of me is healing. I can't expect to really have my youthful hair back, but I can hire the talent that is Sam and she in turn will help me have some of the oldme back, even if only for a while.