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Thinning Hair In Women: How I Fight It – My Story!

In ALOPECIA AND HAIR LOSS, BEAUTY, HAIR TREATMENTS by Clelia MattanaLeave a Comment

MY EXPERIENCE WITH FEMALE ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA AND HAIR THINNING


We have done it too many times as if it were our fault: To stay silent and ashamed. It’s time to say enough. But I have to be 100% honest here: For the first time in my life, writing an article was not easy, not at all. Share certain photos, even less.


Many know what is scientifically called Androgenetic Alopecia (female)(synonymous with “baldness”, “thinning” or “hair loss”) but not many know, if not directly interested, and few family members, that many women are also affected.

And among these lucky ones, there is obviously me too!

I honestly can’t tell you if people who see me in person don’t say anything about my thinning so as not to hurt my sensitivity or if they don’t pay much attention to it, but hardly anyone has mentioned my hair loss in all these years.

Except once, rather humiliating, when in front of all the relatives, an aunt pointed out to me that “Clelia, but … you have holes where you can see your head!”

Here’s more or less what we’re talking about, at the time it was perhaps more noticeable because I also had thicker hair and the contrast was more evident. Now the hair has also thinned, again as a result of Androgenetic Alopecia.

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The situation in December 2019 – 42 years. REPRODUCING THIS AND ALL THE PHOTOS ON OTHER SITES IS NOT ALLOWED.

I wanted to sink, I pulled my hair down at the speed of light and with my double mirror, I checked the sides and the back of the head to fix the situation and cover the damn thinning.

Having said that, I want to clarify that I am writing this article to talk about the problem but not in a victimistic way, I simply want to tell my story, the psychological repercussions that can be there, the various gimmicks I use to live with it and much more.

As you can well imagine, hair loss in women is not a topic that the interested ones talk about willingly. For me, this is the first time I’ve done it publicly. Not because I’m ashamed of it, it’s certainly not my fault. But I’m not going around saying “Hey, you know I’m losing my hair?” Without at least being asked for.

However, I believe that telling my story first not only helps those who are going through it (probably in silence) but also gives me the “right” to say that, after more than 20 years of living with it, specialist visits and private researches, I am in effect quite an expert on hair loss, especially in women.

This means that I will publish other more specific articles where I will talk about the problem of female androgenetic alopecia in depth to combat it at a medical and psychological level (a factor, especially for a woman, of no small importance).


HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU SUFFER FROM FEMALE ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA AND HAIR THINNING?

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REPRODUCING THIS AND ALL THE PHOTOS ON OTHER SITES IS NOT ALLOWED.

Unfortunately, there is no clear and unique signal for all. I started losing my hair and seeing thinning from the age of 22-23 but for a long time, I had no idea what was happening to me. Other women discovered it abruptly, and many years later (with different levels of initial severity).

International statistical studies have indicated that at least 4 million women in Italy suffer from female alopecia during their lifetime. Often after menopause, but cases of young women are not as rare as it may seem.

Usually, we start to get suspicious when we see copious hair loss, which among other things it does not indicate at all that you suffer from the disease. In many, you can rest assured, usually it is just what it is called “Telogen Effluvium” and that we call “The period of chestnuts” or is, in any case, a totally reversible episode due to stress, food shortages, scares and more!

Female androgenetic alopecia is a different beast. Unfortunately it is not reversible but progressive and is mainly due to hormonal factors, much more similar in its nature (with the due differences) to male pattern baldness even if, in percentage, women usually have more hair and the problem is less visible than in men (but no less psychologically demeaning).

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Super recent photo (November 2019) Years = 42. The worst time for fall to me always comes in summer around May June until November. Here with a simple brushing is the remaining wad of hair in my hand! And you can see the thinning of the line quite well here. I’ve had worse but it’s never pleasant ๐Ÿ™‚ REPRODUCING THIS AND ALL THE PHOTOS ON OTHER SITES IS NOT ALLOWED.

So how did I notice? Female Androgenic Alopecia is subtle so especially if you have a lioness mane as I had as a teenager, it can take years before looking in the mirror and saying “stop everyone!

But didn’t I have double the hair just a few years ago or am I hallucinating ?! ๐Ÿ™‚ This was more or less my initial reaction.

So my advice is this: Making a diagnosis alone is impossible. Much better to go to a doctor who specializes in trichology (hair problems) and after a visual test and blood tests with hormonal dosages and mineral deficiency, he will be able to tell you with almost absolute certainty if you suffer from Androgenetic Alopecia or a fall in hair due to different causes and whether it is reversible/treatable or not.

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REPRODUCING THIS AND ALL THE PHOTOS ON OTHER SITES IS NOT ALLOWED.

The sooner you find out the reason for hair loss, the better.

Even if it were female Androgenetic Alopecia, the treatments exist, albeit subjective and not definitive in most cases, but they allow you to tackle the problem “at the root” before it degenerates, slowing down the process a lot.

Something not to be underestimated, given that even after more than 20 years, although I don’t have lioness hair, I’m not even bald, I lead a very normal life (indeed quite adventurous compared to the average) but with a few more tricks of course.


EXAMPLES OF HAIR THINNING IN WOMEN AND HOW IT IS “MEASURED”

There is a clinically recognized “Objective” severity scale for women, the “Ludwig Scale” which shows the thinning or “female pattern” (generally different from that of men)

Here she is:

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This scale only takes into account the thinning of the central line while in many cases, including mine, the thinning also extends to the upper area (rear) and especially to the sides, although the problem may be partially hidden by the hair that descends and covers the rest.

The flaws can be seen if you pull your hair up without paying attention ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s what I’m talking about concretely with the photos below:

alopecia-androgenetic-female-hair loss-and-thinning-in-women-my-testimony
REPRODUCING THIS AND ALL THE PHOTOS ON OTHER SITES IS NOT ALLOWED.

The other day, talking to a friend, she insisted that she had never noticed my problem anyway and that it wasn’t a real problem.

His intentions were obviously benevolent, to cheer me up (although he still lives with it quite “quietly”)

So I took the phone and, armed with a mirror and cell phone, I showed her why taking some photos:

I just know how to style my hair, but I can’t even think about casually running my hands through my hair, or these would be the results.

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REPRODUCING THIS AND ALL THE PHOTOS ON OTHER SITES IS NOT ALLOWED.

In my case, as you can see from the first photo above, the one with the wad of hair in hand, the central thinning is not dramatic.

I have had much worse moments, and I always comb with the parting or central or slightly lateral (on the left side, I have less hair) so I can disguise the thinning.

But a gust of wind or a swim in the sea is enough (best wishes with bathing in the sea!: D) I must immediately put a headband or settle in as best as possible because when wet the hair affected by Androgenetic Alopecia seems twice as thin.

The same thing with sweat, that’s why I never ride without my ties and my Toppik to make up for it especially if I’m in a social context.

On Toppik and how to use it correctly, I will make an article (and probably a video) apart because if I live more peacefully it is largely due to this product. It’s not a cure, but it makes you wander around the street without worrying about wind, rain, and prying eyes.

And it’s not a given. Women suffering from Androgenetic Alopecia know it well ๐Ÿ™‚

I have sworn eternal love to this product, and now that I’m practical, in 2 minutes I settle down, so you don’t even waste too much time.


HOW TO FIGHT FEMALE ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA AND THINNING AT A PSYCHOLOGICAL (AND MEDICAL) LEVEL

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Ah, if only hats would fit me! But no, I also have the misfortune of not being able to wear almost never because I’m ridiculous! ๐Ÿ˜€

Without going too far here, otherwise, I could write a book about it … I can honestly say that vanity aside, suffering from alopecia, and having a visible thinning and hair fall for a woman, is a hard enough blow to digest on a psychological level.

Female Androgenetic Alopecia is a non-reversible problem but can only be curbed, and if discovered at a young age it can undermine your self-esteem and limit you enough depending on the severity.

For a woman, hair really does a lot, it frames the face, enhances it, it is a symbol of femininity. It is not vanity. Woman’s hair is an integral part of our being. It is no coincidence that when you want to change something in your life, you start by changing your cut or hairstyle.

In my case, those times are now a thing of the past ๐Ÿ™‚ One of the things I miss most is not being able to afford the bangs or at least two side tufts worthy of that name (now I have 4 hair that I cut myself, thin and inconsistent)

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Before I was twenty I had thicker hair than this girl, and the difference, alas, you can see how. The important thing, however, is not to be beaten down but to fight!

And above all, avoid insensitive hairdressers, those who do not understand that those who have thinning not only know it very well, but do not like to hear it remembered in front of the leonine customers next to them. Which is why I haven’t seen a hairdresser for over 15 years! (Except for marriage, I finally found sensitive people).

I do not like to dwell on what I do to combat the problem. I prefer to put a brief list of things I have done and continue to do to live as serenely as possible with this illness:

1) DEDICATED FORUMS: There are several forums where I often compare myself with other girls, some of which have also become friends in real life.

2) I COVER THE PROBLEM: Both with dedicated products (I will write a separate article on the best ones I have tested and which I highly recommend with pros and cons), and with simple quick tricks for every day (another post with the ones I always use! )

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When I don’t have time to settle down or cover the thinning well, especially the one on the sides (and if I don’t want to think about it and I’m traveling or to the sea … I go with cute bundles and voilร ! When the eye does not see, heart does not grieve, and I enjoy the day!REPRODUCING THIS AND ALL THE PHOTOS ON OTHER SITES IS NOT ALLOWED.

3) PHARMACOLOGICAL TREATMENTS (IF POSSIBLE): I have used both topical and systemic drugs. Another important article that I will publish and that I recommend reading before jumping blindly or getting discouraged at the start. The treatments are there and some of them work really well. Too bad for the heavy side effects that some have suffered (including me).

4) DON’T DEPRESS YOURSELF AT THE ANNUAL FALL! : The worst period on a psychological level, when I already have two hairs on my head, and I have a free lock of hair left every time I touch them. It is traumatic to say the least (see photo above!) And looking at the sides of your head without being able to dare to move your hair, being afraid of the wind or a swim in the sea is … SNERVING.

5) NEW TREATMENTS: I periodically inquire about any new treatments and as far as possible, especially if they are drugs, I try them under strict medical supervision, another important topic that I will talk about

6) I USE MY MANTRA: I repeat myself, (also trying to believe it), that there are much more serious problems and that, badly, there are fantastic “wigs” and the like. On the other hand, stars also use them for special occasions, why shouldn’t I do it because I have a problem ?!

7) I BUY “HAIR PIECES” FOR OCCASIONS: I will explain better what they are (non extensions, that where I attach them if I have 2 hairs?: D) PS, I have a ponytail that clips on mine, a couple of laces (I will dedicate an explanatory article for these) and some bangs that they are the end of the world, but which I use very rarely.

I also try to like it like this because when you get used to seeing yourself with normal hair and then you take off the extra piece … you get the magone, even if only for a moment ๐Ÿ™‚

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If Beyonce who has all her hair on her head can, why not us? ๐Ÿ˜‰ My photos coming soon (I took two cute ones with bangs that I can no longer afford unfortunately!)Photo credits Cliomakeup.

8) I SEE THE GLASS HALF FULL: There are women with a much more pronounced thinning than mine (I am sorry for them), and I am grateful for being able to still wear long hair, even if they are sometimes terrible to see and at other times a little more healthy.

9) POSITIVITY TO THE EXTREME: I rejoice in the “positive” periods where there is no fall and I can afford not to use camouflage, tricks or anything else. I feel like an ordinary person and sometimes I forget that I have the problem. Creating a virtuous circle with less stress and less falling / deterioration.

10) I TRY TO FORGET: I do everything not to obsess too much (sometimes especially in the worst times it happens) and I try to be happy for everything else. It sounds clichรฉ but it helps a lot. See the positivity I am talking about above, it not only helps psychologically but also to improve the state of stress and reduce the problem.

These are essentially my methods of dealing with the disease (because this is what it is, whatever its severity) both psychologically and practically.

I will then write the other more detailed articles and link them here for reference.


THE LAST TIP: BE SENSITIVE TO WHO TELLS YOU YOU HAVE THIS PROBLEM; EVEN IF YOU DON’T SEE IT, IT IS. IT IS NOT VANITY NOR PARANOIA, I ASSURE YOU. SEVERAL DOCTORS HAVE CONFIRMED THIS TO ME, TOGETHER WITH THE FULFUL AUNT IN FRONT OF ALL;)


If any of you have experience in this regard, even in anonymity, leave a comment, just be ashamed, it’s not our fault! A hug to all, long-haired and bald!

Clelia

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