Coping With The Pain of Hair Loss
Thinning hair can take a toll on a woman's self-esteem.
Hair Loss, Loss of Self-Esteem continued...
If you are someone whose looks have played an important role in your
identity, Howard says there's nothing wrong with that and you shouldn't
compound your problems by feeling guilty that you care so much about your
"If you are concerned about your appearance, don't feel shallow about
it, or ashamed of it; give yourself permission to care and to feel bad about
your hair loss, then get a handle on the situation and do something about
it," says Howard.
Psychiatrist Shari Lusskin, MD, holds a similar philosophy and says women
with hair loss should not be embarrassed about feeling bad.
"Unlike other physical problems that can affect your looks, like being
obese, for example, losing your hair is something you can quickly and easily do
something about, and you shouldn't feel so embarrassed by your problem that you
don't take advantage of what can be done to help you," says Lusskin,
director of reproductive psychiatry at New York University Medical Center in
New York City.
Lusskin says you'll feel a lot better if you take a proactive self-help
"If hair loss bothers you, don't run from it, investigate all your
options, both medical and over-the-counter treatments, and in the interim,
until they start working, look into temporary solutions -- wigs, hair pieces,
hair extensions," says Lusskin.
Howard agrees and adds that women who are concerned about their looks really
don't need to suffer.
Don't Feel Bad About Feeling Bad
"If you really find you can't cope with the change in your appearance,
there is nothing wrong with wearing a wig -- it's a very good and logical
solution, particularly if you are waiting for a treatment to kick in,"
Howard tells WebMD.
Reed says that while most women he treats are reluctant to try a wig or hair
extensions at first, in the end, he says, many find it is the best solution,
particularly if their appearance is key to their sense of well-being.
"In many instances a wig can give a woman back her confidence and her
self-esteem; it's not the best solution, but at least she feels she can face
the outside world without being judged harshly, and that can be important,"