Friday, April 3, 2009

Baldy #2

I'm hoping that the new, relaxed me (described in my previous post) will carry me through the trauma of the fact that I'm beginning to lose my hair! Baldness is not a good look on a woman unless you happen to have Sinead O'Connor's bone structure, and believe me, I don't.

I'm trying to get to the bottom of the problem. I've never exactly been blessed with a thick mane of hair; it's always been very fine and there's never been much of it, but now if I stand in front of the mirror with a light above me I'm dazzled by my shiny scalp. I had thought that the problem was restricted to the top of my head (and how many people look at the top of my head?), but I was a bit shocked to find, when I examined the back of my head using two mirrors that the shine is beginning to extend down the back of my head towards my neck. I can tell how bad it is using the 'Scale of Tact' used by my delightful hairdresser, Dan...

This is not good. I'm 43 and not, as far as I know, suffering from any nasty illness. The culprit is likely to be the fact that I had a full hysterectomy and am taking HRT. I spent months trialling different types of HRT before I had the operation in order to find one that worked for me, and believe me, those little pills can wreck havoc upon you if you don't take the right one for you. I tried pills that made me suicidal within days, pills that made hair grow in all the wrong places, pills that made me eat like a horse and pills that signally failed to do anything noticeable at all. Which is why I was so happy to find that Kliovance suited me: a little bit of progesterone in the mix seemed to have huge benefits despite the fact that "technically" I don't need it. In fact I reckon that starting HRT marked the first occasion on which my poor old malfunctioning body actually got the hormones it should have had for the preceding twenty+ years, since I'd suffered from endometriosis from the tender age of about 14 years old. On HRT I've had more energy, fewer mood swings, better skin... and less hair. It seems that the female body can convert progesterone into testosterone, which then binds with androgen receptors in my scalp (if I've understood the medical language properly), thus killing off my hair follicles and turning me into a soon-to-be baldy! Help!

I guess the risks of baldness and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (something else Gynaecologists don't tell you about when you consider whether to excise your reproductive system) do outweigh the pain and misery of endometriosis, but I find myself feeling a bit sorry for myself about the lack of hair things because it ain't going to be pretty. Clearly I do need to talk to my doctor and an endocrinologist about my hormone levels and to rule out a thyroid problem, but I think I also need to consider strategies to cope with hair loss.

Hats? Yep, I love 'em. Sadly I can't afford to have them tailor-made for my enormous head, but it would be a good look! I could legitimately channel Isabella Blow and the English Eccentric look for my Australian neighbours if I could afford it, but I may have to learn millinery before I succeed. I might be better off finding an African-Australian neighbour who could teach me to tie the gorgeous headscarves worn by Nigerian women. I love them, too! Or I could just continue to wrestle with my vanity and attempt nonchalance. No hair? Who cares? I haven't quite got to baldness yet so I have some time to work on my attitude. I'll let you know how I get on.

1 comment:

  1. Oh no........ That's surely traumatic. I'm glad you mentioned getting your thyroid checked. We have a lot of wonky thyroids in my family, and hair loss is a symptom Whatever it is, I hope they figure it out quickly. jan


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