I’m not taking anything away from men, but female hair loss is truly devastating. I’ve experienced hair thinning three times in my life, after the birth of each of my two sons and when I broke my leg. It’s quite horrible, it feels like a big part of your identity is gradually being chipped away.
I was recently reading an article recently about Trinny and her post-COVID hair loss. She puts any of her hair that has fallen out into a glass jar on her desk so she can monitor it – which sounds a little gross, but, actually, I did practically the same thing.
Six months after the birth of my first child, I had a feeling my hair, which is fine anyway, was falling out. You notice things like cleaning the shower drain and defluffing hairbrushes and you’d think, was there always this much hair?
After styling, I would gather up the loose strands and put them in an envelope so I could keep an eye on the amount I was shedding. It started off as a regular letter-sized envelope but soon progressed to a bulging A4 one and that was only hair after I had blow-dried it. I couldn’t bring myself to put dirty hair in there so obviously the hair loss was considerable.
My hair loss was caused by natural life events – post-partum and breaking bones, but thinning hair/hair loss has numerous causes:
- Inherited – Mostly males, but a propensity towards ‘fine, thin hair’ can run in families.
- Restrictive Diets
- Medication/Health problems/Alopecia/Cancer treatments
- Menopause – Due to hormonal imbalances
- Trichotillomania – A hair-pulling disorder most affecting teenagers and young adults
- Post-COVID side effects
HAIR CARE SUGGESTIONS
I threw everything I could at the problem and to be honest, a lot of it did help.
Supplements – We all know about Biotin. My doctor recommended the Solgar brand and I still take it to this day. Also, Iron water sold in sachets and my old friend, collagen drinks/supplements, not for everyone, but they work for me.
Hair thickening products, dry shampoo in particular as a quick fix.
Protein shampoo and scalp products – see my updated Monpure review here.
Diet – Salmon (fatty fish in general), poultry, and eggs. Avocado, nuts, and seeds. Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, soybeans. More water.
Never underestimate the power of fresh air. During the first lockdown, I noticed my hair texture change dramatically.
Hair ‘hacks’ ie in winter, I would wear a close a close-fitting beanie type hat to keep my hair in place. I just knew if the wind tossed it around it would look stringy and thin.
Clever hairdresser – One of my darling hairdressers from long ago would carefully cut my hair to minimize the thinness, for me that meant long layers with blunt ends. You can’t skip the hairdressers just because hair is thinning, you need a decent haircut now more than ever.
In my case, my hair eventually grew back all three times, it was just nature tormenting me and running its course, but each time it was traumatising. You do feel quite alone when it happens, people think it’s frivolous or you’re being vain if you keep obsessing about your hair, only someone going through it really understands.
I don’t ever want to experience it again, but even I know it could happen, so I do feel for women suffering from long-term or permanent hair loss.
‘IT’S NOT JUST HAIR’ CAMPAIGN
Monpure London has launched a campaign to get women talking about their hair loss and share their experiences.
Fewer than 45% of women go through life with a full head of hair, yet female hair loss is seldom spoken about. Hair loss occurs in both men and women, but the psychological toll it takes on women is undeniably heavier with a study showing that 52% of women were very-to-extremely upset by their hair loss compared to 28% of men.
MONPURE London is dedicated to finding a real solution to the issues of hair loss and thinning whilst breaking down the taboos that still exist today. Their holistic, hi-tech scalp and hair care collection is designed to prevent further hair loss by looking after the foundation of healthy hair.
To continue the impact of their #ItsNotJustHair campaign, they will be setting up an online support group for those suffering from hair loss as an online safe space where members can share and discuss their own experiences as well as access advice from top dermatologists, GPs and trichologists. Visit Monpure London to access the most commonly asked questions regardinghair loss and to read answers from the experts.
Many affected are often told, “it’s just hair”. But for a lot of women, hair is our identity. So experiencing hair loss – be it alopecia, postpartum, or even COVID-related hair loss – can impact our mental health and self-esteem, due to the shame and silence surrounding the topic – which doesn’t exist as strongly for male hair loss.
MONPURE is the world’s first haircare brand to speak openly about this topic. For our new campaign, we asked five incredible women to share their hair loss stories for our feature film #itsnotjusthair. We hope to be a force for change and encourage others to talk about female hair loss more openly – not feel the need to cover up. Because none of us should have to go through female hair loss alone. Let’s break the silence together.
MONPURE London wants to take away the stigma around female hair loss and spread awareness on this common condition, to help those going through hair loss feel supported as well as represented in the mainstream media.
The emotional video tells the hair loss story of 5 inspiring women who have lost their hair through different conditions. Each woman’s unique story and experience highlights the pain and emotional struggle that comes with hair loss, highlighting that it is not just hair, but a true and inherent part of a woman’s identity. Female hair loss is often only associated as a side effect of cancer treatment, but this campaign shines a light on conditions seldom spoken about.
Throughout the video, the women share their own unique and very personal struggles, but the common thread of feeling less feminine and receiving little to no help is present throughout.
It’s a hard watch, but ultimately it’s an uplifting one now their voices are finally being heard.
Read more about Monpure’s #itsnotjusthair campaign on their website MONPURE London.