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BAD HAIR DAY: “The new normal”?


Reality check:


A woman in my 40s, can I win the fight against grey hair + hair loss?

Unlikely.


So, is this “the [SAD] new normal” for me?

Yes and no.



There’s nothing I can do to stop my body from going through certain changes as I travel through my 40s. Full stop.


Do I curl up in a ball and shed lots of tears as well as hair?

No, I think I can do better than that.


“The new normal”


I have two choices.

My new normal may be

  • forever looking back (how I used to have this and do that…and now I can’t!). In my 20s, I had gorgeous hair. In my 40s, I’m fearful if I’m going to have any left by age 50. Ruminating or giving in to anxiety is one of my options.

  • or I may choose the path of Curiosity-Creativity-Compassion instead.

Curiosity


Knowledge is power. What do I know about hair loss in women over 40?


Fact 1: Around 40% of women in their 40s are facing the pain of hair loss. This is due to lack of Estrogen and other changes in the body. In most cases, this manifests as Female Pattern Hair Loss (i.e., all-over hair loss rather than losing hair at the front and/or around your temples).


I’m not the only one. I don’t have to feel all alone with this unpleasant experience.


Fact 2: The reasons behind hair loss in your 30s and 40s are many and varied. It may be triggered by pain killers, antidepressants, blood pressure treatments, excessive hairstyling, experiencing an emotional shock, and a wide range of other factors.


It's helpful to consider what may be contributing to hair loss in my particular case. For example, can I introduce some changes to my diet? This may improve my overall health. It may also tackle any deficiencies that may be contributing to hair loss.


Fact 3: If not addressed, anxiety around hair loss can explode into social anxiety, withdrawal, avoidance, and more. It may affect our sex life and relationships.


Fact 4: The beauty industry is unkind. My anxiety around grey hair or hair loss may become a serious drain on the budget. Frantically chasing after every new “solution” on the market is unlikely to bring the desired outcome.


Fact 5: In the vast majority of cases, hair loss is not a sign of any serious health issues [DO see your health practitioner if you suspect that this may be the case].


Curiosity continued…


If I want to move forward, I need to start asking difficult questions:


·       If I am in a relationship, am I concerned that the hair thing is a threat to the relationship?

·       If I’m looking for a partner, what kind of a person do I want next to me? What would be their views on ageing and beauty?

·       Whose judgement and opinion am I so fearful of? Why is that?


Compassion


  • It’s OK to give myself a bit of time and space to come to terms with the loss. Hair loss and other feelings of things changing and passing.

  • I will accept any difficult emotions like embarrassment, frustration or jealousy with kindness.

  • I can forgive other people. Even if they haven’t been able to find the right way to respond to my anxiety and sadness about hair loss. They just didn’t know any better. They probably didn’t mean to be dismissive.

  • I will surround myself with family and friends who love me unconditionally. I will choose to be around those who give me praise and compliments. I will be where I feel loved and accepted and contented. Regardless of whether my body changes or stays the same (which it never does. For anyone.).

  • I am grateful for the fact that I am more able relate to the pain of other women who, like me, have had to deal with hair loss. Many of those, in much more painful circumstances than my own. There’s alophecia…there's hair loss after cancer treatment… Is this something that I may want to look into to improve the lives of other women with hair loss? What is my life’s legacy?

Creativity


·       I will be open-minded, playful and bold in finding new ways to define who I am through my looks and inner resources.

·       I will explore and experiment with new hair looks or stick with the familiar look I love.

·       I will find creative means to ⁠challenge the belief that “eternal youth” is the goal.

·       If possible, I will treat myself to a visit (or more regular visits) to their hairdressers’. If not, I’ll spend a little time giving a bit of love to my head and hair myself. 5 min worth of head massage while washing my hair is a nice little treat.  

·       I may consider exploring the deeper issues underneath any anxiety or low mood around hair loss. I may try hypnotherapy or some other gentle therapy.


Creative therapy has a wealth of resources to help us engage with difficult questions or common issues. In myths, spiritual teaching and traditional stories, loss of hair is often linked to loss of power, identity and control. Magical solutions may deliver great hair regrowth in fairy-tales. In real life, getting new hair rarely deals with the underlying anxiety and low mood.


What leads to real growth is inner transformation. This inner change also transforms our outer life and promises new beginnings, better relationships, stronger health, and more.


“The new normal”


The new normal is how I respond to things. Or my new way of responding to things.


I choose to thrive in my 40s and beyond. Hair or no hair. Curly or straight. Black, grey or purple. I am free to let go of the scarcity mentality and choose the abundance mindset instead.

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