The truth about obesity and hair loss

I never thought it would happen to me!

But, it did!

Yep!

Here I am, 50 years old, obese and going bald.

Even as I write this I want to laugh out loud (lol).

Then I am jolted back to reality.

No!.........It’s not funny. It’s scary, depressing and has completely knocked my confidence.

Getting out of bed in the morning is the most traumatic part of the day. I have to choose clothes to wear then look in the mirror.

Some days I brush my teeth with my eyes shut.

Today, I brave it and look at myself.

Is that really me. That bald lady, I don’t recognise her.

Louise Hay’s affirmations come to mind. My sister bought me a set of 'Life Loves You' cards for my 50th.

I look at my fat balding head and say out loud ‘I love you!’ ‘I love your brown eyes!’, ‘You have kind eyes!’, ‘I love your cheeks!’, ‘You have pretty lips!’

For a brief moment I feel a glimmer of hope and a twitch of confidence. 

You can do this Emma*(name has been changed to protect privacy)………

Then, a memory comes to mind. 

When I was in Junior school everyone was collecting something. Stamps, erasers, 20p coins, serviettes. It was all the talk. So, to be in with the talk you  had to have a collection.

I collected scarves. Mainly because my Grandma frequented jumble sales and gave me a steady supply.

Hoarder that I am, I have moved my scarf collection with me from place to place for almost 4 decades.

I pull up a chair and reach into the top back of my cupboard. I know exactly where it is. 

 

A wave of nostalgia washes over me. I can smell Grandma. May she rest in peace. I feel like I am 10 again. Grandma I whisper, today your scarves are going to cover up my balding head.

I am wearing a black dress. I reach out and choose a maroon scarf dotted with small white daisies. I look back in the mirror. ‘You look great’, I say out loud, but this time I sort of mean it.

I put on some dangly white/gold earrings. For the next five minutes I splash on some makeup.

Woohoo!……I rush out the door to work. My confidence level has risen slightly. 

I feel trendy in my new head piece. Maybe one day I will wear a wig or topper. Or maybe one day I will love and accept myself just the way I am!!!!

As I start my car the thought comes into my mind.

Being obese and going bald is sooooo painful. I want to help others in this situation find the courage to accept themselves the way they are.To have the courage to wear head pieces and wigs If they choose to.  

Fact  - Obesity is a risk factor for multiple health problems, but its association with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) remains controversial.

Fact - The majority of obese individuals do not experience hair loss.

Fact - Obesity causes stress and stress can cause hair loss.

Fact - People with a high BMI who also have early onset AGA have a significantly higher risk of greater severity hair loss.

Fact - It has been found that obesity can lead to the depletion of hair follicle steam cells (HFSCs) through the induction of certain inflammatory signals. These block hair follicle regeneration and, consequently, can result in loss of hair follicles. This is part of the process that allows our hair to continuously grow back. (From an article published by the Tokyo Medical and Dental University June 2021).

If you have experienced hair loss caused by obesity we would love to hear from you. 

Do you face the world as your true authentic self? Do you wear scarves, wigs or toppers. Or have you found another solution?

Leave a comment below and together we can support each other through this painful experience.


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