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Going Natural – Going Bald

Going bald need to be the death knell of your social life or your self confidence. It may take some time to re jig yourself image, but if your baldness is temporary or even permanent you don’t need to let it control your life and your identity. You are after all much more than the hair on your head. You might be bald, but you are still you, regardless of what the world sees. Temporary hair loss can come about in a number of ways. Of course chemo and radiotherapy for cancer comes to mind, my dear brother in law is going through radiotherapy at present and he has embraced his baldness by jumping the gun and shaving off his hair and beard before the treatment started. He saw it as one way of taking control in a situation largely out of his control.

Unfortunately, his family found it very distressing seeing his shaving as a loss of who they knew him to be in their mental picture. Cancer patients often experience changes in their self awareness and body image and this can take time to return even after the hair regrow’s. Family support is important in this process as the patient is dealing with their illness changes to their bodies, i.e. weight loss, scarring from surgeries and hair loss. See this post if you are looking for hair transplant.

Poor nutrition or lack of food (as in eating disorders for example) can cause hair loss as can nutritional deficiencies and even excess vitamins such as vitamin A can g=damage your hair. Other temporary causes of hair loss include sebaceous cysts (which can be present for a considerable duration) and hyper or hypothyroidism (over or under active thyroid gland). Certain medication, including common ones like blood pressure medication and cholesterol reducing medication can cause hair loss as can trauma, pregnancy and air and water pollution.

Until these problems are addressed, until treatment for the underlying cause is completed, you will be living with thinning hair or hair loss. You can choose to try and hide this using hats and wigs (even the dreaded comb over) or you can embrace your baldness. When my son had to have his hair removed to a treatment recently I joined him in shaving my head very short. It was a lot of fun (although it certainly shocked a few mums at kindergarten) and it was great support for my son. I gave him the confidence to be bald because if mum did it, “it was okay”.

Many men today are embracing their baldness and it’s becoming more socially acceptable. It is great for sport and other physical work (although still a shock at Kindy) and your hair grow in the same manner and at the same rate as facial stubble in men.
For chemotherapy patients and those with intractable alopecia affecting the eyebrows it is possible to have artificial eyebrow or eyebrow tattoos (called permanent makeup). While this is not common for men, it is common for women after chemo and radiation therapy and can really help with self image and self esteem.

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