Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stress causes hair loss? Who knew?

While my hairdresser was trimming my hair today, she paused and touched a few short hairs sticking straight up from the top of my head."You've been under a lot of stress lately."

"Yeah, a bit," I replied.

"And you had surgery recently too, right?"


"I can tell." She ran the tiny, one inch hairs between her fingers. "You've had some hair loss."

"What?" Hair loss? Not something you want to hear from your hairdresser first thing in the morning. Or any time, really.

"It's okay. The hair is growing back. But these little hairs may stick up for a while. Just smooth them down with a tiny bit of wax and they should lie down."

More proof that this past year has been even more stressful than usual and my body is feeling the pressure.

I'm already paranoid about losing my hair because I was not gifted with thick, luxurious tresses. Instead I was born with thin, fine, perfectly straight hair, the kind of hair that would look better on a three year old boy than a 42 year old woman. I've pretty much accepted the fact that I'll be wearing wigs when I'm 60. But I really hate being reminded of how thin my hair is and how it no longer grows past my shoulders.

When I was a little girl I used to put tea-towels and baby blankets on my head to pretend it was my long, Princess hair. Although my hair was fine and baby soft, I insisted on growing it long. It was never thick and lovely, except that wonderful time when I was pregnant and my hair thickened and grew to my waist. Of course right after I gave birth it fell out by the hand-fulls, but the hair that remained stayed strong enough to keep long. And then when I got a divorce after Queen Teen turned one, I cut it off short because I felt I needed a change. It never grew back.

And now I'm 42 and my hair line slowly recedes up my temples, so I grew out my bangs to fill in the gap. Eventually that won't work, especially if it keeps falling out from stress.

Maybe I need to look into wigs sooner than I thought.

1 comment:

Terri said...

Tough to set up boundaries... with a teenager... and it doesn't help at all to know that they will LIKE the boundaries once they are set up because differentiating themselves from you makes them proud... this doesn't lower their resistance AT ALL!!!

Oh, do I know how this is!

I do have some specific ideas on this so ignore this whole thing if I seem crazy to you! It just seems just like what we had going on here and it was so hard... so ignore if this seems over the top to you.

I would start on your next break from school. Set up a few no-question-zones in your morning and afternoon and evening. I started with 10 minutes when we walk in the door from anyplace. Then added others--not all evening or anything, but they have to be long enough that they give up on standing next to you tapping their foot, but short enough for their memory (which will grow as they get used to this.)

Set a timer--ignore everything but mortal danger until the timer rings (don't harp on this or causing mortal danger becomes tempting--and if it happens handle stuff calmly and re-set the timer.) When the timer rings be totally availabe, but don't ask 'what do you WANT' ask wht she has been working on or show her what you have done, but do meet any needs (want to present yourself and your time together as more than beck and call time)

It took several(!) repetitions for my dtr not to feel abandoned, but she began to trust the timer. She also would pile stuff outside my door to ask me about for a while, now she figures a bunch of stuff out, forgets some and is usually not looking for me when the timer rings...

And I can lengthen the time for what I need now, in fact I can say I hve to work on somethng and get almost no interruptions without a timer now. And I go looking for her now which is fun for both of us.

(Not to say that it is always good, but it is SO much better.)

She is more independent and I am MUCH easier to get along with as a whole person rather than as an app.

It was painful, but I would say worth it. I'm looking forward to other people's ideas on this!!!!