I was just 17 when I discovered that my thick, curly, auburn hair was gradually falling out. One day leaning over the bath having just washed it, I remember feeling alarmed at the number of strands that lay all over the tub. Combing it through, I felt nauseous as more and more hair came away in my hands. A friend soon remarked that it was noticeably thinner. I couldn't believe it -- I thought my hair was my best feature, and to begin to lose it at such an early age was devastating. Unable to accept what was happening, I avoided professional stylists -- anyone who might draw attention to the loss. As my hair thinned, my self-esteem declined, too.
Although women in my position often feel alone, they aren't. According to statistics, one in four women in the U.K. will experience thinning hair by age 40. Society may mock men suffering from baldness, but at least it is tolerated. However a woman suffering from baldness is just not acceptable. As a woman, losing your hair can be devastating -- in our society hair is regarded as a symbol of beauty, desirability and femininity.
I started frantically searching for wigs and wefts to conceal the problem and went to see a number of tricologists. I was prescribed oils, specialist shampoos and lotions as well as consuming countless tablets in the vague hope that the process would be halted at least, but nothing worked.