How to Grieve and Cope with Hair LossApril 26, 2017
Individuals experience hair loss for many reasons. Whether its as a side effect of chemotherapy treatment, alopecia, aging or other causes, hair loss can result in the same types of emotional stress. Issues with self esteem and anxiety can arise when experiencing hair loss, resulting in the need to grieve the loss of one's hair.
Grief can be seen and felt in many forms. Typically, there are five stages or grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Not everyone will experience all five stages of grief and some people will experience the stages in a completely different order. Experiencing grief can help a person with hair loss to accept the loss and find ways to cope with their emotions and embrace their new look.
Why Hair Loss Causes Grief
The cultural significance associated with having hair can be seen everywhere you look. Television, magazines and movies all feature models and actors with gorgeous locks, leading society to associate hair with beauty and normalcy. Hair has become synonymous with an outward expression of beauty and youth. When you lose your hair, it often feels as if beauty and youth is lost, especially for women. In the same way, men can often feel less manly when experiencing hair loss.
When we as people lose something important to us, we can experience grief. The grieving process can leave you emotionally drained and often lacking confidence. Losing confidence in yourself can lead to social anxiety and problems with personal relationships and intimacy. You can experience this when going through any stage of the grieving process.
For many people, hair can feel like the most important part of the body, or even the part that makes you feel the most beautiful. So, when hair is lost, it can feel like losing the most important part of yourself. If losing your hair makes you feel less attractive, it can lead to feeling worried about being rejected by loved ones or people around you. This is often a helpless feeling that can take such an emotional toll. Luckily, there are ways to cope with these emotions and take control of your hair loss situation.
Finding Emotional Support
Whether is is from friends and family, an individual therapist or through group therapy, talking about your emotions while experiencing hair loss can help get you through the grieving process. If you are experiencing the stages of grief involving the emotions of anger or depression, it is often beneficial to get your feelings out in the open and not bottle them up inside.
Connecting with other people who have been affected by hair loss can create a sense of belonging and community. Joining an in person therapy group or online support community can also give you an outlet to express your feelings. Support groups are a great way to help cope with hair loss, but not everyone is comfortable discussing their feelings in a group setting. In this case, an individual therapist or counselor can help you cope with your feelings and learn strategies on how to work through the grieving process.
When experiencing hair loss, you might experience feelings of loneliness, especially if none of your friends and family have dealt with a similar situation. Therapists or members of a support group can offer advice and support, as well as relate to the feelings you might be having about your hair loss. Finding someone to talk to can alleviate some of the stress and unease that can be caused by hair loss.
Preparation and Education
One of the best ways to brace for the emotional toll that hair loss may cause is to be as prepared as possible. While this does not typically prevent grief from occurring, it can help shorten the grieving process by giving you a strong foundation on which to handle the emotions associated with losing your hair.
Preparation for hair loss can come in many different forms. For some people, reading about other people's hair loss experiences and researching coping strategies can help educate them on what will happen when they lose their hair. Speaking with your doctor about the ways in which your hair loss will occur is also helpful in some situations.
Some people also find it beneficial to put into perspective the fact that hair loss is not life threatening. While it can cause emotional distress, those emotions can be dealt with in healthy ways through a variety of methods. Also, keeping in mind that in some situations your hair can grow back, can be helpful in coping with the loss and associated grief.
Build Confidence With Stylish Headcover Options
Women and men without hair can often feel vulnerable and uncomfortable when going out in public without hair. To help cope with the emotions of hair loss, many individuals feel more secure and confident when wearing something to cover their head. Wearing a hat, scarf or other head covering can help disguise hair loss and provide an emotional sense of security and the feeling of replacing something that has been lost.
A wig or hair halo is also a great option for hair replacement. With so many styles and colors to choose from, it is possible to find a wig that closely resembles your hairstyle prior to hair loss. This can be a complete confidence boost for people with hair loss and can help to get you through the emotional roller coaster that comes with grieving hair loss.
Armed with more information about the hair loss process and hair loss accessories to help build confidence, you may feel more in control of your hair loss and the emotions that come with it.
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