For many people, hair loss is fodder for mockery. However, people who make light of hair loss do not realize how difficult it can be for a person to slowly lose a part of their identity, when they are accustomed to a full head of hair. Hair loss is no laughing matter. It can deliver a harsh blow to a person’s self-esteem. And although the experience may vary by the individual, the impact can range from mildly annoying to traumatic. If someone you love is suffering from hair loss, you have the opportunity to be a vital part of their support system. This post will cover some basic “dos and don’ts” when it comes to helping a loved one cope with hair loss.
How You Can Help A Loved One Cope With Hair Loss
Fortunately, there are many ways you can support your loved one in their time of need. Try to downplay the impact that balding or hair loss has on an individual’s appearance. Take time to make your loved one understand that they have not become ugly or old just because they have a few bald spots or patches on their head.
Essentially, they need to hear and understand that their hair was not the only thing that was beautiful about them. Of course, do not forget or underestimate the impact that hair loss can have on a person’s self esteem.
Be Sensitive To Their Body Image Issues
Men and women cope with hair loss in different ways. While going bald is a reality for many men who are quite healthy, it’s nevertheless a sore subject. When a friend or relative is coping with hair loss related to cancer or other illness, it’s even more crucial to be sensitive.
For many, hair is an important factor for determining physical attractiveness and is a primary method of expressing individuality. Due to this, hair loss often negatively impacts an individual’s feelings of attractiveness. For balding women, it can be especially difficult to live in a society that values youthful appearance. Since some women are known to spend a considerable amount of time and money on their hair, it is traumatic when they begin to experience hair loss.
For some people, losing hair can trigger powerful waves of sadness or depression, and in some cases it may help to gently encourage your friend or loved one to discuss these feelings. Typically, the best approach is to be supportive and kind, which entails being a good listener.
Help Them Get Treatment & Research Hair Restoration Options:
If you can tell that hair loss is bothering your loved one, help them to investigate all of their options. Of course, you need to be sure to respect their wishes for privacy.
In the end, it’s all about helping your loved one to find their personal comfort level.
What You Shouldn’t Do Or Say To Someone Who Is Experiencing Hair Loss
Poke Fun At The Situation
Never mention a person’s hair loss in a moment of anger; using hair loss as an insult borders on abusive behavior, even if you are acting in the heat of the moment. Some people who are bald or balding will poke fun at their own hair loss, using humor as a coping mechanism, however, it’s important to be cautious if you’re teasing someone. Remember: it’s one thing to laugh at yourself, but it’s a completely different feeling to be made fun of. A good rule of thumb is to never tease someone suffering from hair loss, even if they tease themselves.
Invalidate Their Emotions
While you may want to try to downplay how hair loss may have affected your loved one’s outward appearance, it’s crucial that you don’t invalidate their feelings. It can be tempting to boost a loved one’s mood by saying “it doesn’t look that bad” but this can also be harmful. Since they’re likely going through a difficult time adjusting to their hair loss, it can be helpful for them to simply hear that their situation is indeed unfortunate.
Short Term Strategies For Coping With Hair Loss Stress And Anxiety
There are many temporary solutions that your loved one can use while waiting for a specialized treatment to take effect. Something as simple as a well crafted and fitted wig or hair extensions can help restore self-esteem and confidence. If your loved one is not intrigued by these options, you could suggest a counselor or personally help them to cope with their hair loss. Venting, or letting out one’s frustrations, is often preferable to repressing negative thoughts and feelings. Help your loved one to stay busy. By performing various enjoyable activities (preferably with company), it will be easier for your loved one to distract themselves from hair loss anxiety, while also helping to reduce the hold, or clout, that aesthetic appeal has their self-worth.
Invisions Of Connecticut
In the end, it’s up to the individual to decide what they want to do (or not do) about their hair loss. While some people seek out treatment to restore confidence, others do not. Whatever their decision may be, be supportive; whether that entails being a sounding board for ideas and hair restoration options or accepting a final decision made by the hair loss sufferer. If you’re looking to help offer a more concrete solution, call our office today and we can offer a free consultation to your loved one.