Wow, has it really been 8 months since I last blogged?!
Today’s post is one i’ve been wanting to write for a while but I seem to have neglected my blogging duties……(I blame my 9 month old Labrador puppy!)
As part of my work with Alopecia UK, I spend a lot of my time having conversations about hair loss – no massive surprises there! 😉 But one of the things that crops up (a lot!) are comments regarding who alopecia must be ‘easiest’ or ‘hardest’ for. On the whole, these remarks are often from people without alopecia. It might be journalists. Or family members of those with hair loss. Or perhaps those in the medical community. Occasionally it’s people with alopecia themselves.
Here is a sample of the sort of ‘easy/hard’ comments I’ve heard over the last few years:
“It must be SO MUCH HARDER to lose your hair as a WOMAN”
“It’s EASIER FOR A MAN to have hair loss. Society is more accepting of bald men”
“It must be MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to have alopecia as a CHILD”
“TEENAGE years must be the WORST TIME for alopecia to strike”
“It’s BETTER that he got alopecia whilst he’s a BABY. He’ll never know what it’s like to have hair and it fall out”
“It’s EASIER FOR WOMEN to have alopecia. There are better wig options for ladies”
“It’s EASIER FOR OLD PEOPLE to deal with hair loss. It’s kind of expected that it comes with age”.
As you can see, a real mix of thoughts and ideas around hair loss. But the thing is, none of those statements should be taken as fact. They’re all just opinions. The person who has that opinion may be firm in their belief but not everyone will agree. Personally, I do not think it’s as simple as saying it’s easier or harder for one group to cope with hair loss than another. The truth of the matter is that how much we struggle with our alopecia is not down to whether we’re male or female, old or young. It comes down to our personality and our individual circumstances, including the support network around us. We’re all different. It’s what makes the world such an interesting place. We have our own thoughts and aspirations, ideas and emotions. We all deal with the things life throws at us in our own way and alopecia is no exception. We all have varying levels of support around us.
Some women with alopecia find it a lot easier than other women to come to terms with their hair loss and the change in appearance that brings.
Some men with alopecia, take it in their stride and adapt very quickly whilst other men may find it very hard to cope with their hair loss.
Some children really struggle with their alopecia but others get to grips with the changes it brings with relative ease.
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT! 🙂
I think it would be really helpful if we started to move away from conversations about who alopecia is ‘easier’ or ‘harder’ for and simply recognise the challenges that hair loss can bring to an individual – ANY individual! Let’s recognise the psychological impact that alopecia can have.
I personally think it would be great to see media articles cover a wide range of experiences with alopecia. It would be really helpful to hear about males (of all ages) and their experiences with alopecia. Recently there have been many media articles about alopecia in women and it would be great to see a better balance struck.
To anyone who has struggled or is struggling with hair loss, to anyone who has coped or is coping with hair loss, to anyone who has thrived or is thriving with hair loss – men, women and children – WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!