Cutting Your Losses: Female Hair Loss & Creativity

They say when life gives you lemons make lemonade. That’s priceless advice that I recently followed myself.  About a month ago, the most curious thing happened: I found a missing patch of hair at the back of my head. This isn’t the first time I found hair missing in that area. This time, however, I took matters into my own hands—a new look for summer.

I shaved my nape into a tribal design, and a rose will be featured there next. I will admit that I contemplated sulking when I discovered the patch. I couldn’t stop rubbing the area in search of my missing hair. I had to remind myself that life is too short. I had a true “fashion take the wheel moment,” and fashion drove me all the way to the barbershop.

The patch in question could be the result of a multiplicity of conditions. Female hair loss isn’t uncommon, and there are a few possible culprits. Aside from genetics, there’s stress, vitamin B deficiency, alopecia and psoriasis. These are only a few potential suspects. Each of these reasons, however, is accompanied by a specific set of symptoms, so I was able to rule out all but two possibilities. Please note: there are many other possible causes, but these are just the ones I considered for the loss of my patch.

Asha Saint's shaved nape

Stress Related Hair Loss

Stress related hair loss comes in many forms, and hands-in-the-head syndrome is one of them. When I’m sitting at my desk thinking, I have the terrible habit of grabbing a patch of hair and playing with it. This is a habit that many of us have, but it can wreak havoc on the area you’re fondling.

Vitamin deficiency

When I set out in search of answers, I discovered that too much Vitamin A can cause hair loss—who knew? There are, however, a few vitamin deficiencies that can lead to hair loss, and most of them come from the B vitamin family. If you’re on a low fat diet, or you fall anywhere on the vegetarian spectrum, you need to get your B6, B12 and Biotin.

Visiting a doctor and having your blood work done is your best bet. As a lacto-vegetarian with pescatarian tendencies, my odds of being vitamin B and iron deficient are pretty high. Did you know that B12 can only be found in animal products? That’s right, vegetarians have to actively seek it out? I’ve started eating more greens, and I’ve also started on a vitamin B supplement—with a little extra biotin.

Alopecia

Alopecia is an auto-immune disease with no cure, but there are treatments like corticosteroids that help fight inflammation. With Alopecia, hair loss occurs because the body starts to attack hair follicles. Alopecia varies from person-to person, and can be pretty devastating, leaving some people with zero body hair.  This can be really tough for a woman. We’ve been taught that our beauty is in our hair. If Beyonce, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, and possibly every celebrity you know can do it, so can you—buy yourself a wig. If you’re feeling low about your eyebrows, have no fear, we’ve all over waxed and have none left (thank God for Anastasia eyebrow products).

Psoriasis

Psoriasis refers to hair loss and build-up on the scalp that’s caused by the overproduction of skin cells on the scalp. The result is a thick, flaky patch that’s rather uncomfortable. Cold weather, dry air, an overactive immune system, and stress are all possible causes. Thankfully, psoriasis often disappears on its own, and if it doesn’t, there’s a plethora of treatments (creams, shampoos, you name it).

Don’t lose courage.