Wanted: Doctor Who Gets My Response to Hair Loss

hair-doc.jpgOne in five UK women with hair loss feel neglected by their doctors.  If you ladies thought you might get better care here in the US, think again, not in this Alopecian’s experience.  If a man loses his hair, he doesn’t lose normalcy, sex appeal, masculinity, or societal acceptance with it, at least not to the degree a woman does.  He might prefer to have hair, but he will not be assumed to be sick or dying just because he lost his.  I think doctors get that.  On the other hand, when a woman or girl loses her hair,  society sees “sick.”  Do doctors get that!?

There is no permanent cure for hair loss, and clearly, any woman (and probably man) experiencing hair loss would put that first on their wish list, but just because the doctor can’t offer a cure does not mean he/she can’t help.  The point is, we need more than a cure.  We need someone who cares.  We need someone interested enough to put effort into determining why our hair is falling out.  We need someone to reassure us (not just with words, but with medical investigation) that our hair loss is not indicative of a more serious malfunction in our bodies.  We need someone who sympathizes with us, who in lieu of passing us the magic cure, can at least look us in the eye and communicate in some way, shape or form that we are not a pitiful, vain, infantile, hypochondriac for obsessing over and feeling deeply saddened by our hair falling out.

In the end, it’s not just about hair loss, is it?  Regardless of what troubles us and causes us to walk into that doctor’s office, we want to know that our health concerns in turn concern our doctors.  We look to doctors not just to cure us, but to use their education and knowledge to inform and thereby reassure us.  It’s a lot easier to adjust to a health condition when we know what it is we’re dealing with, and even easier when supported by a caring doctor.

How did your doctor/s react to your hair loss concerns?  Did you feel supported?  Did you feel like your feelings mattered?  Did he/she do all they could to determine why your hair was falling out?  If you answered “yes” to the previous 3 questions, please include your doctor’s name as I think other women will want to know.

Susan Beausang, 4women.com

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