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Experiencing Hair Loss as a Black Woman: A Journey with a Trichologist

Hair as an accessory


I’ve had long and short hair, blond and black hair, curly and straight textures, and natural and relaxed hair. I’ve had weaves, sew-ins, lace fronts, corn rows, braids (box, tree, crochet, goddess, knotless, and more) and wigs. I’ve rocked a short fade and an afro. There isn’t too much I haven’t tried over the past 40 years. I absolutely love my hair.


Hair is an accessory. A great hairstyle is like a good pair of statement earrings – it can make a difference.


“When you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play good.” – Deion Sanders.


About two years ago, I discovered an incredibly large bald spot in my hair. I had been rocking my natural hair with intense highlights for a while. And I loved my natural hair and thought this would be my forever style. And now, I was battling hair loss.





I know some women say hair isn’t a big deal for them. And I’m happy for them. Differences make the world go around. I just wasn’t ready to embrace hair loss without exploring options.


Discovering my hair loss


We don’t spend much time discussing what happens as you age. I’ve encountered so many new things that I wished we would have talked more about with my friend circle or even the female members of my family. I’ve heard about the awfulness of hot flashes. When do we discuss treatment options? Anyhoo, we’ll circle back to hot flashes and menopause later. For now, let’s focus on hair loss.


Experiencing hair loss was debilitating. Depressing. It crushed my soul. I’ve always had a teeny bald spot on the top of my head since I was 16. This was very different.


In 2022, I started a new job after 16 years with the same employer. It seemed like the perfect time for a rebrand. I chopped off my hair into a teeny-weeny afro (again) that I planned to jazz up with bold hair colors. About three months into the journey, I scratched my hair and discovered my scalp. No hair, just scalp. I grabbed a hand mirror and saw three bald spots that nearly blended into gigantic bald spot. It seemed to go from ear to ear. I couldn’t really wear the short, tapered cut because my hair wasn’t long enough to cover the spots.


Some of the thoughts racing through my head:


  • How long has my scalp been showing?

  • Why hasn’t my barber commented on the hair loss?

  • How did this happen?

  • Will it grow back?

  • Who was standing behind me for the last few weeks? And why didn’t they say anything?

  • Was it from hormones?

  • Is this the result of growing older or menopause?

  • Was it traction alopecia?


During the pandemic, I mainly wore braids. The braider could grip the shortest hair and occasionally pulled my hair tight. My scalp was also more sensitive than it had ever been in my life. Sometimes, I would have to take down my hair around the perimeter. I had headaches and would often have little bumps around the edges. I have edges and didn’t want to be “edgeless.” Edges are valuable. Folks are out here buying tattoo edges. I’m trying to hold on to mine.


During this time, I also noticed my parts were getting thicker and thicker. So, it was time to say goodbye to braids. I loved my braider because I tried so many styles over the two years, but it was time to say goodbye to braids so I could preserve my edges. I wanted to rock the tapered look so my hair could rest.


So, three months into the new job and hair, I switched to sew-ins. After over 30 years of bouncing between home stylists, barbers, salons, and DIY, I was tired of endless maintenance and hours in the chair. This is why I chose a low-maintenance haircut. However, the bald spots were challenging and would not let me be great. So, sew-ins would be a great temporary solution.


I eventually decided on a type of microlocs called Sisterlocks ™. I found a consultant who requires 4 inches of hair to start the process. I was devasted because I knew it would take forever to grow out my shaved sides and backs.


So, I posted on social media and shared my experience with hair loss online. Two dear friends contacted me privately and shared their experiences with hair loss. Their words and stories encouraged me to seek professional help. I am grateful to my wonderful friends who encourage me and share their struggles.


I decided to find a trichologist. A trichologist is a specialist who focuses on diseases or problems related to the hair and scalp and their treatments. At our first appointment, we talked about possible causes of hair loss, and she conducted a scan of my scalp. She also gave me a list of things to do naturally, such as drinking more water to aid the journey. I love a good, natural, homeopathic solution! My follicles were still active, and with low-level laser treatment and topical treatments, we began a journey to regrow my hair. My laser treatments started two times per week and then moved to once a week. Although I eventually stopped the process, I was extremely pleased with my results.


Pros

  • Ms. Trina cares about the health of your hair and hairstyles. You often find dope stylists, but they don’t care about the health of your hair.

  • While undergoing treatment, I saw Ms. Trina for hairstyles as well. Leaving a laser treatment and then going to her chair for a style simplified my appointments.

  • I could alternate between sew-ins and wigs to quickly get to my scalp for treatment.

  • I got to know my scalp. My scalp used to feel tacky to the touch, which indicates build-up. Part of the treatment protocol is a scalp cleaner. I know it is super important to keep my scalp clean.


Cons

  • It was a long process, and it was hard to keep up with multiple visits per week. The treatment was expensive and not covered by health insurance.

  • Daily scalp treatments, which most likely need to continue for life (e.g., massaging my scalp).

  • The treatment consisted of several topical therapies and vitamins. I’m already on a vitamin regimen, so I didn’t take those.

    • Derma Roller

    • Factor G6

    • Scalp Prep

    • Shampoo

    • Conditioner

    • Booster

    • Vitamins


Hair loss treatment products women
Hair Loss Treatment Women


The Results


I am so pleased with my results and glad I saw a trichologist to treat my hair loss. Although, there are tons of other options. This is what I decided to pursue for me. I began treatment in December 2022 through June 2023. Took a brief break and picked back up in the fall of 2023.


I was able to have installed a form of microlocs called Hybrid Locs ™ in July of 2023! And that has also been a game changer! I would not have been able to get the microlocs if I had not experienced hair growth. So, I'll tell you about that process a bit later.


As you are looking at the results, my bald spot resembled a large heart. And it was smooth, sis. Really smooth. While it is not completely gone, you'll notice in the March 2023 pictures that my hair is fuller. You'll also notice the hair filling in the heart.


For more information on my treatment, visit the Hair Restoration Clinic of Delaware. https://hairrestorationclinicdelaware.com. Trina’s services are truly transformative. Additionally, she has a beautiful spirit, and her shop has a spirit of excellence and warmth. If you're looking for a trichologist or a stylist who cares about hair health, call Ms. Trina, especially if you're in the Delaware area.


Dealing with hair loss was traumatic for me. Finding something that worked for me was restorative.


I strive for transparency! Feel fee to tell me what other topics you'd like to tackle in this series.




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