Supposedly, hot flashes (of menopause) and hair loss are unrelated, according to my gynecologist anyway. I don’t usually get those sudden spikes in body temperature where I break out in a sweat in a few seconds flat. But, ever since approaching peri-menopause and then just menopause, my body runs hot. Like, if you hold your hand about 3 or 4 inches above my head, you can feel heat. My husband describes me as his personal radiator. I ooze heat, especially at night when I’d love to go to sleep. My husband can hardly be found under his cocoon of blankets, while I’m kicking off the sheets searching for a cooling breath of air from my always-on ceiling fan.
In my 30s I started noticing some hair loss. At first I attributed it to surgery and effects from anesthesia; next I thought stress, then I started noticing how hot I always seemed. Everyone around me wore sweaters and jackets whilst I paraded around in t-shirts. By my 40s I had changed my wardrobe to accommodate the ever present heat. I realized “the change” was heading my way. I also noticed more hair loss. I went to a dermatologist. I tried Rogaine. But the hair loss continued. Also, it’s tough to put chemicals on your head when you advocate a more natural approach to body care.
So here’s my personal theory: I am literally burning the hair out of my head. Think about it – how could a mere hair follicle withstand that kind of constant heat emanating from my body, especially the top of my head? Talk about opening your pores! Who needs to visit a sauna? Not this lady. The mere thought might risk spontaneous combustion!
It’s funny how you start paying attention to every female head of hair that passes by, when you’re losing your own. I wonder if men experience this angst, those who go bald. And speaking of bald, how far will my hair loss go, could I actually go bald? If I do, how will I handle it? I’m already reaching the limits of my hair styling finesse to hide how thin it is. There are the hair fiber fillers and some of them work pretty well, but they are expensive and not really practical all of the time. I’ve talked to a couple of other women who are having hair loss issues. One of them now wears a wig and encouraged me to do the same. I’ve thought about it but you know what my problem with that is, don’t you? I couldn’t stand the heat!! The way I radiate heat, I’d be afraid that I’d sweat to death underneath a wig. And isn’t it true if you run hot already, the last thing you want to do is to make yourself MORE HOT, and not in a sexy way!
I feel like I’m on a strange journey, unsure of how far it will go or how long it will last. I know I’m not alone, but I’m definitely not liking it. It threatens to make me feel insecure about myself, after spending many years working on my self-esteem. Intellectually I can talk to myself all I want about what a worthy person I am. But something as superficial as losing my hair can threaten to undo my hard-earned work on self. Sometimes I get mad at myself, sometimes I feel sorry for myself, sometimes I try to ignore it altogether. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of handling it gracefully yet. So, I pray. I try to stay positive. I count my blessings. I am grateful for every day. I give thanks that my hair loss isn’t due to chemotherapy because cancer is trying to overtake my body. And I pray to remember what is truly important in this life – love, faith, family and friends. I give thanks to God for his abundant blessings.
I try to maintain a good sense of humor, and not take myself too seriously. So I say that I’m just too hot to hang onto my hair, and we’ll go with that. 😉