I’ve had success growing my hair back to what it was before Covid.
But I’ve grown more than just my hair back.
I’ve grown patience, humility, gratitude, directionality and purpose.
Here are 7 takeaways and tips I gained over the course of my hair loss journey:
- Obsess less. Quit checking yourself in the mirror every time you walk by one. Better yet, quit condemning your hair each time you walk past a mirror. Stop that spiral of negativity NOW. Remember, the best things grow if you don’t give it your constant attention.
- Be patient. When you plant a seed, you don’t curse the garden that isn’t there the next day.
- Be gentle yourself. What you tell yourself matters. You wouldn’t criticize someone who’s recovering from an illness. Remind yourself you’re taking baby steps. You’re in a better position than you were a week ago. You’ve gone beyond grabbing fist fulls of hair. You've gone beyond frantic Google searches for #hairlosshelp. You’re here. Remember, internal dialogue matters.
- Divert your attention. Get a hobby, seriously. Immerse yourself in something constructive. I immersed myself in research. I experimented. I got little highs off of confirmation of my research. Worrying solves 0% of your problem. In fact, worrying can make things worse. At a minimum keep a journal of your hair loss journey. Look back at it once in awhile. See how far you’ve come.
- Reframe your words. Reframe your thinking. This point resonated with me while listening to an interview with Rupert Sheldrake. In it Sheldrake reframed the words “unemployment benefits” to “research grant”. “Unemployment benefits” had a negative, defeatist connotation to it. Whereas, time off reframed as a “research grant” connotes ingenuity, exploration, and the trying of new things.
- Your identity is not your hair loss. We become myopic, rigid and unable to think of ourselves as anything other than our hair. It’s exhausting to entrap ourselves in this sort of thinking. That’s why it’s important to divert your attention and dive into something constructive, so you can identify with something else - like writing, photography, developing a skill.
- Find peace within. Make time for stillness. Make time for meditation. Different meditation techniques work for different people. I would listen to Jessica Hessop’s guided meditations in the car while waiting to pick up kids from practice. People walking by the car probably thought I was nuts. But I didn’t care. Meditation brought me peace. I hope meditation brings you the peace you need as well.
Getting your hair back to what it once takes a long time. Results vary. Remember, it takes 28 days for hair to grow 1 cm - that's the diameter of a sweet pea!
So don't be so hard on yourself (or your hair). It's a process.