A woman with Androgenetic Alopecia has described her experience of being “heckled in the street” because of her hair loss.
Denise Hayes shared the story of how other people have reacted to her hair loss condition, better known as Female Pattern Hair Loss, with the BBC’s 5 Live Breakfast show.
Denise, who is originally from Canada, suffers from genetic female hair loss, which is also known as Androgenetic or Androgenic Alopecia – not to be confused with the autoimmune condition Alopecia Areata. It causes the hair across the top of the scalp to become progressively thinner and, in rare cases, can lead to baldness.
“I started losing my hair at 16 and it became really noticeable by the time I was 19″, she said. “By the time I was 21 it really did affect me. When you’re that young and you don’t have much hair, it really does knock you back for six.”
She claimed that some restaurants would not hire her as a waitress because of her thinning hair: “When my hair loss got really bad, I didn’t look appropriate for front of house. I ended up becoming a chef because I could wear a hat and it didn’t matter what I looked like.”
While she did see a number of doctors and trichologists in Canada, she became frustrated with the number of different treatments available and the fact that no two patients respond in the same way. “Everybody is completely different”, she concluded, “steroid cream might work well for one person but then not for another, so it was just a question of putting up with it.”
Verbal abuse and unwanted advice
For Denise, the reaction of strangers has been the most frustrating aspect of her hair loss condition. She said, “It can verge on being verbally abusive. I’ve been heckled in the street before I started wearing a baseball cap all of the time”.
She also describes the way many people offer unhelpful and unwanted advice on her condition. She has been told, “It must be because you wear a baseball cap; it must be because you pull your hair back into a ponytail; go stand on your head for 10 minutes every day because it must be due to a lack of circulation in your scalp – everybody has a solution that they think will work. But they don’t really want to know how you feel about it, they just want to fix it so that you’re their idea of normal.”
Treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss
There is actually a medically-proven treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss available which can combat the type of thinning experienced by Denise.
Applied daily to the scalp, high strength minoxidil can promote healthy regrowth, leading to a gradual thickening of the hair. This method has proved successful for numerous Belgravia clients, a selection of whom you can find displaying their images from before and after starting treatment in our Hair Loss Success Stories gallery.
If you would like to explore treatment for thinning hair, the first step is to get a professional diagnosis of your condition. Contact a hair loss specialist who will be able to identify your cause and stage of shedding, as well as providing recommendations for the most effective treatment course for your specific situation.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.