The Emotional Impact of Alopecia

Hair Loss Can Feel Overwhelming At Any Stage in Life

Whether you’re male, female, young or old, losing your hair and having your physical appearance change can cause distress. But you’re not alone!

Alopecia is not a life-threatening condition, but it can certainly change your life. There are three types of alopecia, which is a general term for hair loss. Alopecia areata is the most common and refers to coin-sized bald patches which appear on the scalp. If the entire scalp is affected, then this is known as alopecia totalis, and if it eradicates hair from the whole body, this is alopecia universalis.

Alopecia can affect any person, male or female at any stage in life. It is thought to be an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the hair follicles, causing the hair to stop growing. Being diagnosed with alopecia at any time can be both shocking and distressing, which has a huge impact on your emotions.

When You’re Diagnosed

Before receiving a formal diagnosis, you or a family member may start to notice that your hair is falling out more rapidly than it should be. Sometimes it is other people close to you who spot that bald patches are forming on your head. This can be extremely hard to come to terms with, and waiting for an appointment with a GP, or a referral with a dermatologist can feel like an eternity. There are thought to be links between alopecia and stress, which becomes a vicious circle as it’s hard to stay relaxed when dealing with hair loss. You might also feel frustrated that there’s no cure for alopecia. Some people in the early stages of diagnosis may be given treatment, although this isn’t available on the NHS. Finasteride is suitable for male pattern baldness and minoxidil can be used for both male and female hair loss. The effectiveness of these drugs is limited as they don’t work on everyone and are expensive.

Alopecia in Children

Some people are diagnosed in early childhood, which may be easier as young children won’t know any different. However, youngsters will also have to contend with other schoolkids asking insensitive questions about why they haven’t got any hair. Secondary school children may find it particularly difficult as teenage years are often associated with body consciousness and the supposed importance of things like learning to style your hair or shape your eyebrows!

Alopecia in Adults

Both men and women can be affected – it may seem that men should be more prepared for hair loss, but even though society is used to seeing males with a bald head, it can still be distressing for a man to come to terms with a radical change in appearance. Feelings of frustration, anger and anxiety can be common across both sexes. Many women with alopecia opt to wear wigs for alopecia. These are customised for your individual style and head shape, allowing you to feel like you once again. Made from 100% real hair, these wigs are cool, comfortable and move perfectly to emulate a real head of hair. They’re a really important way for people to regain some confidence following a diagnosis of alopecia.

If you’re struggling with the emotions of alopecia, whether you’re recently diagnosed or have experienced the condition for some time, it can be comforting to share your story with others who may be going through the same situation. Reach out to a local alopecia support group or an online forum and pick up tips on how to cope, whilst letting out some of your feelings.

How to lose weight without fad diets

The most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off

Britain is a nation of fad dieters, but there are far more effective ways to lose weight and keep it off – from regular exercise to weight loss hypnosis.

Britain is a nation of dieters, with two thirds of us claiming to be on a diet at any one time. However, despite this obsession with dieting, over two thirds of Brits are classed as overweight or obese – so something clearly isn’t working.

The problem is that, for most people, losing weight and keeping it off can be incredibly difficult. In desperation, a lot of people turn to so-called fad diets, but these can be counterproductive, causing more problems than they actually solve.

The problem with fad diets

While fad diets may offer a quick fix, they can also be incredibly problematic. Most of these diets encourage you to exclude one or more food groups and, when continued in the longer term, this can cause nutritional deficiencies, potentially leading to serious conditions such as depression, anaemia and osteoporosis. This restrictive approach to food has also been known to trigger unhealthy behaviours, which can often spiral into full blown eating disorders.

Perhaps the most damning indictment of fad diets is that they don’t actually work. Sure, you might see some short-term results, but most of these diets are impossible to sustain for any significant length of time. And, as soon as you revert to your old eating habits, you’re likely to see the weight piling back on – often with a little extra to boot!

Luckily, there are a number of effective weight loss methods that offer more sustainable results.

A balanced diet

One of the most tried and tested ways to lose weight is to follow a healthy and nutritionally-balanced diet. But this doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself and sticking to a strict calorie-controlled plan. Instead, concentrate on limiting your intake of processed foods and following a varied diet that is full of wholegrains, lean protein and fresh fruit and vegetables. And don’t forget about portion control. Many of us are eating more than we need to, and cutting your portion size can offer a quick weight loss win.

Regular exercise

Regular exercise is also a great way of shedding the pounds, as it burns calories, builds lean muscle and boosts your metabolism. As an added bonus it will also increase your fitness and improve your overall health. Experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, so think about how you can build more physical activity into your daily routine. Even small changes can make a big difference, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, or leaving the car at home and cycling or walking to your destination instead.

Hypnotherapy

However, if you find it difficult to stick to a healthy diet, or are unable to take regular exercise for whatever reason, you may want to consider an alternative approach. One dieting method that has grown in popularity in recent years is hypnotherapy for weight loss. By combining traditional hypnosis and visualisation techniques with counselling and talking therapies such as Neuorlinguistic Programming and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, weight loss hypnosis aims to identify and tackle any underlying issues, giving people the tools they need to change their relationship with food and make permanent and positive lifestyle changes.

Professional advice

Before embarking on any weight loss regime, it’s always best to seek advice from a medical professional, particularly if you have a large amount of weight to lose. They will be able to point you in the right direction and provide you with advice and guidance to help you lose weight safely and effectively.