Oh geez. I am a bit of a nervous, indecisive wreck right now. I am getting a haircut on Saturday, my first since my doctor's visits confirmed my female pattern hair loss earlier this summer. Also, and more importantly than the doctor's diagnosis, this is my first haircut since I started obsessively analyzing my head with a hand mirror and identifying every thin spot. And to make matters more unsettling, I am working with a new stylist, and I have no idea of her qualifications for working with thinning hair (although she comes highly recommended for curly hair).

In summary: new stylist + new found awareness of thin hair + pending haircut = very nervous Kate.

Prior to my heightened awareness of my thinning, I have been very happy with a short, curly bob. I keep my hair about chin length, longer in the front and short and stacked in the back. Since I have loose, curly, fine (and thin) hair, historically this cut seemed to keep enough body and style while staying manageable. But, with my hair thinning, I am wondering about slowly transitioning to a very short cut. Is now the time to start?

Now I use Dermmatch daily on my part area and on very thin spots daily, combine with a nice silicone shine spray. The products does a great job of visually camouflaging. But, the down sides are many. One, my fingers get coated in a dark brown powder anytime I scratch or touch my head (I have learned to use a pencil or pen to scratch, to avoid this when possible). Two, my hair looks matted and muddy when I work out and sweat, or when I spend too much time in the Texas summer heat. Three, my pillowcases are getting dingy and brown. Four, I feel like a fraud paining on my hairline every day. And finally, it makes it much more time consuming to do my hair every day. I fantasize about buzzing the remaining hair and going as a bald woman, but I am truthfully not totally ready for that.

I am in a conundrum. There is no denying my hair is thinning. You can see for yourself is some of the photos I have uploaded. But there is also no denying that I still have a lot of hair on my head, and the thinning is not currently overly detrimental to my appearance (from afar)... yet. Would I be rash to cut my hair too short, too soon. Or would it be a healthy move to begin transitioning myself to a short hair or no hair look?

I need some advice from fellow diffused thinning sufferers. How do you style your hair. What are the pros and cons, and how has short hair aided and abated, or worsened, your hairstyle and your self image? Is anyone willing to share photos? And finally, any tips or advice for working with a stylist on this issue?

I feel super silly and vain for even voicing these concerns; it does feel awfully ridiculous to spend some much time thinking about hair. But, I figured this has to be the most educated and experienced group around, and if you cannot provide information and help my nerves, then no one can. Thanks!

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Comment by Tallgirl on August 27, 2010 at 10:10am
Imagine the hours of worry that could be saved by just buying a great wig! Why not do that for the public you, while you slooooowwly deal with your haircut with family and friends on the home front? You might be able to just go on to think about other things and accomplish daily life (plus travel, social outings, shopping, dating, college, career changes, hobbies...) without fear! Put down the magnifying glass, and go look at the world. You have many more decades to fill with fun and learning! Hair shouldn't stop you! Find a way to walk out that door!
Comment by Kate on August 30, 2010 at 12:38pm
I appreciate your response Tallgirl (I always wonder exactly how tall you are. :) In my imagination, you are about 6 feet tall!). You are correct in your idea that it is better to look outward at the world than spend too much time looking inward and obsessing over things that can't be changed.

I would also add that for me, at this point, getting a great wig requires as much time, worry, and thought as it takes to worry about a haircut. I have never purchased, styled, or worn a wig. I have considerations to take into account about transitioning from my hair to wig both in the workplace and socially and at home, and I would need to explore the physical changes, financial needs, and logistics of owning a wearing a wig. So at this point I do not know that it is a quick or easy solution.

However, your ultimate advice to look outward and value learning and fun and life experience over hair is a wonderful bit of wisdom. I will do my best!
Comment by Kate on September 14, 2010 at 12:29am
A quick update - taking the recommendation of a friend I saw a new stylist and got a great cut last Friday. She was very understanding, assured me that she sees many women with all stages of hair loss, and then also promised to be honest in her evaluation of my head over time. She is totally willing to let me know if/when it becomes too thin to wear naturally. I feel great, and my husband has spontaneously told me about 25 times that he likes my cut. Plus, I continue to feel more and more comfortable with whatever hair situations come my way. Great haircut or no hair, it really is all about attitude and confidence.

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