mhn news & blog

May 19, 2014

Emotional Stages of Hair Loss


emotions-picWhen we experience a major loss, grief is a perfectly normal process that we undergo. The grief process is complex and circular. Unlike many descriptions of the grief process having a beginning and end, with several parts in the middle, the process is not always linear. Grieving includes psychological, emotional, and physical reactions that have an impact on individuals, friends, and family. Read below to learn about some of the common phases that individuals move through as they grieve:

Denial- "I'm fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."

Denial is usually an initial temporary defense for an individual. When you first begin losing hair or notice your thinning hair, you may not believe it is happening. In fact, you may convince others that you are not losing your hair.

Anger- "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; '"Who is to blame?"

Anger is sometimes an emotion that follows denial. Once you've acknowledged that hair loss is something that is happening in your life you might become enraged. Anger usually relates to something we do not feel is fair. It doesn't seem fair that you have to undergo this difficult burden while others do not.

Bargaining- "I'll do anything."; "I would give my life savings if only..."

This stage involves an individual hoping that they can postpone hair loss if they negotiate. Usually, the negotiation is made almost like a wish fulfillment, a dream of sorts, in exchange for the head of hair they once had.

Depression — "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?", "Why go on?"

During this stage, the individual begins to understand and feel the effects of hair loss. Because of this, the person may withdraw and isolate. It's completely normal to feel sadness and fear in this stage.

Acceptance — "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."

The acceptance stage is one where the person begins to accept their hair loss, prepare for it and try to do something about it. This stage also might include an education stage as to what solutions there are for the problem.

This process is natural and takes its own time. It's important not to discount your emotions about hair loss. Allow you to grieve and reach out to others for support. If you want professional support as you work through this difficult time in life, you can come in and talk with one of our hair loss professionals. This can help you learn what  options you have. Sharing your emotions with others who understand what you are going through is a powerful first step.