How to Cope with Hair Loss

Three Methods:Changing Your LookSeeking Medical TreatmentSeeking Support

Hair loss is common problem for men and women. It can be caused by illnesses, oftentimes a response to cancer treatments, or a natural part of growing older. If you are going bald, there are multiple ways to cope with your hair loss.

Method 1
Changing Your Look

  1. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 1
    Adopt a flattering hair style. While baldness can sometimes be difficult to combat, adopting a flatting hairstyle that draws attention away from the hair loss can help.
    • In general, strive to keep your hair short. Especially for men, relatively short hair makes baldness less apparent. As bald patches are more apparent when hair is grown out, a short style can conceal hair loss.[1]
    • Simply shaving your head can be stylish and saves on the cost of shampoo and conditioner. If your bald spots are becoming particularly noticeable, consider shaving the remaining hair off. While baldness in men is somewhat more accepted than baldness in women, a growing number of female celebrities are keeping their hair very short. This means a shaven head is sometimes considered a fashion statement for women.[2]
    • A buzz cut is similar to going clean shaven, but leaves a light line of hair. A caesar cut is another option, where bangs are cut in a horizontal fringe and styled forward.[3]
    • If you still have some hair on the top of your hair, get that head cut short but leave enough to comb the remainder over a bald spot. Keep the sides tight and short. This hair style is similar to the one used by the character Roger Sterling and Mad Men.[4]
  2. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 2
    Direct attention away from your hair loss. Many people find directing attention away from their hair loss is a helpful way to deal with baldness.
    • Wearing colorful clothing, jewelry, and make-up can help direct attention to your attire rather than your hair.[5]
    • You can also buy tasteful scarves or hats to put over your head when out in public.[6]
    • If you are male, dressing up in suits and ties or nice dress clothes might make you feel positive about yourself and take attention away from your hair loss.
    • Many men combat baldness by growing facial hair. If you're able to grow hair on your face, growing a beard, mustache, or other kind of facial hair can help draw attention away from your baldness.[7]
  3. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 3
    Invest in a wig. Many people opt to buy a wig when they begin losing their hair. Selecting a wig can be an exciting, fun experience during a difficult time.
    • As wigs can be pricey, you might want to see if any organizations or companies will provide you with a wig at a free or discounted cost. There are a variety of charities that help cancer patients secure authentic looking wigs to wear for the duration of their treatment.
    • Many cancer patients find buying a wig to be an exciting experience. You can choose a hair color or style that was not possible with your natural hair. You can bring family members and friends alone to help you choose your wig and make it into a fun event.[8]
    • Remember, you should never buy a wig without trying it on. You want to make sure any wig is flattering to your specific face type.

Method 2
Seeking Medical Treatment

  1. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 4
    Talk to a doctor. If you're worried about hair loss and looking for medical treatments, the first step is to talk to your physician to assess the possible cause.
    • Your doctor will likely take your medical history at the office. Baldness is highly hereditary, so if you have a family history of baldness talk to your doctor will want to know.[9]
    • There are several medical tests used to measure hair loss. Your doctor will likely start with non-invasive procedures like making you collect and count stray hairs, fill out a questionnaire, or collect stray hairs in the drain when washing your hair. If she thinks further tests are needed, more invasive procedures like a scalp biopsy may be necessary. You will be put under local anesthesia and a 4 millimeter second of your scalp will be taken for medical testing.[10]
    • As hair loss is related to a number of underlying medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, your doctor may order a blood test.[11]
  2. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 5
    Try medications. Depending on the results of your medical exam, your doctor may prescribe or recommend a number of different medications.
    • Minoxidil (Rogaine) is an over-the-counter foam you rub into your hair. Minoxidil is designed to be used by both men and women and may promote hair growth or stop further hair loss. Side effects might include hair growth in unwanted places, scalp irritation, and rapid heart rate.[12]
    • Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription only used by men. It is designed to increase hair growth or stop further hair loss. In rare cases, it has been known to cause sexual dysfunction and a lowered sex drive.[13]
  3. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 6
    Consider surgery. If your hair loss is severe or does not respond to other treatments, your doctor may recommend hair loss surgery.
    • Usually, only the top of the head is affected by hair loss surgery. Plugs of skin containing hairs are removed from the back or sides of your scalp and implanted into the bald sections.[14]
    • The downside of surgery is that it's expensive, usually not covered by insurance, and can be painful. It also carries the risk of permanent scarring.[15]

Method 3
Seeking Support

  1. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 7
    Talk to your family and loved ones about your hair loss. Hair loss is a common side effect of cancer related treatments and also can be hereditary and a part of aging. Hair loss can be painful for many. Talk to your family members and loved ones about your hair loss. Seeking emotional support from those closest to us is a great way to cope with a difficult situation.
    • If you have children, hair loss can be an issue. Young children especially love playing with their parents' hair and its sudden loss can be jarring for them. If the hair loss is related to cancer, very young children fail to understand cancer and mistake it as a hair disease alone. Prepare your child for your coming hair loss, assuring them it will grow back. Incorporate them into fun activities, like choosing wigs and scarves. Encourage your partner, if you have one, and other older relatives and friends to treat the hair loss like a normal part of life so your children are less likely to be frightened by it.[16]
    • Many people worry about how hair loss with affect intimacy with their partner. Remember intimacy and sexual attraction are not based solely around looks, and that a lot comes into play in regards to attraction. You and your partner should talk openly about your hair loss. It's okay to occasionally seek reassurance that your partner still finds you attractive despite the hair loss. You can also ask for your partner's input when selecting wigs, scarves, and other garments to cover baldness.[17]
  2. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 8
    Spread awareness about female baldness. While male pattern baldness is well known, many people do not realize thousands of women suffer hair loss as well. Oftentimes, women who suffer hair loss feel lonely and alienating. Talking to others about your condition can help spread awareness and promote acceptance.
    • Many women share stories online of their struggles with hair loss. You can find such stories on YouTube or online magazines. If you're too shy to share a story yourself, simply reading about other people's struggles can help remind you you are not alone.[18]
    • Start discussing your hair loss with friends, family members, and loved ones early on. Explain to them the medical condition that is causing your hair loss, any steps you're taking to prevent it, and what they can do to help and support you.[19]
    • Use social media to your advantage. Post links, articles, and videos about female hair loss to your Facebook page and Twitter feed. As social media allows you to reach a large audience quickly, this can be a great way to spread awareness.
  3. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 9
    Join an online community or support group. Many people see their hair as an integral part of their identity. The loss of hair can be jarring for cancer patients and seeking support from others in similar situations can help you cope with the loss.
    • Organizations like Look Good, Feel Good and Headstrong run support groups in a variety of areas. You could try browsing their websites to see if they have any locations in your area. You can also ask at your local hospital if they know of any cancer related support groups. Even a group that is not specifically targeted at hair and hair loss could be a place for you to discuss struggles with baldness.[20]
    • If you cannot find an organization in your area, there are many online groups where you can discuss hair loss and other cancer related worries with others. A simple google search should help you find many outlets for support.[21]
    • There are also support groups related to specific hair loss conditions, like alopecia, and others addressing hair loss in general. To find a support group in your area, you can look online, ask a doctor or therapist, or talk to people you know who are also dealing with hair loss.[22]
  4. Image titled Cope with Hair Loss Step 10
    Help children cope with hair loss. If you have a child who's losing hair due to a medical condition, there are ways you can help your child cope with her hair loss.
    • Make sure to take a picture of your child before hair loss begins. That way, if your child wants a wig she can use this picture to find one that resembles her current hair style.[23]
    • Talk to your child's teacher about her coming hair loss. A teacher can help discuss hair loss with other children and take preemptive steps to combat potential bullying.[24]
    • Try to find other children in your area going through hair loss. A social worker, doctor, or nurse can help you locate other families. It might be helpful for your child to see she is not alone and be able to have play dates with children going through similar issues.[25]


  • Always talk to your doctor before you make any changes to lifestyle, especially regarding any medications you take.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (22)

Article Info

Categories: Hair Loss and Scalp Conditions