Stop Comparing Hair Loss

Growing up with trichotillomania, I had no idea so many women were unhappy with their hair. Call it naïveté or maybe even jealousy, but I couldn't imagine that women who didn't suffer from trich or alopecia had anything to complain about. 

Now I know better. As a hairstylist, I hear men and women of all ages describe how unhappy they are with their "thinning hair." It doesn't matter how much hair they actually have - one person's bald is another person's Chewbacca. 

When it came to my own insecurities about my hair loss, I would cope by making myself the victim and developing a bitterness towards women with a full head of hair. I have the worst hair loss of anyone around me. If only they knew what it was like to have my head of hair, they wouldn't be complaining. 

In reality, this mindset did more harm than good.

Comparing my hair loss to those without trich or alopecia around me didn't stop me from pulling and didn't make my hair grow back any faster. Instead, it left me in a negative mind space where my trichotillomania was the center of everything that was wrong in my world. 

At my worst, my bitterness and resentment spread to my own people. 

I didn't know anyone else with trichotillomania growing up. When my hair stylist in high school suggested that I go to a trich support group to meet other people with the disorder, I dismissed the idea after she told me that the majority of people at the meetings only pulled out their eyelashes and eyebrows. They don't know how bad it can be. They don't have to cover up their head like I do. 

The road of comparing hair loss is a lonely one. It divides those who are suffering from finding fellowship and support in a common struggle. If you need to put someone else's hair loss (or lack thereof) down to feel better about yourself, you will never be able to respect them and their experiences. Moreover, you will never to able to appreciate yourself and your own hair, because your sense of self will always be through the lens of someone else. Every time we find ourself comparing hair loss, refocus your mind and energy on your own goal of learning to love your hair, your trichotillomania, and most importantly, yourself.