I was a bit puzzled in early October to see a tuft of short hair growing from the crown of my head.
I hadn't cut it, I didn't think I'd lost any hair there, so why the tuft? I didn't worry about it too much until a couple of weeks later, when Ian said,
Why have you got a bald patch on top of your head?A bald patch?! He was right, too...
Although this was quite alarming, I wasn't overly worried as the hair was obviously growing back - the skin wasn't smooth - and it was only a small patch. On the other hand, if that spread all over my head...
I monitored the situation for a week or so, as growth shows up quickly in very short hair. It shouldn't be many days before the bald patch was hidden again, and indeed that's what happened... but then it was back. At this point I started to worry. If the hair keeps falling out then I have a problem. I did a bit of online research, and learnt that patchy hair loss is not that uncommon in women, and has all sorts of causes. It can just happen and then get better again. That was reassuring, but not entirely helpful.
After a bit more reading and thinking, I came to the conclusion that the most likely cause was a bad habit I'd developed - scratching. From reading the Long Hair Community forum (whose abbreviation I can't see without thinking Large Hadron Collider) I'd got it into my head that
scritchingis good for hair, and this developed into a bad habit. With willpower backed by the fear of going bald, I managed to stop... well, mostly stop, and I'm glad to say my hair is growing back happily now. I may be tufty for a while yet, though.
My current routine is to wash my hair in hot water about twice a week. This shifts some of the sebum, which I find is now a waxy substance, rather than oily, and softens what it doesn't shift. Once the hair is dry (to avoid breaking wet, fragile hair), ideally within a few hours of washing, I brush thoroughly with a natural bristle brush. Because the brush is dense and my hair is at this point covered in a soft wax, this is very hard work and can make my neck muscles ache. As well as spreading the sebum along the length of the hair, brushing removes quite a lot of it, which then needs combing out of the brush afterwards. Apart from that, I just use my old plastic brush every morning, as I used to. Sometimes I don't get round to using the natural brush after showering, sometimes I use it more often.
So how is my hair? Apart from the slight stickiness after showering (which isn't evident just by looking at it), it looks pretty good. It's at its best the next day, looking good and feeling soft and silky. It also has a lot more life than it ever used to. About eighteen months ago, when a hairdresser offered to put a bit of body into my hair by blowdrying, my response was,
Good luck with that.Now I have that naturally. I love the way it bounces back when I run the brush through it. I think it's still improving, too, very gradually.
Oh, you want a photo? Oh, OK then!