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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Malkie Schulman

Covered or not, hair plays a significant role in a woman’s self-image. That’s why, when a woman’s hair is falling out — even if no one else can tell under that sheitel or tichel — it hits her hard. How to protect your locks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We tend to think of hair loss as a man’s problem. Unfortunately, women are not immune. Forty percent of Americans suffering from hair loss are women, according to Manhattan dermatologist Micole Tuchman, MD, FAAD, and half of all women experience female pattern hair loss by age 50. Traumatic as it may be for a man to lose his hair, it’s still socially acceptable for him to sport a bald spot. Not so for women, for whom the psychological and emotional toll of hair loss runs deeper. “Women of all ages simply want to look their best, and an important part of that, among other things, is the health and quality of their hair,” Dr. Tuchman notes. Every day, she sees a handful of female patients who are experiencing hair loss. Women are not shy about bringing up this issue, but that doesn’t mean they’re not deeply distressed by it, she adds. Even when it’s expected — due to age, for example — hair loss can devastate women. Dr. Tuchman quotes studies indicating the connection between significant hair loss and loss of confidence, depression, and negative self-perception. There has even been research showing that “bad hair days” reduce a woman’s self-esteem. One might think then, the sheitel-clad woman has it made — since no one can see her hair (or lack thereof), she has one less thing to agonize over. ButDr.Tuchman also sees many wig-wearing women distraught by their thinning hair.

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