As the VP of Digital Content at VEGAMOUR, I’ve seen how our products have helped thousands of women with their hair. But as someone who has never really had issues with losing hair, I hadn’t felt the need to consistently use our hair serums … and then the pandemic happened.
2020 Was the Year of Stress for Me … and Everyone Else
I started working at VEGAMOUR in 2018 and became an immediate fan of our lash and brow serums. But I didn't feel a need to consistently use our hair serums because I had always had a curtain of very fast growing hair. Last year was a challenging year for me, just like it was for basically everyone on the planet. A pandemic, a fast-paced job that was newly work from home, plus constant overpowering stress and anxiety actually sent me to the emergency room with a panic attack. From all the research and content I had put together for VEGAMOUR, I had seen how much of an impact stress could have on your hair — I just always thought it was something I didn't need to worry about.
About two months into the pandemic, I started noticing my hair was coming out more, but admittedly, I was in a bit of denial. I thought maybe I'm not brushing my hair as much so more is coming out when I do brush. Or maybe it was always coming out this much but I just lived a life where I was constantly on the move that I shed all over the place rather than just in my home. After my trip to the ER, I thought if stress could send me to the doctor maybe it could be messing with my hair as well. At that time, just combing my fingers through my hair would leave me holding a fistful of strands.
Losing Hair Hit Me Harder Than I Expected
I have always been sensitive to the fact that hair loss can be very emotional for women, but I did not realize how much of my identity I associated with my hair until I started losing it. My hair has just been something I had always received compliments on and my friends all knew how quickly my hair could grow — I was proud of it. I never put any thought into how much I colored it (a lot), wore it up or yanked at it when I brushed it. Long hair was just a constant part of me that had always been there for me ... until 2020. Internally, I know I am more than my hair, but the shock of losing something you didn't realize made up a part of your outward persona was more emotional than I anticipated.
I Started Giving My Hair the Attention It Needed
I’m lucky to work at a company that focuses on hair wellness and already have the knowledge and products to make things better. I started using our GRO+ Advanced Hair Serum consistently starting in mid-July (sometimes I mix it up with the GRO Hair Serum — it just depends on what I grab from the office). It was slow going at first. I think a little over a month in, I started to see significantly less shedding when I washed my hair, but a few months in I didn't notice much regrowth or at least I thought I didn't. I live by myself and have been following pretty strict social distancing guidelines when seeing people outside so it's not easy to get someone to inspect your scalp from six feet away.
I'd say around early November when I was out of the house, I saw my hair in different lighting and was pleasantly excited to see a bunch of little baby hairs at the top of my head. Something that I had not noticed in my own home, but to be honest now that I mostly go makeup free, I'm not looking very closely at myself in the mirror at home, and I try to avoid my own gaze in all the Zoom calls I’m in. Since then my shedding continues to be pretty minimal. I occasionally will see more hair shed than usual come out but now I realize that is completely normal for me (at least during what looks to be another stressful year)!
I’m Focusing on Reducing Stress and Increasing Patience
Hair wellness is a journey. Have I solved for the root cause of my stress? Not completely, but I'm working on it! I'm doing yoga and walking a few miles per day now. Work life balance is hard when both happen in the same space, but I'm prioritizing it. I'm trying to get into meditation — it's a process! And in general I'm thinking more about me and my well-being. Am I eating better? Yes, but I could always improve! Am I consistently applying the hair serum? Mostly, but sometimes I forget. Could I do more? I’m sure I could, but this is what works for my life right now. Will my hair ever be the same? I'm not sure. I hope so, but if it’s not I'm OK with that.
Prioritizing Your Wellbeing Is Key
What I do know is that I’m seeing baby hairs in my trouble spots and that is exciting! But more importantly, I’ve learned a lot on this journey and I’m here to tell you growth takes time and above all else, take time to prioritize your health and wellness first.
Hair Story: One Woman’s Experience With Postpartum Hair Loss
I’m Not Alone In This and Neither Are You
As we age, most women will experience thinning hair and the more we speak openly about it the less isolating it will feel for others. If you have a story like mine, whether or not you’ve found growth, I want you to know that you’re not alone. But I also know that not everyone wants to share their story publicly. I’ve created this private Facebook group if you do want to share in a safe space or just want to learn from women who have been through it already.
We’re here to lend a shoulder or cheer you on. I look forward to getting to know you and your journey.
More From VEGAMOUR
- How Cortisol Affects Hair Loss
- This Is How Inflammation Could Be Impacting Your Hair
- Hair Loss vs. Breakage — How to Spot the Difference
- Here's How Gut Health and Hair Loss Are Related
Photo credit: Francisco Moreno/Unsplash