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Coping With Alopecia: How to Prepare for Tough Situations

woman standing on beachWomen with alopecia face particularly difficult social situations, sometimes due to the ignorance of others and occasionally because of self-esteem issues. As such, learning about coping mechanisms and gaining support from others are keys to maintaining a good quality of life with alopecia.

Alopecia is a medical condition that involves loss of hair from the head or body or both. There are many types of alopecia—some temporary and some permanent—and many causes, including hair treatments, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, fungal infections, thyroid disorders, hormonal changes and hereditary disorders. Androgenic alopecia refers to the common male-pattern baldness, but many women also have alopecia. Alopecia can involve hair loss in patches (alopecia areata), complete baldness (alopecia totalis) or complete hair loss on the entire body (alopecia universalis).

Learning to cope with others' comments and keeping your self-esteem can be two of the biggest challenges for women. First, know that there's nothing wrong with being assertive when someone is making you uncomfortable by staring excessively or asking rude questions. Avoid escalating any negative situations, but it's OK to be blunt and ask someone to stop staring or to tell them that their questions are inappropriate.

However, it's important to know that some people are not looking at you or asking questions to be rude, but rather out of simple curiosity. As long as you are comfortable with the person's questions, remain polite and relaxed.

It may be significantly helpful to connect with other women who have alopecia. There are a number of support groups, both online and in-person, where individuals with the condition can talk to each other about the difficulties they face and how they deal with them.

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