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Women have a complicated relationship with their body hair. Hair on the underarms and face is a pain to remove, and hair on the head better stay put or else. A few strands here or there are one thing, but when hair loss is severe and permanent, it takes a bit more than a new conditioning routine to cope with the change. Don't let permanent hair loss cramp your style. Your once-luscious locks may be letting you down, but your inner fighter will keep you afloat even through your most dramatic "bad hair" days.
Get the right diagnosis. Unexplained hair loss is scary and overwhelming, but not completely unusual. The American Hair Loss Association states that women account for 40 percent of those people affected by balding. Even if your hair loss is truly permanent and can't be reversed, a doctor can help you understand what's happening to your body and direct you to the right kinds of treatment for any underlying medical issues.
Create a circle of support. If you feel like your friends and family aren't exactly supportive, it's probably because they are afraid to say the wrong thing. Be straightforward about what's causing your hair loss and what you plan to do about it, if anything. Your attitude about your hair loss clues your loved ones in on how they need to talk about it with you.
Make some new friends. Online and in-person support groups for women dealing with permanent hair loss are popping up all over the country. Find a support group near you and bond with other ladies experiencing the same struggle, and make some new friends along the way.
Indulge in your inner-most hair fantasies. If there was a hairstyle you always wanted to try but were too scared to commit to, now is your chance. Wigs aren't just for men. A wide range of stylish, off-the-wall and elegant wigs specifically tailored for women are revitalizing the wig industry. Swap out your arsenal of shampoos and styling products for a wall of fierce wigs to suite your every whim.
Embrace a new role model. It's not hard for men to find same-gendered bald role models who are as powerful and sexy without their hair as they are with it. It's a bit tougher for women, but the bald, beautiful women of the world do exist.
Even if they just shaved for a movie role or music video, beautiful bald women like Sinead O'Connor, Gail Porter and Glenda Narulla give you a little perspective when it comes to being sexy and bald.
Play up your assets. Sure, your hair may have been beautiful, but don't forget your other beautiful bits. Maybe you've got striking blue eyes, a fabulously toned backside or flatter-than-flat abs. Show them off! Dress to show off your body or opt for dramatic makeup that makes you feel as beautiful as you look.
Get funky with accessories. Silk scarves and bejeweled headbands take center stage when your hair isn't there to distract. Even girls with full heads of hair love to accessorize with beautifully patterned scarves and wraps. Don't be afraid to embrace your baldness and play it up. If you're particularly daring, treat your scalp like a canvas and dress it up with adhesive gems in colorful designs.
Pamper yourself. You've been through a lot and you need to be treated gently. Consider your new scalp to be a brand new place to be exfoliated, massaged and moisturized. Make regular appointments with a massage therapist or salon technician you trust to worship your new scalp with relaxing treatments that leave you glowing inside and out.
The most important part of dealing with permanent hair loss is to seek medical treatment for its causes, if necessary. Be sure to keep appointments with your doctor so she can manage underlying medical conditions.
If your hair loss significantly and negatively impacts your mood to the point where you are unable to function daily, consult with a professional therapist.