How do you get help for your hair?
In 2016, my luscious natural hair of afro texture was thriving. Being in the military at the time, my very active lifestyle prevented me to give the tender loving care my hair needed. I chose to cut my hair really short (fade or tapered) for easy maintenance. All the requirement was to wash, condition, moisturize, repeat.
My service uniform consisted of a khaki blouse. One day, a fellow shipmate (co-workers in the Navy) walked by me, starting brushing off my shoulders and said "you had lots of hair on your collar". Glad someone looked out for my grooming.
I then noticed that although my hair was really short, every time I washed it, a lot of it was going down the drain. Very confusing since it was short. Before getting the big chop, the hair stylist I was going to said that the water and the weather might be the cause of my hair loss. I had recently transferred from a tropical area to one famous for its winds and severe winters.
I had tried everything on my own to stop the hair shedding. It was not breaking. Entire strings of hair would leave the scalp. I changed shampoos, moisturizers to no avail.
Hair Journey GPS
I decided to see a primary care doctor. The doctor ordered blood work and revealed that my anemia can be the cause of the unexplained hair loss. She referred me to a dermatologist to explore the hair loss.
The first appointment with the dermatologist consisted of additional blood work and a few weeks later a scalp biopsy. With these two tests, the dermatologist diagnosed me with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. The treatment was to utilize minoxidil for three months. If this was not successful, then I would be referred to see another provider off military base.
At this point, the lesson is that your body gives you signs, pay attention to them. If you don't understand them, seek professional help. I never knew that a dermatologist was qualified to help me in my hair journey. This was just the beginning.