Though their style may appear bold, bald women aren't always that way by choice. While some do adopt this look in the name of fashion, others lose their hair due to a variety of health concerns. In these cases, hair loss is beyond their control.
Bald is Beautiful
Appearing openly bald may be one of the greatest style risks a woman can take. Depending on her confidence level, she might find it to be extraordinarily difficult to pull off or she may revel in standing out from the crowd.
Despite their uncommonness in general society, bald heads are beloved by some women. Some may choose to turn heads by taking a fashion risk, others may shave their heads for charity and still others might suffer from certain illnesses that eventually result in hair loss.
The basic sentiment behind this style statement is that hair isn't necessary to be beautiful. In fact, many bald women - whether by choice or as a result of illness - strive to disprove the belief that hair and beauty are synonymous with each other.
Is Hair Necessary?
A number of women, from actresses to models to singers, have shaved their heads in the name of aesthetic appeal. Many do it for entertainment purposes - actress Demi Moore, for example, sported a bald head in G.I. Jane. Sinead O'Connor is instantly recognized for her bald head. More recently, Britney Spears shaved her head in a widely publicized incident.
Why do they do it? The reasons clearly vary. Film roles, personal taste, or even unexpected whims can drive a woman to put razor to head for a drastic style change. When it's done purely from a fashion-conscious point of view, the woman changes her style willingly. It's perhaps an antithetical move considering that, for the majority, a head full of hair is associated with youth, beauty, sexuality, and femininity.
Yet for those who choose to shave their heads, these so-called beliefs are called into question. Whether done as an experiment, out of sheer desire to sport a new look, or in honor of a friend who's lost her hair, the look, while frankly unexpected, can easily be seen as elegant and natural.
It's not uncommon to hear of friends helping out friends in their hour of need - but when a friend is stricken with an illness like cancer, the emotional trauma can be just as devastating as the physical. One of the most common side effects of cancer treatment is hair loss. Whether as a result of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, hair loss can often add more stress to the patient's mind. It's not unusual to hear about women shaving their heads in solidarity, solely in support of a dear friend who is going through hair loss as a result of illness.
Hair Loss as a Result of Illness
Along with cancer, bald women may attribute their hair loss to several other medical conditions. One of the most predominant is called alopecia areata. This autoimmune disease results in hair loss because the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. While not everyone loses all of their hair (sometimes it only falls off in small patches), others do indeed suffer complete hair loss.
In addition to the physical loss, there is a psychological loss associated with alopecia areata. Many sufferers have likened the loss of their hair to the loss of a limb. The use of wigs is extremely common, and in many cases helps those dealing with the disease become more comfortable.
Other causes of female hair loss include:
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - accompanying hypothyroidism combined with an excess level of male hormones can result in hair thinning
- Recent pregnancy
- Post-menopausal trauma
- Estrogenic Alopecia - a drop in estrogen levels causes hair loss in this case
- Eating disorders
- Birth control pills
- Lupus and other autoimmune diseases
Treatments for Bald Women
A variety of treatments are available for women who deal with hair loss. Not all will pertain to every individual, since situations are unique and the cause of the hair loss may prevent new hair from growing in at all. However, for those dealing with bald patches or increasing hair loss, these treatments are often relied upon:
- Minoxidil: Also known as Rogaine, minoxidil is the only FDA-approved drug used to treat female pattern baldness. Applied topically, it is known to help slow or stop hair loss completely in many cases. On the downside, the treatment is expensive and hair loss will recur once usage of the product is discontinued.
- Transplants: A hair transplant involves transferring small hair plugs from areas where hair growth exists and placing them in the bald spots. There is a risk of infection and the procedure can be expensive (and may take several sessions), but the results are said to be permanent.
- Wigs: When the hair loss cannot be remedied, many women rely on wigs to replace their hair. Human hair wigs, in particular, are extremely realistic and often unnoticeable.
Women may lose their hair for a variety of reasons, whether by choice or circumstance, but bald women do not have to be ashamed of their condition and have many options for confidence and style.