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Do people ever compliment your hair still?

Discussion in 'Women's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by sunlit, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. sunlit

    sunlit Established Member

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    Once in a while somebody does, and it ought to feel good, but instead it really throws me off. Is that weird?

    I dyed my hair a darker brown recently and somehow colouring it made it look better. Today I was wearing my hair up in a claw clip with the shorter layers loose at the front around my face (which hides the thinning at my temples and hairline somewhat). I ran into a friend who said, "Your hair looks nice!" and "it looks thicker". I mentioned my hair loss to her a few months ago, so it's not like she doesn't know, but I guess she sees my hair differently from how I do. I haven't kept my hair loss a secret so my female friends know, but I also don't really talk about it. Sometimes friends will say 'your hair looks nice today' or compliment the colour or something and for some reason it feels very weird. Sometimes I'll say "thanks, but it's still coming out in handfuls" and they say "really? again? hm, you wouldn't be able to tell" and it just feels very weird. It's probably because my hair was so fine to start with that thick-haired people don't see the difference. I never had very nice hair.

    Of course other people don't pay attention to our hair (or probably even much attention to their own hair), that's a given, so they wouldn't necessarily notice thinning. But it's still jarring somehow when people compliment something you feel terrible about. Even though I think compliments are often just 'social noise' (I really think people usually compliment others more because they want to make someone feel good, than because they mean it) it's kindly meant, and the intentions are sincere even if the words aren't exactly accurate. But being complimented makes me doubt myself. I find it SO HARD to tell whether I'm being objective about my appearance or whether I'm overreacting. I have no idea how bad my hair is, whether it's noticeable or passable. I get to a point where I'm accepting I probably should start looking into buying a topper, and one nice comment from somebody makes me go back to square one, wonder if I'm just being a drama queen and doing something unnecessary. Somebody's saying one thing but in the mirror/photos I see another thing, and I don't know which is right. So I'm right back in this state of confusion and uncertainty. Suddenly I'm thinking "oh wait, maybe I shouldn't look into buying hair, maybe I should forget about it, maybe I'm being stupid".

    Does anybody else here feel this sort of ambivalence? I wish I could just accept a compliment happily. But I can't when it makes me feel so confused. I have no idea whether my hair actually looks normal to others or not. I don't feel like anybody is really telling me the truth, and I don't really trust my own eyes either. I really think I've lost 50% density, I have noticeable temple recession and bare scalp showing through at the sides of my head... and I still end up wondering sometimes if I'm just exaggerating the problem and making a big deal out of nothing. I can't tell whether my hair really does look normal to others, or whether they think it looks terrible but want me to feel better about it.
     
  2. rva207

    rva207 Established Member

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    Sorry you're having so many mixed emotions ;) I honestly think the compliments are genuine and you should take them at face value (happily!). There's no way anyone else scrutinizes our appearance the way we do -- and I really don't think the majority of people give compliments to make someone feel better. I'm sure the compliments you receive are because your hair does look good to the person saying it, even if you disagree. And I'm not saying that to make you feel better :D We are way harder on ourselves than anyone else is. My husband repeatedly reassures me it doesn't look as bad to others as I think it does and after almost 2 years of hearing it I think I finally believe him. It doesn't change how I feel about myself, but I've learned to let a bit of it go when it comes to others.

    RE: toppers...I think you should do what makes you feel happy. Using anyone else's perception of your hair is just too confusing. Can you hold out until you see the dermatologist?
     
  3. Lily

    Lily Senior Member

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    People often compliment my hair. And of course, it is mine - I paid for it!
     
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  4. Wolf924

    Wolf924 Experienced Member

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    GREAT answer Lily--I LOVE IT.

    Sunlit--I feel your pain, since I think we started shedding around the same time. I hope your shed has drastically reduced--btw--would love to hear an update from you on that (fingers crossed).

    My husband compliments me, my friends say they notice no difference and that I look great, my sister said I look the same as always (a littler freaky, but ok). It is hard to try to find a line where you can define reality vs. your own feelings about your image. For me, the lesser part is really how I look in the mirror--my hair is noticeably thinner but hideable. Fir me, the pain comes when I touch my hair, because I know there is so much less. I loved my hair--thick curly, fun, long. People just 8 damn months ago described me as having mermaid hair. Now its still mermaid hair but just a flattened out mermaid with less bounce.

    I miss the weight more than I miss anything else--and I think this plays into my feeling about it. My hair was more than my femininity--it was a security blanket. Lik-ok--maybe I gained a few pounds this year but my hair still is amazing, or, yeah I have some more wrinkles now but my curls never fail me. It was something I subconsciously relied on. I planned to keep it this length and just let it go grey like a beautiful earth mother look as I age.

    Yesterday was bad for me. Really bad. I am beginning to think I need to come to terms that this is likely goodbye.
     
  5. Nerak

    Nerak Established Member

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    LOL - no-one could, no matter how sweet and generous they are, say my hair looked anything other than terrible at the moment so this really doesn't happen to me.

    However, if you asked 50 people who know me whether or not I have a hair loss issue right now I bet 48 would say no. And the other 2 are the ones I told about it.

    People with problem free hair are totally oblivious, in the same way we used to be. I mean, before this started for you how often did you scrutinise your friends hairlines and scalp? How often do you do that now?

    I say take the compliment with a smile and appreciate it.
     
  6. sunlit

    sunlit Established Member

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    Thanks rva. I think I'm probably being too insecure about this and overthinking it.

    You're right. Thanks for writing this, you've given me a new perspective about it. I guess ultimately the only perception of my hair that matters is mine! If I want to wear supplemental hair when somebody else doesn't think I "need" to, that's my business. After all, people with no hair loss issues at all will get extensions and half-wigs for extra volume, so how is it any different? I wear makeup every day and I don't have weird guilt and mixed feelings about that - it's not about 'need', it's about 'want'. Because nobody needs to wear hair regardless of how little they have. It's always optional.

    I think I might wait until I see the dermatologist, depending on when my appointment is. I did finally hear back from them, though haven't heard the date of my appointment yet, and I'm hoping it'll be by the end of this month or early March. I'm a lot busier at the moment than I anticipated so I don't really have time to go topper-shopping anyway.


    Unfortunately my shed hasn't reduced, it's still going. It's not at terrifying levels like it was when it first started, but it's a lot higher than it should be still. I'd been hoping it would stop shedding by Feb/March but to be honest at this rate I think it'll be more like the summer, if it stops shedding at all.

    I can't imagine how awful it must be to lose your hair when you had beautiful, striking hair to begin with. :( My hair has never been anything special and I think that does make it easier. Even so, suddenly you don't match your image of yourself any more and look how you always looked (and expected to look), and that's very difficult. It must be a lot worse for you.


    I'd say the same about my own hair, which is why this feels so strange! But the two friends who've complimented it are people who've witnessed a couple of dye mishaps, so maybe the "it looks nice" is really a "it looks a lot better since you corrected it". I don't know. Anyway, I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

    That's very true. I never thought of it that way. Now you mention it, I paid no attention to other people's hair at all before this started... I noticed things like style and colour, but I never noticed thinning. I'd notice in a vague way whether someone had fine hair or thick hair (mainly because I've always been so jealous of people with thick hair!) but I had no clue other than that. I wouldn't really even notice whether hair was natural or dyed, unless it was super obvious. And I never noticed anybody's extensions or anything like that. When watching a film, I would never notice whether an actress/actor was wearing a wig. Nowadays, I can't look around my university campus without noticing all the weaves and wigs and whatever. Or standing behind someone in a queue and thinking "hm, that guy is starting to thin". It's a total obsession!
     
  7. iisara21

    iisara21 Experienced Member

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    Hahaha! Lily, I thought the same thing to myself when I saw this question. ;-)
     
  8. echo

    echo Member

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    I do occasionally get compliments, but I immediately get self-conscious and paranoid about it. My first thought is that they've noticed the problem I have and are complimenting me to make me feel better. Before I developed my problem, my hair was my absolute best feature. I got lots of compliments on it. It's hard for me to think it looks even as remotely beautiful as it did before. :unsure: I should just learn to accept the compliment, smile, and say thank you.
     

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