Diabetes and Hair Loss (My Story)

Courtesy of Graeme Weatherston
Courtesy of Graeme Weatherston


You’ve probably heard that diabetes can be related to hair loss.  Maybe you’ve experienced it.  I have.  Here is my story:

I had out of control blood sugars for about a decade.  During this time I was mostly a teenager and remember not knowing that out of control blood sugars could cause things like hair loss.  I wonder if knowing would have given me a kick in the pants to get my blood sugars down. 

Anyways I noticed how my hair was everywhere!  I mean I would vacuum my room and my parent’s really expensive vacuum would choke up and need to be liberated of my hair before I could continue with the other half of my room.  I felt all the hair loss was simply a nuisance.  I didn’t notice my hair thinning however, until I was about 18.  No one else noticed because luckily I started out with a lot of hair (Thank God).  Yet, I noticed.  Everyone told me I was silly or paranoid because “You have gorgeous hair” they would say.  I would sigh and think that maybe they were right.

Yet, with each new year I would notice more and more hair thinning.  When I took out a ponytail I’d have about 30 strands dragged out along with my ponytail holder.  I knew I wasn’t making things up, I was losing hair.

Over the last few years my blood sugars have improved dramatically and luckily I’ve noticed I don’t lose much hair anymore.  I think I lose the normal and healthy amount now.  Yet, the damage has been done.  I decidedly have less hair than before.  I manage to mask it pretty well by having a pretty good understanding of how to style hair.  (I’ve always been a serious student of fashion magazines and their tips on hair.) 

I gently comb wet hair, I use thickening creme, and I blow dry with a large round boar bristle brush.  I finish with velcro rollers and then a flat iron or curling iron and a good amount of hairspray.  I also add some talc to the roots to help give more body and then fluff it up.  This painstaking process works pretty well.  I just can’t help but feel angry many days because I like my wavy hair and wish I could just let it air dry into it’s au naturale form.  I can’t though, because it will be evident that there is too much scalp showing. 

If this sounds at all like you I truly want you to realize there is hope.  Getting your blood sugar levels to the right place will help unless your problem is derived from another source or is genetically linked.  I do know how bad you feel.  I’ve cried a lot over my hair which feels stupid and yet you know what?  It’s not.  It just so happens my hair was my favorite physical trait.  And our society values hair.  It is also a sign of health and virility.  No one wants to have high blood sugars and on top of that show physical signs of unstable health.  I think this is what has hurt me the most.  I wonder if people think I look unhealthy or older than I am because of this.  Well, I hide it pretty well as I’ve explained.  I just wish I could hide it from myself.  Ignorance in this case would really be bliss.

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