WHETHER YOU ARE SUFFERING HAIR LOSS FROM A SKIN DISEASE, AN EMOTIONAL PROBLEM, CHEMOTHERAPY OR SIMPLE AGE-RELATED HAIR THINNING, YOU MAY NEED TO LEARN A NEW WAY OF APPLYING YOUR MAKEUP AND CARING FOR YOUR FACE.
No matter what, the main concern is that people focus on you instead of your hair loss. Some women go through a state of shock or denial and ignore their face when they are having a hair loss problem. Instead, you need to remember that you can no longer hide behind your hair — you have to take special care of your skin and play up your best facial features. Here’s how:
1. Talk to your doctor about your treatment plan, whether it’s for traction alopecia, trichotillomania or chemo-related hair loss, and what to expect when it comes to the healing timeline or any side effects. Each person’s treatment plan affects each person’s skin differently. When it comes to chemo “cocktails,” some chemo drugs cause hair fall-out, while some don’t; other cancer treatments can cause rashes, puffiness, mouth sores and even radiation burns.
2. Think about your hair loss. Do you want to have a hair replacement wig made for you? Do you want to wear a scarf while any scars are healing, or you are waiting for hair to regrow? Do you want to cut it all short or buzz it all off and go bald? You can visit a hair replacement specialist to help figure this out and then adjust your makeup to work with your choice.
3. Stay away from manicures and pedicures if your immune system may be compromised by medication such as chemo, a trauma or an autoimmune condition. And watch out for sharp instruments in facial, body and nail care to avoid nicks, cuts or scrapes during this time.
4. If you are feeling sick and/or very tired, you may have dark circles under your eyes and a paler, sallowish complexion, so you will most likely need to have a new shade of foundation and concealer matched to your current skin tone.
5. If your skin is more fragile, flaky, sensitive and dry, moisturize several times per day with oils or highly emollient creams. If you have skin infections from traction alopecia or a chemical reaction that has irritated your face around the hairline, don’t apply makeup there and use only fragrance-free hypoallergenic lotions to soothe the area, after applying any other medication prescribed by your doctor.
6. A safe idea is to replace all makeup during this time to avoid exposure to any bacteria in your prior makeup products. And if your hair loss situation gets resolved, replace all of your makeup again.
7. Do everything you can to keep lips in top condition so they look as healthy as possible. Mix a bit of sugar and a dab of honey into an exfoliating (and edible), moisturizing paste. Just rub your lips together and then lick clean.
8. If you are very pale and sick, stay away from dark lipstick shades or crazy purple eye colors, which only highlight any paleness. Otherwise, don’t be afraid of pinks and reds to highlight great lips, because sticking with neutrals can make you look washed-out.
9. If you have your brows intact (i.e., you haven’t lost them from alopecia universalis or chemo), then use them, because they are created to frame your particular face perfectly. Just pluck a few stray hairs; don’t overpluck to a thin line, which looks unhealthy because thicker brows are the trend now.
10. Don’t ignore the hair on your face while you are having a hair loss problem on your head, so keep facial hair well groomed.
Remember: You don’t want to accentuate every feature, just your best one. This way, people will notice you instead of your hair loss.