I felt unattractive because I have thin hair

M. Brown

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**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

More volume. Fuller hair. Thicker hair. Extra body. Treatment for thinning hair...

These are just some of the advertised ‘cures’ for women like me who were born with ‘fine’ or ‘thin’ hair.

For those of us who have this type of hair, I can testify that I’ve probably used just about every product I can find throughout my life that might somehow miraculously change my hair from what I was born with into something different that makes me somehow more attractive…?

When you go to a salon and get your hair done, the first thing many hairdressers want to do is give you a cut, color, or texture that ‘makes it look fuller.’

Women with thinner hair are told from a very young age that somehow not having thick hair makes them ‘less-than’ or not as vivaciously beautiful as a female who does have thick hair.

At some point in a woman’s childhood, there was probably an adult — usually a female adult— who made a comment about her hair and how thick or thin it was. I’ve heard comments about how ‘fine’ or ‘thin’ my hair is since I was young. And having thinner hair was never spun in a positive way — it was always with a tinge of pity or disappointment.

I do vividly remember getting my hair done when I was 12 and the hairdresser complimented my ‘beautiful, fine hair’. That’s a good memory. And she had the right idea.

My daughter has the same hair type as me and I have decided that I will not be that female in her life who comments on her fine hair as if it’s some sort of curse. I will do my very best to allow her natural beauty to thrive in an environment where her hair type is part of what makes her unique.

There is definitely a perception within our society that fuller, thicker hair is a sign of more health, vitality, and general attractiveness. If you look at all the pills and vitamins which are sold online and in stores promoting the promise of stronger, fuller hair, you’ll see that trying to attain thicker hair is a huge industry.

While another gigantic industry is getting rid of the hair on your legs, face, and other body parts, the hair on top of your head and its thickness is touted in our society as the crowning glory of beauty.

Now, as I stated previously, I have fallen victim to the idea that my overall beauty depends on having fuller hair.

I have spent a lot of money and a lot of time trying to make my hair look thicker and ‘better.’

The hair industry has not been kind to my self-esteem and I have not been kind to my self-esteem by buying into the concept that I’m not good enough with thin hair.

There’s nothing wrong with having fine or thin hair. It doesn’t mean that I am any less attractive than the next woman just because my hair isn’t lush and long as — I admit — I have often longed for.

And women are not the only ones under the societal spotlight for the thickness of their hair. As most of us know, men are scrutinized to no end for going bald or developing receding hairlines. The industries that cater to men’s hair insecurities are indeed significant.

On a personal level, I am coming to terms with my thin hair. I can’t change it. There really is no magic cure.

While there may be some fantastic products on the market that ‘make it look fuller’ or vitamins that do help a little with fullness or growth, there’s really not much I can do with what I was naturally born with other than accept it and learn to appreciate what I’ve got.

And there are women out there with all kinds of hair gripes besides having fine or thinning hair. Some women hate their curly hair, frizzy hair, coarse hair, or even their very thick hair. We all have some kind of thing about our hair we want to change — probably since we were young girls.

But the point is that whatever our hair types, just as with our body types, we are all unique in some way. We can learn to make the best out of what we’ve got — what we were born with. And it IS possible to change the way you think — to change the negative narrative in your head about what’s growing out of it.

Practicing gratitude for what we do have matters. And it matters much more than what your hair looks like.

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