The Hair Sads: How A Shampoo Saved My Life

Diabetes killed my hair and Kérastase brought it back to lovely life.
Publish date:
May 30, 2014

Body horror. Every woman has felt it. Growing boobs, getting your period… the list of crazy-horrifying ish goes on and on.

But being diagnosed with a disease takes it a step further, whether you’re a woman or a man. The one thing you intrinsically trust (your actual body) betrays you. And you have to make peace with it. One cannot live in a constant state of flux or anger or depression. It’s just not conducive to a happy, healthy life.

Eight months ago I was wrapping up a sober stretch and long distance training with a half marathon. A healthy but novice runner, I had put in the time, distance, and social sacrifice. I finished at 2:12 and promptly felt like I’d been run over by a truck.

I felt physically destroyed and emotionally lost, which I know is common for runners who meet a race goal. But there was a ton of stuff that I’d chalked up to running that was actually symptomatic of an impending life-changer.

I dropped a significant amount of weight--about 25 pounds in a short amount of time--and I lost my job. Then I started losing my HAIR.

By January, my 5’11” frame was down to 115 pounds. Something was up.

A friend of mine passed away and I flew out for her funeral, basically leaving a trail of hair from New York to New Mexico. I thought either it was my thyroid or the stress of losing my job and my friend, but I didn't have insurance at the time and wouldn't be diagnosed until April. It was diabetes, aka "the beets."

My super high blood sugar caused my hair to revolt, fleeing my body in protest, my doctor told me. That's totally not how she said it, but I can just picture each strand of hair saluting and then forcing itself off of my head, die by the sword style.

Today, I'm in the cycle where it will begin to regrow after it calibrates, which I'm hoping happens soon because I haven't felt attractive or feminine or lovely in more than half a year, partly on account of this mop.

My bright spot? Kérastase Densifique. It's my visibly-density-lacking hair’s destiny. Before this, I had tried tons of volumizing treatments, regrowth shampoos, sulfate-free, sulfate-loaded, sprays, gels, mousses. None of them did me any favors.

The over the counter program is a shampoo, masque, and mousse. The products use hyaluronic acid to plump hair up and make it silky, thick, and glamorous. There is also a proprietary complex called Stemoxydine that helps "supply substance." And it smells suuuuuper classy.

I know this is a big claim, but I have never been happier with a hair product. My hair looked so bad before Densifique. It was like Aileen Wuornos on a bad day. (Afterthought: did Aileen Wuornos ever have a good hair day?)

In the past two months of knowing I have the diabeetus, my hair is starting to look, well, nice. I don't feel so embarrassingly ugly when I see pictures of myself.

It's been a rough road so far, but it's smoothing out. Pun intended.

Anyone else had the sads from hair loss? I feel your pain. Holler at me in the comments.