Hair, it goes…

Combed the tresses out this morning to discover there was more left on the comb than on the scalp. Huge gobs of it that one rolled up between forefinger and thumb and chucked into dustbin, with requisite maudlin expression. And perhaps a wreath would have been more in order. The nice one with the ribbon and the orchids and appropriate message of how they had enriched my life by their presence.

Ever since I returned home, the world and my mother has been commenting on how much of my hair has diminished in volume, and the texture become like the straw one bales out to cattle on fattening farms.

Yes, yes, like I really need a Prince Charming to climb up my long roped braid and get me out of my castle anymore. I’ll just take the elevator, thank you. And dont even think of the snapping of the neck that will happen if my Prince Charming, 90 kilos plus, decides to have a go at using them tresses like a rope.
Once upon a time I had hair. Like really had hair. It needed a holiday to be washed and then another to dry. My social life revolved around the washing and drying of said hair. And needed four hands to do the job.

It fell to my hips, and was thick and luxuriant and black and I cried every night to be allowed to cut it. On a moonless night, I could wear white and hold a lit candle, and leave them tresses loose to bring ghost stories to life. That long.

I actually believed I was the college geek because my hair was bunned up in a stern topknot while the rest of the girls were tossing silken locks over their shoulders. And maybe I was.

Thankfully, I never appreciated it. Or would have hung onto thinning strands like a person I will not name, who though wonderfully turned out otherwise, had the entire building sniggering at her little straw rope that came down to her knees.

Unfortunately, the cruel woman who was the guardian and custodian of my carcass, being said mother, would threaten death and dismemberment should I ever take scissors to hair. Being the meek, obedient and sneaky soul I am, I got married and chopped my hair off a month into being another person’s responsibility. Other person being me. The husband of course, never volunteers any opinion on anything have done to hair, for which I adore him.

I’ve heard of divorce notices being served when women with long hair chop off tresses without prior written permission in triplicate from spouses. Even the day I came home blinded by tears with a perm gone wrong and an Afro in place of the lovely waves I had envisioned, he didnt blink. Or maybe he doesnt really look at me above chest level.

Over the years, the most abused part of my body, apart from earlier mentioned rapidly increasing waistline is the hair. Permed. Straightened. Coloured. Highlighted. Ironed. Curled. Streaked temporarily. Streaked permanently. Unstreaked. If I could be arrested for inflicting unspeakable torture on dead protein cells I would be.

But I have been responsible enough to ensure that I wash and condition my hair every single day. Or every alternate day if life is really really rough, and the morning the kind that goes into a frantic fast forward of the kind that has people slipping and falling over banana peels amongst others.
But this bout of hairfall is unprecedented. Change of water, air, food? My Post natal hairfall contributed its mite to my post natal depression by shattering dented body image completely and almost landing me in the loony bin.

I emerged stronger and vainer from the crisis to pamper hair with oil massages and regular washings and conditionings.

In the face of this current situation where the floor of my home seems matted with fallen hair and I dread combing out knots with the kind of shaking fear that braver women reserve for childbirth and fighting barehanded with lions, I am at a loss.

Multivitamins, I am told, are what I need to ingest. Perhaps I had a diet deficiency while away, which is why I am two kilos down. Or maybe thats the weight minused of all that hair thats fallen off.

Any tips to keep the head foliage intact will be welcomed with open arms. Or any numbers of good wig makers.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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17 Responses to Hair, it goes…

  1. childwoman says:

    I am. I am trying.


  2. :sniffle, sob:

    I feel your pain! HELP, somebody!


  3. manisha says:

    ill some months ago, my hair fell, and fell and fell – i never knew the reason – thought it was hormonal. then along the way at some point i stopped drinking coke/thumbs up/pepsi and the like. bingo – my hair no longer falls. it was as if by magic.


  4. d says:

    Hi Kiran – Do not grieve so because this sounds like a phase – scary I know because I went through it a few months ago – but it will pass. Leaving you well depleted in the foliage department, yes, but hair will grow back or rather once it stops falling at the rate of knots, the head will seem fuller again . Maybe not the same thickness and lustre of times gone by but you know what i mean. A change in food/water/air for the brief period you were on holiday doesn’t seem like reason enough for the kind of hair fall you’re describing . Consistently high stress levels, inconsistent air conditioning at some workplaces – you know the kind where you dress for freezing temperatures inside your cabin and then have to throw off layers when you step out, and a whole host of other reasons including a change in your regular shampoo/conditioner could be why you’re shedding . The Himalaya Hair Loss cream does work to some extent. Atleast it seemed to speed up the recovery process in my case. Also I found that overdoing the oil massage/ daily wash and shampoo routine aggravated the hair fall. Apologies for long comment!


  5. silentoneinlondon says:

    When you find a tried and tested solution that works, please to let me know.. I am in the same boat as you..


  6. Random Vignettes says:

    When you have hair which is silky but looks like it has been made of something which the spiders use to create a web..that fine..then you grab remedies with both hands..and your feet..

    K, could the water change have affected the quality? It happens..I go to Chennai and I end up with mousy limp hair even with all the shampoo and home made shikakai possible..I think I prefer it in BBay with it being thin but at least it has life and silkiness! SO now that you ate back, a week or two of apna polluted mumbaiyya water should shake things up..

    and oh massages with olive oil..i swear by it..


  7. preethi says:

    aaw… I know what you mean.. sailing in the same boat too!!


  8. N says:

    Uh-oh, I know the pain. I second Random Vignettes. Olive oil massages are really helpful to stop the hairfall. Also, sometimes – like in my case – I have to use different shampoos for summer and winter. In case you think it’s the shampoo, try using a good baby shampoo. They are really mild and will prevent any further damage.


  9. booboosmamma says:

    I wish I have a little hair fall. My hair is so thick I hate it. Nothing helps, perming, straightening, clow drying every alternate day, coloring, nothing helps.


    • Lima says:

      god…how can you even wish for something like this!!! be grateful that you have a headful of hair!,,its so disheartening to see strands after strands on the comb/floor/pillow……..if you still want them to fall, pray that they grow back on my head 🙂


  10. sraikh says:

    I have thinning hair and am looking for a solution. I have heard a few things,
    1. Do NOT comb out wet hair, its weak and will fall out faster.
    2. I second the not shampooing everyday. Do alternate days
    3. Of course it might indicate a vit deficiency so maybe taking a multivit everyday might help?

    Now I am curious abt the Himalayan Hair Loss Cream, will have too look into that.

    PS:Welcome back 🙂


  11. dipali says:

    At one time ozone therapy was used- back in the eighties. Maybe that’s gone the way of other methods.
    In Kolkata we have a stinky herbal oil called Hairina which seems to work.The company is called Sahul. Don’t know if it’s available in Mumbai


  12. kiran manral says:

    Tara: whats the progress sheet?

    suki: thamks dear

    Manisha: You are bang on. I had suddenly begun drinking Pepsi almost everyday in Bangalore because it was so dry and dehydrating, and my little niece is addicted. Have stopped cold turkey now. Lets see.

    D: Any long comment is welcome. Have bought Himalaya Hair Loss cream, and yes, stress could have been a cause, I was pretty stressed out for the past couple of months for assorted reasons. Let me calm myself down.

    Silentoneinlondon: Have switched to baby shampoo, lots of olive oil gentle massage pre shampoo and multivitamins.

    RV: I think it was the water. I had borewell water in Bangalore and that didnt help. Three washes in Mumbai and its feeling and looking better.

    Preethi: You tell me your tips and I tell you mine.

    N:Yup olive oil and baby shampoo have been inducted into the task force.

    booboosmama: Dont even wish that. Once it starts it never stops.

    Sraikh: Have bought Himalaya Hair Loss and will report progress to you. I cannot bear sweat smelling hair and must shampoo everyday. Have switched to baby shampoo.

    Dipali: Will ask many chemists and check.


  13. Poonam says:


    I remember you mentioned that you had been diagnosed with PCOS. The hair loss could be one of the side-effects of the condition. It is the hormonal imbalance combined with a tendency of male-pattern baldness that can cause hair loss in women with PCOS.

    Talk to your doctor about it. Maybe s/he can do something to help you with it.

    Good luck.



  14. Have just begun working my way round the hair loss. Apple cider vinegar(10 mL in a glass of water) works both as a tonic if you drink it, and as a hair conditioner if you pour it on(leave in if you need extra conditioning) after shampoo. Look around on the Net, lots of resources. My hair has been falling less and is LOADS softer since I started this.

    Apparently zinc deficiency also makes you lose hair, so stock up on the greens and red meat. Am condemned to red meat-less diet(not that I mind) so sticking to a greener and very fishy diet.
    And of course stay healthy and happy and all that 😀


  15. churningthewordmill says:

    this sounds serious.. i once read some health magazine(dnt remember the name) that said iron deficiency was one of the reasons for hair loss..could that be the reason in your case?


  16. supriya says:

    sahul products are not available in mumbai. i have also heard it works. i will like to help you our. pls check the following link. u might find it helpful. though i face the same problem, i have not yet started the this treatment. i am thinking of doing it soon.


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