The past few weeks have been, in a word, NOT IDEAL. My lease came up for renewal, I had tooth issues and best of all, my hair started falling out. Like I would start blow drying my hair and my brush would fill up with lost hairs and then by the time I got to my desk I looked like Big Foot because hundreds of yellow hairs coated my black sweater. Hair falling out is bad, but it’s actually worse for me because it’s not like I have 10,000 hairs to spare and also if this was culminating in my having to have short hair or going bald, that would be a serious problem because my face looks fat with short hair. Predictably this resulted in me losing my shit several times at my desk and my boss, who is a legitimately nice person, tried to cheer me up by buying cupcakes, which was thoughtful but ineffective unless I could wear the yellow frosting on my head.
I scheduled an appointment with my GP, who drew blood and said she had no idea what it could be, and recommended Shen Min, a “Chinese herb” that “really helps.” She then told me that I “might want to use” Rogaine because it helps with stopping hair loss. I informed her that unfortunately, dignity prevented me from spraying special water on my head in an attempt to miraculously regrow hair and that at this point why not just get one of those upside down tomato gardens and stick my head under the UV light and see if that helps.
On the way back from the doctor’s appointment, I stopped in “InVite” an upscale vitamin store where they sell the exact same crap as Vitamin Shoppe except for $4 more due to the increased effectiveness. Naturally, the “vitamin associate” on duty was wearing a completely absurd toupee that looked like it was out of the Sabotage video, and as I awkwardly explained to him that I needed some Shen Min because my hair was falling out, he insultingly AGREED that my hair was looking limp, and further recommended garlic and folic acid. Because when a man in clown toupee gives me hair advice, I listen.
In any event, after a few days of taking Shen Min pills and not seeing instantaneous results, I decided to bite the bullet and buy Rogaine. I specifically decided to buy the Rogaine at a Walgreens as opposed to a Duane Reade, because the Duane Reade keeps embarrassing products like Rogaine and condoms at the pharmacy counter, and who needs the double humiliation of requesting an embarrassing product and then being judged by someone with an advanced degree. At Walgreens, the Rogaine next to the dandruff shampoos behind one of those plexiglass windows with a buzzer, which I pressed and thereby triggered a loudspeaker announcement that said “Sales associate to the hair aisle.” A girl walked up to me and asked me what I wanted, and I said “Rogaine for Women” as loudly and as proudly as possible in shrewd attempt to make it seem like I was buying it for someone else because if you’re buying it for yourself you’re supposed to not make eye contact and be embarrassed about the fact that you’re 29 and putting magical water on you head.
The end result is that I have “telogen effluvium,” which sounds like an 18th century consumption disease but is actually just hair loss due to acute stress. Megan found it on the Mayo clinic and then I printed it and showed to my dermatologist who agreed with it and then charged me $50 for agreeing with it. It’s going away and my hair will soon be back to my usual lustrous mane.