Welcome to my website!
My name is Christine Albury. I'm a mother of 5 and lucky enough to live with my family in the sunny Bahamas.
I've been plagued by thinning, breaking, fragile hair for as long as I remember. Like every teenager, I'd use heated appliances to straighten, crimp, or curl my hair, depending on what look was popular that month. UNlike every teenager, though, I'd have to deal with a lot of that hair breaking off afterwards!
"Blessed" with hair the mousiest shade of brown, I've repeatedly tried highlighting it - only to watch all the highlights break off and leave me with frizzy split ends. (Never one to learn from past mistakes, I'm currently growing out the latest failed attempt to lighten my locks AND keep them on my head!).
Unfortunately, though, it's not just heat and chemical damage that affects my hair. Tying or clipping my hair back - which, as a busy mother of 5 I tend to do rather often - causes my hair to drop out at the roots (a condition called traction alopecia, which I discuss here).
And where other pregnant ladies enjoyed all the extra hair they grew whilst expecting, I missed out on that part altogether and jumped straight to the post-birth hair LOSS, leaving my hair thinner than ever (especially after baby number five!).
Today, I continue to struggle with all these issues, which are compounded by the climate here (the sun and sea are perilous to very fragile hair) and the water in which I wash my hair (there is no mains water supply, so in the absence of rain I often have to use desalinated seawater!).
Although my hair sometimes gives the appearance of being fuller than it really is - possibly because it gets so frizzy on humid days - it's actually thinner than the width of a pencil if I squeeze it together after a shower.
Despite seeking medical advice, I often have to resort to headbands and creative hairstyles to hide broken sections of hair, or the hairline itself when the loss is from the roots. Like many women, I find my hair loss concerns tend to be brushed aside by the medical profession.
For that reason, I've devoted the last couple of years to really trying to understand WHY my hair is so weak and the things I can do to make it stronger.
The good news is that I'm discovering explanations - such as low iron, or too MUCH estrogen - that no doctor has ever suggested to me before. I'm also seeing how nutrition has a direct impact on the hair. And as a result, I'm starting to take positive steps to improve its strength and condition.
My own hair problems, then, are among the reasons I started this website. I hope to share what I've been learning from my research, particularly details of scientific studies into women's hair loss conditions.
I also hope to be able to offer useful resources and support to women who've undergone more dramatic hair and extensive hair loss, perhaps as a result of alopecia, or after receiving chemotherapy.
I think the one thing for me that really underlines the importance of our hair to us women was my mother's reaction to her own total hair loss following her treatment for breast cancer.
Although I was just a child at the time, my father told me that - in addition to her chemotherapy - she underwent a mastectomy. Yet whilst she had no objection to his seeing her mastectomy scar and did not try to conceal it from him, she NEVER allowed him to see her without her wig. To her, her hair was THAT important... it was what she felt made her a woman.
I hope this website helps you address your own hair loss issues, perhaps answers a few questions for you, or just reassures you that you're not alone.
The site is still "young" and I'm adding new articles all the time, so do check back often. You may also like to join me on Facebook or Twitter, or sign up for my newsletter to keep up to date with the latest news.
Please also feel free to contact me with your comments, questions, feedback... or just to say hello!
With warmest wishes
***Update: Since early 2015 I've been living in the UK, mainly to broaden my children's view of the world (wonderful though life on a quiet and idyllic Bahamian island may be, I've found that teens and pre-teens seem to need a little more stimulation!).
My hair is no longer affected by the issues with the tropical climate I mentioned above. Instead, I'm fighting new battles!
The first is with the incredibly DRY air caused by using central heating in this cooler country (more about this here). Some of us are never happy! ;)
The second is with extreme hair loss along my hairline, as yet undiagnosed (despite multiple visits to my doctor). It could be hormonal - I am experiencing the symptoms of early menopause. It could be related to scalp issues - sometimes I'm affected by skin irritation in that area. My quest for natural and/or effective remedies continues!
(Note: I am currently trying bamboo leaf tea and seeing some success. You can read more about this here)