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The things you learn when you turn 50

So, you might not think it to look at the bird's nest on my head, but my hair has been falling out. There are places where I consider it perilously thin. This could be associated with perimenopause and also my low iron levels, but my GP sent me to a dermatologist this morning to see if there was any underlying dermatological condition that might cause my hair to fall out.

Now I have not been to a dermatologist in many years, and the one I did see all those eons ago was situated in a hospital clinic. So I was surprised, though I should not have been, to find that dermatologists these days have very glamorous offices, because of course they are making bank off Botox and the like. The office I waited in had a white leather chair like a dentist's chair in addition to a huge mirror and excellent lighting. My pores were a nightmare close up but the light was so good that I was tempted to pull out my tweezers and go to town on the ol' eyebrows, though I refrained as I figured the doctor might find that ... eccentric. I waited for longer than the time taken by the actual appointment. Then I had a brief consult with the doctor, who examined my hair and my scalp close up, like a clinical parody of primate grooming, and informed me that my scalp was quite healthy and there were no signs that indicated that what I have is anything other than ordinary female-pattern baldness which is probably due to my age. (Let me tell you, even calling it ordinary will not remove the electric shock from the phrase "female-pattern baldness".) I gazed at her in mute supplication and she said cheerily that Rogaine is sold over the counter now and really works quite well. The one thing, she added, is that one has to be careful in applying it as it can exacerbate facial hair issues. Now I was gazing at her in horror. Fix my hairline, but grow a beard? I left feeling depressed. Though now I know that for only $100 I can have a consult regarding how to treat my incipient jowls.


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