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What is it about a woman’s hair?  Why is it so highly valued by both men and women alike?  These are questions I’ve been asking a lot because, you see, my beautiful teenaged daughter – she of the formerly lusterously thick hair – has been losing hers in alarming quantities of late.

We’ve been to see our doctor and he’s run her through a series of blood tests, but as yet we still have no answers.  He theorized that it could be due to iron loss or due to an overly demanding schedule which finds her babysitting sometimes five nights of the week.  He grilled her on her nutritional habits, which gave me a secret stab of pleasure to not always be the only one trumpeting this – to her ears – tedious battle cry.  As far as we can tell, and if she’s being honest about her away-from-home eating, she seems to have excellent eating habits.  She’s one of those refreshing adolescent girls whose wholeness is one of her defining qualities.

But her wholeness is being challenged of late.  Clumps of hair are loosing themselves from her scalp.  Initially, I didn’t take her all that seriously but that changed when after she took a shower in my bathroom two weeks ago, I found a chunk of hair on the floor that struck fear into my heart.  It was comprised of hair that belonged together on the scalp and wasn’t a mere assembling of miscellaneous hairs that one might normally find in a corner somewhere.  It was as though someone had grabbed her by the hair and ripped it right out of her head.  It still looked brushed, it was so intact.  Her ponytail is now about half the circumference it once was and I worry for my sweet Girl.  Superstar self esteem or no, she’s starting to take precautions like pinning her hair up carefully so that it won’t brush up against anything so as to cause further friction.  She won’t let anyone touch it.  Once a fastidiously fussy showerer, she washes her hair now only every three days.  The aftermath accumulating in the shower drain is just too jarring to come face to face with any more than that.

This hair loss could be harbinger of so many things.  It could indicate anemia, which is relatively harmless and pretty simple to address.  It could mean that she’s emotionally taxed.    Or it could be thyroid cancer.  Google has not been my friend in these days and I’ve purposed to no longer spend large chunks of my quiet evenings surfing the internet, cruising the – these days – unfriendly waters of cyberspace.  I’ve decided that I’m not worrying about this until we find we have something definitive to worry about.  I had one smashingly horrible day last week where all the very worst possible endings to this eddied malevolently through my brain and I imagined life without my dear, precious girl.  After crying myself nearly sick – o and I am an ugly cryer – I realized that enough was enough.  I asked some friends for prayer and I ask for this same thing from you, Reader.  Clearly on some level you care about me, or you wouldn’t be reading this and so I ask you to pray for my Anabel.   We need answers and we need God to grow her strong.  And we need this hair loss to just stop.