Suran Yoo is the founder and chief editor of Strandie.
Her professional background includes market research, media analysis, and brand consulting for both Fortune 100 companies and startups in the food and consumer products industries.
She graduated with her MBA from the University of Chicago in 2019 and subsequently quit her full-time job to advocate for women with hair loss and provide more resources in this space.
In her free time, Suran loves to collect cookbooks (she owns anything David Chang related), make her own Halloween costumes, and travel to new destinations with her husband.
My Hair Story, Suran Yoo
I started losing hair around junior year of college. Back then, I could grow my hair down to my chest. You know, where you could reach around your back and touch the ends of your hair…. it would take a miracle for me to grow that length now. Both my sides of my family all have fine hair, but I really thought nothing of it until I started seeing more of my scalp in the mirror and that hair draining in the shower.
My hair fell out when I started taking birth control. And I freaked out. When I approached my campus doctor about it, he told me not to worry and that we should ‘see if it stabilizes within a month.’ This is a hair story, so I won’t go into how my hormones dealt with this news, but nevertheless, a month went by with no changes. I went through multiple campus doctors, 3 types/brands of pills (each for a couple of months or so) for about a year, which wreaked havoc on my body.
I finally found peace with my third brand, Loestrin. I’m not sure if it was specifically because of the brand or if my body just gave up on me, but it’s the one I settled with. My hair, which never grew back with the same thickness, at least stabilized, and thus was the end of my first life-stage of hair loss.
Haircuts and Styling
With my hair loss, styling increasingly became a challenge. Volumizing products, which were always a staple, were now holy grail. I tried almost everything topical and ingestible under the sun to try to plump up those fine locks just a little more. Shampoos, sprays, mousse, vitamins, herbal tonics, Rogaine – you name it, they were all part of my routine. I visited numerous hair stylists with one continuous request – do anything to get my hair to have more volume.
Looking back, my hair didn’t actually look all that bad (I say that with my waistline as well). Turns out, I just didn’t know it could get worse. All that styling and product build-up achieved volume in the short term, but over a longer period of time, caused me to lose more hair.
Finally, we come to my most current life-stage of hair loss. I’m now in my late twenties. I have a husband who is basically perfect, an awesome job, wonderful friends, and a great life in Dallas. While I tried to focus on these good things, I couldn’t help but constantly worry about my hair loss. At this time, the hair loss was getting harder to cover up. My scalp was starting to really show, and I became extremely self-conscious.
I started cropping my hairline out of pictures and eventually stoped taking pictures altogether. I felt ashamed and didn’t feel like going out anymore. If I did and had a few drinks, it was the only topic I seemed to talk about.
I felt like a different person – like my identity wasn’t me anymore – and my hair was the most dominant thing on my mind. It seems silly. It still does. I don’t think of myself as a particularly vain person. And yet, my self-consciousness about my hair was consuming me.
It was then at the point where I decided to look into more serious (and expensive) solutions to tackle this. I went to hair clinics, bought a Capillus hat, tried different types of extensions, looked into hair transplant surgery, scalp tattoos, started going to regular head spas and tried toppers and wigs.
Finding a Community
Nothing is the absolutely perfect solution for me yet because all come with pros and cons. But, this seemed less important because this was also the time when I realized there was a growing community of women on social media talking about hair loss in a way that I hadn’t seen before.
Female hair loss, being a conventionally taboo topic (as if you’re damaged goods because you’re not growing hair from your head but god forbid you to grow them on your armpits), was now out in the open – at least a little bit.
I started following @hairlossboss, @strandsandsparrows, and SO many other amazing ladies on Instagram, who emboldened me to tell others of my own story and knowledge that I’ve gained over the years. Despite my hair loss, I started feeling BETTER.
Hair loss has been about an 8 year obsession for me now and I hope that this platform can be helpful for those seeking some answers. On this website, you’ll find stories and reviews, some of which are subjective in nature (as they are from personal experiences), but also others that report facts as I accurate as I can find them. I’m aware that there are a lot of myths and uncertainties surrounding the effectiveness of hair loss solutions and strive to find objective answers as best as possible.
At the same time, I’m also aware that female hair loss is a complex issue and has multiple confounding variables as to why women are experiencing hair loss. Most solutions will also work differently for some women versus others.
Causes, as well as solutions for hair loss, may overlap and it’s difficult to really pinpoint what that key problem is, and which multitude/combination of solutions is working hardest for a particular person. But that’s not to say that it is impossible.
Wherever you are in your journey, I hope to learn from you. I am grateful for the small, but growing community of people who are seeking solutions and willing to openly talk about female hair loss issues. I hope this can be a journey we go on together!