Spironolactone – Hair Loss Story Question

by admin on October 6, 2007

Spironolactone - Hair Loss Story & QuestionHi! First of all I want to say that this is a GREAT forum/blog and I give you a lot of credit for starting it, sharing your stories, and wanting to help others. THANK YOU, and I really appreciate all you’ve done and gone through. Stay strong, continue helping others and you will get through this!

I want to ask you about your thoughts on Spirinolactone, but should provide you some context first. I am 28 years old and started losing my hair around August of 2006. I was under a lot of stress with my job and not taking very good care of myself nutritionally either. So, I started with a family physician and had blood work done. Everything came back fine. She recommended I take a daily multivitamin. She also recommended me to a dermatologist. I finally saw a derm in January of 2007 (it takes FOREVER to get in) and they did some additional blood work and told me to start taking biotin as well as the daily multivitamin. Again everything was “normal” and that was it. In March of 2007 my excessive shedding stopped and my hair felt better again. So I thought the vitamins and biotin were helping and
thought stress had a lot to do with it, too.

THEN, in August of 2007 I started losing a lot of my hair again and am continuing to shed excessively. This time around the hair loss is more noticeable and my scalp is much more noticeable than the first episode. I did just move to a new state, change jobs, sell our house, etc., etc. I thought maybe it was stress again but knew I needed to see a derm to be sure. I live in Winston-Salem, NC and they have an excellent dermatology practice at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Medical Center. They have doctors that specialize in female hair loss!! So, I finally went early this week (after getting an earlier appointment because of a cancellation). I saw 2 doctors that were fantastic. They spent a lot of time talking through everything and came to the conclusion that it’s likely androgenic alopecia. BUT, they had me take every blood test possible in case it’s related to low iron, thyroid, etc. I’m still awaiting those test results. They also think some stress could be involved, but when they performed the hair pull test on me it was positive in some areas and not in others, likely female pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia). I am supposed to start using Rogaine for men and they will prescribe Spirinolactone if all of my blood work comes back “normal.”

So, do you know much about this drug? Does anyone else on the site know? Once I have the test results for my blood work, and I do indeed need to take Spironolactone I am supposed to call my doctor and talk to him about all of the side effects, issues, etc. I know that with both Rogaine and Spironolactone that you can not use them if you’re trying to get pregnant. I am not at this time, but am married and want to at some point. Also, I’m on Mircette birth control, but have been on birth control since I was 20. Mircette is a low androgenic kind so I’m not worried that it’s the culprit to my hair loss.

Thank you again for listening to my story and so many other stories. I do believe that together we all can make a difference for this cause.

******

Hi -

Thank you for writing and for your support kind words about the site, it means a lot to me! Forgive me for being redundant, but before I answer any question for anyone I really like to make it clear I am NOT a doctor and I cannot give medical advice, but I do have an opinion and a lot of personal experience with hair loss. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but it is important I make that clear for anyone who may not know and reads my answers.

Okay…

The first thing that caught my eye about your email, was the second to last paragraph where you mentioned that you were on Mircette since you were 20. The fact that you have been on it for about 7 years prior to experiencing hair loss sort of makes me think that perhaps your feelings are right that it wouldn’t be the culprit of your hair loss, having said that I don’t think you should rule it out completely as a contributing factor. What did your doctors say about it? Some drugs can lower the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, do you take any other prescriptions? My idea behind that is, if you start taking a medication that can possibly lower the effectiveness of the oral contraceptive then would similar to having stopped the pill… this is just speculation, but everyone on this blog probably already has read that stopping the pill can cause shedding (telogen effluvium) or kick in androgenetic alopecia in those women who are genetically susceptible. But that is just a theory.

Everytime I see “Birth Control and Hair Loss” anywhere red flags start popping up all over the place. I haven’t really heard from anyone about long term birth control and then having hair loss. For myself, after having hair loss from stopping Loestrin a doctor put me on a more “hair friendly” pill, orthotricylen. I’ve been on that for about 8 years now, and my concern for myself is that since the last 2 years my hair loss has sky rocketed and the shedding has been non-stop, is that my body some how adapted, adjusted, or gotten used to the pill and is no longer working on my body in the same manner it had the years prior. I don’t know if this is true, I don’t know if you can “build up a tolerance” to birth control and as such have your hormones freak out. That is my own concern on my hair loss situation, and I’m going to talk to a doctor about that. I’ll let you all you girls know what I find out.

But moving on from that, stress can cause hair loss, but my understanding is that is has to be severe severe stress, the type involved with dealing with a death or trauma from an injury. But I think everyone processes things differently and for some women maybe they could evoke enough stress in their life from job and family that it may be possible. I tend to think not, but again everyone is different.

There is something called chronic telogen effluvium (shedding) that can be caused by a variety of factors. Among the common causes are high fevers, childbirth, severe infections, severe chronic illness, severe psychological stress, major surgery or illnesses, over or under active thyroid gland, crash diets with inadequate protein, and a variety of medications. Most hair loss from medications is this type and causes include retinoids, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, and NSAIDS (including ibuprofen). There isn’t any treatment from chronic telogen effluvium just bloodwork to rule out the obvious and not so obvious possible causes. But your doctor can distinguish between chronic telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia. They are able to tell by assessing the hair follicles whether or not you are experiencing miniturization.

I’m glad you saw some knowledgeable physicians that deal with female hair loss. I’m very happy to hear they didn’t fluff you off and say it was just “stress.” After hearing your medical history and story, they would know best.

Spironolactone is commonly prescribed as a treatment for women’s hair loss. From what I’ve read it is a mild anti-androgen. It’s real use is as a blood pressure pill and diuretic, but somewhere along the way someone took note of it’s anti-androgenic properties. So on the upside you’ll never be bloated again :) I’m just joking, but it does diuretic properties as a lot of blood pressure pills do. The side effects listed in the PDR:

—-More common side effects may include:

Abdominal cramps, breast development in males, change in potassium levels (leading to such symptoms as dry mouth, excessive thirst, weak or irregular heartbeat, and muscle pain or cramps), deepening of voice, diarrhea, drowsiness, excessive hairiness, fever, headache, hives, irregular menstruation, kidney problems, lack of coordination, lethargy, liver problems, mental confusion, postmenopausal bleeding, severe allergic reaction, sexual dysfunction, skin eruptions, stomach bleeding, stomach inflammation, ulcers, vomiting

———

Those don’t sound pleasant, but what side effect list does? I can tell you I’ve been been on Aldactone (the brand name of spironolactone) for 8 years now. 200 mg is my dosage. I started at 100mg and then it was raised around 2003 to 200mg. To my knowledge the only thing I noticed is that if I didn’t have enough salt in my diet I would get a little light headed, but a pickle would clear that right up. I was also warned not to eat foods containing high potassium, not sure I faithfully adhered to that one completely over the years. I recently noticed Spinach has an enormous amount of potassium, a few years back I ate spinach like it was going out of style. Really that is all I am consciously aware of as far as a side effect, there could be other stuff happening that I cannot see. That goes right back to when I talk about my regrets about my hair loss.

Why did I make the decisions I did to treat my hair loss with aldactone and orthotricyclen? I did it knowing that medications for long term may have adverse effects, but I wanted to have quality in my life, happiness. I couldn’t have that at 21 with chronic hair loss, and my worst fear… no hair. So I thought that to give my self the best chance at happiness I should try and treat it with whatever I could. Be proactive. That included trying finasteride (propecia) and Rogaine in the first year. I no longer take those.

Everyone has to think hard about what they want. Why regrets, why now? Because my hair loss has advanced so rapidly the last 2 years I feel I get no benefit from the medications and all the downside. So that makes me feel horrible and trapped. But perhaps I am being unfair to the treatments, I do have another factor that could have caused the recent increase in hair loss and that is the medication Synthroid. I have appointments with several doctors to try and figure out if my recent increase in dosage this last May and last Feb. were the real culprit in the increase in shedding. I also wish I had waited longer at the age of 21 before taking the aldactone and orthotricyclen to see if my body could have fixed itself on it’s own. I will never know now.

You mentioned Rogaine, I don’t know if you plan on taking it, but if it were me I would try one thing at a time. That way you know what is working, you can always add the other treatment later for added benefit.

You mentioned children, That is something to think about since you cannot be on these medications when you are pregnant, or trying to conceive. Think about a few years down the road, if you have success with the treatments and have to stop them during the time you are pregnant you may lose all the benefits you received from them, and your hair could shed. Although, I always held a personal idea close to my heart that would get me by, which is that perhaps the increase in estrogen while pregnant could carry me through and spare me excessive hair loss due to stopping the medications, then I could always get right back on after I had a baby. I have no basis for that idea, it’s just a theory I kept in mind so that I would be able to think I could have children, get off the meds and not lose my hair overnight.

I hope that shed some light and addressed your questions and concerns. You wrote, “I do believe that together we all can make a difference for this cause.” You are making a difference, by sharing your story you are helping another woman who may be experiencing the same thing as you. You let other women know they are not alone, and that is so important. It’s therapeutic to share, wouldn’t you agree? I can’t cure hair loss, I wish I could but with my words I hope I am able to help some women through a very difficult time. I go on and on sometimes in my writing because I try and point out everything I wish had been pointed out to me at the beginning.

Please keep us updated with the results of your bloodwork and what you decide to do.

~Y

{ 225 comments… read them below or add one }

andrea October 6, 2007 at 4:50 pm

hello,
i know you said you were on birth control for 7 years, but i have read a few stories on different forums about women suspecting their pill suddenly affecting their hair after being fine for a number of years. i too am on a pill that is actually supposed to be “anti-androgen” (yasmin first, then yaz), but my problems have just kept escalating. i totally agree with Y though, try only ONE variable at a time… then you can be sure it’s really working. my dermatologist gave me the bright advice of stopping the pill and starting Rogaine at the same time, and then i was like “welll…. then if my hair starts growing back i won’t know which one affected it! if my hormones fix my hair on their own, then i may not know it and be stuck taking Rogaine for all eternity!” he was like “oh yeah… youre right…”. duh! lol sometimes i think we are our own best doctors. anyway, you are NOT alone, so just make sure you stay optimistic and make yourself a hair-battle-plan. it really does make you feel a lot better when you feel like you’re being proactive about helping your own situation. good luck!!!

Gretchen October 7, 2007 at 7:56 am

Thanks to both of you for your replies. I am not ruling out birth control all together and find it interesting that women are suspecting their pill as the culprit after many years of being on it. I may consider going off of it. To answer one of Y’s questions, I didn’t take any other drugs while on it recently. I do think it’s good to try one thing at a time and have applied Rogaine 2 times now and really don’t like it. It makes my head itchy, so I am going to hold off on that for now. I have sensitive skin, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I got some kind of rash or something while using it!

I really appreciate the support and Y, I appreciate your lengthy reply. It’s definitely therapeutic to share my story and I am actually staying pretty optimistic. And if I do have to take Spiro and it does offer help, I would stop taking it at some point in order to have kids. I’ve talked to my husband about that already and he understands that at some point it’s possible that I may need to wear a wig. He is completely supportive of that, and I’m okay with that too.

I’m a very action oriented person so I am definitely putting together a hair-battle-plan! This is something I have to deal with and this is something I know I can handle especially with everyone’s support and the support of my family. Thanks again to you both!!!

admin October 8, 2007 at 4:52 pm

Hi Gretchen – Rogaine didn’t work for me, it just left me a greasy mess and my hair always looked oily which isn’t a good look for the thinning scalp. I hear it works well for some women, I’m just not one of them. I so glad you are staying optimistic, that is really important, I struggle at times with being down but overall I try to believe and hope things will get better. Your husband sounds incredibly supportive, thats really fantastic. And since you are totally at peace with the fact that when you get off the spironolactone to have children that you may shed, then that’s another plus for you. You can feel good about the treatment and not be regretful. Which is why I point of always point out my thoughts and feelings after years of being on these treatments, so that other women can deal with the thoughts that may occur upfront before moving on.

You sound so positive, I love seeing that! Let us know about your hair battle plan! :)
I’m always here to answer any questions you have the best I can or just to lean on for support.

~Y

Gretchen October 9, 2007 at 1:00 pm

Hi! I just got my blood work results back and everything is “normal.” The only thing that’s interesting is that while my serum iron and transferrin levels are in the middle within the normal range, and my saturation level is on the higher end of the normal range, my ferritin is 20 (the normal range is 20-200 for women). I talked to the resident doctor about this and he didn’t seemed concerned about it, since the other iron levels were at good levels. I’m trying to get more iron in my system naturally through food, and wonder if I should consider taking an iron supplement. I already take a multivitamin. I know that too much iron is dangerous, but I’ve read a lot of forums where women with ferritin levels of 30 are taking supplements. I am going to talk to another doctor about this to get a second opinion. Also, the derm is holding off on writing a prescription for Sprironolactone at this point and told me to try Rogaine foam for now. I told him I didn’t like the regular Rogaine and stopped using it. I guess the foam is supposed to be less irritating on your scalp and won’t run down the sides of your face. I go back to the derm in 3 months and at that point, Spironolactone may be recommended.

admin October 10, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Hi Gretchen – Normal blood results are very common among women losing their hair. My blood work was “normal” each time it was tested, but something is definitely off inside my body. Also what is normal? There ranges vary and what is normal for me may not be normal for you. Unfortunately we don’t usually get these tests done when we are feeling perfectly fine, if we did then we would have at least had something better to measure against… which would be are ourselves. But I doubt anyone is running around getting blood work done for their hormones and iron when they feel great.

I attempted to increase my own iron intake a couple years ago through foods and iron supplements. I think blackstrap molasses is suppose to be a rich source. I also was eating a lot spinach thinking that was a good source of iron then later I read that it also inhibits iron absorption. Spinach has something called oxalic acid in it, the oxalic acid binds with iron and inhibits absorption. There are also some foods that are considered “iron enhancers.” If I remember correctly I think those are, meat, fish, poultry, Broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato, tomato juice, potato, green & red peppers, Orange, Orange Juice, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapefruit and other Vitamin-C rich fruits and white wine! so drink up… just kidding :)

I think you have the right idea to talk to another doctor and get a second opinion. So what was the doctor’s reasoning on holding off on the Spironolactone and starting with the rogaine foam first? I definitely think doing one thing at a time is a good idea I am just wondering why he opted first for the rogaine. My guess would be because it is FDA approved for hair growth, maybe he thinks that in his experience it has shown to be more beneficial than the spiro. Just curious what he told you.

Rogaine Foam wasn’t around when I used Rogaine years ago, but either way it just didn’t work for me and I always felt greasy. I can see how the foam might be easier to apply and easy for styling purposes.

Are you going to try the Rogaine foam?

~Y

Gretchen October 10, 2007 at 2:41 pm

That is exactly what is so frustrating about blood work, what really is “normal?” They have these big ranges of normal levels, too and it’s hard to make sense of what part of that level is best for you. And not having anything to compare it to is that much more frustrating.

I’m still contemplating whether or not I want to try Rogaine foam. My head still itches from the regular Rogaine I used a few days ago. I think I am going to buy a one-month supply and if my head itches and it leaves my hair greasy after the first couple of days, I am going to stop using it and view it as a sign that it isn’t the right treatment for me. I’m big on signs and that things happen for a reason. I’m also thinking about getting an appointment with a regular doctor – I’m new to this city still so I don’t know who I should see. I am going to ask around. I LOVE the “Fav Your Doctor” and wish I could refer to it or contribute to it, but can’t at this point. The other thing I was reading about was Nioxin shampoo.

To answer your question about why they didn’t recommend Spironolactone right now, I’m not entirely sure. The doctor I talked to is a resident, and the main doctor is on vacation right now (both of them are working with me). He mentioned that he wanted to see how the Rogaine foam was working and then we’d consider adding on Spironolactone. It probably is because of the FDA approval, and to try one thing at a time. He said if I’m getting a positive result from the Rogaine foam then adding Spironolactone is that much more effective when used together. Not sure if I believe that or not. Also, he mentioned to me that they believe I have TE with underlying androgenic alopecia, so maybe that’s another reason. The TE effects will subside and maybe my hair loss won’t be as bad as it is right now? Or, maybe that was just me trying to think positively about it!!

I’ll let you know if and when I try Rogaine foam. I do like red and white wine a lot! Red wine always gets the spotlight for being good for you, and didn’t know that white wine is considered an iron enhancer! I’ll drink a glass to that for sure.

Thanks for having this conversation with me. It’s very helpful and comforting just to be having a conversation about it! BTW, have you set a wedding date?
Gretchen

Shelleo October 10, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Hi,
Interesting site. I have been suffering from hair loss since
my early 20′s ((I’m 43 now) Blood tests for anemia, excess hormone levels,
and every thryoid test possible were taken over the years. All normal.
After my hysterectomy, I about a third of my remaining hair, developed acne,
and gained 40 pounds. Yah. After seeing SEVEN different doctors (family
practice, gyn., dermatologist, I found a website for Dr. Geoffry Redmond.
He is a endocrinologist who specializes in hair loss for women.

I made my first trip to NYC to see Dr. Redmond. He put me on
Spironolatone and increased my estrogen replacement dose.
Wit in a month, my acne started to clear and I had little hairs
starting to grow on the top of my head. My hair wasn’t oily anymore.
That helps my hair look thicker. I used to wash my hair every day
because it was so oily. Now I can go two or three days without
washing it.

The only side effect I have of the Spiro is that if I don’t drink
enough water, I get some mild leg cramps. I also seem to
sweat a little more. (I live in the desert so it hard to blame
sweating entirely on the spiro!) Very mild and definetly worth
it. It was worth the $600 I spent on the trip to Dr. Redmond to
finally have someone listen to me and offer effective treatment.
Go fo the Spiro!!

Dr. Redmond’s site.

http://www.hormonehelpny.com

Good luck!
SHELLEO

Gretchen October 11, 2007 at 10:25 am

Hi Shelleo. Thank you so much for the information and sharing your success! I’m happy to see that this worked for you and it definitely gives me some hope! Were you diagnosed with androgenic alopecia? Also, how long have you been taking Spironolactone? Did you ever use Rogaine? Sorry for all of the questions, and appreciate your help!
Thanks again!
Gretchen

admin October 12, 2007 at 3:22 pm

HI Gretchen – finally a woman after my own heart… I’m also big on the “everything happens for the reason” scenario! It’s part of how I’ve managed to keep sane and continue hoping when it comes to my hair. I’m glad you like the “fave a doctor” I’m hoping in time I’ll have a nice list of doctors that treat women’s hair loss who are knowledgeable, sensitive and caring, tall order I know, but good doctors are out there. It’s always good to have a recommendation from another person who has had a good experience with a physician.

TE with underlying androgenetic alopecia sounds like what I think I’m going through right now. I know I have female pattern baldness that I treat with Aldactone and Orthotricyclen and have been for last 8 years, but the recent increase in shedding, the telogen effluvium, I really think it is connected to my dosage increase of my thyroid medication that took place this year and last. Since the decline has been so rapid and very unlike the years prior.

I hope you find that your shedding subsides soon. And you should be positive, always. Thinking positive is never a negative. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just being delusional in trying to positive and convincing myself that things will get better… but I’m not, I’m very aware of my current situation but I hope for better days.

And you are so right, red wine always gets the spotlight since it is suppose to be good for the heart, but move over red wine, white wine is an iron enhancer! :) Check out the list on this page: http://www.healthcastle.com/iron.shtml You’ll see white wine on the iron enhancer side and redwine on the iron inhibitor list. But I doubt red wine has much to worry about since it has that whole “good for the heart thing” in the bag.

About my wedding date… Do you know that for like a minute I sat here trying to figure out you knew I was engaged, I totally forgot that I frequently make mention of my fiance. duh. I was beginning to think you had psychic abilites! ha ha ha. But seriously, I don’t have a wedding date yet because my hair, what else right? I want to feel pretty on my wedding day but how can I with thin wisps of hair floating around my head. I also don’t want to see all my family that I haven’t seen in a long time because of my hair loss. They all remember me with gorgeous thick hair, its hard not to notice that it looks like it is more than 75% gone :( And wedding pictures? forgot about it, I don’t even like looking in the mirror. So there is yet another thing my hair loss has taken from me. But I think I’ll probably end up doing the elope thing. Maybe a very very small ceremony in vegas with just my parents and his. I know my mom really wants to see me get married, and I’d hate to take that away from her by running off and telling her about it after the fact. We’ll see what happens.

Keep me updated about the Rogaine Foam.

Shello – Welcome to the site! Thank you so much for sharing your success you’ve had with your treatment. Success stories are always so wonderful to hear and very much needed. A lot of women are unsure of spironolactone and the efficacy of it in treating hair loss, often I find a lot of women begin to doubt the treatment even when using it, so your story will serve as some encouragement for them. Thanks again for sharing!

Gretchen October 16, 2007 at 9:24 am

Hey Y,
I think eloping sounds great! We had a pretty small wedding of mostly family and close friends. We lived far away from our family when we were planning our wedding so we wanted something pretty easy and inexpensive. I’m definitely “Type A” personality but when it came to our wedding, I did not want to be a Bridezilla! My younger sister just got married this spring and did the HUGE wedding in our hometown, and was very stressed out by the time she got to the actual day. It was a great wedding, but after seeing what she went through and how much money they spent, a destination wedding with your family seems like a great idea to me. Also, as far as wedding pictures, we have some great ones and very rarely look at them. It’s about the memories and not the pictures!

I wanted to let you know that I am trying the Rogaine foam. Today was my first time using it and I have to say it was SO easy. My scalp is not nearly as irritated by it and it didn’t make my hair greasy or anything. It feels like you’re putting on mousse but only on your scalp. So, I’m going to give it a shot and I’ll keep you posted. Also, yesterday I used Nioxin shampoo and conditioner for the first time and even though I shed more hair in the shower than usual, my hair looked and felt better than it has in months. I have naturally curly hair (thank goodness!!) and it had so more body than usual after I finished diffusing it.

I hope that you get information about your thyroid medication soon and that it will help with the TE. It’s bad enough to have AGA, and then having TE on top of it is just not good! But I guess in my case, if I hadn’t had TE I wouldn’t have found out that I have androgenic alopecia so I guess that’s good?!

Have you ever taken a yoga class? I’m under a lot of stress right now (some of it due to the hair loss of course) and am taking a yoga class once a week (wish my gym offered it more often), and it makes me feel so much better about everything. It’s good therapy for the mind and for the body!

admin October 16, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Hi Gretchen – Eloping does sound like the way to go for more reasons than the ones I presented earlier, but like you said it’s easier, no stress.. or at least less stress.

I am so happy to hear the Rogaine Foam is working out! And I’m glad your scalp isn’t getting as irritated or greasy. That was a big problem for me when I used it, I was always a greasy mess. It’s good for other women to read this as well and know that the foam is better and less irritating. I really hope it works out well for you.

About your shampoo and conditioner… isn’t it interesting how sometimes a great shampoo can just make your hair FEEL fuller. I love that. Sometimes all the stars are aligned for me and I don’t know what it is… perhaps I got the right shampoo to conditioner ratio right that day and my hair just looks thicker! I rotate between a bunch of different thickening shampoos and conditioners.

Yes I have done Yoga… A lot. I haven’t done it lately, although it probably would be a good idea to get back into it. I used to go 5 days a week for 1 hour. It wasn’t at a gym though, it was at a private yoga studio. I always felt to refreshed after, my skin looked good too, very clear perhaps from sweating out all those toxins. I should get back into it, thanks for reminding me!

~Y

AtlantaJJ October 20, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Hi Ladies,

I am so glad I found this site today! This is awesome!!

My story is very close to your’s Gretchen, except my derm thought my problem was traction alopecia because I wore braids for a long time. I haven’t worn them or any extensions in over a year and my hair thinning has gotten worse. My derm wanted me to do cortisone shots for months on end, and I just couldn’t do it. So I just hid my hair under lace front wigs. Now I am ready to start the fight again for my hair.

I am certain that I have hormone related hair loss. My mom had it too. I’m going to my OB GYN and ask her to put me on the Spironalactone. They put me on it ealier in the year at only 50 mg but I must admit I was not taking it like I should. I went through a bought of depression and that just made me give up on everything.

For some reason I have been afraid to try Minoxinil I guess because I have heard of the itching and the redness, etc. I am still wearing my wigs but I am taking them off every night and massaging my scalp and using different essential oils like rosemary etc. and keeping it conditioned. I am also taking Biotin, hair vitamins, etc.

I forgot to mention I am 45 years old…all my blood work came back “normal” also. My Ferritin was in the way low of normal range and my Estridal was at the low range. I had hair loss after the brith of my son 10 years ago so I know hormones affect my hair…

Please forgive all the typos and spellos … I was just so excited to see these posts and know that there are other ladies I can talk to about this problem!

Gretchen October 21, 2007 at 9:52 am

Hi AtlantaJJ,
Thanks for sharing your story with me. I wanted to say that I have been using Rogaine foam for a week now, and my head itched the first day and that was it. I’m only using it once a day because I knew I would be more sensitive to it, and the nurse at the dermatology office said that would be fine. The foam is very easy to use, too. I used the minoxidil liquid for a couple of days and it was awful. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with it. In a couple of months I’ll likely be going on Spironolactone, too.
Keep my updated on what treatments you end up using.

Summer November 6, 2007 at 10:17 pm

Hi,
When I first saw the topic of this post I nearly choked.
I had been taking Spironolactone for years before the sudden onset of hair loss last year. I switched to Lasix 6 months ago with no discernible improvement. I never knew there was any correlation between this drug and female pattern baldness. Maybe that’s why my condition is not improving.
Wouldn’t you think my doctors could have at least mentioned
the possibility? I am also ill with an, as of yet undetermined, auto immune disorder. I understand that naturally takes precedence but they seem totally unfazed by my dramatic, and so far unexplained, hair loss. Meanwhile, it’s completely tearing me apart inside. My 8 year relationship is nearly over due to the loss of self esteem and subsequent intimacy issues. I don’t think medical professionals understand how traumatic this is for women.

admin November 6, 2007 at 11:01 pm

Hi Summer, Welcome to the site. You are right that “medical professionals” do not understand how devastating hair loss is for women, and I’m so sorry to hear that your long term relationship is suffering because of this. I completely understand how hair loss can cause problems in a relationship, I have what seems like a gazillion rules that stem from my insecurity from my hair loss. I don’t want my fiance to come into the bathroom when I’m combing my hair or doing anything related to my hair. I don’t want him to even see me with my wet hair down prior to putting it in a ponytail, and I am so uncomfortable with how my hair feels wet that I don’t want to be touched when it’s wet… it’s awful, trust me. Doesn’t really allow for a whole lot of spontaneity and freedom, But it’s just a way of life now. Thats just the beginning I could go on and on.

I was unclear about your post… do you think that Spironolactone is responsible for the sudden onset of your hair loss? Usually it is prescribed for treatment of female pattern hair loss because it does have antiandrogen properties. That is why I currently take 200mg of Aldactone (brand name). I have to continue taking it because if I stop I could go through a tremendous hair shedding and whatever benefits I got from it over the last 8 years would be lost.

It seems that the undetermined autoimmune disorder could likely be responsible for the hair loss. Most researchers believe that alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease.
Have you seen a dermatologist, endocrinologist, or any other doctor about your hair loss?

~Y

Stacey November 17, 2007 at 12:22 pm

Hi,

I found this web site today. I came in tears when I read this. I have finally found people who are going through the same similar problems as I am in my life right now. I am a beginner on this Hair Loss Adventure. Let me tell you my Story and maybe since you all been through more doctor experience then I have. You might be able to give me some Advise and Tips. At least, I hope you will be willing to help. Ok, Here it goes. :)

I was diagnosed with PCOS in Nov.of 2005, As well with border line Diabetes. ( Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) I was 23 years old. I am now 25. Doctors don’t know much about PCOS. They are still doing research on it. I did some looking up on it. ( Let me tell you what it is for those who don’t know: It’s where you have tumors that grow in your ovaries and can block and prevent your eggs from going through your tubes to make you become pregnant. As well as your body produces too much androgen and Hormones and your body could produce too little Thyroid Hormone as well. Which can cause you to have many Symptoms such as ad normal periods, No periods, No pregnancy, Diabetes, Heart disease, Heart attacks, High blood pressure, Excess hair, Acne, Skin tags, Early Menopause, Cramps from your ovaries, unexplainable weight gain, trouble losing weight, and so on and so on. There’s so far No Cure, Some Doctors say losing 20 to 30 pounds to get rid of the belly fat that maybe causing PCOS Or taking birth controls to help control the symptoms. (Which means slow down the process.) People can’t catch this by people who have PCOS. Everybody with PCOS are different. So, You may not get all the above symptoms. Doctors told me that the only way is to control the symptoms is through birth control pills and if I wanted to try to become pregnant is to take Metformin, If I have trouble getting pregnant. At that time, My hair was starting to receive in the front and lightly shedding.

Now, I have very little bangs And my hair is thinning from my bangs all the way back on top. It’s more noticeable up front where my bangs and part starts. I part my hair to the left to try to hide it but it doesn’t really work. You can see it in the light. And my part looks wider then it should be. My hair sheds lightly during the day now, and sheds a lot in the shower and when I am combing it. ( like 10 to 30 hairs each showering and combing).

My first attempt: I tried going to a Hair Dresser to ask them what they would recommend? And what would be causing the shedding. Instead of just helping. They embarrassed me in front of everyone in the salon and told me if I don’t start fixing my hair better and using a Hair Loss Product that I was going to go bald by the time I hit 30, And that I would be more bald then she will be 20 years from now. I bought the Nioxin shampoo and conditioner that she recommend. It made my hair shed more the first week I used it. In time, I saw my hair strands seem strong and thicker. But it didn’t hide my thinning spots. So, I stopped using it. My hair weaken and fell out some. So, I decided to go see the Gyno and ask them. She told me it could be from my PCOS. I asked her if there was any vitamins or anything she can treat me for it. She laughed and said No. Just over the counter Vitamins and Rogain. She said that the Birth Control should be helping it to Not fall out as much. But it still falls out. That’s what the problem is, I want it to stop shedding like crazy when I wash my hair, And comb it. So, I bought complex B Vitamins. I used it for 9 months. Didn’t see any changes. The pharmacy told me that’s Good Vitamins for hair.

Then my second attempt: I went to see my Doctor. He said that the hair loss has nothing to do with lack of Vitamins And Nioxin just thickens the hair strands to help hide some of the problem not fix it. That I need to see a Dermatologist. And then we will go from their about what they would have to say. My Doctor told me that there is still hope for me and one or two ways out of 6 ways that will work for me.

My third attempt: I have an appointment with the Dermatologist in DEC. of 2007. I am scared, on what the results are going to be. I want them to say it’s just some imbalance of lack of nutrient Or something easy and can be Curable. But, I am afraid that they aren’t going to say that. Cause my Father lost all the top of his hair by the time he hit 28. My Mother has thin hair, But you can’t see her scalp. My Grandmother that died before I was born on my Mother’s side was balding on the top of her head. My Sister is 10 years older then me and She has thin hair but again, You can’t see her scalp. So, I guess. I will have to wait and see what the Dermatologist will have to say. Wish me Good Luck! :)

I just want this problem to go away! I can’t be myself around people. It feels like I try to block everyone out by hiding in the other room, staying by the older people instead of people my age, not going outside as much, don’t go out to dinner or go in places with a lot of people as much. When I go out the pretty people and people my age stare. Some make a light giggle like it’s funny and their better, some make bald jokes that seem like their not referring to you but you feel like they are, It’s hard to get a Job, It makes the people who are close to you to not what to look you in your eyes cause they don’t want to hurt you by looking. I haven’t been to a Hair dresser for two years cause of my experience that I have had and Cause of my thinning hair. I don’t like swimming, walking in the rain or to be caught in the rain, I am pushing away from my boyfriend of 6 years. ( I am not trying to). I don’t feel uncomfortable about my self when I am around him cause of my hair. I don’t like being close with him by kissing and being sexual with him. He thinks its him. But I tell him it’s Not. I don’t like looking in the mirror a lot cause it just makes me depressed. I shower sometimes with the light off, I don’t like my boyfriend around when I take a shower, when my hair is wet, Or combing it. It’s like when I am combing my hair, And my boyfriend comes in the bathroom my body jumps like I am a child stealing a cookie from the cookie jar. Cause, I feel ashamed the way it looks. It makes me so stressed over this. I don’t even want to get married because of this. I want to but it just wouldn’t be a pretty wedding with a Beautiful Bride! I want my hair to grow back thick, So I can feel like a WOMAN again!

I will take any Suggestions,Tips,Or Advise I can get. So, Give me your thoughts. Nice ones that is.
Please don’t mind any mistyped words.

Thanks. For letting me to express my Problems and Feelings like this! :)

admin November 20, 2007 at 1:10 pm

Hi Stacey, I reposted your comment on it’s own thread on the main page and also responded to it there:
http://www.womenshairlossproject.com/hair-loss/stacey-hair-loss-story/

Thank you for sharing your story

~Y

Mira November 21, 2007 at 1:52 am

Dear Stacey,

I totally understand how you feel. I am a 33yr old woman and my hair loss started when I was in my early twenties. I am still very concious about it and yes, always have an umbrella in my bag in case it rains and can’t remember the last time I went swimming with a crowd of people but do feel more comfortable about myself than I did say, 5 years ago ( even though I have very little hair on my head now). Please don’t push away the people who love you and remember that not everyone looks straight at your scalp when they look at you ( as you do to yourself) and that people who do and make snide comments are not worth even a thought or precious minute of your life. Also remember that you are not alone and that there are so many women out there who are going through the same thing. I too am really glad to have found this community and it’s given me courage to explore wigs etc to find a solution to my problem. Take care. PS I too was terrifieed about how my hair would look on my wedding day but it’s amazing what a skilled hairdresser can do with a comb and a can of industrial hair spray! I think I looked pretty good on the day and I don’t think anyone noticed my hair or lack of thereof.

Stacey December 1, 2007 at 1:31 pm

Thank you so much for posting my story!

I will keep in mind, That not everybody looks at my scalp as much as I do. It just feels like that’s all there looking at when they are talking to me.

I will be going to my appointment to see my Dermatologist in two weeks. This will be my first time ever going to a Dermatologist. Does anybody know what it is that they do or Should do to see why I am losing my hair? And should I see a Endocrinologist as well for my hair loss?

My hair symptoms that I have notice:

Sheds lightly through the day,
Sheds 10 to 30 hairs each washing and combing,
Even the short hairs that are trying to grow falls out at times,
My hair is weak and easily breakable,
Always have to use conditioner or leave in conditioners every day sometimes twice,
I always have tiny hairs on the top on my scalp I never know if their growing or it’s from breakage,
My scalp is always oily, it’s not from the conditioners either.
(I wash my hair then by next morning at 11 am, It’s really oily again.)
(It never used to be this oily, it started since I turned 24.)

One week a month, around my period week I notice that my:

Hair dries out, Scalps stays oily, Hair sheds more, Breaks more, and the hair by my roots look thinner and color looks lighter, and gets slightly itchie, and when I itch I get these white hard ball looking things on my scalp that looks like white zit heads. I don’t get a lot of them but it does happen for a week once a month, don’t understand it. Does anybody know what they are?

My fore head always has these white things, too. My fore head looks oily lightly red rash like (but not always red) and looks like I have light blackheads, But when I itch it there white heads, not black. (This isn’t anywhere’s else on my face except my whole fore head. This started this year. I don’t know what it is? That’s another reason why I have an appointment to the dermatologist.

I will write back again to let you all know what my results turn out to be. Hopefully, Positive News!

Oh, Also I wanted to add:

I been on birth control pills now for 10 1/2 years, Since I was 15. I tried this year for 4 to 5 months not taking them to see if my hair will grow or stop shedding, for the first 2 1/2 to 3 months my hair didn’t shed as much then I hit the 4 month it started shedding a lot again. So, I started taking my birth control again, Cause also my PCOS was causing my face to become uncontrollable oily again. I don’t want to be on birth control pills forever. But so far, it is the only thing that will help control my PCOS and Hair loss. I also heard Metformin can help control my PCOS but not sure about my hair loss. I have to check into that more. So, If I ever want to have a baby, I have to get off birth control and deal with PCOS symptoms and hair loss problems. Looks like I am stuck in the middle of two Big Rocks!

P. S.
How do you all deal with this hair loss every day emotionally and in a relationship way? Some days, I feel Ok and lot of others days, I am so depressed about it? I just wish just one day I can wake up again and not have to worry about my hair.

Losing my hair is starting to make me feel weird about being sexual with my BF, that I have been with for six years. I feel uncomfortable more then I ever had since I have been with him when we are kissing Or trying to make love I don’t feel attractive. I don’t feel very Feminine anymore. Which I am a woman And only like MEN! But I feel like my hair loss is stopping me to feel feminine about myself! I, Sometimes wonder if I am going to lose my love of 6 years And Sometimes, wonder why he is with me? I just don’t want to look like a bald man…. I want to feel like myself again! With Hair!

Is there anybody that has ever felt the way I am feeling right now, from hair loss experience?

andrea December 3, 2007 at 12:50 am

Stacey,
I know exactly how you feel about not feeling feminine… i have been finding it hard to build up confidence and go out with friends, and have the same doubts when i’m with my boyfriend. i’m sure your boyfriend just wants you to be ok and feel ok and is not judging you! as for the derm, it was the turning point in my hair saga. make sure you ask for a scalp biopsy!!! it hurts a little bit, but not as much as the emotional trauma of losing your hair :( i don’t know if you have read my story (http://www.womenshairlossproject.com/hair-loss/scarring-alopecia-andrea-story/) on here or not, but it might help you a little as far as the derm visit. good luck!
-andrea

Stacey December 6, 2007 at 11:04 am

Hi, Andrea!

I feel that way all the time! I stay in 90% of the time. Not that I want too. Cause If I had Thick Hair I would LIVE outside. lol.

I hope I am as lucky as you! But I have a feeling I am not. I think mine is Androgenetic alopecia. I say that because my father, and other males in my family have no or thinning hair, and all the women have thin hair (that doesn’t show scalp) Except my great grandmother. She was the only women in my family going bald at a early age. Also cause I have PCOS, It makes your hormones levels go out of wack… My thinning is mostly on top on my head and front sides, my balding area is my bangs and front area by my bangs.( It’s about the size of a 50 cents Coin) It’s not really a hairless bald spot but in light it looks like it. In the mirror, It looks like bunch of thin hairs separated from each other and very soon if it keeps shedding its going to be a completely hairless spot. On my back top on my head is just starting to do something the same. Which I don’t want! :(

But now that I have read your story and looked up your scarring – alopecia. I do have a rash like area that I mention above from a early Blog, That I have notice having it when I was 16 and 17 and from 18 until 22 it just disappeared and at age 23 it came back. It gets itchy and irritated to touch at times on my forehead, and gets red as well. It sometimes, break out with a rash form and white beads looking things, And once a month it make a inch past my bangs turns red and itches too. But that inch part goes away 2 to 3 days later. But it never leaves my fore head though.

Thanks, I will tell my Dermo to do a scalp biopsy. I want to try anything to get back most of my hair. But I was wondering wear would they take a piece of skin from my scalp from? Would it be my front where I am thinning the most? And will it be unnoticeable to the eye when they get done? Like, How big of piece smaller or bigger then a inch?

Thanks :)

Gretchen January 10, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Hey everyone,
It’s been a while since I posted any comments, but I wanted to post an update on my hair loss situation. I had a 3 month follow up with my dermatologist today. I see a female dermatologist and a male med student. They are both great and they specialize in female hair loss. I’ve been using Rogaine 5% foam since my initial visit and so the attendee asked me how it was going. I shrugged and made an “ehh” face apparently, and he laughed saying I made the “minoxidil face.” So, I guess there is a “minoxidil face” or in other words, it’s annoying to use and doesn’t help much anyway, and then you’re stuck using it, and it’s a big huge pain!

I feel my hair situation has not gotten any better, so they performed another hair pull test on me. No surprise, it’s still the same diagnosis: telogen effluvium with underlying androgenic alopecia. We went over my blood work, and as I had suspected 3 months ago when the lab results were in, I have a very low ferritin level of 20, and therefore need to take more iron. I was told today that a level of at least 40 is needed for healthy hair growth. I did start taking an over the counter iron supplement about 3 times a week when I got my lab results back and saw the low ferritin. The supplement I was taking is a ferrous sulfate, and today I received a prescription for iron-polysacchride. I guess your body absorbs it better than the over-the-counter supplement I was taking. So, the dermatologists and me hope the iron will help with the telogen effluvium. I guess time will tell.

I also received a prescription for Spironolactone. They are starting me on a 25mg dose. The Spiro will hopefully help my androgenetic alopecia. I’m supposed to continue using the Rogaine foam as well.

I go back in 2 months and they will do blood tests to check my iron levels and my kidneys to make sure that the Spiro isn’t effecting them in a harmful way. Depending on how everything is going, my Spiro levels may be increased.

It’s amazing how many things I’m taking just for my hair! In addition to the Spiro, iron and Rogaine, I also take biotin and a multi-vitamin. I use Nioxin shampoo, and a mix of Nioxin and moisture-rich conditioner. I also use enhanced thickening and curl enhancer gels. Not to mention, I think about whether or not the foods I eat are going to benefit my hair! I know a lot of you do the same, but it really is ridiculous when you think about it!

I’ll continue to keep everyone posted on my situation in hopes that it helps some of you. Again, I am very thankful for this site and for all of the brave women that are dealing with this unfortunate situation.

Love, Gretchen

Kathryn January 13, 2008 at 7:30 pm

This will sound like a broken record, but I am so glad I found this site!! I am a hospice nurse and I feel so shallow and vain for worrying about my hair- but losing my hair truely has been traumatizing. My friends with beautiful, thick hair just don’t understand.
I have learned so much! My hair has been thinning for approx 10 years, but now (at 51 y/o) my shiney scalp is so much more noticible. I am pretty sure its AA as it is diffuse thinning over the crown. I am going to see my doc (a nurse practitioner) and ask for the lab work that is suggested on this site. In the mean time I will try the Rogaine foam (the liquid is too oily) and maybe the Nizoril shampoo. For those of you who have bought ‘topper’ wigs- is there a good on-line site?
Thank you to everyone who has told their story. I feel better knowing there are many in the same boat!

admin January 17, 2008 at 12:45 am

Hi Kathryn, Welcome to The Site! I’m glad to hear you are going to go see a doc for extra blood work to help to try and determine the cause of your hair loss. It is up to us to be proactive in helping ourselves because often times the doctors seem to not know much about hair loss or simply don’t care. You definitely should not feel bad or vain for worrying about your hair, hair loss can be very traumatic and crippling to one’s self esteem, I have personal experience with that myself. I’m also curious to know if anyone has found good “toppers” online. You are definitely not alone in this. Keep us updated with your progress!

~Y

jan January 17, 2008 at 3:30 pm

hi all-i would like any feedback on my situation-i started noticing the thinning hair/terrible acne in March 2007. i left it alone for a few months thinking it would grow back and really didn’t care about the acne at that point. in Oct/Nov 2007, my scalp started showing more and my skin still didn’t clear. I then decided to make an appointment for the Gyno and Derm. They ran blood work and stated everything was in normal range. The gyno wanted to put me on Yasmin and I wound up never following up with the derm. I wound up buying a book in Barnes and Noble written by Geoffrey Redmond in NYC and i was able to get an appointment with him right away(there was a cancellation). I am 26 years of age so I’m a little freaked out why this is happening. After seeing th Dr. (Great dr., he stated my testosterone was at 77 (very high)so he put me on Yasmin and spiro. I have noticed after about a month now that my skin is clearing up. I did however notice an increase in hair shedding. I started using Rogaine about 3 weeks ago since I am trying everything possible but is not the smartest since I won’t know which one will work. Could this be the cause of my increased shedding right now? If anyone has any feedback please let me know. I did have a haircut yesterday and was quite embarrased before. The lady i went to understood and gave me a cute bob style haircut. The scalp of course shows on top but it takes the attention away from it. I also occasionally use toppik fibers which dr. redmond suggested. They really do blend in with your natural hair. Speak to you guys soon! Thanks for listening.

admin January 17, 2008 at 9:47 pm

Dear Jan, Welcome to the site! I am glad to hear you consulted with a doctor knowledgeable in women’s hair loss. I’m not a doctor, but in my experience both Spironolactone and Rogaine could initally cause an increase in shedding. I wrote about that in a previous comment:

“truth is every effective hair loss treatment can cause you to shed and depending on who you ask every hair loss treatment will have its proponents and opponents as well. It really depends on the person, for myself, I did experience increased shedding upon beginning Aldactone (brand name of spironolactone) but it did subside after a few months. The general consensus in the hair loss world is that if a treatment causes you to shed then it means it is working, but at the same time the absence of shedding in not an indication that it isn’t working. It is my understanding that it all depends at what point you are catching the hair cycle when you begin the medication. If your hair is on the uptake and a lot of the hair follicles are going into an anagen phase then there is a good chance that the medication will just help improve that process, however, if you are in a catagen or active telogen phase it could expedite that as well and increase shedding.”

Did you ask Dr. Redmond what he thought about using the Rogaine as well?

Cutting the hair shorter really does seem to improve the overall look of thin hair. I’ve kept my hair cut to my shoulders for years. I long for the days when I use to have hair half way down my back. But it’s all about moving forward now.

~Y

jan January 18, 2008 at 7:50 am

Thanks for responding. I have to say I ‘m so happy we can relate to each other. I did ask Dr. Redmond and he said I probably shouldn’t go on the rogaine until I knew for sure that the Spiro and Yasmin didn’t work. I went against his advice to kind of be precautious you know? I didn’t want it to get any worse if the meds don’t help. I know that I a going to be on rogain for a long, long time but i think if it helps, it will be worth it since I won’t be freaking out as much. I actually notcied thismorning I have some tiney grey hairs popping up…..could this be the rogaine turning it grey or can it just be new hairs? Have you ever heard of this before?

Talk to you soon! :) xoxo

Stacey January 19, 2008 at 8:49 am

Hi Jan,

I was reading your messages on here. I have found this site a few months ago. I am 25 And I am experiencing Acne And Hair loss as well. I was diagnosed with PCOS…

So, Yes.. It is a Big Relieve knowing that you aren’t the only one out their with Hair loss problems. But at times when you go out, It seems like you are the only one out there. But you Aren’t! :)

But what I wanted to mention to you that caught my eye is you said you were experiencing Acne And Hair loss… I was thinking maybe you should get an ultra sound done on your ovarian’s from your Gyno to see if you may have PCOS. ( I am Not a Doctor But I thought your Two Signs sounded slightly similar).

Here is my story of what I posted when I first found this site. Check it out and see if you are experiencing any more problems like these. http://www.womenshairlossproject.com/hair-loss/stacey-hair-loss-story/

admin January 19, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Hey Jan, I totally understand why you went ahead and started the Rogaine. I tried several things at the same time (including rogaine) when I first started losing my hair and you are right if it works it is WELL worth it. It is really good that you are being proactive and doing something to help yourself.

I have heard about the unpigmented (grey) hair. It is possible that one of the treatments you are using is working for you and those are vellus (baby) hairs growing back in that could eventually become full mature terminal hair (the good stuff). You may have awakened some dorminant follicles back to life!! I think it is actually a good sign.

~Y

jan January 20, 2008 at 2:36 pm

thanks guys for responding. It has really helped me out alot. To be honest with you i went to a casino yesterday and I was hoping I would win like a million dollars so I can try to assist with a cure for this horrible nightmare. but of course, i didn’t win crap. (no surprise)
stacey-a few years back i had my ovaries checked and there were some tiny cysts. i just had an ultrasound about 2 months ago and the result was normal. I also had my glucose checked too and nothing. the dr’s don’t seem to think it is this. I have looked into this though. Thanks for the advice though. how did your blood results come back?
so far only one little grey hair. I haven’t been on treatment for too long yet. taking the yasmin and spiro and a little over a month and the rogain about a month. so well see what happens. i was putting some mousse in my hair today and i noticed more hair shedding. Has this ever happened to anyone? using hair products and shedding even more? Talk to you guys soon. xoxox hugs!

admin January 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Hey Jan, I don’t have much luck at casinos. I won $300 in vegas once and since then I probably given them that back 10 times over, but it doesn’t keep me from trying again when I’m there :)

Regarding the noticing of hair shedding whilst putting in hair product… yes I too notice hair shedding when I do that with my defrizzers or volumizing spray, but it isn’t because the product causes more hair loss, it is just because I’m fussing with it which always jars some extra hair loose and they fall out. They would have fallen out anyways, that was there destiny, it just probably would have been latter in the day when I wasn’t looking.
Same thing would happen if I was spritzing my hair with water and rubbing it in or shaking it. So don’t worry about that, mousse away!!

~Y

Jackie January 26, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Hi,

I can relate to all of these entries. I have been diagnosed with Androgentic Alopeica! All my blood work is fine. Go figure. Yet I have shedding cycles every 3-6 months. Each one gets worse. I take Spiralactone and it helps just a little. I am on birth control pills for ovarian cysts. For 20 years!!! Yet my endocronologist says that is not affecting me. I have tried so many products and they have failed. I do worry a bit and always seem stressed out! I go to the gym 5 days a week to release that stress. I had several loses in my family and that has really effected me. I am now looking into Extreme Hair therapy. You use these topical treatment with shampoo, conditioner and vitamins. Plus you get intense scalp thereapy for 6 mo. A bit expensive but what do I have to lose???? High sucess rate. so check out hair club for women. I am very self concious and feel embarassed when i go in front of large crowds. I avoid mirrors at all costs. It is very hard for me to deal with. I am hoping this site brings me some relief talking with others.

thanks,
J

jan305 February 2, 2008 at 7:29 am

hi girls, i haven’t wrote in a while. i wanted to give an update……..i am approacheing my 2 month mark with my spiro and yz and my 1 1/2 mark with Rogaine. I only seem to notice increased shedding if i don’t wash my hair for a few days…..Is that normal? I cant really tell yert if the treatments are working but we’ll see. I have to follow up with Dr. Redmond in NYC in April. HE definately seems to think that by then I will see an improvment with my hair and my acne. ugh….I only have that one gray hair so maybe it isn’t growing in….who knows. how is everything else coming along with everyone else? I thinnk i’m going to try the scalp massages that we spoke about on here. well get back to me when you can all!

oh and go giants in the superbowl! :) hugs.

Shanlaree February 7, 2008 at 6:54 am

Hi Jackie,
Jackie-

I feel like I am in the same boat as you. I was just told in Dec from my biopsy that I too have Androgentic Alopeica. I seem to have hair sheds every 3-6 months.

I am taking Spiro and 5% Rogaine (not feeling much results but it only has been two months). I also work out with Yoga and ride my bike (2.5 hour work out today). I am also in my early 30′s.

I tried the Hair Club EXT Treatment that you spoke of. I had a horrible experience and felt that I wasted $1,800.00. So did my twin. They didn’t have time to style my hair and I would leave unfinished with wet hair. The tech or hair professional were not all trained on the laser. The shampoo and condtioner made my hair more frizzy. New people would come an go and it was not comfortable waiting with all the men and waiting for their hair transplant. Sometimes they would take me downstairs to wash my hair and would have to walk in a room full of people waiting to be serviced with wet hair. I was told if I was unhappy that I would get a refund. I did not get the refund but rude interactions. Much more here but wanted to share my story with Hair Club. It was aweful. I hope your experience is much better. If you do it please let us know. Also- try checking out ripeoffreport.com I found a few unhappy folks from them too.

Shanlaree

jc February 11, 2008 at 12:52 am

Just stumbled on this site & I really want to try spiro. I have had my hormones tested countless times for hair loss and excessive facial hair and all my tests come back normal. I have been using laser therapy for my excessive hair on my face but it just keeps coming back (so frusterating). My hair in crown area is quite thin & has been this way since I was 15, along with the excessive facial hair. My doc did recommend me to a derm but my appointment was forgotten about & was left waiting in the waiting room for 45min. I never went back or scheduled a derm appt. I manage to get away with my hair not looking so thin by using volumizing products but it’s getting thinner and thinner up top.

I have been researching spiro for a while now & would like to see if my doc will let me take it. Just wondering if it worked for facial hair problems as well as hair thinning? I seem to have all the signs of PCOS except for irregular periods (i am 29 btw). Also I suffer from anxiety & have high cholesterol so will taking spiro effect any of these conditions I have? Glad I found a site where people know what I am going through
jc

Shanlaree February 11, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Hi JC,

I am 33 and have know how you may feel here.This site and the network has prove to help me and hope it will help you as well. hang in there – we understand.

I would recommend checking to see if you have PCOS by your doctor and remake an appointment to see a Derm. It can take 3-6 months to see a good one. I waited for 3 months to get to see a derm and had to wait in the waiting room for 2 1/2 hours. Thank goodness I brought a great book. I was given Spiro at my next two week appointment (Which I had to re0wait 3 hours just to be told I had Female Pattern bla bla bla).
So, Rogaine 5%, Spiro (which makes me personally feel weird) and Yasmin (still mot taking Yasmin). I have had more shed with these products but that was going to happen anyways so worth checking it out. Best wishes.

Just a few suggestions.

For Cholesterol check out this website- has a great list of food that can help lower it.

For Anxiety – what has helped me is Yoga every AM even if it is for 15 min. Meditation. Check out http://www.KellyHowell.com and see some of her mediation CD’s.

*best food list

http://www.whfoods.com/

Foods & Spices*

Shanlaree
In Oregon

jan305 February 12, 2008 at 6:19 pm

hi all! i just wanted to give an update, so far it’s been 2 months and guess what??? I think i am seeing an improvment. very slight but i am no longer wearing the toppik to cover up my thinning areas. my scalp has been extremely itchy, i was kind of nervous about that but my hair dresser said its a good sign that the follicles are still alive. i have been on 200 mg of spiro, rogaine and yasmin since mid december. i started to shed very intensely about 2 weeks ago and was super paranoid. i haven’t seen it get worse since being on this med. i’ll keep everyone posted on my endeavors with theis horrible nightmare. Just wanted to give some hope.

Bridget March 12, 2008 at 6:23 am

I am 25 and going through the same thing as above. I am trying to book an appt with Dr. Redmond. I recently started taking Spiro 100 mg a day, and have been on Yaz for about 2 years. I feel like my hair is thinning significantly in the last year. Has anyone seen regrowth in their hair with Spiro and Yaz?

Thanks!
Bridget

jan305 March 12, 2008 at 6:59 am

hi Bridget,

i am on Yasmin and Spiro which i think is a little diffrent from Yaz…..I am currently at 3 onths and about a week and i feel like i have some regrowth. the only reason i say that is because i have tiny, tiny hairs growing from the front of my scalp. but i will tell you it has NOT gotten worse since being on the spiro. i am trying to get a follow up appt for dr. redmond for mid-april. let me know what happened….

Bridget March 12, 2008 at 7:38 am

Jan305,
Thanks for responding so quickly. I do think Yaz is a little different from Yasmin. I’ll ask Dr. Redmond about it if and when I see him. How long did it take you to get an appt with him the first time? I left a message with his office but have not heard back yet. I’m hoping he’ll increase my Spiro to 200 mg, which seems like more people are on. When you said Dr. Redmond thinks he’ll see improvements in April, did he say anything about “regrowth”? That is what I really want, but do not know if it’s possible.

Also, are you the same as Jan from above? If so, then I see you’re only 26. Being 25 with this problem is what is scaring me. If you are 26, are you dating/married? I’m terrified of it getting worse, but am relieved to read that you are seeing improvements.

Bridget

admin March 12, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Hey Bridget,

I understand the fear and worry of losing hair at such a young age. I started losing my hair at 21, I’m now 29 (soon to be 30 ) It definitely is worth noting that many women are able to successfully treat their hair loss my slowing and sometimes reversing the miniturization process and actually growing hair back as well. I say my hair at about age 25 and 26 was better than 23. I still had the shedding and everything but I guess more hair was able to stay in that anagen phase longer. Whatever it was it was good. I may still have been riding high if it wasn’t for my synthroid dosage disaster that I’ve written about numerous times on the blog. I’m optimistic things will improve in time, hopefully.

Let us know how your appt with Dr. Redmond goes. He is a good doctor, very caring and he is one of the few who takes women’s hair loss seriously.

I currently am on 200mg of Aldactone myself.

Stay positive

~Y

P.S. Remember, while Regrowth is wonderful, you’ll find that if you can just stabilize your hair loss and keep what you have you’ll be a happy camper in the years that come. When I first started losing my hair 8 years ago I just prayed and prayed for ALL my hair to come back. As the years went by I’d pray just to have what I had 2 years prior and so on and so forth. Now, while my hair is so unbearably thin I’d be happy if I had confidence knowing it would just stay as it is and not get any thinner.

jan305 March 13, 2008 at 5:54 am

Hey Bridget! I totally didn’t mention i am 200mg’s of spiro. i believe you need that amount too see any change. My first appt with dr. redmond luckily took only a week to get since there was a cancellation. it normally takes about a month or so. But the office manager michelle who should be calling you is great and she’ll try to squeeze you in if anything.
Keep calling or even email them since i think she’s the only one that sets these things up and she’ll send you the pamphlet of all the paperwork via your email.
You do have to remember the first step to regrowth is stabilizing the hair loss. Before Spiro, i noticed i was losing like 100+ per day (that i noticed), since then I have noticed losing about 20/30 hairs every 3 days or so. as far as regrowth, it can definately take 8 months to a year to see any change. I guess some people can be lucky and notice it sooner.
so yes, now i am 27, my bday was last week. and i mean honestly i was a complete mess when all this happened. but honestly i know you probably feel (and correct me if i’m wrong that people are constantly staring at your head(they’re really not) , you feel uncomfortable in certain situations and you feel like you’ll be bald by the time you wake up in the am. Never with Androgenic Alopecia does someone wake up and have no hair. That is a diffrent form of Alopecia.

As far a relationships and dating, i’ve been in a long term relationship on and off for a while and he understands this. I must of asked him everyday if i looked bald and he told me no. I kept thinking he didn’t want to hurt my feelings but when i started to lose more in some areas he came out and totally said it looks like it got worse. So now as i go thru treatment he helps me to see if it’s getting better or worse. I think if you have some really close friends or b/f that you should confide in one of them and tell them to be completely honest with you. And they should be honest being you’re close to them.

Bridget March 13, 2008 at 6:31 am

Jan,

Thanks so much for your comforting words. It’s more difficult to relate to women who are older. I am sure that it’s NOT ANY easier to lose your hair at 40, but it is really hard to grasp that I’m thinning at age 25!

Happy belated birthday, by the way! Did you celebrate with your boyfriend?

I have a wonderful boyfriend, about 9 months, that I probably could confide in, but I’d rather not bring his attention to it (like you said, I know that not everyone has noticed). Instead, I’m lucky enough to live close to my mom and even my older sister, both of whom I can talk to about this. I am currently on 100mg of Spiro, and if I get an appt with Dr. Redmond, I would assume he would increase it to 200 mg. I’m afraid of bugging Michelle, but I guess it couldn’t hurt to keep trying to get a voice mail through to her, or email. I can only imagine how busy the office must be! I’ve heard it’s $600 for your first visit, and then about $250 for each follow up. Is that what you’ve found? Do you live in NY?

I suppose I’ll keep this website around and continue to post, if you’ll be around. If you see more improvements, will you post them, if you remember? It certainly gives me a lot of hope. Right now I’m trying to accept the loss, and I really think that I could have a normal life with what I have left. I just pray to God, whom I have a large belief in, that I will not lose anymore, and that I’ll have the courage to accept whatever happens.

Again, thanks for caring! You certainly have made this acceptance a lot easier!!!

Bridget

PS. For anyone else reading, I wouldn’t call myself super religious, but I believe in God and am a practicing Catholic. Here is my favorite prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Bridget March 13, 2008 at 4:08 pm

One more thing… for those of you on 200 mg of spiro, do you take 100 mg in the morning and 100 at night, or do you take it all in the morning? i think i’m going to start taking 200 instead of 100 mg just in the morning.

if you are taking it twice a day, do you have to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom?

THANKS AGAIN!

admin March 14, 2008 at 10:36 am

Hi Bridget,

I take 200mg both at night. As far as the restroom at night question, I’ve always gotten up at night to use restroom as far back as I can remember (2-3 times even) I’m a huge water drinker so that sort of comes along with it. Not sure if the aldactone is causing it to occur more frequently, but it doesn’t really bother me.

~Y

Bridget March 14, 2008 at 11:40 am

Thanks, Y!! Good to know that it doesn’t bother you at night. I’ll probably start taking it in the morning, all 200 mg. If anyone divides their 200 mg into 100 mg in the morning, and 100 mg at night, let me know!

Bridget

jan305 March 14, 2008 at 11:47 am

hey bridget!!! you are so welcome. a few months ago i was in your same exact shoes….so believe me i know. :)
My Birthday was great, I ate alot and drank alot. Went to Arirang. Ever heard of? It’s a hibachi steakhouse with awesome mixed drinks!
I totally say if you have an awesome boyfriend, he’d probably tell you if he noticed ya know? But at least you have your fam for support. it helps alot.
An don’t be scared about calling Michelle. Believe me, i just booked my follow up and called her like 5 times and emailed twice. She knows how it is. She’s very comforting too. Keep calling them. I know the office is closed on Monday. My follow up appt. is April 12th.
With my Spiro, i take the full 200 in the am around 10 every day along with the BCP.
Have you been to the derm yet? Sometimes it honestly is a waste of time, i hate to say that. You need to find a really good one if you go.
The initial visit for Redmond cost 700, you leave a 500.00 deposit on your credit card or account and then you pay anohter 200 when you get your visit. He then gives you a form to submit if you have an insurance carrier, They didn’t reimburse me much but about 170. better than nothing. I spent it on alcohol i think! lol (i’m not a big drinker even though with this letter i may sound like one! )
You should definately keep posting on here. It really helped me out alot so far and you meet great people. I will def be around and will continue to put updates on here!
Hope you have a fun weekend. Doing anything special or just loungin?

jan305 March 14, 2008 at 11:47 am

oh yes and by the way i am in new york and i do get up alot in the middle of the nite to pee pee!!!

Bridget March 14, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Jan,
Wow, you are certainly right that you meet some great people! You and Y have been great at responding and again have made it easier!

I just heard back from Michelle. I have an appt for March 24… not bad of a wait at all! It does seem like a lot of money to see him… should be interesting if I get any back from my insurance.

I’m a teacher and today is the first day of my spring break. I’m actually on my way out the door for a fish fry at my boyfriend’s. I’ve been pretty anxious about the whole hair situation recently (having trouble sleeping). I think I’m making it worse than it really is. I have my ups and downs. I think that right now with my bf not knowing about things in detail, I’m able to “escape” when I’m with him. There’s no doubt I’ll tell him eventually, but for now I feel like I would like to stabilize the issue on my own, with my family. Although I don’t see any end in sight to our relationship, we’ve never talked about the “future” together.

Thanks for everyone’s support!
Have a wonderful weekend, Jan!

Bridget March 18, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Just an update. I’m going to Dr. Redmond’s next week! YAY! I’ll post what comes of it.

Also, I think wearing your hair down helps when it is thinning. Is that what you all have found? When I see how tiny my ponytail is, I freak out, but when it’s down, it’s not as noticeable. Just another idea to try for everyone out there. :-)

jan March 19, 2008 at 6:01 am

Hey Bridget! Great for you that you got the appt. You will love him! He’s a doll! But yes you are right, leaving the hair down is better than the ponytail. I actually cut my hair in a bob style since my hair started thinning. No one really notices anything. Plus it’s less strain on the hair rather than pulling it tight.

admin March 19, 2008 at 7:51 am

I’m actually different, I tie it back all day because I get bugged by the way it feels (or lack of feeling I should say) when it is down. When I’m pull it back I can feel something attached to my head which is comforting for me. I do notice that when I cut my hair I notice less shedding, but I know one has nothing to do with the other. I think it just feels better and I pay less attention :)

~Y

Bridget March 21, 2008 at 8:46 am

Jan,

Quick question… I’m dwelling on this again. You said earlier in a post that Dr. Redmond thought you should see some improvements in three months (at your April visit). What kind of improvements? Did he said just less shedding, or did he appear to be optimistic about some regrowth?

Thanks so much!
Bridget

Franny March 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Hello Ladies,
Nice Site and glad you r here. I am 48 and have been dealing with this issue for quite a few years (15 yrs?). My hair loss in the past 7 years has increased. At first mainly on the scalp. In 2001 my derm. did a biopsy on my scalp. I had live hair folicles and was diagnosed with dispersed aleopicia areota. Since I could not have the injections, I was prescribed systemic prednisone. Starting dose was 60mg. for two weeks, stepping down to 40mg. for 2 weeks and then 10mg. for 2 weeks, (I WENT NUTS!!!!:(…not in a good way), Cleaning ceiling fans at 2AM etc…When the treatment was over she put me on a prescription cream of Cyclocort (amcinodide),Twice a day. Did see some really fine hair at first but it did not take. Stop all treatment for a couple of years. Had ALOT of life’s trauma’s hit me within 3 years. Went on a antidepressant (not the first time on Zoloft) for 6 months then came off. Saw my derm last week, she said I had aleopcia areotoa but she saw female pattern baldness as well. I had all the blood tests. Nothing out of range (according to my primary and my derm.) She prescribed Spironalactone and Rogaine. She sid I would have to stay on Rogaine for life and this drug or otherwise I would be in a wig! Would not guarantee that the drug would decrease the shedding. Would not guarantee anything! I must tell you that my aunt on my mothers side has this mass loss of hair on the crown also. I have been taking no birth control, but have been on statin drugs for over 13 years. Any Thoughts? Really Appreciate This Site……….Thank You…….Frannie

bridget March 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

Frannie,
My only advice would be to make sure you see a hair loss specialist. A lot of derms do not have enough experience with hair loss. You may also want to read Dr. Redmond’s book, “The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman” Good luck!

Robin Flamish March 23, 2008 at 10:24 am

I just wanted tio wish all of you a Happy Easter!!!! Peace….. Robin

jan March 24, 2008 at 5:42 am

hey bridget! dr. redmond said that within 4 months, i should see less shedding. regrowth can take about a year or longer. remember it didn’t fall out overnight…..i can’t believe know so much about this stuff. how are things on your end?

Bridget March 25, 2008 at 6:01 am

hey everyone!

so i saw dr. redmond. it was a great visit. he’s not warm and fuzzy, but really knows his stuff, and is a great listener.

i think i have one huge piece of advice for everyone… DO NOT LET THE INTERNET CONSUME YOUR LIFE!! this is probably the only real site that has been conforting. like dr redmond pointed out when he was on the today show, the internet is full of people who have not had great results. i have experienced this with other issues. when you have a problem, you turn to the internet with thoughts of dread and despair. once you have improvements and are happy with your life, you busy yourself with other things, like living life! i’m not bashing the internet, but remember that everything you read is not true! i would highly recommend reading Dr. Redmond’s book, The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman. i would also suggest limiting your internet time on this issue. celebrate life, you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so make use of today. find a doctor with experience and stick with him/her.

i’m going to continue the spiro and start yasmin (nine weeks on, four days off) it is possible to start propecia as well.

i wish you all the best of luck. i will definitely check back on this site.

JAN! let us know how your visit is in april. it sounds like you’ve noticed a lot less shedding, which is AWESOME!!! like you said, it took a while to thin, and will take a while to grow back!

love,
bridget

jan March 25, 2008 at 11:23 am

awww, i’m so happy you liked him, he definately isn’t sweet and emotional but he definately is straight forward and honest. did you take your blood results with you? so happy to hear you’re doing ok. I’ll keep you posted on my trip soon. :)

Bridget March 25, 2008 at 6:23 pm

hey jan,
ya, he had all of my blood work. he said i had “mild alopecia” right now. what label did he give you? i’ll be anxious to hear about your visit in april! talk soon!

admin March 26, 2008 at 11:16 am

Hi Bridget,

What a great comment you made about the internet in general. I really should write about it for other women. It really is a harsh place and nearly crushed me eight years ago when I visited the forums back then. Always hearing bad thing after bad thing and then hearing about people stating the worse thing they ever did was such and such, and it was all the things I was trying! I was just devastated. Dr. Redmond is right, and I’ve written this several times before, once a person gets help and is doing well they rarely report back to the site that everything was a success. They are off living a grand life, as they well should. It is most definitely important to filter what you read on the internet. Even things you read here. You always have to go with your gut and do what feels right for you. Everyone else can only share their own experiences and hopefully it helps to clarify things and help you in finding that “gut feeling.” That is the bottom line. I do my best to share my views and opinions and provide as much information that I have accumulated over the years. But in the end, what didn’t work for me may work for someone else and vice versa.

Please keep us updated with your treatment.

All The Best,
~Y

jan March 27, 2008 at 7:34 am

hey bridg, did he say what your testosterone level was? mine was 77 which he said was elevated. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for us and i will definately keep everyone posted in April. :) Love yas!

Bridget March 27, 2008 at 2:35 pm

hey again,

ya, mine was 47, but like he says in his book, even if your levels are “normal,” you may be “vulnerable” to them. he says that anything approaching 50 and over is usually a problem. i’m having another “bad” day, just stressing about it. blah blah blah. i just keep reminding myself that it takes time. you said you notice less shedding, now that you’re about 2.5 mo, right? i’m waiting for even THAT!! :-)

bridget

Sam March 27, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Does anyone know if Yasmin or Yaz is better for hairloss? What does Dr. Redmond think? My GYNO said there is no difference between the two. I am wondering if she really knows what she is talking about. I am on YAZ and wondering if I should switch to Yasmin. Thanks

s March 28, 2008 at 3:12 am

I too have been experiencing a lot of hair loss for the last six months. When you mention excessive hair shedding roughly how much do you mean. I lose between 70-100 strands everyday which i think is a lot but most websites say 100 -125 is fine. I have been to the doctors and had blood tests but they all come back fine and they tell me i have lovely hair and should not worry but i know that it is much thinner than it used to be.

Bridget March 28, 2008 at 3:48 am

yay! i love answering these questions. dr redmond’s office visit is SOOO expensive, and so i like being able to pass along this kind of info…

yasmin has a higher amt of estrogen, which is good for hair. however, there are 7 “dead pills” instead of 4, with Yaz, and that is too many days without estrogen. sooooo… he has you take nine weeks of yasmin without any “dead” pills, and then stay off for four days, and then start with nine weeks again.

hope that helps!

jan March 28, 2008 at 4:58 am

i’m actually taking the yasmin like normal. take one off week a month…..

Bridget March 28, 2008 at 7:14 am

hey jan,

i guess dr redmond thinks that it’s the T that is your main concern. with me, he thinks it’s a combo of lack of estrogen and too much T, b/c i never had regular periods.
is your hair still shedding less and less these days??

Chris March 28, 2008 at 7:34 pm

I am 48 and I was on Ortho-Novum for about 18 years. After reading here I started thinking about it and I believe my hair thinning started no long after I stopped taking birth control. (never connected it before)

I have suffered from thinning hair for approx 10 years. This past July I had a tumor removed from my uterus and an ovarian cyst. My Gyno put me on Loestrin 24FE. Recently I read that this was the worse birth control you can take for hair loss. Has anyone taken this? Around the same time I started seeing an endocrinologist who ran tests for PCOCS but they all came back normal. He told me to use Minoxidil which I have been since July. For a while I thought it was at a standstill (no better, no worse) but recently it seems to be getting worse. I have an appointment to see both doctors mid April and I plan to discuss some of the treatments I have read about here.

Also, does anyone have an opinion on how to find a good hairdresser or an opinion on a good hairstyle? I have always had long hair. I now have it just to my shoulders. The last hairdresser I went to was pretty rude about telling me that I’m being ridiculous for not cutting my hair really short. I don’t know if I’m so against it because she is so rude about it or because I’ve never had really short hair. I’d love to hear your opinion. Thanks

Sam March 30, 2008 at 9:41 am

Hi Bridget. Thanks for your reply. Based on what you said, do think I should have my gyno swtich me to Yasmin? She is ok with me taking either one.

Sam March 30, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Hi ladies…regarding Dr. Redmond’s method of 9 weeks on active Yasmin pills, and then 4 days off, does he recommend this for woman whose hormones are in the normal range? I don’t have the time or money to see him, and the derms and endos I’ve seen here don’t help much, so I am thinking of following his treatment plan for Yasmin. I have all the symptoms of my hair follicles being sensitive to testosterone…excess body hair, hair thinning, etc. but my hormone levels are all within normal range.

bridget March 30, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Sam, I don’t think there is much difference, except for some additional estrogen. i know that another girl on this site takes the yasmin regularly. i can’t suggest anything, except for tell you what i’m doing.

i know i didn’t really answer your question, but that’s the best i can do!

good luck!

Bridget March 31, 2008 at 8:01 am

Hey Chris,

About a hair style, I too have always had long thick hair, so cutting it was not exactly my idea of a solution. I still have mine to my shoulders, becuase I like to maintain some length, however I do think it’s best to keep it short. Jan said she has a cute bob style that works well.

Finding a good stylist is hard I guess. I still use the same girl I always have.

Good luck!

bridget April 1, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Hey Jan!

just wanted to say hi. i’ve been having a hard time dealing with this all again. i feel like the back of head is getting worse, although i may just be imagining it.

i’m almost done with one month of the spiro. the shedding has not decreased yet, but i’m hoping and waiting. i honestly need to stop searching it online. i’m making myself obsessed with it!

anyways, just wanted to see how you were doing. good luck and keep me updated.

bridget

jan April 2, 2008 at 5:32 am

hey there bridget! You sound just like me. You WILL definately notice that the 1st few months of Spiro the shedding seems to get worse……i had the same exact thing happen. i’m almost at the 4 month mark and i think i am seeing improvement if that’s any help. I see less shedding which is better than more shedding. I see Dr. redmond for my follow up next Saturday so i’ll keep you posted. I was actually gonna ask him i should switch to your methos of yasmin. I have noticed my monthly friend is irregular on and off.

bridget April 3, 2008 at 5:37 am

Hey Jan,

You rock! You are being so patient with me, without even meeting me! I really appreciate your help and support with this. I told my mom that I “met” you online, and what a blessing you have been. Thanks again. I can’t wait for your appt with the doc to see what he has to say. I would imagine that he won’t be able to “see” much, but instead hear what you have to say.

Also, you may want to check out this story. Don’t search around the site too much because it’s not all good things, but I actually printed out this story and read it when I’m feeling low. I guess just copy and paste the link. It doesn’t look like it comes out as a hyperlink.

http://www.herhairlosshelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7591&highlight=#7591

Hugs,
Bridget

Amy April 8, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Hi everyone….
Just found this sight, and have devoured every word for the past hour! I love everyone’s support.

I too saw Dr. Redmond … way back in March of 2007. He put me on 200mg of Sprio, iron, and YAZ. I had a follow up with him just today…. and told him my hair is unfortunately thinner than when I saw him. He is going to switch me from Yaz to Yasmin… because of the extra estrogen. And also add propecia. I am soooo nervous about switching and also for putting so many pills in my body. I looked up yasmin side effects on the internet….. and shouldn’t have. All I read was about people ‘losing’ their hair while on it. ack! I just hope it doesn’t make my current situaton worse.

One last thing…. has anyone just tried taking more iron and have any benefits?? For me… my hair fell out in a HUGE amount to begin with … about 4 yrs ago. And then has gradually been getting thinner ever since. When I think back, I was taking the diet pill ‘Trim Spa’… when i first lost the huge amt of hair. and keep wondering if that triggered something… maybe it causes lack of iron?? I dunno… I’m grasping at straws right now… and feel like stocking up on iron right now! :) Best of luck to everyone…. Amy

Amy April 8, 2008 at 1:22 pm

PS! Oooops…wanted to ask if anyone noticed any weight gain while on yasmin?? I’m sad to be switching off Yaz… as it actually helped to shed some pounds… :)

Amy April 8, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Another thought! Have any of you lovely ladies tried wigs? I know when I get to the point of baldness… I am going to want one… and wanted to know anyones thoughts or experiences. Or how about hats, scarves, headbands?? :) can’t stop thinking….sorry

Bridget April 9, 2008 at 8:52 am

Hey Amy,
Did Dr. Redmond say you have anything else, like PCOS or anything like that? Also, how old are you?
I think a lot of things can be different for different people.
I was on Yasmin for about 6 months before Yaz came out, and had absolutely no side effect. I went to Yaz, and am not switching back to Yasmin for the extra estrogen.

Bridget April 9, 2008 at 9:20 am

Amy,

Also, why did he put you on iron? He did not recommend that for me. Are you still taking it?

Bridget

PS. remember that everyone has different levels and everyone reacts differently to meds/supplements.

Bridget April 9, 2008 at 9:21 am

correction, I mean that i AM switching back to yasmin… oops!

Amy April 9, 2008 at 10:17 am

Morning Bridget,

No, Dr. Redmond didn’t say I had PCOS or anything… when I saw him he actually said he couldn’t tell I was losing hair…(Mar.2007) which I understood… I was just trying to stop the problem before it got worse…I had been losing it steadily for 3 yrs prior. (if he saw me NOW…he would be able to see the loss!) Anyway… he was very nice about it, and said I know my hair better than he did, and that’s when he put me on the spiro, iron and yaz. My blood work showed I was border line anemic and I needed iron so he told me to take a supplement for 4 months…. But I’ve been reading online lately about the connection between iron and hair loss… and I want to start taking iron again. I’m making a Dr appt soon, to have my iron levels checked again. I’m in AZ….not close at all to where Redmond is, so our checkup yesterday was just over the phone. I’m so nervous about starting the yasmin and propecia. I can’t help but wonder if I hadn’t taken ANY of this stuff how my hair would be now…. :0) It just keeps getting thinner and thinner and thinner and thinner……. Oh, and I just turned 37. How are you doing on the Spiro?? Do you see it helping at all? Do you feel okay on it? Also… the doc told me to take the yasmin for 9 wks, off 4, 9 wks on….etc… does that work for you?? I loooove the yaz because it seemed to help me drop some lbs, and I have NO periods at all!!! which is wonderful of course… and one of the reasons I’m nervous about switching to Yasmin. Anyway… his prescriptions are due to arrive here soon, and I’m still contimplating what to do… whew… I think that’s about it for now! :) Hope you have a great day!

Amy

Bridget April 9, 2008 at 10:44 am

Hey Amy,

Ya, I understand about wondering what it would have been like. I wonder what it would have been like if I had started taking it earlier. Mine is still not bad enough for someone to stare at me walking down the street, but it has gotten severely worse in the last year or so. He had recommended propecia as well, but since I’m just starting, i’m going to just take the spiro (200 mg) and yasmin for now. i haven’t switched to yasmin yet, i will on sunday. i’m going to take it 9 wk on, 4 days off. i take my spiro 100 mg in the AM and 100 mg in the PM, with food, even though it doesn’t hurt my stomach. Other than being thirsty and having to pee a lot, I don’t notice any problems with the spiro. i’ve only been on it for one month. i’m keeping my fingers crossed. be careful how much you read online, and remember that people who have seen results don’t post anymore… that is why it’s hard to find a lot of success stories, even though i know they’re out there!!

Amy April 9, 2008 at 10:50 am

hehehe…that is so true!! Well, if this is successful for me… I’ll be posting to every site I can find! :) Best of luck to you with the spiro….. I love that we’re able to compare notes! Be sure to keep in touch. Also.. has anyone here tried the propecia and seen a change? The warnings of women not taking it…(even not touching it) concern me. Thanks so much!

Amy

admin April 9, 2008 at 11:02 am

Hi Amy,

I have tried propecia way back when my hair loss first started. Personally I never felt good about taking it since everything you read says that the pill is suppose to be only for men, but I was willing to try anything that would help me to save my hair. Unfortunately it really didn’t help me. I took it at the same time as was taking Rogaine For Men, and between the two I was an oily, greasy mess. I’m not a person prone to acne at all and I started breaking out and had very very oily skin, which is unusual for me. But that was just my experience, there may be women who have benefited from its anti androgen properties. Either way I just never felt good inside about taking it.

All The Best,
~Y

Amy April 9, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Y~

Thank you so much for sharing your experience… sorry if I made you (or anyone) repeat yourself…. I’ve read through all the posts, but I’m quite forgetful. :)

I have that same feeling…. I am will to do anything….but not sure about the propecia. I probably just need to go with my gut… I’m also thinking of going to yet another dermotologist and get a second opinion… and maybe a third! :)

Thanks again and take good care,
Amy

bridget April 10, 2008 at 1:03 pm

amy, also, were you good about taking the spiro? i’ve heard it’s really important to take it everyday. and what about the yasmin?

Amy April 10, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Hi Bridget!

Glad you asked… cause I was wondering the same thing… For the past three months I wasn’t so good… I would miss a day here and there…. and sometimes I’d take it in the afternoon, and sometimes in the morning….. but on the most part I was pretty good about every morning… I’ve wondered how important that is too… but i would hope just a day or two wouldn’t matter?? I haven’t tried the yasmin yet…. Dr. Redmond is in the process of mailing me a script for it… so haven’t tried it yet… I’ve been on yaz for a year…and have been very good on taking it… :) hope you had good day~~~ Amy

Karen April 13, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Hi All,

I just started taking spironolactone, today in fact was my first dose. I was a little freaked out reading the warnings and side effects. It can cause sudden heart attack and death. That’s pretty serious. Anyone else have reservations about growing hair with these kinds of potential problems? It was perscrbed by Dr. Redmond. Anyone have any info on this guy? Honestly, I felt like I was being scammed. He seemed so sure my hair would come back. Gave me the meds without even seeing any bloodwork.

Thanks

Bridget April 14, 2008 at 3:56 am

Hey Karen,

Dr. Redmond is great!!! You should read his book. Spiro is fine to take. Many common meds have those same warnings. Some people have side effects like upset stomach, nausea, dizziness, etc, but I have had absolutely no side effects.

How serious is your hair loss? Are you only taking Spiro? Did you actually see Dr. Redmond at his office, or over the phone?

Bridget

Bridget April 14, 2008 at 4:08 am

JAN!

Hey, I set up an email account. I know you’ll probably post about your followup visit with Dr. R, but email me at the following. I set up an account with yahoo.com, so it’s not my personal email, but once I hear from you, I’ll send you my personal account. If you want to do the same, that’s cool too…

bridget.audrey@yahoo.com

Bridget

jan April 14, 2008 at 7:20 am

hey girls,

update! I saw dr. redmond from my 4 month follow up on saturday and he advised me that he sees an improvment in my hair. he actually changed my BCP to Apri since i was getting my periods early. i am going to stick with the 200mg of spiro and see what happens. I have to go back in 6 months. Bridget-I’ll email you soon at your personal account.

TTYS! :) Love you!

shanlaree April 15, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Karen,

Did Dr. Redmond recommend a hair pull test or biopsy? Did he put you on Spiro after just a visit? He perhaps assumes that this will help. Can you tell me what other meds he told you to go on? My derm told me to go on Spiro and 5% Rogaine after my biopsy came back as AA.

Oh the full does of Spiro does make me feel dizzy so I take 1/2 of the recommended does not sure if that is going to work but better than feeling an out of body exp.

Best,

Shanlaree

Karen April 15, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Shanlaree,

No, there was no hair pull test or biopsy.

Bridget,

I saw Dr. R in his office. I’m taking Spiro and Yasmin. How serious is my hair loss? That’s a tough one to answer. It’s serious for me. My hairline is getting thin, top of head and sides as well. Of course I do my best to cover it with product and style it as best I can. Who knows what people notice? I certainly notice.

Just curious, are you the moderator of this site? Are you affiliated in any way with Dr. Redmond’s office?

Thanks,
Karen

admin April 15, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Hi Karen,

I actually just made a post about spironolactone (aldactone) I was emailed some questions from another girl and I just answered them, so check it out on the main page.

If you have any reservations about taking aldactone, I’d say stop now. Why, because those feeling you have will still be with you in months and years to come and you’ll probably wonder if it is worth taking at all and being very conflicted.

I do take aldactone 200mg myself and have for about the last 8 years. I’d like to hope I’m not causing myself any future health complications.

About Dr. Redmond, he is pretty well known in the women’s hair loss world as he is one of the very few doctors that seems to take it seriously. I have seen him myself. I think his certainty that your hair would come back is probably based on the number of women he sees and the successes they’ve had. Hair loss really is so individual and even with all the hair pull tests and bloodwork in the world it would still be hard to say positively that a persons hair will return to its former state.

I always always say this and I hope my readers don’t think I’m sounding like a broken record, but always go with your GUT and make the decisions to treatment your hair loss that you can LIVE with.

~Y

bridget April 16, 2008 at 2:19 am

Hey Karen,
As you can see, Y is the administrator. I guess it just looks like I post a lot because I like everyone else’s postings to get some sort of response, because I would imagine they get back on to check, as I do. I’m not affiliated with Dr. Redmond, but I did see him in March. I am 25 and experiences “excessive” hair loss and hair thinning. Again, not sure what others notice, but you can see a large chunk of my part in the back, and my front part is increasing a lot. It has become a huge obstacle in my life; one that I obsess over just about every minute of the day. I am currently taking Spiro, about a month, and just switched from Yaz to Yasmin. Good luck!
Bridget

Amy April 16, 2008 at 8:51 am

Hello everyone!

I am curious…. those of you taking ‘Yasmin’…. have you noticed any weight gain?? I’m wondering because Dr. Redmond is having me switch from Yaz to Yasmin… and I’ve heard that the extra estrogen in the Yasmin may cause weight gain??? And I really don’t want to deal with that AND hair loss! :0) Thanks!!!

Amy

bridget April 16, 2008 at 12:08 pm

I was on it for about 4 months before I switched to Yaz about two years ago. I’m now switching back to Yasmin because I had NO WEIGHT GAIN when I was on it the first time.

Karen April 16, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Question:

Is there a difference between Yasmin and Yaz? I thought they were the same thing. Also, for women on Spiro, how often do people get their potassium levels checked? Monthly, bi-annually, yearly? Finally, has anyone on the forum had any serious side effects from Spiro?

Y,

I could not find your post about Spiro, would you please post the link here? I agree with your observation about going with your gut feeling on things. I just don’t trust my gut on this one. It does help to hear other people are taking the same meds and are OK with it. You say you have been on Spiro for 8 years. May I ask how old you are?

Bridget, I can relate. It does become an obstacle in your life. I’m in good shape, exercise, am very healthy and have a great job. I often wonder if the hair loss is the reason why I am single.

K

admin April 16, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Hi Karen,

Here is the link: http://www.womenshairlossproject.com/hair-loss/questions-about-spironolactone-ame/

I am 29 years old, soon to be 30. I don’t know if you have visited the network yet, but it is a great way to interact with other women who are also losing their hair. You can set up your own profile and post comments on other peoples, sort of like myspace type social networking. I will also be having a live chat tomorrow night in the network at 6:30pm PST. We had our first one last Thursday and several women participated. Here is the link for the network: http://community.womenshairlossproject.com

As far as Yasmin and Yaz, I had to google that and found this on other site “Yaz has the same two components as Yasmin, but a lower dose of estrogen (the progesterone is the same).

Another difference between Yasmin and Yaz is that Yaz has 24 active pills, and only 4 placebo pills.”

~Y

Shanlaree April 16, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Hi Karen,

I am just a member and was curious. I see Dr. Redmond’s name posted here and there and wanted to learn more about your exp with him. I saw my derm in Oregon and she prescribed me Yasmin and Spiro as well. I want to purchase Dr. Redmond’s book – it does look interesting. My Derm ( this was last Dec) did do two biopsy’s (one on my temple and one on top of my hair) and determined that I have Female pattern hair loss /AA. It can take it’s toll on some days.

Amy April 17, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Hi everyone!

Thanks Bridget for the info…. while trying to determine if I should start Yasmin with more ‘estrogen’…. I decided to do some research on estrogen and hair loss. And I knoooow I need to be careful with what I read online… but I came across a VERY interesting article…that states that estrogen could be the CAUSE of hair loss! Here is a part of the article…

“Although it is true that DHT directly results in hair loss by stunting and destroying follicles, what causes this is often misunderstood, and as a result most people never EFFECTIVELY stop their balding problem. So what causes DHT? Is it really testosterone? Well, simply put, it is not testosterone. That is the big myth about hair loss. This is primarily produced by the hormone ESTROGEN. It is excess estrogen (a condition called “estrogen dominance”) which results in OVERproduction of DHT…

Estrogen is the underlying hormonal cause of hair loss.

With this well known, it becomes easy to effectively stop your hair loss and regrow thick hair – simply lower the estrogen levels in your body to normal levels, and remove the DHT on your scalp.”

~~~~~~ Okay, I’m officially freaked out. :0) While I’ve been on YAZ that has estrogen… I am actually losing more hair… and can’t help if this is the cause??

I also read one little article that states if we allow too many toxins in our body… our livers become overworked, and the toxins that slip by turn into estrogen…… which in turn causes hairloss. For my home business, I am spray painting alot…. could those fumes be toxins ????

bridget April 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Amy, you sound like me!!! You have to find a doctor that you trust and stick with him/her. If you search enough, you can find anything that you “want” to find. There are some birth control pills that are known to cause hair loss, but Yaz and Yasmin are two that DO NOT!! In all of the trials, when ANY PARTICIPANT complains of a “sympton,” they are obligated to report that it may be a side effect. Good luck with everything and know that you’re not alone! There are plenty of stories of success, just not all of them are posted!!!

XOXO

Amy April 17, 2008 at 2:43 pm

hehehe….. you are so right Bridget! And I DO tend to get a little tooo paranoid at times!

I do agree with you on the success stories etc…. BUT I must say that I’ve been reading a bunch of medical articles all day… and have learned ALOT about different TYPES of estrogen! I can’t remember if anyone has mentioned the importance of “natural progesterone” or not…. but progesterone and estrogen levels need to be in balance. And what concerns me about Dr. Redmond is… especially on our follow up…. no test were suggested, not alot of questions, and nothing mentioned about progesterone and estrogen.

There is a term called “Estrogen Dominance”… and I’ve pretty much diagnosed myself with that… :) Mine, I am almost positive are from …. XENOESTROGENS. They come from chemicals. There is list of symptoms for “estrogen dominance” and I totally fit the bill.

For anyone intersted… Do some studying on “estrogen dominance” and the importance of natural progesterone.

I am making an appointment with a doctor next week … and see if i can have my estrogen levels tested…along with iron levels etc. If nothing else….. it couldn’t hurt! :0)

Misty April 19, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Hey… I stumbled upon this website and thought I would join in. I am 30 years old. I have been dealing with hair loss for over a year. I had a baby in Jan 06. I first noticed the hair loss about 6 months later. I thought it was baby related, but by 1 year, I decided it probably wasn’t. I mentioned it to my GYN… I had switched pills after the baby was born, then my husband had a vasectomy and I stopped pills all together. Then I went back on them because I was having cramps and my face was breaking out like a 14 year old. I first thought it was a hormone issue with being on and off pills, but I had a complete work up and it was all negative. Anyway, went to see a dermatologist who said “yep, you are losing hair, buy some rogaine.” My GYN didn’t agree, so I saw another derm. and he said my scalp looked red, gave me atarax for a couple of months and thought it all looked better. I saw no change. I finally got in with a hair loss specialist at WFUBMC in early April. They thought it was female pattern hair loss, put me on Spironolactone and Rogaine. That has been 9 days ago and I have broke out on my hands and feet for the past 4 days with redness and itching. I called the office and told them what happened, and she asked me if I was putting the rogaine on my feet… That really made me mad! I bit my tongue on that comment. Today was the worst with the itching, and I took a benedryl and it helped. I spoke with a Pharmacist and he urged me to stop the Spironolactone and call the doctor first thing on Monday. Does anyone know if there is anything else I can take besides Spironolactone? I can’t stand the thoughts of doing nothing and losing all my hair at 30. I am so stressed out with this… I look at myself and wonder how much worse it will get. It isn’t noticeable to people, but it is to me. I have always had think, long hair… as a kid I complained about it. Now I feel like I am being paid back for the comments I made as a kid! Any help, advice, or comments would be appreciated. I feel like I am the only one struggling!! Thanks!

CJ May 7, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Hi everyone,

I am 27 years old and been experiencing hair loss for almost 4 years now. I visited Dr. Redmond last summer and was prescriped 200mg of Spiro. It seemed to be working for about 6 months…less shedding and skin was clear. Then about 2 months ago the medicine just seemed to stop working. My hair is falling out the same as before I started taking the medicine if not more and my face has been breaking out again. Has anyone experienced this? I feel like my body has become immune to spiro!

Thanks for your help!
CJ

Jennifer May 8, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Have you contacted Dr redmond regarding the hair loss?

CJ May 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm

I’ve left a message and sent along an email. Still waiting to hear back…

Dara May 16, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Hi CJ,
This is in response to your post on feeling immune to spiro. I too feel that way. I am 22 years old and my best ‘hair’ year so to speak was last year… even though I was taking the same medication then as I do now. Now I am in the worst situation I have been in and I feel as though this ‘regimen’ that was working before is no longer doing its job. I have been taking sprinolacton at 200mg each day. I think I may have taken aldacatone (generic spiro) in the past- and perhaps that made a difference and worked better for me? You might want to look into that. As I am sure you feel, hair loss is all too lonely and depressing when the medication can’t even stabilize the hair loss, let alone help with re-growth. I wish you luck, I would call Dr. Redmond and see if he has any suggestions.
I haven’t experienced skin reactions, but I certainly have noticed a lot less hair on my head since last year.
Hope this is helpful info, it certainly helps to know there are people out there going through the same thing….

CJ May 18, 2008 at 8:01 am

I heard back from Dr. Redmond’s office yesterday and they suggested I try one of two options:

1. Try switching from generic (spiro) to the brand name (Aldactone). He said that some patients have better results with aldactone.

2. Continue taking spiro but add on finasteride.

So now I’m just trying to decide what’s the best option and I’m nervous I’m going to make the wrong decision and only continue to loss more hair in the process. If anyone has any suggestions or experiences with swithching to aldactone or using both spiro and finasteride I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you!!

jan305 June 11, 2008 at 5:02 am

Hi everyone,
It has been about 2 months since i last posted. I am at my 6 mth mark with spiro and birth control pills, I see a decrease in hair loss and an increase in regrowth, i have tiny hairs growing in all over. I am not sure if this is because of the rogaine that i was using tho. i will now slowly try to ween myself off of the rogaine. I go back to Redmond in October now. Plaase let me know if you have any questions.

Ariel September 21, 2008 at 8:26 am

So I have had to do a lot of research on my own about my hair loss, doctors who have no idea what to tell me, patchy information etc. That is how I stumbled across this website. I started losing my hair in March. They did every kind of blood test the could think of and everything came back normal and decided it was stress related. It has now been 6 months and about 3/4 of my hair is gone. Thankfully I had a TON of thick hair so that right now it just looks like a normal head of hair. Anyway, they just started me on spironolactone and suggested that I might get off of my birth control pills (Yasmin) because it has been shown to to cause hair loss. I just started taking these pills a few days ago and have suddenly started having some intense, weird dreams and wanted to see what people though and if this had happened to anyone else. I also wanted to see what the results have been for others. I did a series of things all at once, stopped birth control, started spironolactone, and cut my hair significantly and my hair loss has suddenly decreased and I wanted to see if people have had a positive experience also with spironolactone. They have me on pre-natal vitamins and biotin to help encourage hair growth and I don’t know if it’s helping but there is some new growth so I just hope that it’s enough to fill in the thinner areas now.

Elizabeth September 23, 2008 at 6:46 pm

It’s always good to hear from others that know exactly how you are feeling. Here’s my story…… When I was younger I had a full head of hair and then I started calorie ristricting and started to loose a whole bunch of hair. I’m 26 years old now. I went to my dermatolgist and she said that with calorie ristrictions, it increases the amount of testosterone which when it comes to hair is no good. She put me on 100 mg of spiro. I have been on that for a couple of months. I also use rogaine. I’m not seeing that much improvement. I did go off birth control and noticed a bit more shedding. I’m going to go back on because it’s not working for me. I feel so ugly with my hair down and my hair is so thin it won’t even go up. The whole hair loss issue is extremely devestating and is consuming every waking hour of my life. I’ve been looking online like it’s my job and all I ever do when watching TV or just being out in public is stare at other people’s hair. It makes me soooooooo sick! Has anybody had good luck with spiro and birth control? Should I take Yaz or Yasmine when I go back on the pill? Is there any hope for regrowth. Im so confused and am definitely becoming very depressed! HELP

Leah Klein September 28, 2008 at 8:38 am

I had never heard that excess estrogen may actually cause hair loss. That makes sense….. Yasmin is what caused my androgenetic alopecia to kick in. It completely messed up my hormones… and five years later I have to wear a hair replacement system because of it. Although estrogen is supposed to be good for your hair, it must have been way too much for me. If only I could go back in time.

Lizzie September 28, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Hi, everyone. I just discovered this site. I’ve been freaking out for the last month or so about my excess shedding. Ever since I can remember I’ve gone through shed cycles every 6 months or so, but they never seemed very dramatic and always ended quickly. Now I’m 26 and I’ve been in a crazy shed for the last 3 months or so–which is a really long time for me–and I lose A LOT of hair every day. A good sized clump in the shower in the morning, and then all day, anytime I run my hand through my hair I pull out at least three. It seems like the limit to how many I pull out is just how many times I feel like doing it. It doesn’t stop!

I can see from reading all these posts that there are a lot of causes to hair loss, so I’m not sure where to begin, though I can think of two possibilities. I under-ate on and off this summer for the first time in my life. I had started gaining weight, which I’d never dealt with before, and I got really stressed about my metabolism slowing down, so I guess you could say I was experimenting with under-eating. The other thing is, I’ve been on orthotricyclen for about 10 years, but about a year ago my doctor told me that since I experience no side effects from it, that I could start skipping every other sugar pill cycle (meaning I go back to the estrogen and skip a period). After reading some of these posts I was wondering if I could be OD-ing on estrogen.

The thing that’s stressing me out is just how long this shed is lasting. It’s starting to feel like it’s not going to stop. I’m wondering if either of these things could be the cause? I’m going to start taking multivitamins, and I think I’ll go back to my normal birth control cycle, but since I’m new to this, I wanted to get your opinions–do you think I should also go ahead and see my doctor?

-L

Gin October 20, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Hi, everyone. I experienced hair loss issues around 2 years back when i was 26. I just turned 28 recently. I chanced upon this really helpful website about 6 months ago and was introduced to Dr Raymond book. I had read it and it’s really very useful information to me and has given me hope of stopping my hairloss. I’m a Singaporean and i find that there’s not many doctors here who are well knowleged in woman hair loss problem.

I’m now seeing an endocrinologist and is taking spironolactone (i think it’s the generic label) since May this year. I’m only taking 25mg X2 each day so this mean i’m taking only 50mg per day? I read this forum and many of you are taking around 100-200mg. I suggested this to my doc but he is not in approval of me taking that high dosage saying such high dosage is not necessary due to the smaller size of Asian. I’m worried that whether this 50mg per day is sufficient? So far, my hairloss is only slightly lesser compared to the past. What worried me more is I’m dropping a fair amount of fine baby hairs (vellus hairs). Anyone has this concern here? My hair is definitely going to get thinner and thinner when even the new grown hairs are dropping… I think i have seen this situation even before i started spiro so i don’t know whether spiro has accentuate the problem or whether the spiro is not effective on me?

I just went back to my doc 2 days ago for review and raised this concern to him. I wanted to increase the dosage of spiro but he decided to gave me procepia instead. Like the rest of you here, i’m willing to try anything for my hair. But i’m really worried with the baby hairs keep falling. Just thinking whether is there any advise for me besides taking the propecia?

Kathy October 27, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Hi Everyone,

I just came across this site today and it is exactly what I have been needing to read. I have been feeling especially frustrated with my hair loss recently, though it has been going on for about 3 years now, after a recent appointment with my Endocrinologist/gynecologist.
I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome when I was 15 (I am 23 now) and I was put on Spironolactone, birth control (Demulin) and Metformin. For a few years they took me off the Metformin because my blood sugar was consistently too low, but I am back on it again. When I first noticed my hair loss, I talked to the doctor who explained to me that hair goes through growth cycles and I was probably experiencing the “shedding” time of the cycle. My response, of course, was that I didn’t think the cycles were so severe. The second time I mention the hair loss with a different doctor, she informed me that a side effect of spironolactone is hair loss, which no one had ever told me. I mentioned this to the third, most recent doctor who told me that this was just a side effect that I would have to deal with because the spironolactone/metformin/demulin package was the best to avoid type 2 diabetes when I get older. Then, I am surfing the net (in lieu of doing homework ;) ) and find that all these people are on 200mg of spironolactone to promote hair growth. I am currently taking 100mg per day.

I have a traditionally male-pattern-baldness – looking pattern: thin on top, with moderate thickness around my ears and back of my head. My very dry curly hair has also become fairly oily on top, where the thinning is happening and I have thick flaky skin on my scalp at the worst areas of thinning. At the advice of the third doctor, I tried 2% minoxidil but this just made my hair look greasy, made my head itchy and more flaky, and didn’t really have a big improvement. Plus, I don’t want to have to rely on that the rest of my life.

From reading all of you posts, I don’t need to mention how I have tried to cut and style my hair to avoid this embarrassing situation. I always used to have such thick hair that I couldn’t even keep it in a ponytail. I guess I never really appreciated it until this happened to me.

I know some people have similar stories to mine. At this point, I just don’t know what to do.

Kerry October 30, 2008 at 5:59 am

Hi all,
I just hapenned across this website and I must say it is a comfort to know i am not alone in this hairloss journey. I AM 37 feel like i have been losing to much hair since about 18ish.When i lost about half of what i originally had i was the only one who noticed but now i have lost more than half of the half and i know other people notice.I t is always on my mind and i think it keeps me from being truly happy. I have very baby fine hair which doesn’t help and to make matters worse it is naturally curly.It looks hideous curly with the fine texture so i have to flat iron it which i am sure is not great for it.I have been diagnosed w/ chronic TE and am wondering if i also have androgentic alopecia. I lose alot of hair and it is all different lengths.. I lose hair as long as the longest and hairs barely 1/2 in. and all lengths in betweeen. It is so frustrating. Anyway i was told to use rogaine which i did for about a year and found it very difficult to use. Made me itchy and oily but did see some results. I quit using it and was trying to hide the fact of my hairloss from my boyfriend at the time. I am now married and feel better that my husband knows of my hair problems. I always thought that bc caused my hairloss so i thought i would try an iud it has progestrone and something else.. .but didn’t seem to help anything..So anyway my primary doc. just gave me a script for spiro for 100 mg. twice a day. I have tried nioxin shampoo but seems to give me a buildup and hair just does’t seem clean. I am also taking Viviscal (Nourkrin) u can get it at any Vitamin world or on the net. IT has alot of protein from marine complex(deep sea fish) VIT.C HORSETAIL EXTRACT AND Acerola cherry.it is supposed to nourish thinning hair and promote existing hair growth . I am hoping that this and spiro will be the key to less or no hair loss. I am not sure if the spiro just slows the hair loss . Does it promote new growth? i am going to do some research before taking them both to make sure of any drug interactions. Any comments on spiro or anything i have written would be welcome……. : ) !!!!!

Angela October 30, 2008 at 7:25 am

Hi Kerry,
I would like to encourage you to join The Women’s Hair Loss Project Network. At the top of the page on the right hand side you will see a box that says “Join the Community.”
There are so many wonderful and caring women in the network that are going through the same thing as you. It is a place of great comfort for those who no longer want to suffer this thing called “Hair Loss” alone.

Stop by and join us…you are not alone my dear!

Have a great day, I hope to see you on the site.

Angela

megan May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm

hi i am seventeen and i am currently on rogaine and spironolactone because i am losing my hair ! I read Bonnie’s comment saying that it is normal to experience more shedding when you first use the spironolactone because it is making room for new growth. Well, my senior prom is in one month, so should i stop using the spironolactone until after the prom? If I keep using it, will i no longer have what is left of my long brown hair, or will one month not make me lose it all before the prom?? I have been on it for 5 days by the way. Please someone answer back soon!!

Vicky June 3, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Hey megan the spiro is not causing the excessive hair loss, the rogaine does at first, so if you are concerned about your prom, I would postpone using the rogaine until after prom but continuing taking the spiro. hope this helps

Colleen July 28, 2009 at 5:55 am

Hi everyone. I just found this website, and reading your stories is like reading my own. The tears, the sadness, the frustrations. I have also just been put on spiro and yasmin. However, my pharmacy geve me the generic ocella instead of yasmin. Do any of you know if there is a huge difference between the two. Should I take the ocella or demand the yasmin?

I also wanted to say thank you to all of you for sharing your stories. I have been sitting here for the past hour and a half in tears reading all of your tales and seeing that I am not the only person going through this,

Julia August 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm

I started seeing a Endocrinologist about a year ago for hair loss. My hair has thinned all over, breaks easily, and it very brittle! No bald spots yet, but quite frightening! I’m a bit angry because my friends and family really don’t see it…but I use every product under the sun to hide it! I take Spironolactone 100mg because my testerone levels are elevated. I really like Nizoral and use it along with Nioxin. Also, it helps to be a master of some styling products…but I truly notice bouts of heavy sheading, oily scalp…all of the same symptoms that are posted on this site. As a Dental Hygienist, I pick the brain of all of my patients that are health care professionals, as well as those in the beauty industry!! I have heard some of my patients had significant hair loss using Yaz. Most of these women were in their 30′s and 40′s. Jeez, we can grow lush grass on all of the ball fields in this country but we can’t give a gal a full head of HAIR!

Colleen August 4, 2009 at 10:50 am

Hi Everyone, I just came across this site and cannot believe how many young women out there, like myself, are loosing their hair. I always thought I was the youngest person alive with this horrible disease. Like the other Colleen, who wrote a few posts before me, this site has brought me to tears, scared me, yet comforted me.

I began losing my hair when I was 18 years old, went to countless dermatologists refusing to acknowledge my “pity” plea at such a young age. Finally, I found an amazing dermatologist who has been working with me every since. At age 19 I was diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia and a very mild case of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I was on and off a few birth control pills before the hair loss began, including YAZ, which I now fear could have been the onset of the hair loss. As soon as I made the connection from researching women’s hair loss, I immediately stopped YAZ, but it still got worse.

My doctor started me on spironolactone and Iron supplements (my ferratin level was at a 6 when the normal range is between 40-140) and it was like magic, the change happened slow, but my hair got thicker, and I stopped loosing it. I was so happy and felt like the worst was over.

Until recently, now just turned 21, and the hair loss is back. I am back to where I started, maybe with even less hair, but I am taking an even higher dosage of spironalactone. A couple weeks ago, I stopped taking Tilia Fe, a birth control pill I was on that was supposed to work with the spironalactone, in fear that something changed and it was the culprit, but it is still getting worse.

After reading some of your stories, I am scared to death because my hair right now does not look like I am balding to other people. To the people who know me best, it may look a little less dense. To me, I am half way to straight cue ball. But I feel like a pattern has emerged for many of you. It gets better initially and then it gets worse, way worse, and there is nothing you can do to fix it. What if I can’t turn this around now? What if this is a permanent slippery slope?

I was never blessed with the natural beauty of some, but I did have one thing. A full head of beautiful, wonderful, unique, RED hair. It has always been my defining characteristic, how people describe me, how people recognize me. It is my favorite part of the physical “ME”. I truly love my curly red locks and will be so heart broken if I can’t figure out something to make them stay. I am very glad I found this site. Hearing your stories is a comfort, to know I am not alone.

Now lets find a cure for this darn thing!

Cheryl S August 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Hello all. I found this site last week and was quite honestly shocked to discover that what I was experiencing appears to be so common. I am 51 years old. I have always had fine, thin hair, but nowhere near as thin as it is now. It was just 2 weeks ago that I discovered when I parted and lifted my hair up, I could see large areas of bare scalp. I have spent the last 2 weeks on-line researching hair loss in women and crying my eyes out. I was wondering from any of the older women on this site who are menopausal or post-menopausal, if anyone found that taking hormones helped with their hair loss. I had a hysterectomy when I was 24 years old. I am in menopause at this time. I saw a dermatologist 3 days ago and she is pretty confident I have AGA, and started me on Rogaine 5% for the next 4 months. She said that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help, and said as long as I am aware of the risks of HRT, it is my decision. Does anyone out there have any experience they can share about hormone replacement therapy possibly helping (or not) with their hair loss? I plan on taking bio-identical hormones rather than synthetic hormones. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

AF September 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Does using Spirolactone cause more hair shedding at first?

Amy H September 22, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I hate reading your stories and knowing so many women are suffering from alopecia like myself- something that I would not want anyone to have to go through but I also find comfort that I am not alone as I have felt alone for the last 4-5 years. I started losing hair at 24. I went to every doctor imaginable and all my tests results came back “normal”- always on the lower end of normal but normal none-the-less. I am a little more fortunate because my mother works at the dermatologist office that I go to and can get me in ASAP- on the doctor’s lunch break. He has been so patient with me over the years – for which I will always be grateful to him for. Also, my uncle is an endocrinologist- so with him knowing my family history and for me just telling him what I was going through he told me that I have AA. And yes, like most of you, my shedding started when I got off BC pills. I had been on them for just about 10 years. I believe they totally screwed up my system and body quit producing hormones like it did pre-bc and couldn’t adjust when I got off BC. My testosterone levels never proved to be high however my estrogen levels at times were normal and at other times were next to nil/nonexistent. I feel that I have had a better journey than most and for that I am grateful. I had a full head of gorgeous locks and throughout all the shedding for the past several years I still have a headful of hair and to the average eye they cannot suspect what I am going through. I have lost a lot of my hair and each time I go into remission I regrow a lot of it back. My hair is in all different lengths but no complaints from me on that. I don’t have all the hair I once did but I still have a lot of it. I have been severly depressed over this. You never know how much you are going to lose or when it is going to stop shedding. I would lose up to 500+ hairs a day. It’s amazing to think of how much I have lost and still I have so much still on my head (YEAH!). I’ve go in and out of remission (or at least this is what I call out). I was put on zovia 1/50 (bc pills – has a high dose of estrogen) along with spiro and proscar. I would shed intensely for about 6 wks to 3 mos and then it would usually stop for about 6 mos before starting again. I could not figure out what the trigger was. I decreased the bc pill so I thought that might be it and I also stopped taking proscar when my hair stopped falling out so I thought maybe this was the reason for the shedding to start again. I saw a fertility specialist, I went to Duke, … you name it- The fertility Dr saw me for about a year and was determined to help me. I am a tall skinny, athletic built individual and the Dr said going through what I was going through was common in my type of built. I am also Type A personality & wondered if personality and other characteristics like this could lead to hair loss and not just be biological. He took me off BC pills and put me on estrogen and progesterone cream and still I would be good for a while, about 6 mos with only losing a couple of strands of hair in the shower until remission time was over and it would come out in handfuls for the next 3 mos. I tried to get off of almost everything last year to see if my body would just go in and out of these episodes and remission without any meds and that proved to not be the case. I gave it about 9 mos and could not take it anymore and got back on the estrogen patch, progesterone cream, spiro and proscar. [I have also taken minoxidil (in pill form) but quit that.] And once again it took about 3-4 mos and my hair stopped shedding. That brings me to this most current episode- my hair has been falling out since around March/April (2009) and I have been doing spiro, proscar and progesterone cream but wanted to try and not do any type of estrogen… still shedding, ladies, so I called the doctor today after reading all of your posts and they are calling me in Zovia 1/50 which seems to work along with spiro to put me in remission. I have tried many different other things as well – I could write a book on it. I have done so much research I feel I have earned an MD. I am still fortunate because I still have a full head a hair of which I am thankful for. I have complete faith in God that each and every one of us is going to get through this with a full head of hair ? When things get tough- just trust God that he will lead you through this. Believe me, I have not always been this strong. This has consumed my life for the last 4 ½ yrs. I have what I call “hair envy” when I hang out with my friends or see a stranger with beautiful locks. I just know that worry and stress, impossible as it is to not do it, is only going to worsen the problem and not make it any better. I am praying for all of you!

Kay September 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Hi all,
I started losing my already baby fine hair suddenly 4 years ago. Nobody who hasn’t gone through this understands how it sucks to see strands of hair fall all over your desk or computer every day, or watch more and more white scalp appear in the mirror. Over the previous 6 months I had also been losing my memory & had low energy for several years prior. GP, dermatologist, endocrinologist all said stress, depression, PTSD (even with no apparent trauma). By the time my hair fell out I’d already left my job and taken a long vacation. They didn’t solve the problem because the problem wasn’t stress.

More doctors… never a hair biopsy suggested. At some point I had an endoscopy that showed esophageal candida. Treated that, but it didn’t help my hair. Then my hair stopped falling out – and started getting incredibly gummy. My stylist, who specialized in hair loss, said she’d never seen anything like it. One day I shampooed it 3 times and still had to wear a scarf over my head to work. It was disgusting. The stylist gave me a bottle of special shampoo and since then, as long as I’m religious about using only two shampoos (Pantene or Nizerol) and going no more than two days between shampoos, the gum stays mostly gone.

Fast forward to 2009. Hair hasn’t grown back. I’ve probably seen 15 doctors 70 times and finally a new one tests me for B12 which shows low. I start getting B12 injections biweekly and my life is changed – after 7 years I have energy, my legs don’t ache from walking up stairs, my memory is back, motivation is back, etc. It’s like magic.

However my hair doesn’t come back. My ponytail’s about the size of a dime and limp. (I’m lucky to have that much, I know.) I still have the doublewide part and a bald spot/cowlick combo I rarely manage to hide. Like someone said above, I long for the ability to grow my hair long. I color my dark hair lighter to make the scalp contrast less and try to find stylists who use color products that roughen the hair shaft to add body. (The latest stylist put something in my hair to soften it, the witch. Like it isn’t limp enough already?)

But I’ve also realized that everybody else notices, or at least fixates, a lot less than I do. (At least once you’re out of your teenage years – I’m 43.) Yeah, it’d be great to have more hair, but men still find me attractive. Even when I’ve got a scarf on and my hair’s all gummy and dull from baby powder I put in to soak up the ridiculous oil and I would rather hide in my room than go out, most people aren’t looking at that. I’ve got a friend in the same boat – she’s missing part of her front hair cause unknown and it sucks, but she smiles so much it’s not the first thing I ever notice.

So I guess what I wanted to share is 1) If you’re new to this heartbreak of shedding, what is horrifying now will get better, even if you just learn to deal with it better. Yeah it’s easier to say when you’re not holding a wad of hair, but you’ll get there, we all do. 2) Just keep looking for answers and don’t let anyone tell you it’s all in your head. And 3) Check your B12 if you feel like crap!

valerie October 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Hello,

I had no idea there were so many women out there just like me. I was diagnosed with PCOS about 3 years ago, and since then my hair has been gradually thinning. I think about it constantly, trying to fix my already fine hair in to a not so odvious comb over, and failing. I have been staring at my perscription of Spiro for a couple months now, afraid of the side effects, but growing more and more depressed not taking action. I have tried Rogaine, or some generic version for women, but swear my hair is thinner after using it. I am also terrible about using it every day twice a day. I don’t like the way it makes my hair feel. I am currently going through a divorce, and really want to come out of it ready to face the world. Now, i’m constantly worried about lighting in restuarants, people looking at my head when they should be looking in my eyes, and completely paranoid. No way to start a new life. I think next week i’m going to try the spiro, it’s only a 25 mg dose. I just hate adding another medication to my list (i take two others, metformin for pcos, and synthroid)

I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with Saw Palmetto? I have done some reading about that vitiman suppliment, and it sounds promising. I feel though like i am out of options, and while i know the cause of my hair loss (PCOS) it still doesn’t help me feel good about myself. I think this site is fantastic, and i have enjoyed reading everyones stories. Here is to hoping our hair grows back! Hope everyone has a fantastic day!

Valerie

Carolyn November 17, 2009 at 8:06 am

Hi everyone, I just found this site as I am also looking for some help with hair loss. I just starting taking blood pressure pill lisinprol back in July and have noticed significant hair thinning. After researching for hours on the web I have realized the bp meds can cause hair loss. Who knew?? I go see my doctor on Thursday and I may see if she can switch me to Spiro it seems to have pretty good reputation for not causing hair loss. Thanks for all the information and I hope everyone finds the cure they are looking for.

Carolyn

Nancy December 3, 2009 at 9:37 am

Hi every. I started Spiro, prescribed about a year ago by my dermatologist and it’s been very effective in greatly reducing my hair loss. I am curious, though, if anyone has experienced weight gain on spiro?

Thanks,
Nancy

Verity Barnes December 6, 2009 at 10:25 am

I read your article with great interest. I have already read a book about Hormones which also states that spironlactone can stop hair loss. Unfortunately I went to my local GP about this and gave him both the book I had written by an eminent doctor and also the article about spironlactone.

He was completely unsympathic and said he could not prescribe this drug for hair loss. He told me to contact the endocrinologist that I had seen a few months ago, but I really can’t keep paying out £170 to keep seeing her and she is not responding to my phone calls or emails. Did you doctor prescribe this drug for you?

Michelle January 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

Started taking Spiro 1 month ago for hair loss. 50mg. once in the morning and doctor will re-check in 3 Feb. 2010.

Have a question though…..does the Spiro cause hair growth in other areas? I seem to be “plucking” a lot more? Haven’t noticed the new growth on my head but have noticed it more on my face.

Thanks!!
Michelle

Kathleen January 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Just started taking Spiro a few days ago and 5% Rogaine. I always had thick, curly hair up until about 4-5 years ago when it gradually started thinning. In 2008 I saw my dermatologist after a particularly bad bout of thinning and she did a hair biopsy and diagnosed me with androgenetic alopecia. She wanted to put me on treatment meds, including Propecia but said we’d have to wait until after I was done having kids. Fast forward to last year – got pregnant and had my daughter ni August 2009. During the pregnancy my hair grew in thick and I loved it. Of course, I didn’t know then that it would fall out starting three months after the birth. The hair loss has been going on for about 2 months now and it is the worst it has ever been. I finally stopped breastfeeding and saw a new dermatologist who put me on the Spiro and recommended supplementing it with 5% Rogaine. He said that studies show the Propecia may not be effective at all for women. Just curious if anyone else has tried it? Am also not back on birth control yet but am going to talk to my OB/GYN about it during my visit next month. Am SO happy to find this site – I cry pretty much every day praying that the shedding would just stop.

MiaFlores January 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Hi Kathleen,

I can’t speak much to the effectiveness yet, but I can tell you that I, too, have been on a similar regimine for about two weeks. I have been back on BC for three months and using Nioxin and Nizoral (alternating), but doc just put me on Spiro and started me on 5% Rogaine as well.

I can tell you I’m finding the Rogaine really bothersome. I’m using the foam, but still…it leaves my hair sooo sticky I have to wear a hat the rest of the day because my hair looks so awful, and so far I’ve only been able to use it once a day. Because I have long hair, I wash every other day, so I’ve been using the Rogaine at night, then washing in the morning on wash days, wearing a hat or something on non-wash days.

One thing to be aware of is that both Spiro and Rogaine (like any hairloss remedy) usually causes you to lose MORE hair for a short while because they force the old, telogen hairs out. (So, you’re losing more hair in one fell swoop, but it’s hair that was already dead/you were already going to lose anyway.)

Personally, I’ve not really noticed an increase in my loss these last two weeks (knock on wood), maybe even a slight decrease in shed. I don’t know if this means it takes a while for the stuff to kick in and I should be bracing myself for a dread shed (anyone know?), or if maybe it’s possible that the combo of BC, Nioxin and Nizoral has already kicked out a lot of the excess telogen hairs (*hopehopehopehope*) and I now just have to wait for the Spiro and Minoxidil to start decreasing my shed? My daily count is still high (somewhere around 100-110), but….

stefania January 31, 2010 at 1:51 am

Hey everyone, I think I can share alot of useful information on this topic…
I am 31 and have been dealing with thinning hair for a good while…seems like too long now. I think the only reason my thinning did not start earlier was because I got on Ortho try cyclen when i was 16 and headed off some of thinning. A stressful time in my life, the atkins diet, and getting off the pill made my hair fall out like crazy. triple wammy.oh and to make it worse I decided to get on a pill which I cant recall right now..which made it even worse..I have tried alot of things..alot I can’t even remeber all of them ..Nioxin, follicure, and a bunch of others..only one thing worked…but it was really expensive and I now wish I woud have gotten on atleast a maintenace to keep what i gained. There is a place called Regenix, in the sider sinai hospital building, and I took a chance and it did work, but Like i said it is expensive . I will get back on it one day when I can afford it. As for now I use Jojoba oil ,,it is really good to clean out hair follicles and condition hair. I leave it on 30 minutes, massge into scalp amd then shower as usuall. I also take a multi vitamin..capsule only,,because hard ones dont always dissolve and deodarized garlic,,keeps the rest of me healthy I am being positive and hoping it is helping my hair too..I use folligen ,,its that copper spay, supposed to keeep scalp and follicules from aging and other good things.I don’t use that all the time tho..I only use all natural shampoos ,,the chemicals in regular shampoo are bad for you, most people just don’t know this. I use Giovanni the silver bottles …magnetic something or other in the name…best all natural,,,i have tried most..after using for a while,,,hair is soo shiny and overall nice, cuts down frizz,,,awesome overall,,i get it at Vitamn Shoppe..online or at the store..I use Toppik hair fibers and toppik hair spray …keeps me sane,,so that things are not too noticeble..I used to have long thick curly hair, :( ..any who…all this stuff is keepin things from getiing worse…Oh I wanted to mention..this is important for people who have problems with itchy dry scapl from differnt products…PPG..propyleneglycol ..not sure exact spelling…is a big culprit..it is in shampoos, hair products ..rogaine…I am positive that was causing irritation for me..Who knows probably made things worse for my thinning hair..by the way there is minoxidil without ppg if you research online..and the regenix place has a web site on line also..I am a big research nerd about everything, I was thinking of spirnolactane, but I just got laid off and don’t have insurance anymore..plus all those side effects sound scarry…Man I wish I knew what those regenix fkers put in their stuff..haha..then I would be the one getting rich..If you start on it and seee results get on atleast a maintenance , so you don”t waste the money you previously spent like me..:(..oh well evrything happens for a reason,, it could be worse..Oh and don’t get extensions, like i was doing the other day, I did my research alil late on that..it could turn your thinning head of hair into a bald head of hair…really ..I took them out..before I even got them all in..lol….Don’t wanna make something bad into something horrible…well if I can help any of you in any way let me know..Ciao’ stefania

stefania January 31, 2010 at 1:55 am

Oh yeah,,I bought caruso steam rollers,,,no more heat stying ,,weak hair can’t take regular hair abuse, and no more hair dye…that makes your fragile hair , worse too..no matter what your beloved hair sylist tells you..no more dye..it is bad for your scalp and hair…I have some grey hairs, and I am tempted to dye all the time….don’t…maybe I will get root touch up in my natural color and use only on grey hairs…will that work?don’t know..

ciao;;;again;;;lol

karen February 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Hi all,
It was so nice to read all of your comments. I am just plain scared. I have lost so much hair this past year. I had a scalp biopsy and the result was andogenetic alopecia. I am taking spiro at this time. Do you think I am crazy for taking it? I do not take any other medication. Thank you for all your stories. I swear if I lose most of my hair I am just going to shave my head. The thought of putting a wig on and hot flashes is enough to make me want to scream! You are all so brave.

Karen

renee February 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I have debated about taking spiro for sometime … but, after visiting an old hair dresser who was in shock with the condition of my hair, and the random thinning throughout… It’s time to give it a try.

My doc would only prescribe 5mg because he was not familiar with the drug, and nervous I’m sure. But, as I read thru this blog, people mention 200 and 300 mg.

Any suggestions on the mg and can anyone recommend a doc that specializes in female hair loss in Arizona??

Thanks All – this website is both comforting and informative!!

Sheila February 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I just started taking Spiro. I had to stop. I have been incredibly nauses. Has anybody else experienced this?

natalie February 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Hi,
I have a very similar story. I started meds at 21 although was not compliant b/c at the time I still had a lot of gorgeous hair and i wasn’t sure it was necessary to take the meds. Seven years later, my hair is extremely thin, scalp always showing, anxiety high over potential of it getting much worse and no way to help. I am going to go to a salon in New York this week to see if there is a temporary fix to help boost my hair and confidence in the meantime. This is a serious thing and it’s awful when people just look at you as if you are just being frivolous. Do I wish I hadn’t ever taken pills? yes. Do I wish that I was just compliant with one thing at a time? Definately. Whatever you do, just make sure you can stick with it. IT’s really hard not knowing concrete answers or reasons for certain things though. I’m interested in any help anyone gets in the new york area that is worth mentioning.
Thanks!

Sarah February 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Hey, I’m 23 years old, and I have been experiencing hair loss for about six months now. I was recently very stressed and not eating well, so I thought perhaps that was my problem. Also, I stopped taking Ortho TriCyclen Lo for a few months and assumed maybe the lack of some hormone had something to do with it.. Even though it has been six months later and I’m eating healthy and back on the birth control, I’m still losing hair. In fact, I have started acquiring a bald spot on the front of my head. I had a dermatologist do some bloodwork, and hopefully he has some sort of diagnosis when I see him Friday. This whole thing has been really depressing for me. If he wants to do a scalp biopsy, how big of a chunk of skin will he need to take? Is anyone using any hair loss products that seem promising? I’m very new to all of this. Thanks for listening.

Kathleen March 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give you an update – I’m 2 months into taking the spiro (100mg/day) and 5% Rogaine and the shedding has definitely decreased. Am also back on b/c (Ocella, which is generic for Yasmin. I can see little hairs starting to pop up in my hairline – baby steps but I’ll take it!

Sarah April 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Everyone who is listening,

Well, the doctor said that my ferratin was low, so I’m now taking a daily iron supplements to help that out. He also wound up doing the scalp biopsy. After three weeks of nervously waiting, he diagnosed me with either alopecia areata or androgenetic alopecia. In an attempt to cure these maladies, he gave me some sort of injections in my scalp to stop the hair loss and possibly regrow some of my hair. I really hope this does the trick. Has anyone else tried the scalp injections before?

Thanks for listening,
Sarah

Pamela April 11, 2010 at 8:28 am

Hello, I found this website when I googled spironlactone. My doctor prescribed this to me when I told him about the big bald spot on the left back side of my head. I have been using Rogaine for about 2 months and some hair is growing back sparingly but it is gray hairs. I am 55 years old and post menopausal and take Synthroid for Hypothyroid. I have no idea why I have the bald spot but wondering from what I have read here if it’s because of my hupothyroid or the Synthroid I take. I have always had very thick hair so luckily I can cover the bald spot which is about the size of an egg with my hair above the bald spot. I am very nervous that the area will get larger. I have an appointment with a derm but have to wait 4 months to get in to see him! I just hope and pray the Spiro and Rogaine works for me or the Derm can help me.

Karen Grace April 26, 2010 at 7:03 am

Hello Everyone.

I found this website today when I googled the prescription I am on – Spironolactone. I was extremely glad to stumble across this site. I knew there were other women who were facing the trauma of losing their hair, but I just didn’t know where to find them. I try to stay positive about it because I know there are worse things that could be happen, but it is still a very emotional thing to go through and some days are better then others.

I have been on Spiro for about 2 years for female pattern balding. I also take biotin, an iron supplement and use mens rogaine (as prescribed by my dermatologist). About 8 months ago I just got lazy and pretty much stopped what I was doing. I started shedding again like crazy and have since returned to all of my daily routines. I saw quite a few posts about the rogaine leaving the hair feeling greasy. After applying the liquid rogaine I wait about 15 minutes before blowdrying my hair. It allows the rogaine to soak in and seems to alleviate the greasy feeling.

I wish everyone out there good luck and I have ALL of you in my thoughts and prayers….

tina May 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I am 42 and losing my hair. My scalp is now getting noticeable near my part and it is really upsetting. I have been taking spironolactone and Yaz (a common treatment for hair loss) for 2 months now and I don’t see a difference. The doctor it would be at least 6 months and perhaps longer for me to notice a difference. My question is — has anyone experienced regrowth from this mediacation or does it just stop you hair from falling out more? Any insight is appreciated.

tina May 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I notice that many women go to see dermatologists for hair loss and I don’t believe they can help. You really should consider seeing an endocrynologist. Dr Redmond on East 86th St in Manhattan is an endocrynologist that specializes in womens’ hair loss treatments. Women from all over the country go to see him. He prescribed spironolactone and Yaz for me and told me that my issue is hormonal and not alopecia. I’ve been taking the meds for 2 months and I hope that in 6 months, I will see regrowth. I always had thick hair and now you can see my scalp. It is so upsetting — like your losing a piece of your femininity. I hope the medication will make a difference. I will let you know if it does.

Kathleen May 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to update on the progress regarding my hair loss/regrowth. After being on 100mg spiro and using men’s rogaine for the past four months AND going on Yasmin as my b/c method (as prescribed by my dermatologist), my hair is definitely noticeably growing back. Still have a long way to go but for the first time since December/January I actually feel like I can wear it pulled back w/o a headband to hide the sparse area in front. My sister and husband noticed first, then my hairdresser, and also my dermatologist when I saw him a couple weeks ago. Most importantly, I’m noticing it growing back, particularly in the front where the hair loss was the worst and most noticeable.

So, do I believe in the spiro, Rogaine and in my case, Yasmin combo? Yes. Some of the shedding was due to post-pregnancy hormones, which triggered the alopecia. However, to finally see it coming back after being VERY depressed about it for months, is a relief. I may not get all the way back to where I was a few years ago but any improvement is still an improvement in my book.

I have been and still am among the sisterhood of balding beauties so I just wanted to share some good news to let you know to keep the faith and keep to your regimen! as for the poster who asked about the nausea – I think I had some of that when I first started taking the spiro. Have you tried taking it with a meal or at night? I take two doses of 50mg a day so I do one in the morning when I get up and the other right before I go to bed.

Keep it going ladies! We can beat this!

Karen Grace May 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Kathleen…..Thanks for your post. I am heading to the dermatologist on Wednesday and I am going to ask him about Yasmin. Like you, I also experienced nausua when I first starting taking Spiro and began to take it with food. I now can take it without eating anything. I assume my system is now used to it.

Tina….I definately believe I am experiencing some regrowth due to the regiment I am on. I see new hairs near the front of my scalp. They stand out because they are gray (I don’t care what color they are as long as they are growing). I also have noticed more “peach fuzz” on my face. My worst area is the crown of my head. I’m not sure if anything is growing there. One thing I can say is it has definately curbed the amount of shedding I was doing (I do men’s rogaine, Spiro, Biotin and an iron supplement).

Kathleen…Thanks again for the Yasmin information. I will let everyone know if I feel it improves my hair loss condition.

Stay Strong Ladies!!!!!

Karen

Marenie May 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Hi ladies!Iam 19 and have been experiencing hairloss since i was sixteen believe it or not.I have been to multiple doctors and each said different things. I was told i have seborreic drmatitis, a fungal infection, and just plain mystery hair loss, and i take spironalactone as well.But, everyone needs to rememeber that no matter how many doctors you go to, their is always a guaranteed healer, and that is The Lord. Through all of this I have not given up and I continue to believe and speak into existence that there will be an end to the hairloss and a beginning of hair regrowth. He wants to hear your consistent praying and I truly believe he will heal me and all is possible through him!

Kathleen May 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Karen and Tina,

Yaz and Yasmin are derivatives of each other and I believe each contains a small amount of spironolactone in addition to the normal hormones associated w/birth control. The combination of taking both spiro and Yaz/Yasmin can affect your potassium levels so my derm required me to have my blood tested after I went on the Yasmin for a couple months. Good news is that my levels are normal so he was willing to renew the prescription for both medications. However, just be aware that issue may come up with your doctor.

Good luck!

Lexi May 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

I am on this site all of the time. My hair is so thin, and now a coarse texture. I have always had baby fine silky hair, but it is soo thin. The underneath part, by my neck, is completely gone. The rest you can see daylight thru. It started in April 08, when I thought my thyroid was out of whack..couldn’t get my dr. to believe it, as it was within the high normal range. I went to derm. and took a gazzilion blood tests…my dhea is low, and free testosteron is low..and so now what?? Now my blood work finally came back higher than normal and I am on Levoxyl for hypothyroid. Oh, yes, it was found out in summer of 08 my BP was high-ish…and I started on Coreg. Today I research Coreg can cause hair loss. But my BP is fine on Coreg,and I have no other side effects. So is it my thyroid, or my BP meds, or just female pattern hair loss?? I am gonna be 60. Is this just now my lot in life, or what? I don’t know what to suggest to my dr. I take biotin, vitamins, used Nioxin, all with no result. I keep hoping maybe my thyroid getting to where it needs to be will maybe start my hair growing. I can only wear a baseball cap, with the tab in the back to the smallest size possible. How nice. I do wear wigs sometimes, but it is hot in FL !!! And no matter what wig you get, it looks nice in the store, but you get it home, and damn….it looks like a wig. But, I guess (?) better than seeing scalp or living in a baseball cap. What to do, what to think????

Christy June 4, 2010 at 11:32 am

Hi all,

Thank goodness for a website like this that doesn’t make a girl feel like a freak for losing her hair! I first started noticing hair loss at the very front of my scalp about two years ago when I was 24 (although looking back on pictures before that proves that I was thinning for quite some time). I had a very significant almost-bald spot at the front of head; so much so that it seemed there were a mere 9 or 10 strands keeping me from being completely bald there. I had always worn my hair in a side part so that hid it for the most part, as it would have been impossible for me to wear a center part at all.

Went to the derm first who told me oh-so-sensitively that I definitely had some kind of female pattern baldness and there was basically nothing I could do about it except maybe use Rogaine. (This was after my now-former hairdresser told me that it must be my fault for “Wearing ponytails” or “styling my hair too harshly”) After many tears, I ended up at Dr. Redmond’s office in NYC who sent me for blood tests to determine estrogen, testosterone levels, thyroid, etc. Although my levels weren’t off the charts bad, he did believe my testosterone to be on the high end and as such prescribed me Yaz ( I had never been on birth control before) and Spiro (200 mg a day).

I can honestly say that it has worked for me. I noticed the constant shedding that I had always thought was “normal” stop fairly soon after treatment began. In addition, my hair looked healthier and shinier (even despite my blowdrying and straightening lol).

Now, two years later, I have finally started seeing regrowth in the front of my scalp. I have a lot of baby hairs there and while they’re a bitch to tame (lol), I’m forever grateful for them. I only hope that I will continue to see regrowth as time goes on.

This entire process has been beyond stressful and I sympathize with so many of you on this site. The situation will never be ideal for us. Personally, I don’t care to be on all these hormone and drugs (and I worry what will happen when I eventually go off of them for whatever reason) but for now it seems to be my only option. But the point is that I truly believe I HAVE an option now. So for anyone else out there suffering from hair loss (at any age!) don’t sit back and feel like you should just “accept it” as some insensitive docs (or hairdressers_ might suggest. Find a doctor who believes you and sympathizes with you and does their best to help this condition. It will make all the difference in the world on your outlook about it all.

Good luck to everyone!

jl13 June 23, 2010 at 6:30 am

christy -
i just found dr. redmond 7 months ago. i have had severe hair loss (chronic telogen effluvium) since i turned 29 and i’m now 40. i went to dermatologists in 4 different states, i’ve spent $2000 on a hair wand from a plastic surgeoun, and i went for acupuncture. i finally found dr. redmond.
dr. redmond put me on spiro (200mg – but i only take 150) and finasteride. after 7 months, i can say that my shedding is normal. it’s not a concern for me anymore. however, my hair is very thin and i’m wondering how long it took for you to see the quality of your hair return to normal.
JL
by the way, anyone who hasn’t seen dr. redmond should. it was an 11 year journey for me, and he’s the only one who makes sense of your problem.

Ashley June 24, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Why do you take 150 instead of 200? Just curious

Jola July 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Hi all,
I have been experiencing hair loss for almost 2 years now. It was shortly after I was diagnosed with PCOS. Strange because I had the symptoms of PCOS for many years before I received the actual PCOS diagnosis, yet I had no hair loss. I am questioning whether the Metformin I now take for PCOS is causing the hair loss. I am also on Synthroid for hypothroidism. I’m on Spironolactone for almost a year now and it helps somewhat. No really concerning side effects that I’ve noticed. I have some new hair growth but it is slow. I’m careful not to fool around with my hair when it’s wet for sure. I’ve found that olive oil cream hairdress works well to stop the burning scalp (it’s soothing and not greasy) and also Pantene detangler keeps my hair conditioned and healthier. I used Saw Palmetto for a while and fish oil supplement which really helped but then I stopped when I ran out and my hair loss got slightly worse. I’m going back on those two supplements. Calcium and milk products seem to make it worse (???). I wash my hair regularly because I find the hair loss is worse when my hair is greasier. This really may also be related to wearing my hair in a pony tail for about 6 months with a really cute but heavy pin (new style, compliments so it became my daily style) . My scalp got so sore then and shortly thereafter my hair loss started. It also seems to fall more at some times than others and more when I have my period. It’s so hard to say what is connected and you can just try to figure it out but we can all try and not sit back and accept it because there are things that decrease the hair loss and maybe even bring it to a normal level. Definitely a good start in terms of doctors is an endocrinologist and a dermatologist. For me, I feel for you and as a group you’ll be in my daily ‘hair prayer’!. Take care.

Kathleen July 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Hi Ladies,

Going into month 7 of the spiro/Rogaine/Yaz regimen and it is definitely working for me. I no longer feel like I have to wear my hair pulled back and I definitely have regrowth. I shed a lot less than I used to, which also tells me the combo is working. I’m a believer.

K

Andrea July 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Hi All,

I started actively losing my hair in late 2008, although looking back at old pictures, I realized that I had been thinning for a long time. I used to have EXTREMELY thick hair, although it has thinned out significantly for the last 6 years. The extreme shedding started right about 3 months after coming off the pill – which I find is fairly typical. About 10 months after the shedding continued to increase at an alarming rate, I finally found a dermatologist who actually seemed to know what she was talking about. She told me it was androgenic alopecia (my mom has very thin hair) and started me on spironolactone 200 mg. and a combination of 2 and 5% Rogaine. About 3 months after taking these treatments, all of sudden my hairloss completely stopped and I had moderate regrowth. According to my Doctor, she said I had such good results, that I could start going off the medicine. She thought it had probably leveled off. Unfortuneately, about 3-4 weeks after stopping spiro, and about 2-2 1/2 months after stopping Rogaine, my hair started shedding like crazy again. I immediately went on all again recently. My hair is still shedding like crazy, prolly about 300-500 a day. My question is has anybody started/stopped/restarted treatments and had the same result? I am really hoping so….

Anna July 20, 2010 at 1:11 am

Why would your doctor advice you to stop Rogaine when you have to take that stuff for life? The side effect of going off of Rogaine is that you will lose all the hair gained while on it. Wow.

Andrea July 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Yeah, I’m really not sure. She said that I had such good results, she thought that most of it came back naturally instead of the rogaine…obviously it must have been the rogaine/spiro combination ’cause my hair is coming out in clumps. I hope the treatements work again.

Andrea July 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Also, for those who asked above, my doctor told me to take 100mg in the morning and 100mg at night. Apparently, with extended use of spironolactone, it is only in your system for 13-24 hrs. So, if you are on the 13 hr end side, then it might not be working as well. Obviously, there are different opinions about everything, so I don’t really know if that’s the truth

Annita September 10, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I have just started on a low dose spironolactone 25mg per day 2 weeks ago. My doctor says it will be up to 3 months before any real improvement is noticeable. I did have a Mirena IUD inserted one month ago. So it will be interesting to see the results in the upcoming months.

Anne September 12, 2010 at 11:24 am

Hi Andrea:

I know this is a pretty late response to your post. But, I read that your derm said to go off the Rogaine? DO NOT – I repeat DO NOT go off this medication if you want to keep your hair and keep it growing!! I CANNOT believe your derm told you to go off of it! This is a LIFE LONG thing – I HAD to go off the Minoxidil because the 5% was too strong and I had some really horrible side effects – I was on the Women’s Minoxidil for approx. 6-7 years will great results – THEN my dermatologist, in his infinite wisdom, decided to change me to the men’s minoxidil. WHY – I am still trying to figure that out – as I say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” ANYWAY, my scalp got so inflamed and crusty with dandruff and I had open sores on my scalp from the 5% stuff – I ALSO had crusty patches on my eyelids and below my eyes – so this 5% stuff can do some really nasty stuff (to SOME people) – it may work for you… ANYWAY, my point (sorry for the rant) – is YOU CAN NEVER get off this medication. I am still “trying” to figure out if I want to try it again – I’ve been off of it since March and in July/August – I swear I lost 1/2 my hair in that period – the minoxidil must have left my system – ALONG with my hair…. I am worried about the “dread shed” and am scared to get back on it, because I don’t have as much hair to spare like before…. I am still contemplating on what to do – although, I know I can’t wait too long… Good Luck to you…. God Bless…..

Natalie September 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I am so glad I found this site. I have to admit…I am so lost and at a point now where I am becoming despondent and beginning to cry a few times a week now over my hair. I’m basically going to put myself out there now and would appreciate any and all advice that this group might have to offer.

I have been losing my hair for three years now. At first, I noticed that middle of my front hairline was thinning. After about a year, I went to ask my company nurse and the first thing she mentioned was the thyroid. I had bloodwork done with my GP and she said that I had borderline hypothyroidism and put me on generic synthroid. I took that for 8 months and didn’t see any improvement on my hair. From there, I saw more endos and derms. Every endo I see says I’m in the normal range and that the thyroid should no longer be the cause of my hair loss. I’m sure you’re all too familiar with this cycle of bouncing from doctor to doctor and trying to piece everything together. At this point in time, the derm I’m working with has determined that I’ve lost over 50% of all my hair. He thinks I have female balding exacerbated by my hypothyroidism. Now the frontal hairline has been compromised and I am experience extreme diffused loss on my entire head. At this moment in time…I’m not on any medication. I don’t know what to believe.

My hair has always been my thing — my beautiful black hair that now carpets my apartment. I don’t know how I’m supposed to conduct business with co-workers when I think there’s a gaping hole at the top of my forehead. I don’t know how my boyfriend can possibly find me attractive when I lose even more hair. (He’s a wonderful man and he’s ‘the one’ but…he’s still a human being…)

I am plagued with all these questions and worries. I know you guys aren’t doctors but if anybody can shed any light, I would appreciate it.
- what test determines female balding? I had one ‘biopsy’ done but it didn’t require any stitches and my current endo says the derm didn’t do the correct biospy.
- I used Rogaine for a month and a half and didn’t see any results, just more peach fuzz on my forehead and the derm said switch to 5% and I already had.
He wrote me a script for proscar, which is like generic propecia. I’m terrified of taking this medication b/c of potential side effects.

What I don’t understand is…how can the hair loss be so fast that I notice a visible difference week to week? I feel completely out of control and I don’t see any hope.

I did check out the link for Dr. Redmond that someone posted. Please help me.

Christina October 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Hello,

I am a 32 year old mother of two and I have just been diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia. I can feel myself starting to cry as I type this. I have dealt with bouts of Telugen Effluvium for years. I was stressed in college, my wedding, my first child, and my second child…all these events have caused my hair to fall out. I have always been able to use Rogaine and it stops. I had regrowth and all was well. Was even able to stop using it and was fine. After my son was born, this past May, it was different. It wasn’t stopping. Not even slowing down. I have always had such beautiful and thick hair. I was even a hair model in college. I could do what ever I wanted with it…which was usually nothing at all. Now I have to be creative to hide the bald spots. I can’t blow dry or straighten it and I don’t want to. Too traumatic to see all the hair that comes out! My husband tells me that he loves me no matter what. That my hair isn’t what makes me beautiful. I wish I believed that. My family is being so supportive but I think it is my kids that keep me going. I know that I will survive this. What I have is not terminal. But I can’t help but feel so unattractive…so ugly. I feel depressed and just in disbelief this is even happening to me. I feel like no one will ever find me attractive again.
My dermatologist is keeping me on Men’s Rogaine and he has started me on Spironolactone. Anyone else on this drug? I am so nervous to take new things but I am so desperate to keep what is left of my hair! I just joined a support group and many of them are on birth control to regulate hormones. I plan on asking my doctor, Monday, why I wasn’t told to try that?! It is just all happening so fast. Falling out too fast! My hair starting falling out about three months ago and I already had to chnage the part in my hair and have serious balding. My temples were the first to be bald. Luckily the Rogaine is working and my hair is growing back there but it is still falling out in large amounts. Any suggestions? I am trying to educate myself. This is all so new to me.
Thanks

Ashley October 9, 2010 at 10:56 am

Hello,
I wanted to share a story with you about my hair loss. In January 2010, i began losing my hair. I went to a neurologist, endocrinologist, and 3 dermatologist. All of my dx was stress and telogen effluvium. Yet my hair loss continued. Yesterday, i had an IUD put in place by my reproductive endocrinologist, as i have adenmyosis and in the past have suffered from hypothyroidism.

He asked if i had any questions before we started the procedure. I told him i was worried because in 2006 i was told by my regular doctor that I had too much testosterone in my system an had built up a tolerance to my Nuva Ring. He put me on Yaz and all was fixed. I started suffering from extreme hair loss at the beginning of the year, and it has yet to subside. However, yesterday he told me about Spironolactone and that it stops the active testosterone development in women. I believe this is my life saver. I am so happy to have finally figured out the problem.

Thank you

Andrea November 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Hi Anne,

For some good news, I started back on the Rogaine, and it worked the same as it did the first time. It shed crazy for about 3 months then completely stopped. I get about 10-20 at most hairs in the shower now. Obviously, my cycle is a little off and because i just lost a ton of hair, i am not losing much now. I think you should try going back on the womens. It seems if it works once it will work again :-)

Virginia41 November 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I have really enjoyed reading all the stories and personal advise. I too am a ‘hair loss’ survivor. I have been loosing my once thick Italian curly lock hair for about four years now. What used to take my hair dresser two bottles of hair color to cover, is now fully saturated with a half of a bottle.. yikes….!! So, I know how devestated most of you must be… I freak out everytime I shower, comb my hair, or someone touches my head! I know most of you have had blood work done to check hormone levels or to see if you my have a deficiency causing your hair loss.. I recently found a naturalist doctor after attending a Bio Idendical hormone replacement seminar. At the seminar they talked about saliva testing and said if we were interested they were giving out hormone saliva test kits for free. Inside the kit there was a questionaire asking some personal information and giving instructions on how to take the test. My MD would not except the testing since he didn’t believe in saliva testing, so desperate I shopped around and found an amazing FEMALE naturalist. I gave her my sample, she sent it in and called when she had recieved the results. She told me that all my hormone levels were very low, DHEA was way below normal and cortisol levels were sky high… wow and the blood testing for the same hormones a month prior said everything was NORMAL… I did ask the Naturalist MD, how that could be possible after getting a normal blood reading.. Her explanation to me was, your Blood tells us how much hormone you are caring in your bloodstream, while your saliva tells how much your body is absorbing of that hormone, so while your blood test may read normal, you may not be absorbing the proper amount of hormone to keep you from being symptomatic…. I am now taking hormone replacement (bio identical cream) Estrogen, DHEA and a tad of progesterone… She said this could be a huge factor in my hair loss…. I will keep everyone updated and let you know in about 5 months if I notice any changes… Until then keep your chin up and find someone who does saliva testing…. God Bless!!!

Sunni January 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Hi
I am 23, and I think my hair loss started two years ago. I am using spiro and Rogain. Recently I heard about a laser hair treatment. I was wondering if any one of you girls ever tried it, and if it works. By the way thank you for starting this blog it is really helpful.

angellight January 14, 2011 at 6:11 am

Some of you girls/women should try a natural progesterone cream, balances homrones. Older women should try estrogen with progesterone. And of course, vitamins with the Saw palmetto and grape seed extract. Always use a sulfate free shampoo or co-wash with a conditoner. Some women should add a black strap molasses to their drinks from the health food store and include protein drinks. Add molasses to the protein drinks.

Good luck.

Kavita January 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

Hi all,

I’m 30 years old, my hair falls in chunks I have the same problem from past 10 years but for the past 9 and a half years I didn’t know what was it though I had been to loads of dermatologists in India then I came to U.S. and just 6 mths back went to see dermatalogist and endocronologist and after all the test they have put me on 100mg sprinolactone at one time. I thought hopefully my hairfall would stop completely but it has slowed down but not stopped completely. I have very very thin hair now…I don’t know what to do next? With every wash I loose good chunck of hair and everytime I cry with that.

@ Anglelight can you give brand names of these vitamins and natural progestrones

Kim Marienau January 27, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I have to tell you girls that I went throught two bouts of hairloss and was scared to death every time I washed my hair. It turned out that my ferritin level was around 11 and should have been 70 and above. My dermatologist prescribed a prescription iron supplement with vitamin c and within a few months I had all my hair back. Claire Haycox, Sequim, WA is the best hair specialist in Washington State and worked for UW Medical. After all my research, she told me what I needed. I just called her office recently because my doctor wants to put me on blood pressure medicine and asked her which medicine DOESN’T cause hairloss….Spirolactone was her answer. Just wanted to tell you my story….protein at each meal and get your ferritin level up was the answer. Doctors don’t test for ferritin, you have to ask…it’s not the same as iron levels. Kimberly Marienau

Smiles May 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

Hopefully I can be some help to you ladies. I work for a doc office and we have a brilliant doc here in our office that has some recommendations on hair loss so after reading a lot of women’s post on here, I wanted to share what I learned today with you all. I too have been losing hair for the last 4 years and have tried everything. I think mine is due to my Mirena IUD because I have had it for 4 years and this is when the hair loss start but hey I dont know. I too have tired so many products and finally went to see my doctor about my hair loss. She suggest Spironolactone and Rogaine like you guys have all mentioned. I am very afraid of the Spironolactone because it can increase potassium in the body. But after talking to the doctor at my employment here is what I found out:
For Hair Loss
Use Tar Shampoo
A/G Pro Tablets two by mouth a day
Biotin 1mg 2 times a day
Rogaine 5% topically two times a day
Should see results in three months.

Ang June 10, 2011 at 9:36 am

Hello, Im so happy to have found a blog about the issues Im going through! I myself have been dealing with hair loss for the last 5months and its getting worse. It all started with some burning and itching. It was still winter time so I thought maybe the cold weather was making my hair feel like that. But then about a month later I started noticing chunks of hair coming out when I would wash it orcomb it. I’d always had massiveamount of hair. I was never ever able to see my scalp and holding my hair in a ponytail was hair because it wouldnt hold on. I loved my hair and always received compliments. My hair was wavy curly and extra full. but all the sudden it started losing volume. My waves startd to dissapear. My hair started feeling very light and the top of my scalp looked flat as if I was laying on apillow all day. I started freaking out. I kept telling my fam and fams to take a look and they would lugh and say oh girl!you still hve alot of hair..I went to my Doc and same thing. They would just peek around my hair and say “oh I don’t see any bold spots”!. I know my body and for sure I know my hair, and I knew there was something wrong.For the past few months I have been visitng different docs, a derm., endocrinologist, my doc. and they don’t seem so concerned. Not sure if I mention that I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was about 23yrs old. and now they blame it to that. The constant pain/burning/itching on top of my scalp is not allowing me to even concentrate. I have tried different shampoos and vitamins and nothing. My hair is just a shadow of what it used to be :( I don’t have any bald spots but have aot of thining, and it branches in parts on the back of my scalp. The thinning hair huts to the touch and it looks fuzzy and different texture. It has decreased my self esteem so much because people are starting to notice. At work, I always received compliments on how beatiful my hair and how thick and long it was. Now two people have told me “what’s going on withyour hair!you didn’t do your hair today?, someone else said, “did you cut your hair or something, it looks shorter, different”. I went home that day and just cried my eyes out. I have been in so much emtional stress these pat few months and this is the last thng I need. Not sure if my hair loss has to do with all the frustration and stress I have gone through. Last year around Sept., I have an exploratory surgery which was just to “explore” and find out if I had endo. or anything else besides PCOS. WEll, I tell you…I regret doing that procedure. Something went wrong and I suffered great amount of pain and numbness for while(vaginal area, stll dealing with it). Thesurgeon kept beating me around the bush and said to give it some time to heal. Well, months later I still don’t feel right “down” there and has even affected my libido, as well as my mental status. I went through alot of breakdowns because I didn’t know what was going on. Had tests done and nobody knows what happened. They try to blme it on other thing besides the surgery. So, now when I see my Doc., she tells me my hair loss and pain ir from traumatic stress. I don’t know really..I have gone through alot of stress bfore over the years and never lost any significant amount or hair or pain/bursning scalp. I am 26 and Im worried that things are falling apart in my life, health wise. So, I went back to see my Endo. and they did more blood work and 2 days ago, he calls me with the results and tells me my testosterone levels were a bit above normal still. “still”????I guess they had forgot to tell me that important piece.Now I amlooking for another endo.! So now Im so CONFUSED. Not sure if my hair loss with the painful/burning/itching scalp has to do with long term high levels of testosterone….or maybe the traumatic event caused it? or maybethere’s somnething else thats’ going on in my body that’s affecting health? My doc. also prescribed me Orthotryciclen to see if that can help my hormonal issues and hair loss..Just started taking it 2months ago, and now I had to stop because my breasts were so painful, when I examined them I felt a small lump on each breast..I couldn’t tel if it was lumps because they were alot..So now Im going for a breast ultrasound because they say sometimes birth cntrol can give fibrocystic breasts. I have been on different types of birth control before and never in my life have I had any problems like this. I feel helpless..This emotional rollecoster has affected not only me, but my close ones..my relationship of 5 yrs. and my parents are very concerned. It all happened all at the same time.. I am never happy anymore…All my convo’s end up being is about my issues and I think it starting to bother my partner. He’s so supportive of me and so patient but I feel that my health issues are getting worse, that maybe things between us will eventually fall apart. I don’t want tht to happen. I want to be ME again. I want to have my beautiful hair back, my libido back, my smile back and go on with life. But..back to reality, this is my life right now..and Im here to let you girls know you are not the only ones going through this..If any of you have been going through this for a while and have any advices or info. about my issues. PLEASE let me know. eply back. I need someone to talk to someone who could understand me. These doctors are not helping me at all. I feel trapped!and becoming very depressed. Thanks for yor time and help!It will be very appreciated.

Nichole June 24, 2011 at 5:48 am

I am trying to grow the hair on my head long and stop the facial hair growth. I take Spiro. Does anyone know if this stops the hair growth on my head?? It is working on my face BUT not helping with my hair growth on my head. Does anyone know what I should do?? Help please!

SHEILA MURPHY July 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I have been losing my hair for a couple of
years,it helped,but had to go to the hospital
for an infection and then to rehab to rebuild muscle
I had not taken my rogaine with me,
when I got home didn’t go back on it.
my hair started to fall out in clumps. I think I’ve
lost half my hair. Went to the derm a few days ago
he put me on 5% mens rogaine
wear my hair in a skinny top knot…am
afraid to cut it.
Found you site while looking for things to help my hair.
So happy to have found it.

gabbi July 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Although it was working, I could not tolerate Spirinolactone. Side effects of severe dry mouth, abdominal discomfort and constipation (despite drinking excessive amounts of only water daily and a high fiber diet) became torturous. I would wake twice per night to urinate and drink yet more water. As a diuretic, some additional fluid output is expected but my experience was overwhelming. Does anyone know of ways to mitigate the side effects of this drug? My dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic had no answers but instead changed my prescription to Avodart which has begun to show positive effects for me but was just reported to increase cancer risk in men.

K July 15, 2011 at 7:46 am

Dear Ang, many times telogen efflivium (temporary hair loss) can cause itching and burning and dramatic quick hair loss. I am so sorry for your pain. I have felt every emotion and then some that you describe. Even though I say TE is temporary, I don’t want to give you false hope. And I say that like a debbie downer. It is just that I was told that by 5 doctors and it turned out to be more serious and I had the severe burning and itching for a year. Things have tremendously calmed down including my hair loss no more ropes but I still shed abnormally and have miniaturized hair. I can’t even begin to describe the roller coaster of emotions this journey has taken me on. I was thinking this morning of how much my life has change in the past 2 years since I’ve been going through this. I never ever wear white anymore. I don’t like wearing short sleeves because I feel the hair fall. I use to absolutely love being in the sun and opening my sunroof to feel the warm of the sun on my dense luxurious head of black mink hair, I didn’t even have a part and beautiful baby hair framed my face that grew on my normal part of skin not my scalp and now it is all gone. Sometimes the baby hair would grow so long it would look like bangs. Everyone woman in my family has this envied trait. But I have no more. My hair loss gives me pause in every activity going to the lake, boat, being outside in the bright sun shine, etc…I held on to the hope that my hair would return to normal because that is what the derms kept telling me even the hair specialist for 6 months and my biopsy came back as TE. So I held on to that hope for too long. You think in the beginning there has got to be an answer and you drive yourself mad searching for the answer that you know has be out there, but then time and diligent research reveals there is no answer or exact science and for the doctors it is trial and error and a guessing game. While I have constant new growth which I am very thankful for the new growth falls out. There will be days I will have one hair fall out in the shower then there will be 30. You truly do learn to handle it better but I haven’t gotten back to me. But this morning I was thinking I don’t want to take one more second of joy away from my 7 year old son and I’ve been that way for the past few months but I catch myself being paralyzed or holding back without even being conscience of it and I want to be aware and overcome it too. I was even thinking this morning oh my goodness how I would give anything to have my beautiful hair (that I didn’t even appreciate!) back and feel content and at peace again, but then I think of all the beautiful things I’ve learned on this journey. I mean things I can’t even explain. I am so much more tolerant of people’s shortcomings or what I view as shortcomings. I see depressed people, people with no joy, people who are severely insecure and I use to think get over it and I just didn’t get it but now I completely understand how human emotion can completely break a person and steal who they are and push everyone they are close to away. I remember running across the info commercial about battling hair loss (hair club) and for some reason it was intuition of some sort that I completely wanted to ignore that commercial or even joke about it and dismiss it but something inside before there were any signs of trouble I knew (but really didn’t) that I would deal with something like this one day, sort of like a premonition little voice inside that you sometimes dismiss. I think of that often and how odd that was, but something told me it was in my future. I remember when it began I just thought there has got to be a simple answer, everything in my life there was a simple remedy or answer, but there never was. As much as I want my own hair back I am not opposed at all into looking into hair replacement. Now I don’t want a wig, but hair integration, etc….something that will keep my lifestyle going working out, swimming, going to the lake, riding bikes with my son. I don’t want my son to know or feel any of this. My pain has affected him and I can’t stand it; all I want to do now is rectify it and remove it from his memory. I want his life full of joy and health with a mother that is happy and create wonderful childhood memories for him. I only want to add to his joy not take away and when this all began I definitely took away, so if it means getting hair replacement to bring back that person I once was I will do it, not only for me but for my family. As my husband says, these are the cards God dealt you so deal with them and he is right. With that said don’t ever feel guilty or unjustified in mourning the loss of your hair. Any one would mourn the loss of a limb and hair is most definitely a feminine limb that is to be mourned.

Barbara July 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Just wanted to let you all know that I feel your pain so much – I do agree that no one knows how having hair loss really feels until it happens to them. I am a registered nurse, 59 yo, and have had hair loss for about 5 years. I have some hints that have helped me: get thyroid hormones, PCOS and diabetes under control – take birth control if necessary. TAKE Spironalactone (aldactone) – take in the morning and a lower dose if you have side effects and the side effects get better after a time so the dose can be increased. Check all medications with the dermatologist to see if side effects or combined side effects are causing your hair loss. Use a foam hair thickener after each shampoo. Use a spray hair color after each shampoo. Both of these make your hair look and feel thicker. I use a combination of brown and red sprays for a pretty light reddish brown color. Use the liquid type hairspray not the aeresol type – if your hair stays in place where you put it then you feel more comfortable thru out the day. I hope that some of these ideas will help any of you. All we can do is just keep going forward – don’t let this problem stop you from having a life. My sister has this problem, too, and she has made the best of things by using a weave type of hair piece and she looks very nice. Hugs to you all!! Barbara

sara July 19, 2011 at 8:59 am

So long story short: I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 15 and put on BC. I was never good about taking BC so my periods were always irregular. I never had any other issues except some slight facial hair. When I turned 18 I felt like I lost all my femininity. =( I started to get really really thick and icky facial hair (upper lip, sideburn, and chin) It was and is gross. I went to waxing, threading and nothing helped. I got to college and just decided to shave because I couldn’t show up to class hairy. I still shave everyday. I looked into laser but I am not a good candidate because I am of Indian origin so I have a brown complexion with black hair. Anyways, about five years ago I noticed my hair (on head) began to fall out a lot more. At first I didn’t think too much about it because I had extremely long, thick, and curly hair. I couldn’t find clips that would fit because everything popped out because my hair was so thick. Now, my hair is ridiculously thin. I can see my scalp. When I was 20 I was prescribed aldactone and metformin (this is before my head hair loss). I wasn’t faithful in taking them so I am not sure if they helped or not. I went to India for a summer vacation that year and I was told by some relative physician that I shouldn’t take all these meds as they will have an adverse affect. So I stopped. I still have the bottles I had gotten which don’t expire till 2012. I am not sure if I should start taking them again. Do any of you have any suggestions? It is 100 mg and I don’t even remember if I was supposed to take 1 or 2 of them per day. The meds were through medco so it doesn’t have doctors orders on it. Anyways, I would please like to know if anyone has had success with hair regrowth with spiro? Please let me know. I am so desperate. I have been working out hard and trying to lose this excess weight. Sometimes I feel so alone because none of my Indian friends have this problem and I feel like I’m the hairy, balding, fat friend. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I am so tired of crying all the time. Thanks for reading. Sorry for the length.

K July 21, 2011 at 6:15 am

Barbara, I would love for you to share what type of weave system your sister wears and how long she can wear before maintenance and if she can do all activities swimming, working out, water ski, etc….with it? Thank you for sharing your positive remarks and please share more.
Thank you!

pikachu July 29, 2011 at 1:48 am

i took 125-200 mgs of spiro for 2 years and it really helped me. i dont know if it actually grew any hair back but it def stopped the shedding 100%. my hair looked and felt thicker, my skin glowed, and my boobs even got bigger! i was so happy.. until we starting trying to conceive.

of course i had to stop taking the spiro and my hair started shedding again within 4 months. its been over a year and im still not pregnant, worst of all my hair continues to fall out. let me tell you, people have noticed. my inlaws literally stare at my head the whole time im talking to them, and its not like these people are beauty queens or anything. i often wonder how they would feel if i stared at their gut/lazy eye/acne/etc. but i digress.

Katherine July 30, 2011 at 5:49 am

The best and most complete information that I have found on female hair loss is The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman by Dr. Geoffrey Redmond MD. After seeing several different doctors, I concluded that there are very few who know anything about this topic. I had many questions and finally found the answers in this book. Dr. Redmond is one of the few physicians who has done extensive research in this field. You can get the book on Amazon and check out his website http://www.hormone.com The key thing is to educate yourself. I was told that my hormonal levels were normal and they most certainly were not and have caused me all kinds of problems. Good luck and
and become an informed medical consumer.

Katherine July 30, 2011 at 5:55 am

correction to my comment Dr. Redmond’s website is
http://www.hormonehelpny.com

Jean July 30, 2011 at 6:00 am

How long does it take for Spiro to work, if it is going to work for you? I have been taking 150mg for 4+ months and I am still shedding like crazy, have facial hair, etc. I’m wondering if I should stop taking it b/c it’s not working for my TE? Any thoughts from your own experience would be appreciated. This is such a tough road! Hugs…

AJP August 16, 2011 at 4:44 am

I stopped birth control (Yaz) 1 1/2 years ago and have since lost 3/4 of my hair. Went to a dermatologist and he prescribed spiro. That was 2 wks ago.
My hair loss has since almost stopped! I am thrilled!

AJP August 16, 2011 at 4:46 am

P.S. I have no side effects with spiro at 100mgs. a day.

Amy August 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I just visited with the Dermatologist today about my hair loss and he recomended Spiro. I didn’t realize for a while how much hair I had lost, it took my sister pointing out that I “had hair like moms”. That meant thin fine hair. I’ve always had thick thick thick hair. I hate looking in the mirror and any pictures where I am standing in the sunlight. I am on blood pressure meds right now. Will this actually treat both problems.

Ann September 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Hi, AJP, how is it going on the Spiro? I was finally given a prescription for it yesterday and am getting it filled over the weekend. I am also on Proscar (Propecia) but have only been on that for 5 weeks. So, too soon to say if it will do much. So far, it does NOT seem to be helping. I’m going through an increased shed right now. I have been under a lot of stress and think it may be due to the stress but the Proscar is not keeping the hair on my head at all. Curious about your continued experience with Spiro since it has been another month since you last posted!

Nikki October 29, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Dear Ang,
I am so sorry to hear about all the pain you are feeling. I am 51 years old and started to lose my hair about 10 or 11 years ago. I always had very thick, wavy hair and all of a sudden (like overnight) it became thin and sparse, my part became really wide and I have a balding spot near my forehead about the size of a silver dollar. I don’t like it at all, but it really is not all that surprising to me because my mother has been losing her hair and had bald spots for as long as I can remember and I have heard that it can be hereditary. After reading all these comments, I am convinced she must have had PCOS for most of her life, so I asked her today and she said that the doctor found cysts on her ovaries starting with the birth of my older sister (that was all the way back in 1956!!!) and that is when her hair loss problems started. This older sister of mine (by 3 1/2 years) always had thinner hair than my mother and I but never had the hair loss that we do. We are not taking any medications for hair loss specifically, but my mother told me that her mom, when diagnosed with high blood pressure around the age that I am now was given a BP medication that she does not remember the name of and when my grandmother started taking it her hair grew in thick and healthy, and as she was on this medication until she died at the age of 90 her hair remained that way. I was with my mom today, and I asked her what dietary changes she had made recently because I noticed that her hair looked fuller and less sparse, and she told me that she had started taking a soy lecithin gel capsule daily – that was the only thing she was doing differently (she eats a very healthy mediterranian style diet). I, myself, am on BP medication called Adalat XL because of lung problems but this medication has not helped stop my hair thinning or hair loss like my grandmother’s BP medication did.
Due to some health issues I have been dealing with for the last 11 or 12 years, I am not about to start going to doctors to find our about my hair loss/thinning now. I am so tired of doctors visits and tests, I will just accept my hair thinning as part of my life. I sympathize with everyone experiencing this devastating problem and hope you are all able to find a solution that gives you some level of comfort. Nikki

Carla November 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Hello, I’m 24 years old and just found out about 2 months ago that i have alopecia areata. My hair has been falling out for about a year tho. I finally went to the dermatologist and found this out. He put me on Spironolactone. He advised me that while taking this medication i shouldnt try to get pregnant due to it being able to cause birth defects. My husband is just getting out of the military and we are wanting to have another child. Does anyone know how long i would have to wait to try and get pregnant after stopping the medication?

Lisa December 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I have always had thin fine hair and began to lose a great deal of hair 12 months go. Unfortunately this occurred just after seeing anew hairdresser who convinced me to have a full head of highlights so I blamed that….
3 months later, my hair had become so thin – I met a hairstylist who put in some microloop extensions which are supposed to be ok for fine hair. It looked great. I began to take Yaz for contraceptive purposes in July and recently ceased it due to side effects. My hair (what little I have) is now shedding and it has finally occurred to me that I have female pattern baldness. Im devastated that this has taken a year for me to realise!!
My doctor has put me on 100mg Spiractone a day and suggested restarting the contraceptive pill once again. I have started Spiractone and am wondering if many have had success with this alone or should I restart the CP. Thanks for listening guys! Its been a very emotionally time, being 32 and single. I really hope the spiractone works.

Jen December 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm

I’m freaking out. I’ve been taking propecia (double dose), 200 mg aldactone, and extra strength romaine for more than ten years to treat an unfortunate combo of tellegun effluvium and hereditary hair loss. I’m planning to try and get pregnant in a few months. I stopped propecia a month ago and starting to notice mild shedding. Next week, I’m going off aldactone and birth control pill and changing romaine to regular strength. I’m so scared that I’m going to lose the small amount if hair I gave left. And that my body generally will wig out from the hormonal changes from stopping meds. I guess I have to suck it up but felt inspired to write about my concerns after reading all of your very thoughtful and supportive posts. (sorry for typos, I’m on my iPhone).

Ann December 31, 2011 at 6:20 am

Lisa, I wanted to respond to your post. I have been losing my hair for over a year (15 months to be exact) and have found that whenever I start or stop a new medication, I shed a lot more. It takes months for the shedding to stabilize. I still lose hair every day but it is much worse when I begin or end a medication. In fact, stopping my estrogen medication (similar to birth control pills) is what set this all off for me in the first place. SO, I urge you (and anyone considering stopping or starting a medication when you are experiencing hair loss) to strongly consider if you will commit to staying on any medications you start for six months at least. I would not stop BC ever again, if I were you, as estrogen is the key to all of this! If you stop it, your body will shed hair if you have female pattern. I’m no doctor but I know this from talking to the derm. I go to who specializes in hair loss, tons of reading on the Internet and my own personal experience. Good luck to you!

Jen< Good luck conceiving! Your focus should be on the new life you will be bringing into your family and know that worse case scenario, you can get a topper like the woman on the homepage (she looks beautiful)! I have told my self the same thing. Life will not end and you will still be loved and feel pretty. I promise! Just hang in there and do what’s best for your body to become a healthy environment for growing a baby! Best to you.

Jennifer January 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

Hi all,

I noticed major receding hairline about 6 years ago. My hair was falling out and the rest of what I had was so thin and lifeless. My dermatologist recommended spiranolactone, 150mg daily. 100 in the morning and 50 at night. I was on this regimen for 5 years. It worked amazingly. While my hair never grew back super thick and luxurious, I did notice significant growth in the areas that were almost bald (the receding hairline area). Looking at pictures before and after spiranolactone, you could tell I had a lot more hair that I didn’t have before. So, yes, spiranolactone does help for alopecia. Unfortunately, you cannot stay on spiranolactone forever. And, you cannot take higher dosages with certain birth control pills.

Certain side effects I experienced were abdominal cramping (I felt like I had to urinate, but couldn’t when I got up to go to the bathroom) and some times charlie horses at night. But, this is because I did not stay hydrated. It is a diuretic, so if you don’t stay hydrated it could cause problems.

I have since had to stop using it. My doctor said that long term use at such high dosages can lead to tumors, and since I’d had melanoma in the past she highly recommended I stop using it. I have stopped using it, and my receding hair line is coming back. I’m now looking into topicals and shampoo lines to help out. Rogaine did not help me, and all it did was make my hair look greasy.

Any suggestions on topicals you’ve had success with, please let me know. I am trying to get pregnant this year, so I have to take that into consideration so as not to cause any damage to a baby.

Thank you for your input.

connie January 31, 2012 at 8:39 am

Spironolactone has never helped me with my hair loss. I take it for blood pressure. I have been to maybe 8 doctors in thepast two years plus two dermatologists and no one knows why I have shedding. Some days are worse than others so its a mystery to me. First I was told it was hypothyroid so now after Armour thyroid pills my thyroid is fine but.. still the shedding. I take a thyroid supplement and am waiting to see what tht brings. I have been taking biotin and iron … I have continous blood work done. What I have seen is that my white blood count is a little high. Going through this is very scarey as these doctors never tell you they don’t know they just lead you around all the problems. I go to a doctor and say..help me, I have hair loss… they say your blood pressure is high. I know that and that is not why I am there. Now my b.p. is fine, my cholesterol is fine and still the shedding. I live in South Florida… many many doctors to choose from but no one really know. My husband uses Rogaine.Walmart brand for only 8 dollars a month supply andhe as had fantastic results. I suggest anyone to try the Rogaine because it did help me some. I used the mens strength and my dermatologist said it will break the cycle of the hair resting and start to grow. I have seen all new hair around my forehead. Don’t worry about stopping and hair falling out.. if you have the telogen problem this helps give it a boost. I was switched to Synthroid and within 3 weeks I had so such hair loss it terrified me. I stopped taking for a day and then broke the pill in half..it was 100mcg. I called my enrocronoligist and did not want to switch me back to Armour but I inisited and the loss slowed down. We are all on a mystery tour to find out what is going on. Reading peoples situations and what they did and what helped has helped me a lot. Thanks

ruthg March 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I am 50 and my hair started thinning andfacial hair(embarassing!)started growing Im eastern european so that doesnt help.After drs dermos,tests labs ect I finally saw an endo and she put me on spiro 50 mg my hair is a bit better on my head but not my facial hair,I also started gaining weight is that a side effect,because I dont know what else it could be and I really dont like the choiceof being fatwith hair or thin and bald

Ali April 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Hi there, I have some questions, maybe you guys can help!
I am 26 years old (27 next month) and my hair has been thinning for at least 4 years. I had thick hair growing up and having thin hair is probably the worst part of my life. I should be grateful for that, I know, but it’s hard to feel that way. I have seen an endocrinologist (I have a regular one due to hyperprolactinemia which has been controlled on medication for years) and two dermatologists. My diagnosis is female pattern hair loss and I started Rogaine foam 2 weeks ago. The dermatologist also prescribed 100 mg of Spironolactone, but I have serious reservations about taking it. I already have low blood pressure (under 100/60) and hyperkalemia is just a scary side effect. Both the dermatologist and my endocrinologist said that I have no signs of excess androgen and my endocrinologist saw no reason why an androgen blocker would help my hair loss unless I actually had excess androgens. I tend to agree, but wondered if any of you have any knowledge of why it would work. I am on birth control (mircette) and haven’t actually had my androgens tested. I plan on talking to the dermatologist about this. Also, does anyone have experience with low level laser treatment? There is a guy who makes laser helmet devices (like the laser comb on steroids) similar to the ones in derm offices and I’m wondering if it’s worth buying.

Thanks for any advice you can give!
Ali

Amy April 14, 2012 at 7:39 am

I have been on the Spironolactone now for over six months. Should I see changes by now if it is working? Is it ok to use mens rogaine? I am past having babies and willing to try about anything that will help my hair grow back. Just took a great trip to Vegas with some girlfriends and don’t even want to look at the pictures. I hate pictures of myself because all I see is the glow of my scalp.

Rebekah June 13, 2012 at 12:05 am

Hi!

I guess this is the first time I’ve actually used any kind of forum, let alone posted on one. But that should prove I’m at my wits end. I am 21 and have had hair loss from around the age of 16. My problem up until now is that I can’t get any doctor to take me seriously (I’ve been to three different GPs) Admittedly I don’t have the worst hair loss in the world but it is sufficient enough to make me severely anxious when I’m in public..incase the wind blows it etc etc You all know what I mean.

I’ve had no formal blood tests and doctors have made comments such as “your hair loss is not bad enough to warrant investigation” However after years of complaining with other symptoms I was diagnosed with partial PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and therefore I have attributed this to my hair loss. So I went back to my GP who said that they had little experience in this area and that they would get back to me, as I had already tried minoxidil and it didn’t make one bit of difference except stick all my hair together in a hard, crusty mess. (That was several months ago)

So up until now I have stopped taking contraceptive pills, which actually seemed to help a little, although any new hair I got was like fluffy baby and never amounts to much. I then went to a specialist hair salon in London to have a intergration system fitted and was told I have too much hair (first time I’ve heard those words together ever!) Although they recommended a list of supplements that I should take, flax seed oil, silicia, sea kelp in addition to the nioxin supplements that I all ready take. And I have to say its worth persevering I have had some improvement. (Although I won’t be sitting under a light bulb any time soon)

Anyways long story short, to this point I have had NO help from my GP and have researched an awful lot by myself. I use nioxin shampoo and conditioner (yes I know more hair falls out initially but it’s worth sticking with it) along with a whole rake of supplements, no pill and I haven’t coloured my hair in around 4 years..worried what I’m going to do once I start going grey.

I’m getting married in just over a year and wondered if anyone had any tips? I’d love to get some photos without my shiny head in them. Hoping to discuss spironolactone with my doc soon but have slight reservations.

HELP!

Thanks,

Rebekah.

Tammy June 24, 2012 at 7:06 am

Hello, I am 50 yrs old and started really noticing my hair coming out about 4 months ago. I went through 2 highly stressful events in my life and also stopped taking my estrogen-premarin. Now I have less bangs, hair thinning on sides and top of my head. I, too, have cried many tears. A compounding pharm. told me to get on bio-identical hormones that I would see a major improvement. I go to the gyno next week and he best give me a prescription for it instead of premarin. I also take two 5000mcg biotin daily at the same time. I went to my derm last week, he gave me steriod injections in my head (may help may not he said) I am suppose to do this once a month for 3 more months and if he see no change, we stop. He also prescribed spironolactone 50mg and topical something that Walgreens was out of, I get it today. Now, I am scared to use these meds and topical stuff. He did no blood work at all. I did change blood pressure meds to losartan and went off estrogen at the same time, then one day I started seeing my scalp, head getting blistered(I am a P.E. teacher and outside a lot), changing direction of my part so my scalp doesn’t show as much. I just am letting this consume my life! Very scary, and bless you ladies that are very young because I know how it feels at 50, just turned the big 50, too. The strange thing is I really never see tons of hair falling out, it has to be because I see scalp…..how strange. But, if using these products make me shed as much as you guys say….yikes afraid to use it. I did have a total hysterectomy August will be 4 years ago. I have these bottle of pills now and do not want to take them due to side effects. I am already taking high blood pressure meds, crestor, fish oil, biotin, vit d, vits…..geez. Just letting off stress, thanks for listening.

Annalise July 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

I’m 29 and my hair has been thin ever since I started college. The first (and only) time I took the depoprovera shot when I was 19 caused my hair to fall out.
Years later, I tried NuvaRing as my birth control but got freaked out and quit using it when my hair started falling out again.
Then I got pregnant because I was not on any birthcontrol, and after my son was born (6 years ago) I experienced lots of shedding and my hair has been thin since then.
I always wear my hair down. I hate how small it looks in a pony tail or a bun. My students comment on my itty bitty bun the one day I wore it that way. It was embarassing beyond belieft.
I don’t like swimming under water in public, or going anywhere unless my hair is blowdried and styled. I have a left part in order to hide my extremely thin middle section. I can’t have bangs, or any cute hair cuts.
I’m thinking of starting rogaine foam. I remember using it when my hair fell out from depo along with a prescription shampoo. I’m definately going to start taking biotin. I hope that I don’t lose anymore hair.
I wish I had the money to do hair transplant. I would be happy with just 1000-1500 hairs transplanted to the top of my head.

My hair has always been fine. It’s still very fine, and now it is very thin. It’s depressing to feel this ugly at such a young age. My husband is a very attractive man and I wish that I was as pretty as I used to be.

Ladies, a little advice from my hair stylist. Do not condition your hair everyday. It makes it look thinner. Condition 2x at the most.

Annalise July 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

I should add I’m currently on mirena iud as birthcontrol.

Randi July 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I am researching spironolactone because my doctor has prescribed it for a couple of reasons. I was interested in why it was associated with hair loss because for 6 years I have been fighting a losing battle against it. I started reading these stories and boy, could I relate.

About 7 years ago I noticed that when I did my hair in the mornings for work by the time that I was done I would have a ring of hair on the floor at my feet. Knowing something was wrong I went to my doctor who told me it “was nothing” and I “was just depressed and should go on antidepressants”. I refused and deep down I knew this wasn’t normal and it was not depression! So I pushed and pushed and finally convinced my doctor to send me to dermatologist. When I finally got in to see the dermatologist she tried to tell me that it was probably just because my iron was low, it was at the low end of the normal range.

I insisted though that it was something else. I know my body and this was not normal. She finally agreed to do a biopsy of my scalp. When I went back for the results it came back that it was one of two things. Either Lupus or a very rare autoimmune disorder called Lichen Planopilaris. Lucky me, she had to do another biopsy to figure out which one. It turns out that I have a rare autoimmune disorder that very few doctors know anything about. In fact I usually have to spell it for them.

There is no cure. All I have is a topical steroid for when I am having an outbreak (characterized by having a VERY tender scalp, red rash, and a scary amount of hair in my hands after I shampoo) and a warning to avoid ALL stress. Cause as we all know that is easy to do!

It has been 6 years since my diagnosis and as I read what I have written it seems like my journey to this point has been pretty easy. However, I skipped a lot of the drama, including the night I walked home crying on the phone to my mom that I was nothing more then a bald, hypochondriac freak (thanks to the doctor that told me I was imagining things and that in “his gut” he knew I was fine. I guess I got the last laugh but can’t really celebrate my victory).

However, 6 years down the road, and while there is more info on the Internet about my condition, I still know next to nothing about it and any doctor I visit knows even less. I never thought I would be the expert in the room but there you go. I too, was blood tested until they pretty much drained me dry and all my results came back normal. But I knew my body so I pushed, pushed the doctors to send me to an expert and to run every and all tests. I refused to believe their idea that it was just depression. I may not be able to “cure” it and it hasn’t stopped me from losing a lot of my hair but knowing that there is a reason and the name of my foe does help in a weird way.

As I was going through the stories I was shocked that with all of the testing going on I didn’t read about anyone else getting a biopsy. Has anyone else out there had one? If your doctor still hasn’t diagnosed you I recommend you get one. It is not pleasant, and you will eternally have a scar on your head about the size of a pencil eraser but it could point your doctor in the right direction to diagnosing you. But that’s just my 2 cents.

Now that I have told my story back to my concerns and the reason for me finding this website visited by people who I can relate too (thank you for that by the way, my friends who know are sympathetic but, let’s be honest, they can’t relate), Spironolactone. I am concerned because from what I have read once you stop taking the drug you lose all of your hair again. Has anyone taken the drug for a short time, possibly for another reason, and gone off of it and not lost more hair?

As I have not started the drug yet, because my doctor wants a pre and post drug blood tests of my potassium levels, I just want to be warned of what I am to expect when I stop taking the drug. I guess, like knowing my diagnosis, knowing the outcome will (if you will excuse the VERY bad pun) make it an easier pill to swallow.

I know GROAN, right?

Kelly July 31, 2012 at 5:24 am

Hello ladies,
Its so nice to talk with women I can relate to. I just saw Dr. Geoffrey Redmond, who is often recommended. I have been suffering for diffuse hair loss for approx 10 years and am down to 1/2 of what I had in my twenties. I am 34 now. He put me on Yaz and 200mg of Spiro. I am definately concerned about being on so much medication and how long my body can stand this for…its a bit scary. He stated that my slightly low thyroid would not make much of a difference on my hair and that iron levels do not either, unless your levels are VERY low. I’ll let you know how it goes, I’m quite scared but hopeful!

Warmly,
Kelly

Ann T. July 31, 2012 at 10:22 am

Randi:

I have a couple of questions for you. First, what autoimmune disease were you ultimately diagnosed with? I am curious. My derm and endo. both think that I may have something like that which would account for my hair loss but my scalp biopsy just came back AGA.

Second, how did you feel on the 200 mg of Spiro and how is your hair reacting? Did you have an initial worse shed and then things got better? Would love to hear.

Thanks!

Shannon August 23, 2012 at 10:53 am

I had to stop ready the post. I was in tears. It took me a few more days before I could get back on here. I’m 28 with a lot of problems and I never thought my hair would go too. It was the only thing on my body that I could be proud of. Until a few years ago…. I noticed that I was shedding more and my hair was thinning. I assumed it was stress. I went to see my family doctor and she did a few test and they all came back normal. She recommend a low dose depression medication and some B vitamins. After my life went in so many directions, although because of the depression mess I was able to handle them with a little bit more ease. I did stop taking the meds, I wasn’t really good at taking them when I was subpost to. And then again my life went crazy. I finally got married to my high school sweetheart! Although it wasn’t a wedding that I wanted, we still were able to have a get together. After that, my hair was still doing its own thing, shedding so bad that you could see scalp, to slowly coming back and what I like to call, horns. Little hairs from the regrowth. I was still at my stressful job then I had an accident (at work non the less) I slipped and fell. I worked as a dental assistant/ office assistant and I was the ONLY employee so I couldn’t leave. I felt with the back and hip pain and was going to a wonderful chiropractor. A few months later I became pregnant! Now this part is hard. While dealing with the job, the chiropractor appointments, first time pregnancy, the lack of insurance, and much more everyday life stresses, my grandfather became I’ll. Within a week of finding out about his illness, he passed. A few weeks later a cousin was killed in a auto accident. A month later two more cousins were killed in a house fire. A great uncle was also taken from us because he wasn’t fallowing his medications correctly. Then my husbands uncle had a heart attach and didn’t make it. And lastly another great uncle fell I’ll but his was more from old age. Then I lost my job……. All of this, from my accident, to finding out about my pregnancy to the many losses, happened within 4 1/2 months. I wasn’t doing good but I had my unborn baby that made me get through it. (I still don’t think I’ve completely comprehended what exactly happend then.) Since not having a job, I have had many battles with unemployemnt to money issues with my hubby and so fourth. Because of my job situation, my husband put me on his insurance, and its costly, i was able to see a physical therapist. That really help. Most days between my back from the fell and the extra weight from the baby, i couldnt get dress, shower, sit, stand or do anything with out a great deal of pain or someone helping me. That did take a huge toll on me. I used to be so dependent and to have to have someone help you put on undergarments and sweats, its so embaressing. I did notice that my hair wasnt shedding as much. I didnt get the long full hair that most pregnant wemon get. But i was happy that i wasnt losing as much even though i could still see scalp. I know i have the pregnacy and the prenatal vitamins to thank for that! The last few weeks of my pregnacy, i got my “back” back!!! And you know i was doing EVERYTHING with a smile and showing off!!! “look hunny, i can put my own underwear on!” lol. I know that sounds simple enough but my back was that bad. If it wasnt for my back, i would have had a really good pregnacy. I went into labor the early afternoon of November 10, 2011 and i wasnt about to go to the hopital yet. There was still to much to do. My husband and I went to a few stores, I wasnt having huge pains maybe because it was as painful of everything that i had already gone through the past few months, and I wanted to enjoy a few more hours of being able to walk on my own. I wasnt sure if my back would go back to the state in which it was and what my hair would do after i gave birth. I wanted that last few hours to enjoy! I had my daughter, Cheyanne Leigh V. on November 11, 2011 and yes she came on her own (after many hours of labor and lots, and lots of pushing) After having my little one, for the first few months, I didn’t notice any hair changes. I thought I was finally I the clear. Boy was I wrong. Again, because of my lack of a job, I had extra time so I made an appointment to see my doctor. They did more test and just blamed it on the fact that I just had a baby and not listening to the fact that I was dealing with the extra shedding a few years before I had my child. I was finally able to get a referral to see a dermatolighest and she too did some more test (some were the same that I’ve already had) and she too was blaming my hair lost on the birth. Finally, finally, finally one of the test came back high. DHEA-S. Standard range is 45-320. I tested at 387.70! She recommended biotin 5mg and Spironolactone and or men’s Rogaine. To try just one first. I don’t know what to do. I have good BP and I don’t want to worrie about that. Rogaine is so expensive and I still don’t have a job. (It’s tough right now and then you add in a new baby and some libations because of back issues, finding a job is super hard. Not to mention trying to get into the dental field again when I don’t have a pretty smile is even harder.) I want more kids and I already have super irregular periods, have had two lumps removed from my left breast (no cancerous) but the doc said that if you have had or have a family history of cancer not to take the Spir. The only history of family cancer is from smoking that I know of. We also don’t have a history of baldness or thin hair. I feel lost, confused, unsure of what to do and completely powerless. My hair started to come back again in the front. I have little horns. But you can still see scalp. I’m not a very talented person so trying to hide it is impossible. Unfortunately for all of us we are not alone. But we must feel fortunate enough to know that we can get on here to vent and hopefully fund a way to make the dictors and insurance company’s understand that it’s not just hair loss, it’s emotional and life changing. Thank you all for sharing my tears and help one another. Thank you, thank you!! Let’s please keep everyone up to date on any new treatments.

Monica October 4, 2012 at 11:51 am

Hello, I am on 2000mg of Metformin a day and just got put on Ortho Cyclen (not TRI cyclen) to help cut down on all of the excess androgens and testosterone in my body. I also just started Spiro 100mg a day but had to immediately go down to 50mg a day because I was incredibly dizzy and cloudy headed. I still feel that way everyday and I have only been on it for 5 days. Has anyone else experienced this? It’s awful. My concern is that there seem to be so many side effects and apparently I will need to take this forever to keep the results? …if I ever even get any.
Also, shouldn’t the BC pills, Metformin and fact that I am loosing weight consistently my being more active and healthy, be enough to control all of my PCOS symptoms? In 6 months, on just Metformin, my testosterone went from like 16 down to 9 so it’s ALMOST down to normal.

plus I use Vaniqa and get laser which pretty much stops all hair grow on my face so long as I use it faithfully twice a day

L Fields December 21, 2012 at 4:12 am

My situation is similar to Andrea. I think at age 35 my hair started to thin a little and it probably was thinning gradually every year. However, I still have plenty of density because I had extra thick hair and I always got compliments on my curly hair. So I didn’t do anything about it. I’m now 49 and about a year ago I went into menopause and that’s when the BIG hair problems began. I too started shedding at an alarming rate. Hair everywhere. I went to several specialist including a homeopathic doctor, trying to pin-point the problem.

I started taking Rogaine and that seem to help a lot, however it was not agreeing with my skin at all. So I stopped. All was fine for awhile and then the shedding started up again after a few months of being off the Rogaine. I was also under a lot of stress and my hormone levels were plummeting since I was now post-menopausal. I finally decided to see a Bio-Identical doctor when the issue got really bad and I lost 60% of my density. He put me on estrogen and progestrone. I told him not to give me any testosterone because I had been doing a lot of research on- line since this problem started and I have a sick feeling I was experiencing a high rate of DHT conversion.

My Bio-Identical doctor did do a test to see what my DHT conversion rate was and it was 50%, so he confirmed what I started to suspect months ago. He told me to start taking 300mg of Saw Paletto Extract and I started back on the Rogaine 5%. I still have shedding but it’s not too bad. I have majoring thinning in the front of my head. I have a bald spot in the front and side temple area is showing a lot of skin. I had to adjust my part to cover it while the Rogaine takes effect. The back of my hair has now also started thinning as I have diffused thinning all over like most women with this issue. I’ve been using Emu Oil & Caster oil to help with the 5%
Rogaine application since it can be pretty harsh on women’s scalp, 30 minutes after my application.

I also take a good hair vitamin, MSM, I drink a vegan protein shake at least 5 times a week. I take all natural DHT blocker, iron supplements (since my ferrin level was low), b12, b50, vitamin D3 (my vit. D level was also low), zinc, copper, Evening Primose Oil, Salmon Oil, Omega 3,6,9, 3.000 mg of Biotin (can’t take too much biotin since it breaks me out) Vitamin C and a few other vitamins and supplements. Whew, I know that’s a lot but I’m throwing everything I got at this problem.

I’m about to work in Black Strap Molasses as well. My Bio-Identical doctor wants to put me on Spiro but I don’t have any spare hair left to go through another huge shedding event. I need the Rogaine to regrow some of my hair first because subjecting myself to another big shed. I want to get on Spiro since I feel it will really help me, but I will probably start at a very low dose in hopes of not having too much shedding and continue the rogaine during this period to counteract the initial shedding. Then ween myself off the rogaine after 6 months when the Spiro has gotten into my system to see how my hair can stand up without the daily Rogaine treatments.

I feel for you ladies, I’m in the same boat. This mess is a bitch and very stressful indeed. Keep your head up. If you get tired of fighting. It’s okay to let all this mess go, and purchase a nice high quality lace-front wig. Better to do that then let it stress you out so bad you stop enjoying life.

Teresa February 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I tripped across this website and felt compelled to post. I went for several years seeing a number of endocrinologists, dermatologists, ob/gyns, and anyone else that I thought might have a good theory on what was causing my hair to fall out. Someone finally referred me to a brilliant endocrinologist who (despite the fact that all of my bloodwork came back normal) recognized that I likely had hair follicles tha were more sensitive to testosterone than is normal. When he prescribed spironolactone, I thought he was crazy. However, I changed my mind about him when I got new sprigs of hair growing all over my head within weeks. This inexpensive drug has changed my life! When I decided to get pregnant, I had to stop taking it. I stopped about three months prior to when we began trying to get pregnant until after I had finished breastfeeding my son. When I stopped taking it, my hair started falling out again. However, it resumed its heavy growth once I restarted the spironolactone. Knowing how stressful this issue is for women, I wanted to share my experience.

Luba February 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Teresa, what dosage are you taking? 100mg or 200mg?
I have the same diagnosis, and my derm said I should take 100mg. I hear that many take all 200mg/day.

Do you take it all at once or split in 2 portions? When in the day do you take the med?

Thank you!!

Karen April 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I’m 54.. Started losing my hair while I was going through menopause a couple of years ago. It got so bad..I wasted a lot of time and money with my doctors . The last one I went to was my dermatologist . She did a biopsy, definitely hormonal. She put me on spironolactone .. Within three weeks my hair completely stopped falling out.. I even have new growth.. The only thing is I think it’s causing weight gain especially in my stomach .. 9 pounds since last fall.. I think it’s more than menopause. ????

sarah May 29, 2013 at 7:49 am

hi everyone,
i’ve noticed some of you have used Rogaine foam. it’s what my dermatologist suggested after one appt with her. :( and she did a biopsy and said i had TE. i’m wondering if that’s the case, why should i have been on rogaine wouldn’t my condition improve? i regret that i took her suggestion now, and wondering if it’s too late to stop after having been on it for 5 months? why can’t they ever answer my questions? they just smile and say accept it and take rogaine. :( i want to have another baby but i couldn’t have my first child until i went to a fertility doctor. i have thinning all around my head, on the sides and on top. but my hair has always been thin although when i look at past pictures i can see in some i have thick hair and others long and thin. but that’s always been my hair type. i don’t know if it got worse since my child was born and whether it would have improved after a while. i can’t say now since i’ve been on Rogaine. Can anyone give me any advice, if you used it and what happen after you stopped using it? i’m thinking of going to another dermatologist but i can’t find a good one that wouldn’t just laugh at me and tell me again take rogaine :( now i’m just scare i’ll loss more hair if i stop using it. :(

anthea June 3, 2013 at 3:09 am

This is in reply to Sarah’s post (May 29, 2013) RE Rogaine foam. A couple of months ago I contacted the manufacturer (turns out to be Johnson & Johnsons) enquiring whether the foam can be used for females. They replied advising foam is NOT suitable for females and that I should only use the female version of their liquid solution.

Jen June 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Just wanted to say thank you for all of the wonderful and candid posts here. Of course the stories are sad, but the love and support here is moving.

I started on 100mg of spiro on the 30th of May. I am certain my endo prescribed 200mg, but silly me just got the prescription filled and didn’t notice it was only 100mg as the label covered the obvious bits. I’m daft, I know. So when I realised this I brought it up with my gynaecologist who thought it was meant to be 200mg too. But since my testosterone levels were a little low, she said stick with the 100mg as 200mg might be a bit over kill. Needless to say I am confused. Will 100mg work for my vastly thinning hair and horrible baldness? I am tempted to take another tablet but maybe I should just ease into it as I understand I will be on Spiro for life. As I am due back in a few months I guess I should call her to ask. My endo says that I can’t expect any change is loss for at least 6 months. Also my scalp is so sore and itchy. It has been from time to time in the past, but this has gotten really bad this week. Is this a side effect of the Spiro? Sorry for all the questions, but I feel safe to ask you lovely posters. Thank you for that. It’s appreciated immensely.

amanda August 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

Hi – I was hoping to get ahold of the author. I have some questions about the doctor she visited. I live in NC and had some questions. Thanks!!

Monique August 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Hi. Just ran across this website, searching for a miracle on hair regrowth. My hair started falling out in excessive, when I was 28. I am now 41, and it has NEVER stopped. I’ve tried romaine, and that seemed to slow it down for a bit. I stopped using it, and a few months later got pregnant, (32) and it again slowed. (This may sound bad, but i got pregnant desperate to stop losing my hair. dont get me wrong, i love my daughter, and it was the best choice i made!) I just dealt with it and hoped for the best. February of this year, I REALLY started losing hair and its like it sped up for some reason. Stresses, of course, but nothing major. I finally went to a derm who prescribed spiro. I’ve been on it since June, and up to 200 mg a day, and NOTHING IS HAPPENING. 3 weeks ago, I started rogaine, and still NOTHING IS HAPPENING! I am so depressed, I don’t even want to be seen in public anymore. I’ve read on here, women who have used spiro have seen “something” within a matter of a few weeks. I’m wondering what’s next for me? What is another option? My hair loss is not only in the part, but its thinning all over, and more noticeable on the top of my head! After reading some of the more happier stories on here, it’s discouraging. (All blood tests normal.) Am I that vain? I’m happy for the women who have had positive results, and can still relate to how I feel, but what else is out there? I’m desperate!

Colleen March 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Hi Everyone,

I just joined this website today and am looking for some guidance as I try an cope with my hair loss.

My story:
I started losing my hair in September 2013 (24 years old). I first started noticing more in the shower and in my brush. I never really thought anything of it as I have always lost hair. It wasn’t until early October where I really started to notice a change in my hair and from then it all went down hill. I believe the onset of this was coming of birth control that I only took for 1 month back in March-April of 2013. I was first told by a dermatologist that it could be from coming off the birth control and to go back on. Well I stupidly went back on October but came off (suggestion form another dermatologist) because I was so emotional from the hairloss. So now I am off and never going back on regardless of my situation.

Since October I have had every medical test done to determine if something was medically causing this. I was first told it was low ferritin and I started on an iron supplement and that may hair should return to normal in 1 of 2 months. Well things go worse. More tests (hormonal) but everything came back normal. Throughout this time I became very depressed as I feared I was going bald and no one could tell me anything…doctors/dermatologists/endocrinologists. I had moved out of my house in July and into an apartment but because of how emotional I moved back home.

I was recently put on Spironolactine for acne but was also told this could help with hairloss. I just had a scalp biopsy today as I am seeing if I have AGA. While I don’t want to have this in a way…I will have an answer that I have been searching for now for 6 months. This has been so incredibly devastating and no one understands. My family is supportive but they are getting somewhat sick of listening to me complain. The dont think I have AGA and that the emotional stress/tole I have put on my body from dealing with this is making it worse and not better (which is probably true).

So if I do have AGA…what do you guys suggest? I am already taking the Spiro but have only been on it for 2 months. Should I try Rogain? I found a hairspecialist (the one that suggested the biopsy) said I should try laser therapy as Rogain is something I would need to use daily and I could experience more shedding.

I guess I have to wait for the biospy results but I really do believe I have AGA. I know it is something I am going to have to except and I am glad I found this site in order to help me cope. This has been devastating and I know a lot of people have been experiencing hairloss for years and years. This has been 7 months so I don’t know what it is going to be like dealing with this for the rest of my life.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Colleen March 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Correction ^ I have only been on Spiro for 2 weeks.

lee April 2, 2014 at 5:10 pm

I have also had cortisone injections in the scalp and eyebrows which seem to help. I have had iron IVs, where my ferritin went up to 67 and 375, whereas before it was as low as 5, 7, 19. I realized that low ferritin was not the only issue, as the iron IVs clearly did not make a change in my hair growth. Actually, when I had low ferritin, the two times I did take it, the hair seemed to return. But I realized something was not right, when after taking iron IVs, the iron no longer worked. The missing link is another issue – the immune response comes from the gut, and can affect hair growth, as well as hormonal issues. A good practice would be to take probiotics with a wide range of lactobacillus and bifido strains. Note that people who have alopecia areata, of body hair, most all of them have h.pylori which is an intestinal disorder. In fact, the microbiome of the gut is now believed to be the starting point of all diseases. Hair loss is an immune response on the skin. Take Zyrtec for allergies, to lessen the body’s response – I have read of this in a medical journal as an aid. Ask about Metronidizole cream to apply to the scalp, which has been used to help with hair loss. For those who have rosacea, note that it arises out of dysbiosis of the gut. It similarly is a reaction on the skin, and hair loss a reaction by the follicles. Look up research articles on Pubmed where I found all of this info – just type in the key words. Someone ask Dr. Redmond about the above items – I don’t know if he also uses them. Particularly, about Propecia, there is a side effect on the breasts, and I wonder if anyone knows if this medicine is something he then chooses if spiro doesn’t work. I myself have only done spiro, and don’t want to do hormones, so as not to increase cancer risk. Take B vitamin range, silica and collagen.

Nee April 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Hello young ladies who started on this website in the early 2000s,how is you all hair doing?,need updates please,first of all put God first and as for your desires of your heart and do the work and you all will receive your hair I believe and I will receive my Glory back!!

Lori July 29, 2014 at 6:22 am

Hi ladies. I realize these posts are fairly old, but I’m hoping to get some feedback. I have been on spiro for roughly a year but recently started to experience a severe shedding issue. I was only on 50mg and two weeks ago was increased to 100mg and will eventually be put on 200mg. Has anyone ever experienced a higher shedding incident when increasing spiro and if you have, will it subside? My shedding has significantly increased and I am completely stressed out. I have been diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia. No one, other than my grandfather, has had any type of balding or thin hair. I love that gene pool.
Thanks for any input.

jenny October 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Hi! I have a hair loss question? I am 41 years old. I have been on Spiro. For 7 years 100mg. I went of BeYaz in May after being on this generation of BC for 14 years.(yaz, Yasmin, beyaz) 21 years total on BC. I have thyroid and adrenal issues. I broke my foot in June and had to have surgery. I have been non weight bearing for 12 weeks.

My hair has started to come out in handfuls. To the point I am afraid to wash or brush. I can see my scalp in a ponytail. Any thoughts??

Thanks..

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