hair loss success

It’s been 3 months today since I received my PRP hair loss treatment with Dr. Joseph Greco last November 2009. I have been meaning to write my PRP update for quite sometime, but I wanted to wait until I was sure of what I felt my results (if any) actually were.

So rather than keep you in total suspense, I’ll start with a few self-imposed questions.

Do I think PRP Therapy has helped my hair loss? Yes
Do I think PRP Therapy has reduced my shedding? Yes
Do I think PRP Therapy has been the best thing for my hair since this entire mess started? Most Definitely
Has it done anything else? Yes, it has improved the quality and color of my hair
Will I do this again? You betcha, I’ll be on a plane within the next month for another treatment

Now with that out of the way, let me start by saying that ever since I had this done last November I have just felt better about my hair loss in general. Nothing works instantly, I know that,  but my mind was for the first time in a long time, optimistic that something positive could happen. So I essentially started to feel good right from the start, way before being able to actually tell if the PRP treatment did anything at all.  At times I have wondered whether or not my favorable results were a bit of a placebo effect, you know, all of a sudden thinking my hair is going to get better and tah dah it does. Whatever it is, my results are real, tangible and visible.

I noticed fairly quickly after receiving the treatment that my shedding reduced DRAMATICALLY, and since then it has gone up and down, but far less than before having the treatment done. My hair also just started to FEEL better and LOOK better. It seemed like some vibrance and pigmentation returned to my hair as well. After living with hair loss for 10 years, the color of my hair had faded as the miniaturization progressed. All I can say is “Hello color, I missed you! ”

Up until this morning I knew the following things, 1) my shedding decreased 2) the color improved and 3) my hair quality improved. Then this morning I scheduled a haircut with a woman who has been cutting my hair since 2005. I sat in the chair, she clipped on the apron, spritzed my hair with the water bottle and started to part the hair down the middle. Then she just looked closely at my head, then a little closer, as she leaned in she appeared to be slightly confused. With that final lean towards my head she said the most wonderful words, “You Look like You Have More Hair.” What? Let me say it again for all you ladies, in case you missed it, “YOU LOOK LIKE YOU HAVE MORE HAIR.” Hot diggity dog, do my ears deceive me? Nope. She told me my hair looks thicker, and that I have tons of little baby hairs growing in all over the place. Well praise the lord and raise the roof, I have a happy dance to do.

I had to laugh because before she came over (I have my haircut at my house) my fiance said, “I bet you she is going to tell you that your hair looks thicker.” Ha! I’ll gladly take the “I told you so” on this one. He’s been telling me for over a month that he really thinks that the PRP has helped my hair loss. I felt it, I knew it, but I didn’t want to jump the gun in writing my update prematurely.

I feel confident in sharing my results now, and I hope it helps to give other women hope. I will continue to keep everyone updated as I go through more treatments.

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Bonnie has been a member of The Women’s Hair Loss Project since Nov. 2008. Yesterday she wrote the most incredible blog in the network, declaring victory in her war with hair loss. Myself and so many others are beyond thrilled over her recent news. So with her permission, I am posting it here for everyone to read.

Here is the post:

I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for a long time, hoping that my success with regrowth would continue and that I would have great news to share. It’s weird but I guess I was sort of waiting it out to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating or waiting for the other shoe to drop… the universe saying HAHA! and my hair to start falling out again, but I think I can now say that I feel like I’m in the clear. I think I have finally won this war. Wow.

It’s been such a challenging year and half with all of this and I still cant imagine how uncluttered my brain must have been before all of this happened. It has been such a life-changing thing that it’s VERY hard to get past it. I know all of you understand this.

Slowly, slowly, since I shaved my head on 6/1, things have been improving. My shedding stopped a couple of weeks after the buzz (I stopped Spiro the same day) and it began filling in little by little. I really had some particularly thin spots and used A LOT of Toppik for a while, but I slowly stopped using that, quit the Xanax (I do not know how I would have gotten through 2009 without Xanax!), kept going with my supplements (fish oil, flax oil, vitamins and iron) and tried to exercise real patience and it has actually worked. My thin spots have slowly filled in and they KEEP filling in and I dare say that I think my hair is back to normal. Sigh and a big deep breath! For the first time in a very long time, I can now actually say that my hair looks good. it has taken me a LONG time to be able to say that and mean it.

I am still a product junkie (maybe now more than ever) and I still take detours by every mirror to check my hair out a zillion times a day. I think I will probably always.

I’m ready for a cleansing ritual for getting past this. Today I am going to go back to the wig salon and ask them about donating the beautiful wig that I bought there (and never actually wore) and maybe even the Gremlin wig too if they’ll take it. Yeah, the pictures of that are scary but KatKat did a perfectly AMAZING job of taming that beast. I’m going to see if I can donate the wig(s) to another woman that is suffering with hair loss and can’t afford to get something that will make her feel more comfortable.

I just wanted to update all of you. I have found such amazing support here and I truly cannot imagine how I would have gotten through this battle without WHLP. it has literally been a lifesaver for me.

I wish all of us more hair than we know what to do with (only on our heads). MUAH!

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I Will Beat This – Jessica’s Hair Loss Story

by admin on September 11, 2009

I had written awhile back but wanted to send you my story again, and this time post some positive updates.

One thing that I noticed way back when my hairloss journey started, was that the negative posts and testimonials by far outweighed the positive ones. My fear was that most women were losing this hairloss battle. My hope was that once they solved their hairloss nightmare, they were too busy not worrying about their hair to post their updates. I want to submit my story because I am having positive results as I attempt to figure out what has happened to my hair and how to stop the cycle of loss.

It was 2004 when my life changed. It was 3 months after I had stopped taking birth control (alesse) and my hair was coming out in ropes. I’ll never forget taking a shower before going out one Friday evening, and my hands were covered with hair. At the time, I had no clue that it was related to the cessation of using birth control. I thought I was dying, from cancer, from something. I stayed home that night and didn’t go out, I’ll never forget sobbing the whole evening, scouring the internet trying to figure out what was going on. My vanity was bruised. I remember feeling too ugly and embarrassed to be social or even go to the gym. I took a 3 week leave of absence from my job to go be with my then-boyfriend (now wonderful husband!) in Europe where he was for work. I needed his support and he was truly there for me no matter how embarrassed I was. I had extensions put in after much research, just to make me feel like I had hair again. I did everything I could to mask what was going on with my hair, while I devoured information to figure out what happened to me. It was then that I realized it was the birth control pill.

I made the mistake of jumping back on birth control because doctors told me that I might be responsive to a hair-friendly pill like Yaz or Yasmin. I chose Yasmin and figured I would just stay on it the rest of my life if I had to. Back then, all I cared about was how I looked, not about my health. I kept the extensions in for about 2 years. One day I went into the salon to get them done and my stylist said – “You know you don’t need these anymore. They are just your security right now. Your hair is fine.” What?? My hair was fine?? I was so used to the weight of the extensions that I didn’t believe her. She washed my hair and cut it without the extensions, and we blowed it dry. She was right, I looked totally normal. I was ELATED. I don’t think I stopped touching my hair for days. It was all mine, and I looked absolutely normal. It had thin spots, sure, but I could wear it up or down and it had body and I looked like me again. It was not nearly as thick as it was before the loss, but it was enough. [click to continue…]

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Robin's Hair Loss Story - The Mind & Body Connection Is The First Step To RecoveryBefore I share my story, I would like to thank this site for opening the door to a world of hope, understanding, and amazing strength. You are truly a remarkable young lady with a tremendously huge heart. Your words and intellectual spirit speak volumes about the very fibers of your being. Having this site, is a delight…… for sometimes, we have all been in a very dark and desperate place. Again, Thank You So Much!!!!!

I thought it was time to share some inspiration and background to my hair loss experience. I will tell you at times…. There where moments when I didn’t want to see the light from the sun, peer through my windows. The very thought of getting out of bed was a chore, a dreaded routine that was both exhausting and draining. At the age of 45 I have suffered with hair loss for well over 20 years. At first … it wasn’t that noticeable, after all, I was younger and had a busy schedule. Although it reared its ugly head I can honestly tell you I really didn’t put it all together until some 10 years later.

It was a slow process and more then likely I just ignored the signs… Back then I saw several doctors, truthfully… If I may be honest…. THEY SUCKED! The only thing they made sure of was my insurance numbers and mailing address were correct. Years of doctors and empty pockets, I realized that the traditional medical society for the most part reminded me of lawyers… They prey on your hardships and suck you dry! Years ago, doctors cared about following there passions in helping cure the sickly awhile tending to the needy with compassion and love. Today, while I am sure there’s a handful….. It is a commodity at best! I can tell you that worrying and obsessing over those things you cannot control only fuels the aging process as well as any illnesses you may have, The mind and body connection is real, and once you work with your body and not against it you will begin to see some beautiful things happen. [click to continue…]

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Cutting My Loses - Brenna's Hair Loss StoryAt 41, I gave my hairdresser free reign. She cut off everything but 1 inch of outgrowth in my natural color – grey. Under the lights in the salon, my scalp glowed just as brightly, but the white hair complimented the pink shine much better than the chestnut stained trimmings that covered the floor around the chair. There is no question in my mind that facing my reality – infertile, grey and balding at 41 – saved my mental health, and contributed to the end of my marriage. The disappointment in my husband’s face that day when I returned home from the beauty salon, showed me he could never accept me for who I was now, instead of wishing for the woman he’d met 15 years earlier. I knew that living with the truth was the only way for me, and that I would be doing it alone.

When my hair began to shed at age 31, I had thought nothing of it. It was so thick and wavy, I hardly noticed a difference, and simply passed it off as a slight change. By the time I looked in the bathroom mirror and realized the shiny spot on the top of my head was my scalp, it was too late. The Prempro I had been taking to mitigate the symptoms of premature ovarian failure certainly contributed to the loss, but because of the hormone changes from the POS, likely there would have been hair loss if I had not taken any hormones.

After denying the reality for a decade, mainly with new hairstyles and hair color, I couldn’t live any longer pretending to myself that nothing had changed. With barely an inch of outgrowth, I didn’t care if I looked bald when my stylist was done with me – I just wanted to have myself to look at in the mirror – whatever I actually looked like.

The divorce took 2 years – one year to finally say it, and one year to separate our lives and finances. [click to continue…]

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My Story and What Helps - Karen's Hair Loss StoryHi, I started to lose hair about when I was 46. It freaked me out as one of my aunts wore a wig and my grandmother had very little hair. I went to a medical hair loss clinic and they said I had genetic hair loss and recommended hair transplants. I asked about taking finasteride (Propecia), which I had read helped men with hair loss and the doctor said no, it was not available to women. His assistant, however, said (when the doctor was out of the room) that they won’t give it to women due to pregnancy problems. I said I was menopausal and highly unlikely to have kids, but it was a no
go.

So I went looking for Hair Loss books and read as much as I could and found out that taking Saw Palmetto worked just as well as Propecia and without any side effects. It does the same stuff and can be enhanced with the use of a couple of other herbs. So I’ve been taking it ever since and my hair loss has really slowed down . I’ve stopped a couple of times and the hair loss increased – so I know it is working for me.

I take 160mg (standardized to contain 85-95% fatty acids and sterols) twice a day. I also take 300 mg of Biotin twice a day and that also seems to help. Both are available from a health food store and come in many brands. I take the cheapest Saw Palmetto. These supplements are often found in the section about men’s prostate health as they work for that too. Propecia was designed for prostate health and was then found, by accident, to also bring back hair growth lost within 2 years.It works on the androgen cycle which causes male hair loss and may also cause female hair loss. I don’t see a lot of research into female hair loss out there which is foolish as many of my female post menopausal friends are experiencing some hair loss now.

Perhaps this info might help someone else…
Karen

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Dear Karen,

Welcome to the site and thank you for sharing your hair loss treatment regimen that you’ve experienced success with. I often hear women say they taken biotin for their hair loss but I never really tried it myself. I do think I’m going to go to the vitamin store tomorrow and get myself a bottle. I looked it up on wikipedia and it stated that its uses are for “hair problems, cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis), and diabetes.” Under hair problems it says, ” [click to continue…]

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Stress Related Hair Loss - Anna's Hair Loss Success StoryHi Everybody –

I just want to share my story with all of the women who experienced stress related hair loss. I started noticing that I was loosing my hair when I moved to a different state to pursue a completely new career. I was so stressed with my job, my new home, my family life that I ignored that problem. Until I went home (I’m originally from Poland) and my friend asked me what’s up with my hair and how come I don’t have as much hair as I used to have. I realized that I did have much less hair to play with and every time I combed/ washed or styled my do I was loosing tons of it.

I noticed hair everywhere. My car seat, my coat, everywhere. I panicked when I noticed bald spots on the side of my head. I started taking vitamins for hair, using the best available shampoos and conditioners but that didn’t help a bit. I was loosing more and more hair. I couldn’t wear my hair down, I had to wear ponytail styled carefully so the bald spots wouldn’t show. I went to a doctor (dermatologist) four times and she couldn’t help me. I mean she completely ignored my problem and told me to use Rogaine!! I was furious with her, because I already did my research I knew that my hair problem was stress related. It wasn’t genetic so Rogaine was a completely wrong solution. I tried couple other doctors, but they were as ignorant as the first one. All they could think of was Rogaine and maybe a hair transplant.

My hair problem lasted 3 years. Sometimes I would be loosing less sometimes more, but the fact was that I had less and less hair on my head. I went back home (Poland) and I went to a dermatologist there. She ran lots of tests on me (yes, we have universal health care, It didn’t cost me anything) and suggested that I should try aminexil treatment. I did. I’m on my fourth week of the treament and it works!!! My hair stopped falling out. I loose maybe 5 (!!) hair when I wash it. Before I would loose tons, sometimes a chunk the size of the golf ball (200-300 hair probably). [click to continue…]

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The Hair Loss Around Us – Reflection

by admin on November 11, 2007

The Hair Loss Around Us - ReflectionI was at the mall yesterday with my fiance and he pointed out a young girl that was working at a mall kiosk. She was very young, definitely still in high school, and she had severe female pattern hair loss. It appeared she had put some extensions in as well which were quite apparent due to the extreme thinning. She was interacting normally and didn’t really seem shy. I was thinking how hard it must be for her, to go to high school and work in a mall with a lot of young people and have to be going through something like hair loss. It was very hard on me to begin to lose my hair at a 21,but I can’t even imagine how hard it is to have to go through it while still in high school. Everyday I see so many women losing their hair, some are young girls and some are older. I’ll never forget a librarian I met back when I was 21 and in the infancy of my hair loss. I was of course at the library researching hair loss to try and help myself. She was sitting at a desk and I went up to ask her a question. Her part was so very thin and wide and I thought to myself “Oh my god, thank god my hair loss isn’t so bad,” but I was also worried I would be in her shoes very soon. From that point on I began to compare my hair loss to everyone around me. Her’s isn’t as bad as mine… mine isn’t as bad as hers etc etc. Sadly my answers are more toward the first statement nowadays. This was just recent though, mainly the last couple years. Before that, even though I was losing so much hair and suffering inside I was still able to fake it to the world. But I didn’t enjoy what I had along the way for that day, how could I when it continually fell out?

I look back and I wish I hadn’t missed out on so much because of my hair loss. The few people I had told about it along the way were always surprised to hear I even had hair loss. They didn’t know me before and know the thick thick hair I once had. My hair is so much thinner now, but I try and not let it get in my way anymore. After all, I’ve missed out on so much already. I’ll be 30 next year and realize I missed out on my entire 20’s. So why am I writing this? I want the women who are just losing their hair to know a couple things.

Hair loss is a journey. For some it is short and they luckily recover quickly, for others such as myself, we have to realize we have a long road ahead of us. The right side of the road is paved with sadness the left with happiness and in the middle there is acceptance. I spent 8 years walking on the right, always depressed, and never realizing I could move to the other side. I would try and get toward the middle but there always a strong force pulling me back. I am happy to report that more and more I stay to the middle of the road walking on acceptance and sometimes even making it along the border of happiness. Oddly enough this epiphany happened when I was at the thinnest stage of my hair loss. I don’t want other women to miss out on their lives. I know from the depths of my heart how hard and devastating hair loss is. I live it everyday. But at some point we have to appreciate what we have for that day and just do the best be can with what we have.

I still get sad about my hair loss and have my low days, I still run past mirrors to avoid looking at myself. [click to continue…]

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The Number 38 - Why Does it Make Me So Happy?The number 38 can mean a lot of different things to different people. The number 38 is:

The number of slots on the American Roulette wheel

38 is the largest even number which cannot be written as the sum of two odd composite numbers

A 38 is often the name for a snub nose .38 caliber revolver

And…. 38 is the number of hairs I lost combing my hair after my shower today!!! That is a huge victory and success for me considering just a short while ago I was loosing 500+ hairs a day. I don’t want to jinx myself, but things seem to be getting better and my horrific shed that has lasted consistently for the last 2 years has finally slowed down. I can’t describe how much of a relief that is, and it gives me hope that perhaps I can gain back a little ground. For some people who never have experienced hair loss, 38 hairs lost in a comb may seems like a lot to them, but for me it is a giant step in the right direction. After living with hair loss for 8 years, I am at peace with settling for a lot less than I use to hope for, and I’m fine living with thin hair as long as my hair loss is stable. The panic that sets in is derived from the possibility of the unknown when the shedding continues with no end in sight. I’d be thrilled if I could regain some hair lost from 2007, but even if I couldn’t and things stayed as they are now, my mind would be at rest. I have very very thin hair, but at least I would be more comfortable exploring the option of adding hair to my own if the shedding subsides. So I’m staying hopeful and positive that I’m finally getting a break and looking forward to better days ahead.

What do I attribute the lessening in shedding to? I’ve lowered my synthroid dosage down to the level I had it at back in 2005. I’ve had a feeling that the excessive telogen effluvium was due to my synthroid dosage being increased in 2006 and then again in 2007. I’ve had other side effects that seems to support my hunch that the dosage given to me was too high despite what my blood work “chart” indicated. You cannot just treat the chart and you have to go by how you feel. Numbers on a piece of paper don’t tell the whole story. So with the support of a physician I had spoken to on the phone I went to the local Urgent Care and asked if they would provide me a lower dose for synthroid. I explained the whole story and even took my bloodwork records with me from 2007 back to 2003, and they agreed to lower the dosage as long as I came back in 6 weeks for a bloodwork recheck, which of course I’m more than happy to do. My regular doctor would not have made that change in medication for me because he was the one who prescribed the higher doses both this year and last, and according to the numbers that is the level he felt I should be on. But I just didn’t feel it was right. So I took action. It’s my body and I have to do what is best for me.

What else? I also started taking an Ayurveda herbal supplement 2 months ago that contains 41 different herbs that are suppose to promote health and vitality. It doesn’t claim to grow hair, and that isn’t what it is sold for. It’s rich in antioxidants and is suppose to help with detoxification. I am just trying to give my body the best chance at healing and if possible correcting any imbalances. The herbal supplement tastes so awful I feel like I’m gonna throw up after drinking it and it makes me gag. But who cares right? I’d eat 20 raw eggs a day if I thought it would help! I also am more consistent now with making sure I take my women’s multivitamin daily as well.

That is about all that is different. Oh and I started blogging about women’s hair loss :) I just wanted to let all of you know about my recent improvement to give you hope that no matter how bad your hair loss and shedding is today, it can get better. I’m not kidding you when I say this is the first break and improvement I’ve seen after about 2 year shedding battle. My fingers are crossed that the shedding continues to slow down.

On a different note, Happy Halloween to everyone! I’m armed with 4 bowls filled with candy ready for the trick’O’treaters. There are a lot of kids in my neighborhood. I try to make sure I get rid of all the candy by the end of the night, otherwise I’ll be wearing it on my thighs the next couple of weeks :)

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