hair shedding

Having Hair Loss Is Exhausting

by admin on March 15, 2009

I never really stop to think how much effort I put into trying NOT to think about my hair loss and how exhausting not thinking about my hair loss actually is.

I avoid mirrors, strong overhead restaurant lighting, I turn the bathroom lights off before going in (in my house). I’d do it in public to if I didn’t think I’d get tons of grumbles and nasty comments from the women already in there. Ha! Unless they had hair loss, then they’d give me a high five. Typically when I need light I use softer lights that are sort of dimmed.

Up in the morning, early 5:00am start to the day. I shower and I comb my hair quickly trying to get past the torture. Shower is always fun pulling the hair out of all sorts of odd places including my deriere. Oops stuck between my fingers, rinse it off, rinse it off or paste it on the bathroom wall. Always fun to look at after. Comb, scoop, comb, scoop, hair into the toilet. I pull my hair back in a ponytail or up in a clip to avoid feeling the hair fall all day. However, (as thin hair ladies know) the clip can hurt since it sits so close to the scalp with none of that pesky “hair padding,” it can become quite itchy and bothersome, so I loosen it up to make sure it’s perfect and set for the day. Oops now my hair looks flat on the left side. Do it again…oops now it’s flat on the right. Oh my gosh I look like a human ice cream cone, with no hair on the sides and a little on the top, the shape of my head has me looking like a Mister Softee. Do it again, darn it now my gaping center part is shining for all the world to see. Hummm I don’t remember it being that thin before. Maybe I should use the blow dryer some more. Blow to the left, blow it to the right. Apply clip strategy again, ah this “style” is okay. My simple clip style takes longer than it looks, same for the ponytail. This hair over that hair, brush here, brush there, trying to maximize every strand. Volumizing shampoo, volumizing conditioner, volumizing spray, volumizing mousse, plump this plump that. Poof it’s still flat. Part my hair one millimeter to the left of its normal part, nope, one millimeter to the right, yes that’s just perfect. Now I can begin my day. I glance at my watch, I wonder what activities are left to do on this Saturday at 10pm.

Happy Sunday Ladies! [click to continue…]

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Three Minutes of Freedom

by admin on March 6, 2009

Get Out and Start Living

I got up this morning, walked the dog, came home, fed the dog. Threw on some workout clothes and hopped down to the gym (garage). I put my earphones on, I turn the ipod on, and I started the treadmill. The first song queued up is one of my favorites, and it just puts my mind at such ease and makes me smile. The song only lasts three minutes and thirty five seconds, but that’s enough. Enough to put my mind in the right mood and enough to set my day up with possibility. I of course played the song over and over since I wanted to draw out as much serenity as possible :) I jogged along and felt content and… dare I say… happy. Sure my hair is falling out, it fell in the sink, it fell in my coffee, stuck to my sweatshirt, but I was happy. In that moment I felt right.

I think we need to take more time for ourselves, to do the things we enjoy and remind ourselves of living. It’s way to easy to obsess about our hair loss and worry about the future, but in doing so, we so frequently miss out on today, the beauty around us, the beauty within.

So now I know you are dying to know what song I was listening to. Well here it is for your listening pleasure (just click on the play button below) and your three minutes of freedom:

“Put Your Records On” By Corinne Bailey Rae – Best 0.99 cents I ever spent on iTunes!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Wishing you all a beautiful and HAPPY Friday!
Enjoy life, enjoy freedom, enjoy being you.

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A blog from the network, written by Bonnie.

Well, this was intended be a simple little blog about asking you all to sign a petition asking Bayer, the manufacturer of Mirena, to fully disclose the side effects of Mirena to potential patients.  But in checking back to the Mirena website to make sure I accurately used their wording concerning hair loss, I have now found that instead of just burying it as an “uncommon side effect, affecting less than 5% of users,” they have now removed it all together.  I am so outraged that I am literally shaking!  I am almost in tears.  When I initially figured out that the Mirena was what was causing my hair loss, I found on their website that it listed “hair loss” as an uncommon side effect (though I do not feel that something affecting up to 1 in 20 users should be considered “uncommon”).  In January, they updated their site to read “changes in normal hair growth cycles.”  And now, the only place that you can find anything listed on their site about hair loss is under the Physician Information tab.  It lists Alopecia as an uncommon side effect.  “Alopecia is NOT listed in the Patient Information or Safety Information section at all.  It simply says, “for a complete list of side effects, please contact your health care provider.”  The pamphlet I was given did not list hair loss, alopecia or changes in normal hair growth cycles.  How in the world are women supposed to get accurate information?

I had a Mirena for 11 months beginning in 11/07.  Without even going into the horror story of how it was inserted, I basically bled for almost 11 months straight, and was told this was “normal” and that it would eventually stop.  I noticed significant hair loss in August 2008 and was diagnosed with a very low ferritin level (I guess that’s what happens when you bleed literally all of the time!).  I did mention the Mirena to my GP but she did not think it was a factor.  I started taking iron supplements, as well as many other vitamins, but my hair loss just continued and I became very depressed.  My hair loss got worse and worse and I just could not figure out what was causing it.  I was literally always the healthiest person I knew. [click to continue…]

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Focus On What’s Left

by tangie on September 6, 2008

I started thinking last night about what’s left you know, before hair loss was your issue, was it losing weight or acne or your teeth or what? For me, it’s my teeth. Sometimes I  think to myself that I would have wrinkles by now if I smiled as much as most people do normally. I don’t smile much because my teeth have big spaces between them. Soo, I am going to finance myself a brand new smile, yep… I’m going to give people something to look at and compliment me on and take all the power that the hair loss has away. I am within 20 pounds of my goal weight and I am not going to stop until I’ve reached it. Winter is coming and I am going to buy some adorable hats and then next spring I will make a decision on either shaving my head or getting a hair piece.  And you know what, It is going to be OK everybody, it really is.
Visit Tangie in the Network

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Hi, I’m a 19 year old girl who has suffered major hair thinning. I’ve just discovered about this community/project a few days ago. Uptil now, this seems to be probably the most resourceful place I’ve seen.

I’ve been pretty desperate for answers.

As a child, my hair was extremely thick. However, as I grew up, my hair become progressively thinner. Two years go, I went on an unhealthy diet and I started to really notice that my hair was extremely thin (also, my hair was falling out like crazy). I thought that it was due to the fact that I didn’t get enough vitamins, so I started to eat healthily again. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, my hair only stopped shedding like crazy, but no new hair grew back to replace those I lost.

It has been 2 years, and my hair is still quite thin. Most people can’t see it, but I definitely can – especially when my hair is greasy or when I tie it in a ponytail (you can see my scalp very clearly).

I’ve read as much as I could on women hair loss, and nothing seems to really fit my symptoms. I took a blood test and it showed that my levels were perfectly fine.

After reading as much as I could, there were really only 2 diseases that sort of fit my simptoms.

1. Hypothyroidism – my mother has that
2. Androgenetic alopecia – my hair is thin all over my head and my hairline is not receeding.

However, the only thing that doesn’t seem to quite “fit” is the falling of my hair. My hair does not seem thinner than it was 2 years ago. I do not lose an excessive amount of hair (contrary to the many testimonies I’ve read). When I comb my hair after a shower, I would loose maybe 5-10 strands. In some ways, my hair loss seems proportionnal to the amount of hair I have.

I often get depressed because of the state of my hair – especially when I see my friends with thick hair and get to choose different styles of haircuts while I’m stuck to one. I can’t confirm with 100% certainty that my situation hasn’t worsen. From what I can see, it seems to have stabilized. But sometimes, when I look at old pictures, I start believing that it did in fact get worse. Afterwards, I panick and can’t sleep at night.

Questions:
Does androgenetic alopecia have different “levels” of hair loss? I haven’t taken any medication to help, but I know for sure that I do not lose a crazy amount of hair. However, I am also certain that this is certainly not normal for a teenage girl to have so little hair (I now have less than 50% of the hair I used to have as a child, and from the top of my head, my scalp is pretty visible). From what I can see, I do, in fact, have new hair that grow, but not many.

I am so desperate for answers. Although you may not have any precise answers for me, I’d greatly appreciate your point of view on my situation.

Thank you,
Linda

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Dear Linda,

Thanks for writing me and I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling with this. First things first, stop.. take a deep breath, let it all out and take a moment to reflect on how lucky you are that your hair loss has stabilized for the past two years. Losing 5 -10 hairs after a shower is remarkable, you’ll be the envy of all my readers :)

Having said that, I do understand your concerns and pain in having to deal with less hair than you had before. I must state upfront that I am not a physician and cannot provide medical information or diagnosis, anything I write is really just my opinion and knowledge gained from living with hair loss myself for the past 9 years (yikes that sounds like a lot). With that disclaimer out of the way I can continue on. [click to continue…]

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As most of you have probably already noticed I haven’t written very much lately. I’ve just been sort of trying to refocus my energy to get through this really really tough time. As I write I have to pause as I cannot see the screen though all my tears that keep falling like water out of a facet. I cannot be certain as to why I am going through another very bad shed, I should know by now that I probably should just stop asking why and move on.

For the most part I get through my day, but with a sadness and awareness each time I touch my head or see my reflection. I avoid all mirrors even the ones in grocery stores. I run past store windows for fear I’ll catch that glimpse that will ruin my day. That is how I’ve worked to be able to main a quasi productive day and to live my life… avoid my reflection, turn off the bathroom lights before entering, wear my hair up in a ponytail type bun so that I do not feel the lack of hair I have and to avoid having to be reminded every second of the day that I’m losing my hair as another strand falls on my arm, shoulders or back.

I just took a shower and washed my hair, it pretty much is dried already by the time I take a comb to it, thats how thin it is now. I comb through, saying any words of comfort to myself, a prayer, the alphabet, anything to keep myself busy while I get through the toughest part of my day. The hair falls out so easy like gobs of spaghetti. I consider taking the razor to my head right then and there and just being done with it, but I decide against it for the moment. I’m usually much stronger than this when dealing with my hair but I’ve felt so sad and weak lately. I remind myself it is only hair, and if this is the worst thing that ever happens to me then I probably should consider myself lucky. I feel so sad right now, a heaviness that just sits on me. It’s 4:35pm do you think it is too early for a glass of wine? :) I think not.

P.S. Forgive me if you’ve written to me and I have not answered yet, I will definitely get back to you. I’m just trying to piece myself back together right now.

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Yesterday I woke up with pain on my scalp, a soreness I hadn’t felt for quite sometime. I know what it’s called, Trichodyia. I dread it because in my experience it always seems to correlate with a impending hair shed. I’ve been doing okay so far, since I’ve reduced my synthyroid dosage and my hair loss has improved and seems more stable. But now this, why now? I certainly don’t tie my hair tight in a ponytail, it always fairly loose because if it’s tight I can feel every single follicle tugging. Why now? Even though nothing has changed today and yesterday, I just feel a great sadness. The thought of the possibility of enduring yet another shed brings me to tears. I’ve been in hazy lack luster state since this began, paralyzed by fear thinking I won’t be strong enough to take anymore… my hair can’t take anymore. I feel like I’m one shed away from being entirely bald. Eight years of dealing with this, I know that isn’t true, I know even with all the shedding I somehow manage to make it through and get by, but I still feel the sadness and the pain. I type this though tear obscured eyes. The possible impending shed isn’t even here and may never come yet the pain on the scalp was enough to made me incredibly sad. Like any other conditioned response, my hair loss as conditioned me to feel pain and sadness.~Y

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21 and have been losing my hair for years - Jessica's Hair Loss StoryI think I started noticing my hair loss when I was mid-teens. It was not that big of an ordeal at the time, seeing as I knew I was a stressed and busy teenager (I was busy at school ALL of the time). However, as the years rolled by, I began to lose more and more hair. I am now losing hair at an exponential rate and I have no idea what to do about it.

My hair is very thin at the crown and sides of my head.. so thin that I can EASILY see my scalp. I try to hide it, but I really have nothing to hide it with, save a hat. I have gone to a doctor and a dermatologist, and all bloodwork is normal and I have no skin problems which would cause this. I was on birth control once when I was 18 or 19, but that really didn’t cause me to lose any more hair than usual. I am at a loss.

I am usually not one to care about these kinds of issues, but it has consumed my thoughts to the point where there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t want to break down and cry. I know that my lifestyle is not helping, but I can’t really change it without changing my career goal. I am a full time student and I work part time as a lab assistant. Outside of school, I spend a lot of time studying for the MCAT and doing other school work.. all signs point to stress, but I don’t know what to do about it. It would really help if there was someone to talk to or if anyone has any advice. I feel like I am falling apart…

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Dear Jessica,

I am curious to know if the doctors you’ve seen were able to offer you any type of possible cause for your hair loss? Women with hair loss frequently get back blood test results that “falls within normal range.” I know how unhelpful and frustrating that is because we want to point to something on paper as the identifying cause then work towards fixing it. Blood test results being categorized as “normal” gets to me, because what is “normal” for me may not be normal for another 29 year old and vice versa. So perhaps there is something there for all of us that seems to be consistently getting overlooked by physicians. [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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