I Think I Can Finally Declare Victory In My War With Hair Loss – Bonnie’s Update

by admin on February 3, 2010

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!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Fariha Ahmed February 6, 2010 at 10:01 am

Thank you Bonnie for sharing your experience.
I am going through major hair loss after stopping bcp. Actually it has been going on for the last 5 months but got worse since I stopped the bcp 1 month ago.
I find life so difficult, nothing makes me happy, my hubby and family is very supportive but I am depressed. I can’t even take care of my 3 yr old, I am so devastated.
I wanted to ask you how was it shaving your head? How long did it take your hair to grow and waht did you do while you had no hair? I also work so it is hard thinking about how I would manage if I shaved my hair.
Thank you so much, Please help me =(

donna February 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm

This is amazing to hear a success story and I am very happy for you, congratulations and you are an inspiration for everyone here! Is it possible to discuss your treatments and regimen? Thank you!

Bonnie February 9, 2010 at 4:30 am

HI, Fariha – i’m sorry to hear everything that you have been going through and that it took me so long to respond to this. I could not figure out how to respond to you directly, so I hope you find it here….

Shaving my head was scary on some level, but also very exhilirating. By the time it came to that, it was just what I needed to do for my own sanity. I just could not face even one more shower with my hair basically coming out in full strands at that point. I’d been thinkig of shaving it for some time, and that day I just hit the wall. I had actually been preparing for it and had ordered a wig online, visited a salon for a wig consultation, bought a buzzer…. i was ready on all fronts but the mental one. I was plannign to wait util I received the wig I ordered online before shaving it off, but it didnt happen. I had no more fight left in me and I told my husband to shave my head. no turning back.

I had planned on probably wearing a wig after the buzz, but the one I had ordered online had not arrived yet. I went back to the salon the day after the buzz and bought a gorgeous wig that I had seen there and was goign to wear that….. but in that day of not covering up my shaved head, I sort of got used to the way it looked and I liked it! that’s not to say that baring all is not intimidating.

i work for myself but I have a job where I am dealing with people in person alot of the time and I was very nervous that first week about facing them, but I did it. i got some weird looks and a couple of “what the hell did you do to your hair?”‘s but I got past it. Mostly, I got compliments….. And so I stuck it out. That gorgeous wig sat in my closet until recently.

My shedding started seriously decreasing a couple of weeks after I shaved. I quit spiro the same day I shaved and I really think that it was the spiro that completely intensified my shedding in those prior two months. I got married about 7 weeks later and I had about an inch by then…. it actually grows faster than you think when it’s shaved or super short, which is pretty exciting to see after just watching it fall out endlessly.

I hope I answered your questions.

margaret staib February 9, 2010 at 10:27 am

I just found this website. I am located in Long Island NY. I have started a support group for alopecia through http://www.naaf.org . If you are interested in attending please call 631-680-0148. I myself have hair loss from alopecia and am close to shaving my head.
Thank you.
Margaret Staib

Christine February 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm

What was your regimen and treatments?? How did you get it to grow back? I think if I shave my head then it wont grow back – it’ll just be a continuation of the thinning/bald mess “growing” in. Chris

Bonnie February 13, 2010 at 2:37 am

@ Donna and Christine – Since about April, my consistent regimen has been fish oil, flax oil, Vitamin D (1000 IU, on the recommendation of my dr), multi-vitamin, B complex and Ultimate Iron during my period. I have at times also taken CO Q10, magnesium and a zinc/copper supplement. I’m pretty sure my hair loss was due to blood less caused by the Mirena and it was mostly about my iron levels but I’ve really been trying to stick to a reasonable vitamin regimen along with the EFA’s. My former naturopath had recommended the EFA’s for hair regrowth and I have no idea if they help with that, but i do know that they make my skin less dry and so maybe help with my hair health too(?)

mee mee February 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Hi Bonnie, You said you stopped Spiro… why did you start to begin with? Did you hair loss began before or after Spiro? I am taking Spiro now for 7 months and wondering if its good or bad for me? Thanks!

Fariha Ahmed March 3, 2010 at 8:41 am

Hi Bonnie,
Hope you are well, thanks for your responses.
Did the Dr ever diagnose you with TE? I am going for a scalp biopsy this Friday but hoping that I do not have any Alopecia Areata because i am having diffuse loss with no patches.
I would prefer to shave my head if it turns out that I have TE.
Was your hair loss diffuse, did you ever get a clear answer on what was causing the hair loss. My Iron level is normal but the iron store is slightly low but I doubt if that is causing this excessive loss. I also had chemical straightening done 4 months ago and it might be a allergic reaction to that so I would like to shave it off rather then watch it all fall off slowly and will wait for it to grow back. Thanks for your help!!

Bonnie March 5, 2010 at 9:40 am

hi, Meemee – i started Spiro because i was continuously looking for any answer as to why my hair was falling out and of course it wasnt improving fast enough… My bloodwork shows a somewhat higher testosterone level and my GP sent me to an endocrinologist who prescribed spiro. I started taking spiro in April 2009, eight months after I noticed my hair loss. The spiro got my testosterone down immediately, but my shedding increased exponentially…. A month later, because I was shedding like mad, he doubled my dose and the shedding doubled too. i know Spiro helps some women, but i dont think it was going to work out well for me.

Fariha – i was never diagnosed with TE. i was diagnosed with AGA through a biopsy. but it’s a diagnosis I never believed in because of the massive shedding I was having. I dont *think* (my humble opinion of course) that AGA makes you shed like crazy.

Claire March 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

Hi Bonnie,

I just wanted to chime in. I started shedding in September 09 by mid November I think I had lost about 50% (at least it felt like it) I am still losing on average 100 hair a day, some days less. I think this started with me taking emergency contraceptives 2x in July/Aug and has been spurred on by my low ferrin. I’ve been to see 2 derms and 1 endo. Tried rogaine for 2 wks but it made the shedding worse and made my head itchy (it still is ). My head is telling me to eat healthy, take my iron supplements and wait it out but every other inch if me is screaming DO SOMETHING! How long from the beginning of your mess until you saw a noticable improvement? I’ve searched on here for your story but couldn’t find anything except your happy ending, which is nice to see for a change!

Tatyana April 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I just wanted to add that it is very vital if you take iron you need to take zinc and copper as it was mentioned before. You have to take them at different time a day but you have to balace them. I noticed when I was taking high doses of iron I would get more hair loss and dandruff, when I start taking zinc for a week my hair loss would reduce in half. Please remember to balance minerals.

Stacy May 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Congratulations! I am happy it worked out for you:) I have androgenetic alopecia too, and I shaved my head 6 times since I was 19 (I am 33 now) in hopes it would grow more hair. Unfortunately, I havent seen any difference. In fact, my hair is getting thinner as I get older. I have been taking Spiro and Yasmin on and off. I am still trying to figure out what to do. Sometimes I decided to just embrace my hair loss and know that I am still a beautiful woman with wonderful qualities, but other times it gets me down and I end up trying to find a solution. It is a constant struggle.

P.S.- I completely agree shaving the head is truly a liberating experience. I got a lot of compliments (and of course lots of staring). I am tempted to shave again because I miss that feeling (and not having to deal with my bald spots).

Jenn July 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm

RE: Claire’s post – I took emergency bcp Plan B in mid-march and by mid – may I had a bald patch on the front of my head, diffuse but localized thinning. I wish that they would be more communicative of this as Plan B’s hormone (starts with an N) is VERY high androgenic activity. I am pretty sure I alraedy had AGA but this screwed me royally with hair loss. I am not sure what to do…..started laser hair theraphy and take saw palmetto and b vitamins, using Ducrays Chronostim….and i wonder how bad my loss would be if I was doing nothing at all…..

Chloe August 5, 2010 at 1:27 am

Congratulations!
I almost cried when I read your post.
I am also having hair loss problem and reading your post encouraged me not to give up.
Thanks!

Amy H September 22, 2010 at 9:41 am

Bonnie,

Did you go completely bald when you shaved b/c you mentioned that your hair loss decreased a couple of weeks after shaving?

It’s really strange b/c last night I decided that I was going to have it shaved off and then today I came across this website. I haven’t found an MD yet that has focussed on the hair loss – i have so many other issues:blepharitus, itchy skin, itchy scalp, mild arthritus, migraines. My MD thinks it’s all my thyroid, which the TSH was fine (1.35 and TPO was 39) when the hair loss started. I also had low testesterone and progesterone – which i am taking DHEA and bioidentical hormones respectively. But they put me on Armour anyway and now I am up to 1.5 grains. My TSH is now .06 and my TPO (Hashimoto’s) is at 179 and I am still losing hair, have blepharitus, itchy skin and scalp. Has anyone else experienced any or all of these symptoms? We are trying to get my immune system back in order with Chinese herbs and a foot cream with glutathione.

I am 43 and up until 1.5 years ago looked in my 20s. All this stuff that has happened to me has aged me – I look in my 40s now and don’t like it. Did I mention that my husband hasn’t been supportive and has said that this is all in my head!!!!!!

Kristy February 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Amy H, not sure where you live but there is a Dr. Griffin in Atlanta @ 404 256 4457 , call there and ask for Kathryn Filipek’s line to see if they can recommend one in your area. I know in the beginning you want to think minimal and do the easy and perhaps not even get to the bottom of it and face the truth, but the very best thing you can do for yourself is go to a specialist and get a biopsy so you can figure it out. Derms want to put off a biopsy but specialists don’t they get to the bottom of it. Request it. It doesn’t hurt too bad just get one. And good luck , God bless and pray.

Paulette March 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I just found this site. I have always had thin fine hair. I am also very vaine and always looked much younger, I am 42 now. Last summer after an array of personal and professional stress I became very depressed. My doctor gave me Adderall so I could continue to keep up with my crazy work schedule. I also had a thyroglossal duct cyst removed. A couple months later I noticed hair breaking off at my crown area. I have spent half my time since trying to figure out why? It seems so unfair. I had to fill in my blonde and cut layers in to cover up. I have less than half my hair and the hair coming in is so fine and tiny with alot more gray. My labs are also normal, yet some on low side such as TSH and T3, hgb, hct, B12. I have been through more stress than I ever have. I still take Adderall days when I am so depressed I cannot get out of bed. I see a specialist in Philadelphia Friday but honestly I am not betting on a cure. I am a nurse and spent hours studying the biology of hair the past year. I believe that the combination of insane stressors caused my hair to break off and the new hair is a sorry excuse maybe more on a newborn! I am ready to get this behind me and no longer want to worry. I would prefer to shave my head and find a system that works. This has been truly the worse two years of my life, with divorce from an abuser, a son’s addiction, a 70 hour a week visiting nurse job, and years of one or another prescription medication to cope. I will keep you all posted and bring back some info from the specialist. I cannot keep my hands off my scalp especially the crown that is nearly bald with tiny sorry excuses for hairs regrowing. I hate wigs, would try a half wig or bonded system. Need help with that. I hate this flyaway broken grayish weird stuff growing on my head and prefer to shave it off! Thanks everyone for input.

Tonia May 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

Hi, I am new to this site and am EXTREMELY DEPRESSED ABOUT MY HAIR LOSS!! I also have OCD, which is obsessive compulsive disorder, an anxiety disorder. I have been diagnosed with hirsutism. I started noticing thinning in my early twenties after a bout with bad anxiety,and was then diagnosed with OCD and put on an SSRI drug, which I have heard they can cause hair loss too. I lost a lot of weight, about 20 pounds in a month and a half. I started having this bad acne about 5 or 6 years ago and found out it was cystic acne from a friend of mine who is an esthetician. In December of 2009 my hair loss became worse than it has ever been. I knew I had just stopped bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and figured it was telogen effluvium from that. I started the BHR therapy to possibly help with the headaches I was having, not knowing that since I stopped it would send me into full blown progression of my hair loss!! I also found out that my iron stores (ferritin) was a 7!! Ib could not take oral iron and started IV iron therapy just last December for 7 treatments. My ferritin is now over 400 and I thought that I would start seeing some growth soon in my balding areas on top and my recently discovered receding hair line. I just bought a laser comb to try and my Endocrinologist wants me to start Loestrin and using Rogaine. I don’t know what to do! I recently shedding worse and my hair is already so thin you can see my scalp!! I think about it all of the time. All I want to do is cry. I have an appt. with my gastroenterologist this week to see why my constipation problem has worsened in the last year and have to live off of Miralax. I am so scared I have cancer. I do not know how much more I can take!!! Please leave me some input if you have any. THANKS

Sunny October 20, 2011 at 2:37 am

Paulette,
I am feeling the same way. Hair texture change and loss with doctors minimizing the fact. My storybgets complicated with roughbdwntal cleaning and surgery which unstaffed hair loss 2 weeks before surgery when I had to stop vitamins. Teeth are bAd and had a doctor replace some fillings and now I can’t even chew. Gall bladder surgery left me deformed and gastric problems. My small frame has A large lumps (like 5 Pouches) that it has hunched me over. Joints all cracking. Do you have any suggestions on how to cope. Wig expensive fitted at cancer wig specialty shop and it does not stay on and my face is swollen from the teeth. My dentist of 31!years does not want to treat as teeth are thin. Saw another dentist and he assisted me that I just needed fillings replaced Nd he did plus a crown and now I can’t chew first it was just sensitivity. Eliminating wheat from diet as low villi in small intestine, malabsorption problems. Getting back to hair it is sandy feeling, follicles falling out. I am going to try to post bit I wish to talk to others about how to cope.

Kel January 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Hi Everyone,
I am just 22 and have been experiencing hairloss since I got to college at age 18. I have never had thick hair, but my hair was always shiny, looked reasonably thick and looked good when I wore it down or in any style. When I got to college, I stopped using birth control, and, what do you know, my hair started thinning. Through my sophomore and junior year it continued thinning as I went on and off birth control– stupid mistake–. My junior year I took Plan B and my hair just shed and shed. Now I am off of birth control but I unfortunately had to take the Plan B pill. I knew my fate. Now, it’s about three weeks later and my hair is coming out in handfulls and I already don’t have much to start with. I am getting extensions in next week but I’m just hoping it doesn’t get too thin to even be able to hold them in. I find myself CONSTANTLY staring at every other girls hair and thinking how pretty their hair is while mine is in a tiny little bun on my head to try and cover up how thin and broken my hair is. I’m just praying this loss doesn’t last too long and that I can stop freaking out about my hair.

JJ August 14, 2015 at 10:46 am

Hi Bonnie,

Thank you for sharing this. I would love to know which brand of vitamins you specifically used since many are of higher or lower quality than others. Thanks so much!

JJ

Linda July 31, 2017 at 11:39 am

Hi all! My name is Linda and I am 47 , diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis in the summer of 2015. In those 2 years I have lost 50% of my hair. Dermatologist immediately told me after 2 minute exam that I had AGA. No one in my family suffers this! I have read numerous articles and joined lots of Hashimotos supports groups and indeed many women suffer from major hair thinning and loss. My right side is much worse. The timing of the loss kills me, how could I lose so much so fast? I am on Birth Control still and am on Naturethroid for the Hashimotos. I take Viviscal tablets and different supplements. Has anyone ever experienced this!? I wonder if it will ever come back. I look at my Facebook pictures from just 2014 and my hair was great. Now I am thinking about it constantly, obsessing over my thin spots. Can’t wear hair down anymore. Seeing a new Naturopath who is running an iron ferretin test on me. I am dreading washing my hair cuz it just comes out. I get sick from doing my hair yet everyone tells me I am over dramatic and i look fine! No I don’t! Worried about my job, under bright lights and the hairloss continues…..help! Please make me feel less crazy. Thanks! Linda

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