So Sorry That I Took My Hair For Granted – Amber’s Hair Loss Story

by admin on January 21, 2008

So Sorry That I Took My Hair For Granted - Amber's Hair Loss StoryHello Everyone. I am so happy to know that I am not alone in my hair loss devastation. I am a 28 year old mother of four. I’ve been experiencing heavy hair loss and extreme changes in the texture of my hair since the pregnancy with my daughter 5 years ago. Much to my dismay, my doctors were telling me that I was pulling my hair back too often or that my hormones just needed to get back to normal or that the straightening process I had done had caused the loss. So for five years I have watched my very thick, very curly hair become thin and straight thinking that one day it would magically reappear. It was two weeks ago that I had a scalp biopsy and was diagnosed with andogenetic alopecia. To boot, I am losing it from all over my head, not just the top. My dermatologist is pretty cruel and just chuckled and said “There’s nothing you can really do. Use Rogaine.” I am devastated. My daughter has hair just like mine used to be and I’m actually jealous of her. I’m debating whether to have the fifth child that my husband and I wanted but I don’t want to spark any excess shedding episodes. I have started Rogaine as it is the only FDA approved medication for women but I am feeling very lightheaded and somewhat dizzy so I’ll probably have to stop. I realize like many of you that this has quickly become an obsession. I know that I am not my hair. But let me tell you, after four children, my body is beat. My hair is the only attribute I have left and I’m losing that now too. I’m at an incredible loss. I can’t imagine what it will look like when I’m 40. Please give me any feedback you can and I hope this post helps someone feel not so alone as this site has helped me tremendously.
Thank you,
Amber

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Dear Amber,

You are not alone in your feelings and struggles. I wish I knew why most doctors are so insensitive and callus toward the women who seek out help for their hair loss. I can’t explain why they do it, but it is an unfortunate very common occurrence. Was your dermatologist by any chance a man? They seem to be the least understanding.Just like the birth control pills can somethings kick in the onset of androgenetic alopecia early so can the hormone shift of having children, sometimes there is just no rhyme or reason, but undoubtedly we are never prepared. There are other “treatments” used to treat women’s hair loss such as low androgen index birth control pills and aldactone (spironolactone). All hair loss treatments carry the risk of possibly igniting some extra shedding at first. It’s the whole, “has to get worse better it gets better type thing.” It’s all a very personal decision what a woman chooses to use to treat herself, and she has to fully understand the postives vs. the negatives. Hopefully in time there will be more studies done to figure out what exactly causes women’s hair loss and then with any luck a real solution for women’s hair loss will follow.You mentioned your hair loss is all over which is really very common in female pattern hair loss. Odd terminology for it since there is no actual “pattern” but an overall thinning of the hair. Which is exactly my situation with a more pronounced temporal thinning on both sides. I know you worry about where you’ll be when you are 40. I do too. Actually my hair loss started at 21 and I remember worrying about where I would be at 30. Well I turn 30 this year. I can’t say I’m happy with the extremely thin hair I have, but I make do and get by, although it can be tough at times to accept my new image. But while female pattern hair loss is progressive it usually occurs fairly slowly over time. It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight and you may find that when you are 40 your hair isn’t all that much thinner than it is today.Hair envy… you mentioned being jealous of your daughters hair. I know the feeling. I don’t have any kids but I see little girls running around sometimes that have the exact thick long manes I used to up until age 21. I actually wrote a post not too long ago titled “Hair Loss Can Quickly Become An Obsession” and in it I wrote “You know you are in trouble when you start envying your dog’s hair.” Yup I’ve starred at my dog’s hair thinking to myself how lucky he was. He doesn’t even care he has it, he’d probably trade it for a bone :) (you can see my doggy in the album on my network profile)The title of your story “So Sorry I Took My Hair For Granted” is something we’ve all felt. I know I never appreciated the hair I had, it was just there. But we can’t torture ourselves about the past, we can only look toward the future. You have 4 beautiful kids, a husband and you are young with your whole life ahead of you! I try to be grateful and appreciate all I have today and to not make the mistake of taking anything for granted again. This is it, this is our life. Not exactly the hand I wanted to be dealt, but the one that was dealt for me. I’m going to do the very best can I with it, and not fold, not give into the depression demons that creeps in from time to time.You are anything but alone and I thank you for sharing your story Each woman that writes in is helping another woman by letting them know they are not alone in this, our experiences and feelings are all similar to one another. We want to feel whole again.~Y

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonalisa January 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Amber,
I can completely empathize with your experience . I am a 28- year old mom with 1 child and 1 on the way. My hairloss started before I had children, but having children has only accelerated my hairloss. I too was finally diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia with a scalp biopsy. Also, I’m struggling at the moment with the effects of TE/AA due to a miscarriage in 2007 . Its thinned out everywhere, and my scalp is starting to show significantly. Now I’m about to give birth again and afraid of what will become of my hair now. I’m doing laser treatments again for my husband, but I’m having 2nd thoughts. I really want to just get it over with and either do a hairsystem where I can go into the water and be active or just wear a wig for awhile. I tried Rogaine, it works, but it will never fully return what we once had. So I stopped because I figured why continue something that will affect my body when it won’t really give me the results I want. Thank you for sharing your story, its nice to know we’re not alone, I just wish we could do something more about it.

Good luck,
Lisa

Lynn February 18, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Hello,

I can honestly say what hair loss has taught me is LOVE.
I used to have thick, curly hair that went past my shoulders. My hair started falling out, and along with it I would feel an electric, sharp pain in my scalp. And if that was not bad enough my eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair fell out too. The eyelashes is the worst b/c I can’t swim or take a shower w/o everything just pouring into my eyes. I use eyeliner for the eyelashes. And when I don’t have enough strength to deal with this I wear a rag/scarf, pulled low.
I learn to love and appreciate myself more than I ever had. I heard women in ancient Egypt shaved their head bald and wore wigs. And they were beautiful! So why not me? I am enjoying trying out different styles and color of hair.
And I am also learning also how to trust people in a more healthy way–losing my hair has caused me to develop discernment and learn what real love is about. I don’t just trust everybody, and am learning how to trust people who love and appreciate me back. I am learning when people love–it’s not about my hair, it’s about who I am. It’s about my heart & my soul. I have found real friends who are excited to help me find wigs, or who have confided that they lost their hair at some point–and friends who even want to see me w/o a wig! Most of these friends also have things they are dealing with, and need a friend in turn. A big part of finding this friendship is loving and accepting ME. When I feel good about myself I am also able to be a good friend to others.
My kids are so supportive and loving. I have 2 kids, and they know Mommy doesn’t have hair but they treat me just the same. I think it is so important to let your kids be affectionate, and talk to them in the same way as before you lost your hair. It is healing for me when my kids crawl in my lap for a story or give me a hug, and its because they love me–and hair or no hair–they love me the same. Haha, my son actually wanted me to get a purple wig!
There is hope. And maybe its a hope that you wouldn’t ordinarily see but it’s there. I have learned that I don’t know if my hair will grow back. Or if it will grow back and fall out (this has happened to me). But I know my heart will grow. And I know my life will keep on. And I know I will teach my kids from all I learned, and maybe one day they will be the friend who helps someone in need or the one to make a difference in this world. I see hope in learning something from hair loss. Or trying to find something positive.
I sympathize with you. And want you to know you have my full support.

Blessings, Lynn

Cindy July 31, 2009 at 10:26 am

PLEASE consult your physician about using Rogaine. A am 43, and started using it. When I told my doctor, she told me to stop taking it immediately as I was still in child bearing age. Apparently, it is extremely harmful to a fetus. You are still thinking of having more children, please look into this.

Daphne August 31, 2009 at 11:12 am

Hi,

I was reading some of your comments, and I can relate. About 8 years ago after my son was born I started to lose my hair, I have been diagnosed with alopecia, I have no hair anywhere. I have decided to go with no wig, completely bald, I have had my eyebrowns and eyeliners tattoed. But my question is this, I just recently gotten pregnant, but am now having a miscarriage, is this due to the autoimmune disease, or is this just mother nature.

Leigh March 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Is the Rogaine pill bad for fetus? Ive just been placed on it from spironolactone and im only 34, i heard propecia was dangerous bout the Dermatologist said this new pill is not. . Im on it for female pattern hair loss

Joy April 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

Hey Amber!

I too am experiencing hairloss at just 25! Came out of nowhere and came as a shock!! I experienced a deep depression that I don’t think I have ever gone through before. I went to my dermatologist as well and the guy was completely insensitive to my needs as well. All just ho-hum about it. He told me what he thought it was right off the bat within a minute of meeting me and pulling on my hair!! But I had to tell him that I was taking the birth control Depo Provera to let him know that this was more than just normal wear and tear, that it was thinning dramatically and fast!! I believe the dermatologist don’t really care about patience like these because all they have to do is perscribe them something that last them 6 months and won’t have to bother with them until then.

I wouldn’t let this get you down though! There are treatments out there and I had to tell my doctor to start me on spiroactolane, he never even mentioned it. Sometimes you gotta take charge of your health and let them know what you want!! Youa re paying them for top quality service and if they don’t help you out, go to someone else. I hope this gets better for you!! Hang in there and hold your head up!!

Joy

sarah May 29, 2013 at 7:04 am

I feel your pain. i’ve always had thin hair but after having my child which took a long time to achieve. i’m god to say we finally succeed but that’s when i decide to do something about my thin hair. i l’m thinking that perhaps after having my child it made it worse. i don’t know but when i went to the dermatologist she wasn’t kind either like your doctor. i don’t know why they make us feel like this. anyway, her only solution was use rogaine if you don’t want to lose more hair. she did a scalp biopsy test of course and came with the conclusion that i had Telogen effluvium. i wonder now if it was that, or that perhaps if i had never used Rogaine my condition would have improve later? but her only response was that i use rogaine nothing else. So i have for 5 months now i’m regarding it. reading all sorts of stories online about how you could loss more hair if you stop using it. i want to stop using it because it’s such a hassle, my hair gets matted and chalky. so i have wash it after 4 or 5 hours of having it on my scalp. it’s hard doing that when your taking care of a 2 yr old. i don’t know what to do. I want to have another baby but i’ve always had a hard time having a baby unless i take fertility drugs . now i’m wondering if i would have left my hair alone and never used rogaine my hair would have just stay the same or restore on it’s own. i forgot to mention i did put my hair through a lot of hair color when i was younger, and i think part of it was that too. it been 2 years since i have colored my hair and i have plenty of grays to prove that. i wish i knew what to do? is it too late to stop using rogaine i wonder? i guess i just want to know if once i loss my hair will i recover. and if i do loss my hair and decide to go back on rogaine can i recover the lost hair. Doctors can never answer those questions. they just laugh at our problem and tells us use this without knowing what affect it’ll have. by the way i have no history in my family of this. i wish i had never used that product, i can’t say that it’s made my hair thicker perhaps i’m holding hope it has done something for me as my excuse for continuing use. some days are better then others on the hair issue. its so unfair all my sisters have great thick hair, i was both curse with bad hair and disability to have children. thank you :(

Jenny February 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Sarah, have you been tested for PCOS?

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