Julie’s Story

by admin on September 12, 2007

Julie has left some incredibly wonderful, helpful, heartfelt comments on this blog and now she is sharing her story. Here it is:

For 10 long and arduous years, I’ve suffered from female pattern baldness. At 17, the pain of looking at myself in the mirror caused major depression and my health continued on a downward spiral. My gynecologist prescribed some birth control to regulate my periods and my acne, but the condition worsened. Soon, I was also put on anti-depressants, because I got depressed from the acne and hair loss…then, I couldn’t sleep at night because of the medication that I had to take for my hair loss and acne, and the depression because of my hair loss and acne! Phew! breath…so you see! After 10 years of tests and the determination I had in figuring out my problem, I figured the problem was bad practice of medicine. Well, 10 years ago is different and 10 years from now, answers will be different.

Working in retail with spotlights gleaming on my shiny scalp resulted in stares and inspections from nosy customers. No one understood the shock and devastation of losing clumps of hair. My self-esteem and confidence hit an all time low when after ten years of experimenting with a wide variety of solutions failed to provide the most security and comfort. I wore tight, sweat-inducing, smelly wigs that heightened my paranoia, living in the windy city; the elements became my worst enemy. Wearing wigs and pieces hindered my normal active lifestyle of working out, swimming, and simply just dating! You can’t completely feel comfortable knowing that you might be the victim of shame and embarrassment, or judged by appearance. Image mattered to me, hair made me feel more complete as a girl blossoming to womanhood; soon it eventually challenged and shattered my broadcasting dreams. Suddenly, the holidays just felt lonelier, and so did I with my hair
loss.

I realized I had spent enough time and money wearing wigs, pieces and millions of over-promising, under-delivering solutions that seemed too noticeable. I needed a better explanation but I knew it wasn’t out there. I eventually just got used to wearing the wigs and when I’m financially secure enough to bond something on my scalp, I will. Until then, I’m having fun trying different styles, achieving looks I never would have with my own hair. I use different barrettes and styles all the time so I don’t get bored with it…if you need any advice or tips/suggestions or just someone to talk to, i’m here…YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
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I encourage other women to also share their story, it feels good to put your story out there and have it be read by other women (you can read my story here) who are experiencing the same thing. We can all learn a lot from each other, it so much more than just finding treatments that work, we can learn how to be strong, how others have dealt with their hair loss situation and hopefully become better for it. If you want to email you story, send it to: women@womenshairlossproject.com

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

kj September 13, 2007 at 8:45 pm

Thanks for sharing Julie! … I completely know what you mean … I hate going to dinner and sitting under the bright spot lights … it just makes me wanna cry!
I started loosing my hair when I was 17 – 13 years later its ups and downs between medications and topical treatments. Right now, I just met a nice guy – its a long distance thing, and we’re supposed to see each other next month – the trouble is … my hair – another its the worse its been in years … I had to come off the Pill for medical reasons and the last 2 months has been fall out city! … hair loss sucks!

Jazmine September 13, 2007 at 10:34 pm

I’ve never met you but I instantly know how you feel, the lights… being judged, letting go of dreams once had when we had all our hair, only to be left with the faint memory of what it used to be like to wash your hair, comb it and not have more than a couple hairs come out, if that. I don’t think I ever use to see ANY hair. I always think of that line “you don’t know what you got til it’s gone.” No truer words ever spoken. I took my hair for granted as women with full heads of hair do today.

You seem like you are doing really well now, so I applaud you for having the ability to stand tall and face this affliction with dignity and courage.

And yes KJ.. Hair loss does suck!

julie September 14, 2007 at 12:04 pm

KJ and Jaz, you are the reason why I have courage, because I know I’m not alone and that my story and advice will benefit somehow. Yes, Hair loss does suck, but you know what KJ, I haven’t dated in years and I APPLAUD you for meeting someone special. I hope he knows how wonderful a person you are and appreciates every strand on your head!

Jaz, its that sense of relatedness, where even though we don’t know each other we still feel pain the same way. I love Joni Mitchell and yes, you don’t know what you have until its gone. I never really knew what it meant to take something for granted until I lost hair. Sometimes I feel that’s the reason why it is gone, maybe it was a wake-up call to make me learn to appreciate my other attributes. And I have…I take better care of myself now.

You know how we get up and get dressed in the morning, we check a ton of things like our make-up, teeth and matching socks or no noticeable stains on our favorite top…I miss doing something to my own hair. Now that I wear a wig, I have that feeling again and its awesome. KJ, if you are meeting this guy, do what makes you feel comfortable and be yourself… show off your inner beauty and hair will just look more and more like the dead protein it is. Good luck on meeting him, I wish you nothing but the best fortune. :)

admin September 14, 2007 at 12:25 pm

Hey KJ –

So if I am read your comment right, you are also a victim of birth control pill hair loss. I am so sorry that you too have to go through this. It seems so needless for women to have to be afflicted with hair loss from the pill, if only there was more education about that. The gynecologist should tell us that hair loss is a side effect of either going on or coming off them. A simple “hey birth control pills may cause hair loss, are you sure you want to take them” would have saved me years of agony. At the same time, had I not gone through this I wouldn’t have met so many other wonderful women who are just visions of strength and true beauty.

My hair loss is also the worst it’s been in years. Lately I’m been thinking that the extreme increase in hair shedding may be due to my taking of the Synthroid medication for my thyroid. But it all started with birth control pills, a couple months after I stopped taking them my nightmare began… That was 8 years ago and what seems like a million hair lost since.

I’m happy you’ve found someone you’ve connected with, even long distance. I’m excited for you meeting him in person. I’d love for you to keep me updated with how it goes.

Jaz – You really never know what you have til its gone. I remember a long time ago before the hair loss, I used to go to the grocery store and see shampoo that said “volumizing” or “extra body” and I would think to myself, who would want that, if I had any more volume in my hair it would be “It” from the Adams family or be sporting one of those disco 70’s wigs that is just a big mountain of hair. That is how little I knew about what was happening around me. Live an learn I guess. I am much more sensitive and compassionate towards everyone, I understand people more, I understand insecurity. So maybe in some ways I’m better as a person because of my hair loss, but I just wish I could move on and take with me this new found knowledge and perspective, get past this and get my hair back already! :)

julie September 14, 2007 at 12:44 pm

You know I think my hair loss was from Birth control…

When I first started getting my awful monthly visitor, I would have it for weeks straight, sometimes the entire month. My Gyne suggested I start using BC pills as I was 17 and may not have children because of my hormones. I used Ortho tri-cyclen and it made me worse…I started breaking out with horrible acne, my hair started to shed and I gained so much weight. All from a little pill. When I begged my insurance company to cover my “cranial prosthesis” prescription, they denied, denied, denied. Isn’t it ironic how that works, its the drugs they cover that cause this mess yet they offer no solutions! What a world we live in where even drug companies implement immature and unprofessional practices.

I hate how helpless and victimized I feel at times…when you have struggles you feel the whole world is against you. Its life’s little blessings that truly uplift your soul and connect you with beautiful people…I am so happy for this website. 😀

Amy September 22, 2007 at 5:55 pm

I started losing my hair when I was 15. What’s funny is they initially told me that I was brushing and blowdrying my hair too much. Then I went to a dermatologist and was in there for 5 min. for her to tell me that I had male pattern baldness and to use rogaine. I even had a doctor tell me that everybody had something to deal with- and that was just mine. Thanks! I just recently had a doctor (out of the many I have seen) take interest in me and help me. My testosterone levels are out the roof. I’m now on spiro and hoping for a difference. I often think sometimes I was not grateful enough for what I had. Maybe this is just punishment. I’m a teacher and it’s hard when everybody is busy looking at your scalp and not your face. The students never say anything- but I know in their heart they are praying that this doesn’t happen to them. I hope it doesn’t happen to them either. My mom and I talked about how it will be great when my hair starts to come back and my acne goes away, etc… Well, 13 years later we still have that same conversation. I was just thinking tonight- I wonder if we will be having that converstation 13 years from now. I just want to be normal. I just found this site. Thanks for your comments. At least someone knows how it feels.

admin September 23, 2007 at 2:33 pm

Hi Amy. Welcome to the site! I know what you mean when you say “I often think sometimes I was not grateful enough for what I had. Maybe this is just punishment.” I always took my hair for granted and was so oblivious to what was going on around me. I remember I was once at a hair salon (way before i started losing my hair) and I got this really cute short hair cut and all the ladies at the salon were giving me so many compliments on my hair and how they wish they would have a cut like that. I remember thinking to myself, why don’t they just go see Claudio (the guy who did my hair ) How silly is that, on a number of a levels. But I had so much hair I never really paid attention to other people’s. I actually would have my hair thinned out because it was so thick and heavy. It’s definitely a lesson to really appreciate what we have today.

I am so glad you have found a doctor you like and who is working with you on treating your hair loss. How did you find him/her? Does you mom have any hair loss? I can imagine how hard it is being a teacher and having hair loss, I feel self conscious just going to the supermarket. I call it “speed shopping” I quickly push the cart down the isle grabbing things off the shelves as quickly as possible. I try to be in and out in under 15 minutes. More recently I’ve been thinking about just shaving my head or getting a “topper.” I’ve never actually seen it on a person, but from what I’ve been reading on the internet it seems really neat, it attaches to your head with clips. Have you thought about something like that (the topper) for adding hair to make yourself feel more comfortable while you are teaching?

Amy September 23, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Hey,
I found the doctor by accident. My best friend works for him and goes to him for weight loss. I inquired about it and SHE made an appointment for me and made me go. Yeah, I’m a little irritated with doctors because of the many years of them making me feel like it was nothing. It was strange because I went in about help with weight loss and the first 5 min. I was in there he asked me if I had hormone problems. I told him that I didn’t know. He was immediately concerned about my hair loss and ordered several tests. I’m still waiting for some results. I feel retarded now, but I cried when he began to talk to me about it. I thought, “finally, someone who isn’t just brushing me off.” He also wants to do that hair surgery. But I recently read in the book The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman by Dr. Geoffrey Redmond that this is beneficial for men but not for women. In some cases makes it worse. I also read this on the American Hair Loss Association website. I don’t think I’ll be doing that- which was a little disappointing when I found out.
My mother does suffer from hair loss, but only occured when she went through menopause. Her hair became thin but she does not continually lose it. Do you not know why you have hair loss? Is it also because your hormones are too high? Have you had that tested? If you have- I must tell you that for years they told me my hormones were fine. After much research and Dr. Solomon- I found out that hormones are different considering which phase you are in with your period AND that the lab tests “normal” numbers are incorrect. Dr. Redmond supports this also in his book and website. I’m taking spironolactone to block the high testosterone levels. I read that it takes months to see results. I haven’t heard of anybody that has taken it and seen benefits. I have not heard of the “topper” but will look into it. I try to keep my hair layered because when it is long it seems to part more and show my scalp.

admin September 23, 2007 at 5:13 pm

What doctor wanted to do hair surgery (hair transplant) on you? Women are very very rarely candidates for hair transplant surgery because of the diffuse pattern of hair loss. When you have female pattern baldness with diffuse thinning it means any hair on your head could possibly fall out which is why women shouldn’t have transplants. Men are a totally different story, for most men that have hair loss the hair at the back of their heads usually remain intact no matter how much hair they lose, so they are able to take the hair from the back of the head and move it to the front or top and that transplanted hair will most likely remain there if the hair transplant is successful. For women though, any hair moved could just fall out, most women (myself included) have a very unstable type of hair loss. I think women that can be candidates are those that actually have a hair loss pattern that exhibits itself just like a man or if a woman has no genetic hair loss but lost some hair on the hairline or temples from plastic surgery. Be very careful of someone trying to sell you on a hair transplant.

Regarding what caused my hair loss… it was from stopping the birth control pill 8 years ago. You can read my story here. My mom also has hair loss, but only since menopause and not a day before. I had all my hormones tested a couple times and everything came back “within normal range” not very helpful since obviously SOMETHING is happening. I recently have been thinking that it is all being more exacerbated by taking the drug Synthroid to treat my hyopthyroidism. I’m will be going to a couple doctors in the upcoming weeks to look into switching to the natural thyroid Armour.

I read Dr. Redmond’s book and I also visited his clinic in New York. He put me on Orthotricyclen and Aldactone (100mg to start and eventually I increased to 200mg) to treat my hair loss. I am going to try and gather some pictures and stuff about the “topper” and do a post on that topic. It is all very new to myself as well, I just started reading more about it, but it looks like a very good possible solution to cover my thinning hair.

julie September 24, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Amy,

I also went through so many tests and got that brushed off feeling from the many doctors I visited. There’s no outstanding evidence in these tests that will reveal hair loss. There are so many factors in it! The transplant does not have a high success rate for women. I met with someone that spent thousands, after 3 months, it was all gone due to “shock loss” an effect of surgery. I think the best way to go initially, just for now until you get more information on other products, is a wig! I’m also on Srinolactone, almost 2 1/2 months now. I will keep you posted on the results…so far, nothing!

In fact, over the weekend I was hanging with my friends downtown Chicago. As I was getting ready, I tried to put my wig on but it kept slipping off. I had the store sew in a couple clips on the temple area to secure the wig to my existing hair…The hair around the clip has fallen off tremendously and I’m scared to death. I managed to secure it, but the slightest bump or gust of wind could possibly move it around a bit. I have never felt so self-conscious! I still had a great time and I enjoyed being around my friends. Wig or no wig, it was exciting to wear a leopard print dress! It didn’t stop the cat-calls! :)

admin September 24, 2007 at 4:44 pm

I’m glad to hear you had a good night out on the town and enjoyed yourself. So are the clips helping your wig to feel more secure and stay in place? How’s the job hunting going?

kate January 11, 2008 at 3:05 pm

hi! i found this website while i was searching for alternative hair loss treatments. and when i read your story i felt really close to you. all these years i was examined by so many doctors and none of them said smth certain. i used all kinds of medical stuff: pills, minoxidil etc. and none of them worked. i kept losing my hair. now that i believe that my hair will never be the same, i decided to use a wig or something like that. but i’m worried about the things people will say. i’m sure they will all stare and ask me about my wig, act like i’m an alien. i know that i should thank god cause i’m healthy. there are so many people sick, so many bad diseases and here i am complaining about my hair. but it’s really hard especially for a woman. i can’t do make up like the others cause my skin is very sensitive and i have acne. i can’t do my hair, cause i don’t have very much hair. i act like i have no problem with it and i’m confident. i tell people that i don’t like make up and don’t like to do my hair.. but if i could, i certainly would.
i don’t know why but i don’t see many girls like me here. to tell the truth i saw no one losing hair like me. because of that i always felt that i was the only unlucky one. now that i found this site i feel relieved. sitting uncomfortably under the lights, people on the street or at the shopping mall or patients at the hospital asking me what’s wrong with my hair and telling me what to do and their weird solutions, people looking at my hair when they are talking to me, looking at the mirror and wishing i had hair… i’m really sick of all. and i hate girls complaining about their hair, how it can’t get in shape. i’m sure you all understand how i feel.
i want to find something that looks naturel, and i want to have the courage to use it at school where all the people know me as the less haired girl.
thank you for understanding me.

Shanlaree January 13, 2008 at 10:01 am

Hi Kate,

It sounds like you have tried a lot Rogaine and others and not had a lot of results. I am in the thinning process but still am able to hid it and Nioxin helped me in the earlier days but not so much any longer. I wonder if you could also find a hair loss support group in your area. I haven’t been able to find one here in Oregon. I heard there is one for Alopecia but not for female pattern hair loss. Did you see a specialist and have a biopsy to determine what is the reason is for hair loss?

I think there is nothing wrong with making an appointment with a professional hair services consultant that can try toppers or wigs on you. Re-member you do not have to purchase one but just trying it on and seeing how it feels may lift your spirit. Also, try wearing different hats of many styles. That will help you get use to wearing something on your head. So when you do transition to a wig the weight of something on your head may help.

My twin (having hair loss issues as well at 33) is an OR nurse so she wears a scrub hat most of the time. She also likes to cycle and wears a helmet. So finding things that you like to do can work and happen for you and for me, wearing a cute hat really helps. I truly believe that getting some sort of exercise each day helps lift my mood and lessens my depression. I hope this helps!

Shanlaree

ellen April 12, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Oh boy you just saved me about 8 grand! I was considering transplant surgery and after reading all night and finding this website I am convinced my thinning all-over hair would not work for that kind of surgery -yet they were willing to do it! I am 56 and have thin, fine, fragile hair. I tried to wear wigs but as one lady mentioned, where the clips are placed, it causes breakage of my hair and so the wigs are hard to keep on. Any one have trouble with hats being too big? Thats another problem I run into. I can wear little girl-sized hats – like the ones they sell at easter time….sigh. But, thats OK. I just give thanks for today and for the promise of a tomorrow.
Lucky Ellen

rita April 24, 2008 at 6:05 am

Finding this site has been a great relief. I am from India and most people around me have thick shiny black hair and I have not found a single girl in my age group having severe hair loss like me. I work in a hospital (I am a dentist) and most of the patients give me weird suggestions that I have to start eating greens more, or questions like did I recently suffer from any serious disease or what not. I used to answer people patiently but soon I found my patience running thin , and I started wondering why do I even have to explain myself to strangers.(I have genetic hair loss. My mom has lost most of her hair but my brother is lucky, he has a head full of hair, but he is not too sympathetic to my condition. Most people in my family except my mom just brush off the topic as if it is nothing especially my dad. They think it will make me feel better but it always makes me feel worse.

The worst part is when my friends discuss hair problems and solutions(mostly about dandruff and hair coloring) I kind of always felt guilty about my hair cos how much ever I tried, I have the feeling that somehow I am responsible for my hair loss and hence felt that I was not maintaining it properly. I usually don’t involve myself in such conversations so that I don’t feel worser than I already do. I hate it when my friends discuss about how unmanageable their hair is( how much I would give for having that much hair!) and discuss relationship problems when I have never had one because of my hair loss.
I am only 23 years old and I find my life quite depressing(I stopped going to swimming ages ago) and I am really scared on what I am going to do with my future. My life seems hopeless and wherever I go people give me a weird look as though I am sort of an alien from Mars. I’ve decided that I am never going to have a girl child. I don’t want her to lead a life of suffering like me. Sometimes I feel like I just have to shave my head and finish the problem once and for all.

Sara May 7, 2008 at 6:29 pm

I came home today after a day of shopping and I just felt so horrible. I have been suffering from female hairloss since I was 14-15. At the time I thought I was the only girl in the world going through it, because I didn’t see anyone else with thin hair. It was sooo hard, and I went to so many doctors and none of them seemed to help. I just didn’t understand it, cause I used to have so much hair. I became depressed for I would say a year or more, to the point where I would cover any mirrors in the house, so I wouldn’t have to look at myself. Somehow I got myself out of my own misery, and accepted it for a few more years, thinking that I was once and for all going to be able to beat the depression and get over the hairloss. Like so many of you have mentioned, I too know how lucky I am to be healthy and loved, and I know there are a lot of bad things out there. I just don’t know how to help myself anymore, because sometimes I think I am the worst critic of myself. I realized today why I avoid shopping malls. It’s those darned lights in the change rooms…there hideous..horrible, I think I hit depression each time I go. I am so tired of being obsessed with this. I have started to also let go of my dreams and as well I find I am eating to mask the pain. I used to keep in shape and now I have really let go…and that too just makes me so mad at myself. I’ve had very disturbing comments in the past and even now from people, some of them concerned because they don’t realize that girls can lose their hair as well, and some who just can’t stop staring at my scalp. I’ve given up caring about what other people think, but I just wish I could be okay with it myself. I wish I didn’t care! I’ve had urges to shave my head, but I think I will still look funny because patches will start to grow and some patches there will be nothing. I don’t feel like there is any winning. I am sorry if I sound like a winer. But I came home and I felt at the bottom once again, as I do time and again and I decided I would try and see how others cope with this problem and I found this website. I am writing my story because, for the first time I don’t feel so alone and I feel every single pain that all of you have written about. I only wished that this website was around 10 years ago. I just wanted to say that we are all brave and strong women because it’s sooo tough to be a woman and to have thinning hair, and you don’t know how hard it is till it hits you. I pray that we will all find peace and happiness within ourselves to not let it get in the way of our happiness and dreams. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

JME June 2, 2008 at 6:17 pm

As many have said I am so glad to have found this site. This is the first site I have found after searching and searching that makes me feel that I am not alone. It is miserable to have thinning hair. I had such cute hair when I was 16. It wasnt thick or lush, but it was just so much better then it is now and I would love to have it back. I would never complain about it again if only I could have it back! Right now my hair has not thinned horribly. It is all over thinning, and you mostly only see it where my part is and around the crown, its worse in the sun and as others have said in the dressing room! I was diagnosed with telegum effluvium caused by stress and told it would grow back in a year, well it deffinitly hasnt grown back, and has gotten a little thinner if anything, so I think my doc was mistaken. I think I have the same problem as my sister who also has thinnish hair. She wheres a short style and poofs it with a curling iron which hides it pretty well. But that style just doesnt go for me. I think the truth it that we have fine fragile hair in my family and I box died it, and tied it up so much that I damaged my hair all on my own, and im concerned it will never grow back…makes me want to cry sometimes! I hate it, esp since my bf brought it up the other day, he didnt say much, just that he was concerned about it because he didnt want me to have self esteem issues about it, but then he always says he loves me, thats all the confidence I need lol! I love him too and I am blessed to have him in my life…but I cant help but look at other girls when we’re out that have thick beautiful hair and think wow, he could totally drop me and go for that pretty girl…kinda gets me down. But see I only have confidence issues when I want to. I go out in the sun or in a resturaunt and cross my fingers like crazy that my balness isnt showing, when deep down I know it probably is, but then I say to my self…what am I doing? I am wasting precious beautiful life worrying about my hair! At 20 years old I only have, if im lucky 50 or so years to go in this life, and I dont want to throw any more days away hiding from the world. I am beautiful on the inside and out, and I feel great about who I am. I take good care of my health with excersize and good eating habits, as well as surrounding my self with possitive people. My hair is not me, this hair and body is merely a shell protecting my spirit and soul, and that is what truelly matters- whats deep down inside. I am thankful for what I have. Things could be so much worse! But I am here to rock the world! And you all are too! Prove to your self and the world that you are worthy and beautiful. Hey maybe thick hair will be a thing of the past. They say nearly 70% of women have hair loss problems at some point in there life! Thats more then the 20% with thick hair right!? Lol. Maybe female pattern baldness will be the new style in a few more years! Any who, good luck all…you are not alone…we are beautiful. Lets not hide from the world…lets pretend we dont even have a problem or a care in the world. Dont slouch down and hide when you walk into a room hoping no one will see you, walk tall and proud, like you didnt even know you have a problem. It really works, people will respond possitively with your confidence. It took me a while, and I still have my days where im like ew! But then I just remember britany spears shaving her head, she was completely bald, and shes a celeb! Everyone still loved her lol.

Lilly June 7, 2008 at 5:29 am

I start to loose my hair since I have my first baby when I was 21 years old, now I am 45. I see Julie’s picture and my hair looks exactly like her. Julie you have a protesis or your hair grow back?

If someone knows if is a support group at Orlando Florida I would appreciate the information. Also if someone could let me know which wig is the best quality to bought I will love to know that info.

Steph September 21, 2008 at 11:12 am

About 2 years ago my marriage ended abruptly. I went into a deep depression, stopped taking birth control pills and my thyroid pills. My eating habits became very poor and I lost about 40lbs too quickly. It’s no surprise that my hair started falling out about three months later.
The problem is, it has been 2 years and it is not improving. I have been taking my thyroid (eltroxin) regularily. I have seen several doctors. The edocrinologist says my hormone levels are fine.
When the dermatologist told me that I have alopecia I could have died. She was so blunt. I left her office crying, I couldn’t ask any questions because I wasn’t prepared for her answer. I kept telling myself the stress had caused my hair loss and that eventually it would return to normal. I had lived in denial so long, now she was telling me despite all my efforts to get my life back on track after a devestating divorce, now I was losing my hair.
I am deeply depressed. I keep asking “haven’t I been through enough?”.
No one understands the devestation hair loss causes (with the exception of those living with it). My self esteem is non-existent. I never want to go anywhere since I am so ashamed of my appearance. I have gained so much weight because I spend all my time in my apartment alone, eating. This really doesn’t help my self esteem issues.
I am tired of people telling me it is only hair, that there are so many things worse in life. I wonder how that opinion would change if they were going bald :-(

Hanah J November 29, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Ladies do not lose hope. I started losing hair at the age of 20 …horrible… i have a very thin hair and falling a lot. i use all kind of things to help it…recently i am using hair laser comb and it is working…not magic but i can feel my hair

Julia November 30, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Hannah, how can you tell it’s working?

I’ve actually thought about getting a UVB light device for the scalp, the type that is used to treat psoriasis and required a prescription. They’re very expensive so I’m holding off for a bit. Sunlight feels so good on my scalp, I feel like whatever is off-balance in my body might be helped by it. My scalp is less itchy after I’ve given it a good hour of natural sunlight. Unfortunately it will be several months before I can do that again.

meemee February 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Thank you for the stories that I can rate to so well….. the part of feeling alone.. is the most lonely and depressing feeling ever in the world. I began to notice my hair loss ( or finally admitted) when I was 24 years old… I remembered I cried,cried, prayed… and more praying to hope that God will take this away. I didn’t know how to handle it and I had my whole life ahead of me. I had my dreams and I needed my confidence in order to fulfilled my dreams. I went to the doctors after doctors and tried everything available but nothing seems to work. I wasn’t having massive hair loss but because I have very fine hair to begin with … it was very noticable. I found Toppik and it helped me thru 10 years of hiding. I put my hair up to give it volume because my crown was so thin… I was lucky that I was able to hide it very well. I used rogaine for 10 years now and my hair never grew to cover the thinning.
Last year, something very tragic happened in my life….. ( which I will not going into.. but I loss someone I really loved). After.. 6 months, I decided I am wanted to know what its like to have my hair down ( I never go out with my hair full down EVER for 10 years). I decided I am going to try sequence… its a hair blending process where the wig has holes so your existing hair and scalp can breathe…. I thought to myself… I have nothing to lose since its not like I was wearing a wig since my hair is blended in … I would call it an enhancement. It cost me about $5K to order the system…. but I did it anyway. I sooo happy for the first 3 months. I had so much hair that I didn’t know what to do with! I always thought if I didn’t want to wear the system anymore.. Every 3 weeks, I had to go back and get the hair system resecure $75 each time! My scalp didn’t react too well since they take section of your hair to secure the hair piece. I started to get bumps on my scalp but I ignored it. I noticed when I brush my hair my own hair was coming out … I mean alot of hair. I ignored it since I was having such a great time what I have. The reality really hit is the 3rd month when I went to get my hair for complete secure ( they take off the hair system for reattachment)…. I almost fainted…. my loss so much hair in my back… I never had thick hair but this was the worst I ever seen it. I would say I loss 75% of my hair density. Anyways to make the long story short.. I decided to take off the hair system and had them make the hair system into a comb lock so I can take it off daily…. I can no longer just wear toppik.. my hair is too thin right now. I am sooo depressed that I can’t focus on work or anything in my life. I just want to hide. I fear when I wear the hair system out… people will notice! When it was blended it look so natural but now when I used the comb lock… it just looks really bad sometimes! I am so depressed that I don’t know what to do. Lord… do you hear our prayers? Does anyone have any advice for me…?? I am hoping that Ican grow the hair I lost from the hair system back.. I would even just settle for toppik life again…. who would want to date me? How do I explain when I need to take the hair piece off? should I just go back on the hair blend…. HELP

Ally May 3, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Hi Julie,
I couldn’t find your profile. I wanted to ask what kind of wigs/hair pieces you have tried? Your hair in the image above your blog looks very similar to mine before my hair loss.
Do you feel it is impossible to replicate hair like your own, in terms of a wigs/hairpieces that is what I am really struggling with, everything seems to look either really wiggy or very flat like with some lace wigs…it seem no win. Does eveyone feel this? I am beginning to think I am chasing the impossible…
What have other ladies found?
Thanks for your help
Ally

carol May 13, 2009 at 8:36 am

Hi Ladies, Its been a great comfort to me to read some of your stories as I can identify with so many of the worries we all seem to share. I noticed my hair thinning when I was in my early twenties. I always thought of my hair as my crowning glory it was thick and clurly. Well thank god it is still clurly but unfortunetly it is no longer thick. My latest treatment to try and retore or at least prevent any further thinning is Philip Kingsley 3M drops which contain 3% minoxodil. I am also using his shampoo and conditioner which I really like. I have mixed feeling about using the drops which have to be applied every night and you have to wash your hair every morning. Ifeel I have but myself in a catch 22 position, if I stop using the drops my hair may fall out even more, but on the other hand what are the long term effects of rubbing minoxidil into your scalp for the rest of your life. Has any one out there used minoxidil long term and then stopped, if so was your hair loss made worse. Look forward to reading your coments
Thank You Carol

Elizabeth May 23, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Hey Everybody,
I know exactly what you are all going through. I’m 28 years old and have been experiencing hair loss for years. MeeMee I know exactly what you are going through with the hair and the whole dating thing. Everybody always tells me, the right guy will like me for who I am and not what I look like. That’s easy for someone to say who’s not going through hair loss. When inital attraction is based on looks, it’s difficult. I’m not going to lie. Hair is on my mind 24/7 and I’m always looking at other people’s hair. Living in a windy city like Chicago doesn’t help matters. I’ve tried a bunch of different things from spiro (which I don’t recommend at all and I’m actually very much against that for multiple reasons), laser hair therapy, rogain, different shampoos/conditioners, and more. I currently had a hair piece made, pretty much a wig, that I clip in 5 places around my crown. Nobody notices, except me, but I’m very critical of my hair. I like the hair piece, just don’t know if it fits into my lifestyle as I like to go to the gym, swim, and participate in sports. I guess I’m a little on edge about it falling out sometimes, but it’s definitely in there secure so I shouldn’t worry. I actually went to a woman in Maryland to get the hair piece. She was actually amazing and did wonders. I feel more confident, but I’m always going to still want my own hair. I started to go to an alopecia support group and I started speaking to a therapist about some of my issues and she has helped a bit. I just feel that this hair or lack of on my scalp has taken up too much of my life, my time, and my happiness. I’m trying to make a better life for myself. Honestly nobody will ever understand what it’s like to go through hair loss unless it has happened to them. If I can help answer questions for anybody, please feel free to ask. I don’t check the email I set up with this. It’s nice to know others are going through the same thing. Dating is a huge issue and I struggle with that. If anybody can relate to that let me know. It would be nice to talk to someone who is going through the same thing. Stay strong ladies!
Elizabeth

Ariana July 10, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Hi everyone! I started to lose my hair when I was 17 years old, I am know 19.
My hair falls out every day!!!! I remeber this one time, I was in the shower and my hair started falling OUT, I STARTED TO PANIC! I WAS CRYING, YELLING AND I FELT SO ALONE ! MY GOD HELP ME! SO TODAY I WILL MAKE AN APP. TO MY NEW DR. HOPEFULLY SHE’LL DO SOMETHING. I’LL TAKE VITAMIN A, B AND IRON. I just hope it works, if it dosent. OH GOD.

Leigher July 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Try Biotin

Kristine August 2, 2009 at 7:17 am

Elizabeth – who did you see in MD for your hair piece?

Leah September 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Did you all know that celiac disease can cause hair loss? It can also cause thyroid problems. For me it probably caused my seborrhea and certainly caused dermatitis herpetiformis, yet doctor after doctor failed to consider I might have celiac disease. They used to think it was a rare childhood disease. They used to think it had to cause very classic digestive symptoms. It’s a very common autoimmune disorder (perhaps 1/100, but few people get diagnosed) and the symptoms can vary widely, but it causes absorption problems and other autoimmune problems. If not eating wheat and other sources of gluten would solve your problem, wouldn’t you do it? Get tested.

Rose Anne September 12, 2009 at 5:41 am

Just want to share. I am in my 40’s and hair loss started for me last year, a few months after switching to Yaz bc pills. Same story as everyone else, it was coming out ‘in ropes’ in the shower, and I was shedding all over my clothes, etc. When I realized the cause, I switched back to OrthoTricylcen, but I continued to shed. I became obsessed with it, depressed, and didn’t want to leave the house.

After 8 months of trying about every product out there, I went to see Dr. Redmond in NYC. It was a expensive consult, but my hair is finally coming back. He prescribed Avodart, and I am currently using Rogaine, and taking Omega 3 and Biotin. I’m not sure which of these are helping to make the hair grow, but it’s working. First, there were wispy hairs at the hairline – they didn’t look like real hair and I didn’t think they would amount to anything, but they have continued to grow in. They are alittle thinner and more fly away then my ‘normal’ hair, but I’ll take it! My hair line also appears to be filling back in. I am hoping that the Biotin and Omega three will help to make each hair healthier and maybe thicker over time. I will check back in a month or so with an update.

Mar December 27, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Hola chicas! :-)
My name is Mar and I had recently notice that I’m loosing my hair (big time!) I’m taking BC pills, and LOTS of vitamins. I have PCOS diagnosed 17 yrs ago (I’m 32 now) and I have been also under a LOT of stress for the last few yrs. So I guess it must be a combination of things. I am lucky I have thick, wavy black hair to start with… so will see what happens. If things get really bad I will shave it all off (Ironically I did that when I was 21 living in Europe just for fun. That;s how I got to know that I look pretty good bald hahaha!!!) I understand your suffering, but please remember that, first of all, stress DOES NOT help you, and that at the end you are who you believe you are. If you want to be defined just for being the bald chick, well, go for it! You can also be a strong, fierless, elegant and sexy woman; who knows who she is despite the challenges. people will see that. You might no be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am sure nobody will ever say you are not worth of respect and admiration. I am also single, and instead of thinking about what i will be lacking, I try to focus on what I already have and how to improve it! No hair, well hit the gym to have an awesome body! Wear nice make up, a good sexy perfume, do your nails, have a good smile, cute hats, classy clothes … whatever! Just do your best to look your best, That’s what every woman does: Focus on the best you have to give! I know you can do it! :-)

Lucie January 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I started loosing my hair after my first misscariage when I was 20 years old. First I thought that it was post partum hair loss, but I am 37 years old now, and my hair loss only got worse. I believe it is purely hormonal. I had another misscariage at 23 years of age, and I am now having fertility problems. I also have acne, like others have posted. I am taking Biotin and Silica, per my hair dressers suggestion, basically to try and make what I have healthy, but nothing has helped regrow my hair. If this is genetic, then it must have skipped a few generations, because both my parents and my sister have full heads of hair. It is hard enough getting help for my infertility and the acne, but no doctor seems to take the hair loss seriously. It’s depressing, and I feel hopeless. Especially after reading all your stories, and realizing that nobody has found anything that works.

GINNA February 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Hi.. I’m new here and been crying reading all the stories….I’m going through the hardest time in my life so far because of hairloss. I’m miserable and in desperate need of help. I was told I have tellogem effluvium, tried rogaine and hated it, I use especial shampoos and try to buy good products that help my hair, i take also 5000 mg biotin but I feel i need to do something more. Everytime I take a shower is when I get a hand full of hair….i wash my hair twice a week and it’s soo intimidating…I’m scared of it!!!….
I don’t know if I should try again to go to endocrinologist, demathologist and gynecologist since I use bc….or buy the personal laser or just go to the doctor in NYC Dr. Redmond….
Could you give me advice?
Thank you soooo much…..I need help

Anna April 13, 2010 at 8:47 am

I wish and maybe will one day start an all female wellness facility to where females who are suffering from female pattern baldness, alopecia, etc….can go to heal their emotioanl wounds/scars. Hair is a part of woman’s beauty, strength, fertility, etc……It’s understandable to start losing your hair after menopause, but in our early teens, 20’s and 30’s. I believe modern rx has a lot to to do with our hair loss. I look at my gma and she has more hair than I do…almost. Dr’s wanting to prescribe bc pills and anti dep’s instead of giving us options choices……….I think a lof of us need to call 1-800-fda-1088 and complain if we ingested anti dep’s and/or birth control pills. Yuckers. Is it ironic that we were given anti dep’s to alleviate depression, now we are taking two steps backwards? Is that ironic or what?

maria garci September 21, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I have been losing my hair since 16 years old. i used to worry about and i always used to think i cant get married because i have to tell whoever i marry that i will need a wig when i get older. I am 34 years old and my hairloss is bad. i finally saw it again like i forgot about it for a couple of years and then suddenly I noticed it again. I noticed it one day riding my husband convertible and it was devastating. I guess i thought that if I ignored it everything would be ok. I am a teachers aid and i work with elemetary school children i have to go to recess with them and i feel like everyone judges me. People can be so cruel specially us woman, I had many females tell me that im going bald. and i think to myself that dont they know that i see my head every single day and i already know. I m totally depressed and I am not a happy person and I feel that im not only hurting myself but also my children and husband. I live in lodi ca if anyone knows of a good doctor please let me know

Maria November 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Hello,

It seems like Im not the only one. But we need to find a true solution.. So we dont have to worry about wearing hats if we dont feel like it or wigs..We need something that just does it.. I need to do more investigation and my own experiences as well. I know that if your low on Iron that also causes hair loss, and before trying the NUVARING it did say you could experience some hair scalp loss.. So I guess I would have to stop taking any kind birth control and more vitamins.. No curling irons as much, no blowdrying of course..
No coloring hair. Just trying to be as natural as possible.
It should pay off. Once I find some kind of product that works for me I will definetely give out the word to all that need the help as well.

Im just another girl with the same issue as you..
Im just trying to be as hopeful as possible..what else can I do I cant sit down and cry about it , I have to keep my head up regardless of how many hairs or on my scalp..

Dd April 15, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I didn’t know a site like yours existed. I am happy to know that i’m not the only one experiencing this. I’ve also noticed in the past year there are more and more women going through this. Commuting from work everyday you see a lot of people and when i see another person who is having the same situation as i am i can’t help but feel like reaching out and giving them a hug and let them know i feel the same pain.

I think i started to see a lot of hair fall out at the age of 15-16 years old and thought there was something wrong with me. I was overweight, bad skin and now balding. I asked myself, why is this happening to me (at the time i didn’t see anyone with the same problem as me) when will it stop? I went through a depressing stage but never to the point I needed medication. Everyday was a struggle; i stopped letting my hair loose and tied it up in a pony tail for most of my high school years. The last year of high school i decided to cut it short. Going to the hair dresser was always a stressful situation because that means having someone notice your balding head and have them think that I might be going through some health issues. What made it worse is that they would comment on how little hair I had compared to my sister– who is lucky enough to still have a full set of shiny thick black hair. I avoid going to any hairdresser now (if i can help it) and decided to cut my own. Keep it simple and have it at shoulder length…long enough to keep it down on cooler days and enough to tie it back when working out at the gym or on a hot day.

Sometimes it takes a lot of energy to convince yourself that everything will be ok and that the hair on your head is just hair! Life goes on and we just have to try to make the best of it. However, sometimes it takes one bad hair day to make you feel defeated. I give the ladies out there a lot of credit for being strong as everyday i try to do this. Sometimes i win and sometimes i lose; i hope that one day we all find a solution that will make everyone feel like a winner.

Thanks for reading and sorry for writing so much. I haven’ t been able to really talk to anyone about this and I feel better that there’s a support group out here willing to share and provide tips/recommendations.

Paola T June 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Hello everyone, i have been suffering with hair lost for the last three years, I have a hormonal problem and my doctor prescribed me with birth control pills 3 years ago, since it I notice that my hair was falling a lot, I stopped taking diane35 which is what my doctor prescribed me, but my hair still falling I take a lot of vitamins, but it doesn’t seem to help that much, Now I can see my scalp and feel bad around people looking at my head, I don’t know what to do, I am considering to use a wig or go to a dermatologist to get some advice, I live in San Antonio, TX, do you know any doctor that can help me with this issue? thank you for your time.

leelee July 31, 2011 at 4:50 am

i am sad to read all these stories. This is an epidemic!

leelee July 31, 2011 at 4:55 am

I wear dreadlocks. And they are thinning out. So is my hairline and the top of my head. My scalp itches so bad all the time! I just want to scratch it out. This is too much information to take in at this site and too much of a reality check. I was very sad until I found this site, but now I am strengthened. Every night, my dream is the same….I am in the bathroom with the scissors and I am shaving my dreads bald. I have been fighting the urge, but it keeps getting stronger and stronger. I am either at a brink of losing my mind or gaining courage to say ‘screw it’ and live bald. There is no feelings of in between. I am so frightful of myself right now…..I don’t trust my actions. Lord help me!!!!!!!

Jess November 19, 2011 at 12:02 am

I am so happy that i found this website. I am 25 years old and just started my hair loss. My sister and I were sitting on the couch and I turned around and she screamed, OMG your missing a patch of hair. I had no idea..it was in the back where there was no way I could see it. I have no idea how long this has been happening, luckly so far the front part of my hair can cover it. I nver saw clumps, it was as if the hair had just stopped growing in that patch. I went to the doctors to do a blood test and everything came back negative, so either its stress or just a natural thing that is happening. I have yet to try wigs or any kind of treatment, and im glad I now know from reading posts the warnings of birth control pills, and the fact that you can loose hair from going on it, and off. It is very shocking and new to me.

Ali December 13, 2011 at 9:48 am

Thank you for sharing Julie.
I work in retail as well and I feel your pain.
The one positive thing about working in a clothing store is you see a lot of women. Everyday at work I secretly examine female heads/hair. (silly I know) Obviously not to judge but to feel comfort that it’s not just me going through this. You would be surprised how many females have thinning hair or bald spots. I even see a few ladies wearing wigs. They range in age,race, nationality, they are usually in the late 20’s -70’s. I never noticed things like that until my own hair loss struggle .
Hair loss is a very scary, devastating, embarrassing thing, especially when your young. (i’m 24) My message to all the beautiful females is do what makes you feel beautiful. If wearing a wig or topper gives you confidence than wear it. If Shaving your head and going natural is what works for you than do it. :0

Jade January 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

After reading this site, entries, comments, and all it has to offer, I have never felt more part of something. I do not have one person in my life that can relate to what I’m going through and it makes me feel like an outcast. I have not spoken to any of my closest friends about my hair loss, they can see it of course and they can see how insecure I am, so they don’t ask. I was diagnosed with PCOS 5 years ago and my hair thinning has gotten so much worse since then. Its hard for me to even talk about hair in a social situation, I just stay quiet. I don’t feel like a woman anymore. After finding this site, and reading through most of it, it has given me the courage to make an appointment with a specialist so I can get some answers. Ive never read up on PCOS and the symptoms because Ive been in denial, since I’m only 22 I’m invincible of course lol. I want to thank everyone that has contributed to this network. I admire the strength you all have and hope I can have half as much of it soon! <3

Paloma January 2, 2014 at 10:34 am

I read Julie’s story on Women’s hairloss project and Reprieve website. I recently went to World Institute of Hair in Chicago and had a consultation. I have developed hair thinning for a few years now. Just recently diagnosed with PCOS and Hypothyroid, which explains the hair problems I have been having. My hair in a ponytail looks like a little rats tail it is so thin. Well Mette and staff at World Institute recommended I use the Reprieve system. I tried doing research on Follea also. Does anyone know about both systems? I am just wondering if my hair condition might get better would either system cause damage to my existing hair or scalp making my problem irreversible. I am just worried about the attaching processes. Also if I do go with Reprieve, do they offer it in longer forms or must I do extenisons? I have been trying to grow mine long for years, but with the hair falling like it is, I might need some extra help. I have naturally curly hair , Is the perming process on either system going to match my hair so that it looks natural? I finally started to like my own naturally curly hair and it has been very traumatic for me to be losing mine.
Thank you for any help or advice you can give, Julie.
Helen

deepika April 14, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Hey julie
Thanks for sharing your feelings. Its really important for us all to talk about our feelings here coz clearly noone else understands. Im 23, a doctor and have lost almost 75% of my hair and everything that you all wrote about people looking at ur scalp and nt ur face while talking to u or goin to malls or places with bright lighys just to have ur head shine .. N ya i also got diagnosed wid PCOS but my bloodwork is nornal. Every test i do is normal yet i have no solution! N v true no ggguy ever looks at u as a potential date ofc coz of d appearance. I have kind of lost my

hayley October 3, 2015 at 8:35 am

Hi,
I just started loosing my hair. At first I thought it was normal, it gradually changed my point of view. It started out very little and then it started to fall out a little more everyday. I went to the doctors with a friend and they put me on medicine. It’s very scary to me because this has never happened to me before. I mean I am depressed all the time but I didn’t think it would lead to losing my freaking hair! If you have any pointers I can follow that would be great. It would benefit me very much.

phyllis October 17, 2015 at 2:05 pm

thank you all for every thing you say about your loss… i to have FBP about 17 months now its very hard every day and i”m 63 we all feel the same at any age. wish someone could come up with something to help with this… but like many of the doctors i’ve went to “they say it’s only hair” I also have vitiligo the same time it’s a party right. Oh well I’m much older than alot of you but i still feel your sadness every day . Wish we could all get together, at my place and come up with some plans for help with this, i live in Calif. would love for u to all come. and thank you for much for this website love ya! phyllis P.S. lets start something here in Calif.

Mishell December 27, 2015 at 6:15 pm

I too say “Why me? Why this?” at least a hundred times a day.

Victoria March 11, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Thank you for sharing your stories. Three years ago, I started suffering from extreme hair loss and exhaustion. After six months and countless doctors, I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto and thyroid cancer. I was told I would stop losing my hair after I get treated. Well my hair loss has continued and nothing seems to slow the shedding. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel my hair fall on my arms, back, and legs. My doctors don’t care or even listen. They say my thyroid levels are now balanced with the daily medication, so the hair loss is not related. I have tried so many supplements, medicines, and hair treatments to no avail. No matter how delicately I treat my hair or what I do my hair continues to rain down. I feel so ugly! I don’t know what to do anymore, I can’t completely cover my scalp even when I put my hair in my daily ponytail. I haven’t cut my hair in over two years because I’m so embarrassed and worried about how much hair would fall going to a hair stylist. I’m so tired of feeling and seeing my hair fall all over. I can even feel my scalp tingle on days that i have a severe shed. How do you cope with this without completely destroying your self esteem? I have shed so many tears I just can’t get over this.

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