My Story and What Helps – Karen’s Hair Loss Story

by admin on November 29, 2007

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

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

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

Perhaps this info might help someone else…
Karen

*************************

Dear Karen,

Welcome to the site and thank you for sharing your hair loss treatment regimen that you’ve experienced success with. I often hear women say they taken biotin for their hair loss but I never really tried it myself. I do think I’m going to go to the vitamin store tomorrow and get myself a bottle. I looked it up on wikipedia and it stated that its uses are for “hair problems, cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis), and diabetes.” Under hair problems it says, “Biotin supplements are often recommended as a natural product to counteract the problem of hair loss in both children and adults. There are, however, no studies that show any benefit in any case where the subject is not actually biotin deficient. The signs and symptoms of biotin deficiency include hair loss which progresses in severity to include loss of eye lashes and eye brows in severely deficient subjects. Some shampoos are available that contain biotin, but it is doubtful whether they would have any useful effect, as biotin is not absorbed well through the skin.” Thats good enough for me. If there is any possibility it works then why not.

As far as the saw palmetto, I did previously read that it had some effectiveness in treating hair loss, so I used it early on in my hair loss as well. Unfortunately I didn’t respond to it. It’s really no surprise since I also later took finasteride (propecia) and didn’t respond to that either. My doctor had no problem prescribing it to me at age 22, but he did make it clear that I could not get pregnant while on this drug due to possible complications that could arise. I ended up taking myself off the drug. For some women it definitely works, which is why he had prescribed it to me, without me even asking for it.

I’m so glad to hear that the saw palmetto is working for you and you are having success with your treatments. Your story reminded me again about the biotin and I’m encouraged to give it a try myself.

Thanks again for sharing your story

~Y

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

gypsy November 30, 2007 at 10:34 am

hi karen ! nice to see your having success!!!!it gives me hope!i was just curious what kind of test the hiar loss clinic did on you to come up with your diagnoses??????im awaiting a appointement with the derm, not until feb… gee i could be blad by then! hahaha! but anyway i would like to ask her to perform the same test…..
i also went to the health food store and picked up biotin, sawpal.and also sillica…which the sale person recommended…have you tried sillica?????
he also recommended i go see a nutrapath doc, have you concidered that????jsut curious???im considering it ! only after i go see the derm…i wnat to see what she says first…..then i will go see hte natrupath doc… and if all else fails im off to get a hair transplant… but first im trying all other options …im not to keen on surgery, since i dont have a high tolerance to pain, hahahahaah….but what must be done hey!
so nice to hear a happy ending, i finally have a litle hope..
thank you
gypsy

Karen November 30, 2007 at 11:51 am

Hi
The test I had involved them taking a skin plug out of my scalp and testing it. I am sorry to say I didn’t ask them what they were testing for and how. I guess my emotions were pretty off the wall at that point in my life.

Re: a naturopath, yes, I have used a naturopath – for other reasons – and I told him about my hair. While I was on his remedies I noticed my body hair (legs, under arms) really increased. I mentioned that to him and his comment was surprise as he wasn’t aiming towards that and he remarked how everyone responds differently to treatment. I didn’t stay on it long enough to notice head hair change. The treatments were designed to improve my overall health, which was very poor at that time. The treatments worked well, but I was not good about keeping them up once my health started to improve.But I’ll bet my head hair was better and I have been thinking lately of going back on the treatments as I was much healthier when using them.

Right now I bleach my hair so it is similar in lightness to my scalp and therefore doesn’t show the thinning so much (a suggestion I read about in a book). It also gives my thin hair more body (I keep it quite short) so I can fluff it up somewhat. People often express surprise when I tell them I have very thin hair. My hair is thinner on the sides than the top.

I tried Rogaine but I had some hair loss which never came back on the side I tried it, so I guess we all have very different chemical make-ups.

I don’t use silica. The health food store said it would increase the thickness and strength of my hair – but not increase the number of hairs. Perhaps I should try it again.

Thanks so much for your site!! i think there is way too little attention paid to women’s hair loss and many of us suffer alone out here.
Karen

admin November 30, 2007 at 2:34 pm

gypsy & karen – speaking of naturopathic medicine. Not too long ago I was doing acupuncture on a weekly basis. I can’t say that I know it helped with my hair but I did have a better overall sense of well being and perhaps a clearer mind which helps for everything. I think anything that can be done to create a more clean, less stressful, healthy, non toxic environment for the body is probably going to be good for the hair as well. So I definitely recommend acupuncture for that. I stopped going because work got so busy and then there is always the money factor as well, as it can get quite expensive to do that weekly, but I’m going to start going in again for treatments because I did feel better when I did them.

Also, gypsy I think you should consider seeing another hair transplant doctor to get a second opinion on your case. As a matter of fact, I’d see several. It is a big thing to get done, and most women aren’t candidates and can end up worse than they did before. The possibility of shock loss exists and you could end up losing even more hair. Just be careful.

Karen, I’m glad you are here, and I and everyone else greatly appreciate all your input. You are very right, there is so little attention paid to women’s hair loss and I suffered alone for nearly a decade. I’m glad the site has been of help and comfort to other women who are also afflicted with hair loss. It has truly been a big source of healing for myself.

~Y

Marianne December 3, 2007 at 7:53 am

Hi,
I just wanted to comment on the biotin. My dermatologist has me taking 2.5 mg of biotin once daily (there is only 30 mcg of biotin in my everyday vitamin ~only10% of daily value!!) to help with hair growth. While I don’t know if it is helping with the hair yet since I am only in my third month of taking it, my nails are growing like crazy. I cut my nails off regularly since I work outside doing field research. Now I am cutting both my fingernails and toenails more often. So who knows, I might have new hair growth even though I am continuing to shed my hair.

Admin- I am getting ready to hit my third month on synthroid (100mcg), hair still falling out and getting thinner. Keeping my fingers crossed it will stop or slow down one day. I go back to the endo Dec 12 for more thyroid tests. I am just hoping that the synthroid is not the culprit and one day it will level off. Hope you get to stay on your dose of synthroid when you go back for labs since your loss has slowed down. I have talked to a lot of people on thyroid forums and they seem to say that any change in dose can send the hair loss back into overdrive but eventually it levels out. But I guess for some it doesn’t.

Marianne

admin December 3, 2007 at 11:44 am

Hi Marianne – Things seem to be staying steady with my hair loss as far as the slowing down. It hasn’t slowed much further than my last report but I’m content at where it is staying at which is approximately 30-40 hairs after showering. I tie my hair back for the rest of the day so I don’t really have to count much there, probably have around 1-4 hairs each time I re-tie my ponytail thing throughout the day. To know for absolute sure the real count I’d have to use the hair catcher in the drain in the shower but I don’t feel up to that and don’t think it is necessary. 30-40 hairs post shower is a definite improvement compared to the hundreds I was shedding post shower (not including hair drain catcher) just a few months back.

I’ve weened myself down and from the 112 mcg I was on now am only on the 88mcg and things are looking good. Only time will tell if this was truly the best decision, you know months down the road if I’m still doing well, but my heart already says it is. I had other issues that were occurring as a result of the increase in my synthroid, including erratic periods… which my are usually like clockwork because I’m on the pill. But I was like having 2 periods a month… not good. Also was excessively hot at night, I’d have to get out of bed and go down stairs to cool down. Things just didn’t feel right, I was all out of wack and my hair was shedding more than it ever did in the whole 8 years I’ve lived with hair loss. I’m already feeling better and this month I had only one “normal” period. I will be heading back to the urgent care as promised to the doc who gave me the lower dosage to be rechecked and I’ll let you know what the test says. Really regardless, I’ll be staying at this dosage because I feel better on it. Tests and charts don’t always tell the whole story.

It is true that when transitioning to a different dosage hair shedding can increase and it is “suppose” to return back to normal but I don’t think that is true if you are on too high of a dosage or your body is sensitive to the medication. I was also told that synthroid has Acacia in it and a lot of people may be allergic to that ingredient and have problems with it. I’m like allergy queen so no surprise if the extra dosage was too much for me.

Marianne, make sure you keep close watch on yourself and see another doctor if you feel that the synthroid is contributing to your hair loss. I wish I didn’t wait just about 2 years before making the decision to lower my dosage. I feel I’ve wasted that time and my hair has gotten so thin due to the excessively long shed I went through with no break.

~Y

vicky December 7, 2007 at 11:59 pm

Hi Karen – Just wanted to ask a question about the saw pal. Are there any side effects? and how long have u being taking them? Were u low in iron at all? and did u finally find out what u were diagnosed with? – I have had 2 biosps -(very painful), but the derm wanted to make sure that she got a correct diagnosis. She told me i have FPB – what an ugly label! ever since i found out i have this, i’ve stressed even more. I’ve tried a couple of meds, had side effects so i had to stop them. So i am interested in trying natural options if they work.

I also have gone very grey/white another thing i am constantly trying to conceal now i have to stress a/b hair loss as well. Just wandering a/b the above questions, would love to hear from u.

Also does anyone have any experience with chinese hebrs/lotions, would like to know.

By the way my mum has thinned out hair (she never ever had a lot of hair, but i suppose was creative with her hair) she is nearly 72y.o and is on anti depressants and and high blood pressure medication and had a hystorectomy at the age of 42y.o (3 kids later) and she has never paided much attention to her hair and as a result hasn’t worried about it – its still there. I take inspiration from her, but there are days where i am obsessive a/b my problem and just can’t stop worrying.

Many thanks to this site, it is very inspirational.

Vick

Lisa February 15, 2008 at 4:47 am

Karen, I was very interested about your use of Saw Palmetto and Biotin. My story is that up until August of 07 I had very full and thick hair. I started to experience what I thought was my yearly Fall shedding. However, it never stopped and the amount of hair coming out was tremendous. As we all know this is such a frightening experience. I went to an internalist and she ran a bunch of blood test. One of the test was an ANA which came back 1 to 320. She told me that I had to go to a rhemotologist. He retook the test and the ana came back negative. The next step was the dermotologist, since my ownly problem was my hair loss. She did a scalp biopsy which ruled out skin lups but I was diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopcia. This is a diagnosis which is very hard for me to cope with. I am 46 like you and have 1 child under 10 and another who is 13. It’s hard for them to see me go throught with this. My Husband is my rock, friend,and sole mate for life. He stands besisdes me with hair or without hair.
After the scalp biopsy, my rhemotologist asked me to take the ana test again to make sure if it is positive. This time he wants to sent it a rhemotolgy lab in CA. It did come back postive in 3 areas, however the numbers were very low. I did not think androgenetic hair loss is the same hair loss you can get from illness. He put me on prednisone 5mg and Planquinel 200. The later medicine had side effects of hair loss and I would not take it. Went back to the dermotologist with this 2nd positive result and explanined that the scalp biopsy diagnosed the androgenetic alopecia and that is conclusive. It is not related to autoimmuune. My options for treatment are Rogaine, which did not do well with my scalp with both percents. I asked her other options and she downplayed the Aldactone and oral birth control since they are system medicines and have side effects. I am currently taking a premium woman’s vitamin from GNC and Biotin 2500mcg. They also have a Biotin thicking shampoo and conditioner which I am going to try. Please let me know if you are stil using Saw Palmentto and for how long and the exact reaction you have received from it. Does it stop the shedding? Does it grow hair? How long does it take to start seeing a difference? Finally what is the daily dosage, and is there a particular name brand you take? I get most of my vitamins from GNC.. Does a doctor have to see you to run any test while you are taking this
herb.

Thanks for listening to my story and I hope we can help each other through this very difficult disease.

P August 4, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Girls,

Keep your ferritin up – low ferritin can cause hl mimicking androgenic alopecia. Needs to be at 40 to stop sheds and 70+ for regrowth. Some trichologists recommend levels of 125+ for optimal liver function (to decrease cortisol and therefore testosterone). When supplementing with iron, watch your zinc too.

marlene December 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm

I have had thinning hair for several years and it is devestating my life I am so jealous of anyone with hair and just want to go to bed and never wake up
again. My friends dont understand and brush it off. I would sooner have any illness including cancer at least then the hair loss would have a cause. I spend 99% of every day obsessing about it and wishing i was dead.

Bees December 21, 2008 at 6:34 pm

Dear Marlene

Understand just how you are feeling. have been losing my hair for the past 3 months, I have T.E. from what I do not know, maybe from a brazilian haira straightener that I did early in September, I have very thick hair and in the past 3 months have lost 1/3 of it. No one understands and say but your hair is still thick. I get nervous before showering because I do not want to see the hair that comes out, there is hair all over my house, everywhere I look. I am so depressed and think about it constantly, it just show you that when things are going good, you do not realize it, I am so out of things and and my husband is really now getting quite mad and just does not get it.

Beth December 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm

I have also been dealing with hair thinning to the point of needing to see a therapist…it has started to consume me and every facet of my life. Happy times with friends and family go sour in my head because I hyper focus on my hair. So before I continue, I want you all to know that I feel the same pain, jealousy, longing and confusion. Through it all I have been in and out of various doctors–for 4 years. Most recently I saw a hematologist for my iron deficiency. While I was in the cxamining room waiting for him I had a bit of an awakening. Since the doctor is a hematologist and oncologist, he deals with some very sick people, cancer, leukemia kind of sick. Many very ill people walked by the room, men with tubes in their veins, women without hair and, yes, small children without hair. 2o minutes of waiting for the doctor went by and a woman walked by– thin, pale, wearing a scarf on her bald head. She paused, gave a slight wave and we briefly made eye contact. She smiled, and kept walking. At that moment, I realized something very profound and it brought me to tears. I was reminded that I am a healthy woman going through a very hard time. But, I am healthy and able. And although i want a concrete answer for my hair loss, I would never EVER wish illness upon myself just to have a reason. I believe that our bodies will create illnesses if we seek them out; with this, I try to stay positive and hopeful…I am reading a book right now that basically says that we are presented with situations because we are meant to, to help reach a higher state of consciousness…I will be glad to finally figure out why this is my situation to weed through. But it could be worse. I have realized other things to appreciate, how to nurture myself and love myself a little more. Please, PLEASE don’t ever take for granted what we DO have in the wake of dealing with what we don’t have. It’s so much easier said than done, I KNOW- and getting out of bed is tough some days. Like today. Then I think to myself, but i CAN get out of bed—I have the choice. How we deal with this is a CHOICE.
From one sad lady to another, please don’t take this as a speech or a preaching session–take it as a simple reminder from someone who can relate, that the worst thing we can do is lose sight of the good, the health, the beauty, the love, that we all have in our lives in one form or another…

Terri January 15, 2009 at 9:34 am

You are sooooo right! As hard as female hair loss is to deal with, there are so many people that would trade placed in a heart beat just to have their health back or a lost loved one back!

We forget how lucky we are in this country compared to the rest of the world.

I have struggled with thinning hair for over 20 years (started mid 20’s), I have tried every shampoo, hair treatment etc. I am quite health conscious and eat very well. It bothers me that internally I am healthy and yet I feel that people must think I have health issues or maybe even cancer because of my thin hair. I used to spend all day obsessing and looking at other women’s heads of hair trying to find thin hair like mine so I wouldn’t feel so alone. Most days all I saw was normal heads of hair and it made me feel even more alone with my problem.

Just as I thought I would never find any help I read about some supplements that another lady had contributed and I have been having very good results.

I am taking 5000 mcg biotin, 500 mg Lyseine and taking 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses every day (make sure they are blackstrap and not regular molasses as blackstrap have more iron in them).

My finger nails are growing really strong and thick (I’ve always had brittle, dry, weak nails) and my hair is thickening up and becoming stronger and healthier as well. Sometimes when you least expect it and have almost given up….. Eureka!

P.S.
One the advice of my hairdresser I started having hightlights and lowlights (2 contrasting colours) applied to my hair. This gives the illusion of more hair for ladies with fine and thinning hair like mine and also seems to brighten up the face. I’ve always kept my hair quite short as my fine hair needed lift to achieve any volume but when it started getting so thin you could see my scalp and the hair wouldn’t spread out enough to cover all my scalp I started growing it out some (about 2 inches above jaw line now). Growing it that little bit longer, high and low lighting it and then just blow drying it under for volume (I gave up on damaging curling irons) has made a big difference to how my hair is looking. I have stopped obsessing about my thinning hair and pretty much feel normal for the first time in 20 years.

PS
PLEASE try the biotin (5000 mcg needed), Lyseine and molasses daily. I noticed a big difference after 1 month.

Tania February 7, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Here is what I found about saw palmetto:

What other drugs will affect saw palmetto?
donot Do not take saw palmetto without the advice of a doctor if you are using any of the following medications:

* a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
* flutamide (Eulexin);
* garlic or ginkgo biloba;
* birth control pills;
* iron supplements such as ferrous fumarate ferrous gluconate, or ferrous sulfate;
* hormone replacement therapy;
* estrogen or testosterone;
* an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), and others; or
* medication used to prevent blood clots, such as alteplase (Activase), anistreplase (Eminase), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine), streptokinase (Kabikinase, Streptase), ticlopidine (Ticlid), and urokinase (Abbokinase).

jacqui February 9, 2009 at 7:05 am

thanks for info,ive been taking ibubrupen for heel spurs and saw palmetto

Jana March 10, 2009 at 4:48 am

thankyou for the info… I was thinking about trying saw palmetto and I take iron supplements for low iron so I guess thats a no go….bummer

Hides April 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm

What about topical saw palmetto?

Marianne in Ohio April 29, 2009 at 7:57 am

I have been reading the post and all of the suggestions on this board. I am implimenting some of them and thank everyone for their contributions. My Aloepecia started when I was 12 y.o. I had a large bald spot on the back of my head. It resolved in about 1 year with no treatment. I had additional bald spots when I lost a job (22 yo) and when I got married (31 yo) that all resolved without treatment. This last time has been different. I changed jobs to a significantly more stressfull RN position (from L&D o tthe SICU) and went back to college. I immediately began to lose my hair. After 1 1/2 years of shedding and bald spots, I realized this was not going to get better. I went to a Derm for 1 1/2 years getting steroid creams, gels, and injections. My GYN tested my ferritin and Thyroid twice (normal results). I finally went to an Endo. and she did a bunch of test. I found that I have a sever vitamine D deficiency. the normal recommended dose is 400 units per day. I take 51,000 Units and she said it would take 6 months to get back to normal. I also was tested for a gluten allergy. It was negative, but I found out that hairloss could be caused by food allergies. I was also seen by a Rheumatologist to rule out Lupus. I am taking a range of vitamines and suppliments (many are already mentioned in others’ postings). I just want to mention the vitamine D because I believe it has played a huge role with my hairloss.

Kim August 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Can Karen or anyone else that is taking Saw palmetto tell me what brand to take? There are so many brands and i don’t know which one give syou the right dosage. PLEASE HELP!

Collette November 23, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Hi All!

I began losing my hair Summer 2006. I began eating 5000 mcg of biotin at the same time… it helped for a few months- my nails are incredible- my hair loss has been worsening for about a year and a half- very noticibly- and I upped my biotin for fun to 10,00o mcg. No help with my hair at this point but my nails are happy.

Maybe I should up it- I can’t find anything close to 300 mg. The highest dose I can find anywhere is 10 mg (which is what I am taking)

be well ladies!

kat September 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I am interested in taking saw palmetto for my hairloss problem, i have PCOS and i have found a ton of information on Saw Palmetto for men. My concern was that taking it might increase my hair growth in other places on the body, such as my face or arms. Has anyone had that problem?

G October 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm

i had hairloss continually since puberty but at least when you’re young, it regrows…and since 28 it’s shed a lot more…and now that i’m in my mid 30’s i’ve gone to the doctor’s to get a diagnose (i should have gone sooner but i keep procrastinating)….he said it was alopecia.so then i’m on rogaine and my hair has thickened up vs. being fine n thin…..then i went to a family doctor and she said my iron and vitamin d was on record low! :S so now i’m taking vitamin d + calcium, it helps absorption…and also iron in the afternoons…dont take them too close together as it will cancel each other out…

i’m not sure which is the real cause…i guess a mixture of things? but i do notice when i begin to have my period my hair sheds less…is there any reason for this?

i know what all you girls are going thru and some have remarkable stories of recovery…hope we all get there one day! anyways, will have to continue to see and perhaps i will add biotin back into my handful of supplements…

deepa November 28, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Need some information about saw palmetto.I have low B12,but all other tests are normal.Biotin is not helping-i have been taking it for a while now.Can saw palmetto be added to my regimen of 3000mg of Biotin along with a multi vitamin and multi mineral supplement?are there any side effects?will it affect iron absorption?how much should i take?and is it necessary to consult a doctor prior to taking it?

katie August 3, 2011 at 9:50 am

I’m so desperate and out of ideas of what to take or use for my hair. I’ve tried everything and spend so much money, but my hair still falling like crazy. I”m only 28, I’m so depress. Can someone tell me if there’s any side effects for saw palmetto for women? I really like to try it.

Thank you so much and please give me some help.

anna September 25, 2011 at 1:48 am

the only side effect of saw palmetto i’ve experienced/read about is constipation, and darkened color of your stool. i also read it can make your breasts a little fuller, but had yet to experience that, unfortunately!

Rachel January 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Is there an update on how Karen is doing now? I haven’t seen any posts from her since her original post.

MM February 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I have the same problem when I turned 40. First, it was gobs of hair falling after hair wash, then it was that and in the mornings, and after, my hair would fall out the entire day and worse after hair wash. After everything else, I am using saw palmetto for maybe about 3 weeks now + hair/nail vitamins, and today was bad. My hair would itch even after the wash last night and then about 60 strands came out and I went to comb it and brush it, so many more came out, like 10-15 strands. I put my cloth band on and then off, I saw gobs on my band, at least 10-15 strands. Freaked me out. Believe me, it’s not tight on my head. Losing so much hair in the past 6 years, the band is loosely on my ponytail. I don’t know whether it’s the saw palmetto plus I took estroven + progesterone lotion which I stopped b/c I am 5 days before my cycle starts. I’ve been taking estroven + lotion for months before the saw palmetto so I’m not sure if that is the cause. I had hoped to resign myself to wearing a wig. It’s so hard cuz I have to take it off when sleeping a guy and he might run off, or when I go swimming, etc.. Just a lifestyle change. I would never wish to have cancer tho with all the “junk” I’ve been taking, I’m afraid I might.

jen July 14, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I have used high dose saw palmetto for the past several months> I saw quick results in about 3 weeks. Almost like I was growing out a little crew cut, My prob is that i recetly went through a very stressful month and wow the hair came running out of my head again, I am start over again this time with a higher quality saw palmetto and have added biotin, I will never have a beautiful head of long hair but truely it stops me from being bald. I do believe it has causes a serious weight gain…….but I guess you cant gain weight if you dont open your mouth.

Carrie July 16, 2012 at 6:49 am

@Kat – Saw Palmetto actually is used to treat hirsutism, so it “should” not cause facial hair. It should help it. I just started taking Saw Palmetto for unwanted facial hair that is slightly worsening with age (I’m 45 now) but just noticed that the “all over thinning” of my head hair that I’ve dealt with since about 1995 is suddenly worsening on the top of my head. So, I’m praying the SP helps. I’m also on Biotin (2000 mgs. but I may increase that up to 5000 mgs.). I may add Silica. I know for a fact that my body produces too much DHEA and Testosterone. I’ve been on natural progesterone cream for many months now to supposedly help my hypoglycemia (I thought it was working at first but it’s really not doing much) AND try to lower my male hormones, but now I’m wondering if it’s actually CAUSING me to lose hair. I know with progesterone cream that you need to use it for 14 days from ovulation day towards the end of your cycle. Well, I go by the standard “start on day 12 of your monthly cycle” rule and use it through day 26. BUT, I don’t think I ovulate on schedule (periods have always had a mind of their own) so it’s possible I’m starting too early and actually blocking m body from properly ovulating and messing myself up worse. My period was quite late this month (should arrive 2 days after you quit the progesterone cream) so something is wrong. I may quit the cream. Also, getting off all gluten can indeed be a huge help. I am 2.5 weeks into a gluten free diet for other reasons, and I seem to be absorbing nutrition better…which has to affect hair. Gluten can attack your thyroid if you have an immune issue with it. I had thyroid antibody tests done and my levels of one antibody were slightly high. When I Googled those antibodies, they are related to Celiac Disease (which my dad has). To be honest, the more I learn about gluten, the more I think NO ONE should eat it. It causes numerous systemic problems and autoimmune issues. A friend of a friend was able to quit her thyroid meds after she got off gluten.

Carrie July 16, 2012 at 6:51 am

I need to add that the Saw Palmetto isn’t CAUSING the increased hair loss. It seems I’ve been losing it more for months. I’ve only been on SP for a couple of days.

Carrie July 16, 2012 at 6:52 am

Jen, the Saw Palmetto caused you to gain weight?! Now that concerns me.

Rose July 28, 2012 at 7:40 am

I recommend everybody to read Dr. Geoffrey Redmond’s book “It’s your hormones” and also to visit his website. After reading his book I have a better understanding about the role of hormones in hair loss. Dr. Redmond’s is an endocrinologist in New York. I haven’t seen that doctor, because I can’t afford the trip and the consultation which is around $700 according to what I read someplace . I’m treating my devastating hair loss with a very good doctor. Any hair loss treatment takes a loooong time and a lot of patience (which none of us have when it comes to hair loss).

Annee March 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Saw palmetto has been used by natives for centuries. It is an approved treatment in Europe. So why all the scare tactics? Basically they say don’t take it with ANYTHING else. Of course, the drug companies would rather have you spend a fortune on their hair loss products. cynic

joyce March 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Took methotrexate as immune suppression for 5 years as well as being on synthroid 88 mg. Lost about half my hair. Started using Nioxin hair care products. Did wonders for my hair. Was also on estrogen for 25 years. Anyway the nioxon pretty much stopped the hair loss. Have actually started using it again because hair starting to thin again. Think its an age thing now. Anyway, I tell anyone with hair loss to try it. It worked for me…

Cat March 17, 2013 at 8:06 am

Joyce, I am curious to know if the Nioxin is helping this time around. I read in a recent online comment about the Nioxin products that the ingredients changed when P&G purchased the line and that the price also went up. I just wonder if the product is still as effective. Thanks….

MAGR October 4, 2013 at 11:26 am

To Bees,
I am to losing my hair from a brazilian blowout done in August 2012. It has been really hard and my husband too is fed up with my reaction. I was terrorized at the thought of losing my hair (I am still terrorized but now I am just waiting for the moment to go to Follea). It has been 13 months of torture as I feel hair by hair dripping down my harms all day long, counting the 250 to 300 hairs every time I wash and slowly seeing my appearance change as my hair wears away. All my bloodwork is normal and the loss started the day of the blowout. There is a lot of formaldehyde in this treatment and mine was applied at the scalp. I wonder if your hair stopped falling out and if you recovered? Your treatment was four years prior to mine and would like to know what is the possible end of this nightmare. My scalped flaked in big pieces two weeks after the treatment and from then I started having scalp pain and itching. I see regrowth that falls out soon after. Did you ever find out what was the hairloss mechanism? My theories are that a) my scalp aged from being in contact with the chemicals, b) made my follicles vulnerable to DHT, c) chronic inflammation. I have lost about 60% of my hair. My doctor wants me to start spiro but I dread the side effects. At least now my only problem is hair. I really appreciate any insights you have to share (a way to improve and if hair gee back). Thank you

Dee November 25, 2013 at 5:00 am

I have thinning hair all over , especially at the top of head. My body hair has decreased due to hormones and age. I am 64. Great I don’t have to shave my legs anymore. I use to have high levels of testosterone but decreased with menopause. I have taken Biotin and Keratin but has not stopped hair loss nor has it caused regrowth. I have used Nioxxin to no avail. I am at a loss to what else to try or who to see. Also my thyroid levels are fine so it isn’t that. I don’t know which way to go now. Don’t want to wear a wig!

Jen December 16, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I have high testosterone levels and have been losing steady amounts of hair for 10 years now, on average I’d lose 30-50 in shower and 50 more after I brushed. Overall in 10 years I have lost probably 60% of my hair and it regrow a back very thin, dry and limp. I just stared urn supplement and a me a hair supplement that has saw palmetto and other ingredients in it. Within less than a week my hair responded, I now in the shower lose maybe 8 hairs and then when I brush maybe 6 more. I’ve been using now for a month and I’m doing great, if I miss a few days my hair falls out again right away so it’s got to be a daily thing.

TII August 4, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Jenn, what’s the supplement you started. Is it still working?

Depressed December 1, 2015 at 2:31 pm

I am 45 and have been dealing with hair loss for 10 yrs. I have tried every vitamin supplement known to help with hair loss. However, I never stay on anything long enough to see if it works. The key to anything is consistency. After years of dealing with it, I went on Rogaine. I was on it for 7 mons. I used the 5% foam 1x daily. It actually stopped my hair loss but it changed the texture of my hair and I never saw any new growth. So, I decided to go off of it….BIG MISTAKE! After, 2 mons my hair started falling out like crazy! I am scared to death that my hair will eventually become so thin that my scalp will start showing. I have been off of Rogaine for approx. 3 1/2 mons and only started noticing significant hair loss 2 mons after stopping Rogaine. I’ve read its common after stopping Rogaine and that you will never regain the hair you’ve lost if you go back on it. I’m at a loss on what to do. I’ve debated on going to see Dr. Redmond in NY but I’ve heard if you read his book it has a lot of fantastic information. It will help you to know what questions to ask your doctor. It seems he mostly puts women on Spiro and birth control pills to help with the hormone levels. However, Spiro has side effects and like Rogaine, its for life or your hair will fall out again if you stop. So, it’s the chance you take if you want to keep your hair. My suggestion would be to go to a Dermatologist or Endocronologist and demand they run the following tests….total testosterone, free testosterone, DHEA-S, blood count, iron levels, TSH, Estradiol, Prolactin, FSH, chem., 17-OH progesterone……Also, use a good DHT blocking shampoo like Pura d’or Regenepure…..take vitamins like Biotin, Saw Palmetto, Iron, B12, Lysine, zinc, silica & Vit C. Rogaine will help to keep the hair you have but doesn’t necessarily cause regrowth…but DO NOT stop it once you start. Use the 5% foam as that is the most effective. Make sure you are also tested for PCOS to rule that out. We have to be our own advocates and demand these doctors listen to us! I am currently taking Saw Palmetto, Lysine, multi vitamin, iron, Viviscal, Vit D & Biotin. I am seriously thinking about getting back on Rogaine because I am losing so much hair. I am also seriously contemplating going to my dermatologist and trying the Spiro. You just have to keep trying and see what works….be vigilant…dont give up! Be consistent and give things time to work….sometimes it takes months. I did try and still use Viviscal and it did help with my hair loss….I won’t push anything that hasn’t helped me. It’s very expensive but anything is worth it to me if it helps. Also, I’ve ready a lot about people using Nizoral shampoo…so read up on that. Dr Redmond recommends the Nutrogena TGel. I do think most people need to use a good DHT blocking shampoo. I also used Phyto supplements but I can’t say that I ever saw a difference in my hair loss. I bought it once and never bought it again. I know how you all feel…it’s VERY depressing as a woman to have thin hair. I pray we can all find a cure for ourselves!!

Lucy August 31, 2016 at 11:14 am

Hello Wonderful people. 3 years ago I had very long thick hair today I’m trying hard to get it back. I had very flowing long thick curly hair and got so many compliments and questions, if it was my own hair?. Then I started abusing my hair by putting in relaxers to straighten out my beautiful curls and hair colors and hi lites. My husband who loves my curly hair and would love me bald or hair kept on telling me, ” you have beautiful curls leave it alone “.
The hair loss began after I had came back from this hair joint inside Walmart, it was’nt owned by Walnart. The stylist placed tons of hi-lights in my hair even though I had told her just place “a tad” in my hair. With the highlights and relaxer 1 month earlier ,my hair has taken a downward spiral. High Lights and relaxers are hair killers they thin out and damages the hair and causes hair loss. If you feel you must relax your hair use a mild relaxer with natural products in it, my suggestion if you must color your hair go for natural products that’s from plant sources.
What seemed to work for me better now is that Instead of always shampooing my hair I use warm water and conditioner only. I make my own natural concoctions of rose Mary olive oil and other natural home made strengthening products. It’s also very helpful to see an endocrinologist and your Gyn that helped me a lot. My family doctor ran some extra blood work of my hormones and so did my Gyn. It’s so important to know what’s hi what’s low what’s normal what abnormal by seeing your endocrinologist and Gyn reiterating.
Your hormones can also play a big role in hair loss as well. My hair was coming along mighty fine with taking biotene, B 12, a multivitamin, vitamin c, fish and flax seed oils. The omega’s are real important for hair growth. Just make sure it’s one that’s Mercury free and monitor your Mercury with your doctor. I also had my doctor test for aluminum Mercury and lead. All my levels came back normal and my feratin (iron). Normal levels of feratin also play a key role in hair growth, and abnormal hair loss. If you can eat liver and red meat go for it, or if your a vegetarian try SPINIACH and other natural sources of iron.
Getting back to hormones, hormones can play crucial role in hair loss hair gain hair thinning. If your hormones are not balanced this can create hair loss hair thinning . Check also your TSH levels, and the functioning of your Thyroid glands. I saw my Gyn and is doing bio identical now. Prior to that I was taking the estradiol and progesterone then Prior to that estradiol & testosterone combo with progesterone. A woman should not take estrogen without progesterone as it places us at greater risk for cancer. At one point I stopped taking my hormones and holy holy my hair started falling out like crazy. The reason I was gaining weight, but if your taking hormones you got to exercise. Believe me I don’t like to, so I do things I enjoy like dancing an hour to salsa music doing stretches and walking. I’m back on my hormones and my weight is just the same when I were off. My hair stopped falling out and it’s getting thicker from the new healthy growth minus the hi lights, minus the flat iron blow drying and keratin & flat ironing; they’re hair killers. My hair from the ends that had been Chemically treated in the past is thin. As the new growth comes in more I cut the chemically treated area at ends off.
In summary I must be honest to tell you all that when I was going through these stages of depression ,because of my hair loss and changes ,times I would look at these hair commercial and say oh I loathe these models with healthy long hair. Not anymore, I realize some wear extensions for these commercial . These days yes I miss my long hair days, but I realized I’m a healthy female and it could be worse . I realize and tell my self and if I had some deadly disease I would fight with everything inside of me and, I would just enjoy each and every day while fighting the best way I could. Also the more you worry and stress the more your hair can fall out.
My suggestion do something you love doing until your totally absorbed in it not to think so hard about your hair problems, but still do everything you can to help find the answer of resolvement. We are all God’ s beautiful people in our hearts, in our minds ,in our souls. Our hair is only a small portion that makes up the huge larger portion of our true beauties and real worth. Thanks to Karen who started her blog and all you other women suggestions all so helpful. It helped me. It shows strength is in unity, and when one of us falls it’s always good to know we have one of us right there to pick us right back up. We are all in this together!!and stronger together!!

Melanie September 8, 2016 at 4:23 am

I definitely recommend reading Dr. Gefforey redmonds book. It’s your hormones. It will give u tons of helpful info. I am in menopause and my hair began to slightly receed in the front first then several months began to shed very bad in the shower. And all day long. I don’t use a hairbrush anymore just my fingers. No flat iron or blow dryer. I am on my first month of viviscal supplements haven’t noticed any change yet. I just began an estradiol patch 0.006 mg. due to my ovaries shut down per menopause. In dr Redmond book he explains if hair loss is due to estrogen loss HRT can help. But if testosterone is an issue u need a test blocker like spiro Saw palmetto can be used also he admits but with not enough sufficient evidence to back up. I don’t know if you can use saw palmetto with estrogen or if they cancel each other out tho. But u can use estrogen and spiro so maybe?

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