Unsure – Maria’s Hair Loss Story

by admin on December 10, 2007

Unsure - Maria's Hair Loss StoryI’ve read some of the other women’s stories here and felt compelled to share mine. I am almost 28 years old and am experiencing some hairloss. Today was the first day I actually talked about it, and cried about it with somebody (my mother). I have been too embarrassed and depressed about it to talk with anybody else. When you look at my hair I don’t think that I look like I am balding, but I lose so much hair every day and I know that my hair used to be so much fuller. I feel like it is going to keep getting worse and I am very worried.

I am in a relationship with the love of my life and I am afraid that if I continue to lose my hair he will not be attracted to me anymore. The worst part is that I am obsessed with my hair. Some of the other women have mentioned being obsessed with it and constantly touching it and looking at it in the mirror. It is so frustrating. When I wear it down I find hairs everywhere, on my shirt, on my boyfriend’s shirt, on my pillow…it is never ending!! I also find myself looking at other women’s hair and comparing mine or being envious of theirs (especially if they are older than me and have a thick head of hair). I’ve even gone as far as trying to keep count of how many hairs I am actually losing per-day because I am still doubtful that this could be happening to me, but I have to face the facts, the thin hair I have now is a far cry from the beautiful full head of hair I had when I was a teenager. I think it has been a gradual loss, but the past two years it seems to be falling out more and more. I started taking the generic BC pill for Ortho-tri-cyclen a few years ago and I am wondering if it could be from that. I want to stop taking the pill, but I am afraid I will get pregnant and then my hair will really start falling out from stress!!

I now have some doctor’s names that I am going to call and try to have some blood work and tests done, but I am afraid that there is nothing that can be done for me or that I will start taking things that will make my problem worse. When I spoke with my mother tonight, she said that she started to shed a lot of hair around my age too. In a way it makes me feel better because although she has thinner hair, she does not look like she is balding. Maybe my hair is just naturally thinning out. I don’t really know what to think, but I am going to be contacting some doctors and trying to get answers. I really feel the pain of the women (and girls) on this site and it does help to be able to talk to someone who understands what I am going through. I feel like everything is going so good in my life, but it can all come crashing down if I start to lose hair and suffer from low self-esteem.

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Dear Maria –

I am really glad that you were able to open up to your mom and tell her how you are feeling and how your hair loss is affecting you. The fact that your mom relayed to you that her hair began to thin around your age, but yet she still has maintained enough hair to not look like she has hair loss, is a really really good sign. It is not uncommon for women’s hair to gradually thin as they get older, it becomes an issue when it isn’t gradual at all, but very rapid and sudden.

The fact that you began the pill around the same time you began to notice your hair loss does present the possibility that it is responsible for the onset. That would likely be my guess, but it really hard to to know for sure. I can’t tell you what you should do because getting on and off medication is a very personal choice with consequences, but if I were you I probably would get off the pill and see if my hair was able to return to normal, but I am a little biased because of my own situation. These are such hard decisions to make because inevitably every decision we make regarding our hair loss when it comes to taking pills, stopping them, taking this or that, or not taking anything at all, can always make us lose more hair and worsen our condition. My decision about the pill is based on the my own hair loss story, losing my hair from stopping Loestrin Fe, then later being put back on the pill to treat the hair loss. I do regret getting back on the pill because I feel that early on in my hair loss I never really gave my body the chance to heal itself without the intervention of messing with my hormones through medication. I always wonder if I left well enough alone if I would be better off today. I feel stuck taking the pill, basically forever, because I fear the shedding that will occur if I ever decide to stop. That sort of makes it difficult to have kids, doesn’t it?

But you have your reasons for taking the pill, not getting pregnant is a good one. If I had a do-over I would go back to the beginning of my hair loss and probably not have gotten back on the pill. I’d use condoms for birth control. I really have such resentment toward birth control pills and feel they are responsible for causing so many young girls to begin losing their hair at such an early age, triggering androgenetic alopecia and setting them up for a lifetime of struggles dealing with their hair loss.

Make those doctor appointments and get some opinions. Try to see if you can find a doctor who will be able to examine you to determine if your hair follicles are miniaturizing and if so to what degree. I think you should take some comfort in knowing that your mom started losing her hair around your age and years later still only looks like a woman with thin hair and not balding. That is really good news. For myself, I would have no problem living the rest of my life with naturally thin looking hair. I think most of just want to feel normal and not feel like our heads are on constant display and cause for stares and behind the back remarks.

I wish I had an absolute answer for you, but hair loss is so different for every woman and what is bad for me may make work for another woman and ice versa. It makes it all the more difficult to deal with. I understand hair envy, I have all the time. There isn’t a day that has gone by in the last 8 years that I haven’t noticed every woman’s hair and compared it to my own. Sometimes I see really old women and they have such thick hair, and I feel cheated. But I guess that is true for anything we once had that is taken away from us. If you can, try and talk to your boyfriend about your feelings about your hair loss, it will really help you if you had that support and reassurance from him.

Really take a lot of time to think about what you want to do and make the decision you can live with.

~Y

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan December 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Girl I completely understand what you are going through. I have been watching my hair thin on the top of my head since I graduated college. I’m 24. I mean, 24. I am 24 and I am losing my hair.
It is a very secret, personal, painful thing. Usually when I wake up, it is the first thing I think about. I cut myself bangs that go about halfway back on my head, 6 months ago. I was so happy not to be able to see my scalp, even when my hair got greasy. I figured I’d just have that haircut forever. Now it already looks signifigantly thinner and I can see my scalp again. I’ve started parting it way on the side. But it still looks thin.
My family always tells me I look fine, and they don’t notice. But I do. I am not on birthcontrol. But when this all started I had been on Orthotricylin forever, and then I was on Desogen around senior yr when it started getting thin. Which doenst make any sense, Desogen is supposed to be helpful for preventing the effects of DHT. My mom has wicked thin hair (but not nearly as thin as mine, already) and my dad is totally bald. I am pretty sure this is genetic. I am freaking out.
I used Minoxidil for 3 months, didnt notice anything and hated the way it made my hair be all greasy-alcoholish.
I am very young and not rich. But I would put everything I had into a product or whatever it was if I thought it would save my hair. It is hard not to be vunerable in that way. We have to be skeptical of these products. I totally plan on getting hair replacement surgery or whatever I need to do as I get older and this problem progresses, which it shows every sign of continuing to do so.

Lia March 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

I have experienced similar hair loss. I am 35 years old and started losing my hair at 28. For 5 years it was very bad, always shedding leaving hairs al over the place and each time I washed my hair it was agony. I would like to share with you a few things that helped me.
I must say I do not have the very full hair I used to, but nobody knows the problem and nobody notices. Here are the tips.
1. I went to an accupunturist, he told my that my hair loss could be related to my inability to take nutrients from the foods I was eating.
2. I changed my diet and discovered that I was lactose intolerant, this completely change my routines in terms of going to the loo. I was constantly constipated, once I solved my constipation by adding more fibre to my diet mi hair improved greatly.
3. I started using sulfate free shampoo and only from organic sources. You can investigate this and find a brand that suits you, but this really helps. Sodium is also bad.
4. I started to accept that I may end up being one of those bald ladies, but I am sure it will not be before menopause. I will enjoy my hair for this next 10 years!!!
5. Don’t worry about loosing your hair when having children. I now know that I will never have biological children, and I will happily exchange my hair for the joy of biological children.
6. And partners should stay with you no matter what, otherwise they wre not right for you.

In all I have accepted that losing hair comes with age and for some women this can be more pronounced. I count my hairs only after I wash my hair and try not to think about it in other circumstances.
After doing this life style changes my hairs at each wash are between 60-100. When is more than that I try to search if I have eaten something or done something out of character. Overall is under control but I know I will never have the hair I used to have in my twenties.

Claire April 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Hello everyone,
It is such an INTENSE , PAINFUL and SCARY process to lose hair. I am also 24, took Ortho-Tri-Cyclen for two years in high school and lost 50% of my hair. I knew without a doubt that the pill was the cause.
Multiple gynecologists told me that the hairloss was genetic etc, and then when I finally went to a dermatologist, he told me the pill was most likely the cause.
Here’s what I must relay to you, Maria, wherever you are–it takes time, but I would recommend going off of the pill. Our endocrine system is so precise, that it makes sense for even a slight alteration to mess up our hair and bodies. Trust your body–if you go back to the natural state, pill-free, it will adjust. It takes a while, but your hair will grow back! When you go off of the pill, there will be naturally a shock to your system, maybe no period for months, which you will have to induce with a progestin pill for a few days (not a big deal.) At that point, you just have to let go of the hair. Let go of counting it. Let go of worrying that hair loss will continue to be a problem. It won’t. Ditch the pill. Check your thyroid just in case. It’s so easy to become obsessed by fear!! Once you have dropped the pill in the trash, you can rest in the knowledge that everything will balance out. Patience–it will take a while. Much love! Know that our HAIR does not DEFINE US. It does not DEFINE our beauty. Your spirit, humor, intelligence LIGHT, WISDOM, JOY…these things matter. Love the balding head. laugh at it. I drew a picture of myself on a beach, with three hairs on my head, blowing in the wind. Seems sad…but it’s funny. We must laugh at it! It’s all unimportant in the grand scheme. Why waste life worrying about it? Go back to nature. Your body will balance out!!! TRUST. LOVE!!

Naomi November 29, 2015 at 9:22 am

Dear Maria,
I’m 64 and have had thinning hair all of my adult life and really should wear a wig now. Dermatologists have never been helpful for me. Thyroid in low but normal range, etc. Lots of hair loss is hormonal. I wish I’d gotten help from an endocrinologist instead. See what this type of Doctor can do for you. Hang in there. I promise you, you will find a way to cope with this that works for you. Lately I’ve been using Toppik to fill in scalp spots and it makes hair feel thicker. It lasts until your next shampoo and it makes me feel less self conscious and so I don’t feel quite so anxious.
Naomi

Naomi November 4, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Hi, Maria,
I started losing my hair at age 26 after giving birth. My doctor first said it was telegen effluvia, normal after pregnancy. However, it never really stopped falling out and then was just diagnosed as alopecia. I was able to stop my adult son’s hair loss progression with Propecia. I realize doctors won’t prescribe this for a young woman who could have children with birth defects, but I think a lot of hair loss is hormonal as well as hereditary. I think stress is overrated as a cause. In my case saw palmetto seemed to help a bit and didn’t seem to have any side effects. Maybe the new stem cell approaches will help you too. I’m convinced hair loss is best reversed when you’re still young. Glad you still are!
Fondly,
Naomi

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