Losing My Hair…Am I Vain? Rosalinda’s Hair Loss Story

by admin on October 29, 2007

Losing My Hair... Am I Vain? Rosalinda's Hair Loss StoryHi, my name is Rosalinda and I have been losing my hair since I was 17 years old. I am now 22 years of age. I started out with a huge thick mane and now I can pin everything up with two bobby pins. Sad! I dread taking showers or brushing my hair. I close my eyes when I take my hair out of my brush. I’ve heard from doctors that stress can cause hair loss and I stress about my hair loss all day long. I went to see a movie this weekend and I spent half the time looking at Eva Mendes’s full head of hair. I feel vain for thinking about it so much, it’s driving me nuts. I am on Yasmin and have been on it since I was 19. My hair loss started before I began the pill and I have been assured by many doctors that Yasmin wouldn’t make my hair fall out. I don’t want to leave the pill because my cramps are so severe I can’t function when I have them. I have had blood work and I am “fine” thyroid and anemia wise.

I don’t even remember all the tests the doctors ran. The three doctors I have seen have attributed my hair loss to stress and genetics. The dermatologist recommended dandruff shampoo and rogaine. Rogaine helps keep my hair from falling out, I do notice a difference when I try to get off of it. I am currently using extra strength for men (dermatologist said to do so) but it makes my scalp very itchy and full of dandruff. Does anyone else experience this? So I have a choice…head full of dandruff or a head with some hair, *sigh*. I am going to see a doctor again on Wed. to do blood work again, since the tests I took before were two years ago. I am also thinking of buying the laser comb. It is pricey $395-$500. Yikes! I laugh to myself because I just paid $700 to do laser hair removal surgery on my legs. Ack!

I’m trying to rearrange all of my hair situations my body has. Too funny. I noticed that no one on the blog site really had anything to say about the laser comb. Perhaps I can be the guinea pig for all of you. Take pictures and what not. What do you all think? Should I do it?

-Rosalinda

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Dear Rosalina –

Thank you so much for writing and sharing your story. I know the exact movie you made reference to, “We Own The Night” because I did the same thing as you. I couldn’t watch anything else other than Eva Mendes hair during the entire film. I’ve had that problem for quite sometime now, I actually wrote about that in this post titled “Hair Loss Can Quickly Become An Obession

Are you Vain? I don’t think so. I think you react in a very normal way to a disturbingly uncontrollable situation. Reading your email was like reading my own thoughts on paper. Trust me when I say I know exactly what you are going through, you used the words “thick mane” to describe your hair. I would as well to describe my former tresses that have since been replaced by thin fluffs of wispy hair. I actually use to get my hair thinned out at the hair dresser! Can you believe that??? My heart weeps when I think about that.

Since your hair loss started 2 years prior to you getting on the pill surely it cannot be responsible for the onset of your hair loss. In my opinion a doctor cannot state definitively whether the pill will make your hair fall out or not. Do they have a crystal ball? Likely not, and since most educated physicians know the possibility of hair loss occurring from the treatment of any synthetic hormones, they shouldn’t state things as facts that they have no way of knowing in advance. It really bothers me when I hear things like that.

There are some women who do experience genetic androgenetic alopecia at a very young age without having had the hair loss be precipitated by any drug such as birth control pills or giving birth. Rather it happens simply because that was when they were genetically predetermined to begin losing their hair. If you don’t feel that Yasmin has contributed negatively to your hair loss, then it probably hasn’t. You know yourself best. You know how your hair loss was before taking it and also after starting the drug.

Birth control pills are a tricky thing, for some lucky women they can jump on and off them without the negative effects. For others who are not so lucky the act of going on the pill, or coming off them does something to the body that can kick in androgenetic alopecia at an earlier age than would have naturally occurred had the pill never been taken in the first place. I of course fall into the latter group of women… the unlucky ones. Having said that, the pill is also routinely prescribed by many physicians to help treat female pattern hair loss. The birth control that is chosen is usually a low androgen index pill such as Yasmin. I’ve read stories of women who have done well on it for their hair loss, and others who think it is the devil. I throw my hands up in the air with this one, like everything else with women’s hair loss there seems to be no rhyme or reason. Everyone is so different an as such, so are the causes of our hair loss and the treatments we will respond to. Clearly you have a need to be on the pill because like you said you cannot function without it because of the severity of period cramps. Like I mentioned earlier, you know yourself best. Yasmin may not be having any negative effect on your existing hair loss condition, some doctors may venture to say that it could be offering protective measures against further hair loss as well.

As far as the Rogaine, I am glad to hear you are seeing positive effects from the treatment. Scalp irritation and dandruff is a pretty common complaint about he drug. I know that Gretchen had trouble using the regular Rogaine but has since tried Rogaine Foam and has written that it is a lot easier to use. You can read her post about it here. Perhaps you may want to consider trying that out and see if it is any easier on your scalp. It is definitely a good idea to see your doctor again and get all the bloodwork done in case anything has changed since you saw him/her last 2 years ago.

Lasercomb…this is a topic of much debate. Does it work? Some people claim to see positive effects from it others say it was a waste of money. There was a whole show on The Bald Truth dedicated to the efficacy of the product. You can listen to it here. I would certainly have used it myself if I felt I could withstand any possible temporary shedding that could occur from the treatment, but I can’t so I don’t even consider it for myself. Eight years ago, even five years ago it would have been a different story. I tried everything under the sun back then. Since this email you sent, I read your comment on this site that you have taken the plunge and got yourself a comb. I’m excited for you and to hear your progress with the treatment. Please keep us updated.

Rosalinda, the title of your email was “Am I Vain?” and I just want to say again, that you are not vain for wanting to feel good about yourself and get back something that was a part of you. The dictionary has the following definition for vain:

vain [veyn] – adjective

1. Excessively proud of or concerned about one’s own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited.

The definition doesn’t suit the feelings and actions portrayed by women losing their hair. I don’t feel vain. I just want to look normal and have enough hair to not feel so exposed and odd to the rest of the world who sees me. And to not look like a stranger to myself when I look in a mirror. That cannot be construed as vain.

Please keep us posted with everything. You seem to have maintained a positive outlook, even finding the humor in the fact that you actually paid to have hair removed on other parts of your body and as you called it “rearrange all of my hair situations.” Continue to stay positive. I always try and maintain some sense of humor about my crazy hair loss life. Thanks again for sharing your story.

~Y

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

jeni October 29, 2007 at 10:23 pm

It’s not vain to care about your hair. I wish I didn’t care about mine, but I do, and don’t think I’ll ever get to the point where I am not consumed by it. I want to try the Lasercomb, but am afraid to spend the money and time and not have it work. I think there might be a money-back guarantee, so I will probably try it eventually. If it works, I think it will stop the shedding, rather than regrow hair. But by stopping the shedding, that will definitely help.

I am also on Yasmin, and had hair loss problems before I was on it. I went on it because I also read that it was good for hair loss, as well as acne. It definitely has not made my hair loss worse, and my acne is totally gone, so for me it’s worth it to be on it. I wish hair loss wasn’t so elusive and frustrating! My bloodwork for my thyroid and iron came back “fine” but I think they are both on the low end, so even though the doctor says they are fine, I wouldn’t rule out those two issues being a problem.

Marianne October 30, 2007 at 7:22 am

Hi,
Just a thought but have you looked into polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I was recently diagnosed as hypothyroid (Hashimoto’s disease) and take synthroid (cause of my hair loss?? perhaps) but am now wondering about PCOS as also my hair loss culprit. I have been on birth control for 7 years and stopped a month and a half ago. I am having a hard time remembering if my cycles were ever very regular. I am having more skin breakouts and have some questionable hormone tests although the endocrinologist says they are normal. It is starting to seem like everything could cause your hair to fall out!!

I just thought I would throw PCOS as one more thing to think about for hair loss although some of the symptoms for PCOS might not be noticeable because of the birth control.

You are not vain by any means. I find myself looking at everyone’s hair around me especially actresses (shampoo commercials are hard to watch!!). We just want to feel normal and having your hair fall out continuously is not normal!! I keep saying what I read on this site..”I am not my hair!”

Jonalisa October 30, 2007 at 7:51 am

Rosalinda,

you are not alone. I have had hairloss since 19 years of age and I’m now 29. I’m currently in double time shedding mode due to a recent miscarriage which doesn’t help that I have diffuse female pattern hairloss. I also have dark black/brown hair which amplifies the contrast of my scalp. So its very apparent that I’m thinning allover, and very apparent that I’m thinning at the crown.

I did try laser treatments in Oct of 2005 after the birth of my son due to tefflogen effluvium. It seem to work for me. I literally was a “chia pet” with sprouts of hair growing out of my head. Now I’m not sure whether it was my TE resolving or if the laser was helping, but I’m not going to discount the laser. Because of my current TE/FPHL my husband urge me to go back to laser (before shaving off all of my hair:) and here I am back to treatments. Oh, btw, I bought the laser comb. If your willing to be diligent with the treatments then it may be worth the money, I wasn’t so good at using it all the time, but I think the second time around will be different.

As for staring at everyone’s beautiful hair, I do it too. I keep wondering why my brother and sister were blessed with beautiful flowing thick hair and I was cursed with fine thinning hair. Life can be so cruel sometimes…but we’ve got to stay positive.

Rosalinda October 30, 2007 at 1:29 pm

Thank you for all of your encouraging comments. I am so glad I found this website. I feel like it’s my own secret club… away from the rest of the women in the world that still have heads full of hair. He he. I did go back to the doctor and I am “slightly” anemic so I have started taking iron pills. Also, I did end up buying the lasercomb. I took pictures of my scalp and we shall see how it looks in two months. I will let you all know. It sure did take a bite out of my pocket book though…sheesh.
Thank you a million times over for this website. I really appreciate all the advice and help. Talk to you chicas soon.

Shi April 3, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Rosalinda,
I am wondering how the lasercomb worked for you?
I was thinking about getting one, but wanted to hear some feedback first. My hair loss started when I was about 15 years old (I am now 21)and it was very depressing. when I look at pictures of me back then, I wonder why I even thought my hair was thin. It was so much thicker back then. In December 2006 I started taking birth control and it actually made my hair thicker (I was taking desogen, for the first time since I was 15, I was happy with my hair and not thinking about it 24/7. Then in November 2007 I started loosing my eyebrows and eyelashes and decided to stop birth control and now my hair is back to being thinner. I even went and got it cut very short. I wish I had the courage to shave it. This summer I am leaving the country for three months and I plan on cutting it even shorter. It is really frustrating because I am in college and there are so many pretty girls with beautiful hair around me. Most of them have long thick hair and I get so jealous… in class all I pay attention to is girls hair. Also, both my roommates have gorgeous long hair and when one of them heard me on the phone making an appointment to get my hair cut…she told me it was too short already…if only she could understand. I wish I could let it grow long. I am the only one of my friends that has this problem and I feel like I have no one to talk to.

Also- my friend’s mom said the same thing happened to her in her 20’s and got he blood tested for estrogen. Her estrogen was low so she started taking estrogen pills and said that within days she could tell the difference. I am going to get my blood work done next week. I already got my thyroid testes and it was normal.
I also don’t eat a lot of meat and poultry (mostly vegetarian) which could be a problem? and I am constantly tired.
I wish there was a simple answer or at least a way for me to be happy with myself and not always think about my hair. I go through periods of depression.

I take silica supplements (collagen support) which seem to help me a little bit.

Angela April 4, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Hi Shi,

Is your hair thinning from all over your head? I was a vegetarian for 10 years until this past Thanksgiving when I started to wonder if my lack of protein and iron was contributing to my fragile hair. My hair loss started after going on and off birth control but I cant help but wonder if my diet is also playing a role. Right now I try to eat some sort of animal meat once a day and I am taking a 200mg iron supplement. Since taking the supplement I’ve noticed less hair caught in the drain after showering (so that is good)!
When you go to the doctor next week ask to get your Ferritin level tested. Many sites suggest that it should be 70 or higher for optimal hair growth. Last time I checked mine was 40. I’m trying to get it as high as possible!

Just some thoughts.

Take care,
Angela

Shi April 4, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Angela,
Thank you very much for the quick response.
I think you are definitely right. I bruise very easily, I am constantly tired and weak and I rarely eat meat. I did start taking iron supplement a few days ago as well as a low dosage of zinc. Yes my thinning is all over my head…its not a specific spot even though I notice it more around the crown on my head. Did your situation improve/worsen/remain the same over the years? I am constantly fearing of what it will be like in a few years. I try to think positive, but it is very hard for me. My mom and my dad both have nice hair (not really thick, but nice) so I don’t think its genetic.
I am really happy I found this site. I feel like I can actually talk to someone who understands me. My friends don’t want to hear about it and my doctor just recommended I go to mental health so “I don’t miss out on my college experience thinking about this too much.”
Everyone also keeps telling me it is stress, but the only stress I have is my hair.
It feels good to vent :)
Thanks again Angela!
p.s.
I also use nizoral shampoo…I shed less when I use it, but its only supposed to be used twice a week so it doesn’t dry out the scalp.

has anyone heard of egg yolks for hair growth?

Angela April 7, 2008 at 9:27 am

Hi Shi,

Yeah mine is thinning all over but I notice it more in my bang/crown area too. But I think it might just be bc its the easiest place to look at it in the mirror upclose? Still not sure.
My hair steadily got thinner since high school and right now its not falling out like crazy but its also not growing back to what it once was. So if anything, I feel like it is slowly getting worse and that is what is making me so paranoid. I am currently still on the pill so I am also scared of what will happen when I get off of it for good. I’m also wondering if being on the pill is hindering new growth (I’m on a low estrogen pill).
I’ve heard people say its stress too! My mom likes to tell me to not worry about it but it is a lot easier said than done. I do try to tell myself its not the end of the world and maybe through those affirmations I will no longer be bugged by it all.
I’m glad you found this site– its such a lifesaver and a great place to vent:)

Angela

Ann June 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Has the iron supplementation been working for anyone? I was also iron deficient with a ferritin level of a mere 5!! I have been on 325mg of ferrous sulfate 3 times daily for about 3 months now. So far I haven’t noticed any changes, but my last blood test only showed my ferritin at 34…so I still have a ways to go. I am just looking for any hair success story that has happened b/c of iron supplementation. Anybody know of any??

Lynnie June 25, 2008 at 9:57 pm

I heard taking Folic Acid can help boost your iron levels? May want to check with your doctor on that?

“Both iron and folic acid are needed by the body for the formation of red blood cells. If the body does not receive adequate amounts of these nutrients, anaemia can develop.

The absorption of iron from the gut is decreased if it is taken at the same time as coffee, tea, eggs or milk. Its absorption is enhanced if it is taken at the same time as foods or supplements containing vitamin C (ascorbic acid).”

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/100001038.html

Ann June 25, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Lynnie,

Thanks so much for the info! Have you ever heard of restoring iron levels stopping hair loss?

Ann June 25, 2008 at 10:30 pm

I read the info on the internet, but have not heard of any actual people’s stories of improvement

Rosalinda July 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm

I absolutley love this website. It’s nice to find people in the same boat. I did end up buying the lasercomb. I want to say that I am fantastically impressed by it’s results, but alas, I cannot. I still have bouts of extreme hair loss but I think the lasercomb has helped me retain some hair. I went to get my hair cut shorter again last weekend (grr, I used to have lucious hair down to my waist!) and my hairdresser said she noticed baby hairs in my scalp. Well woop-dee-do. What about the adult hairs that are falling out? Those are the ones I want. I have so many weapons of choice against the nasty enemy of sheddage that I don’t know what has helped me keep hair on my head. I use rogaine 5%, nioxin (just the shampoo), vitamins (although I am not good at taking them regularly), the lasercomb, exercise…I feel like everything is devoted to keep hair on my head. I watched the Miss Universe pageant last night and I was almost in tears at the end. Was I jealous of their fabulously toned bodies, complexions or smiles? No! I was looking at their hair the whole time. I used to have hair like that. And that one dang commercial about how the model likes her hair to have volume! Ah! Just give me my hair back! I’m sick of thinking about it, sick of looking at other people’s hair. I have noticed that a lot of my cousins are thinning too. But we are young. Is it our genetics? Our hispanic background? What we eat? I’m going back to the doctor one last time, maybe I can convince them to give me a scalp biopsy. Then, I am going to a holistic practioner. I’ll let you ladies know what I find out.

Ann July 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Hello everyone,

I’m looking for some advice or perhaps some words of encouragement. A little about my story… my hairloss started when I was 18. I am now 30 years old. When I was 23 years old the situation had become so bad that I was completly bald on the sides of my head and in the back. So bad that it became impossible to position my hair so that it didn’t show spaces. I decided to go on rogaine for women. The good news for me is that it worked. All of my hair grew back and it felt thicker then I had ever remembered it.

A few years later, I started taking birth control pills. I watched carefully to make sure that I didn’t notice any extra hair loss. When I saw that everything was ok, I continued taking the pill. My doctor never mentioned to me the possible side effects on your hair when you STOP taking the pill! I stopped taking the pill 11 months ago. A few weeks after I stopped, I noticed that I was shedding… a lot. Handfulls and handfulls of hair! This intense shedding continued for 4 or so months. Nothing grew back! Instead I have continued to lose hair, albeit at a slower pace. Now I can even see where my bald spots are starting to return on the sides of my head.

5 months ago I upgraded to rogaine for men with the hopes that it would turn the situation around for me. In the first 3 weeks, I saw tons of tiny little hairs on the floor. I thought it was a good sign… like the initial stages before the hair would start to grow back. However, I still don’t see any little white fuzz hairs and nothing has grown back in. I just continue to lose.

My question is… do I still have hope of regrowing my hair? Perhaps the hair will rebound now if my hormone levels have leveled out? Any other signs that I can look for to know that the rogaine is regrowing new hair? Is is normal not to see any regrowth after 5 months?

Thanks! Ann

Priya November 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

Hi Everyone,

I have had diffuse hair loss and genetic hair loss ever since I started my periods, in my early teens to currently 26. After trying all sorts of lotions and herbal potions and hair vitamins nothing has seemed to work. I went to see a trichologist last week who has given me a 2% minoxidil solution with methly nicotinate and medroxyprogesterone acetate to use for a initial 4 four months, and I will be getting some blood tests soon to check hormone levels, vitamin levels ect…. I hope my trichologist is a great detective and I hope to find a underlying cause for the hair loss. Lets see what he uncovers

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