Hair Biopsy Results – Diagnosed with Both Telogen Effluvium and Androgenetic Alopecia

by Y on November 15, 2007

Hair Biopsy Results _ Diagnosed With Telogen Effluvium and Androgenetic AlopeciaWell, in my situation, my family doctor first ordered blood work to look for an underying hair loss cause and found nothing. So she referred me to a dermatologist and on my own I sought out an endocrinologist because I have other symptoms. An endocrinologist is now looking into a possible underactive adrenal gland now because my cortisol level was borderline low. At the same time, my dermatologist did a biopsy of my scalp and found telogen effluvium AND androgenetic alopecia. SHOCK! No women in my family have this problem. So, I am wondering if you’ve heard of any possibility that this could be a false -positive for the androgenetic alopecia. Can anything else mimic alopecia? There’s no way to tell how much of my hair loss is due to TE or how much is due to AA, but as a result I have been advised to start using Rogaine for Women. I was told Men’s Rogaine is too strong while not helping any more than the women’s Rogaine. I also am going to use Nizoral 1%(doctor suggested) for dandruff that I already have and that may get worse with Rogaine. I just pray the Rogaine works. I don’t want to waste time and hair.

Hi, welcome to the site! I’m not a doctor and I don’t have a lot of first hand experience with scalp biopsies so I’m hoping that perhaps Andrea or another women who has actually had this test performed, can help in providing greater insight. I’m also sending your question over to The American Hair Loss Association so that it can be answered by an actual physician because I want to make sure you get the right information. I wish I could answer your question about whether or not scalp biopsies can return results that are false positives for androgenetic alopecia. Logically I think that it is always possible in any test. I am curious to know if any other women have received the same results as you, being diagnosed with both telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia. If I was concerned about the resulting diagnosis I probably would consider having the test be redone by a different physician. Doctors are people too and they do make mistakes.

When I was first diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia back when I as 21/22 years of age I was told to take the Mens Rogaine and that it was perfectly safe and would be more effective. I know that a lot of doctors do tell their female patients to go ahead with the stronger dose as well, but you have to do what you feel comfortable with. You can always go for the higher strength Men’s Rogaine at a later time should you choose to do so. Also, a few women on this blog have been saying that the Rogaine Foam is easier to use and eliminates some of the problems that the regular Rogaine can sometimes cause, such as greasiness and itchiness, since it doesn’t have the propylene glycol. Although currently the Rogaine Foam is only available in the 5% minoxidil Men’s version. You can read the comment Gretchen wrote about it here.

I used to use Nizoral myself because I read somewhere that the active ingredient Ketoconazole actually had some mild anti-androgen properties that would help in hair loss. Not sure that those claims where ever substantiated, but if there is any truth to it that’ll be a bonus for you since you are using it anyways to treat your dandruff.

I know the horror and shock of being told you have androgenetic alopecia, I think we all hope that it is just a temporary telogen effluvium, and for some women it is. You’ve definitely taken all the right steps in helping yourself to determine your cause of hair loss. But perhaps to ease your mind you should consider consulting with one more physician so that they confirm your previous diagnosis. As I think about it more and more, one thing that sort of struck me as odd was that your doctor did tell you that the Men’s Rogaine was no more effective than the Women’s Rogaine. From everything I’ve ever read and been told by the doctors I saw, the 5 % minoxidil formulation (Men’s) is definitely more effective than the 2% minoxidil (Womens). In my opinion that was a little bit of misinformation provided to you by your doctor. If you do decide to go see someone else, I would go in as a blank slate as through you had never been to any other physician for your hair loss. That way you can see what they come up with on their own without having already heard about what you were diagnosed with from a previous physician.

I’ll let you know when I receive a answer back from The American Hair Loss Association and I’ll be sure to post here for you.


{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy December 31, 2007 at 1:19 am

Hello all. I’m very happy to have found this site. I am 31 years old and I hate my hair. I’ve always had “thin” hair, but after I had my second child at age 25 I developed a “thin spot” at the back of my head.At the time I had my hair cut in a short pixie cut which only made the problem more visible. I thought that “oh well, it’s hormones and it will correct itself over time”, but over the last few years it has only gotten worse. Unfourtunetly I have dark brown hair and very pale skin so it kind of exaggerates the problem. now there is significant thinning on the top, back and sides of my head. I had grown my hair out long to cover up the thin areas, but it was really scraggely and thin looking. It also was beginning to look bad in a ponytail as there would be lines of scalp showing through, so I cut it off into a chin length inverted bob which works ok. I can’t wear bangs anymore because it is too thin behind the hair line. I went to a dermatologist about three years ago and they found I was significantly anemic so they blamed the hair loss on that. I’ve been watching my diet and taking iron since then, but the problem has continued. I went to my GP about three months ago and she did the battery of tests.. thyroid, androgens, iron, zinc… I’m no longer anemic and every thing else is “normal”. She pretty much chalked it up to stress or pattern baldness. I had been on birth control for migraines and she suggested that I stop it and see if that helps. I did and no difference with the hair loss. I”ve used dermatch, but pretty much for special occasions as I find it messy to deal with (but effective). I was looking on the web and stumbled across another scalp colorant called “tween times” by roux. Has anyone tried this product? It’s pretty sad really, I’ll be in the bath tub washing my hair and of course quite a bit comes out. I end up making a little pile on the side of the bath tub each time. I think to myself, maybe I should save it as I might need it later to make a weft or something. I throw it away. I pretty much avoid looking at the back or sides of my hair. I know it is stupid to tie so much of self image in hair, but my husband is very concerned with physical appearence (this has resulted in my having several cosmetic plastic surgeries- yes, I know, screwed up) and I don’t get any support from him. I’ve brainstormed hairstyles, coloring, perming and all kinds of ideas for improving the situation. I don’t really want to go on rogaine. I’m not sure why. Any way, that’s my story. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?


Sandra Jill January 5, 2008 at 11:49 am

Hi Katy:

I’m 38 and have been dealing with hair loss since my mid-twenties. My hair loss is caused by thyroid issues and genetics. I always had fine hair growing up, but had plenty of it. I vividly remember being little and looking at all of my mom’s sisters with their very thin hair, and thinking that if that ever happened to me I’d want to die. Well, guess what. It has happened to me, and although I most certainly don’t want to die because of it, it does suck. Most of the thinning is on the top of my head, but I have noticed lately that the sides are starting to thin, too. Oh, joy. : /

The best product I’ve found to help cover the thinning areas is Organin. It’s a sprinkle on cover up, and although it’s messy, it does seem to do the trick. I buy it from I haven’t tried the scalp colorant products like Dermatch, though. I did look up the Tween Times product you mentioned, but that looks like a product that covers up your roots or gray hairs in between hair colorings, so I don’t really think it’s a hair loss cover up product. Other sprinkle on products I’ve tried are Toppik and Nanogen, but I find Organin has the best color matches for my hair. And at $19.95 for a good size jar, it’s the cheapest.

Hang in there, sweetie! This can definitely be a tough row to hoe, but it’s great to know this web site is here and that there are other women who are going through the same thing. I’m so sorry to hear that you don’t get any support from your husband, because that’s very important when dealing with this issue. Hopefully you have a good friend or two you can turn to for support and understanding. Of course, you always have all the women on this web site, too. All us thin haired gals have to stick together! : )


jules May 9, 2008 at 5:51 am

Just to say i know how you all feel. I am 40 year all female suffering with hair loss in last 3 three years gone down hill both physically and emotionally. I too sit in the bath with lots of hair strands everywhere wondering if i should be saving it. Exremely sad!! Have been to dermatologist as suggested by my gp and have been on regain mens extra strenth for three weeks, early days but I’m not convinced it will do the trick, makes my hair really dry and unmanagable but am waiting to carry out a scalp biopsy which sounds yuk!
My husband is very supportive but I am losing my self confidence fast. I dont want to go out as i dont feel femine or pretty. I know there are worse things out there than hair loss but i cant help it affecting me.
Also my personal opinion and advice to other sufferers is dont waste your money on any Niourkin products, I did for two years and saw absolutely no results. I now just have to wait and see what becomes of the biopsy results. Sorry for sounding so depressing.


shannen June 2, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Hi all,
I am just coming from another unsatisfied dermatologist visit. I am 29, and loosing hair for the last 6-7 years. I am trying to think like what if I had something worse. It is just hair. But the hair that I saw in the sink or bathtub keeps reminding me. Once in every two weeks, I have at least one night of just thinking and crying about this. Two dermatologist diagnosed me with chronic telegon effluvium and one with androgenic alocepia. I am not sure whether they know anything for sure. It is really depressing, and it looks like nobody can help. It is funny at this century, when they are coming with cures even for cancer, there is almost nothing to do to keep those stupid death things in our head.
I never complained about being a woman, but with this hair loss, maybe it would be much more easier to be a guy. At least it is something common for them. For us it is like being a creature. I am so so sad…


maria June 16, 2008 at 4:11 pm

yea i know how you shannen. I have been lossing my hair for 2 years now, last december i went to a dermatologist and had a biopsy done, it came out that i have telogen efluvium. the derm said that i won’t get bald and that in time my hair will grow back. (yea right!) my hair is so very thin thin i can’t do anything to it. My scalp is soo very visible i can’t even have bangs anymore which i always had bangs all my life. i cant do pony tails or buns cause my scalp is very visible my hair line is also receding. i have been using rogaine for women for 7 months now and it doesn’t help at all plus it gives me an itcy and irritated scalp. I go through depression a lot, im always crying i don’t want to go any where cause i feel very ugly and i see all these girls with beautiful long full healthy hair and i just envy them so much. I know i have to mentally prepare myself because it’s about that time i need to wear a wig. My GOD i really don’t want to wear a wig but it that or walk around bald. I am 26 years old and i don’t understand why this is happening iam so misrable.. and what makes me fell worse is that i had gotton back with my ex boyfriend and he recently dumped me because he notice that i’m lossing my hair, he love a woman with long full hair. and when we was together before i had long full hair and now im balding. (tears)


Ann June 16, 2008 at 7:29 pm


have you had any blood tests done to see if you are iron deficient? also, have you looked into any possiblt thyroid problems? both of these supposedly cause hair loss. also…are you under tremendous amounts of stress?….or have you had any traumatic events/surgeries?


Beth October 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Hello ladies–

I have been on this site several times, I find myself revisiting for a few reasons. First, I think that the compassion all the women here show each other is heartwarming. Usually women seem to be so competitive, but here there is genuine support. I also feel like I have already gotten some pretty good advice on what doctors to see, tests to request, etc.

My story starts 6-7 years back. I always had a head full of long curly hair. I wouldn’t say it was terribly thick, but it was certainly lush and not thin. I used to curse it for being unmanageable. After college I lost a very healthy 25-ish pounds (over about 2 years). I also started running avidly, and resumed my vegetarian habits. Around this point I remember going through a massive ‘shed’, which was alarming. Of course doctors blew me off and I gave up. I got used to my thinner (but still lovely) hair. Three years pass and my hair condition was stable during that time, not much loss, not any thin patches.

I am currently 29. Over the last 2 years my body has seemed totally out of balance (exhausted, bloated, all that fun stuff). Everything has come back normal on blood tests. EXCEPT I am severely iron deficient. NOT aneamic, but not far off. I have been reading tons about iron deficiency and hair health and have realized that although there is not medical ‘proof’ that iron deficiency causes hair loss, the medical world seems to agree that hair loss and iron deficiency are very much related. The past several months have been extremely stressful at work, and I have absolutely noticed my hair has thinned out the worst it has ever been. Plus I went back on birth control (ortho tri cyclen lo) after a year of being off.

It’s important to note that I do not lose a lot of hair. Rather, the problem seems to be that new hair doesn’t grow back. It truly has become an obsession and pervades my thoughts–at work, at grad school, during dinner, running–all the time. Most recently I simply cry about it. I have been so proactive over the last 2 years by going to doctors just to be put off, or told that ‘rarely is hair loss ever medical related’. Maybe so, but I have a glaring nutritional deficiency ….I could keep going with the negative, but I am choosing to attempt positive thinking. So……

I noticed that there was a link to an article on this site regarding iron and hair, and I read it. I guess I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced thin hair/lack of regrowth due to iron deficiency? I just started heavy duty iron supplements and have started to eat meat again. I am also going to consult with a physician hair restoration specialist. Knowing the exact cause (genetic hair loss or iron deficiency) is half the battle for me. I want to make sure that I am treating the correct cause. Thank you, thank you, thank you for any replies. -BETH


admin October 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Dear Beth,

Thank you so much for writing and sharing your story. I think it is positive that you have *something* to point to that *may* be a contributing factor to your hair loss. I doubt any doctor would deny the connection between iron and hair loss. It definitely cannot be overlooked especially since you are experiencing other things such as fatigue and being bloated.

When did you get off the pill and then back on again? Depending on the individual the hormone shift caused by the pill by either beginning it or stopping it can cause hair loss, sometimes is a temporarily TE (telogen effluvium) caused by the pill and other times it can kick in androgenetic alopecia in women who are already genetically predisposed to it. That was the case for me. But female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) is usually a gradual thinning of the hair (with some serious shedding too) where the hair falls out and DOES grow back in, but each time it grows back it comes in thinner an thinner which is the process of miniaturization.

I am not a doctor and this is just my opinion, but the fact you don’t notice the hairs falling out seems to go sort of against what I have already thought typical FPB to be, at least for me. So that makes me wonder if yours really is more due to the nutritional deficiency.

Have you joined the network yet? I see a lot of discussion about iron and hair loss in there. There are some gals who have really done a lot of research on the iron and hair loss connection.

Thank you again for sharing your story.

All The Best,


Beth November 1, 2008 at 6:21 am

Thank you for your reply 🙂

My history with birth control is as follows, bear with me 🙂
I went on the pill when i was 16 (thirteen years ago, I’m 29 now). I remained on the pill until a major mess up when I was 26, so I stopped for several months and went back on it again for a year. At the end of the year being back on the pill was when the bloating I mentioned above became reallly bad so I went off for just over a year. This brings us up to date and I went back on the pill two months ago, since then I have noticed thinner hair. Confusing! It seems to me that it’s impossible to decipher if hair loss is connected to going on or off the pill, if that hair loss is temporary or the catalyst for FPB…any thoughts?

Since I last wrote, I did visit a hair restoration doctor. He approached my issue medically, looking at my history of birth control use and the iron deficiency. He admitted that my long-term lack of iron has only worsened my hair condition, but he still speculates that I am genetically predisposed to FPB because my great aunt and grandmother both had thinning hair (well after menopause, though). He only looked at my hair briefly, didn’t look close to see miniaturization under a microscope or anything I expected a doctor might do. I have read that hair loss due to iron deficiency can often mimic FPB because miniaturization can occur in either case. So just by looking with the naked eye at my hair loss pattern, I don’t believe anyone can say for certain that the cause is this or that.

My last step is to get a scalp biopsy, request a hair analysis and request more in depth blood work to see if i have any other deficiencies or metal toxicities. I’m desperate to know for sure what the cause is before I spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on treatments (like light therapy, which the hair restoration doctor suggested–something I need to be more educated about anyhow).

Surfing this site I did come across women sharing stories about iron deficiencies and hair loss. I will keep looking to keep up with their progress. And I will check in to post my experience as well, hoping it will aid someone else in a similar position.

Through the last 5 years I have certainly learned to be proactive, persistent with doctors, and a self-advocate. I think that is the key for any woman dealing with hair loss or any other medical issue. We know our bodies better than any doctor and we have to love ourselves enough to find answers. I’m on a mission, remaining hopeful that I will figure out what the issue is, even if it’s not the answer I want, I just want a confirmed diagnosis.

Thank you for reading 🙂


Beth November 2, 2008 at 8:44 am

One last question: I do shed hair everyday, but not an alarming amount. It seems like normal shedding. However, is there a significance to the ‘white bulb’ at the end of the majority of hairs? Does that typically indicate a particular condition? For example FPB vs. TE?


Sandy January 11, 2009 at 8:55 am

Hello everyone, I have been losing my hair for about 6 months now and it has gotten so thin, it looks bad in a ponytail. It has thinned all around but I can see it balding by my temples. I am devastated. I went to see a dermatologist who did blood work which were normal..ofcourse.. and I did a scalp biopsy a week ago and am sooo scared of being diagnosed with fpb. The only family history I have of hair loss is my grandfather from my father’s side. For the women that have been suffering from this for many many years, I just want to know, are you almost bald? is it obvious to others? Im only 21 and terrified of what i will look like in a few years…


navid January 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Hi i’m navid and 23 years old. i had worked in shoes factory 6 month this factory i had several stress and i worked with metilen kulorayd(it’s toxic material)from that time this symptomes are in my body:

Hair Loss,some times in other hair in my all of body and thin hair in all body
some times loss eyelash and eyebrow
reduce hair grow
Extreme muscle aches and pain
Tightness, pain in chest wall
dry eyes
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Out of norm headaches
Painless tiny blood-like blisters on skin
Sinus infections
Tingling or burning sensation in hands or feet
nail problem

what do you think?are any treatment for this position?wich testes are need?
please help and guid me.
Thank’s navid


Bonnie March 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm

To the lady diagnosed with TE and androgenetic alopecia. I also had a TE and androgenetic alopecia at the same time. I went off my b/c pill and that was the trigger for the TE. However, the TE unmasked my AGA which was probably was not exposed yet becasue my pill was anti-androgen and was protecting my hair….I didn’t know that at the time. I had a scalp biopsy that show I had both which apparently is not uncommon as a bad bought of TE can expose AGA. Anyway I was treated right away with minoxidil 5%, spironlactone, and Diane-35. Luckly, I started treatments early on and 95% of my hair back.


Bees March 30, 2009 at 10:37 am

TO Bonnie

Please help me. I have just had a scalp biopsy and came back with chronic telogen effluvium. I had the brazilian hair straightener done last Sept and have been loosing my hair since then and the loss is getting worse. The derm said I could use minoxidil 5% but I am so scared of the dread shed and also if the hair does not grow back. I might also just go on spironlactone, just to cover in case the t.e. brings on AGA. How much spiro were you on, and how long did it take for your hair to resore itself, how long were you on the minoxidil for before you saw an improvement


Bonnie March 30, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Hi Bees,

I am on 200mg of spironolactone. You will need to have a doctor prescribe this. While my recovery was very good it took a lot of patience. Some women may not be able to cope with my program as the first 2-3 months of treatment are truly hell. Massive dread shed, 500-1000 hairs a day, hair everywhere, which my doctor said would happen. But It is necessary to shed out the old resting hair (telogen hairs) if you are to regrow new hair and it takes time. Plus the fact I was still in full blown TE so I had a lot of telogen hairs on my head anyway so my treatment made them shed a lot faster and a lot more. But then at about 3.5 months into treatment all the shedding stopped and all this new hair was popping up. At about 8 months I saw a ton of new hairs growing in and they were starting to look thicker and healthier. My scalp fullness improved and knew I was on my way at about 9 months. It took me 2 years to fully recover mainly because hair growth is so slow and my hair was long. I would say I got about 95% of my hair back and I had lost over 60-70% according to my dermatologist and endocrinologist. The best news as this all happen is 1999 so I kept my hair for 10 years and it looks very nice still. I had androgenic alopecia confirmed by a scalp biopsy. I was also shedding badly for months longer than the normal 3-6 months that it takes for TE. I suspected it was AGA as over 50% of women will develop it to some degree so I decide I wasn’t going to live in denial that this would recover on its own. Plus my doctor told me if you shed longer than 6 month it is highly likely it is AGA. My doctor also gave we an anti-androgen b/c pill as well which you will probably have to take as you do not want to get pregnant on spirolactone. Anyway the estrogen helps the hair as well as it blocks the androgens produced by the ovaries that can also cause hair loss. The 5% minoxidil really really helped alot as well but I would start out with 2%.

I have to say for me I am so happy I stuck with my program my friends who didn’t hair loss has really progressed. They are amazed at my recovery and to be honest so am I. was just hoping to go bald and prevent any further loss, I wasn’t expecting the success I got. So to summaries my medication include 200 mg of spironlatone, Diane -35 b/c pill, and minoxidil 5%. If you can get Diane-35, Yasmin, Yas, and Ortho-cept 28 are also good.

Hope this help, Bonnie


Bees March 31, 2009 at 6:39 am

Dear Bonnie

Thanks for your detailed outline of your progress. Was the major shedding from the Minoxidil or also from aldactone? I am going to the endocrinologist tomorrow, I have low blood pressure so he was going to look into this. Did you have spotting or problems with your periods from aldactone, I know some people experience interruptions with their period.




Bees March 31, 2009 at 7:28 am

Dear Bonnie

Sorry me again, Bees. are you still taking this medication and even the 5% minoxidil, then years later, also when you used the minoxidil, did you use it 2 x a day, day and night.




Bonnie March 31, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Hi Bees, I use the minoidil 2X’s a day, morning and night. Best to start with the 2% and if you get results stick with it. It is not greasy like the 5%. I get my 5% compounded to have less propolyene glycol so not so greasy. Yes, I am still taking this medication and cant’ go off unless I don’t mind my AGA progressing which it will if I do. This is a lifetime condition it never goes away. I may beable to reduce the dosage later in life when my hormones are less active but not now. I can never go completely go off without losing my hair. No spoting problems as I was on the pill some women do get that with spironolactone if they are not on the pill.

As far as the sheding goes all hairloss treatments will typially cause a shed thats how you know it is working. Some right away others a month or so it can last a few weeks or several months. But you are only losing the hair sthat are dead and going to fall out in several weeks anyway the hair that is not is dead is well protected and keeps gorwing and then the new stuff comes in. I have actually had no side effects form my treatments. Better yet I have hair! good hair! Cheers, Bonnie


Bonnie March 31, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Sorry Bees I forgot to answer what I thought was causeing the major shed. To be honest as I started all the medications around the same time so it was really hard to tell. However, I think that they all the medications contributed but at differnt times. The minoidil works the fastest as it is so direct the others like the spirolactione and Diane-35 take a while to get into the system so they were maybe were the trigger at the later phase of my shed. Regardless, for 3 months of pain the result was 10 years of great hair. The shedding was worst for the first 6 -8 weeks then it slowly taper down to a almost nothing by 3.5 months. Maybe 20 hairs a day from over 500 that was awesome change for me. Bonnie


Lisa April 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I just wanted to message to say after suffering from chronic TE for 10 years, taking florisene and hormone tablets and not seeing much results and doing days of research on the internet, Bonnie’s post is by far the most useful information I have ever found.

Thank you for being so inspirational, open and talking from the heart.
I ordered my Minoxidil today to compliment the vitamins I am taking. With the use of information from you posts I feel like there might be hope for me to grow my hair back!


Vicky May 23, 2009 at 8:24 am

Hey I’m writing to ask anyone here about the pattern of your loss. I have aga and noticed it first thinning in the temples but now its affecting my hairline. Dr Redmond says its normal for women to have this pattern as well as when the hairline is in tact with thinning behind it. My question is does anyone here have my pattern? Does it become so obvious that you have to wear your hair over your forehead. Please help thanks!


Vicky June 2, 2009 at 9:37 am

Also can anyone on this site tell me did taking spiro help decrease the hair loss at least? Cuz I know that many women do but are still upset because they haven’t had regrowth but honestly we have to look at the positives if we can at least stabilize the loss that’s so much better than having your hair keep thinning for years to come. At this point that’s all I’m hoping for. Please let me know and how long before the shedding slowed? Thanks so much


abi October 15, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Hi all, I was diagonsed with AA 7 months ago, damn I was never prepared for this rollercoaster ride that iv been on for the last 7 months.

It started of with just 2 patches and now has literlly spread on all over my scalp, iv lost 60% of my hair if not more, but the good thing is that iv got regrowth almost everywere the hair is lost. I suppose I should be happy with that huh guys? But the only thing is I’m worried it might fall out again!

Sometimes the regrowth I got tends to shed but like 1 or 2, is that normal or does that mean its getting ready to shed?? Plus what man would want to be with a bald woman? People are to self obsessed that’s what iv come realise.


Steph November 13, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I recently started noticing as I wash my hair, comb it out and run my fingers through it gently I have shedding. I believe that this has been going on for approx. 3 months. I am 34 with a moderate amount of hair and when I ask others if they think my hair is thinner they can not tell. I however notice a difference. I have been to dermatologist and family doctor with all labs practically drawn and all normal. My ferratin level was 34 and should be in the 70’s for hair growth. I am now taking iron. I have read this site before and took the advice to have a scalp biopsy. I believe that I am in the early process of hair loss. My biopsy came back with Androgenetic alopecia and TE. No one in my family has female pattern baldness. My parents have a thick head of hair. My grandfather however was bald. I was advised to start using rogain 2% and I had mentioned the spirolactone to the derm. which he said he could start me on if I would like. I have not started the rogaine due to the scare of increase shedding. I probably could not take Yaz due to past experience of being on it extreme breast tenderness. I recently had my hair cut and my stylist said she would not have known if I did not say anything. The only thing she noticed was some hair that seemed to be more “baby fine” however these hair were moderate in length. I would like to ask if I should start the rogaine and spirolactone at the same time or just one. If just one which should I start with in your opinion. I am having a hard time accepting the diagnosis as androgenetic alopecia since both my parents have a full head of hair. My dermatologist also stated that it would not be uncommon to take a biopsy elsewhere in the scalp and get a different diagnosis. Any opinion would be appreciated.



MiaFlores December 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

Hi ladies,
I was just told, too, that I have a combination of TE (well…YEAH! I can see that!) and likely AGA. Trying to figure out what to do. Derm was reluctant about spiro (wants to put me on Accutane. Accutane lists hair loss as a side effect, and doesn’t treat hormonally-driven skin issues so, uhhh, no. Not into that.) I’m already using Nizoral, and starting Nioxin (not because it’ll do anything for the loss or regrow anything, but just because the Nioxin can hopefully help me make the most of what I have left.) Now the doc IS telling me to try Mens rogaine.

My biggest concerns about the Rogaine are 1.) messiness/how to apply it with long hair 2.)will it just make me look even more awful and flat haired all the time? and 3.) Ok so docs reluctant about the spiro in part because it’s so long term but, well, I *have* heard of cases of people being able to step back off the spiro without major loss (granted, many others are on it for life), but I’ve never heard of anyone being able to go off Minoxidil without losing everything they gained. I’m 35. I might want to have a kid sometime. So she wants me to use the thing that we absolutely know I can’t go off of without losing the hair (and that I absolutely can’t get pregnant while I’m on)? Very confusing. My GP mentioned spiro as a possibility when she sent me to derm. I am reluctant to try too many things all at once (the combination dread shed is one, but also not being able to tell what actually helps and what’s just riding along.) So…I’m not sure what to do. Do I start the Rogaine and see what happens? Or do I go back to GP and try to get

To Steph: It is possible to have AGA even if your parents don’t. Genetics are funny that way–not every gene gets expressed in every person: some genes are recessive (unexpressed) when paired with a dominant gene, other times a person may have a genetic pre-disposition toward something, but the condition will only manifest if something in the person’s environment or body chemistry (or…or…) happens to kick it into gear. (Consider, for example, that an identical twin–who shares the exact same genetic makeup as her twin–might develop genetically linked cancer when her twin does not.) To my knowledge, hairloss–esp. FPH–is one of those things that doctors/researchers find seems to have some genetic link, but no reasearch has really been done to determine how that link works. 🙁


jelissa December 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm

hey, Un jelissa and im only 15 years old and ive had this bald spot for about 2 years now. It hasnt gotten wrose but i was laying in bed and i felt it was like growing and i freaked out because I wanted to dye my hair for the new years, do you think it is possible for me still to do so? I am putting cream on it but, it is hard to remember to put it on daily because im so busy with school and work. I was wondering if you have anything that will help me get my hair to regrow because Im very scared. thankss for reading..


Kimb January 8, 2010 at 8:35 am

I am 46 years old and on Tuesday (1/5/10), I was diagnosed with AA (AGA) based on a scalp biopsy. One minute I’m crying, the next minute I’m in denial. My male derm practically dismissed me. His only suggestion was and almostly flippantly that I get myself some vitamins, namely Biotin. There was no mention of Rogaine or anything else other than acceptance. I guess I need to find a new dermatologist, a female, and get a prescription for Women’s Rogaine. I never expected something like this. I realize I’m still a healthy active person, but this is difficult news, you know? I just don’t know what to expect now. How much will this thinning progress and how quickly.


Anna March 24, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Hello Bonnie,
It is now 2010, Can you give us an update on your hair progress?
My pcp didn’t seem to think anything was abnormally wrong with my hair loss BUT I know there is, changed dr’s to see if I can get a referral to see a dermo/endo. Have lost over 1/2 of my hair.


celeste April 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Hello ladies,
After reading all of your stories, I don’t feel so alone and wanted to share mine, not only for advice but to hopefully help someone. I am so sorry we are all going through this and like one lady said I can’t believe in 2010, there aren’t many solutions, my gosh they are doing face transplants… hard can it be to get some sista’s some hair????
I’m 40 now. I have always had thin hair, so does my sister and my Mom (they do not have hair loss). It was manageable and always looked fairly decent…if I was having a particularity bad hair day I could always put it up and feel comfortable. Beginning at age 35 I started to notice a little less hair it seemed like every year. I keep cutting it a bit shorter and just thought it was part of the ageing process. I visited one of those hair replacement companies called Hair Club in 2007 (age 37) they said that I did have some loss that looked permanent but was not too severe and they could hook me up with one of their expensive systems for like $200 bucks a month or a little more (I can’t remember exactly) It was basically the type of system where you have a couple of “heads of hair” and you go in every six weeks for maintenance. What they actually do (but don’t come out and say it, is glue some hair to your head) I found out through a male friend of mine who does work for them. His hair looks great. I knew him for almost four years and had no idea…it wasn’t until we became intimate and I started playing with his hair that he confessed (not because it would come out or anything he just wanted to tell me before I found out) I’ve looked at his head really close and they do a great job. Ok, you’re wondering if I’m trying to sell the stuff, right??? Heck no, it’s too expensive at least for me but if you’re really desperate for some hair I would def look into this. So there is hope. I will actually consider it and get a part time job if my hair will not grow back. Back to my story so, less hair, less hair year by year. In late 2008, I had a miscarriage, a break up and extreme stress over it. I was not crash dieting but ended up essentially doing that (stress, not eating) and lost 20 lbs. I’m very small so that meant I weighted like 80! (not good) . Also off on on b/c pills from 2003-2010 and big stress events during some of those years. After all this stress, weight loss, hormonal changes…BOOM 3 months later lost at least 15% of my hair. 6 months later more hair loss. It is significantly noticeable now. I don’t have enough hair to even have a full set of bangs. Which i didn’t even notice for some time since i wear my hair more to one side anyway. it’s all thinning in the front around the hair line and beyond. The back is thin but covers my scalp. My scalp is covered in the front (for the most part) but I have to use lots of hairspray so that bald spots do not show. I have to push hair together just to make it look fuller I see some small thin hairs and it looks like a little may be growing back but I’m def not convinced. I’ve busted into tears as many of you have….it is the worst thing that can happen to a woman , hands down. We all have things that we don’t like about ourselves, our nose, eyes….whatever but it’s horrible not to have hair. It’s my biggest flaw now. And like one of the girls said…you feel so awful…who is going to date a bald woman? I’m single and this scares me to death. I have seriously considered just shaving my head and saying F*ck it a bald can be sexy! Like Sinead O’connor or the lady from the Eurymithics (anne lennox)!!! Actually an old lady in a dept. store told me to do that. She said do it during the winter, wear a cap and your hair will come back thicker. I have not been this brave yet!! Where I’m at now….I’ve been on a daily multi vitamin for 3 months. I think it has helped a bit. I bought Rogaine today but I’m afraid of that initial shedding. How much are we talking about???? Honestly, my hair looks like the scarecrow from the Wiz of Oz right now… I can’t handle anymore loss. I’m planning on going to a derm for all the tests. I need to find out a cost. I don’t have health ins. so can’t afford to pay thousand of dollars for someone to tell me to go get Rogaine and cross your fingers!! So if anyone knows the avg. cost to figure out the problem without ins. that would sure be helpful. I’ve also been thinking that I have tons of hair, hoping that something psychosomatic might kick in cuz I sure know how to stress and make my hair fall out…who knows maybe it can work in the reverse right??? I wish everyone luck and will keep you all updated on my progress. I will stay positive and hope you all will too. And if all our hair falls out, we’ll make bald sexy, maybe we can create a trend, who knows??


Jen September 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Do most all scalp biopsies come back AA and TE both? It looked like a lot did and if that’s the case, why do one? Is it painful? Is it worth it? I have been using women’s rogaine for 2.5 years and went last month to female dermatologist who suggested a biopsy, switching to mens’s rogain, Nioxin, and Biotin. I did switch one application a day to the men’s (and will until my women’s runs out) and noticed a lot of hair the first day or two but not so much after that. I don’t use the foam (is it available in generic?). Now I have the Costco generic and it’s very affordable. I have noticed increased itching so may switch to foam if that makes it better.
I don’t find the liquid a problem with styling. I put it on and let it set, then add nioxin thickening spray and curl gel after. I mostly dry my hair then add mousse and finish and curl with a dryer brush thingy. Then I tease at roots to hide the thinness and spray. Thanks for a great website and for any answers to my questions!


Helen November 8, 2010 at 9:52 am

I am so frustrated I don’t know what else to do. I started losing my hair about 9 months ago. I have lost at least half of my hair. I had a scalp biopsy done and the Dermatologist said I had Female Pattern Baldness with superimposed telogen effluvium. What I don’t understand is my scalp has been itching and burning for the past 9 months. Can either of those things cause a burning and itchy scalp? The dermatologist wanted to give me some pills that block testosterone but my testosterone levels were actually very low so that doesn’t make sense. This all started around the time I started swimming in our neighborhood community center. Could the chlorine have reacted with with the chemicals from dying my hair? Could I have picked up a fungus that nobody sees? Could just losing excessive amounts of hair for any reason show up as FPB? I stopped swimming 7 months ago but still having the itchy, burning scalp with lots of hairloss. Please someone help me. I am not handling this well. I am extremely depressed.


Kathy Robb November 10, 2010 at 4:20 am

My daughter(22 yrs.) started noticing her hair thinning around 6 months ago. She has a seizure disorder and is taking Keppra. She also was on birth control for about a year & a half, and discontinued taking it the end of March. She had blood work to determine a possible thyroid problem, but results came back normal. Went to a dermatologist(only saw physician assistant), said appears to be androgenic alopecia. Blood tests ordered(for hormone), came back normal. Just had scalp biopsy, awaiting results in a few days.

Because of seizure disorder(and low blood pressure), neurologist doesn’t want her to use female Rogaine(minoxidil).

Feel so bad for her, as I know how she’s suffering inside with this.

Any ideas, suggestions & support would be appreciated!


Julie November 15, 2010 at 11:34 am


If you Google “Keppra hair loss”, you’ll have your answer right there. There are several hundred thousand results. Many (most) anti-epileptic drugs can cause hair loss. I went through a shocking loss myself on a few of the drugs.

I wish I could help more, but knowledge is power, so if she knows what is causing it, hopefully she can begin to address it. It is heartbreaking to lose your hair (I know!), but there is an enormous amount of support & knowledge out there on the internet.

Best of luck to you both.


Kathleen December 9, 2010 at 9:50 am

I have learned a lot on this site. I got a kick out of the side affects of minoxidil 5% if used on women. Would a little extra hair on the rest of my body be so bad. I might get my eyebrows back. Also any annoying hair growth can be taken off with a laser if needed. I took anti-epileptic drugs for pain. I wish the physicians would have told me they might increase hair loss in my already thin cotton candy hair. Keep up the good work. God Bless Everyone.


Sarah January 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I am 28 and was diagnosed with Telogen Effluvium in September. In December I got a second opinion. She did a pull test and confirmed TE. She said she believes it is chronic. At the end of the visit she said there was a possibility that I also have AA. She said to wait 6 months and if it doesn’t get better she will do a scalp biopsy. The first dermatologist gave me vitamins and some sort of shot that my insurance wouldn’t cover. She told me my hair would stop shedding in 6 weeks and after the second shot I should notice baby hairs growing. The shedding got worse and there are no baby hairs. I went to my gyno who performed a bunch of blood tests. She was very supportive and called in a referral for a second opinion. The second derm is the one who said I may have both. I suffer from OCD and am constantly worrying and dealing with extreme stress. They said this is what has caused the TE. I see a pain psychologist and a therapist. I have been learning meditation techniques and basically doing whatever it takes to calm down. I am currently not medicated for my OCD. I was on Paxil for it in 2008 but did not like it. I took phentermine to lose weight, as I am about 20lbs over weight. My derm said this also could have triggered the hair loss. I have crash dieted many, many times in the past and was a vegetarian for 9 years. I eat fish now and eggs and dairy. My hair has always been fine but not anything like it is now. My scalp shows through terribly, my hairline is receding and it’s gotten too hard to cover. I am a singer and perform frequently on stage. I usually wear a wig when I perform because I feel like it’s ok because I’m playing a character (I sing opera). However, to wear a wig in “real-life” was not an option for me. Well, last Sunday I had a breakdown about my hair. It has been a year and no new baby hairs, only shedding. Monday I went to the wig shop and bought a wig. It’s short and cute. Since I always wore my hair up before and used toppek to cover it, some people actually thought it was my real hair and that I chopped it off and got it colored! I just said thanks. It is so cute and I feel so good about myself. Even if it isn’t my real hair, I feel beautiful. I haven’t felt that way in a long time. I took a picture and emailed it to my mom and my best friend. They are soooo supportive and think it looks great. I can’t wait to get some more! So, while I’m still feeling helpless and hopeless about my hair loss, maybe by wearing a wig it will cut down on some of the stress I feel about my hair looking bad. I don’t worry about if others can see my baldness now. A big plus is that it takes 2 minutes to put my wig on and I’m out the door. It has cut a ton of time off of my morning routine. My husband is so supportive and thinks I look great! (He thinks I look great even with my natural hair, but I think he can tell how happy I am now). So, although my hair may not be growing back yet, I am feeling positive about my situation. This is the first time I’ve felt that way in a year. Hang in there everyone!


Kristy February 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I had a biopsy done and it confirmed TE but the report always says is not conclusive. I have tons of new growth on my head thank the Lord in heaven above. However I have a lot of new hairs fall out. I am going to a specialist in Atlanta and really they have no answer. My TE is from PPD in hair dye. I built up a sensitivity to it over time. It started out as itching in my bangs then on my crown then full blown burning, itching, pain, etc…the doctors said it was from TE, no this was more like a wounded feeling. Like a bee had stung me on certain parts of my head but I ignored the signs and kept dying my hair for 3 months after I went to the doctor (it is very hard to identify this allergy because the hair stylists DO NOT know jack about their product other than ammonia or peroxide, the hair dye does not burn while it is on your head so you don’t think that it is) You need to google PPD in hair dye. It will scare the crap out of you and make you think I can’t believe I’m putting this on my head! PPD is a black rubber mix and is an irritant to the skin and over time with regular use you build up a sensitivity to it. Well the doctors kept saying stress related (4 doctors chalked it up to stress) but the good Lord revealed it to me. After getting my hair dyed in April on my way home a huge clump fell out in my hands then only worsened over time. I then googled Inflammatory Telogen Efflivium (who came up with this name is all I want to know because it is now definitely part of my vocabulary?) and there it was first article was an archive study done in Italy by dermatologists and on TE and patients allergic to PPD in hair dye. That was my offender! My hair is jet black by the way, so I was getting the highest concentration of this crap in my hair dye (PPD is what gives hair dye color) And yes every hair dye uses PPD. While my shedding has tremendously slowed down my hair is not well. I can only wash my hair with baby shampoo that is absolutely the only thing that does not irritate my scalp. Is there permanent damage don’t know, no apparent scarring after confirmation of visiting my 5th doctor and specialists but only God knows if this will normalize. I see baby hairs come out, all kinds of stuff that make you go hmmmmmm. But I do thank the good Lord that He revealed the cause. Just identifying that is half the battle. I just read so many comments on irritated scalps and wanted to share. Because when I asked the doctor if he thought that was it he said I seriously doubt it!!!!!!! If you read the article on the study I mentioned you will see at the end or beginning that allergic reaction to PPD in hair dye should be added to the text books on possible causes of TE! So the docs don’t know if it isn’t in the books! One other side note, I noticed that my front hair line stayed irritated and red even after all other symptoms had calmed down and I figured out it was my face lotion that I would apply to forehead that was seeping onto my scalp. Completely stopped applying and that has calmed as well! What PPD does is creates sensitivity to all chemicals. Has this robbed me of a lot of my life and confidence absolutely! What do I do? I stay in the good Lord’s word and pray. And thank Him for all the good in my life because I’ve got a lot of that. My precious healthy son and good loyal husband. The list goes on.


Kristy February 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm

So I went back to the hair specialist in Atlanta yesterday, Dr. Griffin. He is very encouraged with my massive new growth and various layers. But my concern is the new hairs that come out. What I have read on CTE this is a characteristic of it; the telogen continues to affect the assaulted follicle. He didn’t seem concerned because he couldn’t find tips on the hairs I know they were there, he took them to lab guys and they wouldn’t even look at them under a microscope because they didn’t seem to be of concern. Anyway, I get sidetracked when I’m there so I have written them and send in additional hair for them to look at under the microscope and possibly doing another biopsy. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels and doing all of this in vain. Like they just really can’t diagnosis it. We all need to start praying that God will let the doctors in on His anatomy and creation and how to fix this.


Ann March 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Kristy, I just read your post and couldn’t believe it! I just went to Dr. Griffin too just a few days ago! I live in Atlanta and was excited to get an appointment with him and am hoping for some changes (hair growth!) soon. I have been losing my hair for the last six months and have lost over 50% of it. The front of my hair beyond my hair line is the thinnest but I have lost it all over. I stopped taking some HRT drugs in August for about 6 weeks and within 2 months, my hair started falling out A LOT! I think it has actually slowed down now, at the 6 month mark, but really no regrowth. The worst shedding took place in November and December but now it seems to have leveled off to a normal amount of shedding each day (about 50 hairs or so that I can tell). Again, I don’t have much regrowth, just a few baby hairs here and there. On the top of my head, I barely see any.

Dr. Griffin said I probably have TE and the FPB or AA. He said that the TE probably triggered the AA. I’ve always had a ton of hair, so all of this is a shock to me. My father started going bald at a very young age (early 20s) so I’m fairly sure I have some genetic factor at play in adding to the TE which I believe was kicked off by suddenly stopping my hormone medication (but I started it back up after about 6 weeks). Dr. Griffin agreed and they suggested I start with the 5% rogaine mixture they sell there that also has propecia (sp?) in it. They also suggested a “natural” formula that will be mailed to me from a pharmacy out of state which contains estrogen and some other things. I started the topical solution which contains rogaine yesterday morning and noticed how greasy and bad it makes my hair look. They told me to use after the shower but I’m wondering if I can just use it a couple of hours before bed and then when I was my hair in the morning, I won’t have to deal with the greasy look. I was told to put this on my hair only once per day, vs. twice (maybe because it is the extra strength vs. the women’s rogaine?).

Anyone else here put Rogaine on only once a day and at night to avoid the greasy look? If so, how did it work for you? It seems like once you start Rogaine, that you must stay with it for the rest of your life, which is an awfully big commitment! I kept hoping my hair would grow back over time. This is all very upsetting!


Kristy March 14, 2011 at 7:05 am

Hi Ann, That is amazing. They are truly caring individuals. Did they do a scalp biopsy? I can’t use rogaine because I have severe Seborrhea dermatitis. If I were you I would start out using the rogaine at night and wash it out in the morning. Just a thought. I guess when you go through this for so long you start to not be so scared of trying different things. They are very aggressive there and I like it, but are limited in how they can treat mine due to my allergies. My head hurts and itches a lot so I got the hairmax lasercomb (they were going to sell me one of theirs at a discount because they don’t really believe in the lasers, but they did say that it may help with my scalp discomfort, they had suntetics (sp?) but it just seemed flimsy and weak so I passed) anyway I got the hairmax only because it was FDA approved for safety no other reason, I am very cautious with everything. I don’t use the laser like it says, but just run it over my head for a few seconds and I think I can say it has truly helped me even with regrowth and I don’t have as much shedding it seems. I lose a lot of little hairs so it is hard to tell. They have never diagnosed me AGA; they think it is purely TE (that allergies to hair dye triggered) just want me to sit tight and wait a year to see what grows back. Goodness knows I have been to their office enough driving them crazy! But they are always patient and understanding. So that is what I’m doing. Maybe even in a year God will enlighten them on what they need to do!


Sarah April 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I started a $3000 laser hair treatment with pills n 5% minoxidil lotion 2 times a day.

I am 6 weeks into the treatment and notice MORE hair loss than ever in the shower or even just running my hand through my hair.

Is this normal do you think? Anyone else experienceing the same thing?

I am wondering if i am meant to shed OLD/DEAD hair before it kicks in?


K April 13, 2011 at 10:08 am

Sarah, yes there is a shed that goes along with Minox and even the laser treatment. My doctor told me it usually starts within 3-4 weeks of the beginning of the treatments and last for 3-4 weeks, but please know they don’t know the exact anatomy of hair or we would all have it. It is almost a guessing game for them as much as it is for us. And the old/dead is what they say, you will shed the hairs you are about to shed and the weaker hairs, if the treatment works to make way for new hairs. I hope it is a success for you.


sheila April 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I have been losing my hair for 7-8 months now, then the burning, very paiful itchy scalp after about 4 months of hair loss. I have just been diagonosed with low progesteron, high estrogen, low iron it is at 11, should be about 25. ALso, becuase the hormones are out of wack, I now have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is amazing how they are all interrelated and affect us with some very strange symptoms, which throw Doctors off and they think your an idiot! This new Doctor suggested that becuase I have fibromyalgia, and sjogrens syndrom-due to high estrogen, that it has inflamed my scalp. So, with the autoimmune disorders, low iron, low progesteron, the hair loss started. My feet and hands also burn as does my vagina. I have been on a progesteron tablet for 5 days now, and have got my period, also, I must say that my vagina is not burning as bad although it has just started again! Anyways there can be an array of reasons that this happens to our scalp and hair, this is just my story, but maybe it can help you all in that it might make you think of other reasons for the terrible hair loss. It is bad enough going through health issues and when you add hair loss it is such a blow to us all. Glad I found this web sight. Above, there is a lady who mentioned the burning feet, get your iron and hormones checked just to see, you never know. The doctor has given me a liquid topical steriod to stop the inflamation on my scalp, it still burns real bad though.

My question is does anyone know anything about the burning scalp thing, I am so worried and impatient to have the iron suppliment and progesteron to kick in. Thank you, God bless and keep you strong….


K May 3, 2011 at 6:19 am

Pesca, I hope you read the comments posted on this page. I’m not a member of the forum so I can’t reply to your post. However I have severed itching, burning and sore (like a bruised sensation) on my scalp. The only think that didn’t burn my scalp is Johnson and Johnson Baby shampoo. It is all I use. I can’t use conditioner, any styling gels or lotions or hairspray. I can only use Johnson and Johnson. The derms tried different shampoos and medication to help with the burning but the only thing that didn’t exacerbate my pain was baby shampoo after using only it for six months my scalp is in much better condition. I also bought over the counter coritsone oinment that came in a bottle that was in liquid form that had a little pad thing at the top where the liquid seeped through by padding it on the spot. I use this when I have a flare up. Now the severity of my pain went on for about a year before it was resolved. And I do have damage. But you should not use rogaine until your scalp is healthier. If you wanted to do something I would get the laser comb and use it. It is suppose to help with the condition of your scalp, but as far as helping grow hair I’m not so sure. Also keep your hair dryer on cool like press the cool button while you are blow drying the sensitive areas of your scalp. This helped a lot. What your symptoms are a lot like is eczema and heat exacerbates the symptoms. Good luck and I wish you the best.


Ann June 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Hi! I wanted to check in with you (it’s been about three months since we were posting here) and find out how your regrowth is progressing and just an update on you! I hope things have continued to go well for you.

I have a bit of an update. First, I have been using the Men’s Strength 5% Minoxidil solution from Dr. Griffin’s office (with the Propecia in it) since my post in March. Just in the last week or so, I do believe I see some regrowth! The hairs are small and I continue to shed my longer hairs, but I’m so hopeful that one day I will be able to put all this behind me. I have definitely lost about 65% of my hair. I am trying hard to remain hopeful and positive but it is SO hard some days.

In addition, I found out in April that the Thyroid hormone medicine dose I was on for FIVE YEARS was way too high for me. My TSH was .06 and the normal range is .4-4.0! So, needless to say my Dr. lowered the dose, my hair fell out massively for a few weeks and now, I think it is at least going back to normal shed amounts vs. the increased shed. AND I am seeing the regrowth I mentioned. I’m just not 100% sure that the short hairs I’m seeing are regrowth and not just broken off hairs. I THINK it is new hair. Fingers crossed!

In addition, I take Biotin- 5MG and B vitamins, Eve. Primrose Oil, Iron, Calcium and Lysine every day. I hope that this will help me grow some new, stronger hair.

Stay strong ladies…and be your own best advocate! I have learned through this process that you really must be a squeaky wheel, visit multiple doctors and do your research. There is no way you will get your answers without this. GOOD LUCK everyone! Hugs- Ann


ana January 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

My name is Ana and I am 27 years old. I began to notice my thinning hair about two years ago. Since I always had thin hair at first I did not think much about it. Although my hair was thin it was always full and my scalp was not visible. A year ago I began consulting a dermatologist who did a biopsy and determined it was alopecia. I consulted a second doctor and he said the same thing and gave me spirnolactone 100mg. I began taking the spiro for about 5 months, but stopped when I decided to go off birth control. Now my hair seems to be worse! I can see my scalp and when I comb my hair a certain way it is very noticiable. I am so sad and depressed. The worst part is that I want to have a baby this year and I know that I can’t take spirnolactone. Is there anything I can do? Also, I have not been succesful at conceiving with makes me think that my hair loss can be related to infertility. Has anyone heard that? I am visiting the gynocologist this week. Hope I hear good news. I think this is so unfair and I can’t believe the only solution is a hair transplant. All I keep thinking is by the time I am 35 I will be bald. I just got married and it makes me so sad. I am not even the type of person to write on blogs, but I have no one else to talk to. Please some advise or some suggestions would help. Also do any vitimins help?


pam August 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm

hi, i am 31yrs old and my hair has been thinning for..well as long as i can remember after the birth of my 2nd child.8yrs ago..i wear bangs to try and hide the thinning on my head and rogaine for women along with a one a day vitamin with a d3 vitamin my thyroid is always swollen but dr said it was functioning fine, but i was severely vitamin d deficient my husband is very supportive and said lets just shave our heads and you can get a wig.. but im not 90yrs old, and i am no long happy going places because i feel people are looking at me the same way i search for others who have thinning hair,i was on birth control (IUD) for 8 yrs and then had my tubes tied after my last baby last September, and no my periods have stopped but dr;s say nothing is wrong with me its all in my head??. could i really be making my own hair fall out….


Danielle September 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Hi Stacy, Id just like to say that ae unfortunate as it is I am so happy to hear that there are other women out there such as yourself that are battling the sane issues that I am.
Im 25 years old and in August of 2012 I decided to stop taking my pill so my boyfriend and I could start trying for a family! Everything was fine except I was mensturating which I had had can happen to women that I have been on the pill for countless years, I had been on it for 10yrs. It was until that October I had noticed my hair was starting to thin dramatically. Again I wasn’t fazed because I thought it was just the hormone change from my pill. Well it didn’t go away and it started to get worse, I was receding from the front so I thought I would go to my GP! They were as much help as they could be and told me to start on Rogaine but I would not likely see a result until 3months. I secretly started using this because I was extremely embarrassed that my partner would know I was using hair loss treatments. I was hiding too, I would never shower with or around him for fear he would see me with my thin hair and think I was hideous! I became down and depressed as I was losing more & more everyday, large amounts would pull out if I just ran my fingers through my hair. I told no one but my family noticed. They confronted me and started making the right doc app with a Dermatologist which diagnosed me with Alopecia. I was scared & had no idea what it was. At the same time I was relieved that I could finally put a name to it. I was put on hair drops and prednisolone to stop the hair from falling out! I was a mess, I stopped going to work, going out with people just plain old making excuses not to go anywhere. By this time ask I had left was strands of hair on the top of my head, I had lost around 80-90% of my hair. As the medication started to work I started to feel a little better but I would not leave the house unless I had a scarf or bandana on my head which was even worse by this time because it was December and it was Summer! I gradually started to get my confidence back & learnt who my real friends were. My fiancee was ever so supportive. It was only a few months ago that I decided to go ti a Gyno because my period had still not come back. Again I put it down to another side effect of prednisolone. She put me on medication called Primolut N which helps you to bleed and booked me in for blood tests & ultrasounds. By my next app I had had a period but my results were no so good. I was then told I have PCOS! After being informed with all the details I was devastated. I have now been taking this Primolut N for 5 months every month to help with ovulation but and looking to seek another Doc opinion and advice to not only help with conception but can help me with my hair loss! I don’t have much left on top but am slowly becoming a stronger person from it. Its the hardest thing I have ever been through, I am not a vain person but this has no words to describe what we are all feeling. Im happy to say that in August of his year I was brave enough to walk down the aisle to marry my best friend! When it all started I said I would never until I had long hair again. With the help of a small amount of hair growth and a fantastic hair dresser he was able to create an illusion of a full head of hair. With single hair extensions brown powder and paste he was a miracle worker! My message today is, although from time to time I am still struggling with my appearance, the sun will always keep shining! We are much braver than we give ourselves credit for! I am hoping for more hair growth and possibly a bundle of joy in the not too distant future and I pray that I and all the other women out there can find some comfort, peace and joy within themselves no matter what!


nini August 26, 2013 at 12:58 am

Hye, reading this site makes me feel like there are people who actually understand how i feel. As an asian woman, most women here have thick and healthy hair which i envy so much. When i was a teenager, my hair is so thick that the barber would charge extra. But at that time i had bad acne. I prayed to God “please bless me with good skin. I dont care if im bald as long as i have flawless skin’. Guess what, years later my hair is thinning on the crown part and my skin is flawless. Be careful of what you wish for eh? I started to notice the hair fall when i went to uni. I thought it was because of my habit of pulling out my hair while studying. I stopped after my colleague told me my hair is thinning. But the thinning doesnt stop there. I dont experience shedding. During shower there are only less than 10 strands coming out. My hair fall is very gradual. It’s like whatever my head sheds, it never grows back. My hair now is thin but i still can cover it with Toppik but i noticed it gets thinner every year just not in a drastic way. I feel so depressed. I avoid swimming and snorkeling at all cost. I havent seen any dermatologist yet but i suspected this is hereditary. My dad is bald on the crown area. What convince me more is now i notice all my siblings experience the same thing! Is this Androgenic Alocepia?


UD December 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm



Helen September 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm


I’ve just stumbled across this website, and was relieved to see others in the same situation. I’m really surprised how young people are with this problem.
I’m 31 and was recently diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia. I has several biopsys taken and have had blood tests which found I was low on zinc. I am now on zinc supplements. I am also using 5% minoxidil and have been for 7 weeks, early days I know. All these posts on here are over a year old and was wondering if any of you ladies have had success with minoxidil. I am too feeling awful about myself and cry daily over the diagnosis. I have great support from my family but not from other significant people in my life which is difficult so I can really relate to Maria in a previous post. Any updates from people would be great and also would possibly give some hope to people coming to this site for the first time. Thanks


Sandy December 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm

Hi everyone, last August I started losing my hair (TE). I think what triggered it was a diet that a doctor had told me to try due to having IBS. He said go on a gluten free diet, because it makes most people feel so much better. So I took his advice, and about 1 week into the diet my hair started shedding rapidly. Now 4 months later it is still shedding and also itchy and flaking. I’ve gone to doctors, specialists, and natural-path doctors and no luck so far. The only thing they’ve found so far is that I am a little low in iron so I’ve been taking iron supplements. I go to the dermatologist in a week to have a scalp biopsy. Hopefully this will give me some answers. This hair loss thing has been a nightmare, my hair was already thin to begin with. Not sure how I’m gonna pull off the bald look. Hopefully it stops before getting to that point. I guess any advice I would give to someone would be don’t go on any “diets” unless you absolutely have to. Because I think it somehow put my body into shock or created some kind of hormonal imbalance. Good luck to everyone!


LRR July 24, 2021 at 8:15 pm

Hey ladies,
I´m new to the site and for some reason I´m unable to set up an account.
Regardless, I wanted to come back and contribute with my success story because they´re always much needed when you think you´ll never see light at the end of the tunnel …so I promised myself that when and if I recovered, I would post my experience and what helped.

So first, some background. I´ve been suffering from what I now know to be Chronic Telogen Effluvium for the last 27 years (my first shed started when I was 12 and I´m now 39).
Initially, I developed Anorexia at 12 years old and that caused my hair to fall out for months at a time. Luckily, I started out with a lot of thin hair and I recovered both from the eating disorder and from the shed after about a year. However, that would be the starting point of a life long battle with hair loss.

From then on, my hair started to fall out whenever I went through periods of stress (anything from breakups to new jobs or moving) and would usually last anywhere between 4 1/2 to 6 months. It would mostly all grow back eventually but it always came with bouts of depression and an itchy, needle like painful sensation on my scalp (trichodynia) and the uncertainty of not knowing if I would recover this time around.
I always used thickening shampoos and conditioners, took Sho Wu Pian pills and anti depressants. I would also either get extensions sewn in to conceal the thin strands or if it was really bad, I´d get my hair cut to a pixie cut (which I´ve had to do about 6 times in my life at this point).

However, this last time it was different. A month before the pandemic started, my hair started to shed massively like I had never experienced before. It went on during the pandemic and nothing helped. It lasted the longest that it has ever lasted and I feared that it would never stop. On top of the stress from the pandemic, I got Covid which is said to cause shedding as well.
During these painfully long and depressing months, I tried everything under the sun to no avail (I´m talking Davines Energyzing products, Hair Loss vitamins like Pantogar and Folexin, Biotin, Ducray shampoo, etc). I was also forced to cut my shoulder lenght hair into a pixie cut which I kind of hated because my hair got so thin that I had bald spots all over (temples, crown, etc).

I went to a hair loss clinic and not only were they super rude but insisted that the only way out was Rogaine without even looking at my scalp. I refused because I had never needed it in the past, even though my mother has Androgenic Alopecia.

Months passed and I felt worse each day, not knowing how to style my hair in order to conceal that I was thinning at 38.

After one year and four and a half months of non stop shedding, I can finally say that I´m on my road to recovery- at least until the next round…because
I´ve finally come to terms with the fact that having chronic telogen effluvium is a life long condition and it´s about finding out what helps you the most in reaching recovery periods.

So, I truly believe that it was a combination of all of the following things that led me to recovery and I want to share it in case it helps somebody reading this (also, I was finally vaccinated so I´m assuming my stress levels went down):

-1 tablespoon of Collagen powder per day mixed into half a cup of water (I was very good about it)
-Mesotherapy injections (in the scalp) every two weeks (I was injected with vitamins called Hair XL that DONT contain Rogaine)
-Scalp massages with a vibrating massager whenever I remembered and always when I shampooed (I bought one from vanity planet on amazon)
-Organic Hair Energizer: Hair Booster with Pro-Vitamin B5

I think this last product helped me the most because it apparently boosts healthier growing hair and it contains a dht blocker (apart from vitamins and oils). After years of experience with hair loss, I realized that not every product works for everyone so I did some research on my own and decided to try this last product and I was greatly surprised. It calmed down the burning sensation on my scalp and made my hair feel thicker even though it does leave it a little greasy.

Even though I haven´t recovered the 60% of hair that I´ve lost, it has stopped shedding (which is the most important part) and I see many little hairs growing in with normal thickness so I´m hopeful. 😀

I really hope this helps at least one person and just know that recovery (even if temporary) is possible.

Sending much strenght and love your way.


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