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Shadow Walker
May 4th, 2013, 10:20 AM
Lately I've been having some major shedding issues, and it's been depressing the hell out of me. Nothing has changed as far as diet or lifestyle, so I really can't explain it. My hair has thinned quite a bit, though my laptop camera doesn't show just how bad it is. I'm really considering chopping back to MBL or even APL, because I can't stand having thin, ratty looking hair. I really need some advice here, because as of now I feel like I just want to be done with this, but I'm worried that if I chop and my hair continues to shed, I'll have short hair that's also thin. I know I'm probably going to be upset either way, if I leave it or if I cut it. Trimming doesn't seem to do anything for me either, and I've been doing it every 2 months.

Here's a picture that I just took this morning.

http://i1069.photobucket.com/albums/u465/LordDreadfire/130504-110220_zps3994b931.jpg

But this is deceptive because my black shirt makes my hair look thicker than it is. Here's without a shirt.

http://i1069.photobucket.com/albums/u465/LordDreadfire/130504-110417_zps278f1cd0.jpg

Now you can kinda see how uneven it is in terms of length and thickness, and how thin it has become.

At this rate, I'll never be able to grow it super long like I always wanted to. :(

Sarahlabyrinth
May 4th, 2013, 10:26 AM
I guess the choice is between thinner short hair and thinner long hair - :( don't do any drastic cuts before applying the 2 week wait.

PolarCathy
May 4th, 2013, 10:40 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this. :grouphug: I have no solution either.

However. I think it looks good in the shirt, and I'd think that's how most people see you in everyday life. So even if you know that it has thinned out, you're probably okay in others' eyes. You're certainly okay in mine. Not that it helps your shedding, just something to consider before you chop it all off.

SlightlySoprano
May 4th, 2013, 10:43 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this. :grouphug: I have no solution either.

However. I think it looks good in the shirt, and I'd think that's how most people see you in everyday life. So even if you know that it has thinned out, you're probably okay in others' eyes. You're certainly okay in mine. Not that it helps your shedding, just something to consider before you chop it all off.

I agree with PolarCathy, but you also have to be happy with the way that it looks. Your hair is for your own enjoyment, not for anybody else. As somebody with a f/i pony, I can relate to your feelings, but we are our own worst critics. I think your hair looks lovely right about up to waist, but I can only tell that it's thinner when you don't have a shirt on, and like PolarCathy says, I'm assuming you're wearing a shirt most often in public :)

Do what feels best to you, but don't make any drastic decisions too quickly. That's my suggestion :blossom:

leslissocool
May 4th, 2013, 10:45 AM
I think it looks good, I wouldn't cut it.

My advice would be go to the doctor and have blood work done. You could have an underlying medical cause. Even if you cut it short, finding the reason for the shed is really important.

What's your diet like? I remember you said you worked in construction (outdoors, correct me if I am wrong).

PolarCathy
May 4th, 2013, 10:48 AM
It does NOT look ratty to me. That's in your head. I'd say it; I have the guts to say that word to others, I've done it in the past, even when they didn't ask for my opinion (if they were pissing me off with something, that is, LOL).

RavennaNight
May 4th, 2013, 11:57 AM
Your hair still looks quite awesome, I'd think a while before cutting. Visiting the doctor and having bloodwork is an excellent idea. Also, is there more stress in your life than before? PolarCathy is right, you can't really tell when you are wearing a shirt. Is it possible a whole lot of your hair ended their growth cycle and are renewing?

panffle
May 4th, 2013, 12:13 PM
I agree with going to the doctor before you trim. And I also agree that it does NOT look ratty, don't put yourself down like that - you WILL grow it super long, you're just going through some shedding at the moment and we all do! I know last year I did and it startled me, but it has stopped and everything is back to normal. :)

Ocelan
May 4th, 2013, 12:50 PM
To me it definitely doesn't look thin but I have seen your previous pictures (with shirt on though) and compared to those there may be some thinning below waist or hip level. If you are to cut, I wouldn't cut shorter than to hip or waist as atleast based on the photos the thinness seems to affect hair below those parts. Atleast you should try chopping less first and more later if you're still not satisfied.

So since you probably know best if you have been shedding, then you have to do what you can to make yourself as happy as you can be. I know it's not fun when your hair isn't the way you want it to be, but sometimes you just have to live with what is given to you.

How long do you think you've been shedding? Bloodwork is always good to do if you have sudden changes like hairloss. I know I was luckily not shedding but growing very slowly when I was anemic for the past year and have started picking up in hair growth after I got my bloodwork done and started taking iron supplements. I know anemia is less common in men than women but there are many other imbalances that can build up during the years while keeping everything what appears to be normal.

I hope you can find a reason for the shedding, but I'm sad to say some people have annual spring sheds, sheds every 3 years, every 7 years or just random sheds now and then for what seems to be no reason, so it might just as well be normal but unfortunate. In that case the hair usually suddenly starts growing back all at once after the shed ends but the thinning has already happened and will take years to get the thickness back. Has your hair been growing normally in the duration you have experienced increased shedding or have you noticed any difference?

jeanniet
May 4th, 2013, 12:56 PM
I'm sorry this is so upsetting for you. From what I can see, the thinning appears to be more from about BSL down. Are you sure it's shedding and not breakage (or a combination)? It looks pretty thick on your upper torso. If you do decide to cut, I think you could cut to waist and have it still look thick. Then maybe you could maintain and see how it goes.

And I second the advice about seeing a doctor and having a blood panel done. Always a good idea to rule out deficiencies, thyroid, etc.

CharleaMurphy
May 4th, 2013, 01:01 PM
I'm sorry you're going through this. I don't know what to suggest but I think your hair still looks great :crush:

vamq
May 4th, 2013, 01:43 PM
I am so, so sorry to see you having this problem. If it helps, I still think your hair looks awesome :flower:

Concerning the problem, how long is this shedding going on already?
Have you visited a doctor already to get your bloodwork checked?
If not, I recommend you to get this done as this might not just be related to lifestyle or diet problems and it's good to rule things out.

I've had serious shedding myself too and it lasted a bit more than half a year.
I cut back a whole lot and shed some more, which caused me to cut off even more hair... Looking back, I wish I would have waited for the shedding to end or slow down and then cut my hair. I think it would've saved me quite some length. However, I must say I had the possibility to bun my hair, and no one would notice the shedding but me. I don't know if you can do that? It sure helps you to think about it less :)
I think you can cut it back now, but if your shedding is still going on, I'm afraid it'll only look "good" (I put it this way because I do not want to come across as a mean person. I still think your hair is beautiful) for a short period of time....

ETA: I second jeanniet in that your hair indeed looks really thick until BSL. Are you sure it can't be breakage somehow?

nobeltonya
May 4th, 2013, 01:49 PM
I wouldn't totally chop it off like that.. maybe microtrim more frequently, which is what I'm currently doing to thicken up my ends: like 0.25" every 2-3 weeks? Also, do you oil at all? I found that regularly applying coconut oil at night [every other now that it's warmer] and massaging my scalp has really helped thicken up my hair. [I wash every morning :O] :disco:

jacqueline101
May 4th, 2013, 02:24 PM
I'd get some lab work done. Don't let it worry you too much as I went through a shed before and now my hair is shedding. I'd also apply the two week rule.

lapushka
May 4th, 2013, 02:42 PM
Another vote to have bloodwork done before taking drastic measures, and certainly before taking scissors to your hair. Tell them you need to have your vitamin levels checked as it may not be standard in the test. It isn't where I live (some are, some aren't).

EdG
May 4th, 2013, 03:40 PM
That may be your natural taper.

I have a similar taper that is caused by my hairs having a range of terminal lengths. The taper is persistent - it has been that way for years.

I would give this some time.
Ed

rowie
May 4th, 2013, 03:51 PM
:grouphug: I don't know if buns and updos are a part of your lifestyle, but to me I've enjoyed exploring the world of updos and so I don't pay attention to length anymore because I try to challenge myself to explore braids, buns, etc. I know it might be a lot challenging doing updos for a man unless you are bold, but I still think there are many updos that can be adapted to look more masculine. I'm thinking updos like a simple wrapped Chinese bun that takes only less than 30 seconds to make, or even a pin-less nautilus buns.

Out of all the things that I have mentioned to you, I think your hair looks fine the way it is. I don't think you need to make a drastic cut, and maybe just an inch off at most.

Kherome
May 4th, 2013, 03:57 PM
Dude it looks fine. How about rather than a major chop you shake things up a bit and cut a U or V hemline?

McFearless
May 4th, 2013, 04:01 PM
I think it looks good, I wouldn't cut it.

My advice would be go to the doctor and have blood work done. You could have an underlying medical cause. Even if you cut it short, finding the reason for the shed is really important.

What's your diet like? I remember you said you worked in construction (outdoors, correct me if I am wrong).
I agree with this. Keep it in a single braid until you get everything figured out. That will mask the thinning and keep it out of sight.
Are you under stress? I lose clumps of hair when I'm not taking care of my mental state.

Indigo Girl
May 4th, 2013, 04:10 PM
Sorry you've hit a shed period - I think many of us do and it's frustrating, for sure. When I hit a shed or breakage period, I do updos 100% of the time. I can't remember - do you frequently wear yours loose?

I agree with the bloodwork idea - it would be smart to have that checked out.

Your hair doesn't look ratty at all. Sorry it's got you so down. :grouphug:

MsBubbles
May 4th, 2013, 08:49 PM
It doesn't look ratty to me either, but I had 2 sheds back to back and ended up with drastically thinner hair. It has filled back out again though. I can see how it'd feel much thinner to you, given that it was so very thick before. But I don't think it looks thin now.

How do the hairlines look in your family, hereditarily-speaking?

MotherConfessor
May 4th, 2013, 09:07 PM
That stinks. I can see how the shedding would drive you nutso - it would me. Two weeks rule is important and you should consider it, but that rule is most important in emotional hair cutting. So do you want to cut because you are upset or because you think it will help your hair. Wait the two weeks and you will know for sure which one. I also second the lab work if you can do it. A lot of people balk at doing this but its not a big deal and most insurance should cover it, plus if there is a deeper problem you will want to address it before it manifests in something other than a frustrating hair line. If you don't have insurance and lab work is not an option, consider taking a good hard look at your diet and lifestyle and start adding what you might be missing or subtracting things that might hurt you. That is a long process you may be able to help along with some variety of naturopath, but be careful. While most are significantly less expensive than doctors, some can actually be more so or worse - hacks. Alternatively, is it possible your hairline is receding? It should be easy to check and if that is the case you could be catching it early enough to stop the loss without significant intervention. Whatever you do, I personally think it looks fine and that you are probably just going through a nasty shed, which happens to all of us and for mostly benign reasons. Best of luck

patienceneeded
May 4th, 2013, 09:16 PM
I agree with the other posts. Your hair does not look at all ratty! You can see a bit of a taper or thinning in the shirtless pic, but as Ed mentioned, maybe it's your natural taper as some hairs hit terminal? You can still reach super long length, I would not chop anything at this point. Perhaps a trim of an inch or two would be enough to make you feel better, although IMO you don't really need to unless the hair is breaking from damage rather than shedding out. Don't do anything you would regret! I'm shedding quite a bit right now too, it's finally gotten warm in the PNW and everyone in my house is shedding hair, including the dog!

I would go with the two-week rule and then do a minor trim if you want. Wear your hair up and try to forget about it.

Tea Lady
May 4th, 2013, 09:38 PM
Shadow Walker, I am going through this right now too. Don't cut yet. Wait a bit. You can read about my major shedding, the cause (stress, but the shedding did not show up for several months after the stressful period, look up telogen effluvium for the reason why there is a delay) on my blog post here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/entry.php?b=109855). Then there is a follow up post here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/entry.php?b=110004).

My length has thinned out too. I try not to let it bother me. I have just been focusing on the remedies I have been trying, mainly oiling several times a week overnight (with a combo of JBCO, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and Better Botanicals Hair Oil), careful attention to diet and wholesome foods, and carrot juice (usually mixed with apple and orange juice) almost every day. I also started yoga to help me deal with stress and anxiety. My labs were okay. My doctor feels it is either from the stress, or it could be hormonal, because I am older.

So, I am keeping the length, however thin it may be now, and I am past classic. I am not going to take that away from myself too! Sometimes I braid my hair all the way to the end and alternatively marvel at, and feel horrified at, how teensy the braid at the bottom of the length is. But do try to focus on the beginner hairs, not the longest ones. I like to think of it as "growing the plants". I am tenderly nurturing these baby plants (hairs) that are coming in to replace the ones that were "harvested prematurely". This new crop of plants is going to be awesome and healthy, and very fast-growing and long!

Tea Lady

Shadow Walker
May 4th, 2013, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the advice and kind words, everyone. As far as my diet goes, I've been cutting out soda, junk food, and as much gluten as I can. I've been taking water soluble vitamins again and have noticed positive changes in my health, most notably my skin. I had bad eczema on my hands and arms this past winter, and once I got back on my vitamin regimen it cleared right up. I can't explain the shed, since I've never felt healthier since getting back on them.

I will invoke the 2 week rule, but it's hard for me to see the state that my hair is in. I guess when you are used to having hair this thick, it's difficult to deal with thinning. :cry:
http://i1069.photobucket.com/albums/u465/LordDreadfire/6d476e7e-d78b-4c32-9471-6e0b855d3656_zps94fc24fe.jpg

ghost
May 4th, 2013, 11:28 PM
I think your hair still looks good :) I'm sorry that the shed is worrying you though; that's never fun. A trim of half an inch or an in inch, just to get fresh blunt ends, might help you feel better without losing a lot of length.

Cowgirl16
May 7th, 2013, 06:17 PM
Hi Shadow Walker:waving:
I am chiming in here a little late. IMO your hair has always been very thick ; were you ill or did something happen to your health (perhaps stress) several months ago? Best thing I could add would be to start taking a B-complex vitamin. Cutting your hair would be your own preferance; I didn't cut my hair when I had an illness induced stress but I have it in a bun 99% of the time. Good Luck!
Cowgirl

Ambystoma
May 7th, 2013, 09:36 PM
I'm so sorry to hear that this is happening to you, I'm going through a shed myself at the moment and I know how upsetting it is. For what it's worth, I think your hair looks lovely right now, even though it's not as thick as it was before, and the thinning definitely doesn't warrant a trim. Perhaps you could just maintain at your current length until after the shed has stopped, and the thickness has moved back down then start growing again? Also I agree with the suggestions of wearing it braided or up as much as you can, it's what I'm doing to help me stop thinking about it so much.

HumanBean
May 7th, 2013, 10:27 PM
You said you had made some diet changes?...was there weight loss? Weight loss of 15 lbs or more can trigger a shed.

I am another saying get a blood panel done, also. I started eating differently and losing weight last July, and around November I noticed an increase to my normal shedding. I started actually counting my shed hairs lost everyday in January because it was driving me nuts and I wanted to get a solid idea of what I was losing instead of estimating. On the days I washed my hair (which I only do once a week) I was sometimes losing more than 600 hairs! I kept thinking maybe I had introduced some nutritional/vitamin deficiency with my diet change.

Anyway, finally got a blood panel done a couple of months ago to see, which revealed...nothing. That is, everything was normal, no vitamin deficiencies, etc. So at least I knew it wasn't that.

And lo and behold my shedding is slowing down now as I'm getting closer to my goal weight and therefore my weight is stabilizing. I know it's not my imagination because I'm still counting my shed hairs each day and graphing it all!

chen bao jun
May 9th, 2013, 10:13 PM
Do you have celiac disease? Or gluten intolerance that a dr diagnosed? I don't mean to offend but if you are cutting out gluten 'most of the time' you may have a nutrition issue going on. there are a lot of B vitamins in wheat and also protein and hair likes both.

Shadow Walker
May 20th, 2013, 07:00 AM
Hey guys, sorry for not posting lately. I got myself checked out and it turns out that I'm not deficient in anything. At all. In fact the doctor said I'm one of the healthiest people he's seen in awhile. He said that my shedding isnt caused by illness and it's probably just a natural thing. It's still pretty upsetting though. I haven't been under much stress either.

Cowgirl16
May 20th, 2013, 09:40 AM
Hmmm...glad to hear all is well with you :) I still suggest taking a vitamin B complex daily...it can't hurt :)

Shadow Walker
May 20th, 2013, 09:55 AM
Hmmm...glad to hear all is well with you :) I still suggest taking a vitamin B complex daily...it can't hurt :)

I take all 90 essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids every day. :)

lunalocks
May 20th, 2013, 09:59 AM
Iron and biotin. Those are the hair vitamins.

browneyedsusan
May 20th, 2013, 02:16 PM
*scratches head* I don't know what's going on here. Lots of vitamins, healthy diet: my knee-jerk guess is post-partum shed, but you haven't given birth recently, have you? --just teasing-- The only other thing I can think of is exercise. If you're nice and active, then I'm stumped. :shrug: Those mystery sheds are upsetting, and I hope it quits soon!

Salmonberry
May 20th, 2013, 05:38 PM
Do any of the other men in your family have thinning hair? Are you noticing a receding hairline at all? Unfortunately, if everything else has been ruled out then you may just be dealing with male pattern baldness. Perhaps that's what the doctor meant by "natural". It doesn't mean you're going completely bald, but most men experience at least a little thinning as they age. It's just a side effect of testosterone and age. I've heard even some women start thinning all over as they get older. Perhaps consult with a hair-loss specialist if it's really something that's bothering you. Sorry to hear about your shed :(, you have awesome hair regardless of the thickness. :)

Darkhorse1
May 20th, 2013, 05:45 PM
Shadow---I had this exact problem last year-in my case, it was due to hormonal issues. I found a really good shampoo that promotes healthier hair growth---it won't stop your shedding but it does stimulate the scalp--I was in AWE of this shampoo--it's from the I.C.O.N line and called 'detoxify'. I was shedding a TON and this almost halted it---now, that could very well have been due to my hormonal issues halting too, but it can't hurt to try. It has peppermint in it, which stimulates the scalp's blood flow. It also worked on my very sore scalp as I have dandruff. It's sulphate and silicone free too. They sell it at mot hair salons. My best to you!!! I also suggest just keeping up with trims. That's what I did. My hemline is slowly getting thicker again.

winship2
May 20th, 2013, 09:37 PM
I'm risking being drawn and quartered on this forum to say-- I am not a big fan of long hair on men. (I'm only mentioning it to point out that I'm not speaking from a bias towards long hair on you.) I honestly think your hair still looks good, and I truly don't think, from your photos, that there is a "need" to cut it for aesthetic reasons. I do hope you figure out what's going on, and/or come up with a solution. I know the times I've shed it's been due to certain shampoos.

leslissocool
May 23rd, 2013, 10:34 PM
My question about working in construction or outdoor has to do with weather. It triggers hair loss on some people. I noticed that I stopped shedding when I moved to cold weather, it seems like heat is the time the year where I really shed a lot. By being outdoors, you experience weather drastically so it might really be something seasonal specially if you notice it stopping.


I really hope it's something seasonal! Keep us posted! This mystery shed can be really frustrating, hang in there!

dre
May 24th, 2013, 05:35 PM
panffle, I'm following your positive thinking...I began shedding a week ago (it seems to be every May in the North East). It is very discouraging, especially because we take such good care of our hair. I will follow your words, being in a good, positive state of mind is 99% of the battle. Thank you...

dre
May 24th, 2013, 05:40 PM
patienceneeded, you are giving another dose of great advise. Same thing is happening here, pets too!!

Fiferstone
May 24th, 2013, 08:37 PM
There IS the phenomenon of seasonal shed in all mammals, us included. I've noticed that I shed major-time spring and fall, and it's now spring (?) Perhaps that's something that's going on. I also think it looks good, and not ratty in the least, definitely treat it well, and if you've not changed anything in the hair care routine, perhaps look at the ways in which you're wearing it. Do you braid or ponytail frequently? Try changing the hairstyle daily so that you're not putting pressure on the same areas of the scalp/hairline. I find a single braid down the back is a good protective style that doesn't overstress my fine hair.

Silverbrumby
May 24th, 2013, 09:07 PM
I'm sorry this is happening to you. Having something similar happen to me after thyroid disease and mid life I feel your pain. I hope it's just a passing phase for you and that it starts to come back.

In the meantime it sounds like you are doing everything right. The two week rule, no health issues and asking for help. I think if it really does bug you at the end of the two week rule then maybe taking off 2 inches waiting two weeks and then another two might get you back to a thicker hemline.

Your hair still looks terrific btw, something I'd LOVE to have!

Shadow Walker
May 24th, 2013, 09:55 PM
Thanks for the continued support and advice, everyone. I did go in for a trim yesterday and had a couple inches taken off, but I think it's still in the hip to tailbone region. I won't be able to tell until I can take another length shot. I've been trying some additional supplements specifically for hair, nails, and skin, and my shed seems to be stopping. If my facial hair is any indicator, I may be looking at a growth spurt too. :p I'll try to get a picture up soon.

Silverbrumby
May 24th, 2013, 10:16 PM
I'm glad your feeling better about your hair!

Sarahlabyrinth
May 24th, 2013, 10:25 PM
I'm so glad your shedding is stopping and that there is no medical reason for it. It may be going to do a nice growth spurt now to make up for the shedding - fingers crossed. I'm pleased you didn't go and chop it all off!

browneyedsusan
May 25th, 2013, 06:26 AM
I'm so glad your shedding is stopping and that there is no medical reason for it. It may be going to do a nice growth spurt now to make up for the shedding - fingers crossed. I'm pleased you didn't go and chop it all off!

Me too! I'm hoping for a nice growth spurt too, with some bonus whiskers!

Emichiee
May 25th, 2013, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the continued support and advice, everyone. I did go in for a trim yesterday and had a couple inches taken off, but I think it's still in the hip to tailbone region. I won't be able to tell until I can take another length shot. I've been trying some additional supplements specifically for hair, nails, and skin, and my shed seems to be stopping. If my facial hair is any indicator, I may be looking at a growth spurt too. :p I'll try to get a picture up soon.

I was going to ask when it first started. Hair can shed 3 months after a stressful event. A stressful event can be pretty much anything. Some people shed with lack of sleep and stress, some are prone to other things.
Your taper looked very much like mine when I go through hair loss, sort of V-shaped and a bit see through. So that definitely indicates it is hair loss and not just a small shed or natural taper. Too drastic of a change.
Two things that came to my mind were.
1. Vitamin D
I shed hair even within the normal range, but shed less when I am in the higher normal range with supplements. A doctor was willing to test this for me every few weeks while I upped my Vit. D to 10 000 IU.
2. Something diet
A phase of eating considerably less calories or reducing or drastically increasing carbs can cause a shock. Weight loss is also known to cause a shed.

I hope your shed is over now! :)