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scorpio17910
August 18th, 2013, 02:25 AM
Okay, so, usually I'm not one to do this type of thing. I usually try to stay positive, and have a good outlook on things. Lately, though, I've been having a problem that I just haven't been able to look at in a good light. My hair is falling out.

I WISH this was a stress shed. I WISH this was breakage. Both are SO much easier to deal with. The first, I can usually see coming. The second is pretty easily fixed by more gentle treatment. But this? This is neither. I ended up having to go to the doctor about it and as it turns out, what I'm going through is most likely a rare side-effect to one of my medications. Thankfully he immediately stopped that one and put me on something similar that has no hair-loss side-effects. However, it's still going to be a couple of weeks before this all stops, and then a couple more weeks before it starts growing back in again.

I've always had thick hair. When I first learned how to measure my pony tail, I was at about 4 inches. Then when I started treating my hair better, it went up to a little over 4.5 inches. I had just gotten to that point when this shedding started. I'm almost down to 3 inches now. I've lost over an inch in just over three weeks. Don't get me wrong, I'm VERY thankful for what I have and how much I still have, but this has been such a major hit to my self-esteem and I just can't handle it anymore. I've tried talking to my friends and family, and they seem to understand that it's really upsetting to me, but they can't seem to see why. I guess I'm just needing a little bit of comfort from people who can understand where I'm coming from.

Now, for the PSA, because no one should have to go through this. If you're on any medications, I'd suggest asking your doctor about any and all side-effects. This one is rare for the medication I was on, but it's definitely not unheard of. It can be pretty devastating to wake up one day and find that your hair is falling out.

Thanks for reading through this. I really appreciate it, plus any advice that you can give me on how to make the best of this would really help me out right now.

Firefox7275
August 18th, 2013, 05:47 AM
Very sorry to read this, relieved your doctor has helped you quickly identify the cause. Not sure if you have this in the US but here in the UK every prescription should be accompanied by the manufacturer's patient information leaflet which lists the known side effects.

(((hugs)))

AnnaB
August 18th, 2013, 06:57 AM
:grouphug:

I totally understand why you are so upset. I started losing hair in June, and I am STILL shedding badly :( I lost more than half of my ponytail circumference. My hair is so thin and scalp is very visible now.

And people keep saying 'Oh, its just hair. It'll grow back', or 'well I can't see any thinning, still looks the same' meaning I am making this up??

To lose hair is very very upsetting, and I know how frustrating it is because there is nothing you can do but wait it out.

My doctor still doesnt know whether is was stress (I am under major stress right now), whether because they have changed my pill and hormone levels dropped hence the hair loss (they put me back on my old pill now again, messed with my hormone levels even more) or whether is iron levels. Blood came back to say I had WAY to much in my system and it can cause hair loss.

Its been two months and I have chopped about 3-4cm because my hair looks so sad :(


My advise would be try to stay positive, because even if it was a side effect from the medication, if you are stressing really bad about it now then it will take longer fro the hair to grow back. I say carry on babying it, don't wash it as often (i tend to lose more in the shower), do not use any heat and just be patient.

Are you allowed to take 'hair, skin and nail' supplements? If you are then go for it, might be a little help for the hair to come back.

you aren't alone, and you hair will grow back! that's what I keep telling myself every day.

Othala
August 18th, 2013, 07:05 AM
So sorry you are going through this.

I advise you to pamper your hair and scalp (gentle cleaning and conditioning with appropriate products) to ensure that the new hair that emerges gets an excellent start in life. I would also encourage you to focus on your diet and ensure you are eating good quality flesh foods (if you are a meat eater) such as grass-fed beef, oily fish, whole grains, low fat diary products and eating a rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Please ensure you are getting a good amount of sleep and take some light exercise in the fresh air if possible, every day.

If your inside and outside provide the optimal conditions for health, then you will be doing the best for your hair too.

Psychologically, I would advise you to focus on doing things that make you happy and being around positive, loving people.

Best wishes and hugs,

Othala

scorpio17910
August 18th, 2013, 09:19 AM
Thanks for everyone's responses -- it really does help to know I'm not alone here.

Firefox7275 -- I don't think I've ever really gotten a pamphlet about the medication, although I know they are available here. I'll definitely be asking for them now, though. Thanks!

AnnaB -- I'm so sorry to hear you're going through the same thing and hope that everything settles down for you soon! I almost think it would be a good idea for a support group dedicated to growing back from a bad shed, if there's not one already. I've really been trying to keep my stress levels down by distracting myself from it all, everything from playing with my cats to experimenting with my makeup. That has really helped me to not think on it so much and get as upset. I'll definitely ask my doctor about the supplements, too.

Othala -- I've actually been trying to eat better recently (mostly in a ploy to just get healthier in general), but I can't say my exercise levels and sleep-time is very good. I'll do my best to give both a try. Thanks!


:grouphug:

lapushka
August 18th, 2013, 09:20 AM
It's hard to have to deal with this much hair loss. From 4.5 or 4 to 3 is a lot in 3 weeks' time! I agree with what others have already said, pamper your hair and scalp. It's going to take a year at least for the hair to grow back out significantly; a lot of time. I'm so sorry this happened, but it's medication you need, what are you gonna do? It was smart of you to go back to your doctor!

jacqueline101
August 18th, 2013, 10:40 AM
I'm sorry you're experiencing this.

grungy haze
August 18th, 2013, 12:41 PM
I'm sorry this is happening to you. I've also experienced hair loss as a side effect of a medicine I was on. In time, your hair will restore itself to all of it's former glory. I can't say how long it will take, mine's still much thinner than it used to be, but remain positive, and look on the bright side: 3 inches is nothing to sneeze at. Benign neglect will be your hair's best friend. Stick with a healthy diet, and maybe start doing a moderate bit of exercise: I've found that since I've started doing a little each day, my hair seems to grow a little faster. Best of luck to you, I hope you feel better soon.

Wasy
August 18th, 2013, 12:52 PM
sorry to hear it dude :( although i have no advice, let me offer you hugs and encouragement :) keep going :)

Leeloo
August 18th, 2013, 04:06 PM
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I think it's great that your doctor could identify and fix your issue so quickly and your hair will start growing back soon. Maybe concentrating on that would make you feel better until you'll start seeing new growth coming in :grouphug:

cmbates2009
August 18th, 2013, 06:15 PM
scorpio17910, What medication was it?

cindy58
August 18th, 2013, 09:10 PM
I had a big shed due to pain medication and nsaids for treatment for a frozen shoulder that lasted for months. (last summer through winter, stopped PT in Jan.) I stopped the medication as soon as I could, but couldn't go without it for awhile. As troubling as the shed is, it's as much or more of a giant pain when the hair starts growing back in. I have TONS of short baby hairs growing back in throughout my hair and sticking out in every direction. Very messy looking.

Even though my hair still looked reasonably thick after the hair loss, the mass of short hairs left me feeling unhappy with it. I cut 12" off on Friday, and added long layers. It's nearly BSL. I still want long hair, but I'm not so stuck on super length at the moment. I'd rather be happier with it. So I'm getting used to a whole new routine.

chen bao jun
August 18th, 2013, 09:11 PM
I am so sorry.
I bet the people around you do feel sympathetic but falsely feel they will cheer you up by saying its okay. You can tell them that they are making you feel worse.
I am so glad you identified the cause and that your hair will return.
I am also glad that your hair was so thick so that you still have a decent amount left.
Jamaican black castor oil is a hair thickener when you rub it on your scalp 3x a week. My mother had actual bald spots (from traction alopecia) and within about 6 months they grew back. Any natural castor oil, actually, will help--you can also get cold pressed organic. It does not make your hair strands thicker and it does not make you have density that you did not have before but if you have lost hair, it does help you regain what you had fast, even if the hair loss is very bad. You can mix it with burdock root oil, which is another hair thickener and some essential oil

scorpio17910
August 18th, 2013, 11:24 PM
Thanks again to everyone who has responded. I really can't express just how much all of your advice and support is helping me out right now. Honestly, knowing that I've got such awesome support here makes this a little easier to handle. So many feels right now, guys. :grouphug:

lapushka -- Exactly. It's kinda that "whatcha gonna do" scenario. My mom was actually the one who encouraged me to go to my doctor about it, and I'm glad for that.

grungy haze -- I'm sorry to hear of your hair-loss as well; seems there's a whole slew of medications out there that can cause this. At least, it seems there's far more that I ever thought. I think I'll be getting on the exercise bandwagon -- looks like it does wonders for, well, everything!

Leeloo -- Most definitely. I really love my doctor; he really knows his stuff, and he's very friendly and really cares about all his patients. I've been going to him for years now and have recommended him to many people around here.

cmbates2009 -- It was a blood pressure medication called Propranolol. Apparently, many BP medications can have this effect, even if it's not totally common.

cindy58 -- Yeah, I'm definitely not looking forward to all the little baby hairs coming back in. On the bright side, my hair is generally heavy enough to lay MOSTLY flat, even with new growth. (All the years of bad treatment left me with many a baby hairs.) I'm so sorry that you also had to go through this -- hopefully, it will all grow back quickly!

chen bao jun -- I'll definitely give castor oil a shot! My only concern is that I've heard it can loosen hair at the scalp that's set to fall out soon and cause extra shedding. Have you had any experience with that?

Purdy Bear
August 19th, 2013, 04:42 AM
Sorry to hear you have to go through this, I am very glad you found the source and know that it can be fixed relatively quickly. I have Alopecia Univarlis, which means total body hair loss, so I know exactly how you have been feeling.

Here's some things I found to very helpful:

Hot compresses on the head (just a hot flannel on the scalp, I don't know how this would effect your hair as I don't have any.

Massage the scalp to help with stress.

General relaxation, meditation is going to help.

Castor oil I was told on here can cause problems with the eyes so be very careful with it if your going any where near them with that.

Both onion juice, and aromatheraphy oils (Aberdeen Infirmary Study) have shown to be beneficial for hair growth

BreeTheBoss
August 19th, 2013, 05:00 AM
I know how you feel, even when i loose a couple strands of hair I kinda feel guilty and go into a depression....weird huh? But im glad your doctor caught it early. dont worry about it, itll all be fine and grow back :)

shutterpillar
August 19th, 2013, 06:14 AM
I'm sorry you are going through this. I've lost half my hair due to postpartum hair loss - it's a different circumstance, but I know how devastating it is. It took a few years to get back to it's original thickness, and even then I am not entirely certain that it's the same. (I did not measure circumference back then.)

I am shocked that you received no warnings and side effects pamphlet with your prescription. Every single Rx medication we get comes with a folded up piece of paper that contains common and uncommon side effects, along with a multitude of other information about the medication. Perhaps you should call your pharmacy and ask why you never got one? I am pretty sure that's a HUGE screw up on the pharmacist's part.

chen bao jun
August 19th, 2013, 11:28 AM
I never heard of castor oil causing loosening and that didn't happen to my mom, but if I were you, I would check out that possibility very thoroughly and make sure it can't happen. sorry i can't help further.

lunalocks
August 19th, 2013, 11:33 AM
So sorry you are going through this. I lost thickness with menopause. It is not going to grow back, but I think the thinning has finally stopped. I know my part looks thinnner, but no one else notices.

summergreen
August 19th, 2013, 05:42 PM
Ohh I really feel for you (and everyone else who's losing/lost hair. It's always distressing but must be much more so to have it move so fast. I'm glad you have a good doctor who you trust. Hope your shed stops very soon.


I almost think it would be a good idea for a support group dedicated to growing back from a bad shed, if there's not one already.

That's such a good idea! Does anyone know if there's a thread?

Nellon
August 19th, 2013, 05:52 PM
Sorry to hear about this! Sending hugs and encouragement your way! Hope it stops quickly, and grows back quickly! I know how devastating unwanted changes in ones appearance can be! I once had cystic acne, was truly horrible. But: it cleared up, and this too will pass! Hope you can be patient while it does and remember other good things you have in your life! Big hugs!

scorpio17910
August 20th, 2013, 02:42 AM
I went ahead and did a search. There IS a thread dedicated to hair-loss support. http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=1124&highlight=hair+loss (Really hope that worked.)

Purdy Bear, shutterpillar, lunalocks -- I'm sorry to hear about all of your troubles with hair loss. I think that, no matter the reason, hair loss can be very damaging to one's mental/emotional health, and having a place like this to talk about it and get support is helpful to all of us. I'm sending hugs and support right back to you all!

chen bao jun -- I'm thinking it was just a once-off that happened for that one person. I'm still looking into it, though I think it'll be okay to go for it.

summergreen -- Yes, the speed at which it began falling out was the most distressful part of it. It was normal one day, and the next it seemed like even running my fingers over my hair caused it to just fall out! I am really lucky and blessed to have such an awesome doctor, that's for sure.

Nellon -- "This too shall pass" is an often-used phrase around my house. It's honestly good to read it here, too! It doesn't seem like such a cliche, somehow. :)

I've been trying some of the advice in the past couple of days, and it SEEMS to be slowing down. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I really HOPE that's the case. Or, as per is usually goes with me, I'm just seeing what I really, really want to see. In any case, thank you all for every piece of advice and every ounce of support! :grouphug: It means a lot to me!

summergreen
August 20th, 2013, 11:48 AM
I went ahead and did a search. There IS a thread dedicated to hair-loss support. http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=1124&highlight=hair+loss (Really hope that worked.)


Ooh thank you! :)

scorpio17910
August 23rd, 2013, 09:04 PM
No problem, summergreen!