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View Full Version : Losing hair quickly....but it's growing??



Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 11:42 AM
Hello everyone! I'm hoping someone has experienced something similar, or has some advice? Several months ago, I noticed my hair seemed different....breaking easily, dryer, more difficult to handle, and wasn't growing. I thought it was me being too rough with it. It kept getting worse and eventually I noticed some small, very thin to almost bald spots at the back of my head. Since then it's progressed to thinning in the back A LOT, my hair line has moved up a couple inches on my neck, and it's also thinning at my crown and temples (more on one side than the other). It's now thin enough in back that if I put my hair up in a mid-high ponytail, there is a good sized bald patch under the ponytail. (bald = no long hair, just a few short wispy ones. Not smooth like a baby's butt).

It took me several months to get a doctor to listen to me that it was falling out....it started as BSL and probably a 4" ponytail and type 2c, so they would take one look at me and just see the hair I did have, and not really listen to me try to explain what I lost. Even now, if I keep the part off-center and my hair down, if you didn't know me before you wouldn't realize how significantly my hair has changed. Thank god for small favors! I've already had a million things tested and so far they are all negative (RA, lupus, crohn's disease, celiac disease, thyroid condition, iron, ferritin...etc). I am active and a healthy weight. We have had a lot going on, and I'm starting to think it might be a stress induced hair loss. I'm currently waiting on scalp biopsy and hormone testing results. I take biotin, a prenatal (we're trying) and vitamin D and have been using Jesse58's oil blend for a few weeks now. I wash 3-4x week and try to be very careful with it. Also my hair is noticeably getting lighter. It started as a honey blonde I guess? And now it's distinctly lighter blonde; a friend asked if I had started highlighting it (I've never colored or done any other type of chemical treatment). DH said "maybe there were something wrong with the darker ones underneath and now you just have the healthy blonde ones left" :rolleyes: I think he is noticing it looks overall healthier because I've been oiling it.

Super long back story, sorry. So, after months of falling out and freaking me out, my hair started growing again. Quickly. But it's also still falling out. I don't really notice a ton of short baby hairs, but the overall length is definitely increasing, it's well below my bra strap now. So.....I have no idea what's going on! What could cause you to keep losing your hair but still allow it to grow?

Madora
November 11th, 2013, 11:58 AM
Ponytails are hair killers if worn day after day. The hair is worn away by friction of the band and a bald spot develops. Not to mention the tension a ponytail puts on delicate front and side hairs. That pulling can lead to traction alopecia.

Have you gone to a hair trichologist?

In any event, good luck with your problem (and try and cut down on the shampooing. That's just too much in one week).

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 12:02 PM
It's never, ever in a ponytail, I was just trying to demonstrate where the lost hair is :) If it's up it's either in a bun or a single braid down my back. I can't stand the feeling of it being pulled tight, it's definitely not a traction alopecia thing.

My insurance does not cover a trichologist, but the dermatologist I'm seeing is supposed to specialize in female hair loss. I try to stretch my washes when I can, but I also own horses and ride almost every day....which means I end up smelling like a stable if I don't wash my hair that often. Yuck.

Jennielee88
November 11th, 2013, 12:04 PM
I was going to mention traction alopecia too. I cant think of what else it could be except for an underactive thyroid, can you not get a second opinion?

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 12:06 PM
Plus oiling it, I can't stretch it that far...it would be a greasy mess

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 12:07 PM
I've had an ANA and TSH done twice (two different doctors, primary care and rheumatologist), and free T3 and T4 done. All normal :/

Jennielee88
November 11th, 2013, 12:11 PM
You probably already know this but I'm just throwing it out there, It's normal to lose up to 100 hairs every day but that can go up to 250 every time it's washed, so washing that often wont be helping...

But I know your plight because I used to own horses too and know how much the smell clings to you. Could you do something to protect your hair as you're mucking out? Maybe try wearing a shower cap or something? You might look silly but It might help to stop the smell getting to your hair

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 12:36 PM
Shower cap is not a bad idea! I only board with a couple very close friends....I'm not bothered by looking silly in front of them ;) I'll try it. I just don't understand why it seems to be growing at the same time as I'm losing it. I thought the two were not supposed to happen at the same time.

How often do you all wash your hair? 3x a week is a lot?

LauraLongLocks
November 11th, 2013, 12:51 PM
I started doing a CO routine two weeks ago and only need to CO every other day, unless I have a very sweaty workout, and then I do it daily, with some dry shampoo in my gym bag to hold me over until the next CO wash. Since beginning the CO routine, I only shampooed one time, with diluted shampoo in a spray bottle squirted only on my roots/bangs. I probably didn't need to do that, actually. Have you been counting the hairs you are losing? I counted yesterday for the first time (lost 25, not bad), and I think I'll count at least one day every week, as a baseline, in case I ever do have a bad hair shed. That way I'll be aware of it before it dramatically affects my ponytail circumference, I hope. One thing about paying attention to our hair as we do here, it really can be an indicator of overall health, and can alert us to problems earlier than waiting for our bodies to show other symptoms. I hope you track it down and can find the cause(s) of your hair loss.

Jennielee88
November 11th, 2013, 01:06 PM
Shower cap is not a bad idea! I only board with a couple very close friends....I'm not bothered by looking silly in front of them ;) I'll try it. I just don't understand why it seems to be growing at the same time as I'm losing it. I thought the two were not supposed to happen at the same time.
How often do you all wash your hair? 3x a week is a lot?

To be honest I used to wash mine every single day. Until I went blonde and it started to get a little damaged, and now I only wash once or twice a week.
Hair absolutely continues to grow as some falls out. We lose hair all the time while it still continues to grow, it depends on what stage each individual hair is in the growth cycle. It's just that you're losing a little more than usual, and hopefully you'll get that fixed soon after your biopsy results!

Have you suffered some form of trauma recently? Are you on any medication?

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 01:17 PM
I use a sulfate free organic shampoo now....I actually did CO for well over a year, starting with WEN and then just using whatever conditioner I liked. I could try switching back to that. I stopped for no good reason....somehow the shampoo made it's way back into my shower. I don't count the hairs after I shower or detangle (which I do when it's half dry, with my fingers); I should stat counting to get a baseline. I am hoping beyond hope that the worst of the fall is over, I think it was probably falling for a while before I noticed. I spend an inordinate amount of time now looking at the thin spots in the bathroom mirror :/ which certainly does not help if it's a stress thing. I actually don't feel like I'm shedding that much now compared to what I was, but two weeks ago if I lifted my hair you couldn't see the missing patches, and now you clearly can. So obviously it's not slowed down as much I think. I would post a picture but I can't yet :)

Just for reference, my ponytail is now about 2.5-3" around (so ii?), down from 4" and my hair was last measured at 26.5" No trauma, no medication (just daily vitamins), no illness, no allergies, and virgin hair. I'm 33, so too early for menopause. It's nowhere near terminal length, it was halfway down my butt 2004. We are trying to have a baby and it's taking quite a bit longer than expected....which is stressful (I'm seeing a fert. specialist, so I'm confident this will get sorted out). My hair is falling out....which is also pretty stressful. I don't know what it could be other than that, considering the bajillion tests are negative so far.

Jennielee88
November 11th, 2013, 01:25 PM
Just for reference, my ponytail is now about 2.5-3" around (so ii?), down from 4" and my hair was last measured at 26.5" No trauma, no medication (just daily vitamins), no illness, no allergies, and virgin hair. I'm 33, so too early for menopause. It's nowhere near terminal length, it was halfway down my butt 2004. We are trying to have a baby and it's taking quite a bit longer than expected....which is stressful (I'm seeing a fert. specialist, so I'm confident this will get sorted out). My hair is falling out....which is also pretty stressful. I don't know what it could be other than that, considering the bajillion tests are negative so far.
If its any consolation at all your pony circumference is still absolutely in the 'normal' range despite your hair loss. Mine is now 2.8 and I swear it used to be nearer to 4" too.

Do you spend a lot of time in a riding hat by any chance that could be rubbing against your nape...?

Jennielee88
November 11th, 2013, 01:32 PM
Were you on the contraceptive pill before you started trying to get pregnant? As I know that the sudden change in hormones and drop in oestrogen can cause shedding... Or are you being given hormones from your fertility specialist that can be causing an imbalance?

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 01:33 PM
I wondered that too, I switched from my normal Charles Owen helmet to a Troxel which is much much lighter, less contact with my scalp, and sits a lot higher off my neck. I'm schooling up a 17hh, 6 year old event prospect so no helmet is not an option ;) That switch was over the summer. The Troxel is much more comfortable in hot weather

Tail Feathers
November 11th, 2013, 01:40 PM
I live in Italy and don't know "WEN"; but.. read in some comments (I think comments on a Torrin Paige video)
where a few people mentioned that after using that for a while, they experienced a Lot of shedding.. ??

Sometimes the shedding is not immediate, when provoked by a product your hair might not like...
at least in my experience...

I am a vegetarian, and one time had a similar problem.
It was basically protein deficiency + too much salt and too little water in my diet.
Once I remedied that, the excess shedding stopped and has not returned since
(it was many years ago...).

Jennielee88
November 11th, 2013, 01:40 PM
I don't know if you saw my second post then because we posted around the same time! The one about hormone imbalances...
I know its a personal question and you don't have to answer it, but if you've been trying for a baby for a while which I'm guessing you have because you're seeing a specialist, is there any chance you could have PCOS which could explain both why you've struggled to get pregnant and also why you've been having hair loss? Did you doctor test you for that?

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 02:22 PM
I came off the pill in 2008 and had no hair loss at that time, and we have been trying for a year. Nope I'm not taking hormones, we're at the beginning of seeing a specialist. I have not been tested for PCOS, it's possible though? I don't have any other symptoms than the no baby and thinning hair. Protein and making sure to drink enough water are good points :)

Jennielee88
November 11th, 2013, 02:26 PM
Maybe ask for a test for PCOS just incase, it would explain both aspects! I don't know if you have any symptoms of PCOS or not but it's worth checking out

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 02:30 PM
This is actually part of the problem....I walk into a dr's office and they say i look perfectly fine....ugh! I wouldn't be there if I was fine. I am in very good shape, no trouble with keeping weight on or off, no hair growing in odd places as can happen with PCOS. I am willing to get anything and everything tested though. I just want an answer! And my hair! Maybe I do have it but with only two symptoms....I honestly hadn't considered that one before, thank you :)

Panth
November 11th, 2013, 02:41 PM
Just for reference, my ponytail is now about 2.5-3" around (so ii?), down from 4" and my hair was last measured at 26.5" No trauma, no medication (just daily vitamins), no illness, no allergies, and virgin hair. I'm 33, so too early for menopause. It's nowhere near terminal length, it was halfway down my butt 2004. We are trying to have a baby and it's taking quite a bit longer than expected....which is stressful (I'm seeing a fert. specialist, so I'm confident this will get sorted out). My hair is falling out....which is also pretty stressful. I don't know what it could be other than that, considering the bajillion tests are negative so far.

If its any consolation at all your pony circumference is still absolutely in the 'normal' range despite your hair loss. Mine is now 2.8 and I swear it used to be nearer to 4" too.

If you calculate out the cross-sectional area of the ponytail (which, unlike the circumference, is actually directly proportional to the number of hairs in the ponytail) you'll find that a drop from 4" to 3" circumference is actually a loss of approximately 50% of the hair. It's pretty serious, even though the 3" is still a very common circumference to have.

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 02:45 PM
50% loss is about accurate for where I'm at. And it's still falling, without explanation, which is why I'm freaking out.

Bethany873
November 11th, 2013, 02:46 PM
It wasn't until my 4th visit to the dr that she even tested me for anything, and it took two more visits after that to get a referral to the rheumatologist & dermatologist. So I lost hair for months before really being able to start trying to figure out why

Jennielee88
November 11th, 2013, 02:47 PM
This is actually part of the problem....I walk into a dr's office and they say i look perfectly fine....ugh! I wouldn't be there if I was fine. I am in very good shape, no trouble with keeping weight on or off, no hair growing in odd places as can happen with PCOS. I am willing to get anything and everything tested though. I just want an answer! And my hair! Maybe I do have it but with only two symptoms....I honestly hadn't considered that one before, thank you :)

Yeah I'm sure different people have different symptoms, what could be a major symptom in one person could be non existent for someone else with the same condition. I hope you get your answers soon :)

LauraLongLocks
November 11th, 2013, 03:06 PM
We call what doctors do "practicing" medicine for a reason. They don't know everything. I hope you find out what's going on soon.

Pamala513
November 11th, 2013, 06:15 PM
Bethany, I was a loyal Wen user for several years. I was severely losing my hair, some of that was thyroid meds too high, but the hair loss started way before when my levels were normal. I did a lot of serious researching on the internet regarding hair loss and Wen. I found close to 800 complaints about severe hair loss from wen and many many complaints to the FDA who did nothing. So, I threw my last 3 bottles in the trash and switched to organic shampoos and conditioners. You did say you used other conditioners ow, so I hope that wasn't the cause for you. It took over 6months until my hair loss slowed to minimum.

Emichiee
November 11th, 2013, 07:03 PM
I actually don't feel like I'm shedding that much now compared to what I was, but two weeks ago if I lifted my hair you couldn't see the missing patches, and now you clearly can. So obviously it's not slowed down as much I think. I would post a picture but I can't yet :)

Just for reference, my ponytail is now about 2.5-3" around (so ii?), down from 4" and my hair was last measured at 26.5" No trauma, no medication (just daily vitamins), no illness, no allergies, and virgin hair. I'm 33, so too early for menopause. It's nowhere near terminal length, it was halfway down my butt 2004. We are trying to have a baby and it's taking quite a bit longer than expected....which is stressful (I'm seeing a fert. specialist, so I'm confident this will get sorted out).

My first thought is hormones, because of you not having any success with conceiving. How long have you been ttc?
Anything related to hormones can cause a HUGE shed. What you are dealing with is in fact a lot if you are seeing bald spots and are close to 2 inches (even one inch lost is a lot, during my first hair loss episode I lost one inch and you can see in the picture that it thinned quite a bit, my scalp hair was thinner but not actually balding yet and I stopped it before it looked thin).

Next thought: Bald Patches, could point towards alopecia areata (http://drrajkirit.in/drkirit/imgPaths/hair_disorders-2_alopecia_areata(1).jpg) or tinea capitis (http://dermaamin.com/site/images/clinical-pic/t/tinea-capitis/tinea-capitis15.jpg). Tinea capitis is a fungus and can be treated fast and efficiently. AA has many underlying causes of which many are unclear, so the treatment is more difficult (although NOT impossible).

Vitamins: And overdose of certain Vitamins can cause hair loss. Have you researched all the safe levels before taking and possibly combining them?

It is strongly likely that there is a health issue at play though. Forget about products and how you brush and wash, that is certainly not it.
Here is a list of things that can cause hair loss either directly or indirectly:

http://longhairedatheart.blogspot.de/2013/08/causes-of-hair-loss-list.html


Causes of hair loss:

Stress

Lack of sleep

Nutrition deficiencies (very common)

Excess sugar (indirectly leads to other problems)

HCl deficiency

Indigestion (often resulting in nutrient deficiency)

Malabsorption

Pancreatic insufficiency

Pathogenic: bacteria, parasites, fungus (yeast)

Excess estradiol

Estrogen dominance

Excess cortisol

Excess DHEA

Excess Testosterone and other Androgens

PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)

Thyroid (possibly caused by above reasons)

Soy and other phyto estrogens (beer)

Heavy Metals (not the music kind ;))

Vitamin and Nutrient deficiencies (possibly caused by diet, indigestion and malabsorption)

Mineral Deficiencies

Hormonal Imbalances (common after birth control pill, pregnancy and pregnancy loss)

Raised Prolactin levels

Long term use of hormones (incl. birth control, hormone replacement medication)

Toxins and chemicals in cosmetics

Toxins and chemicals in foods

Other environmental toxins and estrogen found in plastic

Food Intolerances and malabsorption (gluten, dairy, fructose)

Food Sensitivities (grains, dairy, legumes, potato - can only be tested by elimination)

Please also take a look at very common causes I highlighted. Many of these problems are connected and affect each other and vice versa...

Maybe your shed is slowing down and you are seeing regrowth? (you said it is "growing"? Hair gains in length when you shed, that is normal), but I sure think getting a thorough health check would be best (Endocrinologist for many of these things, as well as Derm. for topical and Gyno for possible PCOS)