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View Full Version : Sudden Hair Loss - Please help!



Rosebud089
October 19th, 2016, 12:24 PM
Hi everyone,

I've been experiencing my hair thinning for the last 2 months (I started noticing in mid-July that my hair felt thinner and I started paying attention to the shedding, which has been ~20 when washing/air drying and maybe another 10-15 more throughout the day on average. This may not seem like a lot to most, but to me it's A LOT. I have fine/thinnish hair naturally).

So it has been shedding at this rate for this time, and I have steadily been seeing more of my scalp all over (it's very diffuse) and I've been mentally breaking down, terrified that I'm losing my hair. I've had a really hard last month. I saw my PCP and a dermatologist, got blood tests and everything was pretty normal, except my ferritin, which was at 14. I just started taking an iron supplement and Viviscal (1.5 months ago) and a few other supps. It is also important to note that I was acting on my bulimia the last year or so, but eating healthily and a lot otherwise (I would purge a few times a week after dinner or after binging. I know this is so so bad and I am so embarrassed and disappointed in myself. The minute I noticed my hair I stopped this completely and have been eating high protein, greens, super healthy every since). Could this have a triggered a sudden hair loss?

Will this stop soon? I've noticed baby hairs in my temples and along the top where a lot of hair was lost, but it just doesn't seem substantial at the moment, especially since my hair still seems to be coming out. I'm really scared and trying not to be stressed, but find myself breaking down when inspecting my part or after pulling strands from my hair.

If someone has any experience with this or can offer any sort of advice or assurance, I would be so grateful. Thank you so much.

Pearly~91
October 19th, 2016, 01:08 PM
Welcome to the board!

To clarify, you are shedding about 35 hairs every day? That's not much. If you are experiencing hair loss you would be loosing a lot more than that. It's perfectly normal to shed more than 100 hairs daily.

Rosebud089
October 19th, 2016, 01:14 PM
Thanks for responding! Yes, it's been less than 50/day, but for me it does seem more than normal. But what's the most noticeable is my ponytail decrease (feels like at least a quarter is gone) and when I pull it back, I have so much scalp showing on the sides/temples/hairline when I didn't only 2ish months ago (I was wearing my hair up in a high pony most of the summer).

Maybe it's more apparent for me since I started with fairly thin/fine hair instead of thick hair? I've never measured my ponytail (when it was normal thickness), but right now it's probably 1" :(

lapushka
October 19th, 2016, 04:00 PM
If you're that worried, and seeing those changes, then it's something for your doctor to deal with, really. :flower:

Rosebud089
October 19th, 2016, 04:18 PM
If you're that worried, and seeing those changes, then it's something for your doctor to deal with, really. :flower:

Yes, definitely. I've seen my PCP a couple of times and finally saw the derm yesterday, but she basically pulled at my hair, inspected for any inflammation and told me to come back in 4 weeks to see improvement and if not, I could start rogaine if I wanted :( I've kind of realized in the last 2 months that if I want to get to the bottom of this, I probably will need to do it myself because none of my doctors have really shown interest in exploring this. They both said "your hair looks good to me." I know that my hair probably looks normal to others, but to me it doesn't feel right at all and it's tearing me up emotionally.

Also, I'm 27 and I've been on yaz for more than 3 years, so I know it's not that. All I can think of it being related to is: 1. eating disorder habit, 2. low ferritin? Although I am not anemic, my iron level was high, or 3. stress/ seasonal shedding? I've never noticed seasonal changes in my hair before though.

Anyway, I know this problem can be kind of a mystery, but I'm just scared and really hoping I can find some kind of assurance this is going to turn out okay.

lapushka
October 19th, 2016, 04:40 PM
Also, I'm 27 and I've been on yaz for more than 3 years, so I know it's not that. All I can think of it being related to is: 1. eating disorder habit, 2. low ferritin? Although I am not anemic, my iron level was high, or 3. stress/ seasonal shedding? I've never noticed seasonal changes in my hair before though.

Anyway, I know this problem can be kind of a mystery, but I'm just scared and really hoping I can find some kind of assurance this is going to turn out okay.

That is a *big* thing right there. No need to look further if that's your main issue. I'm sorry but good hair needs a solid and good, well rounded diet. If that is somehow lacking, these things can happen. I don't mean to upset you in any way, and I'm sorry if it sounds blunt, but... it is what it is. :flower:

Dolly
October 19th, 2016, 04:43 PM
Yes, definitely. I've seen my PCP a couple of times and finally saw the derm yesterday, but she basically pulled at my hair, inspected for any inflammation and told me to come back in 4 weeks to see improvement and if not, I could start rogaine if I wanted :( I've kind of realized in the last 2 months that if I want to get to the bottom of this, I probably will need to do it myself because none of my doctors have really shown interest in exploring this. They both said "your hair looks good to me." I know that my hair probably looks normal to others, but to me it doesn't feel right at all and it's tearing me up emotionally.

Also, I'm 27 and I've been on yaz for more than 3 years, so I know it's not that. All I can think of it being related to is: 1. eating disorder habit, 2. low ferritin? Although I am not anemic, my iron level was high, or 3. stress/ seasonal shedding? I've never noticed seasonal changes in my hair before though.

Anyway, I know this problem can be kind of a mystery, but I'm just scared and really hoping I can find some kind of assurance this is going to turn out okay.

I have been going through a major shed, and my doctor tracked mine down to a combo of stress/thyroid/menopause. It is finally coming back in now, though. Also, I have realized that one thing that aggravates mine is the use of shampoos with sulfates.

Here is what I am thinking......AND I AM NOT A DOCTOR! But, bulimia can put an enormous stress on your body. Getting stressed out about your shed can also cause it to be worse. Also, as you get older, you may see changes happen in body and hair. For instance, seasonal sheds may come along, when they had never been an issue before.

That being said, first, if your doctor won't address an issue that concerns you so deeply, find another doctor. Second, be easy on your hair, try some no sulfate options, and good deep conditioners......maybe even protein packs. Third, even though it is distressing, try not to stress so much. EAT WELL, take your supplements, and try to calm down a bit. It will grow back, and all will be well.

FennFire911
October 19th, 2016, 08:15 PM
I'm going to tell you to do the near impossible. Try try try to stop any compulsive measuring and inspecting. I know these things go hand in hand for eating disorders. But I fear the more energy you invest in this, the more stress you are doing to yourself.
It must seem dismissive of the doctors if they're not finding anything, but try to believe them. I've been thinking about this all day, I saw it when you first posted it. It looks like you're already headed in the right direction by controlling or trying to control your bulimia, and you say you notice baby hair/regrowth.
Keep up the great work. You've shown strength with your determination to not let the bulimia control you. Keeping your health in order is the number one way to keep your hair going. And here, you've got a cheering section! I'm very certain things will be getting better for you soon. :)

Rosebud089
October 31st, 2016, 01:32 AM
I have been going through a major shed, and my doctor tracked mine down to a combo of stress/thyroid/menopause. It is finally coming back in now, though. Also, I have realized that one thing that aggravates mine is the use of shampoos with sulfates.

Here is what I am thinking......AND I AM NOT A DOCTOR! But, bulimia can put an enormous stress on your body. Getting stressed out about your shed can also cause it to be worse. Also, as you get older, you may see changes happen in body and hair. For instance, seasonal sheds may come along, when they had never been an issue before.

That being said, first, if your doctor won't address an issue that concerns you so deeply, find another doctor. Second, be easy on your hair, try some no sulfate options, and good deep conditioners......maybe even protein packs. Third, even though it is distressing, try not to stress so much. EAT WELL, take your supplements, and try to calm down a bit. It will grow back, and all will be well.

Dolly,

Thank you so much for your insight. I deep down believe I caused this through bulimia and I'm so disappointed in myself. But I've stopped that behavior a few months ago and intend on never reverting back to those terrible habits. This hair experience has really been a wake up call that I need to treat my body so much better. And I have been filling my body up with lots of good foods and attempting to rid it of the stressful vibes. That is my struggle at the moment. But having your encouragement and assurance helps so much. I'm sure I will often come back here to remind myself to continue the positivity. Thank you!

Rosebud089
October 31st, 2016, 01:35 AM
I'm going to tell you to do the near impossible. Try try try to stop any compulsive measuring and inspecting. I know these things go hand in hand for eating disorders. But I fear the more energy you invest in this, the more stress you are doing to yourself.
It must seem dismissive of the doctors if they're not finding anything, but try to believe them. I've been thinking about this all day, I saw it when you first posted it. It looks like you're already headed in the right direction by controlling or trying to control your bulimia, and you say you notice baby hair/regrowth.
Keep up the great work. You've shown strength with your determination to not let the bulimia control you. Keeping your health in order is the number one way to keep your hair going. And here, you've got a cheering section! I'm very certain things will be getting better for you soon. :)


Thank you so much @FennFire911, your positive words mean so so much to me right now. It's been hard for me because my friends and family, as supportive and loving to me as they are through this, do not understand how it is affecting my mental state so drastically. you're probably right though, my compulsive hair counting and inspecting etc. all relate to my bulimia and the fact that I have anxiety, which has been feeling especially out of control now. This experience has pushed me to finally seek the psychological help that i really need to sort out that behavior once and for all. My bulimia is over (and has been for the last few months), but it's time to understand why this happened. I guess this hair loss was my body's way of saying "this is the damage you are doing" and thank god it wasn't something even worse.

At this point, I'm trying to muster up feelings of hope, because even though my hair is still (mostly) in tact (besides that it has changed so much in the last couple months) and I can see my scalp through my hair in certain ares or my suddenly tiny sized ponytail can't fit in my regular elastics... I need to not immediately revert to spiraling and believing the worst -- that I will soon be left with next to no hair. I'm trying to focus on eating a totally full variety of proteins, tons of greens and iron-enriched everything and anything.

I'm going to focus on treating my body with respect and believe my hair is ending its shed soon and is on it's way back and man will I take care of it if it returns. The last part is still just so hard to believe at the moment :(

Anyway, I really do appreciate your words. What I've been needing more than anything is just anyone to tell me I didn't destroy myself and there is hope for recovery from this (and a huge personal growth to be gained).

Thank you!