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View Full Version : Growing Hair While Battling Thinning - An Exercise in Futility?



checkuponit
October 26th, 2017, 08:39 PM
Hello all,
Newish here - I've lurked for many years but only recently started posting. I am currently going through some fairly serious shedding/thinning for the last 6 months or so, and trying to figure out what it is and how to treat it - probably female pattern hair loss, and I estimate I've lost about 50% of my hair - but at the same time, I'd like to continue try and grow my CBL hair to at least BSL.

I've always had super fast-growing (thick wavy) hair in the past, but lately, because of whatever is plaguing me, it seems to just sort of...not grow.

For the last month, I have been using Nizoral 2x a week, and Phylia de M sulfate-free shampoo on the other days, and 5% minoxodil nightly. I'm taking a multivitamin, lysine, and Viviscal as well. No iron deficiency. I don't brush or comb it at all, no heat, no dye.

Is there anyone else here who is trying to grow while thinning? I'd love to know any tips or commiserate! Sometimes I wonder if I should just chop it and get a wig. :(

CrowningGlory
October 26th, 2017, 10:40 PM
Hello all,
Newish here - I've lurked for many years but only recently started posting. I am currently going through some fairly serious shedding/thinning for the last 6 months or so, and trying to figure out what it is and how to treat it - probably female pattern hair loss, and I estimate I've lost about 50% of my hair - but at the same time, I'd like to continue try and grow my CBL hair to at least BSL.

I've always had super fast-growing (thick wavy) hair in the past, but lately, because of whatever is plaguing me, it seems to just sort of...not grow.

For the last month, I have been using Nizoral 2x a week, and Phylia de M sulfate-free shampoo on the other days, and 5% minoxodil nightly. I'm taking a multivitamin, lysine, and Viviscal as well. No iron deficiency. I don't brush or comb it at all, no heat, no dye.

Is there anyone else here who is trying to grow while thinning? I'd love to know any tips or commiserate! Sometimes I wonder if I should just chop it and get a wig. :(

You need to see a doctor. Losing 50% is a lot and only a doctor can diagnose what is causing such dramatic thinning. Please don't self-diagnose. And re iron deficiency: my loss was due to low Ferritin levels but my haemoglobin always remained normal so it took a while to find the culprit even though I had many of the symptoms of anaemia. So I wouldn't rule it out unless bloods confirm haemoglobin and Ferritin are normal (and what is considered normal for Ferritin may actually still be too low to support healthy hair growth).

As for growing while thinning, it depends. There's no rule that says you can't, but it depends on how the thinning affects your hair. My longer lengths thinned out dramatically and made me miserable. Several times I cut back to BSL where it looked better. So you might be able to reach BSL without the thinning being noticeable or you might not.

But please, find out what is causing the thinning.

parkmikii
October 27th, 2017, 01:13 AM
How are your periods? I recently discovered that I have PCOS. I was alarmed because my hair thinned a lot since last year and went to a dermatologist who then refered me to an endocrinologist. They had me do some hormonal blood test and an ultrasound and voila, PCOS. Now I nees to level up my hormones and then the shedding might get back to normal. So I'd recommend researching more and going to see a doctor.

diddiedaisy
October 27th, 2017, 02:36 AM
I joined here nearly four years ago looking for advice on hairloss. My shedding had been heavy since the birth of my son who at the time was nine. As I kept my hair cbl during that time I didnít notice that it was actually thinning. I lost about 40% of my hair.

Biotin stopped the shedding for me, but then the problem was lack of active follicles. Since last year I have taken viviscal with some success and for about six months I have been using regaine. Unfortunately the regaine caused a couple of big sheds which has set me back. I have been stuck in a cycle of grow, cut, grow cut. I reached waist just recently but again cut back to bsl due to those regaine sheds.

I wonít lie to you, itís a long hard road. The first thing I would suggest you do is check for any underlying medical issues. If there does not seem to be any reason you can be pro-active in trying things out for yourself. This could be a good multi-vitamin or something hair specific. What works for one doesnít for another, so you will to experiment.

Be prepared to be friends with your scissors. You will have to cut as you grow. Leaving too much thinness at the ends will demoralise you, even if you do wear your hair up all the time. Patience is the key, and is sometimes hard to find.

I posted some pics on my hair anniversary last year, it contained pics of my hair recovery. I will look for it and post the pics here. The difference was quite astounding in the recovery of some of the thickness, of not the length!!! I think these pics will give you some encouragement.

Good luck and I hope you find the answers you need :)

diddiedaisy
October 27th, 2017, 03:15 AM
I've found a screenshot of progress pics so the quality is not good, but my laptop is shot and I'll be sat here until next week trying to find the original!!!

You can see the difference in thickness though. It took 3 years to get to this point, and I had cut off much more than I kept. As you can see at shoulder/cbl you can't tell there's a problem. Believe it or not there's not much length difference in the last three pictures, maybe two inches at most but you can see how it's got wider across my back. I have spent a lot of time loitering around bsl.

https://i.imgur.com/v7Q1iiPm.jpg


This one was taken a couple of weeks ago at waist, but I've since cut back again to bsl/mbl. I hasten to add with some regret, it was a middle of the night moment of madness.

https://i.imgur.com/EITOVcom.jpg


As you can see growing out hairloss is not a quick process, but if the problems causing it are addressed it can be improved. It's still a work in progress for me even after four years.

I hope these pics give you some encouragement. :)

diddiedaisy
October 27th, 2017, 03:27 AM
Edit. Sorry it took so long to fire up my laptop Iíd forgotten youíd said you were taking viviscal etc. So really unless it turns out you have a medical condition itís unfortunately a waiting and patience game :)

ReptilianFeline
October 27th, 2017, 05:01 AM
I'm keeping my length even if it is sadly thin at the end. It helps keep my bun together and the illusion of having long hair. Shedding is hard, but for me, cutting it would be even harder.

lapushka
October 27th, 2017, 05:16 AM
I lost a lot of hair during puberty, when I was 13/14; it was hormonal (and I had bald spots), so nothing could be done. I had a "growing out" pixie at the time, and grew it on to APL. 2 years later it had grown back in. I guess my hormones had balanced out by then somewhat. It took 2 years, though.

Seconding the doctor's advice, but I'm thinking from what OP wrote that she must have seen one?

checkuponit
October 27th, 2017, 07:05 AM
Thank you all so much for the support and advice! I am definitely planning to trim continually.

I have been to my GP, who tested basic bloods and all was fine (my ferritin was 70, vitamin d was 36 i think) and she said it was probably hormonal, and sent me on to the obgyn, who said it COULD be the pill I'm on, but stopping it could cause shedding too, and I should see a derm. I have a derm appointment next month, so...we shall see.

Diddiedaisy: thank you so much for posting the photos, it does indeed give me hope!

checkuponit
October 27th, 2017, 07:07 AM
Another weird thing - my husband is also suddenly having thinning on his hair as well! I realize we are "at that age" (he is 39, i am 41) but it does seem a bit odd that we are both losing our hair concurrently.

lapushka
October 27th, 2017, 08:28 AM
Another weird thing - my husband is also suddenly having thinning on his hair as well! I realize we are "at that age" (he is 39, i am 41) but it does seem a bit odd that we are both losing our hair concurrently.

That could just be coincidence. Are you using the same products?

bparnell75
October 27th, 2017, 11:37 AM
I'm keeping my length even if it is sadly thin at the end. It helps keep my bun together and the illusion of having long hair. Shedding is hard, but for me, cutting it would be even harder.

This is my story too. I think I loose too much hair at this point to see any hair growth. But the thin ends do help with bunning and since I never wear it down that is good for me.

checkuponit
October 27th, 2017, 09:26 PM
That could just be coincidence. Are you using the same products?

We were both using Head & Shoulders for years and years. But unless someone put Nair in our shampoo, I can't imagine that it would cause problems!

In April, we DID both use a salt-based lice remedy (our kids had lice, so we used the treatment preventatively) and I lost a huge horrifying gob of hair after I rinsed it out...I keep wondering if that treatment did something to my scalp that triggered a shed.

checkuponit
October 28th, 2017, 07:55 PM
How are your periods? I recently discovered that I have PCOS. I was alarmed because my hair thinned a lot since last year and went to a dermatologist who then refered me to an endocrinologist. They had me do some hormonal blood test and an ultrasound and voila, PCOS. Now I nees to level up my hormones and then the shedding might get back to normal. So I'd recommend researching more and going to see a doctor.

Did you have other symptoms of PCOS besides hair thinning? I'm on the pill, so I'm not sure what I would notice...

lapushka
October 29th, 2017, 09:08 AM
We were both using Head & Shoulders for years and years. But unless someone put Nair in our shampoo, I can't imagine that it would cause problems!

In April, we DID both use a salt-based lice remedy (our kids had lice, so we used the treatment preventatively) and I lost a huge horrifying gob of hair after I rinsed it out...I keep wondering if that treatment did something to my scalp that triggered a shed.

Hmm myeah... IDK. Maybe just wait and see. It might lessen over time now that things are settled back into the normal routine.

checkuponit
November 9th, 2017, 12:20 PM
Hello all,
Just wanted to update everyone. I did visit my dermatologist last week. He noted that my bloodwork was fine and scalp looked fine, so no obvious underlying medical issues. He did a "pull test" which did not yield telogen hairs.

He basically said that either I'm at the end of a telogen effluvium or experiencing female pattern hairloss (which is what I was thinking) and only time will tell. He also reiterated that since I started Rogaine at the end of September, I should wait 6 months before determining its effectiveness.

Female hair loss seems to me a tricky thing, medically speaking, as it sort of sits at the confluence of several different areas - general health, dermatology, obgyn, and endocrinology. Most practitioners only have experience in one area and can't speak to other aspects that might have effect.

I'll update when or if I notice some results - am on week 6 of Rogaine and experiencing some shedding.

checkuponit
November 9th, 2017, 12:22 PM
Additionally, am thinking of cutting hair to shoulders so it doesn't look quite so straggly!

If I can figure out how to block my face from photos, I will post some pix. How do I do that?!