View Full Version : Hair loss and overwhelmed

August 13th, 2018, 07:08 AM
Hi all, I have not been around here in a long while because my kids need much attention and the time for haircare has become increasingly scarce. Basically, I've been benign-neglecting my hair, using all sorts of different shampoos (alternating Coco Glucoside and SLS because of our hard water) and conditioners because I can't resist pretty product packaging, using Elumen to dye it red every two or three months. I haven't made any significant changes in years, only new products from time to time.

I've had my fair share of hormonal ups and downs during the last decade with five pregnancies and breastfeeding, experiencing a few cycles of shedding and regrowth. About half a year ago or so I stopped breastfeeding (after 12 years of doing so non-stop - that looks crazy written down :bigeyes:). This very roughly coincides with increased shedding, though I am not sure if it is even related, it came so gradually and could have been going on longer until I finally noticed. Anyhow, my ponytail circumference has decreased worryingly (I daren't even measure), my hairline looks patchy, my braid is pitiful, I have scalp cleavage in every updo, so I wear it down most of the time. Looking at old pictures my braid looks about half as thick. I know I am not 20 anymore, but menopause is still not in sight yet.

It is a scary overwhelming situation, and I don't know where to begin. There are so many reasons for hair loss, and all possible remedies take time to work and for me to notice if they DO work. I've started taking high doses of biotin and MSM, but now what? I am still shedding like crazy whenever I brush or wash my hair. I am sceptical of trying out expensive anti-hairloss products, when I don't even know what causes the shedding.

I would be immensely grateful for your input.

August 13th, 2018, 08:33 AM
Go to the doctor.

August 13th, 2018, 08:43 AM
Welcome back - and yes, a visit to the doctor could be a good idea for you :)

August 13th, 2018, 08:59 AM
Akurah is correct.

Please don’t self-diagnose by taking an excess of vitamins that will not work. Firstly, most people are not deficient on Biotin to require mega-doses. Biotin needs to be taken with other B-Complex vitamins. MSM with Vitamin C as an absorbic acid. MSM contrary to internet rumors does not “regrow” hair or make it “grow” faster. How do you know you are not iron deficient? Vitamin D? What about your thyroid? You not going to make corrections to above normal hair thinning/shedding with those vitamins. Especially if they are not properly taken. There could be an underlying medical cause.

Consult with a physician and they can advise you how to proceed. Best of luck.

August 13th, 2018, 09:38 AM
The same thing happened to me when I stopped breastfeeding my first child after doing so for 3 years (a random, extreme shedding session). I got a blood test and I was iron deficient so I was put on a high dose for a few months. I’m pregnant again now and they had to put me back on the high dose again because we knew the signs and kept a closer eye on things.
It could be anything for you, but I do remember my midwife saying that when you finish breastfeeding it is another hormonal change much like when your body adjusts after giving birth.
If a blood test doesn’t dig up any answers then perhaps, without my suggestion intending to be rude, it could be stress related? That’s always a common side-effect to stress for a lot of people.

August 13th, 2018, 09:53 AM
Taking mega doses of vitamins is never a good idea. Your body can only absorb a limited amount and the rest is eliminated. At best, you are creating expensive urine. At worst, you are stressing your liver and kidneys.

Please see a doctor and have a workup to be sure things like iron and thyroid are at normal levels. Don't take anything more than a multivitamin/mineral unless prescribed by the doctor.

My GUESS would be that hormones have shifted now that you are no longer breastfeeding, and that is why you've been shedding. As long as you are taking care of your health, it will be self-limiting. Excessive shedding is usually followed by excessive new hair growth - the "my head looks like a dandelion going to seed" appearance. Be prepared for that.

August 13th, 2018, 11:44 AM
Thanks so much, everyone!

During the past few years my own well-being has always come after everyone else in the family and going to a doctor unless I am really sick seemed a luxury, as it is "just hair". But lately it has really started to scare me, so I will go and get my blood tested and ditch the supplements until I know about any deficiencies. I guess I needed that push, so thanks again :blossom:..

August 13th, 2018, 02:03 PM
I would see a doctor as well, maybe even a psychiatrist and I only say that because my mom went through something very similar. She went to a therapist, doctor and psychiatrist and after a year of treatment she and her hair were doing much better. I hope everything goes well for you!

August 13th, 2018, 02:51 PM
I agree with akurah, this needs a doctor's eyes, and not a forum. 12 years of BF is a lot, and you stopping might have something to do with it. But you can't be sure; have your doctor run a bloodtest on you, to see if you have deficiencies. That is key info to find out!

August 13th, 2018, 03:32 PM
Do come back and let us know what you find out from your doctor visit.

August 13th, 2018, 03:42 PM
I would see a doctor as well, maybe even a psychiatrist

Um, why are you suggesting a psychiatrist? :confused:

@spidermom, I will. I need to wait for a couple of days though, so the supplements don't interfere with the blood test.

August 13th, 2018, 04:04 PM
Um, why are you suggesting a psychiatrist? :confused:

@spidermom, I will. I need to wait for a couple of days though, so the supplements don't interfere with the blood test.

Yes I don't quite get the suggestion of the psychiatrist either. :flower: I was kind of shocked to see that suggestion, actually. :o

August 13th, 2018, 05:53 PM
A doctor will help. I found out I was very very vitamin d deficient (needed an injection of it) and iron deficient. Explained why MY hair was so brittle and thin.

August 13th, 2018, 06:28 PM
The psychiatrist suggestion might be in the case of “is this induced by emotional stress”.

My two cents:
1. it’s probably not emotional stress
2. If it is emotional stress, you probably still want a normal doctor and not a psychiatrist. I have/had stress induced alopecia areata. The treatment was performed by the dermatologist, because the treatment was steroid shots. My psychiatrist couldn’t have helped in this case.

August 29th, 2018, 07:01 AM
Thanks akurah, that makes sense :)! I don't think it is stress related either, life is actually very good at the moment.

I got the blood test results yesterday. Surprisingly enough, my iron levels are good (which I'd have sworn they wouldn't be, pale as I am), as are my B Vitamins, but I do have a vitamin D deficiency (21.2 ng/ml compared to a norm of 30.0 - 100.0). Adding to that my TSH level is just on the bottom end of normal, so the doctor has referred me to the hospital for an ultrasound to find out more.

So, my next steps are supplementing vitamin D and getting an ultrasound appointment.

Maybe it is just because I'm finally doing something and have a more positive outlook, but I think I'm shedding a bit less at the moment...
And I trimmed about two inches of scraggly ends today, so my hair looks a bit better overall.