View Full Version : Nixon (Nioxin) or something else?

September 16th, 2009, 05:06 PM
Like probably a bazillion others, I came across LHC when I was searching for info on shedding. :rolleyes:

I've always been a big shedder and my mom and sister are too so hair in my comb or brush or shower never really phased me until recently. Over the past two months (probably longer), my shedding is, well, big enough to worry me. I know I shouldn't count, but in order to guage things(because really, it's easy to imagine that hair ball is 200 hairs oppose to 125), I have been. Here is an example of my recent week (this includes all hair from shower, detangle, and finger combing throughout the day) the days with a W are wash days.
w145, 90, w135, 85, w110, 94, w170, 90

I usually put conditioner on my ends, wash my roots, and then condition the ends again. I use aussie 3MM for the length and either pureology shampoo or giovanni TTT shampoo and then either more aussie or suave coconut natruals for my last condition. (the day with 170, I tried an ACV rinse hoping to help with the itchies)

The hair that stays on my head seems in good enough condition doing this, but the shedding is really getting to me. I mean seriously.. 170 hairs in one day?!

I did go to my GP and he ran blood work for my thyroid (because I've been hyper before), a regular CBC, liver and kidney function, and even lupus markers and everything came back dandy and he simply told me to go to a dermatologist.

I'm 31 and my youngest child will be 4years old soon and I had a hysterectomy three years ago.

Nothing stressful happened over the summer. I've been taking biotin and EPO (the EPO is for my montly cycle.. I don't have a uterus but I do still have ovaries so my hormones should be the same as before the hysterectomy) for almost 4 weeks now and started garlic, MSM (well.. glucosamine MSM), and a hair skin nails vitamin from walgreens in the past week. For months I've been taking a multi vit, and fish oil daily.

I tried/am trying scalp massage, but it generally freaks me out to do that and then finger combe out 40 hairs after (for what it's worth, I'm placing fingers firmly on scalp and moving scalp and not rubbing the hair around so I think I'm doing it correctly).

My scalp doesn't seem to have build up and if I scritch, there's just white sebum but my scalp is generally very itchy lately. The tea tree shampoo helps a little, but not for long. I only blowdry the roots on low and never until fully dry but it helps it to dry faster and keeps itchies away (drying natrually makes my scalp itchy because it takes 4-6 hours to fully dry)

I tried co washing twice, and both times were major sheds. I also tried coconut oil on my scalp since I use it a lot on my body and like it but the next day I had a particularly big shed so I'm too afraid to try again.

I'm just at a loss. I haven't found a person yet that found a dermatologist to be helpful in a similar situation. It seems like they either blow them off, or tell tem to go on rogaine. Anyone else had a better experience with a derm?

Some people seem to have good results with nioxin but others have horrible results/reactions to it so I'm really afraid to try it.

I have no idea what I hope to hear. I mostly just need to get it all "out there" because nobody around me really "gets it". My hubby is great and supportive, but doesn't know what to tell me except that he'll love me with or without hair.

It's pretty hard to fix a problem when you don't know what's causing it. I don't have any real bald spots to point to but my sister says she can tell my hair has thinned.

Do I just wait it out or do I give nioxin a try and hope I'm not one of those people that reacts badly?

If I had a lot of hair to muck around with, I wouldn't be so afraid to experiment. But with dwindling amounts, I'm frozen with fear that my next experiment will be worse than the last.

whew! thanks for letting me get that out, even if you don't know what to say (heck, who would?)

September 16th, 2009, 05:52 PM
Your sheds definitely seem to be higher on washing days. This could be linked to increased manipulation, but it could be linked to product. I note that you are using two different shampoos. Do you notice any difference in shedding between the two?

You might try letting some rosemary tea on your scalp. It helps both with itchiness and with shedding. Note, though, that if you have very light colored hair, it may temporarily darken your hair slightly (will wash out in one to two shampoos). Take 1/4 cup of dried rosemary, put it in a mug, cover with boiling water, let steep for several hours, and then apply to your scalp and let rest for 1/2 hour to an hour or so, then wash as usual.


September 16th, 2009, 05:56 PM
Nixon never had long hair, did he?
Pat? Julie? :shrug:

September 16th, 2009, 05:58 PM
It sounds like you've been pretty healthy, but have you had any illnesses recently? (it can trigger increased shedding)

It could be products, like ll suggested. Have you changed anything in the way you care for your hair recently?

September 17th, 2009, 05:03 AM
Your story sounds so familiar to me! I am in the same situation here, just after the birth control pills! And husband`s words are the same because my hair has gotten really thin on top. But I have many new hairs that growing and prayer and all natural remedies help me to fight it. I read that you had hysterectomy done some time ago. I read that several years after that surgery menopause could start which causes major hair loss. I don't know if it is true in your case but they say surgery triggers it because all hormones get changed. Maybe if you google it it will give you the answers on your shed. I hope it helps.

September 17th, 2009, 05:12 AM
Sorry for double posting, just want to give links that might help.
The stress from surgery can cause hair loss in genetically prone women. If you had your ovaries removed, the changes in hormones may produce a imbalance which may lead to your hair loss. Women normally produce male hormones in small quantities and they are offset against the large amounts of female estrogens. With the ovaries gone, the balance is tipped and this could be the cause of your ‘male like’ crown hair loss. Speak with your doctor about hormone replacement therapy.


Hope it helps

September 17th, 2009, 09:09 AM
I opened this thread thinking about Tricky Dick, too.

perhaps it is seasonal, have you thought of that? If your hair thickness isn't really going down from what it was, say, in the spring, and you have no other health problems, 170 hairs a day could be "normal." It isn't really that much more than the average of 100.

I know how frustrating it is to shed. I am currently still shedding *1000* and more hairs a day and my hair is less than 1/4 its former thickness. Still, apart from diet and living healthily, there doesn't seem to be much you can do...

September 17th, 2009, 10:04 AM

I know how frustrating unrelenting shedding can be. I've been plagued with it since I hit my mid-30's. Sounds like you have the supplements angle well-covered. I just want to suggest you might add minoxidil to your routine. People seem to resist it, but really it's no more trouble than taking pills or shampooing. When I was using it 2x per day (1 ml each time) my sheds stopped and I went nearly a year with almost no shedding at all-- like just a few hairs per day. The shed was lower than it had ever been in my life! I used 5% minoxidil from Target. I wasn't able to maintain that full dosage due to scalp irritation, so now I use only about 1/2 ml per day. It still helps but not to the same degree. I also had some pattern loss (temples and crown) and it really helps in the temple area, even at the lower dosage.

There are pricier formulas available online that claim to be less irritating, but my shed is at a manageable point for me, so I haven't pursued it. I've added biotin and EPO to my routine recently. The biotin seems to be creating new growth, but I haven't yet noticed decreased shed (it's only been a couple months).

heidi w.
September 17th, 2009, 10:55 AM
I anticipate that your subject line for titling this thread wasn't intended to reference the former President Nixon, rather it's a typo with the missing 'o' for NIOXIN, a hair thinning/loss program.

If you want to consider Nioxin line, I would think you may well be able to have good results from just the vitamins in this line. I had a friend who claimed hair thinning (although I couldn't see it) and intense shedding, and began taking JUST the vitamins in this line and claimed to have great results in that her hair thickened back up. The problem is twofold in this line:
(a) the price
(b) you have to take the vitamins or use the line for some duration before results are seen, and if you cease, the shedding will continue again. It only treats symptoms, not root cause (no pun intended).

Regarding your math for shedding, it seems to me without accurate mathematical analysis that in the span of a week you are somewhere around the average hair loss of 100 hairs per day. Averaging out the math. I have seen stats from that 100 hairs per day up to about 130 hairs (I've even seen 150) per day is "normal". For the record, for most folks, hair loss/shedding increases somewhat dramatically on a hair wash day. So, I actually don't take the numbers you're posing as a problematic level interpretation.

HOWEVER, this shedding rate bothers you and you want to know what to do about it.

Before I tried the expensive line of Nioxin, I'd think NATURE'S PLUS ULTRA HAIR VITAMINS. It has massive doses of Vitamin A and I personally had an adverse reaction to this level of Vit A, (itching from the inside out since it stores in the fat cells -- itching began, for me, in the thigh area where my fat content/zonage is higher) but most do not have issues. This is a significantly cheaper solution compared to Nioxin, and what this vitamin does is help the body to reduce the shedding. It works for a lot of people. If you're taking this in addition to a multi-vitamin you may be really amplifying the potential for any Vit. A reactions. I know folks will be helfpul and come in and explain about fat- and water-soluble vitamins, but supposedly this Vit A source in this hair vitamin is water soluble, yet I personally had an issue. We're all unique.

ETA: this link
entry line #2 and #5 -- difference is number of tablets

I would also consider Zinc and Magnesium. This should be in your multi-vitamin.

Ensure that with all that energy output with your child daily that you have sufficient Vit B complex (especially B6 and B12) on board. You take a multi-vitamin daily, so there should be enough of that in there.

You mentioned you take Biotin.

Saw Palmetto may be an option to consider; however, be CLEARLY aware of any health concerns for you where this is not a good vitamin to take. One time, here a woman came in and claimed the problems for women taking saw palmetto particularly with certain types of hormonal disorders. I thought the info important but alas, I cannot recall the issue. Just know it's not for many women. Do your homework on this before making a decision.

Another possibility may be Horsetail Silica. But again do your homework, and suddenly I am thinking that the person who gave vital info on problems with Saw Palmetto for women-- I'm suddenly thinking now that maybe the discussion was about Horsetail Silica. I'm sorry I don't rightly recollect. It's been a few years ago since that exchange.

Dong Quai is thought to be a female hormone and balancing energy, especially for 'yin' types....I recommend a read of Dr. Christianne Northrup's book The Wisdom of Menopause because it's important to understand the shift our bodies undergo over time. I seem to recall her mentioning this herb is useful in hair thinning (it's a tiny comment amongst a plethora of pages, approximately one sentence in the entire text), but I may be recollecting incorrectly. She discusses what happens over time in perimenopause which can begin as early as 15 years prior to menopause. For me, perimenopausal symptoms have increased as I've come closer to menopause. Being just shy of 50 I now have night sweats, bouts of insomnia, and hot flashes, and my hair shedding has increased somewhat.

If you had the blood test, then you likely are reassured you have no chronic anemia, even borderline anemia problems (lack of iron in the blood). Even borderline cases can have an increase in shedding that only shows thinning quite some time later since it's rather imperceptible in any immediate way. NEVER take straight iron pills, especially not children, as this can be VERY toxic and even death (especially for lower body masses such as children). Any need or consideration of iron consumption pills needs to be discussed with a medical doctor and monitored carefully. Cancer patients and those in recovery from surgery with a high degree of blood loss may be asked to take iron. Iron pills can have a binding effect, causing serious constipation, among other concerns. It's best to address iron through diet. While vegan and vegetarian folks can absolute get enough iron in these types of diets, there is a subset of these folks who's body types (and this can relate to blood loss during the mensus in some cases) may have a problem on such a diet. (If that's coupled with an overly low- or no-fat diet, this lone factor alone could be problematic with iron levels in blood and iron in bone marrow -- in storage so-to-speak). Remember if there's low supply in the blood the body goes to the bone marrow and draws that out from there to replenish. Some women may experience a kind of temporary anemia that is in response to the mensus, so checking just prior or just after mensus in a certain timeline for anemia may be pointed. I read this in Dr. Philip Kingsley's book, Hair, if memory serves....or was it?.....I'll go home and look it up later this evening.


heidi w.
September 17th, 2009, 10:56 AM
Remember we all go through phases of increased shedding in anticipation of a regrowth phase. At certain junctures chronologically there also seems to be a time where most people will experience an increase in shedding as the body adjusts to waning hormonal influences. For women the first is in the 25 zone, around 40ish, and by even 50, most women notice less 'volume'. This is part of natural aging. Hormonal influences are not a constant in our lives.

Nutrition: one assumes you are eating some of the proper fats and not on a wholly non-fat diet. Why? The proper fats act as a 'carrier' for a variety of vitamins and minerals. You can eat certain nutrients that posses vitamins/minerals, BUT IF you have no fat in the diet, some of these will not be delivered, thus the body is actually nutritionally starving. This is why those who go on strict no-fat diets suddenly and dramatically, after about a month may well notice an increase in hair shedding. An extreme example would be anorexics.

ETA: Hair is built on protein, so be sure your diet has enough protein, the full Amino Acids (8 per day) required in your food throughout the day: examples, rice&beans (each have the protein the other item lacks making this a full protein source); soybean (all 8 amino acids in one little bean -- tofu, tempeh); cheese (you get a lot of saturated fat in most cheeses though); eggs; of course meat, poultry, pork and fish. Many vegetables offer protein too, just usually smaller amounts. The remaining amino acids are produced by our body, something around a total of 27 or 28? (my ecological biology nutrition classes fail me at this moment -- or memory--anyway, you get the point).

OK, hair care techniques matter.

Begin with water quality. Might a shower head filter be of benefit? Is your water overly hard, contains too much iron or sulfur?

I presume you do NOT pile hair and scrub away.

A biggie is to NOT detangle pristinely wet hair, especially brushing (which I understand you do not do--brushing that is). Fully wet hair is fully engorged (both length and width of a given strand) and the weight is heavier and the length is slightly longer, meaning hair is at max stretching. Any form of detangling can push things over the edge and increase shedding from this perspective. Wait at least for hair to be somewhat damp, then detangle gradually with a wide-tooth comb. Curlies typically can't wait til fully air dry though or they have a mess on their hands. A lot of people prefer finger-combing, but the fingers, in my humble opinion, are much too fat. Comb's teeth are much narrower....but it is personal preference and not all hair has issues with finger combing. Mine does though: finger combing for me simply doesn't work and causes more problems for me in pulling hair. You can coat hair with conditioner, and use a wide-tooth comb coated with conditioner over&over again and work with hair in shower water if you absolutely must. Super coily curlies benefit from this, but straighter types don't usually need to do this.

BCP pills (birth control) can absolutely contribute to shedding or holding on to hairs that do need to slough off. Either way.
list of pills from lowest androgen index to highest

Just as there are tons of medications that affect hair loss. Even arthritis medication can cause thinning. Heart, oxygen supply, diabetes. blood thinners, blood pressure medications, cholesterol medications, prednisone....and on goes the list.

Certainly pregnancy, gestation and breast feeding, hormonally tend to suspend shedding, but once these activities cease, shedding can begin 1-3 months later and it can be a huge volume as the hair volume returns to 'normal' conditions. However, for some women, the body doesn't clock in properly and the shedding continues voluminously which can signal a hormonal issue after birth/breast feeding (and it occurs more often than folks realize). So if you are pregnant, then breast feed, then this stops, say around 2 years old....then wait 1-3 months, the shedding will begin. It shouldn't persist for much more than 6 months, typically more like only 3 months. If it persists much longer, then as the saying goes, Houston, we have a problem. Women's hair texture and shine factor can also change; color can change, hair type can change, such as curl factor or not.....

There IS evidence about seasonal shedding, not unlike what dogs and other furred animals go through.
ETA: added in links

Conclusions: These results confirm the findings of former authors who have indicated seasonal changes in human hair growth, though this is the first study performed systematically in a representative number of women.

(ignore that 50 hairs per day quote)--otherwise interesting read as this hints at other possibilities that explain hair thinning. (In male pattern baldness, FYI, most women who have this will often thin in a different 'pattern' than men, such as on the sides of the temple first.....and not a receding hair line or at the crown per se, or the hair part seems to widen)

Surgery definitely is stressful to the body and any meds can cause issues with increase loss. Typically loss, and this is an important concept, takes a little bit to ramp up: it's not typically surgery today, hair loss tomorrow, or hormonal problem now, and by 24 hours later, hair loss increases. The signals to hair follicles can take a little time (nutritional deficiencies for example) that Houston we have a problem occurs, and it shows in shedding, typically 1-3 months after the issue actually began. ETA: By the time a problem with the body's system shows in hair, that problem has been lying low for at least a few months.

My girlfriend has been having the hormonal phasing into menopause and been very hot and attributed it to hot flashes. However she got tested and voila, it's now realized she has Graves Disease and Hyperthyroid, Graves being a form of hyperthyroid (ETA: fixed the nomenclature from hyperthermia (I was working on a swimming thing privately and put a few things together that don't belong! Bah!). (It turns out her body temp is normal but she is still hot from the 'outside' if you will...very hot. Including palms sweating and the like.) All this time her hair has been shedding and breaking off even, thinning tremendously. Once on Dr. Oz/Oprah I saw a particularly bad case of 6 weeks a full head of hair near the shoulders, and 6 weeks later her hair was fluffy, scalp showing through significantly and dry, brittle and about 6 inches long at best! (hers was a problem with the pituitary gland--essentially a thyroid issue.) So not all hot flashes are hot flashes per se. The good news is that once this is resolved with medication, her hair will grow back since the follicles aren't dead as what occurs in true baldness or certain auto-immune disorders such as forms of alopecia. Maybe not like it was in her 20s, but it will improve once all is balanced.
ETA - link: Graves Disease is a form of hyperthyroidism that creates brittle hair -- this issue creates the hair to become brittle and break off more than shed in clumps (although the thinning can occur--her ends show the ravages of this disease the most). Graves disease increases the hormone thyroxine. A more key symptom is significant weight loss in a short period of time (appetite is suppressed in this issue).

[Argh! I accidentally deleted a few suggestions when ETAing!! ... ok I'll come back later with all this in another post to finish my thoughts and hopefully be somewhat comprehensive about this topic. OH! now I see what I did.....I just put some stuff in an out of order that I didn't intend. It's all here, what I have to offer so far. D'OH!]

Unless your hair is super coily as in curl occurs right at the hair root/scalp skin, you do not need to apply conditioner to scalp skin.

Itchiness, in your case, signals a problem (my best guess although it can also signal a problem with product as already mentioned -- such as allergy - -one assumes you didn't switch your product recently) with getting that scalp skin truly clean. It could be dandruff but not all white flakes are dandruff. Definitely an unclean scalp can potentially contribute to hair loss, but usually not significantly--not in the volume that hormones and various illnesses can. Those with scalp skin conditions certainly are aware of thinning such as exzema, seborrheic dermatitus (a nasty version of oily dandruff), psoriasis (and if on steroid creams medication this can contribute even more to the issue). If white sebum is still on the head right after a fresh hair wash (it should show perhaps 2 days after a fresh hair wash), then definitely scalp skin is not getting cleaned hygienically. There should be no sebum directly after a fresh hair wash, not even white sebum. IF scalp is itchy right after a fresh hair wash, same issue (or it could be that reaction to the product--and sometimes we can use a product no problems and the system says, you know, I think I changed my mind!). You may need a clarifying, or switch in products, or it could be water quality, or insufficient cleaning.

More on hair washing later.......
heidi w.

heidi w.
September 17th, 2009, 11:12 AM
I went ahead and posted publically since the hair thinning/loss is such a huge topic to a very wide audience. There are, also, women, who do suffer from what is traditionally known as male pattern baldness, and the Nioxin program is intended to deal with this type of hair loss and those DHT levels. If you do not have this type of baldness issue, then the hair vitamins from the Nioxin program may be all you need!

Men using the line of shampoos, conditioners and so on in a male baldness scenario usually have good results if they use the program as intended (I believe it will for women too, but if this is not the reason for the thinning, then it won't work.) However, once someone ceases this program, all goes back to what was in a fairly short duration compared to having to be on the program for around 1.5-3 months for results to begin to show.

I am attempting to create a comprehensive overview of the subject here, and I changed the subject line for my posts in hopes of making it easier doing searches to find this thread.

heidi w.

September 17th, 2009, 08:44 PM
Thank you, that was VERY interesting!

heidi w.
September 18th, 2009, 02:20 PM
This is new info to me today:


Learned it from a thread running right now on Mane Forum regarding DIM and hair loss or shedding....
(ETA - link) http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=33450

heidi w.

September 30th, 2009, 06:25 PM
thanks for the info! i myself am shedding quite a lot these days so this thread had really helped me very much in understanding what is going on

natural products online (http://www.vitaminseeds.com)

September 30th, 2009, 08:56 PM
I never thanked you for taking the time to post all that great info.

I'm still shedding what averages out to be about 125 hairs a day. I got SO excited last week when my shedding went down to 130 on wash days and 60 on other days (I wash every other day). I thought it was because I didn't touch my hair until it was completely dry (usually I lightly detangle with fingers or a wide tooth comb at least). But, I guess it was just a fluke because my last two washes proved that theory wrong.

I'm just trying to be gentle and hope my lack of breakage by being gentle helps to balance out the extra shedding. I know my shedding isn't massive, but it does tend to add up if it goes on for months and months.:(

I really do appreciate all the support at LHC