View Full Version : Photo of the Damage (Warning: Hairball Picture)

March 16th, 2010, 09:59 PM
As some of you know I have been shedding a lot recently as a result of my surgery in December. I finally got together what I have shed in one day (so far) and took a picture of it. The majority of this image is from ONE combing session (short one, I might add) just to rid myself of any tangles before I got my hair ready for an oil soaking. If you add about 25% more into this pile, you will have what I also got out this morning when I put my hair in a bun to goto the gym. Later when I rinse the oil out of my hair, I am going to lose about 50% of the pile you see here.

I know that 1 long hair can look like 2-4 hairs, especially when wadded up like this was (which I did to make it easier to photograph) but this still has be upset and worried. I am contemplating keeping it in a braid to reduce the amount of shedding caused by combing in general. As you know from the other post, I have stepped up my vitamins and protein intake, as well as water. Any other thoughts on how to help stop this? :(

(The font that you can see from the other side of the paper is about 12 pt, just for size reference.)

March 16th, 2010, 10:14 PM
You're right - it looks worse because your length is all balled up. Having experienced sheds from both postpartum and major surgeries myself, the only thing I can tell you to do is to be gentle with it (which I know you are), and leave it up. This makes it seem like there's more shedding, but that's just because it happens to come out all at once when you take it down to comb and put back up [sic]. :grouphug: Just remember that it will stop soon, and you have wonderful, healthy virgin hair sneaking up behind, and in a few months you'll join some of us with the weirdo-regrowth-halo and be bemoaning that. ;)

March 16th, 2010, 10:30 PM
No worries LittleOrca. I don't think it's really all that bad. People go through shedding cycles. I'm shedding a bit more right now too. I think it's making my ponytail just so slightly thinner. No bid deal though, since it's the natural ebb and flow of things. You still have long and beautiful hair. Stop worrying about counting hairs and measuring circumference. Enjoy your hair and it will by not so much shedding season before you know it.

March 16th, 2010, 10:34 PM
I tried to find the post about your surgery to no avail so, I don't know what kind you actually had. So not really knowing if this is a lot to shed (it doesn't look like a ton of shedding to me, but I imagine it must be more than you're used to or you wouldn't have asked the question). I am thinking about this rather "blindly". So take it with a grain of salt, but some of the questions I would ask myself are:

1. Am I under more stress than usual? If yes, then this is where I would focus my attention by seeking out stress reducers that actually work for me (walking, yoga, meditation, horseback riding etc.).

2. Is this associated with my surgery and is it a natural (expected) side-effect? If yes, then I would need to focus on accepting where I am with the healing process and looking forward to the new growth that I can expect (as so eloquently put in the post above).

3. Has my diet changed? If so, try to pinpoint what foods might be causing it.

4. Is this a natural increase in shedding due to a change in the seasons? If so, see #2.

If you have already asked and answered all of these basic questions please forgive the redundancy. It seems to me the next logical thought might be that this could be something hormonal/medical. I have a gut feeling about this, but I hesitate to post it since I am new here and frankly I don't know about your medical condition.

So in closing, I must commend you on your water antics. That animated gif is awesome and it got me wondering if I would be able to swim with a fin. Quite impressive!

March 17th, 2010, 05:12 AM
I agree with the previous post by princessp, it could be a natural shedding phase. I go through bad ones during winter time, and honestly my shed hair looks about as bad as yours, and sometimes worse. Don't worry about it, baby your hair and scalp and it will get better.

March 17th, 2010, 07:56 AM
Nothing really to add to the precvious two, except, if you allow yourself to fret about this, really fret, you can stress yourself into shedding even more! Put it up, take care of it and yourself and let it ride. :) :) :)

March 17th, 2010, 08:04 AM
I tend to shed about that much on a daily basis myself. I know that if you're not used to seeing that much shed hair at once it's a shock, but it'll be ok! I'm still a solid ii, despite shedding that much. And that's after a mega shed following surgery a couple of years ago. It's still a very small fraction of the magnificent hair that's hanging tough.

March 17th, 2010, 08:10 AM
Wow, I easily shed that much in one detangling session, so I'm not much help.

The others have posted good advice.

March 17th, 2010, 08:15 AM
Don't worry littleocra, :grouphug: I think it's normal to shed that much after going through surgeries and stuff. I myself am in a major shedding phase cause I was sick lately. The one thing I noticed is the more I worry and count my shed hairs, the more I shed. No real advice but stay strong, you're gonna get all that hair back soon:)

March 17th, 2010, 08:18 AM
That actually dont look like a lot to me. I shed a lot more than that every day, i always have, and my hair is'nt thinning a bit. I really would'nt worry about it at all. :flower:

March 17th, 2010, 09:54 AM
That doesn't look like that much, but if you're not used to it, I understand why it's an unfortunate change.

What are you using to detangle? I used to shed way more when I detangled with a comb, but since I changed to a Tangle Teezer my shedding per detangling went down dramatically. Also, wearing your hair up all the time will help :) I hope your shedding goes back to acceptable levels soon!

March 17th, 2010, 04:14 PM
If it makes you feel any better, I shed probably twice that much every single time I wash my hair! There still seems to be plenty left. :)

I don't mean to brush off your worries, though. I understand that if this is way more than your usual shed rate, it would be quite upsetting.

How's your still-attached hair looking? I mean, does it look noticeably thinner, or is there no real difference at this point? That's what I'd be focusing on in your situation...

Hugs to you!! :grouphug:

March 17th, 2010, 04:46 PM
To me, that doesn't look a lot. But only you can know what is normal for YOU. If that's not normal for you, maybe you should see a doctor.

Hope it sorts itself out. :)

March 17th, 2010, 04:48 PM
I used to shed that much every day when I used SLS shampoos and my hair was a bit thinner, but not significantly. Does your hair look thinner at the scalp? If it does, then I would worry.

March 17th, 2010, 08:26 PM
I'm another whose normal shed rate is much higher than your post-op shed rate. How much of an increase is this for you? Do you normally shed half that much, 1/3rd less, what do you reckon?

I agree with the general advice- watch your overall health, don't stress, and keeping it in a braid to reduce the need for detangling/mechanical damage is probably good.

March 17th, 2010, 08:50 PM
Oh, I often shed much more than this. After about 3-4 washes my hair will clog a drain. I have one of those hair catchers and frequently have to clean it out just so the water will go down.

And, if I don't vaccuum.. the bathroom floor and my rug will literally be covered in hair O.O..

For me, that looks like a small-medium shed. And, your hair doesn't look thin, so I would say you should be alright.

Cinnamon Hair
March 17th, 2010, 08:59 PM
It doesn't look that bad to me. Just keep an eye on it, but try not to worry. I know that's easier said than done.

March 17th, 2010, 09:27 PM
I'm sorry this is happening to you! Honestly, though, I remember shedding that amount (and more) when my hair was classic length (pretty regularly, and my hair was still fairly thick). Just keep an eye on it and hopefully it will get better soon. :flowers:

March 17th, 2010, 11:42 PM
aw, little orca, i'm sorry about your hair falling out!

do you do any scalp massage with oils like castor or mustard? i've only used castor oil on my eyelashes but it SERIOUSLY keeps those little hairs from falling out! and mustard oil is "warming" and very good for circulation.

also, iodine is a nutrient important for hair health that many of us are lacking and with your restricted diet, you may be getting even less. i take "liqui-kelp" which is quite economical and has a noticeable effect on my scalp health. (google "iodine and hair loss).http://www.hairlosshaven.com/Hair-Loss-Articles/4-minerals-healthy-hair.htm

eat some hummus! one article i read said chickpeas keep your hair from falling out; another said to eat a spoonful of sesame seeds every day. so hummus has got to be, like, magical for hair! :yumm:

i googled "ayurvedic hair loss remedies" and some of these sound more amusing than practical, but at least they're all-natural and comprised of stuff you can probably find in your kitchen!


i don't know your exact vitamin/supplement regimen but biotin, diatomaceous earth, and MSM sulfur have reduced my shedding drastically over the last year and a half. i added each several months apart from each other so i am quite sure they are effective for me.

good luck, sweetie! i'll post again if i think of anything else.

March 18th, 2010, 04:29 AM
It might look bad, but as mentioned above it's because it's balled up. This is the amount I loose when I wash my hair, normally I loose only a few hairs per combing, but washing, much more.
Maybe count them and keep track of how many per day? A bit of a task though. I guess it's better not to comb too often, maybe the roots are very sensitive to that? Is that possible?

March 18th, 2010, 04:39 AM
I shed about that amount when I detangle after washing my hair, which is the biggest amount I shed at once in a whole week. If you shed that every time you comb - several times a day - I can understand that it scares you.

But even if your hair is getting thinner now, it will be temporary. Your body has seen a lot of changes lately which it has to process. And your nutrient levels will adjust over time, and then I´m sure your shedding will return to normal. If you lose your hair at least you know what you lose it for, so to speak. It was a brave decision you made and a well thought-out one. Your health is more important than your hair! Hang in there! :grouphug:

March 18th, 2010, 05:57 AM
Hi LittleOrca:

That looks like the usual amount of shed I get from a detangling session, so I'm another one of those "sheds more than usual" people. I agree with other people who say to watch the scalp. If that's looking thin, talk to your nutritionist about it and let them know what you've been doing to minimize the post-op shedding?

Good luck to you :blossom:

March 18th, 2010, 08:14 AM
It really does not look like all that much. Five long hairs tangled together look like a large hairball, but it is not that bad. As everyone else says, as long as there are no bald spots, you are ok!