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Sissy
November 6th, 2010, 10:53 AM
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/picture.php?albumid=2161&pictureid=87657

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/album.php?albumid=2161&pictureid=87659

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/picture.php?albumid=2161&pictureid=87658

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/picture.php?albumid=2161&pictureid=87659

Here are some pictures of my hair from October. I am very concerned that it may be thinning. I have had people tell me they think I need to cut 5-6 inches off. This is very frustrating because I love long hair and have been trying to hit classic length.

For background information, my hair is air drying very straight (due to CO washing and use of natural products maybe?). I've been taking my fish oil and biotin (small doses) and trying to eat healthy. I've been avoiding heat styling/blow drying my hair. I do utilize the gym daily and do workouts where my hair sometimes might get some mechanical damage. I also swim 1-2 times per week (I coconut oil my hair and cover it in two swim caps prior to using the gym pool).

I would like the opinion of those of you who have known me over the years here at LHC. I haven't been posting regularly since February due to an extremely stressful event that happened in my life that I'm just now coming to terms with. On the positive side, I have lost weight during this time period and am continuing to work out at the gym and swim and such. On the negative side, my hair appears to be thinning and I cannot sleep at night.

I would like to know how badly my hair has thinned. Also, I would like to determine what's causing this thinning.

Is it stress?
Is it my losing weight?
Is it my insomnia?
Is it my use of natural conditioners like Nature's Gate? Is it my CO washing and lack of frequent shampooing?
Is it just mechanical damage from working out/gyming.

I hardly even brush my hair anymore (I comb with my seamless bhone combs from Hairsense), perhaps I need to start brushing and shampooing more (to stimulate the scalp)?

I'm almost afraid to use oils at this point because I usually see more hair in the shower drain after I rinse oils out. But maybe I should use them anyhow, to nurture the hair?

I didn't think my hair looked that bad, but a few co-workers have made comments :(

Should I try Nioxin shampoo and conditioner? Does anyone else have any other recommendations for thicker hair? I order a lot of Vitacost and am interested in natural hair care solutions for thicker hair if possible.

Or maybe I am I just letting what others say to me get to me too much? I'm nervous that if my hair is thinning it will only get worse and I don't want to wait until too long to do something about it (I don't want to lose all my hair).

Looking back in my album of pictures over the years, I feel like my hair has improved. However, with people making comments about how I should cut it, I feel really bad.

I realize my center part is really bad looking, does anyone know how I could train my part to look or be less aggressive looking? Can I train myself to have a less thick side part or something? Should I use bobby pins to force the hair a certain direction?

Please help!

Also, here's what I am doing to try to take action on this:
1) I am going to try to do deep conditioning treatments more and am going to use catnip tea rinses again when time allows.

2) I am going to get a hair trim this week.

3) I went to the Doctors and got some prescription sleeping medication (but so far it's not working). They also ordered blood tests for me to check my thyroid and iron and such. I go back on Tuesday to get my results and they may refer me to a dermatologist regarding my hair concerns.

4) I am considering purchasing Nioxin or other products to help thicken hair, I just need recommendations from LHC :)

I don't know though... if I look at my hair pictures album, I think my hair is improving in some ways but maybe it looks a lot worse in natural light. I'll try to have some better pictures taken of it to see.

Thanks so much for reading and sorry for the long rambling.

aenflex
November 6th, 2010, 11:02 AM
I don't know your journey and I am sorry, so sorry, to hear of your stressful times.
You asked:
Is it stress?
Is it my losing weight?
Is it my insomnia?

I'm gonna give my humble opnion and say probably all 3? I mean they definitely could all be factors of the hairloss, and perhaps also factors of eachother. Rapid weight loss and poor diet are notorious for causing hair fall and thinning. Not saying you have a poor diet, just assuming the stress has effected it as well. The insomnia I'm not sure about about, most certainly a bi-product of the stress, maybe it also effects hair?
I believe the mind has a very strong power over the body. If it were me, I would be doing things to relax, like massage, hot baths, infared heat if you have that kind of money, meditation, yoga, anyhting that helps you calm the spirit. I think those things might make more of a difference than a prescription sleep aid or topical issue. However that's just my opinion and whatever happens I do hope you get some relief :)

luxepiggy
November 6th, 2010, 11:14 AM
While I haven't known you over the years on LHC, I lost a significant percentage of my body weight a few years ago, and I noticed my hair definitely got thinner along with the rest of me (>(oo)<)`

My hair also naturally parts in the center, but lately I noticed that if I sort of run my hands through my hair to push it backwards while it's air drying, it makes the part a lot shorter and my hair looks fuller (^(oo)^)

melikai
November 6th, 2010, 12:24 PM
Your hair still looks wonderful to me, but to answer your question, I would blame stress. It seems to hit about 6 or more months after the events that caused it, and shows up then in your body. The weightloss was probably, to begin with, also stress-caused, and rapid weight loss could add to shedding.

Just take it easy on yourself, keep doing the gentle care you are doing, and try to do as much as possible to keep your life low-stress.

I'm sorry you had a difficult time, but I'm glad you're beginning to recover. :flower:

Catia
November 6th, 2010, 12:29 PM
First off - from those pictures, I'd say there is nothing wrong with your hair! It actually looks admirably full to me.

Secondly - People are ignorant, self-involved, jealous ....idiots (I really wanted to use another adjective there lol)

Don't take their comments as anything more then the ignorance it is.

Thirdly - my personal struggle has revealed that stress, stress, stress is the answer. I have done lots of different protocols for health like different diets and supplements, and frankly - they are the key to a different door most of the time. Not that I discourage improvements in this area if this helps you to feel empowered in your life (I feel this way). But I've found it's a reflection of your heart/psyche. Taking mood elevators/regulators can't change that either. I think it's a good idea to get things checked out like thyroid/iron/B12, but I will also say that I am currently deficient in all three (I'm not finding a happy resolution to any of them) ... any my hair has continued it's recuperation regardless.

The happy news is that it can and will come back. I always thought that once the thickness was gone, it was gone. That all you could do was baby what you have and pray it doesn't continue. It can SEEM this way, because it took years for my own re-growth to be evident ... but it DID happen. I think my hair is close to what it was 15 years ago, before my first (of three) MAJOR sheds.

Take this as an opportunity to put yourself first. And I don't just mean a mani-pedi. I mean in your LIFE.

And screw those co-workers. Seriously. I would bet they would love to see you falter in your desire for long hair. People suck that way.

Capybara
November 6th, 2010, 12:54 PM
I was wondering how you were doing! Glad to see you again.

I think your hair looks beautiful :) If you are happy with it, don't worry what your co-workers think. And if you aren't happy with it, don't worry what they think either. It's not up to them how you do your hair.

About your part - close-up pictures are rarely very forgiving. That's exactly how my part would look like in a close up picture with flash. A side part may help.

Hope you're feeling better about this soon! :flowers:

GrowingGlory
November 6th, 2010, 01:49 PM
Your hair looks great. You might try Crown and Glory shampoo and conditioner. They are on sale through their website. I have used them with excellent results.

indigonight
November 6th, 2010, 05:31 PM
I am so sorry to hear of your stress and hair loss.
I think your hair looks great nonetheless and whatever anyone else says, dont listen to them, as others have said, humans are generally jealous people and many will tell you to cut out of jealousy for your mane.
My hair was suffering from stress too, I moved to another continent and then realised my hair was less thick but also that I was spending less time pampering it and more time worrying!

So take a step back, do the things that make you feel good, tlc and treat yourself and your hair.
What helps me during hair loss is:
100&#37; natural organic products- chemicals will just load cr*p in your system you dont need and further cause stress.

Regular oilings to stimulate your scalp, you may see some hair loss initially but trust me it will pay off. If hair is falling out it can make way for new healthy hair.
Use oils like Nigella Sativa and Eclipta Alba (make sure these are 100% pure and not mixed with mineral oil or other chemical poop). Trust me these oils make your hair shed less and grow grow grow.

I use Indian herbs to wash my hair and when I put them on as a mask once a week, heck I've noticed that if I keep up my routine my hair grows like weeds.

I do regular deep conditioning masks with organic conditioners and once again growth stimulating oils.

I take my vitamins, very important: multi vit plus vit C, biotin, B5, B6, B12, vitamin D, zinc . Taking Horsetail and MSM can also help.

Above all, take evenings, weekends to just pamper and relax yourself... hot baths, relaxing music, candles whatever it takes just relax..........

I hope this helps, I understand you are worried but believe me, this will pass you will reach your goal and your hair will regain 100% health.

Hugs!

Anje
November 7th, 2010, 02:53 PM
For what it's worth, your hair looks admirably thick to the ends, and whoever told you to cut 5-6 inches probably said so because they don't like hair as long as yours, not because yours needs any cutting!

Your stress and weight loss might be contributing to hairloss. Both are pretty well-established culprits for that. Early fall also seems to be a prime shedding season, so you might be noticing some seasonal shedding too.

Has your circumference decreased significantly?

Yozhik
November 7th, 2010, 03:14 PM
Your hair looks so healthy and long! I'm sorry that I can't comment on how your hair looked before since I haven't been here for your whole hair journey, but if you do feel like it's getting thinner, I agree that the most likely factor is stress.

As for changing your part, from what I understand if you keep hair in a certain part over a long period of time the hair follicles will actually stop growing in that area and be trained to grow in a certain direction which emphasizes the part. Maybe you could switch up your part location?

Hugs and well wishes. :flower:

Angelica
November 7th, 2010, 05:05 PM
I think your hair is beautiful and perhaps it is just your imagination that it has gotten thinner? You don't say if you are shedding any more than usual.

Of course have your bloods taken if it makes you feel better to reassure yourself.

Your weight loss should be okay provided it wasn't too drastic a loss in weight. Stress can take it out on your hair, but yours looks great.

spidermom
November 7th, 2010, 05:14 PM
I don't see a lot of thinning, maybe a little. A trim should do you good.

Just take the very best care of yourself as you can. I think that's all any of us can do. There's no magical fix that I know of.

Babyfine
November 7th, 2010, 08:10 PM
Well *I* think your hair looks great!
Years ago I went on a 6 month long diet, and lost about 35 pounds.
My hair did seem to shed. But it could have been stopping oral contraceptives as well.
YOur ends don't look thin a all to me. I do recommend Nioxin products.
And I can't believe those co-workers-who are they to make comments?

girlcat36
November 7th, 2010, 10:05 PM
Your hair is really pretty, and there is no need to cut. Yes, maybe your part is a little thin, but switching your part off to the side would help greatly.

misstwist
November 7th, 2010, 10:16 PM
I don't see any thinning.

Tell those nay-sayers to go jump in a lake! :D

Sissy
November 14th, 2010, 12:14 PM
Thanks so much for the replies, it means a lot to me.

I just measured my hair length and circumference. According to my blog here, in October of 2009 my hair was 38" long and had a circumference of 3.5" whcih is a ii (normal between 2-4inches)

As of today (11-14-10) my hair is 39" long and has a circumference of 3.0" which is a ii (normal between 2-4 inches).

So, either I'm measuring differently or my hair has lost half an inch of circumference :( Also, can't help but notice that my hair hasn't really grown in a years time... one inch??? What the heck!!! Also, I'll lose that inch and probably more tomorrow as am getting a trim. It makes me sad because last December I did my new years goals on this site and one of them was that I thought I'd be able to hit classic length in 2010, but that is obviously not going to happen!

Could I possibly be at my terminal length at only 39"?? I hope not...


Regarding the thinning issue, I got my blood tests results from doctor and everything is normal (thyroid, iron, b12, etc). The doctor has referred me to a dermatologist about my hair, we're not sure if there is really a problem though. I only think it's gotten thinner and I can see from measuring that it's not really growing, for some reason!

I have done acupuncture in the past and am thinking about going again. The acupuncturist had told me that the MSM wasn't going to do anything for me so I stopped taking it, however maybe I'll start again... just to try to get some hair growth. Ugh!

I am also looking into doing more yoga and such to relax.

I am frustrated but at least I don't appear to have a medical problem, from what the blood tests show at least.

I will keep everyone updated and I may start another post asking if anyone has noticed thinning hair from use of all natural products such as Nature's Gate, Giovanni Direct Leave-In and Camellia Oil. I am just curious to know.

Thanks again for all the replies and please post more or message me if you have any additional tips for me in this issue.

SilvraShadows
November 14th, 2010, 01:46 PM
I went over and took a peek at your album and honestly your hair looks just fine! The thinning at the ends is minimal, to say the least. As far as your part goes, I would change that around often. I know when I was a little girl my center part got wider, just because I never wore it differently. Once I started to do so, it grew back normally.

Well there has definitely been a lot of questions on oil treatments and whether these cause more shedding. It seems I used to shed truck loads after an oil treatment. I mostly keep the oils off my scalp these days, but I will oil my length before I wash my hair. Once in awhile I use evoo with rosemary and rose geranium on my scalp before I wash... and so far no trouble. The blend is very mild. I think I was making my blends too potent in the past. Essential oils are very potent. Using an oil without essentials and having extra shedding doesn't sound very good either. I wouldn't put any oil on your scalp for awhile, just the length, and see if the shedding decreases. Or try a different oil and see if you have the same trouble.

Always, it is trial and error, and what causes a problem for one person will work fine for another.

I have trouble with certain products, most definitely. If a shampoo is causing excessive shedding it's tossed to someone in my family who has a less sensitive scalp. I have had good results with Giovanni Smooth as Silk (in the past), Nature Gate Organics (presently), Organix TheraNeem has been excellent (although the scent is awful... but I swear this product has helped, because when I began using it my shedding nearly ceased and has been minimal ever since, even though I don't use it exclusively anymore). And let's see... I have used Herbal Essence Hydralicious in the orange swirl with great results too. Yet I have tried other commercial shampoos that cause shedding and itchiness. My scalp gets tender at times. I don't always shampoo, I will either WO or CO in between washes. This has helped me too.

I generally don't use conditioner on my scalp either, unless it is a nourishing one. When I do it's the little bit of what is left from applying it onto my length... which is mostly gone by the time the rest is patted on top. Maybe little things like this will help...

From experience I believe the MSM is helpful. Biotin also. I also take Flax seed capsules, and a multi-vitamin.

I went through years of massive shedding, lost 2/3 of my thickness, and still don't have answers for you. I wish I did. But this year I am not experiencing a shed for the first time in a dozen or more years! So I am not wanting to rock the boat, treading very carefully.

Well that is enough rambling from me. I know it's not completely helpful, but I hope maybe you can glean something out of this. Mostly I hope you find your answers quickly. You have beautiful hair and I really don't see major thinning going on from what I see in your photos.

ericthegreat
November 14th, 2010, 02:41 PM
Welcome back Sissy, I have missed seeing you around here. :) I agree with everyone else, Your hair looks beautiful just the way it is. Your ends look full and well maintained. It doesn't look thin by any means.

However, since you have mentioned that your pony circumference has gone down a full half inch from when you measured it last, and that you have been both going thro many stressful events recently and you are on a weight loss plan, I do believe you when you say that you are losing much more hair than usual. Its unlikely to completely avoid all kinds of stress in life as I myself know all too well, but still its important that we do our best to de-stress ourselves and find moments where we can feel free to unwind. I don't know exactly what was causing your stress, but if it was a huge personal matter then I definitely suggest that you go into therapy. Getting it all out and sharing it with someone can really help to ease the feeling that you are alone with whatever you are dealing with.

I'm glad that you are back, and hopefully we will all see more of you again, regardless of whether its good news or bad news. :)

pixistixx
November 14th, 2010, 02:52 PM
I have had hairloss in the past, and now stabilized, although still thin, here is some food for thought. I had a blood test once and the doc said my iron levels were "normal" I went to a specialist a couple months later and he said, your iron is very low, and ferritn levels are awful! The range for healthy iron levels is a really low # up to a much higher #. A lot of doctors will tell you it's normal, even if it's at the lowest point in the range. To keep the hair from falling out, it has to be at least 30. to regrow new hair, it has to be at least 70. I would check the lab report to see if you are in those ranges, just to be sure! stress is also a huge factor. Stress causes the body to produce excess cortisol, which can alter other hormones, like sex, adrenal, and insulin, etc. that can have a big impact on hair loss. As for the weight loss, I've known many women who've had a lot of hair loss after dropping some lbs. usually it's when it happens fairly quickly. All of these women regrew new hair after 6 months to a year, and it came back healthier. It's like your body is doing a little spring cleaning! :).

pixistixx
November 14th, 2010, 02:55 PM
ooh.... i forgot to add. If you are taking in more copper in your diet than zinc, that can also contribute to hair loss. This is more common in vegetarians, as beans, veggies, etc. have high levels of copper as opposed to zinc rich foods like meats, oysters, etc. the ratio in the diet or with supplements should be 2mg copper to 10 mg. zinc. most people get the opposite. I try to avoid multi vitamins with copper just for this reason... it just throws the balance way off.

AnnaJamila
November 14th, 2010, 03:46 PM
Hey sweetie, just to re-iterate everything here, I would definately say stress and insomnia are your biggest enemies and in my humble opinion (die hard LHC members and the faint of heart should look away!) these issues should get more attention than your hair (shocking!!! lol).

Maybe go to the library and pick up a yoga tape to try? When I had problems with stress and not sleeping my hair came out too, and now I'm in the middle of a shed. (HATE IT!!!) What I did to get to sleep (which did help stress as well) is I would save my workout for the evening and just run/stairstep/elipticalize (haha, elipticalize) myself until I was just about exhausted. Then get a really slowly paced relaxation based yoga tape that plays soothing music in the background. Try the movie out during the day and make sure that you like everything about it, from the setting to the instructors voice to the background sound. If there's something that you don't like (ie, the instructor has a nasal, high pitched voice or the music is really strange or they use vocabulary that makes you want to giggle "hollow your belly like the deep soft belly of the dunes" etc.) don't get it because you won't be able to zone out and empty your mind. Make sure you participate in the video all the way through at least once before trying it at night. It's more relaxing this way since you aren't worrying about doing it right and kind of have the moves down. After this, draw a warm bath and sip on a glass of warm milk and honey (or hot chocolate, lemon and nutmeg or any other hot, non-caffinated drink if you don't like milk) and take two calcium lactate tablets. I don't know why this works but it really helped to take my calcium right before I went to bed. Rub in some lavendar chamomile body lotion and crawl into bed. Make sure you have clean sheets and you can just get in and pull them up- no pulling up the sheet from the bottom, remembering the coverlet is in the living room on the couch and having to search under the bed for the comforter. It's only a minute's difference but it does help. Then try to empty your mind and count your breathing. 2 in and out until you can slow it to 4 in and out, then when you feel yourself start to relax switch to 4 in 8 out. Some other sleep tips are to dim the lights an hour or so before bed time (enough to see but not quite enough to read comfortably), put away the computer (yes, yes, I know, 2 in the morning is prime LHC time but you shall have to budget accordingly, dove ;) ) ask aqaintences not to call after a certain hour, and have your own room pitch black. If you find it stressful to sleep in a dark room, look around for a colored night light to brighten things up. I like blue, you can see but it doesn't prevent the brain from releasing the night-time chemicals that help you sleep. If you find that you lay awake worrying about the next day, start getting your clothes out the night before, packing everything you need for work and even getting together breakfast (such as setting out a bowl, spoon, mug, cereal box, and banana). Try to make it so all you need to do in the morning is shower, put on your face/hair, grab your clothes from the counter, eat and grab your bag. Also, you can start keeping a journal at night reviewing the day behind and listing things to do for the day ahead. Play around and find what works and do it like a ritual. Eventually you'll find that your mind begins to unwind about five minutes in and from there it's all down hill.

As for stress, you just need to dig in your heels and deal with what happened in your life in a constructive way. I like to say out loud what happened and what I'm feeling as if I'm talking to a third party, myself, God or someone involved in what ever occured. (This should DEFINATELY be done in private.) Other good ways are to write about it, as a first person or omnipresent narrative story or poem. You could make an art piece as well. Just take a box of tissues and some bunny slippers and wallow in the entire expirience as long as you can then get to work. There are some things that this cannot be done safely for until after a certain amount of time. You know your pain. And above all, be honest. It took me years to allow myself to be angry with my Dad for dieing. Is it a childish reaction? Yes. Did he do it on purpose? No. But I was angry. And trying to hide it from myself wasn't making anything better. Take your emotions for what they are. Being mad at my Dad for dieing didn't make me a bad person. It just made me a person. Never be ashamed of what you feel, just feel it. Will this hurt like hell? You bet it will. But in the long run it makes you feel better.

If you have the time and resources to hire a professional, do it. They can help you pinpoint what's going on and give you a safe, neutral place to vent. Also, be sure that you aren't trying to overburden yourself at work so you don't have any time to think. Realize it's ok to say no to a coworker when your plate is already full.

One last thing, are you affiliated to any religion? If so spend some time reading religious texts and try to find comfort in them. If you aren't and aren't particularly anti-religion try looking into it and seeing if any appeal to you. If you would like some information on Islam, please let me know and I would be overjoyed to help you! (That goes for everyone reading, too.)

Now, onto your hair. I've been using the miconazole nitrate cream and that's been reputed to help shedding but I haven't been using it long enough to say for certain based on my expiriences. The shedding does seem to be diminishing, though. Also look to your cut. For years hairdressers told me that to get fuller hair I needed to have a layered cut. Well, that was total bull. I just cut my own hair (for the first time, yay!!!) into a blunt cut with a U hemline- as per Feye's self cutting instructions- and it looks SOOOOO much thicker all at one length that I literally had to change my hair info! I'm really happy with it all at one length and I imagine that a fellow straightie would have similar results. (Though the loss of length did make me a little sad. :( )

Well, I know that it's a little brief (lol, sorry) but if you can make it all the way to the end that's the best advice I can offer you sweetie.

And, by the way, would you like to know a really lovely secret? As my sister on the Earth, I love you and I cherish you and will be thinking of you hoping that things look up soon, God willing!

Sissy
November 21st, 2010, 08:56 AM
ooh.... i forgot to add. If you are taking in more copper in your diet than zinc, that can also contribute to hair loss. This is more common in vegetarians, as beans, veggies, etc. have high levels of copper as opposed to zinc rich foods like meats, oysters, etc. the ratio in the diet or with supplements should be 2mg copper to 10 mg. zinc. most people get the opposite. I try to avoid multi vitamins with copper just for this reason... it just throws the balance way off.


I have had hairloss in the past, and now stabilized, although still thin, here is some food for thought. I had a blood test once and the doc said my iron levels were "normal" I went to a specialist a couple months later and he said, your iron is very low, and ferritn levels are awful! The range for healthy iron levels is a really low # up to a much higher #. A lot of doctors will tell you it's normal, even if it's at the lowest point in the range. To keep the hair from falling out, it has to be at least 30. to regrow new hair, it has to be at least 70. I would check the lab report to see if you are in those ranges, just to be sure! stress is also a huge factor. Stress causes the body to produce excess cortisol, which can alter other hormones, like sex, adrenal, and insulin, etc. that can have a big impact on hair loss. As for the weight loss, I've known many women who've had a lot of hair loss after dropping some lbs. usually it's when it happens fairly quickly. All of these women regrew new hair after 6 months to a year, and it came back healthier. It's like your body is doing a little spring cleaning! :).

Oh, thanks for this information. I should ask for the specific levels of the blood test. Also, good to know about the zinc and copper, I'll have to check my multi to see how much it has.

Thanks so much to everyone for the replies. I am going to a specialist in December and am taking all these suggestions and information in right now, so hopefully I'll obtain a solution.