View Full Version : hair length and hair loss - your opinions

December 5th, 2010, 03:28 PM
Hi ladies (and gents),

I've not been on this board much the past 2 and a half years, due to my hair thinning dramatically since then. Not that I don't feel welcome here, but.. I spend all my 'internet time' on hair loss boards, now! :confused: Anyway, I have experienced major loss - about 60% of my hair is gone now, mostly diffusely, though the top of my head is getting an old person look about it for sure :( I am contemplating chopping my hair quite short - I've cut it twice due to hair loss, and it looks NOTHING like my avatar, now. It's 17" long now and I'm thinking to go shoulder grazing length. I struggle with the idea, since I have always loved long hair; but it is work to take care of, and if my hair is gonna look thinning and balding (== old and ugly in my mind), no matter what I do or how long it is, then, 'why bother'. That's the practical thinking. But I can't be objective about it, you know?

So - my question to you all is, just to gain some perspective of what I know is not a one size fits all issue - if you have long hair and love long hair, and you started losing your hair.. at what point, if any, would you throw in the towel and chop it off? Presume you've been to doctor after doctor, no soild cause or advice has been offered, and you're in your mid 40's (so, not much hope it will be 'fixed')... what would you do? At what point is would such a loss be too much to deal with to you?

thanks for reading.

December 5th, 2010, 03:48 PM
I'm really sad you have to go through this, and I hope you find a solution to love your hair again :(

To answer your question, I would probably cut it and wear it with stylish headbands that looks young and fun, if having it long made it look like I was going bald and not really healthy

headbands such as : http://www.youtube.com/user/kimmaytube#p/u/3/rEDKU-9H2P0 and

but, you know, it doesn't really matter what any of us would do, the most important is that you find what you are the happiest with, considering your own unique circumstances

best thoughts of courage your way

December 5th, 2010, 04:18 PM
I'm sorry, Hennared. There are a lot of us struggling with hair loss here. :(

I cannot imagine having to go super short. I struggle with the thinness of my hair, and so far have kept the urge to chop at bay. My hemline is very thin and floaty, but I'm still hanging in there. I know my friends and family wonder what the heck I am doing, but it's my hair, so.....

I guess I would do as the poster above said and get headbands to hide the thinning crown area. I would get lots and lots of headbands.

Big hugs to you!!

December 5th, 2010, 04:48 PM
I struggle with the idea, since I have always loved long hair; but it is work to take care of, and if my hair is gonna look thinning and balding (== old and ugly in my mind), no matter what I do or how long it is, then, 'why bother'.

Of course, the flip side of this statement is also true. If your hair is going to look thin no matter how long or short it is, then why cut it short, if you love long hair? Does long thin hair seem worse to you than short thin hair?

It depends on how you feel about your hair; does the length still give you pleasure even though it is thinner? If you really love long hair, it may be well worth it to keep it. OTOH, it might be liberating to cut it and be done with it, if the fact that it's long makes you focus more on how it's thinning.

Personally, I am not very dedicated to having long hair; I'd probably cut it. I've had short hair before, and I enjoy it. But that has nothing to do with your situation! Everybody's different. Hope you come to a decision you are happy with.

December 5th, 2010, 04:59 PM
I'm sorry you are experiencing this,hennared.
I heard rogaine helps quite well with these kinds of problems but it does have side effects.So be careful if you do decide to use it and consult a specialist.
You could also try biotin/hair,skin,nail supplements.I haven't experienced hair thinning so far.It may be hereditary,because of an ilness or stress.If it's hereditary,you may need to consider some rogaine or extremes.Altough be CAREFUL if you do.

Good luck,
mali :)

December 5th, 2010, 05:40 PM
The fact you came here and asked this, knowing here is the one place you can rely on to be supportive of growing long hair says to me you're not ready to cut yet. I may be wrong and if you find that comment too presumptous then i appologise.

Can i ask, what have you actually done to target the hair loss? Also how long did you stick at each thing? I'm assuming you must have tried quite a few treatments if you have been on hairloss support forums for 2 and a half years.

An idea might be to make a list of what you've done already that has not worked, but tried for a period of time and been consistant with. Then look at what other options are available and what else you can try.
You obviously want long hair and i get the impression you have enough fight left in you to still try and get it.

I'm in a similar situation, i've been fighting hairloss for a few years now and i very much know that feeling of giving up and chopping it off. In fact i've done it and recently have been feeling like i'm about to do it again. I'm a stubborn old battle axe though and for the moment am just not prepared to admit defeat.

Sometimes an element of neglect is needed. I just keep my hair up and out the way.....for you the headbands (as have already been suggested) or nice head scarves might be an idea so that you don't focus on it and it can't depress you so much.

Whatever you decide i'm rooting for you and wish you all the luck xx

December 6th, 2010, 02:50 AM
i just want to note that if you cut your short hair then you won't have as much hair left period. I've always believed that if you have long hair you can hide the thinness by dong a good updoo. What are your thoughts on this and do you think this could be a good solution?

December 6th, 2010, 05:34 AM
So if I understand correctly you have been to alot of different doctors and so far none have found a medical reason for your hairloss? Did they check your thyroid? Have you been stressing alot? Sorry if you have been asked this alot before. In my experience there often is a reason, although it may be hard to find.

In my case it was a combination of several things. I stressed alot. I drastically changed my diet. And I had an psoriasis outbreak straight from the seven hells. Lost alot of hair and during this year I cut off several inches. But now my psoriasis is well medicated, I have a more balanced diet and I stress less. My hair is growing back.

Don't give up! I'm sure there is a solution for you too! Hugs!

December 6th, 2010, 06:42 AM
Thank you so much, ALL. (and Chloe, you have a PM!)

Yes, I have been asked a zillion times if I've been to doctors :) And I have been to a zillion of them, and lost a lot of blood over this; LOL! It is my opinion (obtained from hair loss boards) that often with women, no cause for hair loss is ever truly found. I do believe that for me, the root cause of the loss is related to my thyroid, but I do not have classic hyper or hypo or hashimotos', thyroid issues. Whatever is making my thyroid wonky (adrenals? sex hormones?) has not been discovered or seriously considered by doctors (ie, "your thyroid bloodwork is in range; you're 'fine'" they say. I don't believe 'in range' necessarily equals 'fine')

I guess my question really was, to myself, ok, so, I know how women who are also losing hair tend to feel about it (ah I'm losing hair, chop it off, like conventional wisdom says to). But is that overreacting? How do women who have always preferred long hair and are otherwise 'normal' (not losing hair) feel about it? Geez, this has been going on so long I'm not sure how the 'old me' would feel about it. Is thinning hair still 'worth' having long; that's the question. I guess to me, cutting it off a lot is admitting 'defeat' - but sometimes I think that's what I have to admit. :P

December 6th, 2010, 06:48 AM
Hennared---you can have a perfectly normal TSH, and have raging hypothyroidism. A lot of doctors do not recognize this!!
It happened to me; my TSH was 2.5(very normal), but my Free T3 levels were WAY below normal. I was losing TONS of hair. It went on for some time, until I got a doctor to recognize the importance of low Free T3 in the presence of an optimal TSH.
Did you have Free T3 tested? And I am curious as to what your TSH might have been.
If you do not get copies of your bloodwork, get them from now on---you have a right to them! Sometimes doctors miss important clues in bloodwork.

December 6th, 2010, 09:22 AM
I am so sorry for your hair loss.

I too have had the normal ranges blood work, and for two years went to a bunch of doctors. I sacrificed many trims to the thin ends as handfuls of hair were lost daily.

This summer I went to a naturopath. My in normal range thyroid was off in the T3 range as well. I am adding kelp to my diet for iodine and selenium, biotin, and B12 injections a few time a month to help with energy levels. I also have high estrogen and low progesterone and testosterone. I had to stop the progesterone because it was making me sick. So there were many issues traditional Dr.s were not finding with me.

This has been three months, and my hair is starting to behave more normal. Hope you find your answers. I understand your frustration.

December 6th, 2010, 10:45 AM
I can imagine cutting back to about APL if my ends were wispy and see-through. My hair has to be at least that long for my curls to form. It's hard to imagine cutting shorter, though. I'd also get a wider variety of hats and scarves than I have now.

December 6th, 2010, 10:52 AM
I would work with what you've got...If you know the hair loss is permanent and irreversible, than you can experiment with whatever styles and cuts are most flattering.
I hope that your hair loss is not permanent and irreversible, and that you get it figured out. But I don't feel there is anything wrong with wearing a style, short or long, that best fits the hair you currently have.
My hair becomes quite thin and for years I wore short hair to mask the thin-ness. I rocked it. You might could do the same.
Just don't give up on feeling good.

December 6th, 2010, 11:02 AM
I am so sorry about this hennared. For me I guess because I already have naturally thin, fine hair, I would cut if I lost it through whatever reason. And then I would resort to a good wig so that I could still have long flowing hair :)

Hair has been known to recover, depending on what the cause is, just look at Gail Porter, she had lovely long hair and lost it all, proudly went bald (no wig) and now her hair is growing back.

I hope they find a cause and your hair recovers shortly :)

December 6th, 2010, 05:38 PM
I want to second girlcat36's question of if you've had Free T3 (and Free T4) checked. TSH may not match up at all with actual thyroid hormone levels. Mine sure didn't. I also had a rather normal TSH with a well below range Free T3.

I'd also add to ask if you've had ferritin checked, or just serum iron? I had high in-range blood serum iron...but low ferritin! Never got doctors to look past the 'very good and normal' blood levels, as, again the 'simpler' test looks fine--but the other tells more. And, yep, if I don't take iron (to help replenish the ferritin), I lose hair. Lots of hair.

Now, to answer the actual question: So far I have not trimmed or cut my hair despite losing a lot of it. At the moment I have about 30% of what I had when I first joined LHC 6 years ago (at the nape--below that it's even less I'd guess). Measured I've lost roughly half (twice more than, once less than) my hair three times in that time not counting smaller sheds or normal shedding. :oops: At present I have three separate regrowth layers or whatever (~32-33", ~12", and maybe 4-6" for the latest one?).

And no, I can't see myself cutting it short. Even now I'm happier with it longer and thin rather than short *and* still quite thin (for me even BSL is 'short'--maintained there for 10 years wanting it longer...not planning on going back to that!). Might as well at least have the 'long' part and be semi-happy with part of it! I've only started really liking it since my hair got to mid-thigh. :rolleyes:

Now, if I go through another shed within the next 1-2 years not sure what that will do to the ends/length--with the last shed I lost about 3" of length and I've been stalled at the lower length for about 8? 9? months now, so in a way it's trimmed itself a bit. I'm actually a bit paranoid of losing more hair...somewhat trying to promote as much regrowth as I can, although not sure what's really best for that/doing anything useful! Most of my underlying health issues are fixed ('low' thyroid, adrenals, and iron being the big ones)--all except my probably still low progesterone. I'm a bit afraid to try fixing it as I just don't want to lose more hair. :oops:

December 6th, 2010, 05:57 PM
Well, you guys don't know me, so.. you would not know what a determined internet researcher I am, or that I have academic access to numerous journal articles.. I've read so much about hair loss, I ought to have an honorary degree :)

So I knew what to ask the docs for! I did have my free T4 and free T3 checked - several times. My TSH, free T3 and free T4 are consistently ALL low 'normal' - I forget exact values, but TSH between .3 - .7, and T3 and T4.. maybe around 1? I'd have to go look, I've not had those values checked really recently, but I should.

My current doctor - new for me - thinks outside the box, and he has me trying the "Wilson's Temperature Protocol' - some docs think its quackery, mine doesn't. The idea is, if you have chronic low body temperature (I do) it effects the reverse T3 and so you take a low does, time release form of T3 to bring the temp up, and theoretically, the thyroid 'wakes up'. I've been on this a few weeks, shed lowered a good bit after the first week, but.. now it's back up again. I also had previously noticed a hair shed response to taking iodine (iodoral, a pill form) but it was an inconsistent response; I took it for about a year.

I do also have low ferritin - it was 11, the first time I checked! Supplementing with safe but moderately high levels of iron did nothing for my shed. I got my ferritin up to about 50, when iron blood panels were showing aspects of iron in my blood that were Not Cool - I was getting too much of it some ways. And, curiously at the same time,l developed high liver enzymes (also Not Cool). So I got worried and stopped taking it.

That's the tip of the iceberg of my bloodwork and things I've tried. I just about tried everything for at least 6 months, everything but the dreaded Rogaine. SO I'm not feeling terrifically hopeful :P

Thanks for the support. Maybe I'll keep my hair around a bit longer before I decide.

December 6th, 2010, 06:06 PM
i just want to note that if you cut your short hair then you won't have as much hair left period. I've always believed that if you have long hair you can hide the thinness by dong a good updoo. What are your thoughts on this and do you think this could be a good solution?

I agree. When my hair started thinning a few years ago (due to lack of iron) I would do a big messy bun on top of my head and actually had people thinking I had THICK hair when in fact it was quite thin. I think this is eaiser to pull off if you already have wavy/curly hair though.

December 6th, 2010, 09:47 PM
I just wanted to say, I really appreciate everyone's ideas and comments. I have not time just now to respond to all! (I'm in grad school.. finals approaching). I did manage to create the most hilarious 'messy updo' tonight, with my damp hair (I really hate how it looks damp and I Was trying to create some heat-free 'lift'.) It was a mess, but was effective at covering the worst bits!

December 6th, 2010, 11:50 PM
Oh dear.. I can't really answer that question, but I really hope you find the best way to deal with it. There are lots of people dealing with hairloss on the boards, i really hope you find something helpful!

December 7th, 2010, 12:39 AM
I *think* I would focus on trimming the ends regularly to maintain a nice even hemline and avoid tangles and not focus too much on gaining length right now. That is basically what I'm doing right now, anyway. And, no I don't think I would do big chop.

If you could wear a sock bun it would add some bulk to your hair and also be protective while you continue to try to sort things out.