View Full Version : Can't Stop Worrying About My Hair

November 16th, 2011, 11:57 AM
Ugh... I'm so glad that I've taken an interest in my hair and its health, but at what cost? Now I constantly worry about it. It's become my vanity. It's the one thing that I feel really good about in regards to my looks. (no self pity)

Well, did feel good about.

These last few months, I've noticed a lot of shedding. Like, a lot. I'm worse than my cats. I've looked at the hairs. Some are breakage and some are shedding from the root. It's everywhere. I don't use my hair brush much any more (only when I need to smooth my hair down for a style). I use a wide comb or my fingers. Yes the comb has been filed down so it's smooth.

I CO only and my hair looks much better! It's softer and straighter. I'm really glad I've switched.

But the shedding ... it's become an obsession. I haven't been feeling good for about a month. But I've chalked it up to having very limited physical activity. I haven't been taking care of myself. And now I feel like crap. I'm tired all of the time. I could sleep all day. My muscles are sore in my back. I have no concentration or focus. I am almost never hungry and I'm eating very little. I don't drink enough water because I just forget to.

All of this... and I'm not sure if maybe I'm just sick and all of this ties together with an illness. Or I feel like crap simply because I'm out of shape and my shedding has nothing to do with it. (Or could the shedding be due to poor nutrition?)

I can't see a doctor for three weeks because I'm leaving the country on Friday.

And I'm scared ... I've grown it out this long (25 in) and I don't want to cut it ... but all of this shedding ... *sigh* Today I measured the circumference of my ponytail. 8 cm. Now, I don't have a number of what it used to be, but I can tell you that my hair feels like there is less volume ... it just feels like there is less hair. I measured the length and it hasn't grown in length in over a month. Is that even possible? Again, this may be poor data storage - I didn't measure exactly the same way in both (last time I took the measuring tape and just estimated where it stopped, while this time I took a picture).

You know.. I'm not really sure why I'm ranting on this forum ... I just needed to say it I guess. I can't just tell my husband all of this ... well... actually I do :D. But he is probably getting sick of hearing it.

So any thoughts? When would you consider cutting your hair due to shedding?

November 16th, 2011, 12:02 PM
no...no cutting!
cutting can't stop shedding...you would just have shorter hair that sheds...

It could be seasonal, many people had it past 2 months..
don't stress about it, it's not helping..

Do what you can, regarding proper care and vitamins..
Also a blood test if you somehow can....would be a relief, or point out possible problem.

It will stop.
And i totally know how you feel, about constantly worrying...
You're never alone, and I promise you it will be ok! :)

November 16th, 2011, 12:04 PM
I'm glad to hear you're going to the doctor. If you can't trace it to a stressful episode, illness or some change in your diet, then maybe it's autumn shedding? Just throwing some ideas out there.

November 16th, 2011, 12:05 PM
It will stop.
And i totally know how you feel, about constantly worrying...
You're never alone, and I promise you it will be ok! :)

Thank you so much. I really needed to hear that. Maybe you are right about the seasons. I've never paid attention to it before.

November 16th, 2011, 12:08 PM
The more you stress about it the worse it may get. Breathe. It will stop.

November 16th, 2011, 12:09 PM
Do you notice new growth? :)
that can be comforting too!

I also just started caring for my hair properly this year...and was first time i payed attention to shedding as well...probably you were shedding previous years too, but you didn't even care to notice!

November 16th, 2011, 12:09 PM
It sounds to me like your hair is reacting to whatever health issues that are making you tired (maybe anemia) plus lack of a good diet.

Be sure and have your doctor do a complete blood panel to check if you do have anemia and have your thyroid checked as well.

In the meantime, baby your hair as much as you can and wear it up to protect the ends.

Good luck and hope you feel better very soon!

November 16th, 2011, 12:38 PM
I think you're having a little hair melt down. I think you should put it up and forget about it, but more importantly you need to get your health in order. You will be rewarded in many ways my getting yourself eating well again and getting some light to moderate activity. Maybe a multi vitamin, too. As well, schedule for a doctor for when you come back. Just take care of yourself in the meantime even if it feels like a drag getting out of bed. You have to motivate yourself. Even if you just go a couple times around the block. For many it's shedding season so unless it's unusually excessive I'd calm down.

Cutting won't stop shedding. You'd just give yourself shorter shedding hairs. Just get your health in line and calm down. Out of sidte out of mind, so it give a treatment and bun it.

November 16th, 2011, 01:20 PM
Vanille, I'm no doctor, but I am wondering if you could have mono. I think that should be one of the things they test for, when you see your doc.

As far as hair, yes a growth stall is possible. I had a bad one this summer.

I would suggest a bit of meditation and some scalp massage. Both are soothing and might help some with your worries. If you incorporate a scent into your meditation, you can pull it out later when you are worrying and it will help calm you. Scent associations with emotions are very powerful because the olfactory (smelling) nerves have a direct connection to your limbic system, which is the part of the brain where emotion and memory are connected.

November 16th, 2011, 01:27 PM
CO makes me shed. You may find the same.

November 16th, 2011, 04:59 PM
I know EXACTLY how you feel! This happened to me about two months ago. I dyed my hair a bazillion times this summer (okay, more like 5 :p) and because of that it just didn't feel the same. Not as soft, shiny, and the worst part is I feel like I have literally shed HALF of my hair! It's absolutely awful! To top things off I have been feeling very blah (I attributed this to school starting again and having to wake up at 7AM as opposed to sleeping in until noon like I did in the summer). I figured I just needed to get my sleep schedule back on track, but even when I would sleep 10+ hours I would just feel... lifeless. Nothing like my usual self. Nothing had changed in my personaly life that would cause such a turn in mood. On top of that, my hair wasa a disaster in my eyes so I spent most of my time either on here looking for recipes and tips, or trying to deep condition, clarify, and perfrom various experiments on my hair.

Honestly, the best way to fix it this is to start sleeping on a regular schedule (10PM bedtime and 8AM wake up every morning, for example), eat healthier, getting some exercise, and finding something else to worry about. I was scared to death that my studies would be in jeopardy because of my new hair obsession, I would lose all of my friends, etc. It WILL pass. 2 months later, I look back and wonder why I was ever so worried! You probably have to go through an initial 'hair obsession' period, during which visions of hair shedding, thinning, and damage dominate your thoughts. This is normal, believe me. It is also temporary. Allow yourself to be consumed with this for a small period of time (a week, perhaps) and then move on. Put your hair up in a nice bun (or whichever hairstyle disguises your hair frustration) and just forget about it. Don't manipulate your hair too much. Morning- comb VERY gently or finger comb and then put it up, and then at night repeat (with a sleep friendly hairstyle of course :))

I'm sorry for the novel, but I just want you to know you aren't alone in your frustrations. The best way to get through it is put your hair up, forget about it, and focus on aspects of your life that make you happy (my friends were wonderful for this). Hope this helps!

Cassie 123
November 16th, 2011, 05:43 PM
Vanille_, if you don't want me to discuss this in the Mane forum, let me know and I'll delete it:

This sounds like a medication management issue to me. You've said in the past that you are using Lamictal for bipolar. I also use Lamictal (though I'm using Seroquel XR instead at the moment due to breastfeeding). Medication needs can and do change, and sometimes it takes just a tiny tweak in dosage to fix things up. If I were having the same problems, I would call my psychiatrist ASAP and let her know, by phone, about the fatigue (a sign of depression) and the obsessive thoughts (about hair).

I definitely don't mean to minimize the possibility of other physical problems; doctors already tend to do this to bipolar patients, blaming everything on the bipolar. I just think it's the first, most obvious place to look.

Everybody's hair thickens or thins over time, and grows faster and slower at different times. Normally people don't measure their hair, and so the natural variation barely registers. LHC encourages obsessive thinking about hair. I find that if my mood is not well-stabilized, whatever thoughts are present will take on a negative slant regardless of the truth of the situation.

November 16th, 2011, 05:46 PM
I agree - don't cut it just because of frustration with shedding!

You've pointed out lots of possible reasons - go tackle some of those. Go to your doctor and get a work-up done to rule out physical problems. Then, start exercising! That's never a bad idea and will lead to increased appetite, feeling better and probably a reduction in shedding.

November 17th, 2011, 12:24 PM
Everyone, thank you so much for the support. I love you guys <3

I'm going to take everyone's advice. I'll look into some methods to boost energy naturally while I am gone. And I won't fuss with my hair. I'll get into see a doctor as soon as I get back.

About the medicine, I'll check into it but I've been on this dose for about 2-3 years with no problems. Actually, if anything, it makes me a little manic after I take it (the up in dopamine). So I'm surprised it hasn't been giving me as much energy lately.

November 17th, 2011, 11:30 PM
One time I thought for SURE I was shedding SOO MUCH hair. So one time I counted the hairs I lost at one time (when I took my ponytail out at work...so a whole day's shedding at once). It looked like sooo much. There were only 25 of them!!! Longer hair looks super scary when it sheds. I just had to adjust to a new "normal" now that my hair is longer (and my floor is light and smooth enough that the hair actually shows up.)

I'm not saying you aren't shedding more but, maybe you aren't. It's a possibility. :)

November 17th, 2011, 11:49 PM
First take a deep breath.
Don't cut your hair. Then you will have regret to add to your worrying.
As others have said get your bloods checked. I'm anaemic and it really does make you shed.
I am on a mega dose of iron just now from my dr for my anaemia.
I also take MSM and silica and I feel it has all stopped my shedding like a crazy person. :)
It is autumn and like the trees a lot of us find we do shed more at this time of year.
If it helps be proactive. Research what has helped other members here with their shedding.
I hope it stops really soon.

November 18th, 2011, 12:37 AM
There's no research to support this but I've heard people say that this worked for them and I know it worked for me: A protein treatment. Especially one that also has scalp soothing ingredients (like aphogee) I know that I typically have protein sensitive hair so I was avoiding protein like the plauge but then I noticed my hair was getting a little too soft and so l put one on for strengthening and noticed a great improvement in my shedding issues as well!

First and foremost though you should try to minimize your environmental stressors. Listen to soothing music, go to sleep early, and perhaps try out aromatherapy or a relaxation massage. I am very glad you are going to see a doctor and I hope the visit is helpful to you, I think that's really the best thing you could do right now.

Best of luck!

UP Lisa
November 18th, 2011, 11:09 AM
This could also be a thyroid problem.

January 15th, 2012, 02:00 AM
Update: so I took your advice and stopped worrying about it. It has seriously helped. I put it up most days, keep it clean, try a few new things, but that's it. I'm at the dreaded BSL to waist and I'm sure that will take a long time to complete. I'm just focused on making my hair healthy. Shedding is part of life. Unless I start seriously losing soooo much, I'm going to drop it.

Thanks everyone!

January 15th, 2012, 02:01 AM
I'm also trying a protein treatment.

Also, I've shifted my focus to getting healthy :)

January 15th, 2012, 02:41 AM
Shedding can be VERY stressful! I know as I'm going through another shed at the moment (although I THINK I'm on the tail end of it... fingers crossed). I had a big shed a bit over 18 months ago too, and my hair was only JUST recovering from that!

However, at 8cm circ (a touch over 3") your hair doesn't sound too thin to me, and there's no point in cutting unless your hair thins significantly.

I am afraid I will have to cut mine though, because along with this shed, and the prior shed... well my length is just too thin. My circumference was starting to improve (it was about 2.25" at the start of last year, before the new growth had time to get into my ponytail) and was thickening nicely... but I think it's reverted down to the low 2s again. This is seriously depressing as I upgraded my thickness from i/ii to ii... but I may have to downgrade again!!

I think, as long as it looks good then keep it! If your hair sheds to the point where it's looking really horrible, then maybe it's time to cut.

As others have said, check your medication and also get tested for thyroid AND adrenal issues. Many people check for thyroid alone, but adrenal problems often start BEFORE thyroid problems, and can also lead to hair loss (I learned this the other day!).

January 15th, 2012, 02:46 PM
It is normal to shed extra in some periods. Furthermore Conditioner on the scalp can result in increased shedding, like some can't tolerate too much oil in the scalp.

January 15th, 2012, 02:55 PM
About the water: I would like to suggest that you get an attractive water bottle, fill it, and have it with you all the time. That's a must for me to remember to drink water. I see my water bottle sitting there and take a drink.

It is really essential that you get enough water. Being chronically dehydrated is a far worse problem than shedding hair, and it might even contribute.

January 15th, 2012, 03:20 PM
Thank you! It's funny you say that. Today I've started using a water bottle with a lemon squeeze in it since that's more tolerable.

January 15th, 2012, 03:30 PM
I worry about mine too. You're not alone. I worry about split ends more than anything because I'm terrified of trims. However, please don't cut your hair. You'll regret it; I know I always do. Normally, I'd tell people to cut or grow as they like but since your asking my and everyone elses opinion, I'm giving mine. :D

January 15th, 2012, 03:33 PM
Thank you. I won't cut it. This was a freak out in November. Thank goodness I made it through!

January 15th, 2012, 03:57 PM
Stress is really bad for your whole body.

UP Lisa
January 16th, 2012, 07:59 AM
I mostly worry about the damage I cause every day just trying to untangle mine. It can't possibly grow fast enough to keep up.