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airmid
February 10th, 2012, 11:09 AM
Hey, folks. I'm at a point now where I just need some hugs, support, advice, anything. Maybe others sharing their stories. Some reassurance that this does get better. This may be a bit of a long post. :/

For the past two months, I've been having a huge shed. My doctor thinks it's due to coming off birth control plus other heavy medications, combined with stress/trauma. He never seemed overly concerned... but I sure am. I am heartbroken about it. There's just so much less of it, it feels completely different. I'm tired of picking hair out of my food, my dishwater, hair clogging my bathtub drain... my friend even found one of my hairs in her mouth the other day, I was so embarrassed!

I'm even starting to have crying spells, getting really down over it. Feeling so desperate part of me wonders if I'm going to have to chop off my hair. I won't, not unless it becomes really bad, but it's a terrifying thought.

I'm buying some biotin today, am already taking multivitamins, eating really healthy, doing scalp massages with rosemary oil... I'm hoping it will all start working soon. Is there anything else I could be doing?

I could use a bit of support from my fellow longhairs, the other people in my life don't seem to understand at all. They say I'm imagining it, except for my DBF who saw all the hair I lost one day after I brushed my hair, and said, "Maybe long hair just isn't a good option for you at this point in your life." That didn't help either!

amantha
February 10th, 2012, 11:18 AM
Hi airmid! I think I'm coming out of an 8 month long shed (although now I'm starting to find shed hairs that are short which is worrying me :( ) which was due to severe iron deficiency. I just wanted to tell you that it DOES get better. I probably lost about 1/3 of my thickness, but it still ok. Just a tad thin at times. Has your doctor checked your iron and thyroid levels to rule that out? If not, I would demand that they do. I do remember years back when I wanted to get off of BC my hair shed more in general, but I wouldnt have called it "shed" because it never affected my thickness. But I do know that shedding is pretty common when one gets off of BC. I started taking MSM in November and I would say by Xmas time my hair was already significantly shedding less. Biotin made me get awful cystic acne. Maybe you might wanna try MSM too?

Dont be too sad. :( It will get better, I promise.

Kiwiwi
February 10th, 2012, 11:52 AM
Oh, sweetheart. *GiganticHug*
I understand it must be very heartbreaking to have to go through this.

You say it's likely because of a combination of getting off of meds and stress. Therefor I believe it will get better again. Once your body gets used to being without the meds and once you have less stress your hair could very well get it's thickness back.

Do make sure you go to your doctor to check all the things that can cause hairloss (thyroid, iron, etc) and make sure you get all the vitamins you need. Don't overdose on vitamins, just a normal pill a day is fine. Also make sure you eat healthy and drink plenty of water.

Excersizing will help too. It'll make your body healthier which is good for hair growth but it's also good against stress. It will give you energy. And that's good for your hairtoo.

One more *Bear Hug*!!

The Beldam
February 10th, 2012, 12:17 PM
I sympathize with how you're feeling, I've gone through it myself. I really can't add much here that hasn't already been said, except maybe to ask if you've tried meditation? There are so many benefits, it might be worth a shot.

AnnaJamila
February 10th, 2012, 12:21 PM
Poor thing. :( I'm sorry you're going through this- I'd say that at least you're healthy but coming from someone who understands that it's not *just* hair I know it makes the whole situation worse.

Nothing is forever, darlin. Insha'allah, sooner or later it'll quit and keeping growing in full and pretty. :flower:

Mai Gloeckchen
February 10th, 2012, 12:23 PM
Hey airmid!
I really understand how you are feeling. This summer I lost the half of my thickness due to iron deficiency. It was real horrer and I cried a lot. The worst thing was to know, that even at the point when I knew it was because of the iron and I got injections, that it would last twelve long weeks until the shed could be really over. Because of the growing phases (is that correct? I meen the different states hair goes through when it is growing: growing, pausing and falling out). Pausing is about twelve weeks long.

People around me just said: "Ah, it is only hair, it will regrow! Never mind."

But for me it was as if a bodypart of my shriveled. Just becuase there are no nerves and no blood, it does not meen that your hair is not part of you. Maybe hairloss does not hurt in the true sense of the words, but it does hurt, I know.

Now, the shed is over for five month and it is regrowing. I have a fringe now. An all-over-the-head-fringe. I am still sad, that so much is gone and I am still afraid that this could happen again.
But I can also be happy about my babyhair.

See the doctor, check your blood. Cry, when you feel like crying. And do something to distract you. And then, there will come the point, when it will get better. And it will get better faster then you now think. When you feel not at ease, your hair usually shows that. When you feel better, it will look better, livelier.

For a long time I counted my hairloss. At the start it was shocking. About 400 hairs a day. But then, the number got smaller. 300. Still too much, but 25% better. 200. Still too much, but 50% better. The first time under 100 and I was really happy. It relieved me to the the number diminishing. Now I am back at 20-40 a day.

Best wishes!
Mai

Theobroma
February 10th, 2012, 01:06 PM
I've been there, so I know what it's like. When I started shedding heavily I had no idea what was causing it, so it was all the more frightening that it went on and on until I'd lost at least a third of my thickness. It stopped eventually, and much later it dawned on me that it must have been severe protein deficiency. (I'm mostly vegetarian and had discovered I was wheat intolerant about four weeks before going on a summer school in Rome. Ended up spending six weeks with no opportunities for self-catering, trying to find wheat-free, meat-free stuff in Italian restaurants that I could eat; the end result was pretty much salads and gelato the whole time. Not exactly a balanced diet.)

At least you know up front what's causing it, and while I know that it isn't any fun either way, you do also know that it'll stop once your body adjusts! Take comfort from my experience -- I too cried over the wads of shed hair, but apart from myself not a single other soul even noticed that my hair was thinner!

Theobroma
February 10th, 2012, 01:09 PM
amantha and Mai Glöckchen, that's interesting about the iron deficiency. Were you or your doctors able to identify what caused that?

I wonder about my own iron levels sometimes, as I'm still mostly vegetarian (see above; started eating fish after the protein-deficient episode), but the only time I was tested my levels checked out perfectly normal.

ktani
February 10th, 2012, 01:12 PM
Hey, folks. I'm at a point now where I just need some hugs, support, advice, anything. Maybe others sharing their stories. Some reassurance that this does get better. This may be a bit of a long post. :/

For the past two months, I've been having a huge shed. My doctor thinks it's due to coming off birth control plus other heavy medications, combined with stress/trauma. He never seemed overly concerned... but I sure am. I am heartbroken about it. There's just so much less of it, it feels completely different. I'm tired of picking hair out of my food, my dishwater, hair clogging my bathtub drain... my friend even found one of my hairs in her mouth the other day, I was so embarrassed!

I'm even starting to have crying spells, getting really down over it. Feeling so desperate part of me wonders if I'm going to have to chop off my hair. I won't, not unless it becomes really bad, but it's a terrifying thought.

I'm buying some biotin today, am already taking multivitamins, eating really healthy, doing scalp massages with rosemary oil... I'm hoping it will all start working soon. Is there anything else I could be doing?

I could use a bit of support from my fellow longhairs, the other people in my life don't seem to understand at all. They say I'm imagining it, except for my DBF who saw all the hair I lost one day after I brushed my hair, and said, "Maybe long hair just isn't a good option for you at this point in your life." That didn't help either!

I agree with your doctor. When I went off the pill my hair thinned out too and mine is thin to begin with. Did I lose almost all of my hair? No. It just looked thin enough that my stylist noticed.

It is a hormone imbalance and that on top of your stress over your hair and other things is causing you to have crying jags too. It can become a circle.

Recognize 2 things. This is not unusual and that it is temporary. Your body will readjust. If you try to stay calm, and succeed, any hair shedding related to stress, should lessen.

Keep monitoring the condition but do not obsess over it. There are relaxation techniques you can look into or just get dressed up, go out and have a blast, while taking a mental vacation from worrying about your hair.

Keep your doctor informed of any changes so that he can possibly look into other ways to help you if you need it.

Good luck!

ETA: Re the other heavy medications. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives to those that do not contribute to or cause shedding.

Silverbrumby
February 10th, 2012, 01:23 PM
I've had 3 times in my life where I faced heavy shedding, the worst being before my thyroid condition was detected. It hurts and I've cried. This community has helped in so many ways. Looking around on the fine threads and seeing beautiful hair. Hearing everyones stories and how they coped.

A couple of things. I remember and have noticed that many women in their mid twenties do have a major shed. I recall reading that this can occur for some women as a hormonal shifting around. I had this happen when I was 26. I have fine hair but did have a lot of it. In my mid twenties I had a major shed then it settled into a new density. It stayed that way until I had my thyroid issues. The last shed was when they discovered I was low in iron and vit. D which I've now adjusted for. I think that was 3 months ago and I 'think' I've slowed down on the shedding.

I have read here that some people who oil the scalp get heavy shedding. I know I did and stopped doing it, instead going back to oiling the length. Does anyone remember this? I'm wondering if you should stop oiling the scalp.

I'm still shedding between 60 to over 100 on my bad days but have come to terms with my 'new' hair.

Amber_Maiden
February 10th, 2012, 01:24 PM
*hugs*

Don't stress out more about it!!! Try to ignore that it's happening. I have always shed a lot, and it has gotten worse since I've become pregnant, but I think it becomes more amplified in our minds because we are on LHC and pay special attention to our hair. Things we wouldn't notice before, or wouldn't care so much about before are worse now.

It will get better. Relax. Be healthy. Wait it out.

FrozenBritannia
February 10th, 2012, 01:28 PM
I lost all my hair in shedding like that, it was horrible, a horrible horrible experience. I doubt you will loose it all though, because I was really sick. What kind of shampoo are you using? Maybe try and go as natural as possible, just till the shedding stops?
Don't cut your hair, it will just make you even sadder. :(

Annalouise
February 10th, 2012, 01:31 PM
Hi, I can sympathize. I lost a major amount of hair when I did water only.

My hair is recovering so I can give you HOPE. I switched to a vegan diet last summer and I started taking vitamins. And I keep my scalp clean at all times. And its gone back to a ii.

Your hair will grow back. I have one book written about thinning hair and how to make it grow back and the author says to wash your scalp daily. You don't want oil or dirt to clog the pores as this can lead to hair loss.

Also, use oil treatments on your scalp before washing. Don't leave oil on your scalp. And scalp massages to stimulate blood flow are also good.

She recommends briskly rubbing the towel on your scalp to stimulate the hair follicles when you get out of the shower. I do this and I LOVE it. But I know that would make some people cringe.:)

Your hair will grow back, don't worry ok.

Bedhead
February 10th, 2012, 02:00 PM
Don't worry, your body will balance out and you will look all angelic for a while with your new halo of hair. I went through a hormone shift and between that and my hair not liking the water here, I lost about a 3rd of my hair, to the point where my widow's peak was almost no more. Well, since late October, I've been getting baby hairs everywhere, including about 50 or 60 where my widow's peak used to be. So it happens, and I know it's scary, but just keep taking care of yourself and try to be patient and your hair will come back with a vengence. :)

amantha
February 10th, 2012, 02:42 PM
amantha and Mai Gl÷ckchen, that's interesting about the iron deficiency. Were you or your doctors able to identify what caused that?

I wonder about my own iron levels sometimes, as I'm still mostly vegetarian (see above; started eating fish after the protein-deficient episode), but the only time I was tested my levels checked out perfectly normal.

Hi Theobroma! No they never definitively figured out the cause of my iron deficiency. But my regular doctor said about 90% of the time it's caused by excessive menstrual bleeding in women my age. I personally think it was a combination of things. First, heavy menstrual bleeding. Second, a poor diet. Third, being on metformin for my PCOS reallllllly upset my stomach ALL THE TIME. While metformin itself does not cause iron deficiency, since it upset my stomach so much, anything I ate was...erm...out of me within an hour. I don't think my body had enough time to absorb proper nutrients from the food I ingested. My endocrinologist said I could take a break from it, so I did and the iron is creeping back up (with the help of supplements).

louwulf
February 10th, 2012, 05:50 PM
Hi,
Hang in there! I know what you're going through and it's sure not fun. My shed has lasted several years and I think it's finally starting to slow down some (I hope.) I've ordered some essential oils to try massaging into the thin areas and will post back if it helps. I am taking daily vitamins which may be responsible for slowing the shed. I know how depressing this is and wanted you to know you are not alone. Good luck.

HelloKitteh
February 10th, 2012, 06:40 PM
Hi airmid! I think I'm coming out of an 8 month long shed (although now I'm starting to find shed hairs that are short which is worrying me :( ) which was due to severe iron deficiency.
[...]
Dont be too sad. :( It will get better, I promise.
+1
I lost half my hair twice in my life so far, and the first one was because of some kind of anti-male hormons or something. I went to see this renowned hormon doctor for my chronic fatigue syndrom, she said she couldn't find any problem with my hormons regarding this, but could help with my acne. She gave me that stuff, and within 2 weeks I was losing about 400 hairs a day - I had TB length at the time so I could have made a carpet out of my fallen hair. I stopped the bloody thing and things went back to normal.
The second time was last year, and was definitely linked to the various diets I explored to try and cute my chronic fatigue syndrome. One of my deficiencies may have been iron, and someone mentioned folic acid in another thread.

Everyone's already given good advice, but I would advise you to examine your healthy diet; maybe you could have a look
at my healthy diet to see if you can learn something from it? :eye: It's inspired half by Atkins (with Green Smoothies!! otherwise I don't think it would help you or anyone long term - and half by The Weston Price Foundation for recipe ideas - see the book Nourishing traditions). It is based on the premise that *quality* saturated fats are good, and gets you to eat organ meats. See if your body is interested in eating quality pate or fresh liver (preferably organic, free-range, I found it in Wholefoods in the US, and it's not too expensive), you will find that liver has folic acid, iron, etc. If you're vegetarian or even vegan please give up for some time, you won't be much good for the cause (of your choosing!) if you get ill. Hair loss could be the first visible sign of a deficiency. The pill is very bad anyway, if the same medication was made for men they would have retired it from the market for its danger. Definitely bad for your hormonal balance.


Look for regrowth as baby hair, as long as you don't see it, you haven't solved the problem. I kept shedding for close to a year on and off last year, and I believe it's only definitely stopped once I adopted the green smoothies in addition to my fusion of Atkins and WAPF. That could of course just be the pill for you! I was on and off the pill for 10 years between 17-26 yo, stopped it at least 3 times, played with it (taking it continuously for various purposes, none being health)... and never lost a single bit of hair from it (even though as you read, I have been sensitive to hormonal changes in the first shedding)


Now how to deal with it? *I* need your help :p
We're good for updo I'm afraid, with anemic buns! I am thinking of getting some hair extensions to add on updos so my buns don't look so thin. I believe a big issue (for us) like hair loss is an opportunity in life to switch to a better lifestyle - a far better motivation than weight loss!!
I'm considering cutting my hair back to where the regrowth is, because I'd rather wear my hair down, but I sure fancy spending a few dollars on hair extensions first. After all, if it wasn't for hair loss, I'd never have explored this cosmetic trend, and I likely wouldn't have heard of the LHC!

Good luck :blossom:

HelloKitteh
February 10th, 2012, 06:54 PM
But my regular doctor said about 90% of the time it's caused by excessive menstrual bleeding in women my age.
Blood my a**!!! It's such an easy way to get out of explaining or looking for real answers. Nature's done that to us, I think we would know by now if that was such an issue per se.


I personally think it was a combination of things. First, heavy menstrual bleeding. Second, a poor diet.

This, I can agree much more already!


Third, being on metformin for my PCOS reallllllly upset my stomach ALL THE TIME. While metformin itself does not cause iron deficiency, since it upset my stomach so much, anything I ate was...erm...out of me within an hour. I don't think my body had enough time to absorb proper nutrients from the food I ingested. My endocrinologist said I could take a break from it, so I did and the iron is creeping back up (with the help of supplements).
Arg, this is bad. You are in my position here. Glad it's getting better without that drug. But can you find out what it does to your stomach, does it change the stomach's pH? Look on alternative sites maybe, like curezone.org (I think, or .com) as well as 'regular' 'trusted' health sites, and let us know.
In this case, I am again going to talk about green smoothies lol! Or a good quality juicer would also be excellent. The principle is you remove a lot of the effort involved in digesting the food by pulverising (Vitamix blender) or crushing (masticator juicer - Champion. Oscar). An alternative to this is to chew your food very
well, and take time to eat.
You should consider taking digestive enzymes. They're available OTC - although stronger types will be available on prescription, but not sure most doctors consider it's important, so you might be laughed at if you mention this.

The ph in your stomach needs to be very acidic for proper digestion to take place. If that medication happened to raise the pH, you'd have the same symptoms as someone who needs antacids, but you actually would need acid. HCL is also available OTC for this.

Research a bit all this, I'm not a doctor and I'm just telling you what I do for myself. If you find something else that works for you when on that med, please let me know as it might help me as well!

Rumpel
February 10th, 2012, 07:01 PM
:( I'm so sorry that you're going through this. From just looking at your avatar, it's obvious that you care for your beautiful hair very well, and it's terrible that you're shedding so badly. *Hugs* I can sympathize a little because I've been having a pretty bad shed for the past four months. I just found out that my conditioner (which was in an unlabeled bottle due to me clumsily dropping it the day I got it) contained an extract from a nut to which I am allergic. Maybe you don't know it and have some sort of allergy to the shampoo/conditioner/product you are using? That's assuming, of course, that you're not WO or NW/SO or use additional products. Or maybe you're eating a new food that's causing you to shed? Regardless of what's causing this, I wish you the best of luck.

kitten1986
February 10th, 2012, 07:16 PM
Hello Just wanted to lend my support too. I think a lot of people go through something similar at some point. I have been going through major shedding in the last 6 months and I have lost over half of my thickness and it is an absolutely devastating thing to go through. When it first started I would sit in the shower and cry every time I washed my hair because I would lose handfuls of it. Then I decided to stop washing my hair and it got worse. I went to the doctor and had a full physical and found that I was completely healthy (something to be incredibly thankful for) but I was really upset because I was hoping that the doc would find something that I could fix to stop this from happening. Over the last few weeks I have resigned myself to the fact that there is nothing I can do. I started to take a fish oil and vitamin D tablet and I have now accepted that whatever happens will happen and I will deal with things as they come. I decided that if I lose so much hair that it looks terrible then I will buy a wig. and in the mean time I am doing hair treatments and looking after what I have as best I can.
My shedding was terrible and It is horrible to find you hair in food (especially when you have cooked for other people) and all around the place. I am constantly pulling stray hairs off my clothes and I leave a trail wherever I go. I have started to do a thorough combing and tie it all back in the morning to try to get rid of the loose hairs every day. It is pretty heartbreaking at first but it means that there will not be as much shedding during the day. I am collecting all of my shed hair and trying to turn it into something positive (I would LOVE a rat to pad out hairstyles now my hair is thin)
it was my birthday yesterday so I went to the hairdresser today as I felt I needed something new. She was fabulous and listened to what I wanted she trimmed 1cm off the length and has given be a fabulous new fringe which I love and I am feeling a lot better about my hair now than I have in a long time.
I have also started a new job and a few of my new co workers have commented on how shiny and healthy my hair looks (first compliments on my hair ever!!!) which made me very happy.


I know none of this is probably particulary helpful to you, but I just wanted to illustrate that you will come through it and you will start to feel better about it soon. It is a very difficult thing to go through and I have found a lot of people really dont understand. So I am sending my well wishes and hugs your way and I really wish you the best on what will undoubtably be a difficult time for you, but you will come through it at the end.

Euphoria.Dame
February 10th, 2012, 09:06 PM
I've heard of quite a few people seeing an increase in shedding after massaging with oil. Try doing it without oil, leave oils off of your scalp. Also, stress causes hairfall, so drink some tea and be happy. :)

misspixie
February 10th, 2012, 09:10 PM
Hi airmid! I think I'm coming out of an 8 month long shed (although now I'm starting to find shed hairs that are short which is worrying me :( ) which was due to severe iron deficiency. I just wanted to tell you that it DOES get better. I probably lost about 1/3 of my thickness, but it still ok. Just a tad thin at times. Has your doctor checked your iron and thyroid levels to rule that out? If not, I would demand that they do. I do remember years back when I wanted to get off of BC my hair shed more in general, but I wouldnt have called it "shed" because it never affected my thickness. But I do know that shedding is pretty common when one gets off of BC. I started taking MSM in November and I would say by Xmas time my hair was already significantly shedding less. Biotin made me get awful cystic acne. Maybe you might wanna try MSM too?

Dont be too sad. :( It will get better, I promise.
Did you drink a lot of water whenever you took biotin? I've read stories about people taking biotin and not drinking a decent amount of water and getting cystic acne because of it.

yummie
February 11th, 2012, 01:21 AM
I experienced my first big shed last year due to stress, anxiety, and a lot of trauma. I was pulling out fistful of hairs and thought I was going to go bald.. I understand exactly how you feel. Luckily I removed myself from the negative environment and had to learn to breathe and relax.. It's funny how your body responds to stress and foreign substances so now that you know what is causing it, you have the power to control it. So try to relax and have positive thoughts, treat your body well with a healthy diet and exercise. Don't Shampoo everyday. That's what I did and slowly my hair is growing back. I have a halo of new baby hairs now and in time you will too. Best of luck =]

Alaia
February 11th, 2012, 01:37 AM
I just finished a major shed too. I lost what basically equates to half my hair (and no my thickness rating to the left isn't accurate any more... I'm too depressed to change it).

I've come to believe that it was a hormonal shed. I had another at 19 which my hair had just recovered thickness from when the shed started (in June last year, and lasted until about November/December).

I took iron pills for a bit because I thought it might be that (and it couldn't hurt because my diet isn't the best) but the shedding stopped far too soon afterwards for it to have been that.

A number of LHC members have experienced a shed in the early-mid 20s. The George Michael guy I went to see back in June (before shed) warned me that I would have a shed because it happens around ages 18-20 and 23-26ish. So perhaps it has been that way for you...

Either way, hang in there, it WILL grow back, and there's no need to cut your hair. Long hair of any thickness can look beautiful (I've actually had MORE compliments since I lost the hair, funnily enough). :)

Vercelli
February 11th, 2012, 02:56 AM
Sorry to hear about your hairloss. I can imagine how you feel. I lost half of my hair in the last year or so due to stress and depression. I totally agree it's really a pain to see all that hair go, and it just adds up to being unwell in a negative way.

Please don't give up! Try to see a doctor and reducing stress (I know that's easier said than done). Also, yeah sure why not try Biotin or other hair vitamins. I have been using MSM, biotin, iron and fish oil for half a year now and it seems to help a little. So I guess I just have to patient and don't get stressed out too much...

Wishing you all the best!!!:grouphug:

hototogisu
February 11th, 2012, 03:07 AM
Oh, it makes me so angry to hear stories of doctors not taking womens' hair loss seriously!! The same thing happened to me and I'm still working through it. I was on Implanon for 10 years straight without a break, and after a lot of research concluded that the Implanon was a likely cause of my hair loss. I've been off it for around 8 months now, and I think my part is starting to look less 'scalpy', though I am going through a major shed after some life stress.

You know what really helped? Coming out of the hair loss closet on boards like this and learning just how common it is. I also recommend browsing through the Women's Hair Loss Project (http://www.womenshairlossproject.com/) for more information. I've also found my vitamin regime helps. I take a prenatal once a day, and saw palmetto and biotin twice a day (I'll look up the concentrations for you if you like). The saw palmetto, in particular, has helped enormously with my hormonal hair loss.

I also focused on caring for my scalp, not my hair. My scalp likes to be shampooed, a lot, so I quit co-washing and started CWCing every second day. I've had great results with the Nioxin system, but I think it could be a placebo. The Nioxin scalp treatment is fabulous, though. It contains sunscreen, and I think giving my scalp (which did get super fried in the sun) a break from all the sun damage has made a big difference.

You're not alone!

MonaMayfair
February 11th, 2012, 05:06 AM
Big Hugs!! I've gone through four separate bouts of shedding, the last one was from July 2011 to December 2011.
Mine is apparently due to fluctuating thyroid levels.

But (this might cheer you up slightly!) although I've lost so much hair in this heavy shedding/not enough regrowth cycle, it still looks totally normal, just not THICK. I still get compliments on my hair and no-one has suspected/noticed I've had any loss.

I do get a bit upset when I see girls with thicker hair (when my hair's in two braids, each one is probably half as thick as it used to be) but I try not to focus on that. I use henna and cassia to color my hair, and they definitely help to make it stronger and thicker too.

I don't think it's a good idea to cut your hair either. It's true that a shed short hair isn't as scary looking as a long shed hair, but short thin hair is just as bad as long thin hair - in fact I think long hair is better able to disguise hair thinning, especially in an updo.

Anyway, I totally understand what you're going through. While the shedding's going on, and you dread having to comb/brush/wash it, it's the most depressing demoralizing feeling imaginable...

hototogisu
February 11th, 2012, 06:12 AM
I just remembered something - I tried using minoxidil (Rogaine) to deal with my hair loss, and on the bottle it said it takes up to four months to see a difference in hair loss due to hair growth cycles. So the hair loss you're experiencing now is likely a result of stresses/medications etc from four months ago, while you'll see the results of your efforts four months from now. I find this comforting for some reason.

And I really urge you to try shampooing more frequently, if your scalp likes shampoo. A lot of us who experience shedding had some relief after shampooing a bit more often.

airmid
February 11th, 2012, 07:00 AM
Wow, thanks everyone. Sorry it took me so long to get back but I had a monumentally bad day yesterday... coming off the last of these meds is making me feel pretty awful. This too shall pass! :)

I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this. Reading everyone's responses means more to me than you could imagine. I never expected to have this happen to me, it's traumatizing. I'm thinking on going back to a doctor, my other doctor who is female and might "get it" more than my other doctor did, just to have a blood test and an examination done... I have endometriosis, and I'm worried I might also have undiagnosed PCOS or something. Though I'll be happy if it's just hormones/coming off the meds, because my body will adjust if I take care of it.

I never did get biotin after, they didn't have it at the grocery store. My multivitamin and my b50 complex have some biotin in them, maybe that will be enough.

Good news is the last few times I combed my hair I didn't lose much! I was amazed! My DBF even watched me do it at one point and commented on how I didn't lose any hair! :D I don't know why it happened but I could pray for more of the same. ;)

As for oiling the scalp making hair fall out, I've really noticed that! I want to have the rosemary oil on my scalp for its benefits though, is there any way to get that stuff on my scalp without putting it in a carrier oil? Like putting it in shampoo or conditioner, or aloe gel, or something?

And everyone... :grouphug: Thank you so much. I really needed to read all this...

Annalouise
February 11th, 2012, 07:40 AM
Yes, you can make a tea with rosemary, a strong tea, and then use that instead of water to dilute your shampoo/soap. My book that deals with hairloss recommends this. The problem for me was the hassle of boiling the tea daily, but if you don't mind it then go for it. Also, the book recommends a weak dilution of a castile soap with the herbal tea to wash the scalp daily, but the problem is that soap is usually not so great for the hair (lye soap) that is. I couldn't get good results with it. You could try adding the tea to your shampoo. But the thing is shampoos have so many ingredients in them I don't know how they will interact. Perhaps, if you want to try that method, then order a good shampoo bar that has only a few ingredients. Then when you make your rosemary tea, grate some shavings from the shampoo bar into the tea. Wait for them to melt. Stir. And then cool. If you transfer this to a container you can use it for your shampoo but it must be stored in the fridge.
The book is called Grow Hair Fast by Riquette Hofstein if you want to look on Amazon. She has tons of recipes for shampoo and conditioner.

Emichiee
February 11th, 2012, 04:53 PM
I lost mine after going off the pill too. I was trying to wait it out but failed to have my hormones checked.
When I finally did, it was an easy fix. My prolactin levels were too high due to a pituitary tumor (the pill might have kept this at bay), and after one week on meds it completely stopped.
Regrowing was a pain in the butt, I never cut but the regrowth drove me mad. It looked so frizzy.
I am going through the same thing again, loosing 250 hairs a day currently. It might be a postpartum check this time, or may be the prolactin again.
I went off meds to be able to breastfeed. I know this can mean I will loose my hair and have to cut or worse, but my baby is more important than my hair and his smiles and cuddles make me feel better.
I do tend to get teary eyed about the loss though, especially since I had invested SO SO much patience in regrowing.
I'm sorry your going through this, I hope it ends soon ((hugs))

annamoonfairy
February 11th, 2012, 05:07 PM
I bought a juicer and drink a lot of apple & carrot mix and found that it helped my hair, skin as well as my energy level. Fresh organic juiced fruits and vegetables have really helped me in a lot of ways. Hope this helps some.

maborosi
February 11th, 2012, 05:45 PM
airmid, I can totally sympathize with you.

Over the last few months, I switched BC because my old one was making me very irritable. I'd forgotten that a common side effect of switching these kinds of medications is hair loss. I was also dealing with horrible stress and depression. My hair was falling out in clumps.

It eventually subsided, but the damage was done. My hemline looked less thick and even than it used to, and it really made me sad. I was already severely depressed, so I didn't even want to bother combing through my hair most days.

I ended up cutting off most of my hair. To me, it was a relief to not have to worry so much about seeing my hair falling out, plus, I didn't feel obligated to dedicate so much time to detangling/etc. Right now, my primary goal is to get better before I try to keep my hair so long. To me, my health is the most important thing. If I'm not in a healthy state of mind, or if stress and such are taking major tolls on me, how can I expect to have beautiful, happy hair?

Whatever you end up doing, just know there are many of us who've been through the same thing, and that you're not alone. :flower:

~maborosi~

Mai Gloeckchen
February 12th, 2012, 12:18 AM
amantha and Mai Gl÷ckchen, that's interesting about the iron deficiency. Were you or your doctors able to identify what caused that?
Yes, we found out. It was very easy. I have difficulties with my digestion, so it is impossible for me to get enough iron from food, even after adjusting my whole diet. That is also why I got injections and no iron-pills (we tried pills, but my stomach became really angry and painful).
For years my body was able to compensate, but last spring I stopped taking the pill (I took it in a way that I had no period) and after I started to bleed again every month, that was too much. I lost more, than I could refill, it is an easy calculation.

amantha
February 12th, 2012, 12:41 AM
Did you drink a lot of water whenever you took biotin? I've read stories about people taking biotin and not drinking a decent amount of water and getting cystic acne because of it.

Yeah I did. :( I always make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day because my neurologist advised to keep an eye on my hydration since I have chronic migraines. If I get even the slightest bit dehydrated I get a migraine. I only took a 600mcg Biotin supplement, plus another 300mcg which is in my multivitamin (so 900mcg total) and within 2 weeks I was getting a new cystic zit with every day that passed. After a week of that I gave up on the Biotin but continued the MSM. Within 10 days it all cleared up. I think I'm either hyper-sensitive to Biotin for some reason, or I get more than enough of it from my diet since I eat a lot of Biotin-rich foods (cheese, nuts, etc.). Maybe the supplements coupled with my diet were too much? I have no clue. I still take my multivitamin that has the 300mcg of Biotin in it and my face is doing fine.

I wasn't advocating that the OP not try Biotin....most people see wonderful results from it. I was just suggesting that she might want to try MSM along with it to help the shedding.

Mesmerise
February 12th, 2012, 03:32 AM
Ahh shedding is something I know all too well. I've had two major sheds over the past two years... each lasted about three months. It seemed I was nicely recovering from the first when the second happened.

Fortunately, that shedding seems to have stopped (knock on wood). But yeah, I know how it feels when you lose your hair and it doesn't seem to be stopping AND you're trying to grow it long, but growing it long seems sort of useless when it's getting so thin... I really think my hair started looking worse after it grew back, because that only emphasised how thin the ends were!! I now know that my hair isn't going to look good again for YEARS... because I've really got to regrow the lot.

However, it has led me to eating better, trying to lead a less stressful life (HAH!) as well as taking supplements, and caring for the hair I've got better.

HelloKitteh
February 12th, 2012, 03:34 AM
As for oiling the scalp making hair fall out, I've really noticed that! I want to have the rosemary oil on my scalp for its benefits though, is there any way to get that stuff on my scalp without putting it in a carrier oil? Like putting it in shampoo or conditioner, or aloe gel, or something?

And everyone... :grouphug: Thank you so much. I really needed to read all this...
Yes! I have the 'easy' answer for this one (making tea being good, but requiring more time!)
I have some Rosemary Hair Lotion by Weleda - a very reputable health conscious company from Germany. It's awesome when starting no-poo projects, because it doesn't grease your hair, so useful to calm the hair when it's itchy etc. This might be a quick option for you, if making the tea is too time consuming.
I think I saw the brand in the Wholefoods in the US, but it looks like you just have the Hair Oil option from looking at their website, so you might have to look for it.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Weleda-Rosemary-Hair-Lotion-100ml/dp/B000ORYF1O
is the one I am talking about. I love it also because it has a smell I like (from the rosemary, the closest smell to describe it, apart from rosemary, is weak pine) so it's like hair perfume.

Edit: Here's a company selling worldwide free-postage (free too, the 'doh' comments!) http://www.lookfantastic.com/weleda-rosemary-hair-lotion-100ml/10540673.html

Note also the bottle opening has this dropper thing so you don't end up pouring the whole bottle on your hair in one go.

Theobroma
February 12th, 2012, 03:48 AM
Yes! I have the 'easy' answer for this one (making tea being good, but requiring more time!)
I have some Rosemary Hair Lotion by Weleda - a very reputable health conscious company from Germany. It's awesome when starting no-poo projects, because it doesn't grease your hair, so useful to calm the hair when it's itchy etc. This might be a quick option for you, if making the tea is too time consuming.
I think I saw the brand in the Wholefoods in the US, but it looks like you just have the Hair Oil option from looking at their website, so you might have to look for it.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Weleda-Rosemary-Hair-Lotion-100ml/dp/B000ORYF1O
is the one I am talking about. I love it also because it has a smell I like (from the rosemary, the closest smell to describe it, apart from rosemary, is weak pine) so it's like hair perfume.

Do you find that the alcohol content of this stuff is within acceptable limits? I have a bottle that's been standing around opened for something like seven years; I used it occasionally but it tended to make my scalp sting and I've been wondering about the possible drying effects of the alcohol on my hair. (It still hasn't noticeably gone off even though it's now almost four years past its best-before date, which suggests a pretty hefty percentage of alcohol in there!)

Theobroma
February 12th, 2012, 05:13 AM
For years my body was able to compensate, but last spring I stopped taking the pill (I took it in a way that I had no period) and after I started to bleed again every month, that was too much. I lost more, than I could refill, it is an easy calculation.

Ouch. Yes, I see! :S Well, at least it was an identifiable problem with a relatively simple solution, though regular iron injections don't sound like much fun!

HelloKitteh
February 12th, 2012, 05:26 AM
Do you find that the alcohol content of this stuff is within acceptable limits? I have a bottle that's been standing around opened for something like seven years; I used it occasionally but it tended to make my scalp sting and I've been wondering about the possible drying effects of the alcohol on my hair. (It still hasn't noticeably gone off even though it's now almost four years past its best-before date, which suggests a pretty hefty percentage of alcohol in there!)

Thanks for reminding me of this. I was trying to find the ingredients list to mention the alcohol content/percentage and then forgot. To me, it hasn't been a problem at all.

Were you co-washing or shampooing at the time? Maybe that could be a factor as well?

I have used it on the scalp only at least a day after washing my hair in general, and usually even longer as I believe it prevents itching & too much greasiness when you try to lengthen the time between shampoos. When doing the same as a child, I used PetrolHan (some anti-dandruff lotion) with high alcohol content, and I was quite fine with it too. I make sure it mainly goes on the scalp. To give you an idea of the possible scalp irritation level (quite low), at the time I would shampoo with a mild shampoo (had BSL to waist length hair, and already had problems with regular shampoos) about once a week (which is an expected and normal length of time to wash long hair in some countries) so I used that lotion in order to wash my hair a bit less often by preventing the itchy scalp issue.

Theobroma
February 12th, 2012, 05:43 AM
Thanks for reminding me of this. I was trying to find the ingredients list to mention the alcohol content/percentage and then forgot. To me, it hasn't been a problem at all.

Were you co-washing or shampooing at the time? Maybe that could be a factor as well?

I was shampooing. Perhaps the double whammy of SLeS and alcohol was a bit much, or perhaps my scalp is just sensitive to alcohol? It isn't even remotely greasy, anyway, so using additional grease-cutting products like this lotion is probably not a good idea for me. I do love the way it smells, though.

I found the ingredients on the Weleda website (http://www.weleda.de/Naturkosmetik/Koerperpflege/Haarpflege/RosmarinHaarwasser.html#). Here they are:

Water (Aqua), Alcohol, Cochlearia Armoracia (Horseradish) Extract, Sedum Acre Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Potassium Carbonate, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*. *from natural essential oils

HelloKitteh
February 12th, 2012, 05:47 AM
Ouch. Yes, I see! :S Well, at least it was an identifiable problem with a relatively simple solution, though regular iron injections don't sound like much fun!
Oh to anyone inthinking they lack iron, please please make sure that you get checked before you get yourself iron OTC. This supplement can be dangerous/detrimental to health, there are many forms of iron and most don't have any positive effects. If only because too much iron could discolour your teeth.
If you want to self-medicate get iron from juicy meats (blood) and liver, the heme-iron they contain is easily assimilated and the body will apparently take what it needs, so you can't overdose on it.

Theobroma
February 12th, 2012, 06:36 AM
HelloKitteh, I'm sure I read somewhere that overdosing on iron can actually cause hair loss just as iron deficiency can? Popping supplements indiscriminately is never a terribly good idea.

In any case, it doesn't seem to be all that easy to get an iron deficiency provided that one is otherwise in good health and has a normally functioning metabolism. As I think I said upthread, I was vegetarian for most of my life and never had any problems. (My GP fussed at me about it and finally insisted on getting blood work done just in case, and everything checked out perfectly normal. You can get all the iron you need even from a balanced meat-free diet, assuming you don't have any underlying health issues.)

deltadeliquent
February 12th, 2012, 09:15 AM
I would I've to chime in here.
After the birth of my second child I shed like crazy. And I still shed a lot to the point of clogging up the drain in the shower when I shampoo! My hairs only APL too.
Since joining LHC I have started CO and the shedding has stopped in its tracks. I couldn't believe it at first,so I switched back to my expensive shampoo. Ad yep, the drain is clogged again. S it's back to CO for me.
You might try it if you are already doing so.
Hugs

lunardaydreamer
February 12th, 2012, 09:39 AM
I feel for everyone that has experienced shedding :(

I lost half my hair and an unhealthy amount of weight while on Topomax for migraines. It was long at the time, and I ended up cutting it short. I got off the medication but it continued to shed for almost a year. The light side of my part still has more hair than the "heavy" side which is where most of my hair came off.

It will stop! Make sure you're getting enough vitamins (but that you've checked all with your doctor). I know the crying spells :(

Just hang in there and baby your hair! I found that wearing it up gently was best because I would get most upset when I wore my hair down and everyone was constantly picking it off of me and everything else.

Pinkster8
February 12th, 2012, 12:59 PM
First off, I'm sorry about your shedding. I can relate to that feeling, when I was trying to figure out which birth control worked for me - the first one I tried literally made about half my hair fall out :( I agree with those saying you should get your iron and thyroid checked, and a vitamin would probably be a good idea, with biotin if it doesn't make you break out. I can say, though, once I got my hormones figured out (which took a while) my hair has improved greatly. Just get your blood checked, keep taking care of your hair and hopefully it will improve once you've been off the BC longer. I will send some good vibes your way! :)

airmid
February 14th, 2012, 08:10 AM
Thank you, everyone, for the wonderful responses! It's so good to have people understand how it feels instead of looking at me oddly and saying, "You're just imagining it," like most of my family has been doing (not all of them though, some people have been fantastic I gotta say! :D).

I tried the rosemary tea rinse, also added in nettle infusion and a few drops of rosemary EO. I don't know about shedding benefits, but it made my hair super duper soft! Like a kitten! :)

I am a little excited today... I even made a blog post I was so excited. ;) I've been losing much much less hair these past three or four days! It could be a false alarm, but... I CWC'd my hair a few days ago, lost maybe 30-35 hairs through the whole process including detangling afterward! I lost about 5 hairs this morning when I did my scalp massage and combed. This is HUGE, I was losing many times that amount until this week. I wonder if this means my multivitamins are finally kicking in? I've been on them almost a month now. Should I get my hopes up or just try and be non-attached to this progress just in case it is a false alarm?

Also, I scrutinized my diet and I realized I'm not getting enough protein. In addition to shedding my hair was breaking off, too... my doc doesn't think it's my thyroid, but what about a lack of protein? I've started eating protein with every meal and eating lots of eggs (mmmm, protein and biotin!).

Here's hoping!!!