Keeping our hair on! Hair loss support thread!

(236 Posts)
coffeecake Wed 10-Oct-12 20:38:52

Hi, as promised and based on a few Mumsnetters expressing a desire of a support thread for hair loss, here it is!
Feel free to ask any questions, share your experiences etc...

Sheila Wed 10-Oct-12 21:05:59

I'm in!

I''d really like to hear some positive stories about hair regrowth. I'm at the early stages of hair loss, applying Minoxidil everyday and wondering if it's going to make any difference.

Very tired of the constant, overwhelming fear of going bald so would really like some good news.

Sheila Wed 10-Oct-12 21:08:06

I'm in!

I''d really like to hear some positive stories about hair regrowth. I'm at the early stages of hair loss, applying Minoxidil everyday and wondering if it's going to make any difference.

Very tired of the constant, overwhelming fear of going bald so would really like some good news.

Sheila Wed 10-Oct-12 21:09:31

Sorry double posted for some reason!blush

duende Wed 10-Oct-12 21:44:08

I suffer from hair loss. I have underactive thyroid but this seems to be under control at the moment. I also have low ferritin levels and have been taking iron supplements since July. In the last two weeks my hair seems to be falling out a bit less but it was so bad that I had it chopped off and now have a short bob.

Sheila Wed 10-Oct-12 22:09:57

Hi Duende, can I ask how low your ferritin is? Mine tested as 16, which is counted as normal but I was told this is actually pretty low.

chipstick10 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:34:10

For optimum hair growth it should be over 70. Mine tested at 36, after four months id got it up to 105

duende Wed 10-Oct-12 22:42:29

Hi Sheila, mine was 14 when tested and my GP says it may take as long as 6-12 months of supplementation to get it up to the right level (i suppose she means about 70)
Chipstick10, that sounds like a good increase, so maybe it can happen quicker [hopeful]

WildThongyoumakemyringsting Wed 10-Oct-12 22:59:20

Thank you coffee

Im in!

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 11:08:07

Chipstick did the ferritin help with your hair at all? When I had some blood tests they were normal but they didn't tell me what the results were as such (ie iron levels etc...).
When they test for iron do they necessarily test for ferritin (is it the same?).
I was supposed to see a dermatologist but he doesn't deal with scalp problems/hair loss. He gave me the name of someone else near the town where I live but you have to go through the NHS to see her. I don't think my GP will refer me sad. It's so hard to get a referral these days.
I don't know what to do know. I might see a homeopath.
If hair loss is always due to internal reasons (like that MN said, the one who is a trichologist) then surely a homeopath can help as they treat the patient holistically (ie they look at everything from family history to personality etc..).

I took my DC to see a homeopath once, regarding his asthma, and he hasn't used his inhaler since.
It turned out his immune system had to be boosted, as he only suffered from weezing when he had a cold/cough.

grimRiaper Thu 11-Oct-12 11:27:34

Hi. Hope you don't mind me posting, but my DS (15) is losing hair at his temples, his scalp seems to have a red rash. We are taking him to the GP next week, but I am just wondering what, if any, tests they might do? He also suffers with reflux and eczema, so have been wondering if they're all linked to stress?

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 13:17:23

Hi Grim I'm afraid I am no expert, I'm just experiencing hair loss and I just thought I would start a thread.
For me I think it's stress, but for your son maybe the GP will find that it's related to his eczema? I have no idea.
When I went to GP he did tests for Iron, hormones, Thyroid, Liver function and testosterone.

Medal Thu 11-Oct-12 14:21:09

And me smile I am having all over hair loss called telogen effluvium due to the shock to my body of changing my diet to a low carb one a few months ago. Hoping it will sort itself out now I am eating properly and taking some supplements. I am trying to eat protein with every meal which is meant to be good for hair growth but quite hard going! I have just asked my GP for hormone tests today to make sure there is nothing else going on.

Grim, could it be psoriasis (scaly red rash)? If so that will affect hair growth. I am sure the doctor will be of some help or will transfer you to a dermatologist.

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 17:45:15

Medal, did you go to a dermatologist?
Have you noticed any new hairgrowth at all? I am noticing some new short hair growing along my hairline and I hope it's good news, but I don't know if it's what people get anyway as I have never looked that closely.
My mum kindly asked her hairdresser for me and she said "if she is noticing new hairgrowth she must have lost some hair at some point without realizing and it's growing back now."
But she recommended seeing a dermatologist. I have contacted one in my town which hasn't replied, I really need to find one in my area.

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 17:46:00

And medal, did you see a shedding at some point and if so has it stopped now?

yellowsun Thu 11-Oct-12 18:42:20

I started losing my hair over the summer holidays. I've had blood tests which are 'normal'. I've put it down to a mega stressful time at work in July or losing 1.5 stone in 6 weeks on weightwatchers around the same time. Soma delayed reaction from that. I can see regrowth appearing but still feeling paranoid about what is coming out on my brush.

Medal Thu 11-Oct-12 18:56:28

I am still noticing a large amount of hair coming out, when I run my fingers through it and when I wash it, I daren't brush it anymore. It hasn't let up for the last couple of months at least and I am getting very thin all over my head. think I must have lost 50% of my hair, it certainly feels like it, and I can't see any regrowth particularly yet sad

I did see a dermatologist a few weeks ago who was very reassuring, but as it hasn't improved yet I am wondering about paying to see a trichologist to get a second opinion.

yellowsun my hair has been diet related but not stressed related (altho feeling plenty stressed now!). Can I ask how long it has taken you to notice regrowth since noticing hair loss and are you still shedding?

WildThongyoumakemyringsting Thu 11-Oct-12 19:43:24


Im thinking of either asking for a referral to a trichologist or paying for an appointment. I see there is one in Glasgow not far from my office.

Medal Thu 11-Oct-12 19:47:52

The only down fall is the cost - why does it have to be £150! And how many other things are they going to try and sell?

mrsrhodgilbert Thu 11-Oct-12 19:48:36

Can I tell you about my experience? About 2/1/2years ago I noticed that my hair was getting very thin, particularly on top where I was very aware of scalp showing through. I posted on here at the time and got some lovely comments and advice. My GP diagnosed very low iron levels. My ferritin was 4 so I started a course of iron tablets which I took for 18 months. I also had a mirena coil fitted to prevent further iron problems. It took a very long time for my hair to start regrowing and in that time i saw 2 dermatologists. One at my local hospital who was very offhand and just said I would end up like my nana who had very thin hair, that is hereditary female pattern hair loss. The second consultant was about 50 miles away and I researched him and got a referral from my gp. He did agree that the first man could have been correct but his atttude was totally different and he offered hope that the situation would improve.

Throughout this time I was having regular blood tests and here is the important bit. After many months my iron levels improved enough to be classed as normal. That is what the gp's in the practice who saw the results come in from the lab classified them as. However...they were not aware of my hair issues and were just seeing iron levels which were within the norm. But to allow hair to recover and regrow iron levels have to be quite a way above just normal. It was for this reason that I took iron for so long. My gp was great and just kept prescribing until we could see an improvement. Every time I got a 'normal' result I had to find out exactly what the figures were (which involved a telephone consultation with the practic e nurse) to see if they were actually going up. You need to be determined about this, keep checking.

My hair has improved hugely and I don't really think about it any more. I still have very short tufts coming through on top and my hairdresser says she can see a real improvemant now. If you think you may have low iron issues please persevere, it takes a long time and you need to find out why you have low iron and sort that out too, in my case heavy periods. Good luck.

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 20:38:07

Mrs thanks that's really helpful. I had read somewhere that you do need a lot of iron (something like 15 mg a day? Or 20 even) to have healthy hairgrowith or regrowth.
Now I am wondering whether my "normal" results were in the normal range but still a bit low. I mean ferritin or something else (low or high).
When you say you took Iron, do you remember how much you took and how long it took to grow back?
Can I just ask, do any of you experience a "tingling" sensation in their scalp at all?
I do, not all the time (sometimes I don't feel anything for 2 weeks), but I do feel it, I can't really describe it but it's a tingling, prickling feeling in a specific area (usually an area where the hair is thinner, like the top or the temples etc...) and I seem to get it when I am stressed or anxious.
My MIL said she got that years ago when she was stressed (in the crown area where her hair is the thinnest). She also suffered from thinning hair.

duende Thu 11-Oct-12 21:14:46

Medal, that's interesting- I was on a low carb diet fom May for 2 months, and my hair loss became even worse since. Not sure if its a coincidence as my ferritin levels were already low then.

I think i may have made it wors by giving blood in May as well.

Medal Thu 11-Oct-12 21:27:25

Duende, really? I also started in May and carried on for 3 months till August which was when it started. I have been eating normally since August. Now I am sitting here feeling sick and scared after running my fingers through my hair and a whole bunch coming out, when is this going to end?

Pseudonymity Thu 11-Oct-12 21:40:53

Hi folks, just thought I would add my experience. I've had very thin hair for a long time, hair that was constantly shedding. Since I've been on anti-depressants (for about 2 years) my hair has improved immensely, the shed is down and it looks a lot better. I can't say that it's down to the medication for sure, obviously, but my hair loss was long-standing and this is the only thing I can think of that has changed.

duende Thu 11-Oct-12 21:41:53

Medal how do you know that there are no other reasons in your case? Could you have some iron/ thyroid problems? I'm just wondering if low carb could be a coincidence?
I know how you feel- i was fed up with having to pick clumps of hair off my desk at a couple of times a day, washing it was a majorly stressful event and we now have a dyson animal hover even though we have no pets...

I must say having had it cut has made me feel better about it.

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 21:43:22

I think depression and anxiety have a lot to answer for. I suffer from anxiety and hairloss is a symptom.

Medal Thu 11-Oct-12 21:57:57

I have had blood tests done, for thyroid, ferritin, folate, B12, amongst others and all appeared in the normal range. The hair loss started exactly 3 months after I started low carbing which is apparently the usual time frame for this kind of stress reaction to occur.

I am not sure having it cut would help, it's shoulder length at the moment.

Pseudonymity, that is interesting about the antidepressants. Which one did you go on?

Pseudonymity Thu 11-Oct-12 22:22:27

Yes, mine is depression and anxiety. I'm on citalopram and it works well for me. I would normally be the sort of person to have said that anxiety couldn't have anything to do with hair loss!

MoomieAndFreddie Fri 12-Oct-12 07:37:35

Sea Kelp tablets are meant to be good for hair - no idea how they work though! but I have found they have worked for me.

(have said this in another thread as well but thought i would add it to this one too)

TantrumsandBananas Fri 12-Oct-12 07:53:00

Hi me too!

Its been thinning for sometime, I have my hair cut short, and all pulled forward on top, sort of a comb over! I spray it into place, very concious of it. It has just stopped falling out for a period of time, which is awful. It will do this every once in a while. If my hair gets wet or messed up, its so obvious.

I have had blood tests, I also have a thyroid nodule (large) and memory loss. Not heard anything yet....

Anyway, this may sound odd but one thing that does work for me, is dry shampoo, it stops me having to wash my hair so often, and for whatever reason, it makes it look and feel thicker. I even use it after I have washed my hair and dried it. Its not a permanent solution, but it does make me feel slightly better to have found something that disguises it a little.

Its horrible, makes me feel so unfeminine.

Medal Fri 12-Oct-12 08:08:05

Tantrums have you seen a dermatologist or trichologist, do you know of any reasons for it?

The sea kelp I think can help to balance the thyroid (well that's what I've read).

homeaway Fri 12-Oct-12 09:27:55

Are any of you deficient in b vitamins ? Maybe a vitamin b supplement would help you but it has to have all the vitamin b's in it as otherwise they are out of balance (if that makes sense ). I hope this helps someone.

TantrumsandBananas Fri 12-Oct-12 10:18:44

Not seen any specialists as yet. The nodule has been biopsied a few times, to make sure nothing sinister.

But only just had more blood tests, not got results yet. So I don't know the reason as yet. When I find out, I will post.

coffeecake Fri 12-Oct-12 14:07:34

Thanks homeaway the supplement I take includes Vit B1, B2, B3, B6, B12. Is that all of them?

coffeecake Fri 12-Oct-12 14:19:46

P.S: If you want to see if you have new hair growth, look in the mirror in a well lighted room and brush your hair down very flat. You should see some new hair growth sticking up.
Remember that sometimes new hair growth can be light, wispy and very thin, so it might be hard to see it at first.
I have read that somewhere.
I'm obsessed with looking at that new regrowth, it gives me some hope.

homeaway Fri 12-Oct-12 18:23:16

Coffee, cant find the packaging for my b vitamins but this is a list of all of the b vitamins that there are. If you ask in a chemist or your doctor I am sure they would be able to find you one that has all of them in. Have you had a blood test to see if you are deficient in them ?
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B 2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B5
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B7
Vitamin B9
Vitamin B12

coffeecake Sat 13-Oct-12 18:51:38

No. Unless they did them without telling me but I doubt it.
They say vitamin D deficiency can cause hair loss too, and that a lot of people are deficient in this country due to the lack of sun.
Does anyone get that tingling in specific areas at all associated with their hair loss?

coffeecake Mon 15-Oct-12 14:29:52

I heard that vitamin D defficiency could also be a factor, I am already taking a supplement which contains 5 mg which is 100% of the RDA.
I saw another supplement called Ultra Vitamin D and that contains 25mg which is 500% of the RDA (apparently the human body needs a lot more that previously thought, especially in this country).
The only thing is, do I have to stop my multi supplement which already contains vitamin D before starting this one, in case I do an overdose of vitamin D? If I take both, that will be 600% of the RDA. Surely that's wrong?

coffeecake Mon 15-Oct-12 15:02:48

Good link Hair loss problems

kimimimi Mon 15-Oct-12 16:43:39

I had this problem and I tried alot of medicins, vitamins etc, the only tablets who helped an I mean REALLY helped was Forcapil, I can't help myself to recommend to everyone who need.
The story:i had really thick hair, then that summer/autumn (more than 10 years ago) it start to fall and looks like not going to stop,my hair get very thin and I started to panic. Tried this and that,did not worked and the chemist sugest to try this one. My hair stopped falling and by the winther it was thik again.
It was the only time I used,never need,never had that problem again after.
Is this

Sorry everybody for my english and I really hope I can help you. smile

coffeecake Wed 17-Oct-12 14:11:25

Finally got an appointment with a dermatologist. I'll see what she says and let you know (I'm a bit scared she will say it's irreversible and it's my lot!!)

spiderlight Wed 17-Oct-12 15:10:38

Hello, can I join in please? I lsot loads and loads of my hair early this year because of serious iron issues: I have ulcerative colitis and had a very severe flare-up last autumn, lost huge quantities of blood (needed transfusions) and my ferritin was something ridiculous like 7.3. I also lost a lot of weight very very fast and had to take steroids for several months. Just as I was recovering from all that, my hair started to fall out in fistfuls sad It never got so bad that my scalp was showing, but it was very obvious because my hair's long and quite fine anyway and I reckon at least half of it fell out over about a six-week period. It stopped coming out once my anaemia started to improve and has been growing back quite noticeably over the past couple of months, but I now have a strange sort of mullet type situation, with a layer of new hair about three inches long coming through all over, which is wavy, whereas my 'old' hair is straight. Part of me wants to get it all chopped off short, but I look awful with short hair and my DH and DS have both begged me not to cut it, so I'm just putting up with it and looking forward to colder weather so I can start wearing hats on the school run. It's so depressing though - my hair was the only part of me that I actually liked sad

Napoleon66 Wed 17-Oct-12 17:31:10

About 2 yrs ago i was in a relationship that was causing me lots of anxiety. I noticed my hair thinning especially on top and the temples. About 18 mths ago i started taking Florisene (loads of iron) and i can say that my hair volume has improved significantly. Now I take 1 Florisene tablet a day plus a supermarket own-brand hair supplement which contains biotin - which is supposed to help.

I'm quite happy with my hair now. Also, no stress in my life at the moment.

Good luck everyone.

Medal Wed 17-Oct-12 19:30:59

Good luck with your apptment Coffee. I went to see another derm a couple of days ago and she did two scalp biopsies, not pleasant but hopefully will be helpful - or like you maybe I won't want to know. Fingers crossed we get some answers soon.

Mumofjz Wed 17-Oct-12 20:10:39

just marking my place. I've suffered with hair loss for about 20yrs (in 40's now) though i'm not bald, it's certainly very thin on top. I also have Ulcerative Colitis (which may or may not contridbute) but have found that this year it's been falling out in handfulls. The only factor i can put down to this is that i've come off the contraceptive implant and got sterilised!!! I'm presuming my body may be working like it does when your pregnant and don't loose much hair then when you've had the baby, it sheds it all!!!!
I need to go to the doctors but having been once and "fobbed off", i'm not holding much hope sad

heroutdoors Wed 17-Oct-12 20:20:15

Good thread, liking it a lot.

About 8 weeks ago, I treated myself to a very very upmarket champoo and conditioner.
I swear these products increased/caused even my hairloss.!
I was/am horrified. You don't need hairloss when your hair is not luxuriant anyway.
Although happy to accept that hairloss in spring and autumn is increased, for some reason.

As you may know, an awful lot of cosmetics are now made in China. From cheap to the best known expensive ones.
I cannot believe that they all have their own factories there. I am sure these factories produce a whole load of stuff for various companies in the West.
I now have this recurring nightmare that I maybe washed my hair with engine cleaner, and someone somewhere is cleaning the car engine with my champoo.
Anyhow have gone back to Philip Kingsley and there is a slight improvement.

heroutdoors Wed 17-Oct-12 20:21:20

Good thread, liking it a lot.

About 8 weeks ago, I treated myself to a very very upmarket champoo and conditioner.
I swear these products increased/caused even my hairloss.!
I was/am horrified. You don't need hairloss when your hair is not luxuriant anyway.
Although happy to accept that hairloss in spring and autumn is increased, for some reason.

As you may know, an awful lot of cosmetics are now made in China. From cheap to the best known expensive ones.
I cannot believe that they all have their own factories there. I am sure these factories produce a whole load of stuff for various companies in the West.
I now have this recurring nightmare that I maybe washed my hair with engine cleaner, and someone somewhere is cleaning the car engine with my champoo.
Anyhow have gone back to Philip Kingsley and there is a slight improvement.

heroutdoors Wed 17-Oct-12 20:22:00

Oh, sorry
connection did not work.

heroutdoors Wed 17-Oct-12 20:22:48

Oh, sorry
connection did not work.

heroutdoors Wed 17-Oct-12 20:25:27


coffeecake Wed 17-Oct-12 21:31:40

Welcome spiderlight napoleon mumofjz and heroutdoors, and thanks kimimimi for your precious advice.
Napoleon I can really relate, I have a lot of anxiety due to various things, and I am sure it is not helping with my hair loss.

The iron thing sounds quite promising though, the supplements I take don't have that much iron in them but I am taking extra vitamin D too so I don't want to become a "vitamin" freak and pop as many as I can.
I won't know what's helping if I take too many things at once, although I know that iron deficiency is the most common factor together with anxiety.
I've done everything wrong when it comes to my hair (straightened it every day, combed it hard when wet, used Batiste dry shampoo A LOT, had it tied up in a tight ponytail very very often) so it's so hard to judge what is causing it.
Probably a mixture of everything. Maybe anxiety stops the body from absorbing certain vitamins and minerals.
I am feeling quite down about it at the moment, my hair becomes greasy on the second day and the more greasy it is, the thinner it looks.
The only things that is giving me a bit of hope are you girls and the support to know that I am not alone, and that regrowth I am getting (although I have noticed that some of the newly grown hair falls out too sometimes shock, what's that all about?).
Also I have noticed some tiny black dots every now and again on my scalp, and when I pick them (I usually notice one at a time) they come off easily.
What are they do you think? It freaks me out I hope they are not droppings of some sort.
My scalp feels itchy at times but I know I don't have nits (they couldn't hold on to the amount of hair I've got!!)
Has anyone had that?

Medal Thu 18-Oct-12 08:44:27

Coffee, I am totally with you in feeling down. I haven't had the dots on my scalp but I do get the itchies which I think is a symptom of hair loss. Do you get a lot coming out when you wash, brush or run your fingers through your hair like I do? I think it is normal for some regrowth to fall out as well.

coffeecake Thu 18-Oct-12 14:25:50

No I wouldn't say I get loads now, not handfuls or anything, just a few.
Like earlier before washing my hair over the bath I brushed it (really really carefully) and about 6 hairs fell into the bath. One of them was short.
I don't know if that's normal or not, but I remember always losing loads when I washed my hair.
When I brush I wouldn't say there is an alarming amount on the brush either. But I do seem to find hairs all over the place. Whether it's because I am more aware of it I don't know.
Today I found another black dot on my scalp. It's so small it could actually be dust. I'm scared to google it.
medal how much hair would you say you lose say when you brush your hair how much is there on the brush?

Hi can I join you all? I started losing my hair this time last year but it slowed down in December. My gp said it was due to really bad anaemia - blood count was 6.3 & I needed a transfusion. Then in February I was admitted to hospital & diagnosed with Crohn's disease. My hair started falling out again really badly in April due to a combination of the medication I was on & the anaemia (blood count of 7.5 - another transfusion). When I spoke to my consultant he also said a really bad illness or traumatic event eg operation can cause hairloss but it can take up to 6 months after the event to start falling out so most people don't realise whats actually caused it hmm.

Anyway they changed my meds & the hair loss slowed down but my hair was still really thin & yuck, then this Wella Serum was recommended by a pharmacist & its bloody fantastic!!!!! My hair loss stopped after about 4 weeks of using it & I know have new hair growth grin. Its expensive but worth every penny. I'm also taking skin, hair & nails vitamins & someone on a thread in health recommended Horsetail which is also fab.

I had about 3 inches chopped off my hair to try to make it look thicker, but I'm actually considering trying to grow it again now.

Fingers crossed it stays the way it is.

Sorry that was long wasn't it???

coffeecake Thu 18-Oct-12 21:47:47

Pinot how fantastic for you I am really pleased! I bet your hair looks so lovely now that you have had it chopped. It does add a lot of texture and life to your hair doesn't it.
I am glad you are bringing a positive story to this thread!
Mine is getting me down, when I have just washed it it's fine, it almost looks thick (but I've always had SO much hair).
But I know it's thin on top and along my hairline and temples, it looks much thinner than it used to.
I'm convinced I am getting a receiding hairline. It's scary. I just want it to grow again sad

coffeecake Thu 18-Oct-12 21:48:07

Sorry "receeding"

spiderlight Thu 18-Oct-12 21:58:00

Hello MrsPinotgrigio! You've reminded me to start using that serum again. I thought it might be irritating my scalp so I stopped, and then I discovered that my lovely son had given me headlice something else entirely was making my scalp itch, so I must dig it out and get back into the habit of using it every day.

bigwombat Thu 18-Oct-12 22:06:47

I have something called 'frontal fibrosing alopecia' - my hair is slowly receding from the front and temples and I have no eyebrows. The follicles are under attack from my immune system and the hair dies. Thankfully this is quite slow-moving, and will eventually stop, but will I be bald by then?! Just been referred for a wig, although a new hair style has greatly improved things (a fringe but starting from further back, sound bad but looks ok)! May try some of the iron potions and other good things suggested here, although my iron was normal when tested. Yes to the tingling/itching of scalp - seems to be where the follicles are under attack....

I'd forgotten about the itching - I actually thought ds had brought something nasty home from school shock but then I realised it was the hair loss. My hairdresser showed me the new growth last time I was there & it looks really wispy but I've never had thick hair just had loads of it! I'm guilty of abusing my hair - straighteners, colouring & tight ponytails but never had problems before. I'm still colouring & straightening - don't want to scare strangers with my grey frizzy mop!!!

Hi spider (waves) sorry to hear your ds brought you some little nasties home - hope they've all gone now. We keep ds' hair really short for that reason - don't think I could cope!!!

Medal Fri 19-Oct-12 11:54:17

Coffee, my loss is pretty bad at the mo and worse than yours, several hairs usually come out every time I run my fingers through sections and much more when I wash it and detangle it afterwards, it is scary. I am hoping it will eventually calm down or I will have nothing left to lose!

I got my verdict back from the dermatologist on the biopsy done and it seems its androgenetic (female pattern) hair loss, so not the best news. I think I will have to start looking at treatment like Regaine, no idea if it'll work.

May also try your serum Pinot, glad to hear things have improved for you.

coffeecake Fri 19-Oct-12 14:25:43

Medal I am sorry for you but remember that it might not be a definate diagnosis.
I am thinking that is what I've got too sad
Someone wrote me a PM and I think she was a trichologist, and she said that FPHL was gradual thinning of the hair over a long period of time.
So I am very surprised about your diagnosis. If yours is shedding alarmingly, I thought that was called telogen effluvium and it is a reversible condition.
Actually when I read the symptoms of that, it sounds like what I've got.

coffeecake Fri 19-Oct-12 14:35:44

I have been googling things and now I'm scared sad
I have noticed that my skin is greasier than normal as well, so it must be hormonal or something.

pepitoincognito Sat 20-Oct-12 23:23:28

hi, can I join? I have noticed my hair falling out significantly over the last 2 months. I can see the scalp however I part it and I have a small patch at the front that is just, well, bald. It's tiny but I am really worried about it. My hair dresser told me it's the season change but I think it is because I had highlights for the first time in August to cover the first white hairs. I had the cover up done colour again today and am now severely regretting it. I am going to get some iron into my diet and see the dermatologist asap. I'm so glad to hear that some of you have experienced some regrowth. I am going to see the chemist. I have always lost a lot of hair but there was always so much it didnt see to matter. Now I'm scared of going bald.

WildThongyoumakemyringsting Sun 21-Oct-12 14:21:44

I saw these advertised recently and wondered if anyone on here had tried them?

coffeecake Sun 21-Oct-12 14:25:15

Hi Pepito and welcome.
Well I'm not sure about noticing regrowth, yes there are little hairs along my hair line and more or less all over the hair but I am beginning to think that everyone has that, as your hair is even supposed to keep growing after you die.
My hair at the moment seems in quite a good condition, I don't know it seems shinier and fuller, but then again I have stopped using dry shampoo completely, stopped straightening it and am still taking Perfectil supplements + vitamin D now.
I have taken Perfectil for nearly 2 months now and I have no idea whether the regrowth is due to that or just normal.
I don't know if I have more of it though, but it's just in better condition. I am still quite down about it though and constantly checking in the mirror for new regrowth it's doing my head in.

GhostShip Sun 21-Oct-12 14:26:53

I'm 21 and my hair has started falling out for some unknown reason.

Made worse by the fact MIL keeps getting mad that it falls out in the house sad

pepitoincognito Sun 21-Oct-12 17:00:46

Thanks coffeecake. I think the fertility drugs I am taking may also be having an effect. I will go to the pharmacist first thing in the morning to ask about the supplements you mentioned. I've been eating protein and iron rich food today and avoided washing my hair or combing it too vigorously. I am trying not to be scared as I don't think stressing will help. I figure, the worst that can happen is that I will be bald. So whilst that would suck, it could be a lot worse. I will report back when I have been to pharmacist and if I get a dermatologist appointment.

marram Sun 21-Oct-12 20:16:48

hello, marking page x

marram Sun 21-Oct-12 20:38:20

Can I join too? I have hair loss too, on top of head. I had really thick hair until it started to thin and come out in my twenties. Finally discovered I had hashimoto's (underactive thyroid). Treatment for that hasn't particularly thickened my hair up. I lost lots of hair after each DC and then earlier this year I made the mistake of having the depo provera injection. Hair has fallen out since 3 months after that, worse than ever. Needless to say, won't be having that again! My scalp itches too in the areas that are losing hair. Interesting about ferritin, GP always says my iron fine but I have never asked what my actual result is. Will try that next. I also have depressive and anxiety type symptoms but it is so difficult to untangle from thyroid (which I think is under treated but GP disagrees). Having hair shorter defo helps appearance xx

peasandlove Mon 22-Oct-12 07:12:55

hi ladies, i've only just skimmed the thread but just wanted to ask if any of you are on the injection - depo provera as it's a lesser known side effect of that. I had some hair loss a few years back but it could have been stress related. I came off the injection anyway and I'm fine now.

coffeecake Mon 22-Oct-12 21:46:56

Hi everyone, I am noticing more and more hairgrowth.
It is positive but I am getting really obsessional about it which is no good.
I am worried about getting too excited about it though, just in case.
I will let you know how it is developping. xxx

coffeecake Tue 23-Oct-12 18:15:49

By the way does anyone find that they have "receding temples" with this?
It's worrying me when I pull my hair back it is very obvious (to me not to DH but I think he's being kind).
Also the other day I was running my fingers through my hair (thing that I don't do very often) each time I had about 3/4 hairs between my fingers.
They seem to come off so easily. sad

Beaverfeaver Tue 23-Oct-12 18:56:10

I am 27 and just started noticing my hair falling out more than usual.

I have stopped using straighteners
Swapped over to tangle teaser
Taking sea kelp
Taking biotin
Taking h&b hair supplements
Using lee Stafford hair growth stuff

Hoping this will help

My job has been very stressful the passed month so hoping its just down to that and it will pass

I haven't been on the depo injection for 6 years, but noticed my hair fell out a lot with that

SophySinclair Tue 23-Oct-12 23:15:39

lost loads with an underactive thyroid. GP refused to treat seriously. changed to new lovely lady GP.

Dermatologist at hospital also highlighted low Vit D and low zinc. Noticed some new re-growth after taking for 6 months.

Bit the bullet last week and got some hair raisingly expensive extensions from the Lucinda Ellery clinic in Manchester.

coffeecake Wed 24-Oct-12 22:15:51

Hi girls, I thought this was quite a good article (I get tingling of the scalp and was really beginning to think I was imagining it).

WildThongyoumakemyringsting Wed 24-Oct-12 23:04:11

Common sense from a fellow shedder!
Good spot coffee

For info, I was told that gentle shiatzu massage can also help balance and stimulate the scalp and hair follicle.
Im continuing on the iron and multi vitamin with paraben free shampoo and conditioner for the next few months and will report back on that too.

MoomieAndFreddie Thu 25-Oct-12 09:02:52

has anyone tried Nioxin shampoo?

coffeecake Thu 25-Oct-12 12:56:54

No I haven't tried that. Does it work?
I have a dermatologist appointment later and I'm scared of the verdict. I feel as though I am going to a really important interview.

Conflugenglugen Thu 25-Oct-12 13:02:20

I was diagnosed with female pattern baldness just under two years ago - after popping iron pills, hair-grow formula, and generally wanting to dive headlong into denial.

Philip Kingsley did the diagnosis, ran some blood tests, and I was put on a course of hormone drops, which I have to apply daily. It is pricy, however ...

After half a year, I started to notice regrowth, and now, after nearly two years, one of the technicians there showed me all the regrowth coming in (I cried), and I have a full head of hair. It's not as thick as it could have been had I gone earlier. It is never going to be luxuriantly thick. But no baldness.

So there is hope if you have fpb. Outlay is about £55 per month, and consultations/blood work is a further £500 or so, spread over a year and a half period. As I said, not cheap, but it is an option for some.

coffeecake Thu 25-Oct-12 13:30:25

Hi Conflu that's sounds promising. I thought that there was no way back from fpb. It's so expensive though isn't it?
Another mumsnetter said that she had that too and went to Philip Kingsley and hasn't really seen much result. Shame really after paying so much money.

Conflugenglugen Thu 25-Oct-12 13:39:52

It might be the same mumsnetter I know about, coffecake. If so, I've said to hang in there a bit longer: I only saw an appreciable difference well after a year, although regrowth started before then - little whispers of hairs.

But for me, it has worked.

Yeah - prohibitively expensive for most, I would say. For me, it was a matter of weighing up whether I wanted to make the financial sacrifice, or being able to see my scalp clearly through my hair. I chose the former - even if my bank balance suffered as a result.

Sheila Thu 25-Oct-12 20:58:59

I have been to Philip Kingsley and am three weeks into using the 3m drops. The initial consultation ended up costing me nearly £400 - I used my savings to fund it! Some of the expense was cosmetic products that with hindsight I don't think were necessary (Maximiser etc) or any better than high street alternatives, plus a 'treatment' session where they show you how to apply the drops. I was there for two hours. The woman I saw was really nice and it was refreshing to be taken seriously after being treated like a neurotic by my GP, but the jury is still out on whether it has been worth it. It's good to hear a positive story from you Conflu.

I find using the drops quite difficult- fiddly and a constant reminder of my worries about my hair. Sometimes I can forget about it during the day, but then I have to part my hair in front of the mirror to apply the drops, staring the the problem in the face just before bed. I can't believe I've only been doing it for three weeks - it feels like months.

I really wish I could just accept my condition and get on with life but I can't. My GP said the thinning may not get any worse, but the evidence of my own eyes tells me she's wrong.

I'd love to know how you got on with the Derm Coffee - come back and tell us, won't you? Sxx

Sheila Thu 25-Oct-12 21:02:55

Sophysinclair - can I ask how much the Lucind Ellery extensions were, and are they realistic? This is my fall-back option when all else fails - should I start saving now?!

Conflugenglugen Thu 25-Oct-12 21:18:52

Sheila - you get used to doing the drops. Can do them with my eyes shut now, and no more need to part my hair - I use the dropper itself as a parting device. It will become second nature if you keep it up, and your feelings about it will decrease if you see hair starting to come in. Strength!

Sheila Thu 25-Oct-12 21:32:42

Thanks for your kind words Conflu - I'm really glad for you that your hair is coming back - it must've been a fantastic moment when you realised. How long was it before you noticed any regrowth? I have little hairs but think this is just the process of miniaturisation, i.e. big hairs growing back finer.

Unfortunately butterfingers here dropped the dropper on the floor and it smashed!! Now I use a makeup brush to brush the drops on - works quite well actually.

Shame I didn't smash the magnifying mirror that shows me my balding scalp in great detail every night. sad

SophySinclair Fri 26-Oct-12 00:46:44

Sheila - they look as real as my own hair and you would never know it wasn't my own hair. Exactly like you they were my fall back option. I lost my Dad a few weeks ago and was facing another big shed with the stress and I had had enough. Lucinda Ellery was my all-else-fails plan!!!

I've had them in a week and it's really odd looking at myself in the mirror with volumey hair. I am having a delayed emotional reaction to the previously sad-haired me. I am a nutter though

Price wise - initial consultation £55. They go through the different options with you, different products for different problems. My hair loss wasn't noticable on the scalp so a mesh wasn't suitable. I've had 50 extensions, cut into a thickish bob and total cost was 300 ish. They need to be refixed every three- four months so I'm looking at a 100+ saving towards them. I have a saving jar just for my hair extensions. For me, totally worth it for the joy of not wanting to burst into tears when I looked in the mirror.

SophySinclair Fri 26-Oct-12 00:51:55

actually the hardest part this week has been the realisation that I have no clue how to style hair. Not a clue. So long since I needed to.

coffeecake Fri 26-Oct-12 11:14:58

Hi everyone I saw the Derm yesterday (actually it's a GP that specialises in dermatology so I don't know if she is actually qualified).
she saw the regrowth at the front (little hairs sprouting out from my hairline level) so she made the conclusion that my hair was actually growing back and that I probably lost a lot of it over the past six months and now the shedding has slowed down.
I also realised when she looked at my blood test results that they hadn't done the ferritin levels so she booked me in for some more blood tests, and prescribed some iron tablets as she said it is very rare if a woman's ferritin levels are as high as 70 and that this amount is needed for healthy hair growth (at least she knew that much).
Sheila did the PK consultant tell you that it was definately FPHL?
Did you have your ferritin levels checked and were you put on a course of iron tablets and gave them time to work before consulting PK?
I too see little hairs all over my scalp but I too can't help thinking that they are new finer hairs growing rather than proper regrowth( although the new hair by my hair line are quite thick).
The GP looked at me and said "Anyway you have lovely thick hair, so I don't think it is Androgenetic Alopecia". But I said to her "Yes but I used to have 50% more hair than this".
Anyway, before I take the PK route (obcenely expensive) I am going to take supplements with extra iron in, and see what happens.

Charliefox Fri 26-Oct-12 12:52:00

Hi all. I too have FPB. This year, I embarked on a skincare programme for hyper pigmentation on my face. I only treated my forehead. Product range is called Obagi but it involves the use of Tretinoin cream. It's a pretty harsh product and is prescription only. However, after a bout 2 months of use, I started to notice tiny new hairs coming through at my temples. Thought I was imagining it at first but when I consulted Dr Google, it does indeed appear like there's a link

Sheila Fri 26-Oct-12 16:07:11

Coffee - I had blood tests done by my GP and sent them to PK. My low oestrogen and raised FSH indicated it could be a hormonal problem, but she ( the PK lady)said she was concerned about my ferritin levels, which were 20. She recommended Ferrograd C for 6 months to get my iron levels up.

I will do this but I'm not convinced this is my problem - I have a history of anaemia and have had a luxuriant head of hair with far lower iron levels.

Sheila Fri 26-Oct-12 16:10:20

Also if my problem was iron I'd be losing hair all over my head, not just on the top

coffeecake Fri 26-Oct-12 18:03:31

Yes Sheila but don't forget that you could be affected by low iron levels differently at different points in your life.
Although I see your point about the location of the loss.
Mine has thinned all over, even underneath, and most people don't believe me when I tell them about my thinning which is even more frustrating, so I've stopped telling them.
Is 20 a low result for ferritin levels then? I'm asking because I will have mine checked soon.
Do you get that tingling scalp thing at all? It's like a kind of slight burning/tingling at different areas of the scalp. Sometimes just my ears burn and tingle which is so weird.
I think that's associated with hair loss too, I've read that somewhere. I seem to get it more when stressed (like if I'm trying to look for a place while driving and I don't know where I'm going, or if I'm having an argument with DH, or even when I'm thinking about something unpleasant [like hairloss wink).
How about Medal, I wonder how she is getting on?

heroutdoors Fri 26-Oct-12 18:42:51

mrspinot could you please let me know where I can buy the Wella Serum you mentioned?
Also charlie , very interesting what you mentioned about Retin-A.

pepitoincognito Fri 26-Oct-12 21:45:18

hi all,
I have been to the dermatologist who was a very patient male doctor who asked lots of questions then had a look at my scalp and said - yes, you are definitely losing too much hair. (I knew that but so glad he didnt brush me off) I still have plenty enough hair to comb over the parts that are thin or bald but the front is really thinning dramatically and I'm worried. They took a blood sample and told me to come back for a hair test. I have to go without washing my hair for 5 days. I normally wash it every other day so that is going to be difficult as I am travelling for work. As such I can't go for the hair test until 12 Nov. Maybe I will get my blood results back before that. I have told DH that I will shave my head if he gets too bad. He looked alarmed.

coffeecake Fri 26-Oct-12 22:40:29

Pepito are you seriously thinking of shaving your head?

pepitoincognito Fri 26-Oct-12 23:47:35

coffee, not yet, but if I get to point where I am worried about my combed over hair slipping out of place, or if the person I'm talking to is looking at my increasingly visible scalp - then what's the point? the anxiety of it is the worst.

pepitoincognito Fri 26-Oct-12 23:49:05

oh that's what i wanted to say earlier, i felt a bit bad telling the doctor about my hair loss as the poor bloke was bald. thats the only thing that made me smile today. at least he understands sort of.

coffeecake Sat 27-Oct-12 11:27:37

Yes you're right, for me the anxiety is the worst too. If I could live with it it woud be so much easier.
Poor guy (the doc), but at least he's a man. When I was talking to my doc she had a full head of hair (at 50 ish). It made me depressed as I'm only 36 sad
By the way how old are you all? It might be interesting to see the different age ranges.

pepitoincognito Sat 27-Oct-12 14:21:35

I'm 34 (and a half.) And about to go out and buy some head wrap type scarves in anticipation of my 5 days no hair washing.

Conflugenglugen Sat 27-Oct-12 14:40:22

Sheila - I noticed definite regrowth after about 6 months, and the consultant at PK showed me all the new growth a few months ago. I cannot see my scalp nearly as much, and my exDH confirmed it has definitely thickened - he was the one who told me how thin it had become. (That's not why we divorced, btw!)

I had all kinds of blood tests, and my ferritin levels were normal, as were my hormones, and the hairloss followed the fpb pattern, so that was definitely it.

Conflugenglugen Sat 27-Oct-12 14:40:51

I'm 41. I noticed I was losing hair at about 34.

coffeecake Sat 27-Oct-12 16:05:22

My goodness Conflu, it took you a while to get diagnosed then? Was it really gradual?
Mine I think must have started quite abrubtly as only back in July I remember using my hairdressing scissors to "thin" my fringe down as it looked too thick.
How annoying I was taking it for granted at the time.
Also I don't know if any of you ladies have experienced the same but the hairs on my body and face seem a lot finer and thinner too and there's less of them. Like for example my eyebrows, my eyelashes, hairs on my arms and legs.
Also my bikini line just won't grow anymore (bliss).
After taking Perfectil for almost 2 months now though my eyebrows are fuller, and the hairs on my arms are sooooooo long and so are my nails. But still not as many of them as they used to be.

Conflugenglugen Sat 27-Oct-12 16:35:50

It was gradual, I had attributed it to stress (I started noticing it around the time my father died), and then I went into fear-based denial - until my then DH mentioned it to me, at which point I burst out crying.

I wish it affected my bikini line! Alas, no grin

VolumeOfACone Sat 27-Oct-12 16:38:55

I'll join too.
Nowadays you can see my scalp. How depressing. sad
I haven't seen anyone about it as I have been pregnant or breastfeeding for a long time so I assumed tests wouldn't be reliable and also I assume I wouldn't be able to take anything for it.

I am so paranoid about it and so jealous sometimes of everyone else, people with hair. I feel that I look really... unhealthy. I hate it and I hate photographs of myself in which I look almost bald.

Medal Sat 27-Oct-12 22:33:47

I am finding this thread very helpful, although so sorry that this is affecting so many of us.

Coffee, that is good news indeed about your derm apptment, you must be feeling relieved/reassured. I haven't noticed any changes in body hair though, with the vitamins I am taking it seems to be healthier every where else than ever! Could it be hormonal do you think? Did you tell your dermatologist this?

Volume, could it be postnatal hair loss in your case?

I don't think I posted my latest update. I saw a trichologist for the first time in London last weekend and she was very good. She reassured me somewhat that I was getting lots of new growth all over (and took ages to show me it to convince me too) and that my hair is going through this awful shedding because of my low carbing a few months ago - which will hopefully stop in time and there was nothing I can do apart from wait. The trichologist I saw didn't seem to be too worried about the diagnosis of female pattern hair loss that I got from the dermatologist (biopsy). I am trying to feel more relaxed about it all as the stress definitely doesn't help and will see what happens over time. I also got the Wella serum someone recommended earlier in this thread, keeping everything crossed this helps.

Sheila Sun 28-Oct-12 10:05:07

Coffee my ferritin level would be classed as normal by a GP because at 20 it's within the normal range, but the range is from 10 - 100 or so and PK said you need levels of over 80 for optimum hair growth.

Interestingly, she thought my Mirena coil might be a contributing factor as many progesterones are actually powerful androgens, manufactured from male hormones! I'm not having mine removed though as I've only had it in for a couple of months and the effect on my periods has been fantastic. Also this was just her opinion rather than something based on studies.

Might be something to consider though if you are on a progesterone-only pill, or considering a Mirena.

Sheila Sun 28-Oct-12 10:11:03

Sophy so sorry about you losing your dad. Hope you are coping OK. You don't sound like a nutter at all and I bet you look fab with your new hair. thanks

Conflugenglugen Sun 28-Oct-12 10:16:32

Sheila - I started noticing my hair loss after I took myself off all hormonal contraceptives. Not sure if there's a link there, but fwiw ...

EightToSixer Sun 28-Oct-12 11:24:16

I've been losing mine for two years. I attributed it to stress as my dad is terminally I'll and my DH was made redundant. I had severe iron deficiency anaemia, had a blood transfusion (4 units) and have had referrals to gynae (all clear) haematology (getting there) and currently waiting for gastroenterology appointment. I have iron infusions by drip to increase my ferritin. It gets me to about 70, but drops 10-20 points a month until I'm back to 10-20 and have another five week curse of iron infusions (can't cope with iron tablets so have a drip).
I'm hoping they'll finally work out how I'm either losing blood or not absorbing iron from food and then my hair will thicken up again.

coffeecake Sun 28-Oct-12 12:03:35

Medal I'm so pleased for you! How come you didn't notice the new regrowth then? That's what they say isn't it, the shedding doesn't matter as long as there is hair growth.
I would be tempted to believe the tricho if I were you. It seems more likely.
I thought it was strange that FPHL diagnosis from your derm.
Yes it is good news for me I guess, but I can't help not believing her blush.
I guess I always thinkn of the worse case scenario.
I have no idea if it's hormonal or anxiety or something, although GP/derm looked at my hormone blood tests and said they were perfectly fine but my body hair is definately thinner and wispier (which I can't complain about).
Before my leg hairs were like darts the day after shaving them, and I used to have to shave every single day. Now I can wait 2 days.
Also I do suffer from chronic anxiety and stress head syndrome wink
So I am trying to relax about life now.
Sheila my goodness, you don't think it might be the Mirena? Did you notice your hairloss after you had it fitted?
I really didn't get on with the mirena coil at all, 4 and a half years ago I had to have it removed after 2 months, as it gave me soooo many side effects (mood swings, feeling low all the time which is not like me, anxiety was much much worse, no libido etc...) it was HORRIBLE.
I felt almost an imediate relief when I came off it.
The GP mentioned the dianette pill which blocks the androgens (sorry if poor explanation) if it is FPHL. Do you think that might help?

Medal Sun 28-Oct-12 19:35:12

Hi Coffee, I didn't notice the new hairs as they're really hard to see without good lighting for me - but I have found that I can see them if I part my hair under the lights in the lounge. The excessive shedding is still continuing and I am definitely still getting thinner all over - hopefully at some point this will stop.... I think I do believe my derm as a biopsy is hard to get wrong but I am not sure that the FPHL is the reason for this shedding at the moment and its possible I have both things going on, lucky old me!

Eight, sorry to hear about your situation. Hope they figure out what is going on with your iron absoprtion soon.

Sheila Mon 29-Oct-12 12:47:02

coffee I don't think the Mirena can have caused the thinning as I noticed it before I had it put in, but it may be contributing to the speed at which I'm thinning. I seem to see less hair after every wash. I'd say diannette would be worth a try if your hair loss is hormonal.

I doubt I can get my GP sufficiently interested to try a hormonal solution for me.

coffeecake Mon 29-Oct-12 21:46:44

I'm getting that annoying tingling/slight burning again on my scalp! In weird areas (on top and back of ears, on top and side of head).
It's doing me ed in (cockney accent!)
Does anyone get that? (sorry I've already asked that but no one has answered as yet).
I know it's related to hairloss (my MIL used to get it too but she said she had a lot more stress at the time) but I don't know what it means.

Sheila Mon 29-Oct-12 22:00:18

Hi Coffee, I have noticed it before, but it comes and goes. The lady at PK said it was because I'm 'yeasty'! This is true as I'm suffering from thrush ATM, and have had sebhorreic dermatitis in the past. I am using nizoral shampoo to combat this. Interestingly this is recommended as an anti-androgen on some websites so I figure it can't hurt smile

Not sure if this helps?

Medal Tue 30-Oct-12 12:24:09

Hi, I don't get burning but occasional itching and soreness in areas. Sometimes it sounds really weird but I get scalp shivers, like goosebumps that start at my body and travel up into my head. Not sure if it's related.

I am going to see another trichologist this weekend for a second opinion. I am scared if it is AGA that I have that I need to start treatment to stop it. This is horrible, it is really affecting my mood and concentration, absolutely everything. How do you stop it taking over your life?

coffeecake Tue 30-Oct-12 20:05:57

Oh my god Medal I get that shiver thing to, on one side of my head. I didn't think anything of it I just thought it was anxiety. What do you reckon?
It could actually be anxiety couldn't it? Are you the anxious type usually?

coffeecake Tue 30-Oct-12 20:24:12

Actually I just looked on an anxiety forum and it looks like it's a common symptom of anxiety. Could it be because we are focusing on our scalp a lot?
Not sure.

I went through all the stress about hair loss two years ago.....not nice time at school and stress related dermatitis just made it waterfall out, I was scared stiff I was going to end up with nothing on top. My hairline looked like it was receding too. Scared myself silly looking at telogen effluvium pictures and reading about follicle minituarisation...(don't google!!)
Now I still have much less hair than I used to, and it's stick straight so looks bad on the second day, but it only falls hard in phases now, instead of all the time.....really worth looking into whether you have dermatitis or not! I can plait a strand just fiddling with it and pull three loose hairs out, but I won't get the awful sick feeling I would have got two years ago with it, I just don't care. You'd need three years to go completely bald, and I hardly see anyone with really thick hair, so keep heart!

I get scalp shivers (quite enjoy them really, like sneezes and pins and needles) and also something where you get nasty achey pain if you brush your hair the wrong way, occasionally- only goes if you wash it to kind of "reset" it. Got it much more often when I was little, so doubt it has anything to do with hair loss.

Oh and if you're finding Nizoral too hard, mix up some Body Shop ginger shampoo with water in an empty bottle and squeeze it all over your head, so the shampoo reaches everywhere- it's really good! Nizoral was okay but this is much better, it doesn't come back as fast.

coffeecake Tue 30-Oct-12 20:52:55

Quirrel I know exactly what you mean about scaring yourself stiff reading about things online. I've stopped googling now it's not worth it.
Did yours grow back then? And what is dermatitis? I really don't want to google it I'm scared to scare myself blush

coffeecake Tue 30-Oct-12 20:56:36

I don't mind the scalp shivers as such but now I know they might be related to hair loss I dread them.

Oh dermatitis isn't so scary, it's a skin thing, really gross! I mean, you can't get rid of it, but you can control it so much that it only flares up at certain times. Is your head itchy/is there lots of (sorry, yuck) sebum collecting at the roots? I was so relieved it was only that and not female pattern balding or something (at 15!!) but it took ages to get under control.... has grown back, kind of! Well, not really. I still have a v. thin ponytail. But I'm just glad it's stopped now, who cares if it's not thick anymore.

I'm sure the shivers aren't related to hair loss.....

Googled for you and couldn't really find anything on shivers/hair falling out grin DON'T WORRY! just let it go....we have no idea how much our state of mind affects our physical wellbeing, whether it does or doesn't....but the evidence points to that it does.

moonbells Tue 30-Oct-12 22:49:22

I'm another mid-40s hair loser. I have long hair, and so it getting suddenly thinner was very noticeable. Earlier this year I noticed it falling out a lot. It was just after I'd had a bout of pneumonia. But even after I recovered, the hair loss didn't, but then I've been very anxious about my parents' health (Mum is in hosp with pneumonia as I type sad so the anxiety's not going to go anytime soon). I had loads cut off to make the ends seem thicker, but it doesn't help that much.

My usual growth cycle's longer than normal - about 5-6 years (it has to be to get it to bum length) and it's now 5y since DS arrived and I lost tons of hair (looked like I had a widow's peak at one point, I receded that much) and it all came back eventually.

I've started to notice wispy bits back at the temples, though not much so far. I think the combination of stress and work and family and the 5y growth cycle is all conspiring to cause the hair loss. But thankyou for the advice on ferritin and growth: I know I'm normal for Hb but GP won't test for ferritin. I may have to go back to multivitamins and minerals and see if it helps my tiredness and my hair. I'm semi-veggie so I don't get the red meat that might help!

Meanwhile I've been testing that Aveda stuff for MN and the conditioner def seems to make it appear thicker, though I'm not sure the rest is working for me. I guess I'll have my chance to talk when the feedback thread opens in a week or two.

I shall be lurking with interest...

Womenandchickensfirst Wed 31-Oct-12 00:41:47

Hi, I've been lurking, but have just posted on another hair extension thread, so thought I better come and say hello. I feel a bit of a fraud, as have a whole head of the Lucinda Ellery type extensions, though not from her (and cheaper than LE I believe). I've had alopecia since I was 13, so can completely sympathise with what you are all going through. I have worn wigs since I was 21, but last year took the plunge and went for 'a system', at the age of 48. It's revolutionised my life, and I love waking up with hair! The clinic I go to is always full of other women, all ages and none of us models! I've since started a new job, and have to be in the public eye quite a bit, and now every time someone admires my hair I tell them ( which I never did with wigs) and no- one believes me till I show them the minuscule clips. It's high maintenance, expensive and time consuming, but oh so worth it, if you know you're in for the long haul with hair loss. Wishing everyone luck with the solutions you are trying - obviously it would be much better if my real hair would grow back (the back of my head is great - my loss is on my crown and my temples), but thought I would share what's worked for me.

Medal Wed 31-Oct-12 09:19:15

Moonbells, sorry to hear all you've been through. Stress certainly takes its toll on our health and hair. Getting your ferritin levels checked is a good idea.

Womens, thank you for posting your experience. I am sorry you lost your hair so early but it is great that you have found a solution with your extensions. Can you tell me a bit more about how they are put on? Does your hair need to be shaved and do they cause damage to existing hair? How often do they need to be redone? It is good to hear they could be an option.

coffeecake Wed 31-Oct-12 20:45:20

moonbells welcome and thanks for your post.
I don't understand why your GP "won't do" your ferritin test, it seems unfair
If you feel tired all the time and don't eat red meat I would say it's really likely that your ferritin levels are low, but you won't know for sure until you do the test.
I am supposed to have mine done but I haven't got round to it yet (I'm a bit scared that it will come back super high and therefore that there is a sinister reason for my hair loss).
I don't tend to feel tired really but I have to say my diet hasn't been the best lately, and I rarely eat red meat (well I do now!!)
Womens great to see that there is an alternative, I'm pleased for you, you must feel so much better!!
Quirrel thank you so much you are what I call a really positive person and you really made me feel better with your post.
Regarding dermatitis, did it actually cause your hair loss?
I posted on another thread recently about dry shampoo having a possible thinning effect on hair (I was using it A LOT) and while I was still using it, my scalp was sooo itchy and everytime I scratched there was always a lot of sebum in my nails (gross I know). Do you think there might be a link?

Sheila Wed 31-Oct-12 22:56:30

Womens would you mind telling us where you had your extensions done? I am thinking of going down this route but if there's a cheaper option than LE I'd be delighted!

Fifi2406 Wed 31-Oct-12 23:04:20

Wonder if someone can help me...

Fifi2406 Wed 31-Oct-12 23:06:58

I heard its pretty normal to lose hair after giving birth but I'm 13 months down the line and my hair falls out so much! I hate brushing it cos I feel like my hair is lighter once I'm finished! When I wash it a lot comes out I've got regrowth tufts all over but more and more is falling out! I notice my pony tail is much much smaller than it used to be! Anyone else had this? Should I go to gp?

Womenandchickensfirst Wed 31-Oct-12 23:55:43

I live in the north west, and Lucinda does have a clinic here, but I went to Hair Solved - I believe there are a few branches throughout the country. The initial consultation was free, and you need to have some hair I think, to attach the web type thing to. That's fitted over your crown, the wispy bits are pulled through and then secured in place with teeny tiny clips, done with little pliers. Then the extensions are sewn on, row by row, with the parting bit on seperately. It took all day, and you have to have a fringe. It was then styled, and I left with swooshy hair. This part cost £1500 (I know!). It's meant to last 2 years, and after 18 mths mine is really fine.
I have to go back every 6 weeks, and they take out the clips and they are replaced, so it stays tight. This costs about £60 - which my friends tell me is the price of a good haircut. After about 6-9 months it's all taken off, your scalp gets washed, and it was yuk, and the system is realigned to fit perfectly.
So, as I previously said, it is expensive and time consuming. I style it most days with the Babyliss Big Hair, curl it with heated rollers or sometimes nick my daughters GHD's. I worry about the on going cost, but it has changed my life. I appreciate it's not for everyone at these prices, but if you are thinking about it I would recommend. I've seen some ladies whose hair has grown back, and they don't need to continue, and I think I secretly hoped that mine would have when they took it off, but it hadn't.
I am a complete technophobe, but I will try and put some photos on my profile tomorrow if anyone would be interested in seeing how it looks, but will need DDs help. I MUST reiterate I am not a model - a middle aged mum of 3 grown up daughters!

Coffeecake- grin YES, absolutely there is a link!! Seborrheic dermatitis commonly causes hair loss because the sebum "chokes" the follicle and/or actually pulls the hair out by attaching itself fast to the hair, and when you brush your hair normally all the loose sebum obviously gets brushed out (it's a bit like traction alopecia in a way, in that it's more of a secondary "reaction" than organic).
If you still have this problem, I would focus on that because my situation has become 10x better since I started tackling it. Use Nizoral, Le Petit Marseilleise anti-pelliculaire blue shampoo, Body Shop ginger shampoo, whatever works for you. A mixture (changing every month, every two months or so) is good to keep the condition on its toes. Often it's the cheap stuff that has good effect. Nizoral is shockingly prices (for such tiny bottles, ditto T-Gel) and it's not the best, like I said already. I've cut out all harsh shampoos which aren't supposed to help with dandruff and I've completely got rid of the dermatitis on the sides, which were the worst areas before. I was so relieved when I found out it was this because although it takes a lot of trial and error (some people cut out milk, try oil pulling....), it can be v. effectively controlled.

I wasn't positive at all two years ago.....but once you've struggled with accepting something for ages, it all just clicks one day and you think, "really? I was worrying about this? why!". I know it's hard to aim towards when it's getting worse fast, but often it isn't getting that much worse. We just think it is. We see ourselves muuuch more critically than we should. I hope you see some improvement soon, hair loss is a bastard.

coffeecake Thu 01-Nov-12 18:49:34

Quirrel thank you, I am using Aveda Invati at the mo. It supposed to exfoliate the hair and it seems to help a bit with the hair loss. Really pricey though
I heard of "Le petit Marseillais" (I come from Marseille!) but not the Anti dandruff one. Do you get it from here? Otherwise I'll ask my mum to send it to me. Must be cheap too.
How often do you wash your hair would you say, and how quickly does it become greasy. That is the first thing I noticed, my hair being oily really quickly compared to before.
I think the problem with using a dry shampoo for years is that while my hair looked clean it was in fact greasy and the grease or sebum accumulated into the follicles.
My hair is DEFINATELY thinner where I used the dry shampoo more as well.
It caused my hair to itch a lot and created some sort of thin layer of sebum on my scalp. If that didn't cause my hair loss at least it contributed to it.

elisio1 Thu 01-Nov-12 21:49:20

Hello all
Haven't read the whole thread, but enough to want to give my "twopence worth". I have FPHL - genetic hair thinning. My hair still covers my head, but has about half the volume it used to have. I was diagnosed when I was 30(am now 37) - I went to a top dermatologist, head of the Dermatology dept at an extremely well-regarded teaching hospital (so really knows his stuff) and have been a few times since to see if there is anything more they can do.

What he said was: almost all cases of female hair thinning (not dramatic sudden loss (alopecia aretea), or post partum hair loss(telogen effluvium, which corrects itself) are due to hereditary hair thinning. Not low iron, not lack of sea kelp, not stress. It is a weird and well-kept secret that female pattern hair loss is actually quite common - 1 in 10 before the menopause and about 1 in 4 after.

What he absolutely emphasised was: there are many so-called cures out there - almost none of them work and don't waste your money, tempting though it is. The only thing that has been medically proven (in many studies) to have some effect is Regaine 2% for Women (tho it tends to slow down hair loss rather than grow new hair). There are also some anti-androgen pills containing cyprone(sp?) acetate (I was put on Dianette for a year) and a drug called spiralactone which may help to slow it down. Other than that, nothing works. He said, awful though hair loss is, don't make it more awful by throwing money down the drain. So I wanted to pass on that message. Save the money to invest in really good hair extensions further on down the line maybe?

I also wanted to add that a styling product I have found really good at concealing the thinning patches is Fulmore , a bit like dry shampoo but much less powdery and more thickening.Pretty easy to use- spray on and secure with hairspray. It colours your scalp , making the contrast between hair and scalp less. It wouldn't be good if your hair were really thin, but good for cases of mild thinning.

FPHL is an absolute curse, and I share your feelings of depression and despondency about it. But I hope there are things in the pipeline. In the meantime, don't waste your money on anything that is not medically proven in numerous studies.

janesnowdon1 Thu 01-Nov-12 22:27:47

Womenandchickens - that is very interesting. Good to know if things get bad there are other options - even if they are expensive.
MyDD who is 19 has lost loads of hair over the summer and is very upset by it -the hair that is left is also not growing longer - the Gp has been a bit dismissive - "stress of exams", but she has exams every year and has used Perfectil for the past few years and although until the summer was a veggie she always ate very well - she has started to eat some meat and fish and has bought herself silica, Floradix and biotin - any experience anyone? Is this vitamin overload and will actually be bad for her?

She does have some fluffy short regrowth at the front but the rest is very thin (all over) . Wish I could help her more

oldbootface Thu 01-Nov-12 22:59:43

Lucinda Ellery

Though there are some negative reviews on the internet.

chipstick10 Fri 02-Nov-12 08:52:35

elisio i agree with everything you have to say. I have been there done and got the t shirt. You keep trying different things, you keep buying diff shampoos. Telling yourself its stress, its iron, its over processing. Googling, and taking vitamins. If its FPHL you are wasting your time.
I am under a trichologist at one of the best clinics in London and i am going to stick with it. They have been very honest and told me i wont regrow all the volume i have lost (touch wood mine is mild and not noticeble if you didnt know me well before) but the hormone drops i am on will halt it and you may regain maybe 15%
Personally i dont agree with hair extentions as much as i would love them, i think like fake nails they cause more damage than good in the long run.
I have gained good advice from my trichologist. I do now eat more protien, i use good hair treatments, and washing my hair every day or at least every other day makes a huge difference for the better. I can now with a good hair cut, good hair products and well placed hilights get a fair bit of volume going.
I have bad days where when im ill or in need of some fresh hi lites where it feels thin and i am reminded of where i am but from when i first visited the clinic to now there is a small but definate improvement. Whats the alternative? Expensive though it seems £50 every 50 odd days is not that much to pay if it slows down the inevitable.

Quirrel thank you, I am using Aveda Invati at the mo. It supposed to exfoliate the hair and it seems to help a bit with the hair loss. Really pricey though
I heard of "Le petit Marseillais" (I come from Marseille!) but not the Anti dandruff one. Do you get it from here? Otherwise I'll ask my mum to send it to me. Must be cheap too.
How often do you wash your hair would you say, and how quickly does it become greasy. That is the first thing I noticed, my hair being oily really quickly compared to before.
I think the problem with using a dry shampoo for years is that while my hair looked clean it was in fact greasy and the grease or sebum accumulated into the follicles.
My hair is DEFINATELY thinner where I used the dry shampoo more as well.
It caused my hair to itch a lot and created some sort of thin layer of sebum on my scalp. If that didn't cause my hair loss at least it contributed to it.

I've never seen Le Petit Marseillais over here, so yeah, I'd ask your mum or order online. You can get it from supermarkets, it's in a blue bottle, smells nice and a little goes a long way (like most gel shampoos really) although I use lots in the method I described. I got mine from Carrefour in the summer and I've used about 3/4 of the bottle smile

I'm supposed to wash it every other day, but I get lazy and sometimes leave it 3 or even 4 days because atm it's much better. It does come out more on the 4th day, but that's probably only because of the buildup (I don't brush it, it's long and straight so doesn't look too bad, I hope!). From when I was 9 it started looking greasy on the second day, maybe even the first. It's definitely slowed down now. Well, of course it looks more oily, it's all sebummy!
The thing is, my mum told me that it was falling out because I was washing it too much angry so I slowed it down and washed it once a week for half a year. So of course the dermatitis got really angry and that was what made it fall out, and I was wondering why on earth it was getting steadily worse. Grrr. She still thinks she's right. Anyhoo....

Can you get yourself to a dermatologist and sort out a plan/get a prescription for the expensive shampoos? Mine was a bit rubbish, but I did get a prescription and "diagnosis" within two minutes of her yanking at my head (whereas my GP checked very softly and carefully and said it was fine and we'd better check my iron levels yet again hmm). And stop using this devil's stuff, dry shampoo! Unlucky but we just don't have the heads for it. At least you know that it's probably not genetic. Which is a very good sign, because it's non-scarring then.


The only thing I have to say isn't particularly helpful, just that biotin only really helps if you have a biotin deficiency, which is very rare. Bloody expensive for something which probably won't have any effect. But the regrowth is a very very good sign! It takes time! as does anything.

And also that since she's so young and it's not alopecia it's very very likely to grow back, whether soon or not so soon. Do reassure her that even if she can't know exactly when it'll grow back, she'll probably- and I know this sounds stupid and so unhelpful- develop a new mindset, where it doesn't matter and you go with the flow. But in the end, it's all the mind, what counts. If it's not tooo thin, she could try a "neutral henna" treatment, which isn't really henna I don't think, but which coats the hair, protecting it and making it look thicker and fluffing it out. When I did it, I freaked out because when I had to wash it out, a ton of hair went down the plughole, but when it was dried and everything it looked 2x as thick as before. Worth a try.

I know exactly what it's like to be so scared that it'll keep going and getting thinner. You stop mourning the hair you've lost and just worry about what's going to happen. You just don't imagine that you could stop worrying about it, but you do reach a "zen" point. And I have to say I think I've become more confident through this- not caring so much about things like this, being more able to deal with little things and shocks, knowing that your mood is surmountable at times, even if you think it never will be. It's a big stepping stone.

coffeecake Fri 02-Nov-12 11:29:36

I agree Quirrel, it's a big challenge to go through but I guess you feel stronger at the end of it?
It's funny you said that, because many women say that the hair loss has really damage their confidence but for me it's the other way around if that makes sense.
I feel more confident and I am more myself.

janesnowdon1 Fri 02-Nov-12 17:21:02

Thanks for that Quirrel. She was thinking of dyeing her hair or getting it cut shorter (just about shoulder length now - but always tied back in a tiny tiny bunch). Using Henna is a good tip.

I too think the regrowth is a good sign, but when you are young you want everything to be alright now! I am worried that she is taking too much and too complex a combination of supplements - she has been feeling nauseous and dizzy the past few days and I am concerned it could be one of the pills.

I do hope she learns to conquer her anxieties and becomes more zen about it like you and coffeecake. She is quite a stressy person and always wants to look thin/normal/pretty although she she is all those things.

coffeecake Fri 02-Nov-12 17:36:32

Zen?? Thanks Jane I'm flattered but I am completely the opposite. I am a complete stress head.
Although this is positive because it's telling me to slow down in my life and to not worry about things, and yes, in that sense I guess I am getting a bit more relaxed, but Zen... I wish wink
I think if your daughter has regrowth it's an excellent sign. Has she tried Floresene? I've just started that and I'll tell you if it's making a difference.
I know it's worked for another MN.
I am wondering whether it would work for me though as I don't think my ferritin levels were that low (I haven't had the test done yet but I never feel tired or anything so I doubt I lack iron), but we'll see anyway.
If your daughter was a veggie that's probably what it is. Has she had her ferritin tested?

coffeecake Fri 02-Nov-12 18:46:37

Quirrel, I google "Seborrheic dermatitis" and they said that it's often a kind of yellowey or white scale. I have realised that I sometimes get it in my ears (not the ear drums but the rest of the ear IYSWIM) and in my eyebrows.
Also my dad (65) gets it on his scalp, I noticed one day when I cut his hair. Maybe it's hereditary.
Maybe I got it in my scalp too then without realising. The other day the top back of my hair felt itchy so I scratched it and I thought I could feel some scale but I thought I was imagining it.
Did you get a few pimples in your scalp too at all? Sometimes when an area of my scalp is itchy and I scratch it I feel a little blister type thing, very very little. I assumed it was an ingrowing hair but I was wondering if anyone has had that?

coffeecake Fri 02-Nov-12 18:57:39

Quirrel is it this one ?

The one I use is more turquoise....let me have an Amazon...(doesn't really have the same ring, duzzit)- this one, just had to scroll down. 9 euros v. steep though! Was 4 euros in Carrefour for me.
Are you French grin moi aussi, ben demi
Yeah, pimples, which I originally thought were caused by lice (yack).
SD can be severe or not severe at all, so you may only notice the side-symptoms (if that's even a term!). The pictures on Google images are horrific, mine was never like that. My dad had it at my age (teens/early twenties) too.

HecatePhosphorus Sat 03-Nov-12 09:00:56

marking my place for later.

I've got androgenic alopecia and shaved it all off and wore wigs for a year because I needed to take control of what was happening.

ChicMama25 Sat 03-Nov-12 09:10:32

My hair loss started after I came off citalopram this march... I posted a thread about it already but forgot to say about coming off the meds I am glad I am off it though and feel happier than in ages. I am going to get a test for under active thyroid and I have started taking a multivitamin that has 100% rda of iodine and iron. I am a bit scared at how fast it is falling out!! Just grew out my bob finally so don't really want to have to cut it

Sheila Sat 03-Nov-12 10:35:35

Elisio did any of that stuff actually work for you ( dianette etc.)?

Sheila Sat 03-Nov-12 10:40:58

Hecate I can totally understand you doing that - one of the worse things about this condition is not knowing when it's going to stop. How are you coping now?

I had my hair cut yesterday and actually plucked up the courage to talk to my hairdresser about it. She was lovely, and in fact suffers from the same thing so really understands. I felt so much better just having talked to her about it.

Christ, ChicMama! I'm due to go off citalopram soon, now I'm feeling a bit scared! switching to another SSRI soon, don't want double the shock.

HecatePhosphorus Sat 03-Nov-12 12:52:50

I'm fine. I now have a short 'funky' crop that brings my hair forward from the top of my head and creates a fringe that sweeps sideways, so it disguises the shiny scalp grin

People don't know how much it affects you, I know it's only hair and that's what I kept telling myself, but being a balding woman is shit.

ChicMama25 Sat 03-Nov-12 13:09:14

Quirell - I have no idea if it is related just saw some other people mention that going ON citalopram made their hair loss stop so I'm just speculating. I have lost weight since coming off it and been less stressed not more so idk! I think mine may be thyroid related but going to the doc to find out.

^ ah well, thanks for replying! Everyone's different I guess. Glad the change is working out for you in other ways, at least!

If it's any consolation to anyone, when I see a women (young, old, middle-aged) with visible hair loss, I never ever think it makes them look bad. Really. If they have frowny wrinkles or frumpy clothes, I think they could look better, but if you're thin on top or your hairline's far back, it just doesn't make much impression on me. This might sound far too condescending! But thought it might help.

coffeecake Sat 03-Nov-12 14:39:27

Quirrel no it's cheap! If you look properly it says "Lot de 3".
So for 9 euros that's not bad. I've sent my mum the wrong link though I'd better correct that.
By the way did your receding hair line "unrecede"? I think I have lost about 1 cm of mine. I do think it's growing back though since I've stopped the dry shampoo and started shampooing regurlarly.

Yes, it did. I have more hair there, and you can't see through to the scalp in bright lights anymore, though there's bits at the front that never grow properly, but they're not fluffy baby hair either. Might post a pic if I find one from before.

Ah okay! I might invest in some then...

coffeecake Sat 03-Nov-12 16:23:08

It's like me, it's weird, it's like normal hairs growing back on the hairline and even where the hairs had stopped growing but patchy IYSWIM.
And lots of tiny thin hairs growing underneath. I've got lots of regrowth all over as well, of different lengths. Do you think that's a good sign?
I definitely think that I had a bit of dermatitis because after washing my hair sometimes my scalp looked pink at the hairline. And I had what looked like a lot of dry and flaky skin there.
When I lost a lot of hair my scalp had a pinky rosy tint to it.

I did something wonderful yesterday, I washed my hair vigourously at first (that's what I've read to do on the internet to get rid of any dead skin or scaly bits) and at the last rinse I used cold water.
My hair now looks SOOOOOOOOOOO shiny, shinier than it has looked for a very very long time. And healthy.
I now have a cold though angry
By the way my mum always told me to try and wash my hair only once a week too, as it could damage my hair and I used to listen to her.
She didn't have greasy hair like me though so she could afford to do that.

coffeecake Sat 03-Nov-12 16:49:19

I bought Le petit Marseillais BTW and paid for postage, while I was at it I bought my DCs the DVD of "Tatie Danielle", it's funny isn't it?

SaffronLover Sun 04-Nov-12 23:37:19

I have Female Pattern Baldness which gets me down at times, I am only 25 and it started when I was 22, 18 months after having my second child. My periods had been gradually getting more haywire for years, many miscarriages I just couldn't fathom why (but now I'm convinced it will have been hormone levels), and despite not bf I hadn't had a period in 14 months, hair falling out but not yet noticeable, skin getting worse, hairy chin etc. Still GP wouldn't test me for anything, just said "What makes you think you have a hormone problem? You have 2 young children, Many women have irregular cycles, you are not overweight".

Eventually I went to another GP who did hormone blood tests and called me back a week later telling me my hormone levels strongly suggest PCOS / hyper androgenic state. Confirmed by scan showing ovarian cysts.

I was put on the pill Marvelon which helped immensely but gave me headaches so I had to stop it. When I stopped it the hair loss came back with a venegance sad

I did some research and asked to be referred to a specialist reproductive medicine clinic. They have been absolutely brilliant and thorough, I am under a consultant there who really takes the problems seriously and the impact loosing hair etc can have on a person's life. I am currently on Mercilon (lower dose Marvelon) and a drug called Spironolactone (actually a diuretic but has the side effect of blocking androgens). I do see benefit however my hair is receding at the temples and my crown is thin so I have to watch what hairstyle I have and it is very embarrassing if windy.

At times I feel so down about it, my testosterone levels are naturally half that of a man sad, and we women are only supposed to have small amounts.

The combined pill masks all the symptoms for the moment as it gives me oestrogen which I need but I'm well aware I can't take that forever (most GPs don't like you on it above 35 although some will let you continue with no risk factors but you can develop risk factors like high blood pressure at any time)

The Spironolactone helps too but has the side effect of making you pee all day, you have to get blood tests as it can be dangerous in increasing potassium levels in your body and affecting your heart, also it has been linked to cancer in rodent studies.

The doctor says if I stopped these I would go back again, it doesn't cure it.

So I have basically resigned myself to at some point having to wear a hair system / piece / wig. I have researched lots of types, and it helps me to know there are lovely natural looking wigs out there (I have a friend who suffers from pulling her own hair out and wears them) and that is an option if needed I wouldn't hesitate to get my own hair cut really short and wear one (although can be expensive).

It's really not fun, I empathise with everyone on this thread going through this and hope we can find solutions.

I too get the weird tingly, itchy, hot , pink scalp in the areas where I get loss. There is so many of us saying this we can't be imagining it!

coffeecake Mon 05-Nov-12 15:30:17

I'm sorry for you Saffron, welcome to the thread.
I thought hairloss due to PCOS was different to Female pattern baldness though? Bit confusing.

SaffronLover Mon 05-Nov-12 17:12:50


Sorry, you are correct, it is Androgenic Alopecia I have but I usually say Female Pattern Baldness to friends and family etc as otherwise they don't have a clue what I am on about confused

PCOS causes Androgenic Alopecia (excess male hormones 'work' on the scalp in the places men tend to go balding). With Female Pattern Baldness it's pretty much the same thing really, but can have a genetic component and run in families and I think that's more due to the sensitivity of the scalp to normal amounts of hormones. Whereas Androgenic diagnosis usually means the hormones have been tested to have too high androgens / free testosterone (mine was when untreated half the level of a grown man and woman are only supposed to have small amounts).

At least that's how the consultant explained it to me. x

Same symptoms I think. If too many androgens is the problem, meds usually mask it and you can have quite a full head of hair but they are really full of side effects and after you stop taking them things will revert back. Low GI diet helps Androgenic Alopecia. I also use Nizoral Shampoo like someone else said up thread. I don't see a particular difference but I figure I may as well cause I need to buy shampoo anyway!

I've tried on a friend's wig and it looked ok, natural enough, especially if I wear a hat over in winter. And she has almost a shaved head (due to hair pulling) and uses tape in places and she assures me that with strong tape they don't fall off. So not the happiest thing, but with that information I do feel a bit better (although her wigs cost her between £700 - £1500 a year shock, guess it's worth up to £30 a week though if it helps you).

coffeecake Mon 05-Nov-12 18:31:33

Wow that's steep!
I thought Androgenetic Alopecia was the same as Female pattern baldness.
Anyway, neither of them are very nice.
my hair loss is weird, I still have a full head of hair, but I've lost about half of the amount I used to have.
The thinning is diffuse, and EVERYWHERE (even eyebrows and arm hairs.) I thought it might be due to Seborrheic dermititis as I have got very oily hair, but now I'm not sure as I am still getting that "tingling/burning" at random places, on and off.
I am back to square one, and trying not to think about it. I'm scared as well because the regrowth I am getting is a mixture of thick strong hair and fine ones. I'm frightened it might be part of the miniutarisation of follicles.

Toffeeapple21 Mon 05-Nov-12 18:54:45

Just joining in this thread.
My hair started thinning as a teenager and now (aged 30) I have the most pathetic thin pony tail. What makes it worse is that the hair I do have is fine, flyaway, frizzy and brittle. I try not to treat my hair but because it's so thin it looks greasy if not washed every other day and I find it very hard not to straighten at least the front bits as that is the only way I can get it not looking totally dreadful.
I have a few patches where the hair has snapped off and is not really growing back, including at the front.
Even after a trip to the hairdressers the best my hair ever looks is "not terrible".
My mother has very thin hair so I think it's genetic.

It does get me down and I know this probably sounds pathetic and really vain but I don't like having my photo taken because I'm self conscious about it. I try to keep it in perspective and concentrate on the things i like about myself (we can't have it all!) but sometimes I do feel down. It makes me feel unattractive to DP too, especially as his sister who he idolises has the most gorgeous thick mane of hair down to her waist!

I know it will probably get worse not better and I have considered getting a wig or hairpiece - not for everyday use but for when I'm going out and want to look attractive but I'm worried about reactions from friends.

Toffeeapple21 Mon 05-Nov-12 19:26:05

Thinking a wig for when I go out could be a good investment and save me having to straighten and style my fragile hair to death. I feel like I need to conserve what little I have left.
Has anyone else done this? Where would you buy a wig from? No idea where to start!

coffeecake Tue 06-Nov-12 11:11:49

I wouldn't know Toffee, but I wouldn't give a s...t about reactions from friends, if they are friends they'll support you.
I saw a program the other day where ladies where having some hair pieces put on as a semi permanent thing, and they looked AMAZING and it looked so natural.
Don't feel bad compared to your DP's sister, hair is not everything. A lot of people don't even take notice of hair.
What counts is what's inside you (sounds corny I know but it's true).
The inner light that makes you glow wink

coffeecake Tue 06-Nov-12 11:12:53

Sorry spelling mistake: "I saw a program the other day where ladies WERE having some hair pieces" not WHERE.

coffeecake Tue 06-Nov-12 11:13:44

Toffee just a thought have you had your ferritin levels checked?

Mumofjz Tue 06-Nov-12 12:04:26

I'm looking into having this done (link below) a friends sister has had it done and she loves it.... when i have more details, i'll post!

I'm seeing my doctor first, to see if they can advise anything and then will be speaking with friends sister

coffeecake Fri 09-Nov-12 13:07:58

Quirrel I got that shampoo through the post, I'll try it tomorrow and let you know.
It's weird at the moment even straight after washing my hair, if I scratch my scalp there is still a small amount of sebum in my nails. It's annoying as I am definately washing properly.
Do you remember how long yours took to grow back? I am really impatient about it and wondering whether it will grow back at all sad

coffeecake Mon 12-Nov-12 11:57:08

Hi just updating a little bit: I've had more shedding sad which has thinned my hair even more sad
I'm feeling very down about it as I was really optimistic in seeing this new hairgrowth all over. I just thought that it was due to seborrheic dermatitis and that if I controlled that, my hair would be fine.
But for the past 3 days I noticed some more thinning, and last week I was getting that tingling A LOT and the dermatitis really flared up.
When the hair falls out, I notice some yellowish scaly type thing attached to the root (not every time) and it pulls out so easily.
Also I noticed some yellowish scale in one of my ears and the nose end of my eyebrows are awfully dry and dandruffy, although my hygiene is excellent and loads of yellowish dandruff.

The fact that it carries on shedding, and this tingling is making me think that it could be Androgenetic Alopecia.
I got in contact with a dermatologist so hopefully he'll tell me what it is.
With AGA do you see new regrowth also? By new regrowth I mean strong hair, not the wispy type.
I would like to know how everyone else is doing, Sheila, Medal, Pinot etc...?

SaffronLover Mon 12-Nov-12 18:47:14

Coffee, I get the tingling with Androgenic. Also before I started the combined pill and/or the Spironolactone, I had VERY greasy hair, no matter how much I washed it. If it is Androgenic it is the androgens making your skin over greasy (also on scalp and causing acne on the face often, like teenagers really). The DHT (something to do with testosterone) on your scalp causes the follicles to shrink and 'minimise' particularly at the temples and crown.

I get wispy, "baby hair" regrowth but that's it.

If you suspect AGA, it's an Endocrinologist you need, but first you can ask for simple blood tests at the GP to confirm any hormonal imbalance. Ask for hormone profile - LH / FSH , and free testosterone particularly. For example - Normal Free Testosterone in Women is 0 - 2.2 pg/mL . Normal Free Testosterone in Men is 6.6 pg/mL - 26.5 pg/mL. Mine was 5 pg/mL. So does that make me nearly a male? grin. If you get an abnormal blood test result you will be eligible to receive treatment, so I'd check that first if you suspect AGA x

SaffronLover Mon 12-Nov-12 18:52:32

I've also had more shedding at the front now this week, despite being on treatment (Mercilon pill plus Spironolactone and various vitamins). It is noticeably see-through now at one of my temples sad. I'm hoping that since I've only been on treatment since July, it hasn't had time to kick in yet with hair growth cycles etc.

It does make me sad, especially with the recent breakdown of my relationship and worrying that no one will want me now sad. But I have been consoling myself with the fact that there are options like wigs and systems which seem to look very real both online and on the real life people I know who wear them. Not the same though, but at least an option.

Hope everyone else is coping OK x

coffeecake Mon 12-Nov-12 19:13:30

Thanks Saffron, the reason why I'm asking is that the regrowth I am getting is NOT like baby hair. It is full, dark, normal, strong hair (I even spotted a couple of hard hairs of about 2 mms that looked like regrowth from DH's beard grin). I plucked out one of the new hairs (mad I know) to see what the root looked like and the follicule looked strong and the root looked black and healthy.
So that's weird isn't it?
I have had all the tests done, including testosterone and it's all normal. All my hormone levels too. I have an appointment to have a ferritin blood test this week.
You WILL find someone that deserves you, I asked DH last night "Would you still love me if I wore a wig?" and he said "yes of course".
So it made me feel a bit better.
I feel very hormonal at the mo as well, my period is late, and I am very very tired from lack of sleep.

coffeecake Thu 15-Nov-12 11:12:12

Hi guys just another little update (it just seems to be me at the mo [red]).

I am going to see a GP again this afternoon as I would like to discuss a few more things with him and maybe get a referral to a derm.

Also, I have googled and seem to have LOTS of symptoms of overactive thyroid.
Irregular period, irritability, extreme anxiety, worry (this is from before I realised I lost my hair BTW), cold hands and feet but suddenly excessive sweating (I've always struggle to sweat in the past), hot flushes, palpitations, sudden burst of agressivity (unlike me), dry itchy skin but oily on forehead and nose probably due to excess sweating and of course, the best... hair loss.
That also sound like the menopause doesn't it, so I want to ask him if the Thyroid tests are definately correct and what exactly the results are.
Also I completely forgot about it but about a year before having my first child I came of the pill Ovranette and experienced extremely erratic period (which I knew they would be as they were before taking the pill).
Went to GP as I hadn't had a period for 3 months and he said I probably had PCOS as I had all the other symptoms like excess body hair, deep voice, skin tags etc.. (I was skinny though but I think skinny women can still get it).
He ran some blood tests which came back with (I think) a slight hormone imbalance (this is 11 years ago so my memory might be wrong) and in the meantime I fell pregnant, so we ended up focusing on that more, and then I moved and changed doctor so the PCOS was never investigated.
Because I fell pregnant I just assumed that it wasn't PCOS but later I realised that you can fall pregnant.
The reason why I didn't think immediately "PCOS" with this hair loss was because the rest of my body hair growth seemed to have slowed down as well, and I think with that condition you are supposed to have more body hair (although I've developped more hairs on my chin).
So now I am more confused than ever, but I'm kind of determined it's hormonal.

coffeecake Thu 15-Nov-12 11:13:49

Sorry smiley didn't work I meant to put blush not red that's why blush blush I can't concentrate, it must be the lack of sleep!

pepitoincognito Sat 01-Dec-12 11:09:00


I haven't posted in a while but I finally got my diagnosis back from the skin doctor who looked at my head and he says the high level of male hormones indicate I am having female male pattern hair loss. He's recommended minoxidil or rogaine. Does anyone have any experience with these medicines. I am a bit reluctant to start as once you start, you can't stop with it apparently. You have to use it for the rest of your life otherwise the hair loss starts again.

Sheila Thu 06-Dec-12 19:07:39

Hi pepito,

I am using minoxidil - the Philip Kingsley version. It took me a long time to get used to doing it - it's certainly a chore to put on every day. Can't say I've noticed any regrowth as yet, but it can take 12 weeks to work apparently and I've only been doing it for around 8 weeks. One side effect is that in the short term it makes more hair fall out, which is very scary because Monixidil doesn't work for most people so there's no guarantee this hair will grow back. Worth a go though as someone else on this thread has seen some success with it.

This article has quite a good round up of some of the treatments available. Minoxidil isn't mentioned though.

I've decided to give it till the new year and if there's no sign of improvement by then I'll be getting some extensions.

chipstick10 Thu 06-Dec-12 20:55:40

I have been using philip Kingsley minoxidil for well over a year and have seen no improvement whatsoever. A couple of the mumsnetters on here have had good results though

TorrieLou Thu 06-Dec-12 22:11:07

Hi I haven't read through all the posts on here but just wanted to tell you what I found out today. My hair is a bit thinner on top and I have difficulty styling my fringe, a hairdresser can always make it look thicker and like I've got a lot more hair than I have. Anyway today I decided to try a new hairdresser and mentioned to him about my thinning hair. He said yes, you've got a tight scalp! He could tell by how white my scalp is, something my children always tell me but I thought all scalps were bright white. Apparently it should be pinkish and by massaging daily from the neck and over my hair I should be able to stimulate the blood flow in order to stimulate my follicles. He told me to try and when I go back he will check for new hair growth to see if its made a difference, so I'm off to do a massage now.

harrogatespring Fri 07-Dec-12 08:42:29

Hi, I posted this separately before I realised there was a thread.

Can someone please help?

After an extended period of diffuse hair loss, I had my bloods done.

My serum ferritin level is abnormal/ridiculously low - 4.9ug/l (the range should be 13-150). My iron levels are also very low - 7.5umol/L (the range should be 5.4-28.6)

What can i do to - as naturally as possible - raise the ferritin levels? I have a good diet, lots of green veg, less meat etc. And as soon as possible. Any supplements worth taking? I'd prefer to avoid iron horse pills from doc but maybe there's no other option
Thanks very much

Sheila Sat 08-Dec-12 10:46:39

Hi Harrogate, if your iron is that low you really need to take the supplements your GP prescribes, at least in the short term. It's a great idea to improve your diet but no amount of steak is going to get your iron levels back to where they should be.

Low iron will affect your general health and your mental wellbeing, not just your hair. Seriously, just take the pills!

Sheila Sat 08-Dec-12 10:52:32

Chipstick, are you going to carry on with the 3m drops? Seems to me that if there's no sign of improvement after a year then there's not much point. What do Philip kingsley say about it? Have you discussed alternative treatments with them?

ppeatfruit Sat 08-Dec-12 14:02:19

Dear Everyone like torrielou says, the answer is MASSAGE !!!!! that you DIY it's extremely simple ;-

1. Place your fingertips either side of your centre parting on yr. scalp.

2.Press for 10 seconds them massage for 5 secs.

3.Do this 3 or 4 times in the morning. and evening.

4, Also place your fingertips either side of your scalp at the back with your thumb tips at the top of your neck and bring over your ears. do the same twice a day.

This simple massage has stopped my hair falling out when I shampoo and thickened it wonderfully. I'm 61 and my hairdresser can't believe how thick my hair is!!grin.

I also eat blackstrap molasses every day and that is darkening the grey!!! BTW if you're veggie you don't need to eat meat to get extra iron just take a good B12 and B6 supplement. Also very importantly look at your EFA intake .Starflower and Evening Primrose oil is great for hormonal problems. smile.

WildThongonthesparklytree Sat 08-Dec-12 18:57:16

re massage
by coincidence I went for a shiatzu massage last week and she strongly recommended scalp massage with rosemary essential oil.

chipstick10 Sat 08-Dec-12 19:08:21

Sheila, I did discuss it with my consultant earlier this very year. Was told they could see nothing was worse and I in fact had new hair growth. They even took photos to reference for the next time I go to see them next year. I am just so undecided because I have read of people who see real real results, I do not. I do actually have a photo of me taken just over a year ago when I first embarked on the hormone drops. It's taken at an angle where you can see the thinning on top of my crown. Looking at it today it's no better but no worse.

Sheila Sun 09-Dec-12 10:01:06

Chip , that's a difficult one. They do say that Minoxidil often slows down or stops hair loss rather than prompting new growth so if your hair loss is no worse then maybe that's a result?

I would say mine is definitely worse than when I started the drops, and if it's caused by a drop on oestrogen then I can only assume it's going to get a lot worse still, given my age (49). How I'd love to walk out of the house in the morning without giving a thought to my hair, as I did for the first 48 years of my life. Guess I was lucky to have it that long.

For me the money is a crucial issues. P Kingsley is just SOOOO expensive. I'd rather save what money I have for a (even more expensive) really good wig .

chipstick10 Sun 09-Dec-12 10:41:46

Sheila I hear ya, I'm totally the same. I look at people like adele and am amazed at just how great her wigs look. There seems to be no shame in wigs and I long to feel proper hair on my head again. I was looking the other day at my old brushes for blowdrying my hair, the biggest round babyliss brush you could buy. I'm not saying I had thick thick hair because I didn't but I was always told by hairdressers that I had fine hair but tons of it. It's pretty soul destroying really. I think there is definitely a subtle difference in my hair volume since starting the pk drops, it's thinner, no doubts about it. I have given up looking for improvements but I really did think it was a given that it would at least halt it.
I am now in a cat h 22 situation. Do I walk away and risk it getting worse or do I carry on with no real marker that its working?
I have read so many reports of people saying minoxidil is the only thing that really works and forums where women have been using regaine and its worked but they have found it too messy and have just walked away.
I have hope for you though because you have only just started on the course so it's very very early days.
I would stay away from extensions though. Good luck honey.

Pleased to find this thread. I have always had fine dark hair, but a lot of it, and a low crown - not a great combo. I had my second DC four months ago and I aam shedding hair like I don't know what. I am trying not to panic, but my father had thinning hair from his twenties and my grandmother ended up wearing wigs. My mother also has fine hair so unfortunately I think it's genetic. I had my hair cut yesterday and my hairdresser was lovely and did a good job, but I can't help worrying. I am going to try the helpful massage tips above. I haven't read the whole thread so was wondering if there are any supplements from Holland & Barrett, or health food store that anyone can recommend.

Hi ppby the way!

ppeatfruit Sun 09-Dec-12 12:03:46

Hello LittleAbruzz smile The EFAs ( Essential Fatty Acids) that I recommend upthread are good for EVERYTHING and our bodies don't manufacture them so we do need to take them daily; I take linseed oil also sometimes the evening primrose and starflower oil and camomile (I drink a 2 bag cam. tea every evening),

The molasses would be great for you 'cos it literally gives you black hair new growth!! And the kelp that was mentioned is great too.

It's funny because I started taking Evening Primrose a fortnight ago because I have PCOS. I will get some linseed and camomile tea too. Thanks for your help again. smile

chipstick10 Sun 09-Dec-12 13:10:30

Yy to molasses, it's full of iron I believe and I add it to my homemade smoothies in the morning. I have tried eating it off a spoon, but oh my it's sweet.

ppeatfruit Sun 09-Dec-12 15:02:46

chipstick I like it in my coffee substitute chicory drink it's better than sugar that's for sure! I don't put it in my coffee but it would probably be okay.

Chottie Sun 09-Dec-12 15:16:57

I've been using PK since April. I had a consultation and a blood test at PK. There is a definitely improvement, the hair on the top was very thin, but I have definite regrowth all over the top. It is now about 2 inches long. I use the drops once a day,plus a scalp mask and a hair mask once a week. My hair is now glossy and shiny and moves like hair should. I also take B12 tablets.

Before going to PK I went to see my GP. She was so dismissive about something so 'trivial' and said there was absolutely 'nothing' which could be done. I left the surgery, sat in my car and just wept. I read about good PK experiences on another forum, so contacted them and I'm glad I did.

ppeatfruit Sun 09-Dec-12 16:35:34

chottie some HCP are soo unsympathetic I bet she wouldn't say that if it was her shock. Try the massage and I guarantee it'll help and it's free!!

Chottie Sun 09-Dec-12 17:08:25

ppeatfruit thanks for that. Unfortunately, from reading the other forum posts, there are lots of HCP like that. I was in and out of the surgery in 5 mins, she barely looked up from her screen. Fortunately I go to a group practice, so will not be going to her ever again.

I will try the massage, it is a very simple and easy thing to do, I do massage my scalp when I put conditioning masks on, but I will do it every day now.

Sheila Sun 09-Dec-12 17:27:25

shock That Adele wears a wig!

sandiy Sun 09-Dec-12 21:03:31

Hello all,I thought I would share my story and hopefully it will give you some hope.Ideveloped alopecia areata what felt like out of the blue.It started with a small bald patch on top of my head and ended up with mega baldy patches all over my head I've got dark brown hair so it was really obvious.All my bloods came back as normal gp said it was stress which at the time I refused to believe But, I think he was right I was completely overdoing it 3 small children working nights no sleep stressful job.Iadressed the stress and my hair eventually grew back admittedly curly when before it was straight but I've got tons the hairdressers never believe it when I say how bald I was.To disguise my bald patches I used this weird stuff called super million can also get it in boots it's called kind of sticks to what little hair you ve got and thickens it have a look on u tube.Honestly as odd as it sounds it made me feel so much better about my self as I was really self conscious I didn't visit the hairdresser for about a year as I was too worried people would see.If I washed my hair at the gym I made sure that no one was around.I was caught by a really good friend once and she just could not believe how bad it was.Anyway give it a go it may help but hopefully your hair will grow back too I hope this helps

chipstick10 Sun 09-Dec-12 21:25:47

Chottie I'm glad you are having success with pk. It kind of gives me hope but I think if there was going to be an improvement then it would ve happened by now. Continued success to you.

Medal Mon 10-Dec-12 09:13:32

Good to see this thread still going, I have been keeping up with it but haven't posted for a while.

I posted some time ago about my hair loss - which seemed to have been triggered by a low carb diet and weight loss earlier in the year (apparently 'telogen effluvium' according to the dermatologist and trichologist I saw) which is probably complicated by female pattern hair loss (hereditary). My hair loss has been continuing at the rate of handfuls every day for just over 4 months, it honestly has been 4 months of hell for me. I am quite stunned there is any left on my head! I think maybe about 60% of it has gone now.

After 4 months of it falling out, it is much much thinner everywhere on my scalp and on top and I am wearing it up most days just to try and ease my stress about it and help me forget about it - it looks crappy but I don't really care. I do have lots of regrowth now but am still losing both old long hairs and the regrowth which is much shorter, some of it only an inch long. And to make matters worse my hair itself seems to have gone weird - from previously wavy to quite curly and flyaway? I am paranoid that this means that it is all going to just drop out as the texture has changed.

After washing is probably when I lose the most and I haven't really put a brush or comb through it for months as it would just pull it all out really easily, so I finger dry it after washing. I have been washing it every 3 days.

I have been mega worried, down, stressed out, obsessed for the last 4 months about it all and I am positive my stress levels haven't helped. I think I am going to give it till New Year and if there is no improvement in the amount of shedding by then I will make a plan (try Regaine, another dermatologist/trichologist, wig!!).

I am told it is mainly telogen effluvium (stress response to the diet) because it is falling out from everywhere on my scalp, not just the areas affected by female pattern hair loss. For example, at the nape of my neck. And with it all happening so quickly. But I just don't know anymore. I am so reluctant to use Regaine.

Thank you for letting me moan.

ppeatfruit Mon 10-Dec-12 16:17:38

medal Try the massage!! grin keep at it and it 'll make a difference, honest grin!

Medal Mon 10-Dec-12 16:50:25

ppeatfruit thanks I will. I used to love head massages before all this hair loss! I have been nervous to touch my scalp but will give it a go.

tidyjane Mon 10-Dec-12 16:52:06

Medal hi, I know exactly how you feel and I feel exactly the same. Something clicked the other day though.
I went to see another doctor about it who didn't give a s..t and kept me 5 minutes in her surgery, I wanted to be referred to a dermatologist as I get seborrheic dermatitis in my scalp (which can cause diffuse hair loss if the condition is left untreated for years [which is my case]) but she refused as she said it wasn't justified.
She said it was telogen effluvium bla bla bla.
Medal I too am getting lots of regrowth and that is about the only thing that is giving me a bit of hope. But it's still thinning slowly but surely, although no one else is noticing yet.
So I got out, and thought: "Right, I have 2 choices: either I worry myself sick like I've been doing for the past 4 months or forget it." And I chose the latter, I'm going to enjoy my life (while trying to do things about it of course, but never go and see a doctor AGAIN about it).
I've booked myself in to see a Homeopath, and I will tell you all how I got on.
I will try the massage tip that ppeafruit kindly gave us smile.
I will have my hair cut short (bob style) and wash my hair everyday (I have to with the dermititis but with long hair it's really difficult).
But most importantly I will stop stressing (try) and stay active (ie exercise).

ppeatfruit Mon 10-Dec-12 16:57:27

If you read the directions upthread it says press for 10 secs. then you must JUST move the skin on your scalp back and forwards keeping yr. fingertips in the same place IYSWIM. That's quite important ;it's an acupressure exercise and they are fantastic. Due to the acupressure exes, I've got a waist now and a near 6 pack !!! and I never used to!.

tidyjane Mon 10-Dec-12 16:59:15

Failing that, in the new year I will pay to see a dermatologist in my area (£165 shock) but at the moment I am doing everything in my power (iron supplements, vitamin D which I was slightly low on) etc...
I see what you mean medal I feel really nervous about touching my scalp but I think it makes sense (although I read on a website about telogen effluvium that you should avoid any type of massage but I'm sure if you do it gently it's fine??).
In fact i've just done it and it feels fantastic afterwards, although I didn't rub my fingers on the scalp just move the scalp with my fingers firmly but gently IYSWIM.

tidyjane Mon 10-Dec-12 17:00:55

Ppeafruit you took the words out of my mouth!!

ppeatfruit Mon 10-Dec-12 17:04:21

tidyjane I remember when I was loosing too much hair I was using Head and Shoulders shampoo I stopped that pretty sharpish. Now I use the very gentle stuff by Mistry it's the cheapest and loveliest shampoo I have EVER used.

Homeopathy cleared DSs' eczema so it's worth a try but a bit expensive. You could also check your blood type and see if the Blood Type Diet could help you. It's by Dr Peter D'Adamo.

ppeatfruit Mon 10-Dec-12 17:08:27

Oh also tidy try a mix of tea tree ess, oil and jojoba oil it kills bugs that can't be killed by A.Bs I swear by it and aloe vera gel.

I'm getting carried away but it's so refreshing to talk to someone with an open mind grin!

tidyjane Mon 10-Dec-12 17:11:40

I know I used Head and shoulders for YEARS! I've stopped it too! Believe it or not the GP said to me "For your dermatitis, head and shoulders is the key!".
That killed my faiths in GPs for good.
Homeopathy is meant to help with dermatitis and my homeopath is really nice.
I get this tingling/burning with my hair loss does anyone get that?

Medal Mon 10-Dec-12 17:23:57

tidyjane have PMed you smile

chipstick10 Mon 10-Dec-12 17:35:32

Obviously I am all for trying most things, however as far as genetic hairloss is concerned I am not sure massaging will bring hair back or make it thick, experts in their field would've Sussed that out long ago. I'm going to give it a go though.grin

ppeatfruit Tue 11-Dec-12 13:06:44

Have you looked at the EFAs in your diet too? The thing with the 'experts' is that if there was something that worked that was free and easy it would put them out of a job ! Iam a cynic grin!

I'm on the Blood Type diet which has cured my eczema, arthritis, and stomach problems etc. The 'experts' ignore it though!

WildThongonthesparklytree Tue 11-Dec-12 13:18:22

this is the scalp oil that was recommended to me. I have only just started with it but will let you all know.

Medal Tue 11-Dec-12 14:53:35

Good luck with the oil, WildThong, let us know how you get on.

Medal Tue 02-Apr-13 09:32:41

Thought I would bump this up with an update from me. Hope you're all doing well.

I have been using Philip Kingsley drops for nearly 4 months and sadly I can't see any change yet, with not a great improvement in shedding either (which has been my main problem leading to thinning). Feeling a bit despondent and's very hard to see your hair looking worse with time and I am grieving for the hair that I had! Not sure whether to investigate the oral medications for female pattern hair loss, which all seem quite scary in terms of side effects.

Be good to hear from anyone. Can't believe this is the first post of the year!

JohnStuartMillions Mon 27-May-13 01:12:24

It's nice to hear from other people in a similar situation, I thought I was alone. I have been losing hair for about 4 months. I am 23 and have been on anti-depressants for 8 months, I have had the mirena coil for 20 months and I have a 2 1/2 year old ds.
I started to notice a thinning of my hair at the end of January 2013 and didn't worry about it too much. After a few more months of it thinning I decided to visit a doctor and was told, after blood tests that were all normal, it was probably due to 'dying' it. I stopped dying my hair anyway (I use only all natural stuff) at the first sign of thinning, after months of no dying and no significant hair growth I thought perhaps it wasn't hair dye. I have now seen another doctor who has said it may be due to my anti-depressants. I have stopped these.
I am into a week of a complete reduction of anti-depressants. My hair loss is worse. I am experiencing lots of hair fall (it is generally very thin all over) and 3 thumb size bald patches have appeared.
I have blonde curly hair so luckily it covers/blurs the bald patches if I avoid wind or bright light.
I miss my hair and it is hard getting over depression without significant hair loss.
Thanks for reading. I hope I can get somewhere and it can grow back!
I would love to hear if anyone has any success stories or advice.


mintchoc7 Thu 06-Jun-13 09:59:05

Hi everyone,

Its comforting to see others are going through what i'm going through, and understand how depressing it is!

Like most of you, my hair is thinning at the top and hair line is receeding. It began during my final year at university (I am now 28) where I was on the pill (I have a hormone inbalance) my doctor at uni wouldnt prescribe me the pill and I was unable to see my home doctor to get any more. Due to this and exam stress, I lost a lot of my hair.

Since then it has been slowly shedding, even though I am back on the pill. I have taken iron tablets which did not help my head but i saw lots of hair growth everywhere else! Perfect.

I have started taking biotin, however after taking them for one week, my face broke out in spots, which I have now read is a normal reaction. However i'm not sure I want to take them anymore. I am now going to try sea kelp.

Shampoos do not seem to help much either, as soon as my hair became use to it, the shampoo was no longer helpful. At the moment I am using mane and tail shampoo - its designed for horses (i know!!) but humans can use it as well. I have noticed the length of my hair has grown very quickly, but im not sure about regroth. I am also using olive oil root simulator shampoo, which helps the the tangles (common with fine hair).

The only thing I can suggest to help restore everyones confidence is TOPPIK- it was suggested by a friend and has helped me a lot. Toppik comes in different shades and is built of tiny hair fibres which blend in with your hair. The product can only work if you have hair there already as it needs something to cling on to. It is ideal if you have a thinning patch or your parting needs attention.

The product is great, the only problem I have with it, is that it does such a good job of covering up whats missing, i sometimes forget how bad the situation it. However, I promise you it gives the confidence boost hair loss sufferers need. I buy Toppik from amazon - the website sometimes sends free samples.

I have decided to see a profesional as my GP is not taking my situation as seriously as I would like. has any one tried the laser therapy and if so, does it work?


RosieLig Sat 20-Jul-13 07:48:46

Bumping this. A fellow sufferer.

I fear I may have hereditary hair loss as my mum was the same. I'm 40 and it's got worse the last few years, particularly if I'm stressed.

I've started taking Nutrihair iron supplements to see if it helps.

cafenoir Sat 20-Jul-13 13:10:59

Glad this thread has shown up. It's really useful and makes me realise I'm not the only one suffering. I've always had very fine and thin hair with a slightly see-through area at the front of my scalp. Since my late 40's it is shedding more though and I reckon it must be menopause related. Blood tests all came back 'normal'.

At the moment I'm trying castor oil applied to scalp and leaving it on for a few hours before shampooing off. Also coconut oil on the ends.
It's too soon to say whether this is having any effect though.

I'm taking ferroglobin supplements as well as cod liver oil and garlic tabs. Also too soon to know if they're helping.

In the meantime what is helping me confidence-wise the most is Mane Hair Thickening Spray which my hairdresser recommended as another client of hers mentioned it. You spray it on the thin areas and my word it covers the thin areas and thickens up what you have. It does have some downsides however:
1. coats the bathroom in a fine layer of colour (wipes off easily though)
2. coats pillow case as above.
On the plus side though it doesn't run even in this heat and only budges when you shampoo it out. It's very gentle. I don't bother with the fixing spray you can buy or the shine spray either.

The confidence it gives me though is enough to off-set the disadvantages. I've had far more success with this than Toppik/Nanogen fibre stuff which was like pouring black soot on my head!

juliedent43 Sat 10-Aug-13 21:59:56

I noticed my hair thinning - i had always had VERY thick hair, but after having a burst Appendix two years ago i lost quite a lot of hair - this recovered in a few months and I thought that was the problem sorted. Then at Easter this year i noticed it thinning quite a lot - lots of hair on the brush etc! I had blood tests - all normal, but decided to take Iron supplements and also bought some hair supplements called Hairvit. I had also been on a very strict low carb diet which i stopped after reading of links between low carb and hair loss. I am pleased to say i have LOTs of new hair growth, esp near the front and my hairdresser says i have new hair growing all over! The new hair is also growing at a rapid rate - as are my nails - I am hugely relieved and am convinced that the iron and the supplements have helped but would also say anyone who has thin hair should steer clear of any sort of strict diet.Hope this gives some positive hope.

cafenoir Sun 11-Aug-13 00:04:32

That's great news Julie. So glad your hair is re-growing. I've started some iron supplements and stopped the low carb/strict diet and am hoping for similar results. I've always had v v fine hair so my thinning is v noticeable. I'm hoping mine isn't just age/menopause related and will respond to less rigid diet and the supplements. It's lovely to hear something positive so thanks for this.

juliedent43 Wed 14-Aug-13 21:56:30

Cafenoir - i think it took about 12 weeks before I noticed any re growth so dont expect an immediate result.I did wonder if it was age related(43yrs old) and think have to accept age is likely to be part of it - hair seems to have changed in texture etc. Hairdresser reckons the new hair growth is growing at almost twice the average rate so that is positive! Take quite a few of the iron supplements to begin with anyway - you will soon know if you are taking too much as it will affect your stomach! I take double the normal amount and have had no nasty side effects so think my iron levels must have been low! Also feel more energetic too . I had no idea a low carb diet could have the effect of causing thinning hair - but there is quite a lot of comments on the net about this if you research it. I think it is probably ok if you jsut do it for a short period of time - i had been cutting down on carbs for nearly 2 yrs so have probably aggravated my hair quite badly!

jamtoast12 Wed 14-Aug-13 22:44:37


I visited my local family planning clinic regarding hair loss and the mirena coil last year and she said she removes several mirenas a month purely due to hair loss....progesterone only pills have similar symptoms too in those susceptible.

If you go on you tube you can see and hear loads of women with similar stories so may be worth switching contraception. My dermatologist recommended cilest as its an antiandrogenic pill. Very few pills are and can add to hair loss.

I have thin hair which i think is chronic te. Constantly on iron! Never really thickens but the condition improves. My derm said AA thins whereas TE falls. Mine gone on over 15 years (I'm 36) but whilst not overly noticeable, I have lost say 40%. So annoying!

PomBearArmy Wed 14-Aug-13 23:46:15

I have been using the Phyto botanical scalp treatment after a beauty vlogger I follow on YouTube said that after she and her friend used it they were both told by their hairdressers that they had a lot of regrowth coming through (I can't remember the specific video but the channel name is blusherandblogging).

My hair loss is definitely linked to my hypothyroidism. When my Free T3 and T4 results were good I had less hair loss.

mindset Sat 05-Oct-13 10:27:52

Hi, saw this thread whilst doing my usual internet trawl of all things hair related! Am 46 and always had fine but manageable hair but about 2 years ago started noticing how much thinner it felt and looked all over. I lose a lot of hair everytime I brush - really gently, and notice strands falling through the day. I've seen a doc and dermatologist, both said prob age related - menopause etc, but blood tests all ok so nothing they can do. Saw a really lovely trich in the summer who thought I should try minoxidil? and laser treatment to wake up the follicles but I'm a bit scared about all of that, even though he's a very experienced trich with a good rep.
In April, after lots of research decided to try hair ext. Visited Lucinda Ellery who was really lovely and helpful but opted for Mark Glenn in London . I feel better with the ext as at least they give me some hair to play with- it felt like candy floss before, but am aware that still shedding and hair on top can't be disguised with ext. Also use fibres to cover scalp. Whole hair issue dominates my life and I constantly worry about going out and avoid certain outdoor activities which really annoys me.
Currently looking into mesh/hair integration system as a way out of this constant worry cycle that ridiculously seems to have taken over my life! All comments welcome!smile

LiquidCosh Thu 17-Oct-13 23:49:56

hi everyone another hair loss worrier here!
Mine started after the birth of DD3 and has carried on ever since. According to the midwife its more common for women with longer hair and also more noticeable unfortunately.
I just wanted to add that for those of you taking iron supplements be sure to take a decent one that's either prescribed by the doctor or from a health store. The reason I say this is when I was pregnant my iron levels were extremely low and I couldn't understand it as I was taking 2 pills a day! Turns out that the pills I had bought from the supermarket are very low strength despite saying they were 100% of the RDA.
I was prescribed iron pills from the doctor and started to notice a difference immediately. Proper iron pills will turn your poo almost black (sorry TMI) but seriously this is how you know their working!
I'm currently taking a strong multi vit and mineral which seems to be helping a little. xx

Chipstick10 Fri 18-Oct-13 08:10:18

mindset have you thought about a really good wig.? When it gets too much for me then that's the road I am going to have to go down. Fortunately my hairloss is quite mild and I am still under a trichologist but its expensive and I don't really see benefits and I don't know how bad it would be if I wasn't seeing him.
The hair mesh thing is ridiculously expensive isn't it! Although I understand the piece of mind you would get with it.

mindset Sat 19-Oct-13 09:56:28

Thanks Chipstick . Yes, that is also on my to do list. I think it's good to explore as many options as poss, but yes the integ systems are quite a financial worry.x

Bellydora77 Tue 02-Sep-14 12:49:09

I've been loosing my hair now for over 18 months and its now so bad I feel like crying everytime I look in the mirror. I suffer with Lupus which is clearly contributing to this. My Rheumy has recommended the Forever Aloe Gel drink (its awful- I'm not continuing with it because it gives me acid reflux) and Floriscene. Only Just started with that though.

Its so confidence destroying. I've resorted to putting dark brown powder foundation on my scalp to disguise it. I'm so upset and there seems to be little I can do. I'm only 36 sad

Muckymoo71 Tue 02-Sep-14 23:02:11

I know this is an old thread but would be also interested if anyone had any success with supplements for reducing hair loss?

Naicecuppatea Wed 03-Sep-14 09:12:00

Sorry to hear that Bellydora. I'm in my late 30's and have been experiencing hair thinning for the last 2 years, it's very difficult. I have tried a few supplements/shampoos, but haven't found any that have helped. It may be worth getting some blood tests done by your GP to see if you have any deficiencies?

missmartha Wed 03-Sep-14 10:14:16

i have suffered from hair loss for the last two years, mainly at the front, a sort of receding hairline. I use Toppik hair fibre stuff to cover up any scalp that shows through and that works well.

Working with my hairdresser has helped too, he is very supportive and totally understands that I need a style that is both modern and that works to minimise the appearance of my hair loss. He does it very well.

I was embarrased when I started to loose my hair and thought no stylist would go near me/ laugh behind my back etc., but no, they are charming.

I have thinning hair, but it's well cut and coloured, that helps, I refuse to be beaten by hair.

meltedmonterayjack Wed 03-Sep-14 12:29:14

It's a total sod I know. Mine has always been thin/fine but since taking HRT it really went mad - thinning, shedding, feeling like a cross between a brillo pad and knotted candy floss. It has been so brittle I can just snap it off.

In desperation went to the GP who referred me to a dermatologist. She said probably a mixture of age and side effects of the HRT (rare but it happens apparently). She took bloods and found I had ferritin levels of 35 which is the low side of normal but not high enough for hair growth. Also low Vit D. I started ferritin and Vit d supplements along with silica, biotin (1000mg) and Vit B12 which are just starting to help I think. I've been on them about 8 months. Over the last month or so it's been falling out less and feels ever so slightly less brittle. Still nothing to write home about but any improvement is nice. Am going to keep going on all these supps. Have to have bloods retaken this month but will ask to keep on with the ferritin and vit d.

Really agree that cut matters. I daredn't get mine coloured what with it being so brittle but if it was less delicate I definitely would.

Muckymoo71 Wed 03-Sep-14 19:53:21

That's really interesting about ferritin levels, I'm early 40s and will try going to the docs in the mean time will get a hair suppl. Tried p Kingsley supplement last year and nioxin. The Nioxin helped as less was falling out when washing but didn't help hair growth. They have got a new product that you can buy from the hairdressers but it's about £40 a bottle, had mine for a year and it swells hair follicles, this is something I rate but use sparingly because of the cost.

Beare Wed 03-Sep-14 21:50:33

Hi. My hair has been shedding for a year due to medication. I would say about 50% has gone. My ferritin is also low at 9 so I have bought some ferrous sulphate over the counter. Get your bloods checked. Hormone levels, thyroid, ferritin, and vit d. Get the actual results from your gp not just the receptionist telling you they are all normal. Low side of normal is not enough for hair growth. Your iron needs to be at least 70. I've tried phyllia however it's so expensive and I'm really not sure it made any difference. My hair loss did stop for a few months and I had a lot of regrowth but it has started again. Not sure why. However I am feeling physically fit and well which I was not before and I try to keep my hairloss in perspective. I am positive that I won't lose all my hair. I'll just have to invest in hats and wigs! It is demoralising and depressing. Just take supplements and eat well and try not to stress. Hair can take years to recover. There is also a 3 month delay with hair. So whatever you do now will affect hair 3 months later. Xx

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