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Keeping our hair on! Hair loss support thread!

(238 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...

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.

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