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Old 10-04-2010, 01:54 AM
Virginia Virginia is offline
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Default Hoping for an end to hair loss -- please help.

Hello all! I apologize if this post is redundant to a previous one I haven't read on the site. I stopped taking Loestrin Fe 24 when I experienced severe hair loss and started taking Sprintec (aiming for a low androgen option - been on it for just under one month). My hair loss continues, now my hairline is receding while it thins everywhere else, and I have lost about 40 percent--at least--of my once thick, long brown hair.

Does anyone know if the loss from the Loestrin will stop? Any advice you can give me would be so appreciated. It's hard to be strong about this!
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:19 PM
pilar pilar is offline
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Hi Virginia:

I experienced hair loss when I stopped taking Yaz. I was only on it for 2 months and before that I had been pill free with 2 years with gorgeous, thick hair. Two months after stopping the pill I was losing over 300 hairs a day! It's been 13 months off the pill and 11 months since the hair loss began and I'm happy to say that it has slooooooooooowly decreased and now I'm shedding what I think is nomal amounts(40-80 hairs a day). Even though the shedding has gone back to normal, my hair is still extremely thin. I think I've lost 50% of my hair and the hardest hit area was the front, top and sides. Back in May I noticed the left side of hair line had receded and now it's barely filling back in. SO even though I can't say that things are back to normal for me, I can say that they're getting better.

Hang in there!

Pilar
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:09 AM
Virginia Virginia is offline
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Pilar,

Thank you so much for your response. When i saw the notice in my inbox I got so excited!! I have read your story on a few other threads and am so thrilled to hear from you. Right now my hair loss has lasted for about two months. I would say I've loss maybe 30 percent of my hair. I'm hanging in there -- it helps that I, like you, had long and super thick hair before all of this.

Recently, I went to a derm for an official diagnosis. He had really bad bedside manner, but it was helpful to have the info from this site from your posts and other threads.When I was able to tell him I know what TE and AGA are and how they present, he was really much better and stopped being so condescending! He looked at my follicles and I asked if there was any miniaturization going on and he said no, it's TE. The problem is figuring out the trigger. I told him about bc, loestrin, and that I am now on sprintec (for better or worse) and he admitted that the connection exists. But said it was probably because I was really, really sick in the hospital in June and that would have triggered it (at first he called it stress and I almost screamed at him for being so ridiculous!).

Do I agree with him that bc didn't have anything to do with it? No. But the month of June was also when I jumped off loestrin for a month so I can't really say what it is. I have made the decision to stay on bc (sprintec) for now because, option #1, if i go off of it I risk prolonging the TE with another round of it. option #2: stay on it until I have children (probably in the next couple of years) and I'll get off then, hope pregnancy keeps me together hairwise and be brave for afterward (I will never go back on the pill after that). My thought is even if bc didn't cause TE this time around, I am clearly susceptible and I need to be responsible about that.

All that said, I think I am finally finding things that are working for me. I've been doing the vitamin route (saw palmetto, biotin, and a prenatal vitamin) and I have definitely curbed the shedding, but more importantly, thanks to you and others, I know I am blessed because this will stop. And, Pilar, yours will grow back! I'm so happy that you are seeing some growth on your temples (especially your left because I've lost a ton there too!) It gives me confidence and reminds me that we will get through this. There are still going to be bad days where I'm in the shower, braced to pull out a clump and it is twice the thickness I expected. But then i remember that there are days when I look around at all women I see and realized my hairline isn't that different, I'll get through this and I'm still the same person I always was.

I know it is going to be a long battle for all of us. Hair never grows fast enough whether it's a bad haircut or HL. It's a rough waiting game. I'm thrilled that I don't have to go it alone and the people I open up to here don't tell me I'm crazy. Thanks so much for your response, and for reading my novel-length answer!

Keep posting!
Virginia.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:20 PM
pilar pilar is offline
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Hi Virginia,

It makes me so happy to hear that you were looking forward to my reply! I remember when all of this started I would read tons and tons of stories of other girls going through the same thing, but after a while I noticed they would dissappear and never post again. I figured things got better for them and they went on with their lives and put hair loss way behind them. I made a promise to myself that no matter what, I would try to update as much as I could. Whether it'd be good or bad, I would do it.

For some reason I think it's really weird how doctors would rather put the blame on something else than the pill. When I saw a second Ob/Gyn (not the one that prescribed Yaz and completely denied that her precious pill could do such a thing) she agreed that the pill can cause TE similar to post-pardum hair loss. But as soon as I mentioned I had a low ferritin, she was quick to say that she thought THAT was more of a problem than going off the pill. I also had a few doctors try and blame it on stress, even though the only stress I had in my life was the hair loss.

It's really hard to pinpoint exactly what caused the hair loss, but I do think everything played a part. Loestrin is a high androgen pill - so that could of caused your hair loss. Going off the pill for a month could have caused a temporary hormone imbalance and caused the hair loss and of course being sick in hospital could have also caused it. But please be careful when it comes to taking synthetic hormones. Any change in hormones can cause TE, whether it's going off the pill, switching pills or going ON the pill. It seems like everyone has a different experience and please be aware that switching or even starting Sprintec, can start another round of TE.

You are absolutely right Virginia and I love your postive attitude towards this awful experience. It's so unfortunate that we have to go through something like this, but it always makes it easier when you meet other ladies that are going through the same thing.

Things do get better!

Pilar
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:00 AM
naga3 naga3 is offline
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Default hair loss due to loestrin

Hi,
I am 21 years old and have recently been taking Loestrin. I was having a few problems with the birth control so I stopped. But since then I have been losing hair by the fistfuls. I am afraid to brush or even wash my hair. I have read blogs and other sources talking about it reducing eventually. But I was wondering if anyone came across anything that may speed up the process. Any specials shampoos. vitamins, anything at all?
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:58 AM
Virginia Virginia is offline
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Hi there naga3!

I know exactly how you are feeling. I just turned 23 and my hair loss was coming by the fistful and that lasted about two months for me. I'm still seeing loss, but it's dropped, and I'm hoping to see some regrowth with the new year.

The two-month time period seems to be short for a bout of TE. I've been waiting for about a month or so for it to worsen again but it hasn't yet. As for what I've been taking, I avoid prescriptions and started taking a pre-natal "Women's One A Day" vitamin. That with Biotin and Saw Palmetto curbed the shedding for me quickly after starting the regiment. Obviously, there is no knowing if that was what helped, but I did notice that when I forgot the vitamins for a week, the shedding slightly increased again, so that might indicate it helped a little. (Also, I have had all my vitamin levels checked and I'm totally healthy so I'm not speaking as someone who needed more of anything.)

As for shampoos, I try to use the Vermont Country Store DHT blocker shampoo, not necessarily for what it offers, but because it is really, really soothing and does seem to lessen the shedding. It's expensive so I try to use that on my scalp and head and shoulders or something equally basic on the rest of my hair.

Honestly, though, the biggest thing that has helped is trying to relax. I hated it when people told me the HL was probably "because of stress" and although they were wrong, I think there is some merit in that thought. When I stopped crying over my hair, obsessing in front of the mirror and just accepted the loss, allowing myself to remember it would come back eventually, the shedding lessened. Right now, I'm going through finals (I'm a grad student) and I'm stressed. The hair loss as gone up a little, but I know the cause and I just try to breathe and relax in the shower.

Just knowing that it will end, and there are people out there to support you is often really helpful. I know "stop worrying about it" is not what you want to hear, and I hope the vitamins help you as they have helped me, but know that deep breaths, a little perspective, and a decent amount of Toppik (haha) has helped me more than I can say.

Good luck!

-Virginia.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:16 PM
pilar pilar is offline
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Hi naga3-

For me, TE lasted around 9 months with the first 3 months being the worst. During those first few months I was taking every vitamin and hair vitamin imaginable in hopes that it would help with the shedding. I took them for 5-6 months and I don't think they really made a difference. I stopped taking them and eventually the shedding did go back to normal on it's own.

Right now I'm using Nizoral shampoo twice a week and then Aveda's Scalp Benefits shampoo and conditioner. This routine seems to maintain my scalp nice and healthy. I wasn't really using any shampoos to curb the shedding but instead using them to have a perfect growing environment for new hairs.

I have to agree 100% with Virginia when she says that trying to relax is what helped her the most. I know it's hard, especially when your seeing your hair pour off your head, but with TE the best thing you can do is try to relax and ride it out.

It seems like going off Loestrin caused TE for you and just remember that it WILL eventually slow down. Also, your hormones are probably trying to balance themselves out from going off the pill and stress will only make it harder for them to stabalize.

Hang in there and good luck!

Pilar
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:18 PM
pilar pilar is offline
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And....a decent amount of Toppik has also helped me great deal!
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