After years of thinning hair is growing back :)

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Tanie, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Tanie

    Tanie New Member

    Hey there!! I wanted to share my success story 'cos it's encouraging to hear that there can be light at the end of the tunnel where such a traumatic thing as hair loss is concerned.
    So.... here goes.....
    For years now...about eight actually...my hair has been going really thin..i'm 45 now & i noticed it starting to thin when i was around 37. I think i was losing alot too. I'd notice it in the bath when i'd wash my hair...i got so paranoid that i'd count the hairs... usually around the 60 mark every other day. I kinda didn't do anything about though until it really did start to get thinner ... i kinda just watched it disappear in slow motion over the years..& then i realised that what was falling out was also growing back thinner. Some of my long hairs, that were bout 20 inches in length, i noticed at the end were the root was it had narrowed to half the circumference it was at the other end...so definitely thinning argh!!!
    I decided to try all kinds of things to stop it falling & thinning. I went to the docs on 2 occasions & mentioned that i was worried about my hair & the 2 different doctors i saw said "there's nothing you can do about it it's your age!!!" Great! What a lot of help they were. They didn't seem to give a monkeys that this was depressing me so much!!! They offered no help whatsoever...
    I tried emu oil, Nisim biofactors shampoo, some caffeine product, hair & nails vitamins, other shampoo's that i can't remember the names of right now, but i spent quite a bit of money trying to get my ahir back. I also spent money on hair guides to hair regrowth & home remedies which i couldn't be bothered with cos some of them seemed so much messing about...like mixing oils with other things & putting it in your hair...nah couldn't be doing with that. I did try the circulation thing like massaging my head though & even standing on my head for 5 mins every day to get the circulation going lol.....oh my the things you do to get your hair back :D
    Anyway last year my hair was getting that thin it was kinda getting really floaty on the top of my head it was that light & i felt like i had hardly any hair left on the top of my head at all.. it was really thin..worse on the top than any where else. I couldn't put it in a pony tail any more cos my scalp showed through in the sunlight or bright lights...i was getting really miserable & paranoid & depressed. My parting which had always been in the middle (& i'd always had a fringe) was now at the far right of my head..i had to grow my fringe out & move my parting further across over the years to cover up the thinness of my hair...just like a mans comb over i guess.... that's all i could do to hide it. But last year it was getting even too thin for that & my hair was just starting to look awful
    I thought i'd try one last thing... it was some pills called "Nutrihair". These pills advertised that if you were losing hair or it was going thinner & there was less hair in your ponytail then there used to be then it could be down to low iron stores & it could be the solution to your hair loss...something along those lines...can't remember exact but that was the jist of it...so i thought i'd try them. At £12 a tub for a month i thought it was worth it after all that was what was happening to my hair.
    I took them for just over 3 months...that was kinda the marker to start seeing any progress as far as losing hair went...but would take 6+ months to see regrowth. During taking them i'm sure there were times when i was losing less hair..i think for a few weeks maybe ...even towards the 3 months my hair was falling out less (for years at this point i'd been washing my hair everyday instead of every other cos my hair couldn't cope with any amount of weight it'd just make it lank & make my scalp more noticable) i'd been losing about 20 -25 hairs during a wash & this went down to around 15 some days while taking these pills. Then suddenly at around 3 & half months my hair just started falling out big style...well i panicked & stopped taking them immediately.
    So ...yeh.. now i'd had enough.. i decided if the doctors wouldn't entertain me then i would go to a specialist!! I made an appointment to see a trichologist... it was gonna cost me £100 but i wanted this sorting once & for all...
    He checked my head ...said i has chronic TE & ordered some tests...lots of tests....He said that he thought it was treatable & probably down to health issues reather than female pattern baldness...phew..i was hoping. I was tested at my docs for various vitamin defficiencies...hormonal imbalances..thyroid issues...etc..etc...
    My trichologist suggested trying minoxidil while i was waiting for the results but i'd read bad things bout that so decided against it & waited it out instead.
    I mentioned about the nutrihair to the trichologist & he said that there was nothing in them to make my hair fall out ...so i put that down to stress cos the summer hols had just started & my son then went away & i had no routine & my body can't cope too well with big changes like that so that was probablt the cause of the sudden hair loss cos it did stop after 2 weeks.
    So the results came back... i had a call saying the doc wanted to see me.... My ferritin levels were low.... not really low...80...but the trichologist said the ferritin count had to be 100 to rule out excessive hair loss/ thinning. So my doc put me on 200mg ferritin sulphate tablets...i had to take 2 a day....
    I've been taking these now for 5 months... i've hoped & prayed that this would sort out my hair loss at last & it really has!!! :D
    My hair loss is now down to about 5-10 hairs when i wash my hair & the hair growing back on top of my head really is noticable now...i actually have some volume on my head whereas before it was so flat.
    There are short hairs all over my head sticking out wherever i part my hair. Some are now about an inch long. But there others that are shorter aswell. My head is starting to feel warm again lol
    It is taking longer to fill in at the front of my head & i have lost alot of short hairs during regrowth but this has virtually stopped now...apparently its normal to lose short ones while your hair cycles return to normal. I guess when your hair has been thinning for 8 years it probably would take some time to get back to normal.
    The other thing i was gonna mention was that my periods totally ceased over a year ago & since i have been taking the ferritin they have also returned to normal...although the doc said he couldn't attribute this to the ferritin....it's the only thing thats changed though!
    BTW i put this whole situ down to my diet... for about ten years now i have rarely eaten eggs..red meat..cheese..fish or any dairy products tbh.. because i always thought they weren't good for you. I've always stuck to a low fat diet... & this is what's happened...maybe this wouldn't affect everyone but has obviously affected me in this way Just another thing to think about....didn't think my diet would affect me in such a big way.... needless to say i eat red meat once a week now & fish lol. I have always eaten huge amounts of dark green veg thinking i'd get all my iron from that but the doc said your body can't get the iron from veggies as easily as it can from meat... so that told me lol.
    Anyway i think i've covered everything lol....I hope this has given people encouragement & hope... i've been so down in the dumps i know what it's like....it's just the pits :( I feel like i'm in a dream now... i really can't believe that my hair loss was just due to my lack iron stores.... it really was a nightmare & i can't believe i've really got through it I wish you all the very best.....& i will pray that you too find your cures
    Sorry if i've babbled on a bit but i just wanted to cover every bit of my situation ...... Any questions please feel free to ask :) Bye for now
    Kirstie likes this.
  2. fhayward

    fhayward New Member

    similar problems

    Hi, I'm 20 and for the past 3 years have been suffering hair loss and heavy shedding. I used to have beautifully thick blonde hair and it has halved in volume, at its worst coming out in handfuls. I just put it down to stress. But 3 years on, although the shedding has slowed a littlee, my hair is still showing no signs of recovering, and I lose 50-60 hairs at least when I was, and more when I comb afterwards. It's really bothering me I just can't see it stopping :( I went to a trichologist in desperation and she advised that I get my ferritin levels checked. Mine came back at 40, which a GP will say is normal but obviously isn't half what it needs to be for optimum hair growth. My diet is good and I am otherwise healthy, and the stree I was under when my hairloss began has decreased alot. I really think it must be my ferritin levels. I have been taking iron supplements and trying to get more red meat into my diet, but think perhaps I need something prescription strength. Can I ask, was your GP willing to prescribe you the iron based on your levels? I'm concerned that my doctor may say my level isn't low enough to prescribe anything..but I think I need some decent strength iron as trying to up my levels with supplements and diet for 3 months hadn't made any difference..Does anyone have any experience with biotin shampoos reducing hair fall? Or does anyone have a mirena coil (contains progesterone) that they think has caused hair loss? It's something I'd like to rule out. I'm desperate to get to the bottom of what's going on as if my hair keeps falling out at this rate I'll have nothing left, and the stress of it isn't helping :( thanks :)
  3. Tanie

    Tanie New Member

    Hi FHayward! Gosh having to deal with hairloss/thinning at 20 is really rough Sorry you're going through that. Yeh my hair has i think more than halved over the 8 years i've been losing it. I don't think i've had excessive hair loss, i've read on here people losing up to 200 a day, gosh that is severe, but any amount is alot when you know it's disappearing. I think my problem was more that the hair i was losing just wasn't growing back i had more hair in the resting phase than in the growing phase & ones that were growing back were growing back thinner too which = alot of hair loss :(

    I think that everyone is different as far as nutrition levels go. My doc said my ferritin level of 80 was low but not very low. My trichologist said anything below 100 could cause hairloss & in my case he was dead right!!! My doc (who is also a derm) couldn't believe it when i went back & said my hair was growing back & the hairloss had reduced after 5 months. He looked really surprised.
    I went back for more tablets & he was happy to give me another 4 months worth, he said it wouldn't do me any harm to stay on them. I'm on 2 x 200mg ferrous sulphate. I take one in a morning an hour before breakfast & one before bed (at least 2 hours after food). You can't have tea, coffee, milk or wheat products within an hour after taking one on an empty stomach or within two hours after consuming any of these products because it inhibits the iron absorption so better sticking to that for best results :)
    I did try taking biotin for a few months but saw no difference. Also tried emu shampoo, nisim biofactors & a caffeine shampoo but these didn't work. The thing is if the cause is internal none of these things that you put on your head are gonna work? I wasted my money cos the cause was ferritin. I have had anemia tests in the past but lack of ferritin doesn't cause anemia apparently it's a different type of iron defficiency so my lack of ferritin wasn't detected back then.

    You can buy 200mg ferrous sulphate tablets from pharmacies. In england there about £6.50 for 100 lol. If my doc has prescribed them to me at a count of 80 then i'm sure you're doc should do the same. Anything is worth a try. My hair reduced shedding to about 5-10 hairs in a wash after 2.5 - 3 months & thats how its been since. I'll take them forever if it means keeping my hair!!!

    I have to say that when my period starts i do lose a few more but not much & only for a couple of days then it reduces again.
    I always finger comb my hair aswell when its dry as i read somewhere that combing hair with a comb & when it's wet causes unecessary breakages.
    I also used to lose loads throughout the day...theyd be in my sink when i washed up (so annoying!!!) & theyd be all over my laminate flooring & covering the carpet etc...i hardly find any now.
    I'd definitley give the iron tablets a go...if they worked for me when my levels were 80 then it is definitley a possibilty.
    Hope that's helped....i waffled on again lol :0
  4. fhayward

    fhayward New Member

    ferrous sulphate

    hii

    thankyou that's super helpful :) can I ask how long you've been on the ferrous sulphate? And how long was it before you saw a decrease in your hair loss? Gonna get onto my GP and ask for a prescription, but if not it's good to know I can pick them up in the chemist. Are they over the counter? Have never seen them before, only really noticed the normal strength iron capsules you can buy alongside all the usual vitamins and supplements straight off the shelf.

    thanks again for you help :)
  5. fhayward

    fhayward New Member

    also sorry to ask, were you advised to take the tablet with vitamin c tablet? if so what strength?? sorry for all the questions!! hhaha :)
  6. Tanie

    Tanie New Member

    Hi again! I've been on the ferrous sulphate 200mg since oct 16th last year so have been on them just over 5 months. I noticed the decrease in shedding around 2.5 to 3 months. I had odd days when i lose a few more but hardly at all now unless i have a period which is obviously down to hormones lol.

    I don't think normal iron would do the same job anyway cos ferritin is a specific type of iron. It is your iron reserves that are short if your lacking ferritin. Apparently if your iron stores are low your body provides the most important organs with what supply you have and unfortunately your scalp is one of the least important....but once your body has a regular supply of the right type of iron your hair will reep the benefits if thats the cause. i researched all this on the net when i was desperate to find answers too.

    You have to ask for ferrous sulphate from the pharmacy cos they don't have it on the shelf like the other iron.. not here anyway lol.

    Lol no probs i don't mind answering anything if i can help :)
    My doc didn't advise anything specific but i have read if u take your tablets with orange juice (i eat an orange every night with my evening tablet) then this aids the absorbtion of the ferritin. I'm not sure whether a vit c pill would do the same so can't answer that one i'm afraid. I have actually thought about doing that myself & thought i'd ask my doc when i nexty go back lol. The supermarket has some dissolvable vit C so i'm gonna ask if i can take that with my tablets rather than eating an orange...it would be less hassle late at night lol :)

    I've got to ring up bout my test results...see whether my ferritin has gone up or not...i had a retest last week..so will be back to post the results.
    I'm glad to be of help again :D
  7. fhayward

    fhayward New Member

    hmmmmm not so subtle with the advertising...thanks again Tanie :)
  8. Tanie

    Tanie New Member

    No problems at all anytime..........hmmm i saw that ad aswell & when i went to post a reply to it it disappeared hahha.... i don't need any mannuals for hair regrowth fortunately :D
  9. Tanie

    Tanie New Member

    No problems at all anytime..........hmmm i saw that ad aswell & when i went to post a reply to it it disappeared hahha.... i don't need any mannuals for hair regrowth fortunately :D
  10. fhayward

    fhayward New Member

    ok, so i've written to my doctor to ask for some iron tablets and have just picked up my prescription for 210mg ferrous fumarate, to be taken 3 times daily. I know I need to give it a few months before expecting any drastic change in my hair loss but I so hope this helps!! Gotta be worth a try anyway :)
  11. Tanie

    Tanie New Member

    Awe hey thats great! I really hope you have success now like me. Yeh it definitley is worth trying. I rang my docs this week & got my ferritin results back & my ferritin levels are now 160...wow...i can't believe it's gone up that fast. I'm only taking one tablet a day now & see how that goes. I'm losing even less hair when i wash my hair now than i was a few weeks ago... still lose odd hairs throughout the day but it's normal to lose between 50 - 100 hairs a day. It's strange though that when you've been through the trauma of losing your hair for years, even though you know some hair loss is normal & your hair is growing back, you still panic when you see any hairs coming out, well i do anyway lol, don't know if anyone else out there is like that? Think i'm just still paranoid that it's guna happen again, probably always will be now lol.

    Anyway i pray that those tablets are your cure & once again wish you success!! :)
  12. iloveeshoes

    iloveeshoes Member

    My ferritin level was 30 in October and I started supplementing in February. I'm post-menopausal so I no longer get a period. My ferritin is now at 122. I got my results yesterday.

    I used the ferrous sulfate from Walgreens, worked just fine. I took them with 500 mg of Vitamin C and Lystine for optimal absorption. I made sure I took them a hour after I stopped eating and right before I went to bed. Better not to consume anything to drink or eat for 2 hours after taking the supplement so there is nothing interfering with adsorption. Hold all tea and coffee drinks until 2 hour AFTER taking the supplement.

    I'm waiting to see regrowth. I think most people have to be a 70 or above for 3 months straight before you see hair regrowth.
  13. Tanie

    Tanie New Member

    Hi Iloveshoes!
    It's great that your ferritin levels have gone up so quick like mine. I've read posts on here where it has taken an age for some womens levels to increase even a small amount which must be so disappointing.....guess that must be down to other factors, everyone is different after all.
    When you say you took 500mg vit C do you mean tablets? Did your doctor recommend that? I was thinking of doing that myself but was gonna ask the doc whether that was a good way of doing it rather than natural sources but haven't been back yet to ask lol.
    It was bout 3-4 months before i saw regrowth...the reduction in hair loss was the first thing i noticed to change... then the regrowth came. It's coming back a storm now...my hair is getting thicker by the day...more hair in my pony tail...more hair to wash...& looks alot thicker on top now. Still slow to thicken at the front but it's definitley getting there slowly :)
    Patience is definitely a virtue were this is concerned lol. Let me know how it goes for you. I hope you get some great results :D
  14. iloveeshoes

    iloveeshoes Member

    Thanks for the encouragement. I hope that things settle down for me in terms of shedding. Right now am still shedding 30 to 50 hairs a day depending. That's still good, but I would like to see that go down to 20 hairs a day. I'm hoping that will happen over the next few weeks, if the low ferritin is truly the cause of my diffused hair loss. I'm not even sure if that's the culprit or DHT. I'm praying that it was just the low iron store and nothing else.

    I waiting to see regrowth in my front hair line and temple area, where I took the biggest hit in terms of my hair loss. Right now when it sunny outside I can see my scalp (front hair line) and it so stressful. I'm praying for regrowth in that area. Since I started supplementing with Sulfate Ferrous in February, I figured regrowth will probably occur around the end of May, June.

    In terms of the Vitamin C, I took a regular vitamin C supplement (tablet form) that I brought at the Vitamin Shoppe. I'm sure that really made the difference in adsorption, which is why I think my levels went up so fast, plus the fact that am not menstruating anymore also helped am sure.

    I'm glad things are looking up for you, I hope to say the same in the next two months.
    Desperately Hoping likes this.
  15. lilyrose

    lilyrose New Member

    I have written in the ferritin boards before and im so happy to read Tanies story as its given me hope. however im still in the same situation and i feel so low, my ferritin started at 12 in nov 2011 and ive finally got it up to 79 in april 2013 im still taking ferrous fumurate evrery day but i have not seen any improvements or any noticeable regrowth. How long until i should see any results? I feel like disappearing until this is all over.
    Desperately Hoping likes this.
  16. iloveeshoes

    iloveeshoes Member

    Another woman on this forum that commented about her ferritin related hair loss, stated it takes between 6 months to a year. I have not seen regrowth either at this stage and I started supplementing in February, but I think it's still early for me.

    I don't expect to see any true regrowth until July or August, just trying to be patient. I also was dealing with a scalp fungus so I know that has been a double whammy for me. I finally got it under control, but I loss more frontage hair behind that as well. :(
  17. Tanie

    Tanie New Member

    Hi iloveshoes! Sorry for the delay in replying....How's things going? Is there any change for you yet? I guess you've only been taking your ferrous for 4 months so you wouldn't be as far on as me but hopefully your hair loss has reduced at least?

    I've been taking mine 7 months now. My hair is taking it's time getting thicker at the front still but it is definitely getting there. The thickness seems to be slowly working it's way forward from back to front lol & i am definitley getting alot more volume on top aswell now but it's a slow process but as long as there's progress i can wait lol.

    I'm still occaisionally losing short hairs but hardly at all now & am still only losing around 5 - 10 hairs a day when i wash my hair. I do finger comb my hair though afterwards when its nearly dry to get out any loose hairs & usually lose bout another 15 but thats nothing compared to what i used to lose. My hair is thickening up all over now & getting long without looking thin & whispy like it was. I can actually feel confident again when i go out as my scalp doesn't show through anymore when i'm in the sun. I'm getting back to being me again yey. I kinda lost myself in my depression with all this & was so low i just wasn't me anymore...if you know what i mean. It's such an awful thing to have to cope with, it just makes you feel like you have to hide yourself away from the world :(

    Thanks for the vit C advice. Keep forgetting to get vit c tabs when i go shopping lol. I am drinking orange juice at the mo with my tablets which is easier than eating oranges anyway lol. I'm not taking so many tablets either now that my ferrous levels are well above 100 cos i don't want to over do it & am skipping a tablet two nights a week now to see how that goes. I'll go back to my docs for more ferrous tests to see what's happening in a few months.

    Thanks very much for your replies...I'm really hoping & praying that your next post will be good news :)
  18. Tanie

    Tanie New Member

    Hi lilyrose Sorry your not having any progress yet. I think everyone is different as far as progress goes. My trichologist did say ferritin levels had to be at least 100 to rule out hair loss/thinning so maybe that's why nothing has changed for you yet. Don't despair, he was right as far as my hair goes, & i would think he'd have quoted the "100" marker going by experience with lots of patients.
    So.. please have some hope that that applies to you to & you will see a change when you reach the 100 mark. My ferrous was 80 when i started taking the tablets & i was still losing/thinning then so believe me there is alot of hope for you :)

    How much ferrous are you taking? Yours is a different type to mine? Mine is ferrous sulphate & my levels have shot up in six months from 80 to 160. Maybe it might be an idea to find out from the doc what the differences are & if you'd be better switching to the sulphate type of ferrous if its gonna make a difference to your progress? Just an idea...maybe worth a try?? :)
  19. Hetal

    Hetal New Member

    Different reasons for different people

    Hi everyone,

    I am someone who has struggled with hairloss for over 20 years. Had very thick hair growing up. Now have bald patches.

    I have tried everything from rogaine to nutritional supplements to various hormones to cortico steroid injections to my scalp to homeopathy to acupuncture to naturopathy. I have finally found myself responding well to Ayurveda. It's been 14 months since I started. My treatment has been slow and only now has the dandruff like stuff stopped, my scalp's stopped feeling as greasy (so I guess the dht stuff is reducing) and my hair loss has lessened. My doc says my hair will regrow but my guess is I need another year or two.

    I wanted to point out that while for someone hair loss may have been triggered by low ferritin levels. For another person it maybe something else. In my case I kept thinking even as a 16 year old that if my hair was falling it was because something was going wrong at a much more serious level within my body. Unfortunately, the docs I met earlier had only answers like its your hormones and how the hell does someone address it besides HRT. It's only so many years hence when I started experiencing inflammatory conditions, migraine like headaches, allergies which I never had earlier, numbness, breathlessness, palpitations, fractures and injuries at the drop off a hat that I found a brilliant Ayurveda doc in my country and discovered that I had issues with my small intestine which is responsible for absorption of nutrients from what we ingest. I may have been prone to it coz of my genetics, problems my mum had when she was pregnant with me and the hormones she took to prevent miscarriage, the fact that she wasn't able to breastfeed me sufficiently coz her lactation was affected by the hormones, my food habits (which most westerners would consider extremely "healthy"), lifestyle, exercise in excess to what my body could specifically handle, high stress levels and of course all those hormones, rogaine and medications I took when I fell sick which essentially suppressed my symptoms and even the high dosage nutritional supplements (including something as innocuous as vitamin C supplements) led to all my problems.

    In the last 14 months through weekly visits to my Ayurvedic doc who studied me thoroughly and made dietary, exercise, lifestyle recommendations and adjusted gentle herbal meds every week or so to help me lead a functional balance as my food, environment and seasons and other exposures changed. I am happy to say I am free of a lot of the symptoms with the ones I experienced most recently are the ones I got rid off first. I am extremely confident my hair will regrow in the near future. I am on none of the zillion supplements I was on recommended to me previously by docs and nutritionists. I am especially off thyroxine (had become hypthyroid too) and other hormones and my tsh levels are fine. I am eating more sweet, starchy, oily (though not fried), ghee containing foods than I ever have in my life contrary to some western notions of healthy eating (eat more salads, protein, less starch, oils and other fats). I have also stopped running and swim only occassionally. Instead I do yoga regularly and also some meditation. I make it a point now to take a break when I am physically or mentally tired. I have become a much happier and peaceful person. Ayurveda and other traditional integrated medicine approaches help us get to the root of our problems and help us change things around not just our body but also our habit patterns which aggravated the conditions in the first place. These systems work with our body's natural intelligence to solve the problems rather than relying on external aids and artificial and/or intrusive methods so that we don't fall back into the previous unhealthy conditions and get genuinely cured.

    I hope this post helps at least someone on this forum :)
  20. erin7111

    erin7111 New Member

    Ferrous gluconate v. ferrous sulphate

    Both ferrous sulphate and ferrous gluconate are used to treat anemia. Ferrous sulphate uses sulphate salt rather than gluconate salt as it's delivery method. Ferrous gluconate is supposed to be easier on your tummy and is supposed to work for people who have adverse reactions..vomiting, abdominal pain ..to ferrous sulphate. I am taking ferrous gluconate. Some articles I have read say that gluconate is an organic salt so better absorption than ferrous sulphate which is supposedly but the biggest difference I noticed is that the ferrous sulphate had more elemental iron per tablet...65 mg rather than 35 mg in the gluconate. The dosing says 1 to 6 tabs is safe per day. I am currently taking the ferrous gluconate - 3 -300 mg tabs...so 115 mg elemental iron a day - the required dosing for women not pregnant or breast feeding is 18 mg so that is a lot. I am not having tummy issues at all and have struggled for years with IBS. Best way to get iron though, is haem iron, lean red meat, chicken, fish. I would add that in as well. It's 6 of one half a dozen of the other, in my humble opinion. Just make sure you're taking enough elemental iron I guess, in whatever tablet you take it.