bad shed days

Discussion in 'Rants and Venting' started by twinmom, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. lorilei

    lorilei New Member

    Hi LM. I went to see a dermatologist yesterday. She diagnosed me with androgenic alopecia, and TE. She gave me an oral DHT blocker called Finasteride, and an anti-androgen pill called Spironolactone. Hopefully, with both of the med's, I will see improvement. Today has been a bad shed day for me, though. Maybe stress. Anyway, thanks for your replies. Support from other women who are going through the same thing helps SO much!:)
  2. LM_83

    LM_83 Member

    Hi Lorilei

    Hope you are ok, glad you've had a confirmed diagnosis now and I hope that the treatment helps you. Do you use anything like Rogaine (Minoxidil)

    My hair has now been shedding badly for about four days. I had a shower this morning and it's still dropping out now only my laptop as I type. Major panic attack ensued as its gotten really thin at the front now! Literally getting so fed up. I thought i was seeing regrowth but I cant be sure now. Alot of the shorter hairs are coming out too :mad: which just devastated me.

    Its so thin and wispy today - its bizarre as some days the texture feels a bit thicker and other days its like air thin.

    I am probably obsessing about things far too much but i've heard TE can trigger Androgenic Alopecia and that's what I'm scared is happening to me. All my hormones are fine though - how did your derm diagnose it in you? I'm already on the Yasmin contraceptive pill, which has an androgen blocker in it.

    I've been shedding now coming up to a full five months. I thought I'd turned a corner last week but its just coming out all over the place.

    I dont know whether to go to a different doctors surgery now or fork out £150 for another dermatology appointment.

    I had milder TE about 3 years ago. I've thought about similarities and both times I was going through a stressful period and before the shed I had one of those Brazilian blowout treatments. I also had one in October last year and now i'm beginning to wonder if thats the cause of my shed.....
  3. lorilei

    lorilei New Member

    Hi LM. I am using Minoxidil. The dermatologist said to use the 5% (men's strength). I have suffered from TE for about ten years now. My life is VERY stressful! I didn't know that it could trigger Androgenic Alopecia, though. I know that hair loss is genetic. My mother went through the same thing. She never did anything about it, though. The Spironolactone wouldn't be for you since you are still in your child-bearing years, but maybe the Finasteride would. It is an oral DHT blocker. From what I have read, that is really important.

    Hair loss in women in the most devastating thing that can happen! People don't really understand that; unless, of course, it happens to them! It causes extreme anxiety and depression! I broke down, and got a prescription for Xanax just to help me through these panic attacks! I get them, too. Especially when I take a shower. So I really understand how you feel!

    My dermatologist looked at my hair, and my scalp. She asked me questions about my health, med's I take, lifestyle, etc. Then she did a pull test. I got some blood work done, but haven't gotten it back. My guess is that things will be in the normal range. I don't have any other symptoms.

    I think we have to do everything we can, medically. Then I really believe we have to find a way to control our stress levels. It's a vicious cycle, though. Having said that, my hair is falling out, too, as I'm typing this!

    Let's keep trying! Let's don't give up! Keep me informed of your progress:)
  4. lorilei

    lorilei New Member

    Oh, and by the way, I think the Brazilian Blowout definitely contributed to the problem. I have not read anything good about those treatments. They use formaldehyde in one of the products. Just a thought:)
  5. LM_83

    LM_83 Member

    Thanks so much for taking the time to post all the information you did :)

    I guess I'm just going to have to play the waiting game a bit with mine. I've got some short hairs sticking up along my Patton now, only a few but I'm hoping it's regrowth.

    I've found a very old pic of me last time I think I had this and I definitely had it lightly after I gave birth to my daughter. I have no family history of hairloss apart from my grandad who was bald with a tiny combover bless him!

    My boyfriend didn't really understand until he had to help me put the headlice treatment in and nit combed my hair and he was mortified about the amount of hair he was pulling out. He kept apologising but I said l him how normal it was and if he could now understand why I'm so consumed by it at the moment. He's promised me he will tell me truthfully if he thinks it's become severely noticeable. He often used to play with my hair and said it's loss all it's thickness.

    I'm increasing my Biotin to the 1000 dose and I've started high strength zinc too. I find alcohol definitely doesn't help me, whether it's my mood or the loss. I've cut out midweek drinking but if I have a couple of glasses of wine over the weekend it's horrible the next day. Lots of shedding and the hair appears thinner.
  6. LM_83

    LM_83 Member

    And let me know how you are getting on, hopefully this new treatment will boost you :). X
  7. lorilei

    lorilei New Member

    Hi LM. Actually it's the finasteride you would have to watch; not the aldactone. Sorry! I am going to increase my zinc, too. I read that is supposed to help. I'm sure the head lice was just the icing on the cake for you! I'm so sorry. It's interesting that you mentioned alcohol, because I am also trying to completely cut it out of my life. I have problems in that area anyway:(. But my hubby has been telling me the awful things it does to one's hair. I really didn't believe him, but I do now! My hair is SO thin I stay depressed most of the time. I am definitely going to cut out alcohol now, though! It will be hard, but it's not worth it anymore. Maybe that will help (most definitely with my mood. lol!)

    Keep me updated on your progress. And thank you for replying to my posts; it helps SO much!:)
  8. LM_83

    LM_83 Member

    Hey Lorilei
    How have you been today? I am having a nightmare shed. Ever since my doc prescribed the shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis (T-gel and betnovate scalp application 1%) my hair has been shedding like mad. Washed it yesterday morning - MASSIVE SHED. Washed it tonight - massive shed. About 20 strands came out in one pull :eek:

    I've uploaded a pic of the top of my head in January. Ironically that area doesnt seem as bad anymore but now its gotten terribly thin right at the front - right where i cant hide it. It just kind of hangs all stringily around my face. I'm toying with getting my hair (below shoulders) cut to at least above to see if it injects some life into it.

    The drinking thing is really starting to play on my mind. I'm not a binge drinker or anything like that but, and particularly over the festive period, slipped into the 2 or 3 glasses of wine per night - everynight. No break at all.

    I think it definitely has an effect. I've read somewhere that alcohol consumption can raise oestrogen and lower zinc. I've pretty much stopped drinking apart from weekends but I've now tried to cut it out on Sundays too, so limit it to Saturdays and Fridays. My family have a terrible history of alcoholism and my Uncle literally drank himself to death.

    I've just started taking high strength zinc, upped my biotin, still taking the Florisine, high strength vitamin C and high strength Evening Oil of Primrose. I'm hoping these give me a little boost.

    I've also booked my blood test for May to re test my Thyroid but May feels like forever and a day away given my current situation.

    Attached Files:

  9. lorilei

    lorilei New Member

    Hi LM_83. I have had a very difficult day today. Very bad shed day. About to get in the shower, so I'm having much anxiety about that:(

    Based on the picture you uploaded, getting your hair cut to just above shoulder length would probably make you feel better. However, it's not as bad as mine (LOL!).

    It is again interesting that you mention the alcohol connection. I also have a family history of alcoholism. I did go on a binge this weekend, which could account for my bad shed day today. It's such a "double-edged sword"! So, good luck with tapering alcohol consumption:)

    My blood work came back this afternoon. Everything, including ferritin, is within normal range. My thyroid tests...everything is within normal range. So...I don't know.

    I've never heard of Florisine, but just did a little research on it. Since I don't have low iron levels, I'm not sure if I should try it. Do you know anything about that? I just upped my zinc, too. I'm hopeful combining zinc, vitamin C, with DHT blocker AND quitting alcohol, to see improvement.

    Keep me posted on your progress. All the best to you:)
  10. LM_83

    LM_83 Member

    Hey :)

    When you say your Ferritin is normal do you know what it is? I think medically Ferritin can be as low as 2 but for optimum hair regrowth it needs to be above 80.

    Good luck with your shower! I feel your pain! I used to love a nice soak in the bath but now it's a case if psyching myself up to dunk my head lol!

    Shed days officially suck!! Hopefully both of ours will ease up soon.

    Florisine is good to raise Ferritin but it's a supplement with Biotin and other vitamins that promote healthy hair growth. If your ferritin is 80 or close to that range one a day might be sufficient. To raise Ferritin you take 3 a day for the first six months I think.

    I had mild TE about 3 years ago which I think was from the first Brazilian blowout and I saw a trichologist. She recommended these to me.

    I was an avid gym bunny until last november too, I got a touch of depression and just couldn't motivate myself to go, I'm keen to kick start my fitness again now as I think it will help and I can't wait to get to a yoga class!

    Alcohol is going to be hard. My partner likes a drink but I'm quite pleased so far I'm not joining in. I thought if it was in the house and in front of me I'd cave but so far so good! :) I've always noticed my skin dries out terribly on a hangover after a heavy night. When I wake up the next morning my body is top to toe dry and flakey, almost scales. I know that's not a nice description but it's shocking what it does.

    My dermatologist also told me it sound cliche but sleep is one of the best natural healers and for me to try and get at least 8 hours a night where possible as that's when it's body does it's 'healing'.

    You mentioned meditation before in a previous post I think! Do you find that helpful? X
  11. lorilei

    lorilei New Member


    I don't know the levels yet. The dermatologist is going to mail my blood work to me, so I will let you know when I get it back. That's quite a range, though! I'll be interested in the levels, so thank you for that information.

    I am going to order the Florisine. Hopefully that will boost things along.

    Like you, I used to work out almost daily. I ran 3 to 5 miles a day. I think when the depression set in, it kinda knocked me down a bit. It's encouraging to hear you are going to re-start your program. I am going to try very hard to re-start mine:) And yes, meditation helps tremendously with my depression/anxiety. I definitely have less shed days when I regularly engage in such activity. I'm also going to start something called Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy with a therapist who accepts my insurance. I'm trying anything and everything! We just CANNOT give up and let this beat us! All my best to you:)
  12. LM_83

    LM_83 Member

    Hi Lorilei

    Hope you're well! I have CBT it's tough going sometimes but it definitely helps. My therapist is a tough talker hehe but she's talking me out of checking for hairs and counting etc and tackling my safety behavior (wearing hats not going out) it's definitely worth it!

    I'm joining a gym tomorrow eek! Going to give this a good bash for Summer!

    Good luck with the Florisene hope it has some effect.

    I'm going for a haircut later first one since this all started sooooo nervous! I think the salon think I'm a bit mental as when I booked I was whittering on about being gentle, no rough shampooing or brushing haha!
  13. lorilei

    lorilei New Member

    Hi LM,

    I am so glad to hear you are doing better! I have been wondering about your "hair days". My hair loss is slowing down a bit, so that's good news. Just waiting for some new growth. I start my CBT today. I am a little nervous.

    Awesome you are joining a gym tomorrow! Keep me posted on your progress. I have been getting out and walking for 30-45 minutes a day this week. It has definitely helped my mood. I have decided I am NOT going to hide at home, and let this beat me down anymore!:)

    I am also going for a haircut next week (lol!) I am going to get it cut very, very short so the thinning isn't so noticeable. It's my first one, too, in several years. I had been growing out my hair for some years whenever this horrible "hair" debacle hit.

    Let me know how you like your new haircut! And let the salon think what they want...if it had happened to them, they would totally understand (lol)!

    All the best to you:)
  14. LM_83

    LM_83 Member

    Hey again :)

    Well it was a bit traumatic, i nearly bailed on it and there were tears in the chair so they moved me to the back of the salon.

    She could identify some very very thin patches but no complete bald spots.

    It came out so much though :( I asked the hairdresser to be gentle while she was shampooing but she handed me over to the junior who literally pulled my scalp to pieces

    Ive had about three inches off the length as it was beginning to look like rats tails but now its too short to put up :mad: although I do have the weekend to adjust!

    Good luck with your trip to the salon! Hope it goes ok - let me know about your new cut!

    Im not gymming tomorrow :( my daughters father has been admitted to hospital so I'm looking after her this weekend. She usually goes off on a Saturday night. This is the fourth weekend he hasnt had her but this time it's legitimate.

    I'm getting worried as i'm approaching the four month mark now for shedding. Ive been reading more and more that shedding should subside after three so I'm so confused at the moment, my scalp is still really sore too. I think today is a LOW day! xxx
  15. lorilei

    lorilei New Member

    I'm so sorry you had a bad experience at the salon. People really do NOT understand how traumatic hair loss for women can be! One would think that in today's society where so many differences and problems exist, that experiencing hair loss wouldn't be so hard for people to understand (ugh!!)! Anyway, I know exactly what you mean about "rat's tails". That describes my hair perfectly:(. I had a panic attack on the way to my new therapist because of the amount of scalp showing; and I can't hide it anymore. It's very distressing.

    I will let you know how my salon experience goes. I'm set to go next week. I'm quite nervous, to say the least.

    I hope you are able to go to the gym soon. Maybe you and your daughter could go on a long walk or something. I don't know how the weather is there, but it might take your mind off things for a bit:).

    As far as the three month shedding, I don't think that is realistic. I've read that too, but I've been going through this since last Oct/Nov, and it's just now slowing down. My hair literally FELL out! It just combed right out of my head! It still shed's, but at least it isn't coming out in my hands! So, my experience tells me it's longer than what they say. I think more realistically is around six months with another six to nine months to really see any new growth. (Unfortunately, patience has never been one of my virtues.)

    I hope tomorrow is a better day for you; and me, too, for that matter. All the best to you and your daughter this weekend:)
  16. twinmom

    twinmom Member

    hi lorilea and lm..
    ive been reading your posts and i really can relate! my sheddings been nonstop since last spring so the three month thing isnt for all situations. id thought it was my ferritin level 9 back in sept but it was 32 in dec and im still shedding. my hair texture has changed too. some days i have hope others i resign to mourning the loss of my hair and possibly wearing wigs soon. its been one of the most tramautic things ive ever been through. its affected every area of my life. i hate how its made me feel a prisoner with little control. i just wish i could find my solution to this problem. its helped reading your posts so i dont feel so alone.
  17. twinmom

    twinmom Member

    i meant to ask with your shed hairs do they all have white bulbs on the ends? every hair i lose has the bulb none is from breakage which i wish was the case.
  18. lorilei

    lorilei New Member

    Hi twinmom,

    I am happy that our posts have been helping you not feel so alone, because you're not! It truly is one of the MOST traumatic things a woman can go through! The emotions you speak about - things like mourning, prisoner, no control, resonate loudly with me! It truly affects every area of a woman's life.

    I don't think anyone really knows a solution. Maybe because the problem of hair loss in women are so vastly different from one woman to another. All the doctors say the same thing. My blood work comes back with everything measuring within the 'normal' range. But what might be 'normal' for me is not 'normal' for someone else. People are all so individual. Maybe that's why the doctor's don't have a solution. The best thing I have found so far, is diet, exercise, and (next week) a VERY short haircut:) I am doing all the right things. I finally have to accept that I have experienced a huge loss; go ahead and mourn that loss, and try to move on the best way that I can! Perhaps in being able to do just that, I will calm down just long enough for a little hair re-growth(LOL!).

    I hope your day is better tomorrow, and things start turning around soon:)
  19. lorilei

    lorilei New Member

    My shed hairs are both. They are from breakage, and from the bulb.
  20. LM_83

    LM_83 Member

    Hi Lorilei and Twinmom

    it's comforting having people to talk to about this, this site is a blessing for that.

    Twinmom all my hairs have the white bulb on the end. I'm 31 and this has been happening since late November for me.

    In January I was on the ceiling about this, so wound up and I'm worried now I've triggered a secondary shed. My shedding seemed to ease but for the past fortnight its been coming out in handfuls.

    I had my haircut yesterday up to above my shoulders which has made me a little uneasy today as it still just hangs all limp and lifeless. I have what appears to be about 5 or 6 cm regrowth but only VERY minimal and nothing else.

    The hairdresser noticed some really thin patches and couldnt see any regrowth.

    I'm 31 and i'm terrified that this has triggered early onset AGA. I have been told to wait out the 6 month period and then I can have a biopsy, which will be early june time.

    I also have the signs of an underactive thyroid but i'm having blood tests again in May to confirm.

    I think i've given my hair a bit of a beasting really over the past 6 months. I also realised I came off my birth control last September as we were going to try for a baby but changed our minds so I went back on in November. That along with an incredibly stressful summer and a stupid Keratin Blowout I think I've given myself three potential triggers for TE.

    Some days are much harder than others. I have a six year old girl and sometimes I find the weekends difficult to cast my worries aside and carry on as normal for her. I feel so selfish on days when I can't focus or concentrate. I feel like when I go out everyone is staring at me. The CBT is helping a bit with that as my therapist is trying to bring out my 'So what?' attitude. So what if they are staring, so what if the hair is falling out etc. But i think that I have a little way to go yet.

    Hope both you ladies are ok. I'm going to look into the Nanogen fibres today to see if they make a difference to the thinning patches. xx