My Hair Loss Story

Discussion in 'Looking For Advice (my story)' started by tooslick, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. tooslick

    tooslick New Member

    Sorry this is a bit long...I do have a few questions, if you want to skip to the end. :) But I hope that some of you can relate to my story...

    I think I first noticed my thinning hair around 1993, when I was only 15 years old. I was on a youth group retreat to Colorado. One of the days we got to go to a giant water park. They warned us to use a lot of sun screen, especially since we were in higher elevations than normal. At the end of the day, something I didn’t expect to be sunburnt was my scalp along my part! I didn’t think too much of it. I have super dark hair (almost black, I’m 1/4 Chippewa). And I thought that my dark hair attracting the heat, and also being wet most of the day somehow caused my scalp to burn. It wasn’t long after this that I started to notice my part was wider than my friends’. However, again I didn’t worry too much about it because I again attributed that to my super dark hair, that it just stood out more than others.

    Over the next couple years it because more and more apparent that I did have a problem. I remember one moment specifically when my dad actually said something to me one day while I was laying on the couch watching TV. That’s when I kinda freaked out and started taking more notice myself. I was probably 19 or 20 by that time. I was in college and living at home over the summer. I made my mom take me to the doctor. They referred me to a dermatologist who took a biopsy of my scalp and determined it was female pattern baldness. I was pretty mortified. I didn’t really know this could happen to women. ALL of the men in my family on both sides are all balding. No exceptions. I thought that was just a normal part of life for guys...but never girls. I was quite embarrassed, thinking there must be something wrong with my womanhood. I did remember my mom’s grandma, who was very old when I knew her before she passed away, was completely bald on top. I just thought that was because she was soooo old. Anyway, they told me to start using topical Women’s Rogaine and shampoo with Nizoral for a while because she noticed I had a bit of a dry scalp as well. This gave me a glimmer of hope. I did this and used the Rogaine religiously for the next 11 years.

    Fast forward that 11 years. By now I had grown somewhat comfortable with how my hair looked. It never got better from when I was 20 and started using Rogaine, but it never got any worse either. I had made it well past the irritated, itchy scalp phase and didn’t really even think about my twice a day Rogaine ritual. The only time I thought about it was when I had to shell out the $20 + a month at the store. One of my best friends and co-workers also has thinning hair. We talked about it once. She told me it thinned out when she was younger then stopped. She never went to the doctor or tried any treatments. She was comfortable with it and I kind of took the same attitude. I started thinking, I am paying $20 a month, she is not. We had the same basic issue and hers is not getting any worse. What if I am just wasting this money for no good reason? Maybe the Rogaine has done nothing for me, it certainly didn’t promote any new growth so far as I could tell. I figured if it hadn’t done that after 11 years, it wasn’t going to.

    I didn’t really put much more thought into it than that when I stopped using Rogaine in February of this year. By the end of April my hair had grown really long and I was well overdue for a haircut. I was noticing a lot more shedding in the shower, but I only thought that was because my hair was so long that I noticed it more. I made a hair appointment. After styling my new do I noticed it looked a lot thinner up top. Also, the shedding just kept getting more and more noticeable. I started to freak out. I think I did the stupidest thing I could have ever done when I stopped using Rogaine!! So maybe it didn’t help me with new growth, but now it is blatantly obvious that it did help me to keep what I had! Now it was all falling out. It has got to the point where I can’t even hide the thinning areas.

    I was too scared to just start using it again because I remembered the initial shedding phase and at this point I felt I have no hair to sacrifice to a shedding phase! I had a breakdown about it to my friend and she suggested I make a Dr. appointment. I did, and the next day I was at the Dr. telling them my whole story. She said I had a couple choices. 1# just start using the Rogaine again. 2# go through all the blood work and get a backup diagnosis to the one I had back when I was 20. I decided since I was there I may as well do that. My blood work came back normal. She told me about a product that has so far changed my life, Toppik. She also told me to start taking a Biotin supplement and referred me to a dermatologist. The dermatologist listened to my story, did the hair pull test, examined my scalp and determined that the first diagnosis was accurate. She told me to go ahead and try Men’s Rogaine and also put me on Spiro, once a day, 50mg. (I have to go back in a couple weeks to have blood work to make sure it’s not doing anything crazy to me.)

    So that’s where I am at now. I have been using the Women’s Rogaine for now because I still had a couple of bottles left from when I had stopped back in February. I started it back up this past Monday. I haven’t noticed any more shedding than normal, which is good, and now it already seems to be slowing down some. Thankfully the place I work is pretty casual and I wear hats a lot. On the days I don’t wear a hat I use Toppik like it’s going out of style. My scalp has been pretty itchy (and it’s funny when you scratch your scalp and you forget that you have Toppik on...). I went ahead and also put myself back on the Nizoral regimen.

    When my Women’s Rogaine runs out I am going to switch to Men’s. This Foam wasn’t out back when I first started. Do you all recommend the Foam over the regular stuff? I was wonder how well that works for Women as our problem areas tend to be spread out all over whereas Men can usually just focus their application on one specific area. Does the foam work just as well for spreading covered over a large area??

    Also, I have thought many times of seeing a hair transplant surgeon. I think I might be a good candidate as the hair on the back of my head is still pretty thick. Are there any in the Nashville area that anyone could recommend seeing. Has anyone here had good success with that procedure? What other options should I look into?

  2. shortie

    shortie New Member

    I've used both the regular liquid rogaine and the foam, and prefer the regular, since you can get it directly onto your scalp and not have to rub it through your hair. It's very drying, being mostly alcohol, so it doesn't do great things for the hair it gets on. Maybe the foam is better for men because they tend to have shorter heir? My 2 cents worth, stick with the liquid.
  3. tooslick

    tooslick New Member

    Thanks for the advice! Sounds good to me, it's what I am used to after all these years anyway. It seems quick and easy to apply and I don't usually have the trouble of it running down my face as I have heard some people complain about. Also, then I won't have to worry about not getting full coverage.
  4. shortie

    shortie New Member

    Also, the regular is available as a generic, which is a lot less expensive. The foam is only brand name.