new to all of this

Discussion in 'Looking For Advice (my story)' started by gtrgirl, May 20, 2009.

  1. gtrgirl

    gtrgirl New Member

    I everyone. I'm brand new to this forum and to women's hair loss. It really threw me off guard at first, but I think I'm finally starting to find my stride.

    I noticed my hair starting to fall out in excess about a month ago. I went to a dermatologist who diagnosed me as having alopecia. He said that my hair would grow back, but that it would be complicated because of the suddenness and extensiveness of my hair loss. He actually described it as "containing a wildfire". Apparently my thyroid and iron tests came back normal. I was glad to hear that news, but it didn't give me any more answers as to why this happened.

    I am being treated with cortisone injections. They are really painful and my head itches all the time, but if they help, I'm willing to go through it. I'm also seeing a nutritionist next week. I've also started taking yoga classes and meditating to manage stress. I figure because this is such an unpredictable disease, I should battle it on all fronts.

    I think that stress was the trigger for this disease. Six months ago I moved to San Francisco with my fiance, started graduate school, broke up with my fiance and had to move during finals week. Hopefully, now that my life is more settled, my body will be able to settle down a bit too.

    I currently have patches starting at my temples and going around above my ears. There are huge patches in the back of my head as well. A small patch has also started in the center of my head, just above my forhead. The good thing is that so far, the top of my head is not effected so much, and as long as I don't stand in the wind, no one can notice my alopecia. Oddly enough, I find this frustrating in itself. I wonder if it is just a matter of time before it does show. I hate seeing my hair fall out and am seriosly considering shaving my head.

    So, the one question I do have is about regrowth. My hair does seem to be growing back. The patches are not completely smooth. They have both little hairs sort of spaced out, as well as longer stubborn hairs that are holding on for dear life. At the same time, my hair is constantly shedding. Is this normal?

    My other question is that the doctor insists that this is not caused by anything hormonal. However, when I was going through the breakup with my fiance, I had two week long menstral cycles. I wonder if this is connected to the hair loss that I am experiencing now?

    I guess that's it. Sorry this post is so long, but this is all so new to me. I'm just so glad I found this website and don't have to be alone in this.
    Angela likes this.
  2. Angela

    Angela Moderator

    I'm sorry to hear you are going through all this, but glad that you have joined us. Unfortunately there is no easy answer to why hair loss happens and the unpredictable nature of it can leave us feeling totally clueless and out of control. Each woman is different in their alopecia so its hard to determine when and how it will fall out or grow back. Its frustrating.
    There have been some mild successes with cortisone injections, but they were short term and had to be continued in order for the hair to stay. After a while, most people (men and women) end up giving up on the injections because of the pain. Another woman on the Network with Alopecia Areata did use Rogaine and was able to successfully grow her hair back in a large round spot on her head. She also reported to have increased shedding during her period and felt that it had something to do with her hair loss.

    Hair can also go into remission for a time and fully grow back. It takes us on an emotional rollercoaster, that's for sure.
  3. happytobeme

    happytobeme New Member

    Me 2!

    I am new to all of this too! I had very similar symptoms. Large patches on the sides and back of the head and no way to part my hair because of losing so much. I lost such a significant amount that I shaved it off. Has your doctor talked to about telegon effluvium? It can be triggered by a large amount of stress and you said that you noticed regrowth in the areas that you lost hair which is typical of TE. Maybe your menstrual cycles were off because of your stress levels? I don't know. I just wanted to throw that idea out there to you and let you know I can truly empathize.
  4. gtrgirl

    gtrgirl New Member

    Hey, thanks so much to everyone for being so supportive. I can't tell you how good it feels to know that I'm not the only person dealing with this. It sort of normalizes the whole thing. I hadn't heard of TE, but I'm seeing my doctor next week so I will definitely ask him about it. I've started compiling a list of questions to ask him.

    I've been thinking more and more about shaving my head. Did you get a wig or did you just rock the shaved head look? The more I think about it, the more I feel it could be really liberating.
  5. Angela

    Angela Moderator

    For me, it took a long time to get to the point where I could go out bald. Once I did, however, it was the best thing I ever did. I wore a wig and no one could ever convince me I looked good bald. I had to really look at my features and realize my own beauty before I could go out bald.
    If you feel you would like to shave it all off and go out bald, go for it. If you are unsure, you can always get a wig first, so that when you do shave it off, you have the option of wearing hair.
    Head wraps are nice too. :D