This is my first time posting to the forum. Today has been quite hard to handle. Im going to purge my story:
I started noticing significant hair loss a little over a month ago. I have vert thick, curly, dark hair and in between haircuts I would use sheering scissors in order to keep the bulk down. And so it began, a little over a month ago I used the sheering scissors and assumed for the following week the hair that was shedding was from the scissors.
I began to realize that a significant amount of time had passed and that surely the amount of hair I was losing was most definitely not from any at-home haircut. The hair loss went on until I frantically went to the doctor roughly 10 days ago, after noticing a few circular bald patches on the crown of my head. Thankfully, I was able to make and get an appointment that day, after forcing my husband to call for me because I was in blubbering tears for most of the afternoon.
The doctor was very non-emotional, basically telling me that yes, I do have alopecia but there isn't much I can do besides send away for some bloodwork to see if the hair loss is related to an underlying condition. I believe that I may have a thyroid condition, however I must wait to have this confirmed by my blood tests.
Unfortunately, I am in the UK and with the free health care system it takes longer than in the US. I have to wait 10 days until my bloodwork comes back. Even then, if it is an underlying condition and I am able to be treated for said condition, I will still have lost a significant amount of hair and continue to every day. I also will not be able to obtain an appointment with a specialists or dermatologist for at least another 3-4 weeks, which seems like an eternity.
Has anyone else experienced this? I am sure you all have,obviously. Am I experiencing Alopecia due to an overload of stress I am under? I am currently writing my dissertation, trying to find employment, attempting to make sure I can secure my place here in the UK (as I am an international student)in order to provide an opportunity for my husband to receive health care coverage since he is Type 1 Diabetic (if we go back to the US we have no insurance coverage, which is crucial for his wellbeing), and my mother is in the US battling cancer. It is an uphill battle.
I luckily can still hide my bald patches with my hair, but I found more spots today and it is just making me feel so defeated. I am afraid that as I find more spots and lose more hair, they will eventually merge together and I will start experiencing hair loss in areas on my head I can not conceal any more. I am just starting my career, in a very forward facing, customer relations field and I can't imagine being able to be successful in my work endeavors and confident in myself in either a personal or professional setting.
I just want it to stop falling out. I feel that I have no control over this condition and it may be one of the hardest things I have had to mentally overcome. I am attempting to be obsessively delicate with my hair: I only wash it two-three times a week with baby shampoo, only comb it when I get out of the shower, wear it up constantly, started taking silica vitamins, and have began to rub lavender oil on it three times a week.
If you have any words of wisdom, suggestions on 'home-remedies', similar stories, or really anything at all I would great appreciate it. If there are any treatments that I should speak with my doctor about that you would recommend that would be wonderful as well. I have a follow-up appointment next Wednesday (Aug 7).
could this be all related to the trich? If so, it maybe something you can control. I understand what you are going through, this is so emotional. Use your essential oils for the emotional healing aspect of this. Hopefully it is all related to your trich and you can overcome this. I presume when you say trich, it is the hair pulling habit correct?
Thank you for your response. When I say trich I do mean the hair pulling habit, I wish it was related to the trich- but unfortunately (and fortunately) although I do pull my hair, I have managed it to an extent so that it hasn't ever gotten to the point where I have pulled so much in one area I have baldness. I also don't usually 'pull' in the areas I have recently developed the bald patches. :(
Thank you for the suggestion though. I may ask my doctor at my next appointment if it could in any way be related. I know that a lot of people actually experience the opposite- starting with AA and then developing trich by pulling the new hair growth.
When you see your derm ask about spironolactone as a treatment, check hormones, thyroid disease, are you on birth control or any other prescription meds. I would recommend being very proactive with this. I do use saw palmetto (for increased testosterone) biotin, and mostly Doterra essential oils. If you have any itching on your scalp you may need a scalp biopsy. I like my naturopath better than MD's. They suggested a hair sample analysis, which I am getting ready to do. It is all so confusing. I had 4 different diagnosis. You have to be your own advocate with this. Let me know what they say. God Bless and I hope you get some answers tomorrow.
Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate all of your helpful advise and suggestions. Unfortunately, I am in the UK at the moment studying (I am American) and the NHS system takes much longer to refer you to dermatologists (up to 4 weeks). If I am to go see a private clinic dermatologist, I can get in right away but the consultation fee alone is the equivalent of $250. Free healthcare is amazing until you start losing your hair :)
I have received the results that my thyroid and CBC (complete blood count) tests- which were both normal. Still waiting on an autoimmune test to come back. I am going to also ask today if I can be tested for lupus as well as seeing if I am gluten intolerant, as I have other symptoms similar to those with lupus. My scalp has been itching- which is good to know that I need to speak with my Doctor about that. I also am not on birth control or any other medications, however I did attempt to take birth control earlier this year for about two months- but it was making me feel insane and uncontrollably emotional, so I stopped it. I wonder if it is a connection with hormones.
I'll keep you posted and you should as well with your hair sample analysis. Best of luck to you!
My name is Kristy and I too started losing my hair about 6 months ago. My heart goes out to as I have had all the same feelings as you. I first noticed a bald patch on the top of my head this past March. I FREAKED OUT!!!! Went to see my family dr. She first thought it was a fungal infection, gave me a prescription shampoo and said if it didn't work, to see a dermatologist. I saw a dermatologist in April and he told me that I have AA. This type of alopecia causes bald patches. I could NOT believe it!!! I'm not really sure how I felt...scared, worried, unbelief, and just knew I was going to lose it all. I'm still not sure if I will or not and I think daily about the idea of checking into a wig. In May, my gyno checked my thyroid and the test came back normal. I was still losing a ton of hair. In June, my family dr. checked my thyroid again and it was NOT normal. My hair is not near as thick as it used to be and I feel so hopeless at times. In July, my thyroid tested normal and I am STILL losing lots of hair. My endocrinologist said that this is normal when the thyroid hormone goes back to normal. He said I could lose hair for the next 3-6 months. I am praying every day that it doesn't take that long. My dermatologist gave me a steroid shot in the hip and also prescribed a steroid foam for me to apply to the area 2 times a day. I have new hair growth there and so far I have not noticed any more patches, but I have the daily ALL OVER thinning that really concerns me. I am trying very hard to come to terms with the fact that one day I could be bald, but it is VERY hard. I have good days and bad! I was told that stress can bring on the AA, but it is very hard NOT to stress when your hair is falling out. Pray and try to find peace through prayer and meditation. I have learned that it is completely out of my control and am working on trusting the Lord because that is ALL I have. I have NO control of any of it, but it is still difficult. I really hope this helps you. You are welcome to message me any time.
Kristy, you are absolutely right about finding peace through the Lord. One thing my alopecia did is brought me closer to the lord. We have to put this in perspective. Don't let HL control your life, although its hard not to think about. Just call His name and ask for help. There are millions of people that go through this. Look at all the bald men, we were not aware of how many women this affects until it happens to ourselves. I hope your treatments help you. I wish you PEACE and God Bless! A book that helps me is called Jesus Calling. It's a daily devotional with scriptures. Some days it just fits perfectly with what I'm feeling.
I know this is very difficult and I have felt all the things you have as well. Please try to do stress reduction try meditation and learning to let go let God:) Also try going on a gluten free diet and eat more fresh fruits and vegs. I believe your diet is very important if you eat healthy this may bring your hair back.
When I had my first experience and lost most of my hair it did come back... and afterwards I just had small patches but 3 years ago I was under a lot of stress and I think hormones may have played a part but I lost all my body hair and it has not came back but when I did a diet without gluten and processed foods and fresh fruits and vegs. it started to come back... but then I was under a lot of stress again and it all fell out. So I'm working on a life with less stress and eating a lot healthier and hoping that will work... we can always have hope!!! Hang in there and know you are not alone.
Thank you for all of your replies and kind words. I am still going through blood tests to see if it is related to anything else, however I am still experiencing quite a bit of thinning. I believe I have lost about 30% of my hair over the past 2 months. I have started a gluten free diet and I at least feel better! Im not sure if it will help my hair any but there is no hurt in trying.
Again, thank you all for your kind words. It has been a wonderful advantage of AA to meet all of you lovely people.
I have ophiasis pattern. How long did you take the methotrexate. I was offered that but was scared of it. Did you have any side effects? Did they do injections all along the ophiasis pattern? How often did you do that? How long before your hair started growing back?
Could you see your hair follicles on the bald area? I'm wondering if I should go for the methotrexate. They tried one set of shots and that was it. I'm afraid my follicles are scarred, that is why I wonder if you could see your follicles while you were going through this?
I'm sorry this has happened to you. When I had the alopecia spots and went to the dermatologist, he gave me cortisone injections in the spots. It hurts but it works. If you can find it over the counter, try MEN'S ROGAINE - women's isn't strong enough. Try that n the spots. THe underlying condition the Dr is probably looking for is thyroid. That's what I was always told - it's stress or thyroid. This is a wake up call for you to try to dial it back and remember to take time for yourself to have some relaxation. Other than that, and as upsetting as it is, "it's just hair loss". It's not diabetes, its not cancer, etc. Keep yourself and your immune system as healthy as you can.
I tried to edit and add more but I'm not too techno savvy. Anyway, I had a blood test from my MD for food allergies because my employer requires flu shots this year. I have a high allergy number for peanuts (which I knew), wheat, cow's milk, egg whites and shrimp. I've cut out wheat and dairy (I've done some cheating) and my SKIN is the best it's been in years. I get eczema at times and it's all gone. I'll reintroduce one of them in a couple months and see what happens. Re: the scalp itching - that was always my first clue that my hair was going to fall out in that spot. I think it's the follicles letting go of the hair. Hugs to you.