? for those that have experienced female hair loss

  1. Let me first say that I am not looking for a diagnosis, just advice.

    I have been experiencing hair loss for at least 5 years. More severe the last 2. I am not balding (yet) but I loose quite a few strands every day. When I take a shower my hands are filled with hair strands and when I get out there are quite a few on my shoulders. As you can imagine, may hair brish is full of hair.

    I have had the doctor test me for low metabolism and that was not the reason. I had heard from another doctor that I may produce too much male hormone (I am a female by the way) because I also have a problem with lower facial acne. When I went in for my yearly exam my doctor put me on the birth control pill so that I can get more female hormones into my body but I am still loosing hair (and getting the acne).

    Has anyone out there experienced this? I have already tried the famale rogaine and I swear that made it worse. Any suggestion on maybe some herbal remedies or certain vitamins that have helped any of you with this issue? Thanks.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Jessy_RN
    I can relate. Actually there are many balding women in my family including my mother who is in her late 40's (very young).

    I have always had thinning hair and falls out like crazy. A few years ago the doctor suggested I wash my hair with baby shampoo for 6 months and use no hair dyes, spray, mousse etc. He also suggested I go on the pill (which I did) to regulate my hormones. I only washed my hair 3 times per week or every other day let me add.

    I saw significant improvement. While I have never had a head full of hair, I did notice that my hair did not fall out when I showered and brushed it.
    I have very curly hair and thankfully have lots of volume to it, so the problem has been solved for me.

    Let me add that I went off the pill a few months ago and the falling is starting again. (Contemplating whether to resume them at the moment or not). The doctor also recommended an OTC hair and nails multivitamin which has been helping me out as well.

    If you would like to talk about this feel free to PM.

    Jessica
  4. by   Daytonite
    Over the last few years I've had a real noticeable "thinning" of hair and I'm only 55! It's not talked about a lot, but women are subject to the effects of balding though not as extensively as men. Did I misunderstand that you brush you hair while it is wet after showering? If so, you have to stop doing that. Hair brushes will rip out tangled wet hair never for it to return again! If your hair is long, you comb the tangles out after showering by starting at the bottom and carefully working the tangles out bit by bit as you work toward the scalp--you minimize the pulling out of hair strands that way. Certain vitamin deficiencies can also cause hair loss. That aside, you just have to hide it by adding hairpieces or rearranging your hair to hide the thinning areas. You could also go for a wig or a hat. Some of the newer ones are really nice. My mother underwent chemotherapy last year and was very concerned about the potential hair loss. The American Cancer Society has a catalog they publish with all different kinds of styles of head gear and wigs in it for sale at very reasonable prices. We picked up one of these ACS catalogs at the hospital as well as sent for one. I'm pretty sure you can access this catalog on line through the American Cancer Society web site. Since she was treated at the City of Hope Cancer Center we frequently went shopping in their hat store which is in the lobby of the hospital. They had all kinds of styles of soft hats and head coverings, most designed for women.
  5. by   Gompers
    It might be polycystic ovarian syndrome. It's estimated that 10% of the female population has this disorder, but very few actually KNOW they have it. There aren't always actual cysts involved, sometimes it's just completely metabolic and hormone related. A regular doc might draw labs and think they're fine, but a reproductive endocrinologist will look at the same labs and interpret them differently depending on the patient's size, weight, and whether or not they're on birth control pills.

    Just wondering, because hair loss and acne are two red flags for this syndrome. If you also have trouble losing weight, irregular menstral cycles, and aren't the most fertile woman out there...might be a possibility.

    Besides birth control pills, some endocrinologists also put PCOS patients on Glucophage (to help with the metabolic issues) and Spironolactone (to decrease testosterone).

    Hope it all works out!
  6. by   rn in 3 years
    Quote from Daytonite
    Over the last few years I've had a real noticeable "thinning" of hair and I'm only 55!

    Did I misunderstand that you brush you hair while it is wet after showering?

    I am only 34

    About once a week I blow dry and straighten my hair but the other 6 I leave it curly. On the days I leave it curly I use a pick and only blow dry for about 30 seconds to give it a little more curl.

    While I am not balding yet, I fear that I may be if I can't get this to stop.

    You also mentioned a vitamin deficiency. Do you know which vitamins?
  7. by   rn in 3 years
    Quote from Gompers
    It might be polycystic ovarian syndrome. It's estimated that 10% of the female population has this disorder, but very few actually KNOW they have it. There aren't always actual cysts involved, sometimes it's just completely metabolic and hormone related. A regular doc might draw labs and think they're fine, but a reproductive endocrinologist will look at the same labs and interpret them differently depending on the patient's size, weight, and whether or not they're on birth control pills.

    Just wondering, because hair loss and acne are two red flags for this syndrome. If you also have trouble losing weight, irregular menstral cycles, and aren't the most fertile woman out there...might be a possibility.

    Besides birth control pills, some endocrinologists also put PCOS patients on Glucophage (to help with the metabolic issues) and Spironolactone (to decrease testosterone).

    Hope it all works out!
    Thanks for the info! I do have trouble loosing weight but when my doc did the metabolic tst he actually said it bordered on the high side .

    I usually just have my PCP do my paps. Would a regular GYN be able to look for this also or would I have to go to an endocrinologist? Actually, sorry to sound dumb (just a student still ) but what is an endocronologist? Is it for reproductive issues? I have had my tubes tied for over 12 years so I definately don't need help in that area...LOL.
  8. by   labcat01
    I have PCOS but I have never lost any hair. To answer your questions a regular OB-GYN can look for it if you have the symptoms which would mainly be having few, if any, periods. What were your periods like before you had your tubes tied?
    It might be worth looking into.

    My SIL is sounds just like you (she is loosing her hair dramatically. She's tried chiropractic treatments (it has supposedly helped a lot of people) and now she's going to try switching anitdepressants.
    I really feel for you because I know she is going through a rough time with this. If you find something that works for you please post and let us know!
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    My first thought was PCOS too.

    I have been losing hair for the last two months - just had blood drawn to check my thyroid. So, we shall see.

    But hypo-thyroidism can cause hair loss. And fatigue. And being cold all the time.

    With the acne - I'd go the PCOS route 1st though.

    steph
  10. by   rn in 3 years
    Quote from labcat01
    I have PCOS but I have never lost any hair. To answer your questions a regular OB-GYN can look for it if you have the symptoms which would mainly be having few, if any, periods. What were your periods like before you had your tubes tied?
    It might be worth looking into.

    My SIL is sounds just like you (she is loosing her hair dramatically. She's tried chiropractic treatments (it has supposedly helped a lot of people) and now she's going to try switching anitdepressants.
    I really feel for you because I know she is going through a rough time with this. If you find something that works for you please post and let us know!

    My periods have always been pretty normal, usually 28-32 days.

    You mention your sister was on antidepressants. I have been on anti depressants for about 7 years now. Always low doses as (thankfully) my depression is not that severe. It mostly flares up a week before and the week of my period and I found that it was much better to be on a pill all the time then to deal with that every month. Right now I am on Amitriptyline (sp?) 50 mg. My doc switched me over to that one because I am a cronic insomniac and taking that one right before bed helps me sleep through the night. Can antidepressants cause hair loss?
  11. by   Thunderwolf
    Thread moved from General Nursing Discussion to Break Room.

    Original poster is currently a registered member (not premium)...can read it here, but not post.

    All members interested in contacting member via PM, please do so...in addition to posting here.

    Thank You.
  12. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    I have the exact same problem! My husband teases that he will be married to a toothless, blind, bald old woman.

    I usually do not dry my hair, nor do I wear pony tails. Pony tails will cut your hair up. I put it up in a soft twist so it won't get cut, but it doesn't help.

    I'm wondering if B/C pills will help.

    An endcrinologist would be a MD that specializes in issues involved with the endocrine system...hormones, hormone regulation, lack of hormone release, which includes hormones of the reproductive system.





    Quote from rn in 3 years
    Thanks for the info! I do have trouble loosing weight but when my doc did the metabolic tst he actually said it bordered on the high side .

    I usually just have my PCP do my paps. Would a regular GYN be able to look for this also or would I have to go to an endocrinologist? Actually, sorry to sound dumb (just a student still ) but what is an endocronologist? Is it for reproductive issues? I have had my tubes tied for over 12 years so I definately don't need help in that area...LOL.

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