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20 years old, diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia

Discussion in 'Teens and Twenties Alopecians' started by Angie20, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Angie20

    Angie20 Guest

    Hi everyone,

    My hair story. I feel like I've had hair issues almost my whole life. I remember I didn't like my hair when I was 10 years old. I thought it was too thin and I always wore a headband. I even went through a period when I was 10 years old where I was pulling my hair out on purpose, I guess that's what they call Trichitolimania? But that only lasted 6 months. When I hit puberty in middle school, I noticed that my hair changed. The texture, the way it looked. So, I had a couple of those strong, CHI relaxing, straightening treatments done. I noticed my hair seemed thinner but I was sure it was from the treatments I had done and I blamed myself for ruining my hair. Then, in high school, I felt like my hair was getting really ugly...but I couldn't put my finger on what it was. And my hair only worsened. I would look back on pictures of freshman, sophomore, junior year and my hair was just getting uglier and uglier. I felt like I had something very wrong with me and I told myself "I'm just UGLY." I felt like I was losing a part of myself. Then in college, I saw how tiny my ponytails were and I remember my boyfriend at the time asked me why my hair looked the way it did...that didn't help my self-esteem. I felt so confused for such a long time. Only last May have I decided to talk to my dermatologist about it. (I think I was too afraid to do this when I was a teenager.) I had a scalp biopsy done and it came back as Telogen Effluvium. My blood work came back normal. My hopes were high, I thought I was suffering a severe form of Chronic Telogen Effluvium. But this last December, I visited another dermatologist because I felt like something was just not right with my diagnosis. She took this magnified picture of my scalp with a special camera and she diagnosed me with Androgenetic Alopecia.


    On one side, I am happy I at least have a diagnosis and I don't have to wonder what it is that is wrong with me anymore. But on the other hand, I am completely devastated. I am currently taking Rogaine for women and I may take the pill Spironolactone in the next couple of months. Also, I am going to get extensions for my 21st birthday that is coming up in February. These extensions do not use glue or braiding and are supposed to be non-damaging. But what really scares me is the future... I don't want to lose the rest of my hair/go bald and wear a topper/wig. I feel like I just couldn't/wouldn't accept myself. I think of myself wearing a wig at my wedding?! :( Before I even mention my wedding...I feel like no man would ever want to be with me...a woman with a balding head or with no hair. I can't even accept it myself...

    I am so self-conscious of my hair. I have always held back in social situations because I am so worried that someone will notice my hair or make comments about it. It has really affected my self-esteem... I feel like I would love and accept myself if it weren't for my hair issue.

    I definitely need some support. Thank you so much for reading!

    Angie, 20 <3
     
  2. annageshi

    annageshi Guest

    Hi Angie, I'm sorry to hear that you're suffering with Androgenetic Alopecia. It sucks :( I am 28 now but your story so far sounds quite like mine. I started losing my hair when I was about 15, my mum took me to the doctor when I was 17 and I was actually diagnosed straightaway with Androgenetic Alopecia. I was in denial however and didn't do anything about it properly (just a bit of Regaine on and off) until a year and a half ago. Meanwhile my hair was slowly thinning and getting worse and worse.

    But there is hope :) I started using Regaine (minoxidil) and taking Dianette (oral contraceptive - cyproterone acetate) in June/July 2011 and my hair started to improve by December 2011. By summer last year my hair was looking the best it had since 2007, or even earlier, so I feel like I've basically turned the clock back 5 years on my hair. Since last summer it's kept pretty steady (although there was a bit of a set back when I stopped the Dianette for a few months).

    I know that everyone responds differently to treatment but I just wanted you to know that there is hope :) Meanwhile... there are concealers that can help hide any thinness on top... they improved my confidence massively because I was no longer so worried that people could see my bald scalp. I don't know if this is an encouraging thing to say or not re men/boyfriends/husbands but I'll say it anyway hehe... My (ex) husband stuck with me through my hairloss, it didn't seem to matter to him that my hair was so thin, except for how much it upset me. It was only after my hair was significantly improved that our marriage broke down :O Not a brilliant story I admit but I think it just goes to show that hair is not such an important part of a relationship as we might think. Perhaps it seems super important to us because it's something that we're thinking about all the time.
     
  3. Angie20

    Angie20 Guest


    Annageshi,

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! You give me hope that my condition will get better or at least not worsen for some time. Have you taken the leap to wear a topper/wig? Or do you use concealers like Toppik to help?

    Thanks, Angie
     
  4. annageshi

    annageshi Guest

    Hi Angie, I have never worn a topper or wig, although at my worst I was looking quite seriously into getting a topper. While I was researching where to go to get one/what kind to get, my hair started to improve so I ended up not actually going down that route.

    I did use a concealer - Nanogen (little hair fibres that you shake on the thin spots)- for a while and that helped my confidence a lot but these days I almost never use it, just very occasionally if I know that I'm going to be at an event where there are bright lights, for example. Truthfully I imagine there are people who if their hair was like mine, would use the Nanogen every day, because my hairs not perfect by any means! I want to try and upload some photos but the ones I took before I started treatment have been majorly compressed and you can no longer see any detail in them :( I will see if I can upload some later ones anyway.

    Hope this helps :)
     

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