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26 and totally lost.. afraid.. embarrassed.. is it TE or Androgenetic Alopecia

Discussion in 'Teens and Twenties Alopecians' started by mmacbride301, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. mmacbride301

    mmacbride301 Member

    Aug 20, 2016
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    I will begin by introducing myself to everyone... My name is Molly, I am 26 years old and completely over my hair loss.... aren't we all [​IMG]
    I guess I am looking for support... or maybe some advice. At this point I feel extremely alone as everyone in my life ( though extremely supportive and loving ) keeps telling me not to worry about my hair.." we can't tell"...."its just hair"..."it will grow back"..."its probably stress"...."stop worrying about it"...SO MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE

    My hair loss from what I can tell started around April 31st 2016 and has continued without any stop in sight. As I write this I am attempting to pull it together from a very emotional morning of trying to convince myself that I will not go bald but that if I do it I will figure it out...somehow. I really am hoping to hear some advice or maybe some ideas of what anyone thinks I could have... I know nobody is a doctor.. but sometimes the internet is a scary place with black and white answers and no room for grey... and at this point I am looking for the grey. I work at a dermatologists and she recently told me she thinks I have TE... due to my oh so stressful 2016. Which is fine, yes it has been extremely stressful and insane. But to be honest I didn't really think it has been any more stressful than any other year... lol as I seem to have an extremely eventful life.

    Just to give a time line of what the derm is using for her diagnosis of TE:

    My father passed away in November 2015
    March 1st 2016: I went and got my hair done and the girl absolutely fried my hair...two weeks later I got it re-done
    East Sunday: my boyfriend and I had a huge fight about moving forward with our life and me not wanting to go back to school or change jobs ( I was at the time a 911 dispatcher with an insane schedule) and that really stressed me out
    4 days after Easter my grandmother went into the hospital
    I stayed with her and began using a new dry shampoo... for several days straight ( gross I know but it was crazy hectic )
    April 13th I got into a car accident on the way to a new job interview
    April 31st I accepted the new job at the dermatologists
    April 31st I found out at that the girl that hit my car had no car insurance - and I had to pay out of pocket

    June 14th I started my new job - and hated it lol.. at first it was SUPER STRESSFUL

    also somewhere in between all of this I took two plan B's - and my eating was just horrible..went days without eating due the stress level I was under

    bake that into a cake and you have a RECIPE FOR A DISASTER - and apparently from what the derm/boss thought Telogen Effluvium

    Yes I know that there are sooooo many factors... but if someone could just tell me what they think... or just support. I feel so alone. I feel like this is just the icing to my already terrible 2016.. and I can't stop crying.

    Fast foward to where I am today. My hair continues to fall out at around... 150 or more hairs a day I think. I have no sat down and actually counted as I seriously think that would send me over the edge. My scalp feels sensitive almost as if its been in a pony tail too tight its as if I can feel every strand on the stop of my head. Never in my life have I been tender headed... but now its as if I can feel everything. My scalp feels slightly tingly and I have noticed increased oil... which makes me fear that I may not have Telogen Effluvium but Androgenetic Alopecia. Along with my hairs falling out I have noticed my all over texture its changed to whispy fly away hair and feels baby fine. It feels lifeless but oily on top. My hair loss appears to be diffused all over with more concentration on top and crown and sadly at my temples and very front bang area. I began taking biotin mid May 2016. Some of my regrowth appears normal. But I don't see as much as I thought that I would? I hear this is sometimes normal and as I just started my job recently at the dermatologist I don't want to be the girl that they just hired and is now the basket case of the office... who's losing their hair.

    Now I recently got back from visiting my grandmother 4 days ago... upon seeing her I remembered ( which I never informed the dermatologist/boss during my "visit") that she had hair loss in patches in the back of her head. When speaking with her I asked her what she was diagnosed with and when did her hair loss begin. She stated that hers began in her 50's when she began to notice patches of hair loss and as she's gotten older they have gotten bigger and stated she had Alopecia Pseudopelade Brocq.

    Upon returning to work a few days ago.. I pulled my boss aside and stated that I was still worried about my hair as it has not slowed down and explained what my grandmother had... and now she wants to do a scalp biopsy next week. Now I am really petrified... scared to death that I have Androgenetic Alopecia or something that I can't reverse due to the Plan B or the stress... or my crappy eating habits. I know that I cannot avoid the diagnosis... but I would really love some feed back or maybe answers to my questions so I can try to keep my anxiety at bay.

    Tests that I have had done - they tested my thyroid which came back normal ( all the women in my family have thyroid disease so it was worth a shot to see if this was what was causing my hair loss)
    My iron was a 14 - thats all the nurse would tell me on the phone and that was "normal"
    My CBC was normal

    What I am taking :
    Fish Oil
    Multi Vitamin
    * I stopped taking the biotin as viviscal has biotin in it


    If my hair is oily does that mean I have Androgenetic Alopecia or could that be something else? ( the oiliness seems to be recent like within the past month)
    Has anyone lost baby fine hairs during TE or does that mean I have Androgenetic Alopecia? (these baby fine hairs are teennnnyyyyy like less than an inch)
    Why is my scalp soon sensitive yet shows no redness?
    If I have increased DHT on my scalp does that mean I just have a hormonal imbalance or is that definitely Androgenetic Alopecia?
    Is a scalp biopsy a definitive answer on what could be going on?
    Is it possible to have miniaturization with TE?

    I really hope to make some friends on here.. this has been super stressful, emotional and painful. I feel as if I am losing my identity with my hair (dramatic I know.. its just hair or so everyone says.. [​IMG]) but I have never felt so out of control!

    and more than anything I pray someone responds...
    Thank you XOXO
  2. Pixie79

    Pixie79 New Member

    Jan 12, 2018
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    Hey hon /hugs

    I just started re-visiting these boards and see that your post is over a year old, but just in case I can help and you happen to see this or anyone else that is going through the same thing sees this, I will give you my input.

    I'm 38 now but I started experiencing hair loss after getting my period when I was 13. I always had a very irregular cycle and grew up in an abusive home (while being severely bullied at school), so that was fantastic =/ Anyways, by the time I was 16, my hair was so thin on top that people would ask me if I was going bald and I would have people say "wow, you really don't have a lot of hair, do you?" and other similarly shitty things that people with no social intelligence tend to blurt out to others who have something happening to them that is abnormal.

    Like you, I was so stressed out about this. Who loses their hair as a girl? In their teens? I would count my hairs, go from room to room to room in my house checking the back of my head under different lighting. I had people dismiss my concerns and say "your hair is fine" and "you're just worrying for nothing". I remember going to the DOCTOR about it and having them ask me what I think might be causing my hair to thin. (WTF).

    I too, stressed about the dreaded possibility of having Androgenetic Alopecia as opposed to TE. I, too, felt unattractive, isolated, ashamed and terrified by something that was happening to me that I had no control over.

    First things first, you need to realize that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Not by a long shot. SOOOO many women and girls lose their hair, but we are really damn good at disguising it with wigs, toppers, hair pieces, etc. Anyhow, you are not deficient, you are not defective, and you are not at fault. This happens to us and yes, it is "just hair" and people might try to shame you for feeling upset by something like this when there are others out there who have grave diseases and whatnot, but honestly, screw those people. Losing hair IS upsetting. Society places a premium on women who are attractive. Having full, thick hair is a sign of an attractive woman. A woman that is losing her hair is not viewed kindly in society, so why WOULDN'T you feel upset? You are justified in your feelings and you don't need anyone's permission to feel them.

    My advice to you would be this:

    1. Find a mental health professional who you feel comfortable discussing this traumatic issue with. Losing your hair can leave you feeling isolated. You need to find someone who can help you combat these negative feelings and emotions and someone who can listen with an empathetic ear and reassure you of your value even when you start to doubt it yourself.
    2. Find a good doctor who knows how to treat hairloss. I live in the Toronto area, I'm not sure where you live, but I've lived in Nashville, TN and moved to Toronto, so if you live in either of those areas, I can direct you to a knowledgeable physician.
    3. Scalp Biopsy - This is the only way I was able to definitively diagnose the underlying pathology of my hairloss. I wanted it to be TE, because then there is hope for regrowth, but sadly it was Androgenetic Alopecia. My hair was always oily growing up and I have PCOS too.
    4. Even if every single strand of your hair fell out, there are hair options available that look 100% natural. It really depends on your budget and when I started wearing hair at 22, it was honestly the best decision I ever made. I started getting toppers bonded to my head and while I miss the days of having hair, and shampooing it and wearing it any which way I could, I was so grateful to finally NOT have to worry about my scalp being shiny under the wrong light or the wind blowing my carefully hairsprayed hair out of place. I was reluctant to wear hair for a long time because it felt like I was giving up and resigning myself to it never growing back. Now I wear a really nice unit with virgin hair and a base that looks just like my scalp that no one knows I actually wear hair. In fact, it's super thick and long and I get compliments on it all the time.

    Mother nature can throw you a curveball, but there are things you can do to adapt to it. Wearing hair is my new normal now, but I cannot tell you how good it feels to have natural looking, thick hair (that yes, I had to buy and yes I have to maintain and yes it costs money), as opposed to stressing over what my natural hair is doing, and what people are thinking of me and what the future is for that hair.

    Anyhow, if you somehow see this, I hope it helps. I'm sorry you had such a rough time back in 2015-16 and really sorry for the passing of your dad. I hope things have been better for you recently and that you have been able to cope. If you ever check back and get this, feel free to PM if you need to talk. I've been there; I know what you are going through/went through. /hugs It DOES get better.
  3. Elle

    Elle New Member

    Feb 9, 2018
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    I am 29 and started having hair loss when I was about 26. I constantly ask why me. I see this happening to much older women and think they are so fortunate they didn’t hve to start going through it at a young age. I’m doomed to the rest of my life with progressively worse hair. But then I see stories like yours and think of how hard it must’ve been going through it as a teen. I am so depressed over my hair. I truly don’t know if I would’ve made it through high school and college if I’d had this problem at that young age. I see people like yourself post about how wearing hair helps so much. I wish it would work for me, too. Sadly I have spent over a year now buying wigs that simply do not work because they look fake and they hurt. I have been to hair loss replacement specialists. I’ve bought cheap wigs and expensive wigs. I’ve tried everything. I still mourn my hair daily and just wish it could be normal again. And I pray every day that I will just find the “right” wig for me.
  4. Avania

    Avania New Member

    Dec 26, 2018
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    I truly feel your pain. I began losing my hair at 16 to Androgenetic Alopecia and my hair is so dreadfully thin now (despite 5+ years of treatment) that I’m starting to look into toppers, wigs, etc. I truly wish us luck in finding something that we can live with. I know I’ll just miss being able to go about with my natural hair (swimming, exercising, etc.) without having to worry about ‘doing up’ any artificial hair. I guess it’s something we’ll just have to learn to accept, day by day.

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