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How my hair grew back. Or so I think.

Discussion in 'Success Stories and Positive Outlook' started by sanfrancisco29, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Hi ladies,

    I've been a long, long time lurker of this site-- having suffered from alopecia, on and off, for years. I've been through it all-- quarter sized patches, alopecia totalis, diffused hair loss, worn toppers, wigs, concealers, scarves, cried endlessly, you name it. Without rambling, ad nauseum, about the obvious things you can related to, I thought I'd share the most poignant lessons learned. Take it with a grain of salt. After all these years, this is what has finally worked for me, but as they say, your mileage will vary. Despite the suspicious, brand spanking new username, I didn't come here to gloat and then "peace out". If my post resonates with one person, then I'll have considered my words worth sharing.

    1. Stress. I remember a former derm saying that stress has not been clinically proven to cause alopecia. I wasn't about to research fanatically to find out the merit of her statement, but my intuition called bull sh*t. Stress wreaks havoc on the entire body and is a major contributing factor to many diseases. Looking back at all the significant episodes I had, I could pinpoint major stressful situations a few weeks/months prior to the start of hair loss. I *had* to prioritize the management of stress, not eliminate, but dedicate a lot of effort to reducing stress. Zazen medication, vipassana multi-day
    meditation retreats, yoga, connecting and maintaining personal close relationships, breathing exercises, EFT techniques, heart rate variability exercises, something. No where is it promised that once you have your hair back, that you will automatically be happy or stress free. You will always have to work on your stress levels and emotional issues. Always.

    2. Nutrition. I've been to 4 derms, 2 psychologists and 1 psychiatrist. None inquired about my eating and sleeping habits. It wasn't until I visited an ayurvedic practitioner where I proverbially got bitch-slapped up side the head with a rude awakening. Everything you put into your mouth is either fighting or fueling disease. You can have the sexiest car on the market, but without gasoline, you're going no where. The cliffnotes version? I cut out sugar, caffeine, alcohol, soy, grains and wheat. I follow mostly a paleo diet, getting most of my calories from fat and animal products: non-industrial grass fed meat and specific non-industrial oils (ghee, grass fed butter, MCT oil, coconut oil). Vegetables, tubers, bone broths, fermented products, limited sprouted nuts are a staple, but I've dumped the rest. Now does that mean I'm militant about my diet? No. This goes back to rule #1: stress. To strive for some perfectly clean diet typically produces this weird obsession and militancy that isn't going to help with the stress factor. 90/10. And that 10%, you bet I'm going to enjoy whatever it is I'm eating or drinking. Again, your mileage may vary, but I would take a long, hard look at what exactly you are putting in your mouth, why you believe in the diet you are ascribed to and the research that supports it. I was a long time vegetarian on a low fat, high carb, high grain diet. I won't get on some preachy carnivorous soap box, but I will say that by adopting my latest dietary eating habit, I have leaned down to 15% body fat without abusive exercise, without calorie restriction, gained lots more energy, blood work has never been better and have an almost full head of hair. I'd be happy to talk to anyone about my insights, point you to blogs, podcasts, peer reviewed/reputable studies and great books to read that support my beliefs. PM me.

    3. Acceptance of your disease, but conscious of the idea that you have (might have) some control over managing your alopecia. Again, I'm not trying to speak for everyone. I can't tell you the number of times I would coil up and freeze under the idea that I have no control-- that at any moment I would lose my hair and have to put my life "on hold". Again. It's a crippling feeling and it was dis-empowering to the point that it only fueled the alopecia. I remember reading the posts under this very topic, "A positive Outlook" when someone would mention the power of acceptance, or "finally coming to terms" and I would either get upset, sad and or refuse to believe that I could ever come to accept this part of me. I will always have alopecia, somewhere "lurking", waiting to be triggered. I'm certain I will always have thin and short hair. While I still struggle with this, I am slowly learning to love all the various parts of me and to quit compartmentalizing them. I tend to stay on the clinical, scientific side of things, but I've come to learn there is immense power in positive thinking, in acceptance of who you are and loving yourself in a gentle and humble way. Self hate, self pity/victimization and anger festering inside is toxic. Baby steps. I'm not saying it's easy to love yourself, but you've got to work on acceptance. It's part of the healing process.

    4. As for drugs and treatments? I've done the Spironolactone, rogain, horse hair shampoo, countless supplements and shots. I will still get kennalog shots if there are small patches that come up and it works at stopping the size of the patch. As for vitamins, I try to get most of my nutrients from nutrient dense foods, but will supplement with Vitamin D, magnesium and fermented cod liver oil for non-alopecia related reasons. I still use Indian herbs suggested by my ayurvedic doctor, switching between Amla oil, a Nirgundi/Mahakshirbala mix and another herbal complex mixed with yogurt once a week. I incorporated his recommendations the same time I made a huge dietary ovehaul, seriously began to incorporate meditation into my life and adopted way better sleep hygiene. In my self-experimentation and body/mind hacking, I held no variables constant, so who knows why my hair grew back with such fervor. But again, it's a holistic approach: nutrition, stress management, incorporate some western injections with some eastern herbs and acupuncture and wa-la, the turnaround this past time shocked not only me, but my family and hairdresser.

    Sorry for the horrific grammar. I just really wanted to spend the afternoon getting this out there to share. There is hope. You have to believe that there is and believe in yourself. Pre-alopecia, I lived somewhat of a superficial, less appreciative life. After repetitive hair loss, I was forced to look inward toward reflection, and after everything I've learned after this last bout of pretty bad shedding (1/2 head), I now truly believe that our deepest pains are a gift, but only once I was smart enough to appreciate that this pain could actually be my greatest teacher. I wasn't willing to learn this lesson in prior episodes, but I'm glad that although it took many years to finally get it in my head, I've learned these lessons. I hope you, too, can learn and save yourself some heartache, if possible. The framework in which I'll handle myself if I lose hair down the road will be different, but I am choosing to believe that because of the lessons I've learned I will have taken it upon myself to drastically reduce the chances of severe hair loss down the road.

    Again, I hope this helps someone, somewhere in that off chance that you're neglecting the fundamentals to what it means to be healthy: sleep, mental health and food based nutrition. And although it feels like it more often than not, you are NOT alone. Feel free to contact, criticize, ask questions and reach out via PM for support.
    #1 sanfrancisco29, Dec 15, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2012
  2. tenfingers

    tenfingers Guest

    Im a new member, and only starting to realise that i may have Androgenetic Alopecia. I have the typical pattern of widened parting and balding crown, and am only 19 :(
    so far Ive been to a gp and a gyn, and neither seem to really care, and shrug it off saying that its just stress.
    I just have a few questions to ask, 1. Would going on Spironolactone help me decrease hairloss/regrow, even if my Testosterone level came back as normal?
    2. As i'm still young, and only mildly thinning, would a hair transplant be beneficial for me?
    3. I am thinking of starting rogaine 5%, just wondering what your experience was like?

    Sorry to bother you will all these questions, but i feel so lost at the moment, as it doesnt seem like anyone is taking this seriously.
  3. Hi tenfingers,

    I had my first bout of Telegen Effluvium right around your age. Again, for me at the time, it was major un-managed anxiety and stress. Alopecia further exacerbated the stress. On top of that, I wasn't getting much sleep in college and my diet was refined carb heavy and in general, crap.

    Did your gp or gyn run a full panel of blood work? How did you come to your conclusion about your testosterone levels?
    Hair transplants should not be a considered option at this stage. That's just my opinion. Perhaps someone else can chime in.
    Rogaine works for a lot of people, but the idea that I would have to use it for the rest of my life put me off from continuing use. I didn't see the initial "Rogaine shed" that some see. I found that the points I listed above were more effective than the need to include Rogaine as part of the permanent regimene.

    Is your blood work normal? Are you getting 7 - 8 hours of sleep a night? What are you eating and drinking? How are you managing stress? These are the questions you need to ask yourself. Jumping the medication wagon is the typical response, but there are cheaper and more effective ways to go about the management of hair loss.
  4. fleur1979

    fleur1979 Experienced Member

    Nov 14, 2010
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    Hi Sanfrancisco29,

    I am really happy for your hair growing back!!!

    I am glad that sleeping well, eating healthy, less stress and all helped for you, but i don't believe we are all that lucky....

    I am 33 years old and from age 22 till age 28 i was under a lot of stress. Because of that i got really bad habits like: eating a lot of junk food, not a lot of vitamins and my sleep was crap, but my hair was sooo thick, healthy, shiny and beautifull....

    More than two years ago, i started losing my hair.... a lot of it... CTE with Androgenetic Alopecia, or just CTE (i don't know), but i started eating very healthy!! All vitamins checked and everything is fine, beside the hair loss... i don't have that much stress as i had from age 22 till 28, and i sleep at least 8 hours a day.... My hair is worse than it had ever been....

    I am really happy this regime worked for you, but i don't think it will be a cause for many people.... But then again, maybe it will help some...
  5. Hi Fleur,

    Yes, I tried my best to articulate that there are a multitude of factors that contribute to hair loss in women and there is not and will never be a one size fits all story or solution. We're all different which makes things incredibly frustrating and beautiful at the same time, in that Taoistic sense. Hair loss is traumatic and that stress exacerbates a disease that might fundamentally be the trigger of the disease (for some, not all).

    It's important that we're sensitive and supportive to the various ways which brought us to a forum like this, but I just wanted to remind anyone who was willing to read my post that you are more than just your disease. Be gentle with yourself. Dogmatism about your treatment or obsession with counting the number of hairs that fall out only makes our predicament worse. Everyone should be heavily evaluating their mental health, sleeping and eating habits because it's easier to focus on other solutions and pills instead of dialing back to the fundamentals. That said, you're right- hair might and for many will still fall out. But as a wise person has told me time and time again: as long as you walk with good intentions, do not be concerned with or stressed out by the outcome of your actions.

    I wish you continued great health from the looks of it, and as far as the hair-- hang in. Seriously, we're all rooting for each other from behind our keyboards. You can't say that about a lot of forums.
  6. fleur1979

    fleur1979 Experienced Member

    Nov 14, 2010
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    Good attitude!!
  7. starshine

    starshine Guest

    Hi Sanfrancisco29. It is encouraging to know that your hair did regrow. I am currently suffering with diffuse alopecia areata which began about a year ago. I have tried many treatment including Prednisone and Methotrexate which at this point, has not done much. I am very worried that I will lose all my hair as it is now severely thin. I have tried changing my diet, eating only lean meat, fruit and vegetables and cutting sugar, carbs and caffeine. I take hair supplements and Vit D. It is hard to de-stress when I constantly witness the slow agonizing death of my hair each day, but I know that crying and being depressed it not going to help. Is there anything elso you can think of that might help?
  8. Starshine,

    Despite years of experience enduring and recovering from several forms of hair loss, my ability to dish advice is still severely limited. What I will say is that I wished the "experts" I was consulting addressed the topics I mentioned above, which is looks like you're already doing yourself. You're way more ahead than I ever was when I was lost in a sea of confusion on what do to. Doesn't make you feel any better since you're still in a sea of confusion, right? I know, and I'm sorry that I have little to offer than my deepest empathy.

    Diffuse alopecia is harder to treat with injections. I don't have experience with taking Prednisone, but I'm certain you can get feedback from other users on here. The last time I had diffuse hair loss, my derm prescribed Spironolactone. I took it for several months, but for logistical reasons, stopped talking it, and the hair loss didn't get better or worse. Again, as with most things talked about on here, it works for some, not for all, and who really knows since most of us can't hold all things but one controlling variable constant [insert obviously frustrated emoticon here]

    Since I don't much to go on, I'm going to pick on the most important line in your response: It is hard to de-stress when I constantly witness the slow agonizing death of my hair each day, but I know that crying and being depressed it not going to help.

    Above all else, you must manage your stress. Manage manage manage. You will never eliminate stress, but if you let your hair loss worries consume the majority of your thoughts day in and day out and let them drive your emotions, you are only empowering the disease, fueling the fire that thrives on stress. never forget- your thoughts are metabolized into biology, on a cellular level.

    It's okay to feel sad. It's definitely okay to cry, but when you gut check yourself every day, on a scale of 1 - 10, you must work to stay in that 1 - 3 range of stress. It'll never be zero (see hormesis), but staying in the > 7 stress level range will exacerbate the hair loss. Stress wreaks havoc on the entire body.

    Also, you are not witnessing the death of your hair (most likely). You have to think glass half full, woman! More than 70% of your cells are replaced every year. Every year! When one of your hairs "dies", believe that it's the beginning, not the end. The sooner that hair decided to jump ship, learn to reframe the situation and realize the sooner the new one has the opportunity to grow in.

    Nothing about hair loss is easy, nor will I ever claim it to be. But I can't, um, "stress" how important it is to CTFO. When in the face of such an emotionally devastating thing like losing your hair, empowerment is gained by
    your attitude and non-reaction toward it. Don't fall into the victim trap. Despite all the haters out there, hope and positive thinking and a constructive attitude are powerful tools toward healing. I'd go so far as to say even more powerful than the current drugs on the market.

    Chin up. Stay strong and keep up the good work on sticking to a low inflammatory diet. Yanking out grains, wheat, soy, sugar and industrial seed oils is the biggest step in eliminating/reducing a lot of the modern autoimmune diseases we're seeing, and many forms of hair loss are autoimmune diseases.

    I look forward to reading *your* personal post under positive outlook in the near future.

  9. starshine

    starshine Guest

    Thanks for the encouraging reply Sanfrancisco29. I, too, hope one day to post in the positive outlook forum. Until then, I will take your advice and try to stay calm. I am truly glad you did grow your hair back, it gives us all some hope.
  10. You know what's hard? Despite all the things I learned, that initial "F***" moment never goes away when you wake up and see a few hairs on your pillow. Now, I remember the day when I had, literally, hundreds strewn across the bed, the floor and shower drain. But still, even with a few hairs, that trauma is deeply embedded. So what I'm saying is that there's not this clearly demarcated "grass is always greener". I'm not standing on the other side. I'm standing on your side. Together we must concentrate and have gratitude to the hair we *currently* have and have no expectations with what's to come. The diet and sleep part is a cake walk relative to the mental stuff. It's the mental stuff that will get us. This expands to all parts of your life, so you might as well learn to apply this type of mentality with everything. And I *promise* you, if you do, you will prevail in life.

    This has nothing to do with hair loss, nor do I have any ties with the authors/publishers, but I highly recommend reading the books: When you are falling, dive and When things fall apart by Pema Chodron. Both are easy and excellent reads.
  11. karamy6

    karamy6 Guest

    I found your writing very good and very good points. I also suffer from alopecia. This past year had been pretty good. I have undergone the injections which seemed to help the most. This year, I think i had a series of two injections, two different times. My hair has been growing back and had been doing really well. This morning I found another spot at the back of my head.

    I feel what you pointed out, acceptance is critical. I cannot sit and cry that I've found a new spot. It's like a person in Alopecia Areata. They have to accept their diease and get help.

    I also have been on multi vitamins. Biotin does seem to help.

    I also have a good hairdresser that is very aware of alopecia. I feel this is also critical that our hairdressers know of the diease. When I first learned of my alopecia I was going to a hairdresser that was clueless. He saw the area of baldness but didn't say anything. I saw it after I went home and was looking at my cut in the back of my head. To my horror I saw the spot. I called the dresser and asked what it was. He had no clue. When I went back again I educated that if he sees spots like this on his clients head he should just recommend that they see their dr. He now knows what alopecia is and I no longer go to him.

    Monday I'll call my Dr. and hopefully get in. I hate needles with a passion.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Dear Tenfingers,

    I also have alopecia. When I discovered a bald spot (after a haircut) on the back of my scalp, I got into my Dr. because the hairdresser didn't know what the spot was. My GP referred me to a dermatoligist. She did biaposys on my scalp to determine what it was. Over a year and a half of injections in my scalp my hair slowly started growing back in. My hairloss this year was pretty good!! But this morning i found a spot about the size of a quarter. I'll call monday and get in to get the injections.

    Don't let your Dr's shrug you off. My ex husband said we need to be proactive with our health and any dieases we face. He's right!! Know and learn all you can.

    I hope this helps a little.
  12. HairyIssues

    HairyIssues Established Member

    Jan 20, 2012
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    Great post. Stress and diet have also been the cause of my hair loss, but it took me a log time to figured this out because it was misdiagnosed as Androgenetic Alopecia for 20 years. I think it's important to know what kind of hair loss you have, so you don't waste your time and money on medicine, doctors or treatments that are useless or might even make it worse. Even if a person has Androgenetic Alopecia or thyroid disease, diet and stress reduction will still help in the long run because you're improving your health.

    I recently read that it takes the body a lot of energy to produce hair. Stress exhausts all your energy which makes it hard for the body to fix hair because it's the least vital organ in our bodies. Of course everyone is different, there are plenty of stress-out women with a full heads of hair. Ultimately, I think all hair loss is genetic, some people are just predisposed to lose hair for one reason or another.
  13. Hi Karamy,

    If you're eating a real foods based diet, you might not necessarily need a multi-vitamin. Definitely insert the, I'm not an MD disclaimer, etc etc, but if you allow me to explain for the sake of other people reading this. Since we're all suffering from some form of hair loss, one of the most critical things we need to focus on is how nutritious is our diet. The best way to fuel our bodies is through real foods and that's where the focus should be. I used to take dozens of supplements and think, "cool, I've got this nutrition thing down. what's next," but in reality, the body craves nutrients derived from the things we digest and not from chemicals constructed in a lab.

    That said, I recognize that there are a fair share of food based multis out there, and rest assured I'm not a supplement hater. I'm just urging everyone (so yes, this isn't direct at you :) to look at their food intake and figure out what exactly does your body need that you're not getting from food. Because once you do, you'll realize that multis are not proportionally designed to fit your specific deficiencies. With most nutrients, there lies a 'U' shaped curve. Remember, more almost never means better and you very well might be getting more of what your body needs and is, in turn, causing more harm than good. I gather you know that I don't intend for this to be about a vitamin war. I just cannot stress the food based diet enough because I wish someone shook me up a bit harder years ago when I just wasn't willing to listen. Food, food, food. Those hairs of yours that are lying dormant that are waiting to pop up want real, nutrient dense foods.

    I'm not one for jumping on the latest diet cult-ish bandwagon, so I make the following recommendation in confidence as a "diet" to adopt for the rest of your life. I think all people struggling with auto-immune problems should read The Perfect Health Diet. I'll let the reviews speak for themselves instead of injecting my own predictable opinion here.

    I do want to highlight the most important part of your post: acceptance. This tends to wax and wane and I'm sure many of you feel that way, but despite how hard it is to remain steadfast in loving yourself and deeply accepting you for who you are at ALL times is so important. We all have crap days, but you have to keep those 'positive' antennae on and as soon as you hear a negative/unhelpful thought pop up in your head, you have to neutralize it before it becomes a downward negative spiral that leads to nowhere good. Your head, your cells, your hair cells, hell- *all* of your cells can hear you. Go ahead, call me a San Francisco hippie. I know. But seriously, every cell is synchronized, billions of them change via the manipulation of your thoughts. Thinking negative thoughts and finding your stomach tightens? Thinking about your mother's warm arms around you and feeling your heart busting with warmth? Yep, those are your cells in action. Thoughts are so powerful, and we take that power for granted. All. The. Time. Like it not, you cannot afford one negative thought. Not one. So quit it. Just keep it in the back of your mind, your hairs can hear you. It'll make you giggle, but it's true, so giggle and think constructively. Ok, ok, I'll get off my hippie soapbox.

    What else can I ramble on about now? Oh yeah, injections. Our experiences with kennalog injections are all over the map, like with all things treatment eh? That said, I've talk to a lot derms and hair loss sufferers that "maintain" with injections. They work. For everyone? No, of course not, but for those with patches less than quarter sized, it's an excellent option. We all know that they don't stop future spots, but they have a high dependency rate of stopping existing spots. When I had diffuse toward totalis, no, this just wasn't an option, but yay for spots. So yeah, you don't need me to remind you- go see your doctor! ;)

    HairyIssues- right on, girl. I'm right there with you. Diet, sleep, stress management. Even if one's case seems "uncontrollably" genetic, that doesn't mean one should throw down the victim card, adopt a crap diet, get little sleep and let there stress get the better of them. I'm not saying any of you reading this are doing just that. From what I can tell, it's quite the opposite. Good health and a good life is about personal empowerment. That comes from rising about the "genetic" factor and owning the cards that were dealt. It sucks, right? I know! But despite predisposition, we must continue to encourage one another to focus on what we have control over. Un-managed stress affects all diseases, physical and mental. Not addressing its powers when left unattended to wreak havoc on the body and mind is silly. You can eat the perfect foods, get 8 hours of sleep a day, but all that great food and sleep won't mean diddly squat unless you take the time to CTFO.

    I don't think anyone is going to make it this far down this rambling reply, so I'll leave you with this quote from Robb Wolf regarding an encouraging tie between Alopecia and diet
    sources: http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/the-paleo-solution-episode-65.pdf

    Ladies, we're moving into 2013. The next time you sit and (cough, cough) meditate, take some time to actively reflect and think about all the things, people and pets you are thankful for. What does gratitude mean to you? What would life be like without it/them? Look at your beautiful faces in the mirror and thank the hairs on your head. Yeah, that's right. Thank the ones that are there. For sticking through it. And yeah, thank the ones that are a bit lazy, but are getting excited to come out. Good riddance for the strands that left. They're just making room for the new ones. The faster they jump ship, the sooner the new ones can get on board. Our collective self-esteems are low-- kinda crawling along the ocean floor it seems. But you're beautiful. I know it. I see it, so you need to see it, believe it, know it and fercryin'outloud, SAY IT to yourself. You love and accept yourself. You deserve nothing short of that.

    Happy holidays, with love.
  14. somegirl

    somegirl Guest

    Sanfrancisco -
    Wow. Ramble on :)
    Definitely adopting "your hairs can hear you".
    Loved your post.
  15. LaurenEinFL

    LaurenEinFL Guest

    This thread has been a good read!
  16. starshine

    starshine Guest

    Thanks for the great suggestions Sanfrancisco29. I love the part about your hair can hear negative thoughts. I am really trying to eat heathy and stay positive. when your hair was diffuse, did you basically start over with all new hair? I think that is where I am now. I have new hair coming in but whats left is not worth having, so I am adopting your attitude let it go and let new hair in.
  17. My first or second experience with near total diffuse hair loss, I basically started over. There were a few small to medium patches of 3" long hair, but with so much hair loss, I figured what would be the point in "holding onto" those patches. I mean, the rest would have to grow in and the unevenness was atrocious, to put it mildly.

    Those times were hard, and I'm sure you can relate. Nobody to talk to; too sad; too embarrassed; too difficult to look at yourself in the mirror; depressed; recluse. Taking a pair of scissors and whacking off what little hair I had left crushed what little self esteem I had left. As hard as it is to look back at those times, I made two pretty big mistakes. 1) I continued to obsess/stress, and 2) I wasted time wallowing in self-pity.

    You cannot do these things. I cannot stress this enough. Wipe those tears. Wiggle your toes. Smile. Laugh. Breathe. What your mind believes and thinks, your body will manifest. Look, I know there are exceptions to this, but you have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, by being positive. The power of negative thinking brings you, quickly, to very dark places. Life is too incredible to loiter in those dark places.

    Are you single like me and bummed that you have to put your dating life "on hold"? Yeah, it sucks. But this is your higher power telling you, "hey, i'm throwing you a sh*ty curve ball, so why don't you take advantage of this crappy situation and work on yourself?" Learn a new language, travel, pick up a new sport, hobby, take courses online, read, volunteer, do more yoga, practice more mindful meditation, more something. Work on being a better you-- from the inside out.

    So what, your hair is hibernating, but by the time they're ready to come sprouting out, if you were, all this time, working *on yourself*, you'll be the kind of person people will want to date when you're ready again. If you take the dark road and bind your time by sulking or obsessing, you'll have sacrificed the opportunity cost of becoming a better, more balanced, more interesting person. This is the glass half full view. Hair loss, no matter how emotionally draining it *can* be, is not a death sentence. None of us are dying from hair loss. Try reading a parent support group forum for children with leukemia. Perspective is important.

    Fast-forward to the most recent episode of hair loss. Hair started to diffuse, maybe 30% hair loss with several nickle to quarter sized patches. I had to do some deep soul searching because I was thrown right back into that same powerless cycle. I guess Oprah has her "ah-ha" moments; well, I had my "ah-hell no, not again" moment. Enough! It was time to adopt a new strategy. Time to take inventory. "How am I helping to repeat this situation?" "What can I do differently?" "How can I turn this into a new and empowering story?" This brings everything back to my original post on this thread: nutrition, sleep, stress/thought management, and spending time more wisely on other things to improve myself. I can't emphasize enough the importance of changing your mind-set and focus. Being emotionally fit will prove to be your most valuable tool for resilience. We fall too easily on the desire to get external help, to medicate, to find the latest miracle treatment. We tend to have little faith in our own powers. As far as auto-immune diseases go, we have more power than we've been led to believe.

    Two months past that last fork in the road, I've found myself with an almost full head of short, wild untamed hair. I am absolutely certain, had I taken the other road, I would be wearing another wig today.
  18. starshine

    starshine Guest

    Thanks so much Sanfrancisco 29. This post has really been inspiring. Just today I was trying to do something with the 20 percent of hair I have left and felt like crying when I thought of your words, no negative thoughts, not one, and immediately felt better. I am older and married so I dont need to worry about dating and I do have a loving, supportive family, all things you helped me to focus on. I am seeing regrowth and will try to focus more on that than the loss. It is just so hard to stay positive when I look in the mirror, but your words have really helped, so thank you again for sharing your experience and advice.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks so much Sanfrancisco 29. This post has really been inspiring. Just today I was trying to do something with the 20 percent of hair I have left and felt like crying when I thought of your words, no negative thoughts, not one, and immediately felt better. I am older and married so I dont need to worry about dating and I do have a loving, supportive family, all things you helped me to focus on. I am seeing regrowth and will try to focus more on that than the loss. It is just so hard to stay positive when I look in the mirror, but your words have really helped, so thank you again for sharing your experience and advice.
  19. Janie-Ann

    Janie-Ann Guest

    Interesting thread! You write very well, SF, I'm jealous :)
    I intend to check out "When you are falling..." Love the title.
    Anyhow, do you have any before and after photos? I love to see photos of member's hair loss. It took me a long time to get the courage to post some of my bio hair but I remember when I did a lot of members said it was helpful/inspiring.
  20. Hey sanfrancisco29, I completely appreciate this post! I've been suffering from androgenetic alopecia since I was 16--I am now 24. I wore wigs, weaves, glued tracks of hair to my head, used rogaine, Spironolactone, nioxin, horse hair shampoo, biotin--the works. Throughout this whole process I did see some regrowth but also found that the dermatologist I was working with never listened to me, always rushed me, and acted irritated if I asked any questions or was concerned about using Spironolactone. I think everything you suggested is important, not only for the hair, but also for health and well-being in general. I'm glad that you are experiencing regrowth. After being off spironolactone for about 6 months, I have noticed my hair growth had stopped and I have started to shed, combined with the fact that I am using heat more often to style hair. I would definitely love any advice you can give me as to what I can do to make myself healthier. If you would be so kind as to provide more in depth information and advice in regards to diet, I would greatly appreciate it.

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