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I'm baaaaa-aaaaaaack! :-)

Discussion in 'Tell Your Story' started by iisara21, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. iisara21

    iisara21 Experienced Member

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    I figured I might as well post this in "Tell Your Story" since I haven't posted in about 3 years, and I'm guessing that not a whole lot of you know who I am. LOL. I was chatting with Ali on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, and she inspired me to come back and do an update post as well.

    I wish I could say that my absence has been due to the fact that I regrew all of my hair and that it looks lush and fab now, but the truth is that I didn't. It still looks "okay," though. I end up having a lot of technical difficulties because I have both endocrine (thyroid, mostly) and autoimmune issues, but it does end up looking pretty decent when I get it to stop shedding for 6 months. That's only happened about twice in the past 3 years, though, so I'm glad I have my back-up hair. ;-) I believe that I also have a touch of Androgenetic Alopecia, so I assume that someday I'll be using my back-up hair on a daily basis. I've had more than enough time to get used to that fact, and I'm very, very grateful for that. For the moment, though, I have resumed my old regimen of Yasmin, dutasteride, and spironolactone because I noticed that I now have some permanent loss at my hairline, and I'd like to at least be able to say that I tried my best to stop it from progressing. Once again I got kinda lazy and cheap (that dutasteride is EXPENSIVE!!!), and I stopped them all for about 3 years only to realize later how well they'd been stopping further thinning from occurring.

    Oh! Also, I'm in pharmacy school, now, so if you have any medication-related questions, let me know and I will try my best to help you! I'm almost done with my first year of three, so I shall be a full-fledged, card carryin' pharmacist in 2 years! O.O For those of you who are looking to explore the wig/topper avenue, though, I'll post a few pics of me in my wig so that you can get an idea of what's out there. I bought my Flora wig right before New Year's Eve in 2008, I still have her, and I'm still in love with her! She's not a lace wig, but I figured out a neat trick early on to help disguise the rim. I got a very light brown, almost cream colored eyeshadow, applied it to both the rim and very front of the wig part, and smudged/dabbed it with my finger a bit so that it wouldn't look so powdery in the front. It makes it look more natural, especially with the blonde hair! I have no idea why wigs are made with such a dark, dark brown rim, but hey, at least we have some pretty awesome options out there now, right? So here are some pics of me in my wig over the past 3 years or so, and if you have any questions/comments or if you know me and would like to catch up (or you'd like to get to know me), just post a comment or send me a message! :)

    <3,
    Sara
     

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  2. Lily

    Lily Senior Member

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    Welcome back! I wear a clip-on HH topper and really wish I could better disguise the rim. I also took dutasteride and feel it helped - but I was pretty far along in my hair loss when it was approved so it was too much of an uphill battle.
     
  3. iisara21

    iisara21 Experienced Member

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    Yeah, I agree. Finasteride and dutasteride are good for significantly slowing down the progression of hair loss, but I haven't seen any of the dead follicles suddenly brought back to life, unfortunately. Then again, I've just learned in school that when taking dutasteride for BPH, the effects of the medication usually aren't seen for at least 6 months, and I've only been back on it for about 7 months, so I know that I should definitely give it more time. I'm sure you look great in your topper as many of the other women do on here. :) I guess it depends on how concerned you are about the rim of your topper, but have you ever considered a full wig? If it's not that much of a concern, though, I'm guessing that there are a ton of videos on YouTube on how to disguise the rim of a topper. I know there are a ton on how to better disguise regular and lace-front wigs because I searched them awhile back. ;-)
     
  4. Lily

    Lily Senior Member

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    My bio hair is quite thin in the top front, also gray roots show quickly, so I've never had much success in hiding the topper edge. I do wear bangs which does the trick, but I have to on my toes if it's windy because wind blowing directly in my face blows the bangs back.
     
  5. Joann

    Joann Moderator

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    Hi Sara,

    Nice to hear from you!!! :) Your' re looking great!!! :woot: Thanks for sharing the pictures with us.

    Joann:grouphug:
     
  6. psychpharm

    psychpharm Established Member

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    Your wig is amazing...I almost cannot believe it is a wig, haha.

    Congrats on pharmacy school! I am also in pharmacy school (3rd year) and I will be very familiar with your student struggle. PM me if you ever want to chat about school stuff or have a question!
     
  7. megan99

    megan99 Established Member

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    Hi Sara!

    Thank you for coming back and bringing us up to date. It helps so much to get feedback from women who have some history with the heavy hitters of hair loss(dutasteride etc.). Pretty cool about the pharmacy degree--I wanted to be a doctor and went to medschool, but just couldn't commit to another 6 years at least...

    How old are you now? What is your dosage of Dutasteride? Have you seen any effects(shedding or thickening) from the last 7 months since you restarted?

    It's great to have you around again...
     
  8. iisara21

    iisara21 Experienced Member

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    Lily ~ Oh, I know that feeling! I've felt it on the rare occasions when I've decided to wear my bio hair down and it suddenly got unexpectedly windy out! Nature apparently didn't realize how hard I'd worked to get my hair to lie in a particular way to cover the thin spots. :-(

    Joann ~ Thank you so much for the lovely compliment! It's great to be back. I didn't realize how much I'd missed all of you until a few days ago! :)

    Psychpharm ~ Hey, which school are you going to? Well, you can tell me that in a PM if you want to. ;-) I'd definitely love to chat with you.

    Megan99 ~ I wanted to be a doctor in high school, but I realized that med school probably involved a lot of direct contact with blood and internal organs. I'm a bit squeamish as far as that goes. I'm 32 now. I originally started the dutasteride in the fall of 2008 and stayed on it for 2 years, but I went off of it because it's pretty pricey and I wasn't even sure whether or not it was doing anything. Three years later, I decided that I should have stayed on it. For the 2 years I was on it, I had virtually no miniaturization occurring. I went back on it 7 months ago when I realized that I'd developed permanent thinning around my hairline. Unfortunately, that realization just kinda snuck up on me. :-( I've been shedding a lot since September, but that has more to do with my wonky thyroid, and I know from years of experience that the "thyroid" hairs will grow back. I'm just taking 0.5 mg of the dutasteride a day, and it's hard to gauge because of the shed, but I don't see as much miniaturization as I did 7 months ago. The follicles up front that have been empty for almost a year now still seem to be empty, but the hairs that were miniaturized before I started look thicker now. Just make sure that if you decide to try dutasteride or finasteride that you're not planning on becoming pregnant anytime soon! Both of them can cause pretty horrible birth defects. If you have any more questions, just let me know! :)
     
  9. megan99

    megan99 Established Member

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    Hey Sara, hope your studies are going well. I wanted to check in and see how the dutasteride is going. Any new thoughts now that you are coming up on about 8 months? I know you also restarted Spironolactone and birth control, so it makes it hard to know what any one thing is doing...
     
  10. iisara21

    iisara21 Experienced Member

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    As usual, I'm still shedding so it's hard to gauge how much the dutasteride is helping. I'm confident that it isn't hurting, though. Before resuming the dutasteride 8 months ago, I'd been on it daily for about 2 years (from 2008 to 2010) with no abnormal shedding and significant regrowth. I've been having a difficult time keeping my thyroid and cortisol levels in check since I started grad school, though, and I attribute this crazy-long shed to my variable sleeping patterns and considerable stress. Although I'm still currently shedding, I'm seeing tons of baby hairs starting to pop up (i.e., the hairs I shed a few months ago are starting to return), so as far as I can tell, I haven't experienced any further permanent loss since I started dutasteride again. As I said before, though, that's just a guess unfortunately. It would be awesome if this shed would let up soon so I could give you some good news. LOL. ;-)
     
  11. megan99

    megan99 Established Member

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    Hey lady--thanks for the quick response. I kind of figured that is the news you would have. So you really didn't go through any shedding the first round on dutasteride? I think that you are right--logically it can only be helping---and the two years you were on it is comfort that you react positively to it, rather then have to go through an extended heavy shed just to wonder if it is helping or hurting. at least you have some peace of mind.

    on the sleeping and cortisol you might want to look into mirtazipine. I know you are not in a hurry to add to your drug cocktail:) but i really think is is a unique, effective and safe drug.
     
  12. iisara21

    iisara21 Experienced Member

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    No, I had a pretty horrible Rogaine shed in 2009, but that was about it. The only reason I went off of the dutasteride at all was because there were reports around the beginning of 2010 that it might increase a person's risk of developing prostate cancer (not that I have a prostate, but it was cause for concern), but more research has been done since then, and there are currently conflicting reports on that and no black box warning. I would say that I reacted positively to it. I did shed for several months after starting Rogaine, but the dutasteride didn't cause a huge shed that I can remember. That was one of the reasons why I assumed that it probably wasn't doing very much. If this gruesome thyroid shed ever lets up and I can manage to go a few months without my scalp throwing up hair (I shed about 300 yesterday! :(), I'll definitely give you my honest opinion on the dutasteride. Despite the fact that the region all around my hairline is pretty much the thinnest it's been in 2 years, I snapped a couple of pics last night after my shower, and it looks like I have better coverage than I had 8 months ago in the section that looked the worst at that time.
     
  13. iisara21

    iisara21 Experienced Member

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    And here's the latest wig pic (2/8/15). The lovely lady on the right is my little sister. :) 10959084_10205191639724990_7187234826102291263_o.jpg
     
  14. Lily

    Lily Senior Member

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    Sara, do you bond your wig?

    lovely ladies!
     
  15. sunlit

    sunlit Established Member

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    Your wig is gorgeous - the blonde looks totally natural!
     
  16. rva207

    rva207 Established Member

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    You are gorgeous!
     
  17. echo

    echo Member

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    Your hair looks gorgeous and very natural! I was clicking through your pictures in the initial post before I read your post, and I was thinking "she has gorgeous hair!" because I didn't realize it was a wig. :wow:
     
  18. snowflake

    snowflake Experienced Member

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    That hair looks great. Nice to "see" you again.
     
  19. iisara21

    iisara21 Experienced Member

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    Thank you so much, everyone! Your compliments definitely made me smile today. :)

    Lily ~ No, I don't bond my wig. I ordered a Wig Band from Flora about a year ago, and to my amazement, it actually keeps my wig in place very well! I do have to keep a hand on the top of my head when I'm combing it while it's on, but it stays in place well enough that I don't have to worry about it slipping as long as I'm not pulling on it. I place my wig right at my hairline these days because I only have about 5 scrawny, thin hairs in the front right where I'd need some hair to blend, but I found a way to work around that back in 2010. I apply a cream colored eye shadow to the front part of the wig parting to make the rim of my wig look more like my scalp and less like dark brown fabric. I still pull out a few pieces of my own hair right above my ears with a rat tail comb, but other than that, you're only seeing wig hair in these pics. This is what my bio hair looks like these days. For some reason, a lot of the loss is concentrated over on the left right at my hairline. I can still get by with some Toppik, but I feel a lot more confident in my wig, that's for sure! 1293072_150670798477186_347688831_o.jpg

    Snowflake ~ How are you doing? I like coming back here and hearing from the gals I met back in 2008. :)

    I should also add to everyone that I joined the Wig Support forum about a year and a half ago, and I've seen lots of pictures of women wearing wigs that look just as natural as mine for a couple hundred dollars. It's a fantastic resource if you're considering wearing hair. For me, wearing hair has given me back my confidence, my happiness, and my sanity! LOL. You can tell how distraught I was before I bought my wig just from reading my old posts from 2008. I'm not advocating the use of any particular vendor, but I want every woman out there who is just as depressed and worried about her hair loss as I was to know that you have options, whether you decide to go with Jon Renau, Flora, Featherlite, or any one of the hundreds of options that are available to you. A long, long time ago, I used to equate wearing a wig with giving up, and I didn't want to give up. On the contrary, my wig gave me back my life and my freedom from having to worry. I don't see wearing a wig as "giving up" anymore; it's truly been a blessing to me. :)
     
  20. DonnaL

    DonnaL Established Member

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    Hi Sara! Your photos are beautiful, both in wig and out, and your confidence and positive spirit is uplifting :) Do you have some to spare? Lol. I'm glad you came back! I didn't realize thyroid could cause TE-like shedding... well, no, I did... but I guess I thought it was just me because I seem to shed anytime my hormone levels change. My hypothyroidism was only diagnosed in October 2013, after pregnancy loss, so I don't know if I had thyroid issues prior to TTC or if I had pregnancy induced hypothyroidism. At any rate, it's been a pain in the butt trying to get those levels normal and STAY normal while TTC and during pregnancy. I had my son 4 months ago and we're tapering my levothyroxine dose down and now I'm hyperthyroid. I'm currently going through postpartum shedding so I can't help but wonder if I'll continue to shed because of my wacky thyroid levels. It's so frustrating! I shed nonstop through my entire pregnancy and I'm pretty sure some of that was due to thyroid.
     

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