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Not officially diagnosed, but beginning my journey...

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed Alopecians' started by VMmom, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. VMmom

    VMmom Guest

    this is my first post here. I am 28 yrs old and just beginning to experience thinning. So far it is only affecting the crown as far as I can tell. It is not bad enough for others to notice, but I know this is the beginning of the end. I did have a baby 8 months ago but I think I'm experiencing more than postpartum loss. My grandmother and both aunts on my mom's side have serious hair loss, though my mother somehow dodged the bullet. Anyway, based on my family history, I saw this coming but it still hurts.

    I also have PCOS but have never been a classic case. I'm thin and have been able to have three children on my own. I do suffer from some acne and irregular periods. I fear that my family history + PCOS = double whammy

    I haven't been diagnosed yet. But for the past week or so I've been counting hairs after each shower. I lose 40-60 at that time plus 1-2 every time I run a hand over my hair during the day. One day I even lost almost 90 hairs after a shower but I'm thinking (hoping) it was because I didn't wash my hair the day before- so maybe I lost double the next day??

    Anyway, I send a message and photos to a hair loss specialist in Austin (Dr. Mcgrath). He called back the next day and said he did see thinning on top but needs to see me in person. The consultation is free but I won't be able to go down there until November. In the meantime he said the thinning is significant enough that he thinks "Rogaine won't hurt". I'm a little hesitant for several reasons 1) I know once I go on I can't come off unless I want more shedding, 2) I could end up losing a lot more hair at first that might or night not regrow, and 3) I've heard it can be greasy and the last thing I need is greasy, thinner-looking hair up top. What do you think?

    I'm devastated and can't bring myself to even tell my husband what is on my mind.

    Also, I'd like to post a pic of my scalp so you can tell me what you think. How do I do that?
  2. Kay777

    Kay777 Guest

    hi there,

    you found the right place! this is a really great site filled with lots of helpful, supportive women posters.

    that said, i would definitely recommend telling your husband. maybe clue him in as to what you need FIRST (for instance, if you want him to comfort you vs offer advice/suggestions) so that he can know how to respond best. even though my ex-bf was a total jerk in all other respects, he was fairly decent at reacting to my news and asking me for updates as i went to different docs. surely your husband will do even better than that! :)

    fyi, there is an option for "upload attachment" below the message composition box where you can choose a file to upload and post.

    all the best,
  3. VMmom

    VMmom Guest

    I know I need to tell my DH but I can't bring myself to say the words out loud. I know at first he will get this pitying look on his face- not because of hair loss, but because he will think I'm just being paranoid. He knows hair loss is my worst nightmare. So we'll end up having a big fight as I try to convince him to take me seriously. Ultimately I know he will be supportive and I don't fear losing his love. He doesn't care about this kind of thing. The hair loss isn't what will threaten our marriage. What will threaten it is how crazy I'm likely to go over it. When we were having trouble getting pregnant with our first child, I pretty much went off the deep end. It was a low point in our marriage because I was a wreck. He tried to understand, but he tends to be so positive that it can be hard for him to see my perspective. I almost told him today, but I just couldn't get it out.
    Anyway, here are some pics (that I shudder to post but am forcing myself). I really feel like the flash makes it look a lot worse but I may just be in denial.
  4. Hi again,
    Just wanted to say that I'm the same type of obsessive all consuming person as you describe yourself, if I'm choosing a new colout to paint the walls, that's all I can think of until I've made the right decision, you get the picture -but you will become calmer & begin to focus on other things. Not right now - it's too new & too raw but it will come.
    I know you're a busy mum, but if you can find the time, read through some of the posts on here, you'll see that we've all started feeling exactly like you, frightened & anxious, you'll learn what has worked for some along with any side effects & what to avoid.

  5. VMmom

    VMmom Guest

    Well, I did finally admit my fears to my husband. He was sympathetic but also thinks I'm imagining things. He insists that my hair looks as good or better than it did 10 yrs ago when we first got together. I showed him the pictures I took, but he said the flash makes it look a lot worse than it really does. I got a hand mirror and pointed out the areas of concern and he insists he doesn't see anything unusual. The most he would say is we will keep an eye on it- since I do have a family history. But he keeps saying that it's just my grandma with the hair loss and points out how healthy my mom and dad's hair is.
    So now I don't know what to think. It's true that I am a big worrier and tend to be paranoid about my appearance. I usually make too big a deal about things. But I also think he tends to be optimistic about things and might not notice as much. He's upset because he thinks this is just another thing I've gotten stuck in my head and now I'm convinced I'm losing my hair no matter what he says. I do admit that this came on very suddenly. It all started actually because I was researching Accutane. I don't have cystic acne but have persistent, moderate acne that I'm sick of dealing with. But I discovered that about 10% or more have hair loss on Accutane. And that suddenly reminded me- oh yeah, I have a family history of hair loss....and then I looked at my crown and freaked out. My husband thinks I just saw what I wanted to see (or didn't want to see in this case) and have convinced myself that I have a problem.
    Now I don't know what to do. If I go to a doctor they will probably agree I have some hair loss...but my husband says that's because they don't know how my hair has always looked. And he says they will just get me even more worked up, which is probably true.
    I'm just confused...
  6. cwoc

    cwoc Guest

    Honestly - and I say this having not seeing your hair before - it looks fine. Your scalp looks a little more visible from hair loss (postpartum TE) but your part does not look wide and your crown does not look bad to me either. At this point I would say the *most* you would need is a concealer, if even that.

    You do appear to have a LOT of healthy regrowth on the top of your head. I do not want to say you don't have hair loss, but at this point it may simple just be a result of postpartum TE. I would maybe buy a concealer for peace of mind and wait it out for a few more months.
  7. VMmom

    VMmom Guest

    Yes, I am looking into concealers, trying to decide...
    I do have a lot of regrowth at the hairline, sides, and part. I can't tell if I have it at the crown because I can't get a really good look.
  8. tyop233

    tyop233 Guest

    Hi violamarie,

    It might not hurt to rule out any underlying causes with some bloodwork now and take a wait-and-see approach to see if your hair comes back from the TE. Even if it is Androgenetic Alopecia and you're not shedding too much, I wouldn't think it would hurt to keep an eye on it for a while and compare photos after a few months. That is pretty much what I did, and when my shed went up I ultimately went to a derm who diagnosed Androgenetic Alopecia. One way he diagnosed me was by observing some miniaturization of the follicles behind my hairline. So if you are still in doubt, you could check with a derm for miniaturization.

    I tend to be a worrier too and when I first thought I had hairloss it was just a shock. I told my mother and she pretty much dismissed it; looking back it probably sounded like it came out of nowhere. I think other people just don't pick up on your hair loss, and especially if it's mild and you tend to worry about things they think you're overreacting and then you start to wonder if you're crazy... I can tell my part is wider, especially after this horrid summer shed but it is still not too bad (well, depending where I part it). Instead I have lost all-over density. So I think that makes it a little harder to convince other people, although I can certainly tell the difference.
  9. VMmom

    VMmom Guest

    I do plan to have some bloodwork done sometime in the next 2 months. I already know I have PCOS, so my OB (who is actually an RE) will just chalk it up to that. She'll just say it's PCOS related, which could very well be true. And she'll probably try to get me on some kind of pill, which I'm reluctant to do.
    After I get the bloodwork done, I will go to my derm and see what he thinks. I know that I have regrowth. What I need to know is whether the hair is miniaturizing, as you said.
    Today I lost 82 hairs (including all hairs lost before & after my shower). Sometimes I only lose about 45-50. So today is a bad day...
  10. VMmom

    VMmom Guest

    I went to my dermatologist to ask about hair loss for the 1st time today. Those of you that have read my story know that I'm kind of in an in-between place: on the one hand I have naturally fine, thin hair and I had a baby 8 months ago so it could be as simple as that. On the other hand, I have PCOS and a family history of hair loss (my grandma and two half-aunts), so I am ever-watchful when it comes to losing hair. I wanted to be proactive, so I went today to get a professional opinion.

    It went well. My dermatologist is nice and he did take what I was saying seriously as far as I could tell (now the nurse on the other hand...I'm pretty sure I caught her rolling her eyes a few times, but that's a whole other story!). I'm not sure how much he deals with hair loss or how much he knows, but he did look all through my hair. He said he saw an even distribution of hair follicles and the density looked the same throughout. I pointed out areas of my concern (part, crown) and also explained the nature of my hair, how it's always been straight & fine so it's hard for me to tell if anything is going on.

    Bottom line: he thinks my hair looks good. He says postpartum hair loss can take a year to resolve so I'm still in that window. I stressed my family history and that I am trying to be watchful (while hopefully avoiding paranoia). He seemed sympathetic to that but said he just doesn't see anything unusual right now. He also said my scalp is in good condition.

    So...I guess I feel better for now. Again, I don't know how much he knows about hair loss, but at this point there is not clear enough indication that something is happening. I'm losing 50-70 hairs after each shower which is high enough to bug me but not high enough to put me clearly into the hairloss category.

    My plan at this point is to a) go back in 3 months for a recheck of my acne (the other reason I see him)- at which point I will have him look again at my hair, b) continue to take photos of my hair every 6 months so I have a baseline established, and c) continue nioxin, nizoral, biotin & zinc for now- what could it hurt?
  11. Janie-Ann

    Janie-Ann Guest

    Those are very very good pictures you took -- knowing how hard it is to take photos of hair or hair loss.
    Maybe you could take the same shots (or as close as you can replicate) every four weeks or so, to help you objectively monitor what might be going on, and to bring to the next doctor visit?
    Hang in there

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