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Some pics of my regrowth?

Discussion in 'Women's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by Eliza1990, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Eliza1990

    Eliza1990 Established Member

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    Hi ladies! I took a couple pics of my hair today to show some regrowth I'm seeing. The longest sprouts in the pic are approx. 2cm in length (the camera isn't magnified/zoomed in, FYI) and there's a decent number of shorter lengths growing in as well that are harder to see in the pics. Given the fact they aren't all straight and don't stick straight upwards, I suspect they are probably Androgenetic Alopecia hairs that Rogaine (I am 14.5 weeks in) is helping to regrow? All my hair is really fine though (and the regrowth is the same color as my normal hair, dark blonde) so it's tough to know.

    The other scenario is that they are short regrowing TE hairs, now that my high TE-like shed (fingers crossed) seems to be improving for the first time in 18 months. I suspect it could be because I've corrected my low ferritin as of August (and continue iron supplementing). My TE episode that began at the start of 2014 worsened last year as I picked up longer distance running, which I think likely caused my ferritin (unknowingly) to steadily decline throughout 2014. It bottomed at 11 in Feb 2015 when I had it tested, but didn't get above low twenties until August.

    My shed is now down to an average of 150-160 per day, which is an improvement. Throughout the time I was on Rogaine between Sept 2014 - Feb 2015, my shed was never below 225-250....and in general my shed has pretty much been at least 200ish per day for well over a year, so something other than the Rogaine seems to be working!
     

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  2. Sakura

    Sakura Established Member

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    wow eliza, that's a lot of thick regrowth! congrats!!
     
  3. Eliza1990

    Eliza1990 Established Member

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    Thanks Sakura! You always write the kindest notes of encouragement. I really appreciate it.
     
  4. labellavita1985

    labellavita1985 Experienced Member

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    It looks great!! And I agree, it could be TE recovery hairs. When did you notice them? Recently? Have you had growth like this throughout your TE? Or is it a new development? In any case, the regrowth and the reduced shed, so exciting!! You must be so relieved. I'm so happy for you ... and you deserve this so much after 18 months of torture. So it seems the low ferritin was your trigger then.
     
  5. hairhairhair

    hairhairhair Member

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    Congratulations, Eliza!! I have been following your story very closely as my situation is very similar (although my hair, especially my parting looks a lot worse than yours). Your regrowth looks very healthy and there is a lot of it!

    I really do not want to keep you from turning optimistic, but this is what happened to me: I was on Rogaine from mid Jan - early June. About 3 months in, I started to notice some healthy regrowth along my hairline like yours. I didnt get any regrowth on the crown though, like you have. However, my shed that also dropped down after the Rogaine dread shed from 300-400 hairs/day to 150-200 hairs/day, never slowed down ever since. Overall the regrowth I got on my hairline (maybe 300 hairs in total) is nothing compared to the huge amounts of hairs I am still losing every day, which is why I decided to stop using Rogaine, this was recommended by both of the 2 dermatologists I visited too. Apart from the regrowth that started 3 months into Rogaine on my hair line (these hairs are now 5cm long), I havent noticed any new hair growth. I really hope you will have a different experience, and that you will see continued regrowth.
    I really do not think you have Androgenetic Alopecia though, your part is very tight, and your hairs look very nourished and thick.
     
  6. Eliza1990

    Eliza1990 Established Member

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    Thanks so much for the feedback guys.

    Emma- I have noticed an increase in short new growth since my TE-like shed became noticeable/concerningly high (early 2014). The result is that I have almost 2 years of very high shedding and regrowth, so waaaay more hair in various stages of regrowth along the length of my hair than a normal person. The poky up hairs thus aren't new, but the amount I'm seeing now that looks to have started just under 2 months ago (doing the math from having measured them) is new for me.

    Hairhairhair- likewise! Our stories do have a lot in common and I have tracked your posts as well. My first experience with Rogaine mirrors your own, and I was on it quite a bit longer (5.5 months). If I was shedding at least 175-200 per day pre-Rogaine, I shed at least 200-225 per day the entire time I was on it. This was concerning given that both times I've tried Rogaine I've had a very bad dread shed (the second time around was even worse). Your response to Rogaine suggests at least to me that you had a TE throughout the time you were on it (as your doctor diagnosed you with pre-Rogaine) which the Rogaine only exacerbated, given it makes us shed our telogen hairs.

    I think in my case, correcting my iron deficiency has possibly helped correct my TE, since my second experience with Rogaine was identical to my first until a few weeks ago. I should also note that my dread shed using Rogaine the second time around (I started this past June) was so terrible (10 weeks of losing between 400-500 hairs a day, sometimes more) and thinned my hair so badly that it would take a lot for (paranoid) me to acknowledge any change in progress or improvement in my hair appearance. Since my ferritin was probably as low or even lower in June than it was last October (the first time I went through the dread shed) that could explain why my TE didn't start getting any better until recently and my second Rogaine dread shed was just as horrific.

    Over the past 10 days, however, since my shed has come down to average around 160 per day, there have been a couple days where I've definitely lost approx. 125 hairs - and that's something very new for me, on Rogaine or off. Before this, I can't remember the last time I had a relative "good day" in terms of my shed, and I am hyper aware of it.

    The Rogaine regrowth I saw the first time I used it mirrored yours as well. It was mainly only along my hair line, and so minimal in comparison to the vast amounts of hair I was shedding that I knew it wasn't really doing anything. I also knew I wouldn't notice/care if I shed those little hairs when I went off Rogaine, which was exactly what happened. I am only 3.5 months in this time, and I would be hesitant to stop and lose the regrowth I am seeing, which I never felt during my Rogaine experience last time.

    I am surprised both your docs told you to stop, while both my derms told me to stick with it... Even though I insisted it wasn't helping and making my shed worse! Lol. I think in both our previous Rogaine experiences, we've also had TE throughout that 1. Exacerbated the shedding effect of Rogaine 2. The shedding overpowered any regrowth benefit we might have been seeing with respect to our Androgenetic Alopecia. Perhaps where we differ is that my TE was triggered by my declining/very low ferritin, whereas yours was not, even though your ferritin was also low.

    I will keep you posted, though - obviously I could be speaking too early and end up just as frustrated this time around. Wishing you the best.
     
  7. hairhairhair

    hairhairhair Member

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    The reason why one of my dermatologists told me to stop, is because she was herself shocked about how much worse my hair looked between the two appointments and concluded I wasnt a good responder as there seemed to be no visible regrowth that would compensate for the huge loss. She noticed my see through scalp, my widening part and the texture change of my hair immediately during my second appointment. SHe said that while a lot of Rogaine users experience heavy dread sheds, it is not very visible in their appearance. For me, it was clearly very visible not only to my dermatologist, but to people around me as well.

    I am really crossing my fingers for you! If you think iron does play a role in your case, I think you should really go for a transfusion. There are several options with the transfusions, but with the latest (and most expensive one), it is enough to have it once and your ferritin will be up to 80-100 straight away.
     
  8. hairtothere

    hairtothere Established Member

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    I agree about getting the iron infusions. My Dr. told me at the rate my ferritin was going up it would have taken close to 2 YEARS to get my ferritin levels corrected. My hair stabilized after the infusions and I have lots of new growth all over, my hair is finally improving! It has not gotten any worse, so I think for me it may have been just iron/ferritin. I don't know if it will ever fully recover to its former glory. But at this point I would be happy to keep what I have.
     
  9. Eliza1990

    Eliza1990 Established Member

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    Thanks, hairhairhair. That makes sense re: what your derm told you. In my experience, being on Rogaine while experiencing TE is bad news, as Rogaine makes you shed hairs already in the telogen phase, and if you are going through a TE, you have a lot higher % of telogen hairs than a normal person. Thus, for as long as your TE persists, Rogaine will continue to make your shed worse. It's not really "harming" your hair since you would have lost those hairs anyway, but it's a fast forward that doesn't stop.

    While I am hopeful my TE is beginning to recover, I'm by no means in the clear, and to the extent I'm still experiencing a higher than normal shed, the Rogaine continues to 'exacerbate' my shed somewhat. I continue to lose an extra 10-20 long, telogen hairs each time I apply it. But that's okay, as I realize it's really a reflection of the TE I still have, and that Rogaine is fighting a separate battle, namely to maintain the hairs that are at risk of miniaturization and ideally regrow some of the hairs that have already miniaturized.

    My hope for hair recovery is really based 100% on whether my TE-like shed ever fully normalizes (which is why I pray it's tied to the ferritin). I would have definitely turned to iron transfusions if my ferritin didn't start increasing faster when I double my dosage at the end of July. However, I got from 23 at the end of July to 44 as of six weeks later, so I am happy with this pace. I agree with situations like yours, hairtothere, that an iron transfusion is 100% the BEST thing you can do for your shedding, because two years is a long time to sacrifice. Similarly, if I could rewind time, I'd find a way to get transfusions back in Feb and skip the five months when I slowly creeped from 11 to 23 and saw no improvement in my shedding.

    Now that I am confident my ferritin is definitely above 50, however, I prefer to avoid transfusions because I think I'm in relatively safe 'hair' territory, my ferritin continues to increase with supplementation, and it would just make it difficult for me to figure out what amount of iron supplement I'll need to maintain a steady state. I expect my ferritin is around 55 at this point, and by the end of October will hopefully be close to my target (70).
     
  10. fleur1979

    fleur1979 Experienced Member

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    Wow that looks great... I have the same hair regrowth, but not as much as you... but looks the same in thickness and length... Still shedding very much, so in my case the regrowth does nothing. Actually, my hair looks worse it has ever been. But hopefully one day....

    Good to read your feritin is Climbing

    I went from 8 to 25 (in 6 weeks)
    then 25 to 65 (in 3 months)
    I get my newest results back next week.
     
  11. Eliza1990

    Eliza1990 Established Member

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    Look forward to hearing your latest results next week, fleur. I really hope your shedding starts to improve soon. I hear you on the regrowth- whether or not this latest regrowth will actually translate into real improvement is 100% dependent on where my shed goes from here.

    How much would you say you're currently shedding per day?
     
  12. Kelly7

    Kelly7 Established Member

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    Your regrowth looks healthy! What do you mean by the hairs not sticking up, which leads you to believe that you have Androgenetic Alopecia? The regrowth I have on my right side looks like yours, but I lost the majority of my regrowth on my left side, where I part my hair. :( Is the part in your two pictures, where you normally part your hair?
    I wish my increasing level of ferritin would help my hair, but unfortunately, I'm shedding more and more and I'm losing a lot of short hairs.
     
  13. labellavita1985

    labellavita1985 Experienced Member

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    I hope you don't mind me posting these here Eliza; I took these pics today after washing my hair. I feel like regrowth is more easily seen when hair is freshly washed (especially for me, because I wear a hat everyday so I think they get flattened down.) And here's another trick; normally I part my hair on the side, so if my hair has dried parted on the side, then I part it in the middle, lots of hairs will stick up. I'm really, really hoping these are regrowth and that they stick around! Also, I'm trying to determine if I've always had that baby hair at my hairline (especially at the temples.) I'm not sure, but I think that could be regrowth as well. And .... today was a wash day and I've (only?) counted 60 or so hairs .... and this is my first time washing my hair in 5 days. Does that mean something? I've combed my hair and used dry shampoo in between, but my hair hadn't been washed since last Friday. It doesn't get nearly as oily now that I'm on the birth control and Spironolactone.

    Oh, and I find it interesting that a doctor said that it can take YEARS to raise ferritin from a low number? Is that usually the case? I'm confused. Just a reminder to everyone; my first ferritin value was 6.7, one month later it was in the mid 50's, so if you are a good iron "absorber" like I am, your ferritin value could rise quickly. I thought I was FOR SURE going to have to get transfusions. Another thing about transfusions is, unfortunately, insurance companies usually won't cover them unless your ferritin is like <5.

    Do you guys think it would be possible to upload a pic like this to Dr. Donovan's Instagram so he could tell us what he thinks? I'm not an Instagram user so am not sure how it works.

    And Eliza, thank you so, so much for your kind words to me yesterday. I appreciate it so, so much. I really think you are such a kind and caring person, and I'm so glad to have "met" you. And contrary to what you said, a stranger saying those things does mean a lot to me! Thank you.

    Lastly, I'm going to be ordering a copper peptide product (Folligen, probably,) as well as a product called stemoxydine (Kerastase does one.) These are just things I've come across in my search for alternatives to minoxidil. I'll keep you guys updated.
     

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  14. Eliza1990

    Eliza1990 Established Member

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    Hey kelly- my comment about the hairs not sticking up was kind of silly...I guess what I really meant is that I worry it's just flimsy regrowth due purely to the Rogaine that won't amount to much (this isn't a knock against Rogaine...mainly just myself trying not to get my hopes up re: what this regrowth will lead to).

    Fedupmary posted a very interesting research article the other day (Ihttp://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/9781447144854-c1.pdf?SGWID=0-0-45-1365011-p174551750) that speaks to the fact that miniaturized/miniaturizing Androgenetic Alopecia hairs are more wispy and less straight than normal regrowth (eg what you'd be seeing if you're going through TE) so I guess I also had that on my mind when I wrote that. Bottom line is the fact I feel I have some underlying Androgenetic Alopecia is unrelated to the regrowth pics I posted.

    Yes, that's pretty much where I part my hair (it probably ranges within a 2 inch band of that). And I'm so sorry you lost some of your regrowth....I really hope your shedding improves soon and that your short hair shedding is part of the 'short cycling' sometimes associated with TE recovery. As my shed has improved a little, I've seen more short hairs too. I try not to read into it and just focus on what my total shed is, since I think that's really the main determinant in my hair health anyway.

    Of all the unusual stories I read about on this site, one of the things I find most curious/inexplicable is that sometimes (non-Alopecia Areata) people see a difference in shedding or regrowth on the left versus right side of their head - I have no idea why that would happen. Do you think it has to do with habitual parting of hair on one side that just makes those hairs structurally weaker relative to the other? It doesn't seem like a bad sign to me at all, just....weird!
     
  15. hairtothere

    hairtothere Established Member

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    My ferritin didn't go up very fast with heavy oral iron at 3x's per day I was only gaining a point a week! So based on my absorbption my Dr. said years. I started at less than 5, and it took 3 months to get to 15, my Dr. said that you usually absorb the most when your levels are really low. Anyway, everyone responds differently and it is important to get tested often. My insurance did cover infusions even though I was at the low end of "normal" when I started them they are about 3,000 each infusion. I was getting them every two weeks.
     
  16. Eliza1990

    Eliza1990 Established Member

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    I think your hair looks soo good, Emma. A lot like TE recovery. Your regrowth is really impressive- very thick and growing out quite nicely as well! And I'm really glad to have "met" you too. :)

    Your shed is BANANAS! That's sooo awesome that you only shed about 60 hairs after not washing your hair for 5 days. With that low of a shed, I am very excited to see what your hair will look like in another six months time.

    Re: ferritin, it simply varies a ton between individuals. Yours definitely increased quickly but I think you are closer to the "average" rate of increase than people for whom it takes years to increase ferritin (though unsurprisingly some of the ladies who have the toughest time increasing it are the ones posting about it here / looking for advice). Given you were taking a pretty healthy dosage amount, I am not that surprised it increased quickly, except for how low you were to start off....I feel like women who start off <10 are often the ones who struggle most to increase it. However, I think I've written this before but I really think you could have had a very normal ferritin up until last year and then it plummeted in the few weeks where you were severely restricting calorie intake. Even if you were eating normally again by January, it would not surprise me that it didn't budge from that low level until you supplemented, since the amount of iron we ingest through food is TINY compared to the amount in a supplement, even if you account for lower absorption.

    Re: Instagram, you can't upload photos to someone else's account unfortunately. You could create an Instagram account, upload a picture to your own profile, and tag him in it + ask your question, but that is probably overly complicated lol. I'm sure it would be easier just to look up his office's email address and email the pics / see if he'd be willing to share his thoughts.
     
  17. Kelly7

    Kelly7 Established Member

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    Eliza, I have those wispy hairs amongst thick regrowth. My Derm told me they will grow thicker but some are about 8cm long and are thin throughout the strand. Perhaps he meant that the new hair that replaces them will grow in thicker. I didn't notice any wispy hairs in your pictures. Sometimes I hold up a wispy hair to my part to see how it compares to other regrowth. Lol The wispy hairs appear thicker when I hold them up to my scalp compared to sitting on my bathroom sink, which makes me wonder how many wispy hairs I really have. I always lose short hairs, but when I notice that I'm shedding more than normal, I pay more attention to them. Last night when I washed my hair, I lost about 300 hairs and sorted out the short hairs. I had 4 hairs between 3.7-4cm, which I guess isn't too bad. Tons of hairs must have been about 7-12cm. I'm glad your shedding has improved. I hope it continues. :) I do think hairs on parts are more prone to falling out. I always want to ask my Derm about losing regrowth on my part, but I never got the chance to ask that question. I hope to ask in a couple weeks! My hair looks normal on my right side except my crown sometimes looks a bit bare. It's a shame I'm afraid to part it on the right all the time as I'm worried about losing hair there. The last time I parted it there, I lost tons of short hairs the next day.
     
  18. labellavita1985

    labellavita1985 Experienced Member

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    Kelly,

    can you clarify what you mean when you say that the "wispy hairs appear thicker when I hold them up to my scalp?" Are you talking about miniaturized hairs that have fallen out? Aren't they supposed to be thinner, why do you think yours are thicker?
     
  19. Kelly7

    Kelly7 Established Member

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    The wispy hairs I'm referring to are much thinner in diameter than my normal hairs and they are blonde or whitish. Some are nearly invisible. If you've ever read about hairs being like cat hair,that's how some of them are. I call them vellus eventhough I know they aren't actually vellus because they are normally several centimeters long to about 12cm long. They aren't miniaturized either although the follicles they come out of might be miniaturizing. I see them in my part but I know they also come from my nape...basically anywhere on my scalp, I guess.

    When I hold a wispy hair up to my part, as though the piece of hair was still in a follicle, it doesn't appear as thin as it actually is. I hope that makes sense. Also, they are less flimsy when still in their follicles.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I took a picture of some wispy hairs that I've shed vs some normal thickness hairs. I will post it tomorrow since I don't think it's possible to post a picture from my phone.
     
  20. Eliza1990

    Eliza1990 Established Member

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    Do you mean a fluffball type cat (lol)? The only cat I've ever had had very thick straight hair :)

    Kelly - totally know what you mean. Given how high your shed is, it sounds like TE is responsible for the majority of your current hair issues - would you agree? I found that when I was losing 300+ hairs a day, trying to determine whether or not I have a little bit of miniaturization (and it sounds like the question for both of us is really "some" or "none") didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things of how I look. If/when my shed ever stabilizes to a relatively low amount , eventually I will probably focus more on determining whether I do have Androgenetic Alopecia / what my ratio of telogen:vellus hairs is, but at this point it's my shed that I care most about.

    Speaking of which, my shed has improved a little bit more this week!:gay2: I need to wait a few more days for more data points, then I think I'll be ready to say my daily shed is closer to 125, which is definite improvement for me.
     

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