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Young women with 'androgenetic alopecia' please read!

Discussion in 'Tell Your Story' started by April_91, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. April_91

    April_91 Guest

    My name is April I'm 22 years old the picture is my hair taken today. When I was 15 my parent noticed my thinning hair and took me to the doctors. They carried out various blood test and came back saying everything was normal. I was then referred to a dermatologist who 'diagnosed' me with androgenetic alopecia. At this point me hair was still thick enough that my scalp wasn't really visible so I just took this on the chin and carried in as normal.

    Around about age 19 or so I noticed it getting worse, I dabbled in trying to use rogaine and such but I'm awful for routine and I just felt it made my hair worse. I have forever been seeking solutions online to find an answer.


    I am now 22 just away to graduate this summer and I have a graduate job. I thought since I will have money I will look in to hair integration as I don't feel confident enough to wear my hair down anymore. So I when to a studio and they girl told me I was too young for hair integration and she needed to have the trichologist test my hair to see if it would even be strong enough. So on my next visit I had a brief encounter with the trichologist who told me I hair was not in fact strong enough for the integration. With out even knowing anything about me she then had a look and my hair said in her opinion it is not even possible so people my age to even have androgenetic alopecia. She then said I don't drink enough water, which is 100% true and I barely drink anything. She then said I suffer from anxiety, which also I'm not exactly diagnosed for I also believe to be true. I lead a highly stressful life my uni course is unbelievable, and I have a mentally ill parent which causes additional stress also. The trichologist also asked to see my nails but they were painted. She told me it up my water intake, have protein for breakfast and find out if the doctor had tested my SERUM FERRITIN LEVELS. This was the key thing she wanted to now, and she strongly believed by hair loss was nutritional. Whereas I though there was no hope because the doctors said your 'normal'.


    So I made a doctors appointment and as usually they were very unhelpful and I'm healthy he told me. I asked for a new test which I was denied unless I wanted to pay the lab fees privately. So I asked for the levels from 2007 cause this is all I could get. Now here is another key thing, my ferritin levels were 27ug/l. Which in a doctors world is normal as 15-200 is the normal range. Clearly I'm at the lower end of this. The trichologist told me that the range I need for hair growth is 70 which I'm less than half of that. After further research I found out why she wanted to see my nails, look up spoon shaped nails. I do in fact have these also and it's another sign or iron deficiency. I'm also constantly fatigued and have sleep issues, constant cold hand and feet..hairloss. Everything seems to fit!


    I had an appointment with the trichologist but she was ill and cancelled. I think rather than spend lots of money going to see her I'm gong to try and up me ferritin levels myself through the online research I have done. Too much iron can also me bad too but I'm going to see if this change in levels triggers hair growth and I will keep this updated. From what I have read it can take up to 6 months just to stop shedding then regrowth to start but I'd be more than happy with that.


    Feel like I've found new hope and a possible answer to my problem I hope this helps and informs anyone in a similar situation! If you want to ask anything or chat just mail me or reply below.


    April.
     

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  2. BGS92

    BGS92 Guest

    I am also 22 with androgenic alopecia. Mine started at 20 and my hair is now quite bad though not as thin as your's yet, but it's getting there..

    What I wanna say though is that woman clearly speaks nonsense. Why would she say it's not possible to be a young female with androgenic alopecia when clearly there are women / girls out there who suffer from this?

    Androgenic alopecia is a condition that is partly genetic and partly hormonal from what I understand. In people who are susceptible to Androgenetic Alopecia the follicles become increasingly sensitive to a hormone called DHT in our scalp, which makes your hair start growing in thinner and finer without pigment, until the follicles eventually die. There is no condition or deficiency that will give you miniaturisation other than Androgenetic Alopecia, although I did read ferritin problems could mimic this. But what I'm saying is that if you have miniaturisation there is a 99% chance it's genetic androgenic alopecia.. :/ You could have other problems like vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems on top of this, but none of those make your hair miniaturise like in Androgenetic Alopecia.

    I don't wanna take away hope but you have clearly been misinformed cause Androgenetic Alopecia is very real, also in young women although it is very rare. Likely you have some kind imbalance in your body which have set of Androgenetic Alopecia at an early age, like me.

    But of course malnutrition, stress, insomnia +++ makes hairloss worse. I also suffer from insomnia, fatigue and anxiety. Do you have scalp pain btw?

    I wish you good luck tho and of course the best thing would be if this was something you could fix :) don't lose hope, but being realistic Androgenetic Alopecia is a condition that little can be done about,, sadly :(
     
  3. April_91

    April_91 Guest

    Hey, yeah like I said that is her opinion, not mine. I don't have any scalp pain. Does any other members in your family suffer from this condition or just you? And have you been to the doctors for blood tests etc?
     
  4. BGS92

    BGS92 Guest

    I am the only female in my family on both my mom's and dad's side as far as I know back, that suffers from androgenic alopecia. My mom has thinnish hair, but not thinning - she has a full head of rather thin hair. The rest of the females in my family all have thick hair (I had thick hair before too).

    The males have androgenic alopecia except for one uncle that is 60 with a full head, and my baby brother who is 16 but obviously he might experience androgenic alopecia later on...

    How about your family? You're the only female too?

    Yes I have taken every test under the sun, all normal except thyroid who has been borderline low a couple of times and my DHT which was a little too high.
     
  5. April_91

    April_91 Guest

    yeah I'm the only person in my family full stop no one else has it. I've changed my diet recently and I do have a lot of small hairs coming through on the top. My ferritin levels were also classed as normal but apparently higher levels are needed if you are experiencing hairloss. Might be worth finding out exactly what your values are if you don't already know these. Anything is worth a shot.

    April.
     
  6. BGS92

    BGS92 Guest

    It sucks, doesn't it, being the only one? I look at my aunts, in their 50's and 60's with a thick beautiful head of hair. My mom's hair isn't as thick but it's not thinning! It's just how her hair is and it looks normal...

    Yes I heard higher levels are needed for hair loss, this goes for thyroid as well..

    What kind of dietary changes have you made btw?
     
  7. Blue Panda

    Blue Panda Established Member

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    I'm older than the both of you (35) but have been losing my hair since my early 20's (actually I first noticed it at 21 but I'd had a baby 6 months before so no one would listen to me).

    Like both of you, the men in the family are pretty much all balding but I am the only girl who sits there with my superbly thin finger width ponytail. All the other women in the family have beautifully thick hair and many of them grow it long. I'm not sure how I ended up being the only female in the entire side of the family who inherited this. I'm never this lucky when it comes to good things!
     
  8. BGS92

    BGS92 Guest

    That is just so unfair :( I know exactly how you feel :( it's the whole "why me" thing... it would be easier if this was something that run in the family.. here the other day i was at a family get together and again like always, they start talking about hair. it feels like a nightmare that my family is so obsessed with hair. well anyway they showed me a pic of my cousins girlfriend with her new hair cut and praised her hair and everything saying it was sooo nice... i mean it would have been a normal situation if i wasnt losing hair but they know what i struggle with and yet they do things like this every time i am with them. makes me wanna not go anymore.
     
  9. Blue Panda

    Blue Panda Established Member

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    I'm sure they don't do it on purpose. They don't realize just how upset it makes us or how much time we spend dwelling on it and worrying about it. To them it's "just hair" and an exciting thing to talk about when someone does something different with theirs.

    I do get empathy from my younger brother who was diagnosed with it at 16, but because he's male his doctor quite happily prescribes finasteride and he's not worried about facial hair at all.

    It sucks royally though!
     
  10. cocoa

    cocoa Established Member

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    Wow he prescribed finasteride to a 16yr old? Besides it can cause erection problems, i don't know if its a good thing at such a young age! Blue Panda, i firmly believe you should something about your iron levels, under médical advice of course. 2 cannot be good and it may cure your hair loss, since you are the only one in the family on womeńs side.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And, yes, april what are those dietary changes, LOL? :)
     
  11. Blue Panda

    Blue Panda Established Member

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    Thank you! My iron has been sorted for now. For the last 6 months, no new hair though, in fact I'm losing more than ever :( I'm having some testing done this week to check for possible reasons why they keep dropping although I've battled with low iron stores my entire life. I can remember Mum having liquid iron on the bench when I was just a kid.

    I didn't know about the problems with finasteride and men. He's in his late 20's now, been on it for years, but I only found out about it all last year when I discussed my own hair loss.
     
  12. Melissa123

    Melissa123 Guest

    April, you'll have to let me know if taking iron helps! My daughter is 16 and has been losing hair at a rapid rate for about a year. Her iron level tested at 27, and she's been supplementing since January. Her derm seemed to think that low iron might be the cause. He thought 27 was too low of a level for someone her age. I've read many stories of women that were told they had Androgenetic Alopecia, only to find out that it was something other than that....often iron. Anyway, I'd love an update in a few months. :))
     
  13. itsjusthair

    itsjusthair Guest

    I can totally relate with everyone in this thread. I'm 31 yrs old, but have been suffering from hair loss since my 20's. I had naturally thin/fine hair growing up, in fact, I remember being teased in grade school because of it, but fortunately, it didn't faze me. I didn't really think I would lose more as I get older. Like you guys, I'm the only female I know on both sides of the family that is suffering from adrogenetic alopecia. My dad was balding, and my brothers are going down that road as well, but both my sisters have thick hair, I've lucked out unfortunately. I'm healthy, blood tests comes back normal everytime. Noone knows about my hair loss except my immediate family and my significant other. I never feel comfortable talking about it with them. I don't think my family knows how 'severe' my hair loss is now. I've worn my hair up forever, and have used those hair fiber products everyday for 3 years now to mask my scapl. Rogaine would have never worked for me, as I hate the maintenance and I dont wash my hair everyday (because of the hair fibers in my scalp/hair). At one point, I used a hair piece. That was a traumatizing experience. Since then, I've been super cautious about doing anything different to my hair. I get super uncomfortable when family/friends/coworkers start talking about hair.. or someone comments about getting a hair cut/color etc. But nothing compared to when they ask me about my hair, or why I never let it down. I'm constantly thinking about my hair, and have been contemplating about shaving it all off for sometime now.
     
  14. CurlyQ

    CurlyQ Established Member

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    Hi April_91,

    I was just wondering if you've noticed any improvements with your hair?

    Please keep us updated! :)
     
  15. ranjani17

    ranjani17 Guest

    Hey april,
    We have so much in common!!! Even I have suffered from anxiety problems since I was 15 and have sleep issues. I also have a mentally ill parent. I am 22 now. I have been suffering from hairfall for 2 years and diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia recently. I am also the only one with Androgenetic Alopecia in my family expect my grand dad on my mother's side. I have low iron levels too and have been taking pills for that. I am losing hair everyday (about 150 per day). It is very distressing.

    How is your hair now after taking ferritin any improvements recently?
     
    #15 ranjani17, Jul 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014
  16. BGS92

    BGS92 Guest

    Count me in the club, I am also 22, suffering anxiety problems since about 16 and also have sleep issues and Androgenetic Alopecia for 2 years!! Also the only female in my fam but the males have it. I do not have low iron tho.

    Our stories seem scarily similar!!
     
  17. ranjani17

    ranjani17 Guest

    Hey BGS,

    How are you dealing with this? I feel so helpless. I can't control my fall. Do you also have severe hairfall? Are you using Rogaine?
     
  18. BGS92

    BGS92 Guest

    I'm not dealing well, crying most of the time feeling helpless. :/ Tried rogaine for a year, did not help. Had severe hair fall, now mild to moderate, but I have very aggressive thinning where the Androgenetic Alopecia process is happening fast.. :broken:
     
  19. ranjani17

    ranjani17 Guest

    I can totally feel your pain. Its so unfair to be suffering from Androgenetic Alopecia at 22.
    I saw in the other post that you have scalp pain. I have been suffering from scalp pain too. It's not as severe as yours. Its like a mild pricking, itching and crawling feeling. Its like my hair is too heavy for my head. I also have TMJ (a jaw joint problem caused by anxiety) and my derm thinks the pain might be because of that.
    Also how high are your DHT levels? Are you on any pill for that? My derm suggested Avodart and thinking of starting it.
    I hope we will find the strength to deal with this!
     
  20. BGS92

    BGS92 Guest


    I know :( Baldness should be the last thing on our minds at this age...
    Yes I do have horrible scalp pain. Sorry to hear about yours but nice to hear it's not unbarable :) But the pain does not help at all, and it reminds me of going bald every day...
    I did get my DHT levels a bit high, what about yours? They weren't through the roof but a bit high. I am on finasteride which I had to order online since the doctors in my stupid ass country (norway) won't prescribe to women. They have never heard of it even being a hair loss medication. I don't know if my pills are real but they're not working, and I'm about to run out. I have tried ordering avodart online multiple times and the same thing happens every time; shipping takes a month then i get a notice in the mail the pills have been stopped at customs and sent back, because of my stupid country rules... I have tried one last time now ordering avodart off the site I got my finasteride pills, at least they came in the mail. Just hope they are the real deal!! But I really wish i could have gotten a real prescription, would have made me feel a lot safer, and been nicer to my wallet as well.. :/
     

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