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Can we please revisit FEMALE hair loss - Androgenetic Alopecia?

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  • Can we please revisit FEMALE hair loss - Androgenetic Alopecia?

    I am 39 and have been diagnosed with this condition. This is definitive by several dermatologists.

    My father is completely bald; my mother started getting a diffuse hair loss in her mid-60s (i believe that is due to her hypothyroidism).
    I am NOT perimenopausal and, despite numerous testing, my thyroid TSH, T3 and T4 , and other hormones are within range.
    I know there are a few younger women with similar problem on these forums , and I remember there was a thread once, which I can't find.

    I remember someone mentioned that they were managing their hairloss, but not the HOW of it.
    I am at the point where I have to make a decision to use Monoxidil or go bald.
    I am VERY VERY afraid of Monoxidil, specifically, the side effects of hair growth in other places.
    Could someone please let me know how you manage this condition?
    Any and all tips or suggestion for further testing are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • #2
    I had some hair loss during pregnancy with my 2nd, and it didn't grow back, that was until I stopped using commercial shampoos. I make my own soap, so I custom formulated a soap to clean and condition my hair. My once sparse patches are filled in now (mostly at the top of my head) finally.

    However, before I go claiming its the shampoo bar, I beleive that its because I'm no longer using a detergent, SLSA/SLS heavy liquid shampoo that was stripping the natural oils from my hair and clogging pores. I also added peppermint to it, which stimulates hair growth, provided the folicle isn't dead.
    SW: 235
    Rough start due to major carb WD.

    MWF: 1 hour run/walk, 1.5 hours in the gym - upper/lower and core
    Sat/Sun=Yard/house work, chasing kids, playing
    Family walk every night instead of everyone vegging in front of the TV
    Personal trainer to build muscle mass & to help meet goals


    • #3
      I think a thorough search of the forums would be very useful, as I can't recall what works for everyone. And I can't say that what I'm doing is necessarily 'working' although my hair loss is slowed right now. (It goes in bits and spurts.)

      First, have your ferritin levels checked. This may prompt you to take iron later (but only after testing!).

      I also take biotin, lysine, and silica (via diatomaceous earth, settled in water).

      I used minoxidil for about 5 years. Never had any hair growth in 'other areas' but can't say it did much. I was just hoping it was doing something.

      Manage stress.
      Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.


      • #4
        thank you both for your replies.
        How much biotine, lysine and silica, say_rahh?
        any specific brands?


        • #5
          OK... I've not been diagnosed with anything because I never asked to be, but I have that characteristic thinning along the centre parting, with extra scalp visible just behind the hairline and on the crown. So yup, FPB.

          Things that have helped: essential oils kept the rampant dandruff and itching at bay for a decade or so, and then I found things were tolerable if I just used very, very mild shampoo from the health food shop, and that saved me a lot of time. Meanwhile, my hair was gradually getting thinner. (Maybe if I'd made regular use of West Indian Bay it would've made a difference?)

          Post-PB: first thing that happened was that dandruff and itching all cleared up completely. Then hair loss almost completely stopped. Second thing: it resumed in huge handfuls, more than ever, so I knew all this was just a reaction to the dietary change, and Didn't Panic. Now - about 8 months in - loss has slowed right down and I think the thinning areas are less thin. Can't be completely sure, but the experience of seeing the top of my head in changing room mirrors is less scary, and I'm definitely losing much less than pre-PB.

          So I just keep on eating well, using the minimum of the mildest shampoos, and crossing my fingers.


          • #6
            My suspicion (I have it too) is that it's possibly demodex. I gather (like many organisms) have small colonies of the stuff, but with PB + age, hormonal changes (and possibly increased oil production?) encourages their overgrowth. Ironically. Unfortunately I'm too broke to go to a skin specialist to find out.

            If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder


            • #7
              Check out the book "The Hormone Solution" by Dr Thierry Hertoghe. He explains the difference between 'in range' hormone levels and optimal levels and why the range for hormones can be so far out given that it is based on the average of the whole population. Given that most of the population follow the SAD way of life, the range obtained by testing them may not be the optimal for health. You may still require hormone therapy.

              He had quite a few patients that seffered hair-loss that he was able to treat successfully with hormone treatments.
              My Journal


              • #8
                I am a woman with male pattern baldness and nothing much has helped with my hair loss except for PB. My hair loss is attributed to higher T levels and the fact that my mom used to take me for perms at a very young age. Biotin and other supplements have never really helped.


                • #9
                  The only thing I have any knowledgeable opinion about is thyroid. You say your "in range"... it's really important WHERE in the range you are. Can you post your actual results with the ranges for the lab you went to? That would help.

                  I was "in range" for my thyroid for years, while my hair was falling out and I got more and more tired. Until I was finally "out of range"... and it's taken over 2 years to get almost back, though I still have other hormonal issues to fix due to being non-treated for so long.

                  It may also be something completley different... or it may be a combination of things. Hormones tend to work like a waterfall... one goes awry, and another tries to compensate which throws it out of balance, etc. etc. So once something's been going on for a while it's not usually as simple as fixing one thing, it's usually fixing a few, and then finding the imbalances and working on those too.
                  sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


                  • #10
                    If it is demodex you can decolonize your skin with sea buckthorn oil/soap/shampoo. I really like the weleda sea buckthorn oil and moisturizer. There are some great sea buckthorn soaps out there too, and aparently sea buckthorn shampoo/conditioner. I usually just lather up with the soap, and massage my scalp with it.

                    I am not losing my hair, I'm using it to treat keratosis pilaris.
                    The more I see the less I know for sure.
                    -John Lennon


                    • #11
                      oh thanks so much for that earthmomma. I'll give it a try - at least if nothing else that means I can rule that out as a possibility.

                      At the moment I'm thoroughly disillusioned with medical help on any 'minor' issues like this - expensive tests and shrugged shoulders....
                      If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder