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there goes my hair

Normally there is nothing quite as satisfying as the validation of an expert telling you that you are right about something that everyone around you doubted. And when I say doubted, the words paranoid and crazy were thrown around quite liberally…However, that satisfaction, when told you are indeed experiencing substantial hair loss, is short-lived. So short-lived I can’t remember if it happened. I wanted to shout “ha! Told you so, I knew it,” but before I could get it out, it was caught in my throat and quickly morphing into a head in hands sniveling; “fuck, I knew it.” And feelings of satisfaction dissolved instantaneously into feelings of despair and panic. If this sounds over-dramatic to you, try losing your hair at 27. Ok, I just read that back to myself. There are much worse ways that I could be losing my hair. Don’t hassle me. I know that.

I have fine hair. In the past I had been told that I have a healthy head of fine hair. Even though it is straight and mousey and not what I would have chosen, I once got asked if I was a hair model while leaving the salon. I was 21 and I think that it might have been the healthiest and fullest my hair will ever be. About four months ago I thought that my hair was not forming the fluffy swirl of a top knot that I so enjoy. I noticed that my always teeny pony-tail started fitting into those nickel sized little girl pony-tail holders… and the elastic could go around twice. Whatever. Then two months ago I pulled my hair back at night to wash my face and saw a giant patch of scalp-  this shockingly white patch that started at my hairline and went back about three inches.  Sparse and patchy hairs are still growing there with these super awesome little ½ – 1 inch “baby” hairs that curl around like the smallest patch of bangs you have ever seen. They creep me out and remind me of baby teeth people find in tumors…
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So, knowing that stress can make it worse, I tried not to worry….
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Um. It’s me. I worried. I spent hours researching online. I can guarantee you that with the exception of maybe three people, every person who has crossed my path in the past two months has heard me talk about my thinning hair. When they protest, I push aside my magnificent comb over to show them that patch.  My mom must have thought that was super charming when I did it on Easter weekend; and not just on Easter, but also the night before at a wine and cheese party.

 

After about, I don’t know, a billion hours of research, visiting forums, and reading clinical papers, I found what looks to be an expert in our area and booked myself an appointment. Today was that appointment.  Initially, and I am still waiting on one test, it seems like my hair loss is being caused by all three of the leading hair loss factors for women; hormones, iron levels, and that loveable hereditary factor.  So, here is my guide (you know I love a guide) to balding at 27…
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How to Deal with Premature Female Balding

  1. Upon leaving the doctor’s office, get in the car and start responding to an email that your husbands coworker and friend sent you asking for restaurant recommendations. After answering her question about restaurants, write at least a full paragraph long diatribe about your hair loss and despair.
  2.  Give up any idea you had of ever creating a thick braid and wonder if you brought that Jessica Simpson pony-tail extension on your move.
  3. Call your best friend and drive in circles for about 30 minutes while talking her ear off. You get to vent, and then you get the distraction of getting yourself un-lost.
  4. Master a deep part and a comb over. Some sites will recommend bangs to create an illusion of fuller hair. Ignore that. I’m growing mine out. Though at times they seem to work wonders for fellow thin haired lover Rashida Jones.

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Things Not To Do When Your Hair is Thinning

  1. Don’t delete your “fab hair” Pinterest folder. It is fab. Someone will appreciate it.
  2. Don’t tell everyone you come into contact with about your hair issues. I mean, I totally did and will continue to, but I am thinking that I am just drawing attention to it.
  3. Don’t go rouge and get short hair. Yet.
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Questionable Actions

  1.  Saving all the hair you pull out of your brush. Ok, well, I always save those hairballs because they freak David out. My favorite thing is to put it on his pillows for a grotesque surprise.
  2. Practically shellacking your little tiny broken hair-line hairs to avoid a creepy baby hair issue.
  3. Draping your cousins glorious long hair over your own head and pretending it’s your own… watch your back, Katherine.

 

Guys- I am off to buy Rogaine and iron supplements. Gah. There will be updates. Don’t fear.

20 Comments

  1. I have alopecia, and thankfully I’ve only ever had one traumatic episode but they shot me up full of cortisone, which did suck, but worked a ton. I’ve also heard that diatomacious earth helps a lot. It’s weird, I know, but its the word on the street. Food grade, of course.

    • Ah. So grateful to hear from you about it. He only suggested iron and rogaine… I am going to have to ask about the cortisone. Maybe they will suggest that when we have all my test results in? Ugh. Such a bummer… Ok, I honestly don’t know what diatomacious earth is… going to google. xoxo

  2. I know a few women who have experienced this. One found out that it was related to a thyroid issue, and it started growing back after they figured out the cause. Regardless, it was definitely an intense and emotional thing for them to go through, so I absolutely empathize with how you feel.

    Stay positive – you are beautiful, hair or no hair!
    Isn’t That Charming.

    • Thanks… although I think I am too vain and will definitely start looking at wigs if I get desperate. Thanks and I am happy to have you over here! xo

  3. Honestly, I like to read about random things so do not ask me WHY I know this (my hair isn’t thinning) but people have been raving about this vitamin concoction. It’s not cheap, but could be worth trying:

    http://www.amazon.com/Viviscal-Extra-Strenth-Dietary-Supplement/dp/B006UJD9OE/ref=pd_sim_hpc_6

    Seriously… why do I know this? Just in case I suppose…

    • I will check it out! I am on vitamins that were supposed to help and it’s been six months, but I am totally open and will check it out! xo

  4. OMG. The women on my mom’s side of the fam all have thinning/balding heads (except my mom I guess, on the balding part), and not to sound shallow, but it terrifies me!! I’m sad to hear this is happening to you, but I’m sure you’ll pull through it with those doctor recommendations. And even with a normal head of hair, I could never pull off a voluptuous braid. So I kind of feel your pain on that one <3

    • It is terrifying. I know that people could see this as shallow, but whatever. I could never pull off that braid either…haha. But, I could manage a bunch of styles that I liked that are now out of the question.

  5. Sarah

    Have you had your thyroid checked? I experienced significant hair loss a few years ago and turns out I had a hyperactive thyroid. Once that was discovered, I was put on meds and now all is fine.

  6. Katrina

    I will start collecting my spares to make you a wig, then we really will look related!

  7. Casandra

    My hair seemed to be thinning a few months ago. I have not seen any patches yet, but I am constantly looking at my hair and some days I do not even comb it for fear of losing more. I went out and bought some special shampoo and now I am waiting to see if it works. At this point if it gets worse I am thinking of getting some fab wigs, giving them all names and calling it a day! Check out Wendy Williams. She is very vocal about her thinning hair due to thryoid issues and she swears by her wigs!

    • You are so right about the wigs. I am a Bravo watcher and there are so many ladies with wigs, extensions, hair pieces… I mean, it won’t be the worst if I have to resort to that. What kind of shampoo are you using? I stopped brushing my hair when wet for a while, and then i stopped blowdrying it, but it looked so awful, I had to start again because when it looks it worse, I just stress. xo

      • Casandra

        Dermarest. It is for itchy scalp. I noticed that I started losing more hair when my scalp was really dry. I only use it three times a week. I am only losing a few strands now instead of what seemed like a thousand. I also try not to wash my hair everyday. But, that is so hard with thinner hair! I find that only washing it at night helps. Also not putting it in a pony tail all the time helps. You are so brave for going to the doctor! I am too scared to go just yet. Thank you for posting on this subject.

  8. Colleen

    OMG Chelsea. I can totally relate. Where do I start! I’ve always had thin hair but I swear its gotten worse in the last year. I’ve attributed it to stress, low iron, going off birth control and a bad hair dying experience that I’m pretty sure fried it. Plus my hair grows painstakingly slow. Living in a country like Spain where the majority of women have long, shiny, thick GORGEOUS hair does not help how I feel about it. The other day in the elevator my husband said I could write a book about my hair with how much I complain and talk about it. Uff. So I’m trying to take my vitamins and be nice to my hair, but progress is slow. Also (and I could be imagining this) I swear my hair has started to look better and possibly grow faster after I started working out on a regular basis about a month and a half ago. Can you please do a couple more posts on this topic!? Hair cuts and styles for thin hair…please I need inspiration so that I don’t do crazy and pull a britney which I have very seriously considered.

    • I know- and everyone is so dismissive of it. But hair is tied to femininity and beauty and so it is hard not to care. I will for sure do more posts about it. We will have to email and you can let me know what you have found that works. I have been working out regularly for about a month, so we will see. I take vitamins… it didn’t help. I also think it is going off the pill, stress, and then just time setting in… Love that you can relate. We shall discuss. xoxo

  9. Lady, I can only imagine how stressful (ironic) and awful this must feel–but I’m so happy to hear there are things to be done about it!

    PS–every time John pulls one of my enormous hair ball out from under the bed, he practically cries. So I like to collect them and leave them on his side of the bed!

    • Yes! I can’t believe you do it too. I like to terrify him with the hair wads. I have hid them in drawers, pockets… my fave is between the pillows or sheets. hahah

  10. So, don’t ever apologize for freaking out, being upset, worried/etc. about losing your hair. I say this not to be bossy or all-knowing, but because I think, as bloggers, we’re always worried about the lone crazy-ass out there who will say “Why are you bitching about that when some people have it so much worse!” (Or at least I am!) Anyways, just wanted to say that, and that I’m sending you a virtual hug of girl power. No doubts that so many positive things will come from you sharing this. Xo

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