16yrs of hair loss, depression - where to now?

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Joined: August 8th, 2016, 7:13 am

16yrs of hair loss, depression - where to now?

Postby shen » October 19th, 2016, 7:59 am

Like most of you, my hair has become a daily obsession which has ruled my life and taken away so much happiness leaving in it’s wake, depression and anxiety to the point I have considered taking my own life on numerous occasions. Society has built woman up to be these things of beauty with long healthy shinning hair. Hair is something that defines a woman, its often what people are attracted to, hair is in daily conversation, hair care is on every second ad on TV...it is a constant. For me hair loss has stripped away my identity and has changed who I am.
My hair loss journey started in my early teens which I believe was due to increased stress and anxiety, depression.
The following years were filled with more hair specialist visits, thousands of dollars spent on hair growth products and treatments, all with varying degrees of success.
I have been to over and above 20 different counsellors, psychologists for CBT etc, alternative therapists to help with my mental health and hair obsession, and likewise to help with my physical symptoms of what has recently been diagnosed as leaky gut.
I am now 34 years old. I have spent 16 years of my life in chronic stress and in a hair obsessed haze. I am still very much obsessed with my hair loss. I avoid mirrors, I cringe when my friends talk about their hair, when I met someone the first thing I do is look at their hair, I can’t focus on TV or movies as I am too busy looking at their amazing thick hair and thinking how happy they must be to have hair like that. I don’t turn on the bright lights in the bathroom because this highlights my shining scalp. I have panic attacks about getting stuck in the rain and my hair getting wet which would show how thin it really is. I lay in bed awake for hours obsessing over my hair. I can’t look at any old photos of me, what would be amazing memories are reminders of my once thick beautiful hair. I was very lucky in that sense, I started off with amazing hair that was the envy of many and was always something people would comment on. Not now.

My current hair care regime consists of hair volumising shampoo and conditioner, thickening spray, dry shampoo ($100 per month). At night I use Regaine topical solution ($70 per month) and a Laser Cap ($2,500). Perhaps this is stabilising my hair loss - but definitely I don't see any new growth. I was taking medications Finasteride and Spironolactone ($50 per month) however my PRP doctor has advised me to stop taking them - this is anxiety provoking as I have noticed increased shedding.

Should I go back on Finasteride and Spironolactone?? I’m pretty sure I don’t want children...

This regime was prescribed to me about 4 years ago along with the contraceptive pill Yasmin / Yas which I was taking until 1 year ago. I stopped this because it was suffering with night sweats at an extreme level (2-3 times a night I would get up to change my PJ’s and lay a towel down on the bed), but I kept taking it as it was helping to stabilise my hair loss. For those that aren’t aware, certain types of contraceptive pills reduce hair loss as they are essentially tricking your body into thinking it’s pregnant (a time when you have lush hair), however after giving birth woman can experience rapid hair loss. This is what happened to me when I stopped taking Yasmin a year ago - I lost yet again a huge amount of hair, but I managed to push through as the thought of chronic night sweats was not an attractive option either. Now a year has passed, I have not regained my periods and my hair has stayed thin.

I am very aware that my hair loss is also a mental health problem. An obsession of massive proportions. I can’t ever imagine not thinking about my hair loss and how I could possibly be happy and more forward. I feel very sad about the years I have wasted worrying and thinking about my hair. I am currently seeing a Psychosynthesis counsellor to help move forward and heal my passed trauma.

I have recently had my first PRP treatment and hope like some of you will experience success.
I know, no matter what I do, I will never have the hair I want. I will never have the thick lush hair I once had. Due to the length of time nearly 20 years of my hair being deprived of a good supply of blood and it turning from a stress response into female pattern baldness I have learnt that the hair follicles start to get smaller and smaller until they die off and no more hair can be produced.
I feel so sad for all of the other amazing woman out there that have had to go through a similar hair loss journey to me. However it is a huge comfort for me to know there are other people out there that understand. I am in New Zealand and I don’t know of any hair loss support communities like this.

I would love to hear from anyone that could help me to move forward and be happy and accept my hair for what it is. Also if you have advice re: treatment (Finasteride, Spironolactone)

I dream of the day that my hair isn’t the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night.

Thank you for reading my story

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