Remembering My Hair
This is an extremely personal blog post but I’m ready to let this out into the universe. I would not ever show most of these photos to anyone, but the hope that it might inspire someone out there who is dealing with hair loss is a good enough reason to share my story.
I’ve always been searching for old photos, desperate of any kind of evidence that would prove I once did have thick hair. To be honest, I can not recall one single memory, pass my high school years, of my hair ever being “thick” but perhaps it was because I never thought I would lose more than half of it. I never even saw it coming.
When life wants to teach you a lesson, it will be sure to leave you trails of how lucky you once were, a reminder more like. These days I like to tell myself- life’s lesson is not meant to be a mean trick but more so a journey helping you to be a better person.
Stress and A Poor Diet
My hair loss story begin in college 2007- freshmen year to be exact. The first signs were on the side-areas of my head. Once, upon flipping my hair without care, an ex-boyfriend had a fateful glance. He then commented on how it looked like the scalp of a doll. Don’t worry, he’s not around anymore. It effected me deeply. This was the beginning of my worries.
College, especially the first year, was very stressful for me. Being just a child on my own for the first time, and the long hours into the night working on projects, my diet was the last of my worries. On top of that I was practically a vegetarian. Though I was not completely one, I disliked the raw-like taste of meat and avoided it as much as possible. Most of the time my diet consist of only carbs. You can imagine how nutritious that could have been. This paved the road into my struggle with thin hair.
Sophomore year began in 2008 and so did the contraception medication. I’ve reached mid back length hair, a length that I’ve only had twice in my lifetime. I strongly believe contraception pills were the root cause of my hair lose. Either that or it triggered something with my hormones to cause my hair to fall out.
I began to notice shrinkage with my ponytail circumference, and my hairline started to recede. This worsened through out the rest of my college years. I had no clue what was happening. All three of my sisters had thick full hair and I was the only one who was experiencing hair loss.
Being a millennial, who came right out of college in the mins of the second greatest recession in America, I was severely in debt with college loans and struggled to find a good paying job. My body, soul, and spirit was at an all time low by 2012. At this time my hair loss was at it’s peak. I lost more than half of my hair. The hair left on my scalp was sparse and hair loss became one of my prominent features.
In 2012 I decided to take photos of my scalp. I was shocked to see how much hair I had lost. I was done! I knew then that something in me had to change.
Road to Recovery
Below are eight methods that have helped the most with my hair loss. I’ve rated them on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the best method. They are based on my own experience and the effects will vary for others.
BIOTIN SUPPLEMENTS – 1*
Biotin pills were the first method I experimented with. I’ve tried many brands with different doses. I’ve tried different types of supplements ranging from regular pills to gummy’s, and even flavored tablets. I still experienced hair fall with no significant change.
VITAMIN D MEDICATION – 3*
Between the years of 2008 – 2012, I’ve reached out to three different doctors. One doctor told me it was genetics. Another suggested rogan, which I thankfully avoided. The last visit resulted in a blood test that revealed vitamin D deficiency. I was prescribed medication and though it I did experience new hair growth, It was not a significant amount. I did not see change for another three years- adding a total of eight years of struggle.
GOING SHAMPOO-LESS – 3*
Washing my hair without shampoo helped, in the sense that it was liberating. I stopped using harsh chemicals, curling irons, and hair products all together for some time.
HAIR OIL – 5*
GETTING OFF BIRTH CONTROL – 5*
The year of 2012, two years after college, I decided to get off the pill. I had been on it for five long years. I remember searching the internet to see if I can find evidence linking oral contraceptives to hair loss and found very little evidence. Upon searching today in 2017, there are more sources revealing that the two are in fact linked: WebMD, and HealthLine
Two to three months after getting off the pill, I experience new hair re-growth, not only on my head, but also on my armpits and else where on my body.
EXERCISE AND BALANCED DIET- 5*
In 2015 I began working out regularly, all thanks to Big Mike’s Boot Camp. I also began eating a more balanced diet by adding more protein to my meals. I believe these two factors helped out tremendously!
Working out, a balanced diet, and a clear/ new mind set were the best methods of getting over hair loss.
THINKING POSITIVE – 5*
By 2013 I’ve came to terms with thin hair and had grown to accept it. I kept my hair on the shorter side, never letting it reach below my shoulders. I was threw with the negative thoughts and had settled with good intentions that one day I would indeed recover. It was hard, to say the least… very hard.
Letting go was key and the hardest method to conceptualize, yet alone follow through. It took me five years of stressing over hair loss, and three years of acceptance.
“You must remove all negative energy from your path in order to make way towards progress.”
FIND A SUPPORT GROUP – 5*
Another method of coping with hair loss would be to find a community of people who are struggling through the same thing. I’ve only recently begun this method after eight long years in the dark. It was such a relief to know and have your voice heard by people who are dealing with the same issues as you. I currently joined a Facebook group called Telogen Effluvium Support Group.
New Hair Beginnings
I began to notice change in the year of 2016. To be honest, I fell into denial, thinking it was not possible for my hair to ever recover. The one thing that helped me recognize change was through photos. The photos above labeled “2012”, were the only documentation of my hair loss. I was really thankful to have recorded my hair loss at it’s peak. With out the evidence, I would have never began to notice change.
I am currently on a “three year hair challenge” I’m only one year one, but I hope to grow my hair out to lengths I’ve only dreamed of. My desired goal is hip length hair and it will take me a good three years of growth. This is just the beginning of my hair journey.
If you are struggling with similar hair loss issues, please know that you must hang in there and be patient. Keep your mind positive and work towards progress.
I still currently struggle with thin hair, but I’ve learned so much in the past eight years. I’ve come to accept things by letting go. I’ve gained a tremendous amount of patience while also learning how to adapt to change and most important of all, I’ve learned to be grateful for what I still have.
Follow my hair journey on instagram: @mah_hrrr