Hair Loss and Hope

My hair started falling out about four years ago, at the age of 23. I’ve always had fine hair and thought it was thin, but looking back it was rather quite nice.

Within six months, I lost about half of my hair. Luckily, it was thick enough at the start that it didn’t result in a noticeable difference to the outside observer. But I sure could notice a difference. Most of the volume was lost from the temples and the crown.

I remember crying every morning as my hand filled up with hair while I was blow drying. I would sit at work and run my hand through my locks and see how many would come out. Balls of shed hair would collect in the carpet under my desk, much to my embarrassment. Drain-o became a staple to keep the drain clear.

I tried a myriad of supplements and different shampoos to help halt the loss. A hair, skin and nails multivitamin, iron, biotin, Cyntaine, Nioxin shampoo, biotin shampoo, rubbing emu oil on my head before bed.

(Luckily, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful boyfriend who is 100% supportive, never once said a harsh word about me coming to bed with greasy, oil emu hair for a few months, and swears he would still love me if I were bald. He’s saved my self-esteem from tanking on more than one occasion.)

Then I tried Viviscal, a hair growth supplement made with vitamins, iron, silica, horsetail, and “marine protein molecules”. Since it was backed by human studies, I committed to giving it a full six months to really see if I could tell a difference. Around the six month mark, I noticed that my hair was growing and it was shinier. My hair wasn’t getting thicker, but the hair that was left was growing again and looking healthy. I continued on for another six months and finally my hair stopped shedding so much.

Another change that happened around the same time is that I finally found a practitioner that would treat my subclinical hypothyroid symptoms. Though my TSH was in the “normal range”, I had just about every thyroid symptom in the books. I started taking Armour thyroid and noticed a bit of an improvement in my fatigue and hair loss. (I still suffer from quite a few other thyroid symptoms, but that’s a post for another day).

Because Viviscal is expensive, I stopped taking it about a year ago. I still take Armour. And the hair loss?

Its started again. About two months ago.

At this point, I’m not stressing over it. Whereas when it first started I cried every day and convinced myself I would become bald, I now know that is really unlikely to happen. And if it does, whatever, I’ll buy a wig. I just have too many other things going on to freak myself out with some hair loss.

I know, just know, that the hair loss is resulting from my SIBO, improper digestion and resulting inflammation. Sure, I could try taking Viviscal again, but if my digested is so effed that I don’t absorb it, it won’t do me much good. My priority is to heal my digestion and be able to get first absorb the nutrients from real foods, and then find the right supplements to fill in the gaps.

Oh, what a journey this life is.

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