How I Stopped My Hair Loss and Regrew Hair Without Medication
My Hair Loss Journey
I own my personal share of vanity. Looking good is important to most women and I am no different. Until last year, I never stopped to appreciate the fact that I was born with hair so thick that no standard claw, clip, or barrette could contain it. Blow-drying took 20 to 30 minutes and straightening it was a worthless endeavor. In my youth, my hair endured many bad perms, highlighting, coloring, and teasing. Years later I would experience minor hair loss after the birth of my children, but nothing would prepare me for the sudden and severe loss of one third of my hair in less than six months.
When the hair loss first started, I would brush my hair to find it was full of hair. This was alarming as I take a multivitamin, and a hair, nail, and skin vitamin daily. Soon, I noticed lots of hair in the shower drain. I was constantly shedding on my clothes and in my car. When I got clothes out of the dryer, everyone’s clean clothes were covered in my hair. Within a month, I could feel a difference in my hair and it was becoming flat and dull. After some internet research, I decided to get a check up to test for obvious causes.
I intentionally sought a female doctor assuming that she would offer insight and attention to a condition that could be potentially devastating to a fellow woman. This female doctor tested my iron levels and administered a test for hypothyroid. A week later she called stating all the tests were normal and there was nothing to be concerned about. As requested, I counted hairs lost each day (with 80 to 100 being normal). I informed her I was losing approximately 400 to 500 per day. She told me there was nothing she could do for me and to call back in six months if it didn’t improve.
I remember thinking, in six months I would probably be bald. I took the initiative to research female hair loss and become proactive in fighting hair loss on my own. Through my self guided research, I stopped my hair loss in six weeks and today, my hair is growing back normally.
Medical Tests You Need to Request For Hair Loss
Anyone experiencing hair loss should request a blood test to check for an iron deficiency called anemia. The lack of iron can lead to fatigue and male and female hair loss. Eating a balanced diet full of iron may help, but those with low levels may need additional supplements to maintain a healthy level of iron in the blood.
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can contribute to male and female hair loss. These conditions may accelerate the conversion of testosterone to DHT which attacks hair on the scalp and damages hair follicles. A simple blood test can determine whether a thyroid disorder is the cause of hair loss.
Autoimmune diseases are incurable disorders that wreak havoc in the body because as it causes the immune system to attack healthy cells in many parts of the body, including hair follicles. A doctor can order blood tests to determine autoimmune antibodies in the blood that may be triggering hair loss. Autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Alopecia Areata, and Hashimoto’s Disease known to cause moderate to severe hair loss in men and women and should be considered in absence of a more common diagnosis.
Hormone Panel and Menopause Testing
Any woman nearing forty may benefit from a hormone panel to test for menopause or perimenopause if a solution to hair loss is not evident. Hormonal imbalances occur after child birth, during menopause, and during perimenopause. During an imbalance, a woman’s estrogen levels may drop which can interfere with testosterone production that supports healthy hair growth. This condition can cause changes in hair including hair loss.
The $3.49 Hair Loss Solution for Women
Possible Saw Palmetto Side Effects
Liver damage and jaundice
High blood pressure
Possible weight gain in women
Increased sex drive
May interfere with medications including birth control
May cause breast enlargement in women
After extensive research of causes and cures for female hair loss, I discovered that Saw Palmetto was recommended by authoritative sites such as Web M.D. as a treatment for all causes of hair loss. Saw Palmetto has been used for years as an aphrodisiac and is often recommended to men for prostate cancer prevention. It prevents the conversion of DHT from testosterone which destroys hair follicles, and is leading cause of hair loss for men and women.
It can take six weeks to see hair loss relief with Saw Palmetto. After five weeks of taking 450 milligrams per day, my hair stopped falling out. At seven weeks, new hair growth started.
Saw Palmetto is available at Walmart and all major pharmacies.
Little Known Causes of Female Hair Loss
Hair loss is common in females. For most, hair loss occurs in patches or all over the head. In addition to iron deficiency, thyroid disorders, autoimmune disease, and hormonal imbalances, there are several less common factors that cause female hair loss.
- Heredity- A female with a mother or father with hair loss may inherit the problem.
- Smoking- Excessive smoking activates the body's defenses an raises white blood cell counts which is associated with hair loss.
- Surgery- Many people loose significant amounts of hair a few months after a major surgery. During the healing process, white blood cell counts become elevated which creates an autoimmune response on hair follicles. This type of hair loss is usually temporary.
- Excessive Weight Loss- Doctors are unsure why, but after a sudden or severe weight loss, hair may fall out. At best guess, this may cause hair loss because of the lack of nutrients in a diet during crash dieting, or a body's autoimmune response.
- Diet- A diet low in protein may not provide enough nourishment to hair follicles which can cause hair loss. A poor diet may also create a vitamin deficiency leading to hair loss.
- Not washing hair daily- Male and female hair loss is often caused by DHT which is converted testosterone. If hair is not washed every day, the DHT on the scalp accumulates and is distributed through the scalp when hair is combed. When people are in a hair loss cycle, they may be afraid to wash their hair daily because of the fall out, but not washing it daily can make hair loss worse.
- Excessive Sweating- People in hot climates or those who work out regularly tend to sweat more than others. Sweat may cause irritation to the scalp which can cause itching and hair loss. When sweating, it is important to wash hair as soon as possible.
- Stress- Excessive stress is hard on the body and can trigger a rush of adrenaline and white blood cells which may activate an autoimmune response in hair follicles, causing hair to fall out.
- Tight hair styles- Hair styles can put strain on the scalp. If you are experiencing hair loss, avoid tight braids and pony tails.
Psychological Effects of Female Hair Loss
Hair loss is traumatic for men and women. While hair loss is expected in a large percentage of men, it is less common in females and less accepted by society. Losing hair at a rapid pace creates a great deal of anxiety when there are no answers and no hope that it will stop. Every woman who suffers from hair loss needs to know it is natural to mourn the loss of their hair, their identity, and self esteem. While my personal loss hasn't been as severe as many other women's losses, it is evident that in our advanced age, much more needs to be done to help women in this condition to cope with hair loss.
While many doctors will go to great lengths to make their patients whole, many doctors do not consider male or female hair loss as a medical problem and dismiss hair loss as nothing but a cosmetic problem. If this is happening to you, become proactive in your own health.
The preceding information is not medical advice nor should it replace the professional opinion of a doctor. Always check with your physician before taking supplements or starting a hair loss regiment.