Hair Loss Treatment Update

Hair Loss Treatment Update
March 21st, 2011

hair loss treatmentYet again I’ve started a new hair loss treatment plan and I wanted to write a quick update. I went for my three month follow up Dermatologist appointment today. Since I’m on spironolactone the doctor wants to see me often to make sure I’m not having horrible side effects (I’m not). The Derm I’ve seen the last few times switched locations across town, and I was given the option to stay at my current clinic location, but to see her Physician Assistant instead. I jumped at the chance because I was hoping this new person would give me a higher dose of spironolactone for my hair loss.

• Another Dermatologist visit + Spironolactone update
The Physician Assistant just glanced at my hair and asked me if anything was new, and if I was taking the Prednisone I was prescribed by the main hair loss doctor. I explained that I had a huge fear of Prednisone, even though it’s a very low 1mg dose, and that I didn’t feel comfortable taking it (maybe I’ll change my mind one day). I’m sure she thinks I’m nuts for taking Spironolactone but not Prednisone. Anyway, I told her I haven’t seen results from the Spiro but that I would like to continue taking it, and go up to the standard dose for hair loss (which is at least 100mg). The main doctor balked at this request, but the Physician Assistant said it was fine and gave me a prescription for 50mg twice a day – yay! I’m going to do 75mg for two weeks and then go up to 100mg if I can handle it. Three weeks into the Spiro my hair stopped shedding, and I was thinking it was actually working, but a month later the shed picked back up to what it normally is – a lot considering I don’t have that much hair. I am very worried taking Spiro will have been a mistake in the end, but my hair is screwed either way at this point so I might as well take a chance.

• Rogaine 2%
After my hair restoration appointment, I was left feeling like I wasn’t doing enough to treat my hair loss (yeah I know that sounds crazy since I’m doing a ton) but that doctor stressed that I should really be using Rogaine to thicken up my thinning strands. Last summer I used Rogaine 5% and for two months I had terrible headaches and a terrible shed, and I couldn’t handle either one so I quit the Rogaine. Now I just use it on my temples and hairline. A few years earlier I had used Rogaine 2% (the women’s version) without having headaches or shedding (or results) but I have decided to give it a shot again. I’m so worried about the shedding so I’m just doing a test area on the top of my head – only on one side, and not near my part. I don’t know how I will tell if it’s working, but if I shed a ton, hopefully it won’t be as noticeable as it would be if I did my whole head. If the shedding isn’t too bad after a month, I will move to more areas.

What confuses me about liquid Rogaine is that it’s extremely hard to use and cover all of your scalp. I wish it were like a serum or shampoo that can be rubbed in everywhere. I’m afraid that I will miss different spots every day, and then it will cause shedding, but since I miss areas, it won’t make the hair grow back thicker. I haven’t tried the Rogaine foam, which a lot of people say is easier to use, but that only comes in the 5% strength. If I can tolerate the 2% for several months, I may then try the foam, but I worry about having yet another shed from that. UGH!

• Viviscal
The hair restoration doctor also recommended I take Viviscal, and the pills came today. The doctor claims they sell a stronger version at their clinic, but I just bought the over-the-counter Viviscal Extra Strength. I find it hard to believe they will work, but I won’t be able to live with myself if I don’t try everything within reason! What sucks is that they are expensive and I will need to take them for several months to see if I even have any results. Their main ingredient is an AminoMar C Marine Complex, which is made from deep sea fish. I don’t know how this is different than the regular fish oil pills I already take. If you look at reviews online, everyone is raving about Viviscal, but unfortunately I am immune to the placebo effect, unlike a lot of people.

• Final thoughts
It’s not a good idea to do what I’m doing and start three new things in one week – a higher dose of the Spiro medication, 2% Rogaine (even if it is just in a test area), and Viviscal. If my hair starts shedding less, I won’t know why, and if it sheds more, I won’t know the culprit! I just don’t have time to waste trying one thing for 6 months before moving on. Have you tried any new hair loss treatments recently? What have been your results?

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Tags: Categories: Female Hair Loss

10 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Jason
    March 23, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Great blog. Lots of interesting posts about hair loss. Glad I found you.

  • molly
    July 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    hi! i was wondering how your rogaine treatment was going. i’m on the fence about trying because a) my wedding is coming up and don’t want to lose more hair with possible rogaine shed and b) i want to have kids next year so why start when i’ll need to stop. that said, 2 of my friends use the women’s rogaine and the foam and have had decent to good results. so that’s inspiring!

    • Jeni - Hair Loss Hell
      July 28, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      Molly, I’ve been on 5% Rogaine liquid on the very front of my hairline for quite a while now, and 2% Rogaine liquid for several months, and I can’t say I’ve seen a noticeable improvement yet. I have had tons of shedding recently, but it’s hard to say if it’s from the Rogaine, the Spironolactone I’m on, or the fact that I normally shed a lot. I guess I would caution you to try it if your wedding is in a few months because a lot of people experience a shedding phase from it, so it could definitely get worse before it gets better. I know some people seem to have better results on the 5% foam than anything else, but I would still be hesitant to do it before the wedding. I know it’s a tough call, especially if you want to start having kids next year.

  • molly
    July 29, 2011 at 8:04 am

    thanks for the reply jeni! i’m on 100mg of spiro since feb. (prescribed bu the hair loss guru dude Dr. Redmond) and am considering getting my dose increased. it’s not that i even have lots of shedding, but my hair won’t effing grow back like it should! diffuse thinning all over and i lost the bulk of my density. i am running to Dov Salon ( i live in nyc – dov makes really high quality human hair toppers and wigs) if things get really bad. other things i do to promote hair growth are: douse my head with coconut milk 2x a week, use an essential oil mixture on my scalp 2x a week, take biosil drops, take neocell collagen support powder, iron, biotin, vitamin c & d. i think my hl is partly due to my subclinical hypo thyroid which my doc is trying to get leveled (not Dr. Redmond – my primary care – he’s too $$ to see frequently!) and genetics. i’m almost 37 so it’s reasonable to assume there’s some genetics at play, espesh since my mom experienced thinning in her ’30s. though of course i like to blame the thyroid since that can actually be corrected! i may start the rogaine post-wedding just to keep my follicles from dropping into the void. keep ’em stimulated. it’s such a catch mother fucking 22! anyway, i really enjoy your site and find it a nice relief from looking at the large women’s hair loss forums which i find overwhelming at times. your blog is focused, personal and consistent and i enjoy coming here to read your posts. keep it up! sending growing vibes to your follicles! :)

    • Jeni - Hair Loss Hell
      July 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm

      I was thinking of going to Dr. Redmond too, but I just ended up reading his book instead and realized I was already doing the protocol he recommends. And I wanted to go to Dov Salon, but I’m not sure how much the hair pieces cost there. I’m not sure if you saw my post about New York – but I noticed so many women with the same type of hair thinning as me when I was there last year, and I just can’t quite figure out why. I have a slightly low thyroid too, but when I took thyroid medication it made me too speedy so I had to stop. My new theory is that a lot of female hair loss is hormone-related (kind of what Dr. Redmond says too) but there are a lot of different variables.

      • molly
        August 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

        i see tons of young women with hair loss in nyc – even some of my friends have it too due to being on high androgen BC. I also think living in a city can’t be great for hair with all the pollution. Yes, I believe hormones are at play but figuring out exactly what’s going on seems extremely difficult! As for Dov, I got a haircut from him and he did a nice job but was extremely $$ (like $200). Fortunately, I found someone in my ‘hood who does a fantastic job for only $60! I believe his toppers are $2-3k. So much money but I think worth it if you’re gonna get supplemental hair.

  • Irish fairy
    May 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I totally understand all you have been going through. I have been to Dermatologists, Dr Redmond and been on most of the drugs you have listed. Unfortunately for me with no success. So I decided to cosmetically try and deal with my thinning hair. I use ” interlink ” hair where they attach more hair strand by strand to your bio hair. It is amazing and a total God send. Now that I don’t feel so stressed as my hair looks good it has finally stop falling out at a high rate. I totally recommend ” interlink” hair. It has been my life saver:))

    • judy
      February 18, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Hi – I’m thinking of trying Interlink and wanted to know if you’re still happy with it nine months after your post last May. Please let me know before I invest the time and money. Any problems? Is it as wonderful as it sounds? Thanks!

  • Sarah
    May 19, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Hi, thanks for writing this blog! I’m finding it really encouraging and helpful to read all your posts. It’s so helpful to know I’m not the only girl out there who’s losing hair :(

    I was wondering whether the Viviscal tablets helped you. If not with regrowing hair, did they at least slow your hair loss at all? Also, are you still taking them? I didn’t see a mention of you stopping them, or maybe I missed it. Thanks for all you’re doing! :)

  • CeeCee
    May 12, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I just found your hair loss journey and wanted to share something with you. I have suffered from hair loss for almost 20 years. I have tried everything. I have always taken a hair loss vitamin with biotin, tried viviscal, etc. My friend suggested I try Biotin. I told her I have taken it for years, she told me to try the kind she has taken because it worked for her. I thought I would try it. It is nature made biotin. It is a SOFTGEL versus the powder capsules I have been on in the past. I have been on it a month and guess what?? I am getting some hair growth. Much more than I had ever seen on any ofther vitamin. She also told me to spray my scalp with apple cider vinegar each day. So I am a month into this and seeing more results than I have seen in 20 years. There may be something to the softgel biotin. I take a nature made 5000mcg. one day and the next a 10,000mcg softgel.

    I just thought I would share if it would give you the slightest hope.

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