Hair Loss Hell

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  • Propecia, Finasteride, And Proscar – Side Effects In Women
    November 7th, 2011

    propecia side effects in womenPropecia, Finasteride, and Proscar, which are all the same medication, have potential side effects in both women and men. While the medications are only FDA approved for men to use for male pattern baldness hair loss or prostate problems, some doctors will also prescribe them to treat genetic female hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). Since I recently started taking Propecia, I’ve delved in deeper to discover all potential side effects, and I’m slightly freaked out by what I’ve found. All medications, of course, come with risks and side effects, so Propecia is no different.

    • Propecia vs Finasteride vs Proscar
    I use these medication names interchangeably because they’re all basically the same thing. Propecia, which is made by Merck, is the brand name of the FDA approved male pattern hair loss drug, and its active ingredient is 1mg of Finasteride. Right now Propecia doesn’t come in a generic form, so if your doctor gives you a Propecia prescription, you will be forced to pay about $70  each month for it. Proscar, which is also made by Merck, is the brand name of the drug that is FDA approved to treat an enlarged prostate gland in men. Its active ingredient is 5mg of Finasteride. Proscar also comes in a generic form – Finasteride 5mg, which sells for about $4!

    So whether you’re taking Propecia, Finasteride, or Proscar, they all contain the same active ingredient. The difference is that Proscar and Finasteride are five times the strength of Propecia, so if your doctor prescribes it for hair loss, he or she will probably tell you to cut the pill into four equal pieces and to just take 1/4th of a pill each day. That is 1.25mg of Finasteride, which is close enough to Propecia (1mg of Finasteride). Yep it’s complicated, and the only reason to get a prescription for Finasteride instead of Propecia is to save a ton of money. But cutting up that tiny pill is sort of a pain, and it’s hard to slice it evenly.

    Why Propecia is not FDA approved for women to use
    Propecia has the potential to cause birth defects, so pregnant and breast feeding women should not take the medication, or even handle crushed or broken tablets. If you are trying to get pregnant, you should not take the medication, and you should wait a few months after stopping Propecia before trying to conceive. If a doctor does prescribe Propecia to a woman, the doctor will probably insist that the woman take the pill, or another solid form of birth control to prevent pregnancy while on the medication. If she does happen to get pregnant while taking Propecia…that’s a whole other issue, but most doctors won’t prescribe Propecia unless the woman agrees she would terminate the pregnancy in that unfortunate event. This scenario is similar to the issues surrounding the acne drug Accutane, but that drug is actually FDA approved for women to use.

    From what I gather, another reason Propecia is not FDA approved for use in women is that Merck only cites one study of Propecia’s effect in women, and the 137 women in the study were all postmenopausal. The study concluded Propecia did not benefit postmenopausal women with androgenetic alopecia. They never even tested premenopausal women (because of the whole pregnancy thing). I have read about some Propecia success stories in premenopausal women, which is why I want to try the medication. I’ve also read some women need more than the standard Propecia dose to work, and I’ve read that Avodart works better than Propecia in women (I’ll write about that sometime in the future).

    Propecia, Finasteride, and Proscar’s other side effects in women
    I recently started on 1/4th pill per day of generic Proscar (Finasteride), and finding a doctor to prescribe that was a huge challenge! Yay for a $4 prescription! Do I think Propecia will work on my hair loss? I am guessing there’s a 10% chance it will help me, and as I’ve recently written on hairlosshell.com, my hair loss is in a male pattern, and genetic (thinning and receding at my hairline, temples, and on top of my head). I just need to find out for myself if it will help. I am hoping it will decrease my crazy shedding.

    So far I’ve been on Finasteride for a week and the worst of the side effects are over for now. The first few days I felt really crappy – like I was getting a cold, or the flu. I had a lot of pressure in my ears, jaw, and throat, and I felt like my head was swollen. This coincided with there being lots of ragweed in the air (which I’m allergic to), so my side effects could have been made worse by my allergies. The sick, swollen feeling is gone now. Yay! My other issue, which started around the third day, is painful breasts. Ow. They constantly hurt, so that freaks me out. I hope the pain goes away! Since Finasteride isn’t FDA approved for women, there aren’t official side effects listed that are exlusive to women. All of the listed side effects are ones that are reported in men, which I will list next.

    Side effects of Propecia, Finasteride, and Proscar in men
    Once you read the potential side effects of Propecia in men, if you’re like me, you’ll wonder why this is a drug for men!!! Merck, the maker of Propecia and Proscar, claim side effects from Propecia are not common, and they happen in only about 2% of men. Male side effects include: erectile dysfunction, impotence, and decreased libido. Severe side effects include: breast cancer, allergic reactions (rash, hives, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue), breast enlargement (gynecomastia), breast lumps, breast pain, breast tenderness, depression, nipple discharge, and testicular pain.

    Merck claims the less severe side effects normally go away after stopping Propecia. However, if you google “Propecia side effects,” get ready to read about thousands of men that claim they’ve experienced permanent sexual side effects, even after quitting Propecia. Many men claim their lives have been ruined by Propecia, and they would gladly choose going bald over suffering from impotence, etc. Even if the risk is small, is it worth it? I have been telling my boyfriend about the success a lot of men have with keeping their hair while on Propecia, but he’s too freaked out now to try it, and he would rather go bald than face the “rare” side effects. You can read more about Propecia’s side effects on rxlist.com.

    How these side effects relate to women taking Propecia
    The reason I’m freaked out is because Merck lists breast pain as a rare, severe side effect, and I’m already having that issue after only a few days on Propecia. But I think they list breast pain in association with breast cancer, and I can’t develop that overnight! Either way, I know a smart person would probably go off the medication, but since I’ve been balding, all common sense has been thrown out the window. Depression as a side effect worries me, however I’m already so fricking depressed that I doubt my depression could get worse. Just getting the prescription for Finasteride has lifted my mood because I am back to having hope that something will work to stop my hair from falling out (even if that hope is small, since nothing else has worked – minoxidil, spironolactone, etc.)

    Finally, the risk of breast cancer freaks me out. Merck claims the risk is extremely slight in men, but no studies have been done, as far as I know, on Finasteride causing female breast cancer. I’ve also read other studies that say Finasteride greatly increases the chances of men getting breast cancer (but breast cancer in men is still extremely rare). I’ve researched risk factors for breast cancer, and I’m at medium risk. If I were at a high risk I definitely wouldn’t take Finasteride. If I were smart I wouldn’t take it just to be safe, but I also don’t exercise enough, or eat the perfect diet (and those two things alone can cut your breast cancer risk in half). One more thing – I’ve read that some people claim Propecia gave them wrinkles and made them age 10 years overnight. Great:((( I’ve also read the same thing about Rogaine, and personally I have become more haggard looking since using Rogaine.

    Bottom line – is Propecia worth the risks?
    So many people have told me to cure my hair loss I  just need do yoga, stress less, exercise more (I used to work out a lot), eat super healthy (I used to), take vitamins, test my thyroid and iron levels, use sulfate-free shampoo, blah, blah blah. Been there, done that  – if they were right, I wouldn’t be balding. I still tell women to do all of these things since it really does help some women! Anyway, I’ve tried everything natural, and now I’ve weighed the risks and am hoping Finasteride works. Barring any new side effects, I’m going to give it nine months. If it doesn’t slow my shedding, or if I don’t notice my hair looking thicker, I will probably go off it. Well if my hair stays the same, maybe I will stay on it too, since otherwise I anticipate my hair will just keep getting worse on its own. There is less evidence that Finasteride causes a dread shed like Rogaine does, but of course anything is possible.

    For men considering Propecia – read up on the side effects, and ask yourself if there’s a 1/1000th chance you could suffer permanent side effects from the drug, is it worth it? I don’t know exactly how common permanent side effects are, but that could be a good guess. For women, there’s a lot less evidence Propecia even works on hair loss (and if it does, it would only work on androgenetic alopecia). It’s not something you can take while pregnant, or if you’re at risk of getting pregnant, and its side effects haven’t been tested well in women. I’ll keep you updated on my Propecia/Finasteride/Proscar progress. Have you taken the medication, or would you?

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  • Does Khloe Kardashian Have Hair Loss?
    November 2nd, 2011
    khloe kardashian's mugshot

    Does Khloe Kardashian's mugshot reveal her hair loss?

    Does Khloe Kardashian have hair loss, and is she losing her hair like millions of other women? I have the Kardashians on my mind this week because of Kim’s announcement that her second marriage is over after 72 days! A lot of people criticize me for pointing out celebrities with hair loss, or they think I’m imagining things, or that I focus on the wrong things in life, but I can’t help it - I’m obsessed with hair loss. I do believe Khloe Kardashian has a hair loss issue – similar to Fergie’s hair loss.

    Sure Khloe’s part isn’t that wide, and her hair loss isn’t that extensive, but as I’ve said so many times, most female celebrities do whatever they can to hide their hair loss, so it’s rare to see celebs with a super obvious problem. While watching a few episodes of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” my eyes immediately gravitated to Khloe’s hair – her thinning hair issues are pretty obvious on several of the episodes.

    When I was googling “Khloe Kardashian hair loss,” the only story I could find was from the National Enquirer, which did talk about Khloe’s battle with hair loss. The story claimed Khloe revealed that she was so distraught after the death of her father that her hair fell out. She had to wear wigs and extensions until eventually her hair came back. Of course the National Enquirer is probably the least reputable news source out there, but I’m still inclined to believe the story. Extreme stress can cause telogen effluvium (temporary hair loss), so losing excessive amounts of hair after going through a painful event should come as no surprise, unfortunately.

    I’ve also read Khloe talk about her desire to get pregnant, and her struggles with infertility. She supposedly told Life & Style magazine that she’s been trying to get pregnant for a while now, and is looking into doing fertility treatments if necessary. I also wonder if she also has PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), which could explain her ongoing hair loss and her difficulties getting pregnant. This is all speculation on my part, and I have never heard her talk about PCOS. Her dad died in 2003, and here in 2011 she is still dealing with hair loss, which makes me wonder if she now has PCOS or androgenetic alopecia (genetic hair loss). 

    Below are more pictures of Khloe Kardashian’s hair loss (at least in my mind she has mild hair loss). She always wears tons of extensions to make her hair thicker and longer, but it’s hard to get extensions that minimize a wide part. Also, I’ve seen her occasionally on talk shows or at events where she has no hair loss at all – I swear she’s wearing a topper at these times. I’m convinced of it. I also think she sometimes wears Toppik or some other hair cover-up product because sometimes her part looks sort of brownish (which is how my part looks from Toppik and Joan Rivers Great Hair Day). I’ve said it tons of times – on one hand I feel bad talking about celebrities with hair loss, but it’s not like it’s a secret – they choose to go out in public, so I’m just commenting on what I see. Khloe has all the money in the world to do whatever she wants to with her hair, so as bad as I feel for her, I still feel more sorry for myself and the millions of women out there like me, since we have no money to hire fancy hairdressers, get thousands of dollars worth of extensions, go to the best doctors, nor get the highest quality hair pieces and wigs (if that’s what we choose to do).

    More pictures of Khloe’s hair loss:

    khloe kardashian losing hair
    In this photo my eye briefly looks at Khloe’s diamond ring before going right to her part.

    khloe kardashian hair loss
    Khloe’s got a wide part, or am I just imagining things?

    khloe kardashian hair
    Khloe’s hair under natural light. Is this her real hair, without extensions?

    khloe kardashian hair
    Khloe Kardashian with tons of extensions and reddish hair. I love this hair style and hair color!

    khloe kardashian hair
    Khloe Kardashian with red hair.

    khloe kardashian hair
    Khloe and her sisters. Hair loss??

    kourtney kardashian hair
    Finally, here’s sister Kourtney Kardashian with her real hair. Hmmm.

    Does Khloe have hair loss, or am I delusional? Here’s a list of more female celebrities with hair loss. Would you rather be a super rich celebrity that is scrutinized by the world, yet who also has the ability to buy the best hair money can buy, or would you rather be you? I’m not sure how I would answer that… So what do you think about Khloe Kardashian’s hair?

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  • HairDX – The Hair Loss Test
    October 25th, 2011

    HairDX hair loss test

    Guess what? I finally got the HairDX hair loss test done. Are you ready to find out once and for all the cause of my hair loss???? About a year ago I wrote about HairDX, which is the genetic test to determine if you have hair loss caused by genetics (Androgenetic Alopecia) – it tells you if you have a high or low androgen sensitivity. At the time I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the test because of the cost, and I figured I already knew I had genetic hair loss due to my receding hairline, and the fact my hair keeps getting thinner and thinner each year.

    • Why Get the HairDX Test?
    So why did I take the HairDX hair loss test? A few months ago when I went to the hair restoration doctor in Los Angeles, that doctor looked at my hair under a magnifying video camera and said he didn’t see any miniaturized hair follicles on my head, except in the very front. So all of my hairs were more or less of equal diameter according to him. The hairs on the top, sides, and back of my head were all the same size, and there weren’t more than 10% of hairs that were thinner than others. This all indicated to him that I didn’t have female pattern baldness, although I had less hair on the top of my head than the back, which to me means I do have genetic balding. The doctor said I could take Propecia, and why would he offer a prescription for that if I didn’t have genetic hair loss? Anyway, after that appointment I was more confused than ever. Now I’ve had 10 doctors tell me they don’t think I fit the profile of having genetic hair loss, and one hair loss doctor who was 100% convinced I have a classic case of Androgenetic Alopecia.

    I couldn’t take the confusion anymore, which is why I got the HairDX test done. Another option would have been a scalp biopsy, but HairDX is less invasive, and I have a feeling it would be cheaper than a scalp biopsy since my insurance sucks. HairDX is not covered under insurance (as far as I know). I also wanted to go on Propecia if the test came back positive for genetic hair loss, but otherwise I would not go on the medication. After more research, I read that HairDX is only 70% accurate, and I’ve also heard mixed reviews about the accuracy of scalp biopsies. So I don’t know what 70% accurate means exactly, but I will use the results as another piece of the puzzle, along with my personal observations of my hair, my research on hair loss, and the opinions of the doctors I’ve seen.

    • The HairDX Test Process
    I got the HairDX test done in Las Vegas at the hair loss clinic I went to earlier in the year. The test cost $199. What’s funny is the hair loss consultant didn’t think it was worth me getting it since it’s expensive and he hadn’t seen a lot of women get the test done, so he didn’t know much about it. I asked him what percentage of women that took the test came back with a result of “female hair loss” and he called his Los Angeles office, and the consultant there said 75%. That is what I expected. If you have hair loss already, chances are more than likely it’s genetic, so 75% sounds right. The people that don’t have a positive result are probably experiencing temporary hair loss (from going on or off the pill, low iron, post-pregnancy, stress, low thyroid, etc.), or they have Alopecia Areata, or another rare form of hair loss. And of course the test isn’t 100% accurate.

    When I got to the hair loss clinic, a nurse swabbed my cheek a bunch of times, while telling me that I was wasting my money, and she didn’t believe in the test either. She recommended I crush up garlic and massage it into my scalp every day for a month. I haven’t tried that yet. As she was swabbing, I looked over my shoulder and read the instructions and it said to not drink water or brush your teeth an hour before the test. I had come straight from my house, where I had brushed my teeth right before I left. I probably should have gone and come back to be safe, but I didn’t. Then it said to air-dry the cheek swabs before putting them in the containers, but the nurse refused to do that. Those two things made me super worried the test would come back wrong, but in the end I did get my results, so I can only hope that two issues didn’t change the results (I doubt it). So a few cheek swabs is all that’s needed to perform the HairDX test. Next the clinic mailed the swabs to the HairDX lab and the results come back a few weeks later – I think it was three weeks later.

    • My HairDX Hair Loss Test Results
    After the test, I was 99% sure it would come back positive for genetic hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia). Honestly I think the first 10 doctors I saw were all wrong – every single one of them. And the hair loss expert in Los Angeles that has treated tens of thousands of patients, and who looked at a magnified view of my scalp? I think he was wrong too – I am convinced my hair loss is genetic (and maybe made worse by other factors). My hair strands are definitely skinnier than they were 10 years ago – my guess is they must have all equally shrunk in diameter, which is why individual strands don’t look thinner than others (except in the front).

    The results are in…..I have genetic hair loss! Boohoo:(  I got the results on the phone and asked them to send me a copy of the results but they haven’t arrived. When I get them I will update this post with more specifics. I believe I was told I have a 70% chance of developing hair loss (but hello, I’ve had hair loss for 10 years now.) Then there’s something called a CAG score, and mine was a 21. A score under 23.5 means my genetics suck and I am
    destined for baldness, but it also means I am a great candidate for Propecia/Finasteride to treat my hair loss. However, HairDX also claims women that have the low CAG score could also benefit from Spironolactone, and that did nothing for me at all. What the hell??? Another reason I was confused about whether or not I have genetic hair loss is because nothing I’ve tried to treat it has worked – I feel like I am immune to Rogaine and Spironolactone.

    Also, according to the HairDX.com website, 50% of women will develop hair loss by the age of 60, and they attribute this hair loss to Androgenetic Alopecia. I have read similar statistics, but I’ve always wondered if 50% of women develop Androgenetic Alopecia, or if their hair loss is just part of the natural aging process, or due to declining hormones. So if HairDX claims that 50% of women have genetic hair loss, and no one’s going to get the HairDX test unless they already have noticeable hair loss, then it makes sense that 75% of women that get the test come back positive for genetic hair loss.

    • My Next Step…Propecia
    I just found a doctor to prescribe Finasteride for me. I actually managed to get a prescription for generic Proscar, which is 5mg Finasteride (Propecia is 1mg Finasteride), so I will cut the Proscar into 4 parts and take one part each day. Propecia is expensive (around $70 a month) but my Proscar prescription was $9 for a 3 month supply! Awesome! I just turned 37 and I’m not planning on having kids, and I’m on the pill (Yasmin). Doctors will only consider prescribing women Propecia if they aren’t planning on getting pregnant, and if they’re on the pill, and even then most don’t want women taking it because it can cause birth defects in male babies. If you plan on having kids, you will need to get off Propecia first, and when you do, all of the hair that it helped keep on your head will eventually fall right back out:( 

    HairDX claims women with test results like mine will see an excellent response to Propecia. I’m not holding my breath. Nothing I’ve tried has helped my hair loss, so I honestly expect Propecia won’t work for me either. I have heard of some women that have good results with Propecia, but not many. That doesn’t make sense, if 75% of women that take the HairDX test end up with the same results as me, yet there are so few women that report positive results from Propecia. The reason I’m trying Propecia is that I just need to know if it will work. If it doesn’t work, I will be out of options and will have to accept that I will end up wearing hair for the second half of my life, and that totally sucks!!!!!!! And Propecia is sort of like Rogaine in that it helps keep your hair on your head, but it’s less likely to grow new hair. Again that sucks because I’m not happy with the amount of hair on my head. So I am wishing I tried Propecia two years ago when I had a lot more hair (but then I wasn’t as desperate to try Propecia). Since my hair sheds way too much, I am hoping Propecia will slow down the shedding, and if it does, it will look like I have more hair. We’ll see what happens! While side effects from Propecia aren’t that common, I am sure I will have some, and I worry it will cause something horrible like cancer, but the evidence of that is mixed.

    • HairDX – Is The Hair Loss Test Worth It?
    If you have $200 to spare, I would recommend the HairDX test – just go to HairDX.com and find a doctor near you that does the test. Sooo many women are diagnosed with Telogen Effluvium when they really have Androgenetic Alopecia, and HairDX will help you find the real answers. I wouldn’t use HairDX as your sole diagnostic tool for determining the cause of your hair loss, but it’s one tool. It only tells you if you have Androgenetic Alopecia or not (it doesn’t tell you if your hair loss is caused by Telogen Effluvium, Alopecia Areata, or one of the other less common types of hair loss). Finally, I know now I have Androgenetic Alopecia, but I still can’t rule out having other factors that are making it even worse (stress, low iron, low thyroid, etc.) Have you had the HairDX hair loss test, or would you consider it?

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  • Minoxidil Side Effects For Women
    September 28th, 2011

    minoxidil side effects womenSide effects from Minoxidil For Women (the generic version of Rogaine) are common, but luckily most of the side effects of this hair regrowth treatment are mild. Ironically, one of the listed side effects of Minoxidil Topical Solution 2% is hair growth! Unfortunately another possible side effect is hair loss, so consider the pros and cons carefully before using topical minoxidil. It’s also best to talk with your doctor before beginning the treatment.

    • Minoxidil for women
    Minoxidil is for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (genetic, hereditery hair loss). The 2% version of minoxidil is the one that’s FDA approved for women to use, and it only comes in a liquid form (not a foam option). The makers of Rogaine/minoxidil say the 2% version is just as effective for women as the 5% men’s version, and it comes with less risk of side effects. However, a lot of doctors feel the 5% version works better and they suggest that for women. Other doctors say to start out with 2% and you can always switch to 5% later. It’s a tough choice because you want to see the maximum amount of hair growth, but you need to be cautious of possible side effects. You are supposed to apply minoxidil to your scalp twice a day. Results aren’t expected to be visible until after four months (or longer) of use! Your results should be the same, whether you use the name brand Rogaine, or the generic minoxidil. Pregnant or nursing women should not use Rogaine/minoxidil.

    • Potential minoxidil side effects for women using the topical solution 2%
    Minoxidil has a long list of possible side effects, although most people only experience one or two of the more mild and common ones. If you have any of the systemic side effects, it’s best to speak with your doctor immediately to discuss whether or not you should continue using minoxidil. There may be even more potential side effects than the ones I have listed below.

    Common side effects in women include:
    • Dry, flaky, itchy scalp (contact dermatitis)
    • Unwanted facial hair growth 
    • Increased hair loss (!)
    • Burning, stinging, or redness of the scalp

    Signs of systemic absorption (which is supposedly rare):
    • Dizziness
    • Fast or irregular heartbeat
    • Fainting, lightheadedness
    • Chest pain
    • Water and sodium retention – swelling of hands, feet, or lower legs, or rapid weight gain
    • Tiredness
    • Difficulty breathing, especially while lying down
    • Headache, flushing
    • Neuritis – numbness or tingling of hands, feet, or face
    • Sexual dysfunction – decrease in desire or sexual ability
    • Visual disturbances – blurred vision, decreased visual acuity, other vision changes
    • Serious allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention (this is rare, and it could be a reaction to minoxidil or propylene glycol) – rash, swelling of face, tongue, throat, severe dizziness, trouble breathing

    The side effects I’ve personally experienced from minoxidil
    As I’ve said before on hairlosshell.com, several years ago I used 2% Rogaine For Women for about eight months and at that time I didn’t experience any obvious side effects. I didn’t experience increased hair shedding, or other issues. After eight months I also didn’t notice any results. I gave up on Rogaine and luckily I also didn’t notice an increase in shedding a few months after stopping Rogaine. After you stop the treatment, all of the hair that you gained while on the medication will go right back down the drain. So if Rogaine is working for you, you’ll need to use it indefinitely. I may have had increased shedding, but at the time I had more hair, so it would have been less noticeable.

    Last year I decided to go with 5% minoxidil and I chose a product called Spectral DNC, which contains 5% minoxidil in a liquid solution, plus a few extra ingredients (Aminexil, Retinol & Copper Peptides) that are supposed to make the minoxidil even more effective. My theory was “go big or go home” so I wanted to try the men’s strength of minoxidil to see if it would work better than the girly 2%. Spectral DNC also doesn’t contain alcohol, so it makes the dry, flaky scalp problem less likely. If you’ve been dealing with scalp issues from minoxidil, you may want to try Spectral DNC (assuming you want the 5% strength). Unfortunately I immediately got headaches from Spectral DNC, and it wasn’t until I stopped it two months later that the headaches went away. So while headaches are supposedly a rare side effect of the medication, I guess I was unlucky. I then bought the 5% generic minoxidil (the kind you can find at Target or Wal-mart) but I got headaches from that as well, so the culprit was definitely the 5% strength of minoxidil.

    After that I went back to the 2% women’s minoxidil and I’ve been using that on the top of my head ever since. I no longer get headaches or any other obvious side effects. And for some reason I can still tolerate 5% minoxidil if I use it sparingly just on my temples and receding hairline. Weird. However, while I’ve been writing this article I’m slightly freaked to learn that blurry vision is a side effect of minoxidil. I have blurry vision that comes and goes and doctors can’t figure it out (my eye doctor thinks it’s just dry eyes). I’m pretty sure the blurry vision preceded my use of minoxidil, though. The other minor side effect I have is increased peach fuzz on the sides of my forehead. It’s kind of annoying, but it’s not that big of a deal. A lot of women are afraid of increased facial hair, but I haven’t experienced this, and if I did, I’d just wax or use a Nair facial product. Or if you have dark facial hair and lighter skin, you could be a candidate for laser hair removal, and Vaniqa cream is another option.

    Side effects you need to know about!
    Okay here’s another horrible potential side effect that you won’t see written on any package insert of minoxidil, but I think it may be true – minoxidil and Rogaine can cause wrinkles! That link takes you to an article I wrote about this issue on my skin care blog. Many people on the internet report increased facial wrinkles, and dark circles under their eyes after using Rogaine/minoxidil. I’ve also noticed dark circles under my eyes lately, which I never noticed before, and my wrinkles are getting worse. Am I just getting old, or is minoxidil prematurely aging me??? And if I go off minoxidil, will the wrinkles, dark circles, and rough skin texture get better? I don’t know.

    Finally, the makers of Rogaine gloss over this issue, but tons of women report increased hair shedding after beginning the medication. On the official package insert, it says, “don’t worry—this is a good sign. It means that the new growth cycle is beginning and the older hairs you would have lost are making way for the new healthy ones. If this hair loss continues after 2 weeks on ROGAINE, talk to your doctor.” On hair loss internet websites, tons of women say you need to stick it out for up to three months before the increased shedding subsides. Three months is a really long time if your hair is falling out more than ever! My hair falls out too much every day, and this last year when I started minoxidil it continued to fall out a ton every day (and maybe more). I’ve been on the 2% minoxidil for at least six months now and my hair continues to shed like crazy – the shedding has never ended. It’s really hard to tell if the minoxidil is working, not working, or making things worse. It definitely has not been a wonder drug yet for me because I know I have less hair than I did six months ago, but that could just be because my hair loss is progressively getting worse on its own anyway.

    The bottom line is that A LOT of women report increased shedding after starting minoxidil, and the shedding lasts way longer than the initial two weeks that the Rogaine makers says is normal. I haven’t read about a lot of women that have had excellent results with minoxidil, but there are some women that are delighted with the results. You also hear numerous horror stories about women that lose way more hair after starting minoxidil, and the hair never comes back. It’s hard to know for sure if the cause was minoxidil, or if their hair loss was on that path anyway. My suggestion is to start out slow and just use minoxidil on a small area of your head before you commit to your entire head. Give that small area a few months before going further. That way the worst that will happen is you’ll have a small area that is worse, rather than your whole head. I first did that, then I did the whole left side of my head every day, and now I do the whole top of my head. It was a long process, but I can’t say I noticed a difference on my left or right side, so minoxidil didn’t cause me to lose enough hair to discern which side was treated, and which wasn’t.

    Bottom Line
    There are many potential side effects of minoxidil for women. Make sure to read up on them, weigh the pros and cons, and talk to your doctor before starting the medication to treat androgenetic alopecia. Aside from the possible scary health issues, many women report an increase in hair loss initially from minoxidil, so you need to be warned of this. I’ve said it a million times – hair loss sucks, and there is no magic bullet treatment for everyone. Have you used minoxidil or Rogaine – for women, or the men’s version? What side effects have you experienced?

    *Click Here To Get Hair Loss Hell Updates Via Email!



  • Fergie – Her Hair Loss & Hair Styles
    September 12th, 2011

    fergie hair lossFergie’s  hair styles, and her obvious hair loss, have been a slight obsession of mine for the past few years. Nothing feels more lonely than to be a women struggling with hair loss, but when I see a celebrity going through the same thing, and almost embracing hair loss, it makes me question my own struggle. When pictures first surfaced of Fergie a few years ago that showed her hair loss, I was stunned and felt horrible for her, since I know how much it sucks. But what has surprised me is that she hasn’t done much to cover up her hair loss, and she’s not afraid to venture in public with her widening part. Is she brave or oblivious, or are so many women losing their hair these days that her degree of hair loss is almost the new norm?

    Before I decided to write articles about celebrities like Fergie that have hair loss, I wondered if I was being mean by ‘outing’ them publicly. But Fergie shows up at various red carpet events, autograph signings, and performances, with her hair loss totally visible, so she’s presenting herself how she wants to be seen – hair loss and all. I would feel uncomfortable showing candid paparazzi photos of balding celebs taken with telephoto lenses into their homes or something, but if a celeb goes out in public, to me they’re saying they are comfortable with the way they look.

    As I’ve watched my own hair loss progress from not being nearly as noticeable as Fergie’s, to being on the same level as hers now (and quickly getting worse), I personally don’t want the whole world to know I have hair loss. That’s why I wear hair concealers and leave the house thinking my hair loss is disguised, but I do wonder if it’s as obvious as Fergie’s under bright lights and camera flashes. I will very soon start wearing a hair piece like Christina Hendricks, so that if my hair gets worse, no one will know (hopefully) – except all the viewers of hairlosshell.com. That’s why Fergie fascinates me – why is she okay with her hair, but I’m not okay with mine? Who’s right? And she’s obviously concerned about her appearance because she always changes up her hair styles and wears tons of hair extensions to add length and volume to her hair. So Fergie – you confuse me and fascinate me!

    fergie hair
    This was the first photo that came out where it became obvious Fergie has hair loss. Before that I never noticed she had hair issues like me. The dark hair color also makes her hair loss more noticeable.

    fergie hair
    Again Fergie’s dark hair color highlights her hair loss.

    fergie hair loss
    Fergie at a red carpet event. Her hair looks awesome, but I would have worn a hair concealer to hide the wide part.

    fergie hair
    Fergie’s almost black hair makes her thinning hair more apparent. At least she doesn’t have to deal with a receding hairline like me.

    fergie hair
    I wonder if her constant use of extensions is what caused her hair loss (from traction alopecia). Or does she have telogen effluvium from stress and dieting, or is it androgenetic alopecia? Sorry Fergie for being so obsessed with your hair. I know it’s only hair!

    fergie hair disaster
    An orange part – OMG this is exactly what I was talking about when I wrote about my scalp turning orange in fluorescent lighting from Toppik hair fibers. I’m not sure if she’s wearing Toppik, or if her scalp got hair dye on it that won’t wash out.

    fergie hair disaster
    Fergie at another red carpet event with her dark hair.

    fergie blonde hair
    I usually dye my hair lighter to disguise my wide part. Fergie’s blonde hair definitely makes her hair issues less noticeable.

    fergie hair disaster
    Okay so I have a problem with hair loss (I hate it, and it’s an issue for me). Society has taught us that women are not supposed to bald, and balding is not attractive for women. Unfortunately I have bought into this stereotype for myself and I don’t want to be a balding women. Lots of women look great bald, or with little hair, but I am still hung up on having thick hair. So are magazines! I dare you to find a magazine where Fergie has noticeable hair loss. Every magazine either shows Fergie wearing a wig, or they Photoshop the hell out of her hair to hide her part. Magazines sell the idea that thick hair is beautiful, whether or not that’s true.

    fergie hair disaster
    Either Fergie’s wearing a wig here, or they have her part turned away from the camera. Plus those are some massive extensions.

    fergie hair disaster
    A new hair styles for Fergie. Hello Photoshop! Allure prides itself on natural/realistic looking covers, but it takes a lot of pixel-pushing to look “natural.”

    What’s your take on Fergie’s hair loss? Personally I love all of her hair styles and wish I could afford hair extensions (but I would worry they’d make my hair loss worse). Is it wrong for me to point out Fergie’s hair issues, even though they are obvious, and she’s choosing to go out like this? Most female celebrities with hair loss are on the same page as me, and they cover up their thinning scalp at the first sign of a problem. No matter what hair Fergie sports - blonde hair, dark hair, black hair, or no hair, she always looks awesome. And she makes me question my own beliefs about beauty and the ridiculousness of hair, hair styles, and hair loss. Go Fergie!

    *Click Here To Get Hair Loss Hell Updates Via Email!



  • Keranique Products For Hair Loss
    September 8th, 2011

    keraniqueKeranique sells a variety of hair products promising to stop hair loss and to promote hair growth. I caught the tail end of their “thinning hair for women” commercial at 3am the other night, and was of course curious about the ingredients of the Keranique product line. Despite my obsession with watching infomercials, I think most infomercial products are terrible and don’t work, so I am uber-skeptical of them. I also get really mad about the blatant lies told in most infomercials. Technically the Keranique advertisement was just a regular commercial, though…

    On the Keranique.tv website, their tagline is “thinning hair solution for women.” To solve my hair problem, I would have to grow all my hair back – does Keranique do that?? The company’s other claims are more vague and promise you will “get fuller, thicker-looking hair!” and you can ”reduce embarrassing hair loss!” To supposedly end your thinning hair, the kit on the website, and in the TV commercial, consists of four products – a Keranique shampoo, conditioner, hair treatment, and follicle-boosting serum.

    • Keranique Review
    Okay technically this isn’t a review because I haven’t tried any of the Keranique products and I probably won’t. I felt compelled to write this article to enlighten other women about this kit, before you decide whether or not to purchase it. The cost of the kit is somewhat elusive, but the Keranique website says you can get it for $7.95 risk free for 30 days. I just read several complaints about women not being able to cancel their orders, so buyer beware. After the 30 days, if you don’t cancel, you’ll be charged 2 payments of $59.95, and then $59.95 each month, plus $7.95 each month for shipping. You will receive a new batch of products each month. They may have additional payment plans, and you can cancel at any time (which may be easier said than done).

    The Keranique website doesn’t list the product ingredients, but I was able to find the ingredients online, and you will see them at the bottom of the post. You can buy Keranique on their website – keranique.tv, from Dermstore.com, or you can get Keranique products at Amazon. You aren’t locked into a monthly subscription if you buy the products from Dermstore or Amazon.

    • Keranique Revitalizing Shampoo
    The shampoo “gently cleanses your hair” and is “specially formulated for thinning hair, it leaves your locks shiny, fuller and voluminous.” There’s a good chance the shampoo does add volume to your hair, which I agree is a must-have if you are fighting thinning hair. However the second ingredient of the shampoo – Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate – is a harsh shampoo cleansing ingredient that I wouldn’t use on my hair, even if I didn’t have delicate, thinning hair. So there’s no way I would personally recommend this shampoo. I review several gentler SLS free shampoos here on my skin care blog, many of which I would recommend for thinning hair.

    • Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment
    Hey guess what – this is a bottle of Rogaine/minoxidil, with a more expensive price tag. It contains the FDA approved 2% minoxidil, and the ingredients are identical to my generic 2% women’s liquid minoxidil. This treatment (hopefully) comes with all the same warnings as minoxidil, so make sure to read the warning label. Also, since minoxidil can cause your hair to initially fall out more, be prepared to possibly see increased shedding the first few months of use. If you currently use Rogaine or minoxidil, do not also use this product at the same time.

    Keranique Follicle Boosting Serum
    Okay this Keranique product has caught my attention because it contains aminexil (also called kopexil), which is an ingredient that works similarly to minoxidil. I haven’t used any products that contain aminexil yet, but I actually want to, so this is a product I would try. There are a few other products on the market that also contain aminexil. I will have to look into them more, and apparently you can use this product in conjunction to minoxidil. I don’t know if this product carries the same risks and potential side effects as Rogaine/Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment.
    * Buy Keranique Follicle Boosting Serum at Dermstore/Amazon
    * Buy other products containing Aminexil at Amazon

    Keranique Volumizing Conditioner
    I don’t have too much to say about the Keranique conditioner. It’s supposedly a volume-boosting conditioner, but it’s expensive, so I’m sure you could find a much cheaper conditioner that works just as well. Or if you’re like me, you gave up on conditioner years ago because you don’t have enough hair left to condition. I find conditioner weighs my hair down too much and makes it stringy and limp. But maybe this conditioner is different?

    Bottom line
    Like all infomercials/late-night sensational TV commercials, Keranique over-promises and under-delivers. Keranique hair products are not going to grow all your hair back, and there’s hardly anything revolutionary about their products. Some women have good results from minoxidil (which is what’s in their hair regrowth treatment), but few women regrow more than a little hair. The Keranique shampoo should be avoided because it’s too harsh for anyone’s hair. The Follicle Boosting Serum is promising, because some people have seen hair growth from the one main ingredient in the product. But I highly doubt the serum works better than Rogaine, which is not exactly a hair loss cure. My opinion is to skip Keranique altogether, or just try their Follicle Boosting Serum. You don’t need their Hair Regrowth Treatment because you can buy generic 2% minoxidil for cheap at your local drugstore, and their conditioner is not going to do anything to regrow your hair. Sorry for my negative review, but fanciful claims about stopping hair loss and regrowing hair drive me crazy!

    Keranique Revitalizing Shampoo ingredients:
    Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA, Polyquaternium-70, Dipropylene Glycol, Eratin, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) Extract, Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Extract, Pine (Pinus Strobus) Bark Extract, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Leaf Extract, Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Algae Extract, Coneflower (Echinacea Angustifolia) Extract, Henoxyethanol, Citric Acid.

    Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment ingredients:
    Minoxidil 2% W/v. Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Purified Water.

    Keranique Volumizing Conditioner ingredients:
    Water, Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-55, Glycerin, Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus) Seed Oil, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Yl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Amodimethicone, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, Keratin, Ydroxyethylcellulose, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tetrasodium EDTA, Menthol, Fragrance, Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) Extract, Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Extract, Pine (Pinus Strobus) Bark Extract, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Leaf Extract, Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Algae Extract, Coneflower (Echinacea Angustifolia) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid.

    Keranique Follicle Boosting Serum ingredients:
    Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, 2,4 Diamino Pyrimidine-3-Oxide, Silk Amino Acids, Keratin Amino Acids, Collagen Amino Acids, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Menthol, Phenoxyethanol.

    Keranique Volumizing Conditioner ingredients:
    Water, Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-55, Glycerin, Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus) Seed Oil, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Yl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Amodimethicone, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, Keratin, Ydroxyethylcellulose, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tetrasodium EDTA, Menthol, Fragrance, Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) Extract, Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Extract, Pine (Pinus Strobus) Bark Extract, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Leaf Extract, Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Algae Extract, Coneflower (Echinacea Angustifolia) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid

    Have you tried Keranique? What’s your take on it – do you think it really can fight hair loss?

    *Click Here To Get Hair Loss Hell Updates Via Email!



  • Jessica Simpson Bangs
    August 31st, 2011

    jessica simpson bangsJessica Simpson makes a clip in bangs hair piece for her HairDo collection (created by her hairstylist Ken Paves). The product offers a quick way to change up your hairstyle without actually having to cut your hair into bangs. Lots of celebrities wear clip in bangs from time to time for fun, or for movie roles and photoshoots - Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Aniston, Kristen Bell, and of course Jessica Simpson, have all worn faux bangs. We know Jessica Simpson loves wearing hair. I didn’t see the movie “When In Rome,” but in the commercials Kristen Bell was obviously wearing fake bangs in half of the scenes, while she was bang-less in the other half!

    Jessica Simpson Bangs Review
    Last year I bought the Jessica Simpson HairDo clip in bangs because I was hoping for a solution to disguise my thinning hair. The bangs are made of synthetic hair and they are really affordable at about $24. They come in 11 shades, ranging from blonde to black. I bought the “buttered toast” color because in the store it appeared to be the closest match to my hair. But it turns out the color was not a close enough match to my hair, and there are no other options that are any better, unless I change my hair color.

    * Buy Jessica Simpson Clip In Bangs *

    • Positives
    When I put the bangs on, they look realistic and the quality of the hair is nice. Some people say they are a bit shiny, but you can dull them with a little baby powder. They are easy to clip to your head – the three little clips attach to your real hair, and then they snap shut. On my hair they feel secure and comfortable, but I didn’t end up wearing them that long. The bangs look just like real bangs, and they definitely give me hope that there are options out there to enhance my hair – you don’t have to go around letting the world know you have hair loss if you don’t want to. The bangs are cut straight across, and they are a little longer on the sides to better blend in with your real hair. They come with straight hair, but apparently you can curl them with styling tools using medium heat. A lot of people love these bangs and I’ve seen pictures of people wearing them online and they look great on them.

    • Negatives
    Unfortunately, overall the bangs didn’t work for me. I have no idea why few people report this problem, but there’s a bump where the bangs attach to your real hair and that part looks totally fake – like they are just sitting on your head! You are supposed to brush your real hair over the bump to hide it, which won’t work in my case because I don’t have that much hair, but even if I had thick hair I can’t imagine this looking undetectable. The bangs are even marketed for people with fine, thin hair, so it makes no sense! The only way I could see wearing these bangs is with a headband. If you have the right color, they would look great with a headband covering where they meet your real hair. I am baffled why so few people have mentioned this bump issue!

    The lack of color choice is the only other negative I can report. While 11 color choices sounds like a lot, I suspect a lot of people won’t be able to find a match to their hair color. Since the bangs are synthetic, you can’t dye them. At the end of the page I will list all of the colors, with their name and color description.

    • Bottom Line:
    Jessica Simpson Bangs are a great idea if you can find a shade that matches your hair color, and you want to wear them with a headband. They will help disguise thinning hair in the front area of your head, they are easy to wear, and they look good. Otherwise, without the headband (or scarf or hat), they look fake to me. I’ve seen pictures of Fergie wearing totally obvious fake bangs, but that’s not a fashion statement I can pull off personally!

    jessica simpson fringe

    Jessica Simpson Human Hair Clip In Fringe
    There’s a second Jessica Simpson HairDo bangs option called Human Hair Clip In Fringe that looks really promising. At $191, it’s a lot pricier, but if it looks good and covers my thinning areas, it’s worth it. I haven’t tried the fringe yet (but want to). In this picture you can see the little swirl of the fringe, which looks sort of weird, but in the videos I’ve seen of the piece it looks a lot better. It has two clips underneath and it can be worn in a variety of ways – straight bangs, angled or side bangs, as a top volumizer, etc.

    Since it’s human hair, the piece can be cut, colored, and heat styled to blend in with your natural hair. It’s supposed to last at least a year. The more I read about this hair piece, the more I want to try it. Since I have wavy hair, though, and I’m bad at styling my hair, I’m not sure how this would look on me without curling it. But for someone with straight hair, or the ability to style their hair well, this looks like a great idea.  

    * Buy Jessica Simpson Human Hair Fringe *

    Colors of Jessica Simpson synthetic bangs:
    Ginger Blonde R25 – Golden Blonde with subtle highlights
    Ebony R2 – Black
    Midnight Brown R4 – Off-Black or Black/Brown
    Dark Chocolate R6 – Rich, Dark Brown
    Chestnut R10 – Rich Dark Brown with Coffee Brown highlights all over
    Chocolate Copper RS/30H – Dark Brown with soft, Coppery highlights
    Ginger Brown R830 – Warm, Medium Brown
    Glazed Strawberry R29S – Strawberry Blonde with Pale Blonde highlights
    Buttered Toast R1416T – Dishwater or Mousey Blonde with sun kissed highlights
    Honey Ginger R14/25 – Dark Golden Blonde with light Gold highlights
    Golden Wheat R14/88H – Medium Blonde streaked with pale Gold highlights, Medium Brown roots

    Colors of Jessica Simpson human hair fringe:
    Black R1HH
    Dark Brown R3HH
    Chestnut Brown R4HH
    Medium Auburn R6HH
    Light Golden Blonde R9HH
    Palest Blonde R10HH
    Ginger Blonde/Medium Blonde R25
    Golden Wheat/Light Blonde R14/88H
    Chestnut/Light Brown R10

    Have you tried Jessica Simpson Bangs or Fringe? What do you think? Do you wear any clip in bangs or toppers that you would recommend? Or do you have any hair wearing tips??

    *Click Here To Get Hair Loss Hell Updates Via Email!



  • Aldactone For Hair Growth – Why I Stopped Taking It
    August 24th, 2011

    aldactone hair growthI’ve been on Aldactone (Spironolactone is the generic name) in attempts to achieve hair growth, but I just recently stopped taking it. Yep, that’s yet another hair loss treatment I’ve tried that has been a failure for me. After being diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia last year, I thought the medication Aldactone was my answer because it suppresses androgen and DHT activity, and the theory is that by doing this, your hair will stay on your head. Since my hair sheds too much every day, I thought this would help minimize my hair loss.

    My Aldactone journey
    I started on Aldactone back in October with such high hopes (I’m calling it by the brand name because I’m tired of typing Spironolactone). Since I was told by a hair loss specialist that I have genetic hair loss, I honestly had hope this would help me. Sure nothing else has worked for growing my hair back, but I thought this could be it! I started with a super low dose of Aldactone because that’s all the Dermatologist would give me. I ramped my way up to 100mg a day of Aldactone for hair loss back in March, and I was on that until just a few days ago. In hindsight, I wasted too much time getting up to the 100mg dose, but I wanted to be safe and go slow, and the biggest obstacle I faced was getting the doctor to increase the dose.

    As I’ve chronicled on hairlosshell.com, altogether I was taking Aldactone for 9 months, but only on the 100mg dose for about 4-5 months. In that time my hair loss never got better, my hair shedding never subsided (except for a few days here and there when I thought I was seeing progress, but then a few days later the shedding would come back), and my hair is worse now than it was when I first started on the medication. My hair has been rapidly thinning for the past year or two, so I’m sure it would have gotten worse even if I wasn’t on the Aldactone. If I had to guess, I’d say the Aldactone did nothing. It didn’t help my hair and it didn’t hurt it. But there’s no way to know for sure.

    After reading Dr. Redmond’s book on female hair loss, one comes to the conclusion that Aldactone is the wonder drug for all women with hair loss. This myth has been perpetuated on the internet, and because so many thousands of women have taken Aldactone to achieve hair growth, that’s why I was so adamant about trying it. I have read some success stories about women that have regrown their hair after taking Aldactone, but there are just as many stories like mine – where the results are nonexistent.

    • Why did I stop Aldactone?
    After seeing the hair restoration doctor last month, and having him tell me he didn’t see miniaturized hairs on my head, I am now questioning if my main hair loss problem is even genetic after all. If my hair loss is being caused by a non-genetic factor, Aldactone isn’t going to help me. Plus I haven’t seen any positive results from it, so why would I continue to use the medication? The hair restoration doctor also thought it was making my hair loss worse and causing it to shed more, but I don’t think that’s true – my hair has shed a lot consistently before, during, and so far after the Aldactone.

    Assuming Aldactone hadn’t helped my hair, I didn’t want to stay on it and incur unnecessary side effects. I thought it was giving me heart palpitations, and when I’d work out I’d feel winded and slightly dizzy. Scary! And it was causing heavy periods (which I ended up fixing by taking ibuprofen), but still – the last thing I need is an iron deficiency. Why didn’t I try to raise the dose to 200mg a day, which is what Dr. Redmond suggests? First, my doctor wouldn’t prescribe that high of a dose for me. And since I was seeing a few side effects, I knew the medication was definitely doing something to me, so I figured I should at least see some positive results if the Aldactone was going to work on my hair loss.

    Will stopping Aldactone cause my hair to shed even more?
    I’m afraid I will experience a major shed in 2-3 months from stopping the Aldactone. Hopefully I won’t, since it didn’t seem to help keep any hair on my head, but you never know. Stopping any hair loss medication poses a risk for increased shedding a few months later. The past month or two has also been extremely stressful for me (having nothing to do with hair issues), so I anticipate even more shedding than normal coming my way soon. Great:(

    Conclusion
    Aldactone was a bust for me, but it does work for some women. None of my blood work was out of range, but my Testosterone level was high, so I thought the Aldactone would counter that. And since I was told I have Androgenetic Alopecia, Aldactone is often prescribed to treat it. Alas, it had no positive effect on me. For someone that has PCOS, high androgen levels, or symptoms of excess androgens, maybe Aldactone would work better for stabilizing female hair loss (the medication is not to be taken by men). Obviously speak with your doctor before starting or stopping any medication. And don’t be surprised if your doctor won’t prescribe Aldactone because many don’t know about it, or they don’t believe it works for hair loss. Of course, though, other doctors think it’s a miracle hair growing medication.

    Do you take Aldactone or Spironolactone for hair growth, or have you taken it before? What has been your experience? Did it help your hair loss?

    *Click Here To Get Hair Loss Hell Updates Via Email!



  • Britney Spears’ Hair Extensions – A Cautionary Tale
    August 15th, 2011
    britney spears

    Britney Spears before hair extensions

    Britney Spears, like many celebrities, loves wearing hair extensions to add thickness and length to her hair, but unfortunately Britney is also the poster-child for absolutely horrible hair extensions. Not only can hair extensions look bad, they can actually ruin your hair, leaving you with permanent hair loss! Britney Spears is a cautionary tale to anyone thinking about getting hair extensions – while they might look great initially (well not in Britney’s case), they can leave you with less hair than you started with, permanent bald spots, and a receding hairline.

    There are some hair extensions that are safer and gentler on your hair than other types, but I believe all of them carry the risk of causing permanent hair damage. It’s unfortunate because the people that can benefit the most from hair extensions (those with thin hair) also show the most dramatic signs of hair loss because they have less hair to cover bald spots that may later form. In this first picture you can see Britney Spears when she was first getting famous – she had average, fine hair, which was totally normal, yet not very pop star-ish. Unfortunately her transformation into a pop star also ruined her hair, probably permanently.

    britney spears hair extensions
    In this photo, you can see Britney’s horrible hair extensions. With all of her money, you would think she would buy the best, most realistic extensions possible. I don’t get it. The only good thing about Britney’s extensions is that they probably scare a lot out people out of getting them and inadvertently ruining their hair permanently. A lot of celebs wear beautiful extensions, and you just assume they have naturally long, thick hair. Since Britney is the most famous celeb with extensions, I used to think all extensions looked this fake, which luckily deterred me from getting them.

    britney spears hair extensions
    Wow. I don’t know what’s going on here. Even though I usually feel like my hair looks awful, it doesn’t look this bad.

    britney spears hair extensions
    Here you can see Britney’s extensions on the top of her head. What sucks about having thin hair is that you need extra hair on the top of your head, but it’s hard to achieve invisible extensions. And even the best extensions can tug and pull and cause traction alopecia, especially in vulnerable areas like the top and front of your head.

    britney spears hair extensions
    Here’s Britney sporting wefts of hair. Before I started hairlosshell.com I actually bought extensions like this to attach to my hair, but I never wore them. Note to self: don’t wear your hair in an updo when you have big clip-on pieces of hair attached to your head. This picture scared me out of wearing the extensions I bought. Even without wearing my hair up, I’d be afraid my thin hair wouldn’t be able to cover the extension seams.

    britney spears hair extensions
    In this picture you can see Britney either has traction alopecia from wearing extensions, or a receding hairline that she’s trying to fill in with the extensions. Extensions are a double-edged sword because initially (when done right) they can make your hair look better, but then they cause hair loss, which you need to disguise with even more extensions, thus making your hair worse in the end.

    britney spears hair extensions
    Here Britney Spears is wearing more of those weft hair pieces to fill in her balding areas. Unfortunately she doesn’t have enough hair to cover up the seams of the pieces of hair. You can also see her receding hairline and temples (which I have too, so Brit, you’re not alone).

    britney spears hair extensions
    The picture on the left shows Britney’s thinning part (probably caused by hair extensions over-use).

    britney spears hair extensions
    More pictures depicting Britney’s receding hairline and temples, and her thinning sides. I don’t know for sure if extensions caused her hair loss, but they most definitely contributed to it. When Britney went “crazy” and shaved her hair off that one time, everyone thought she really was crazy, and at the time I did too, but now I think the meltdown could have had something to do with her hair. Not a day goes by that I don’t want to put an end to my crappy hair, and just shave everything off. If enough stressful stuff happens to me, I will probably end up with clippers in my hands too.

    These pictures illustrate bad hair extensions – probably the worst extensions you can get, so most people won’t end up looking like this if they choose to “enhance” their strands with extra hair. I’m not trying to be mean to Britney – it sucks that she is suffering from hair loss like the rest of us, and I would hate to be a celebrity and end up ruining my hair because I needed to wear extensions to enhance my image. Please let Britney Spears’ hair extensions serve as a warning to you. You may start out with average, thin hair, but hair extensions can cause permanent damage that can’t be disguised. There’s no easy solution because clip-on hair pieces can also damage your hair, and even wigs can cause a bit of traction alopecia. This is why I hate hair loss! What are your thoughts about Britney Spears and her hair extensions?

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  • My Los Angeles Hair Restoration Visit
    August 11th, 2011

    hair restoration los angelesI recently had a hair restoration appointment in Los Angeles. A few months ago I went to a hair restoration clinic in Las Vegas, but I was still left with confusion about exactly what was causing my hair loss. This place in LA mainly does hair transplants, but they also look at your hair under a video camera microscope to determine why your hair is thinning. Plus they use a tool called Haircheck, which I will write about in a separate post soon. This initial appointment was free. Before the appointment I had researched the hair loss restoration clinic and I felt like I was going to a reputable place that wouldn’t try to sell me a hair transplant if I wasn’t a good candidate (and I don’t want a hair transplant anyway because I don’t think I have enough hair to work with currently).

    First my hair was looked up with a hand-held camera wand to detect whether or not I had miniaturized hairs, and if I had them on top, or on top and in the back of my head. Shockingly, the doctor said he didn’t detect any miniaturization, except at my hairline (where my hair is receding, and where I can visually see the thinning hairs). He said a lot of women naturally lose hair at their temples but that even women without hair loss can lose hair there as a part of the aging process. Otherwise he said since I don’t have thinner hairs in the back of my head, that indicates I don’t have female pattern baldness! I swear all of the hairs on my head are thinner than they were ten years ago, but I forgot to ask the doctor about this – if it’s possible that all of your hairs can equally shrink in diameter.

    Next the doctor used the Haircheck and determined I have less hair on the top of my head than in the back. Yikes! He said people without hair loss would have equal amounts of hair on their entire head. So I’m slightly confused how this doesn’t indicate female pattern hair loss, since my hair is falling out in a pattern (more on top). I was left with the impression that I have male pattern baldness, yet if there was no miniaturization, except at my hairline, I’m not sure how that makes sense either? The doctor actually thought I had telogen effluvium (chronic, of course, since I’ve had hair loss for ten years) due to the lack of miniaturization. And he thinks with TE I could lose more hair on the top of my head, even though I’ve read you usually lose hair equally all over your head. I do lose tons of short hairs (which I thought meant I had miniaturization because a lot of the short hairs are skinnier), but losing short hairs can also mean you have TE.

    I told the doctor I was on Spironolactone, and that it hasn’t been working, and he thinks it’s making my hair worse so he urged me to get off it asap. I told him I’ve been using Rogaine on the top of my head and he doesn’t think that would have an effect on my hair either way, but I do wonder if it’s helping, hurting, or doing nothing. Next I asked about taking Propecia since I have less hair on the top of my head (which sounds like male pattern baldness). He said he would prescribe it to me if I promise not to get pregnant and go off the Spiro. He wants to have me off the Spiro for six months and then re-check my hair and see if I have more or less hair on top – so that would be another trip to Los Angeles. I am confused because if Spiro makes my hair worse, how would Propecia help my hair? The medications are similar in what they do. I think it’s because he thinks Spiro is prescribed for women with female pattern hair loss, but Propecia is prescribed for male pattern hair loss. Anyway, I want to try Propecia but am really worried about the potential it could cause cancer, since cancer runs in my family. How much does it increase the risk - a minuscule amount, or a ton? The research is inconclusive, especially since most studies are done on men taking Propecia.

    The doctor said I was absolutely not a candidate for a hair transplant (hair restoration). So I felt better knowing the doctor was being honest and wasn’t trying to rip me off. I didn’t ask him why I wasn’t a candidate – but I guess because I have thinning over the whole top of my head, there wouldn’t be enough hair to transplant, and all of those transplants could cause good hairs to fall out from shock loss. The doctor said my hair wasn’t that bad, but I told him I was at my wit’s end and am ready to start wearing a hair piece immediately – I can’t wait any longer. He insisted I wait it out and come back for the Propecia prescription in six months. And he confirmed that once I start with the hair piece it will be hard to turn back, due to traction alopecia.

    In the end I left feeling more confused than ever about my hair loss! Could I really just have chronic telogen effluvium that never ends, despite my “normal bloodwork” and all of the things I’ve tried? But there’s no denying my rapidly receding hairline – so I have male pattern baldness too? I was hoping for a 100% confirmation of what was going on, but now I’m at a loss of what to do next! At least I liked this doctor and felt good (but baffled) after leaving the place – usually I feel horrible after hair loss appointments. Have you had your hair looked at under a magnifying camera to determine if you have miniaturization, or have you been to a hair restoration clinic? If you live in the Los Angeles area, have you had any positive hair loss doctor visits?

    *Click Here To Get Hair Loss Hell Updates Via Email!



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