Hair Loss Hell

Latest Posts
  • Having A Bad Hair Day?
    March 18th, 2011

    bad hair dayI feel like I’m living in the movie “Groundhog Day,” but in my version I wake up with bed head, and then proceed to have a bad hair day every day, over and over again. I’ve been having a bad hair day since 2007! People let a bad hair day ruin their whole day – well no wonder I’ve been grumpy for so many years now. Remember how great it feels to have a good hair day – how it puts you in a great mood? – oh what a fond and distant memory:( I just learned the term bad hair day can also mean having a bad day in general. It makes sense, because having a bad hair day sucks the fun out of life. I’ve always liked that song “Bad Day,” and now I’m starting to think the song is really about having a bad hair day. I just googled the singer Daniel Powter, and he’s wearing a hat in every single picture I could find – aha!

    For regular people, having a bad hair day means trying to tackle a thick, frizzy mess, having  tangles because there’s so much hair, having roots coming in, or dealing with a few flyaways and a bit of static. For people with hair loss, disguising a bad hair day entails painstakingly trying to cover every bald spot, hopelessly trying to add volume to limp, thin hair, using Toppik and other concealers to give the illusion of hair, and then finally giving up and resigning to staying home, or wearing a hat, and praying it doesn’t blow away if it’s windy outside. 

    It’s funny how men are affected by bad hair days too. On days when my boyfriend declares he’s having a good hair day, he acts all giddy and boisterous, and he’s ready to go out and have fun. On bad hair days, he gets moody and withdrawn. Of course bad hair days are subjective because his hair always looks the same to me. Men with thinning hair also have the option to do hair transplants in hopes of once again having good hair days.
    • Everyone is having a bad hair day
    Celebrities take bad hair days just as seriously as we do. While googling “bad hair day” I saw that Demi Moore stayed home from the Golden Globes because she was having a bad hair day. Really? Britney Spears is like me and doesn’t let her daily bad hair stop her from going out. She has bad hair in just about every candid picture on the internet. More bad hair days: I found out there’s a salon called “Bad Hair Day,” Weird Al has an album with the same title, there’s an 80s cover band with the name, and WebMD even has a whole page dedicated to surviving the horrible affliction known as the bad hair day!

    • How to fix a bad hair day
    I’ve been wearing my hair in a ponytail or bun every day for at least a year now! That’s my personal fix. I have avoided fancy situations because I refuse to wear my hair down, but I have a wedding coming up to attend. I guess I will just stick a nice clip in my hair to look more dressed up. Other fixes for people with normal hair: wear a hat or thick headband, use dry shampoo to add volume and reduce greasiness, use a 5 minute root touch up kit, spray on some anti-frizz serum, or just do my magical ponytail trick. And stop your whining – at least you still have hair;)

    Since you’re on my hair loss site, you are probably like me and wake up every day with a hair challenge. Let’s celebrate bad hair – then every day can be a party! When was the last time you had a good hair day? Do you have secrets to fixing or coping with a bad hair day?

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  • From Thick To Thin – My Hair Loss-Induced Identity Crisis
    March 13th, 2011

    hair loss identity crisisFor the last several years I’ve been having an identity crisis, caused by my hair loss. I was always known as “the girl with the thick curly hair” and I was defined by my hair. Now when I look in the mirror I don’t see myself, and it freaks me out. I just had a dream where I was looking at current pictures of myself, and there I was with the thick hair that I no longer have in real life. When I think about how people describe others, it usually starts with the hair. To describe most my friends, I would start off with a description of their hair. “Oh, you know Suzie – the girl with the spiky blonde hair.” Or “remember Bob – the short guy with the shaved head?”

    Celebrities are also defined by their hair – Britney Spears with the horrible extensions, Michelle Williams with the pixie cut, Jennifer Aniston with the perfect blonde beachy waves, etc. Jennifer Aniston just cut a few inches off her hair, and it’s become a major news story that hundreds of sites have written about. Hair loss is devastating to almost all women, but I think it’s even harder on women who were known for their beautiful hair. When anyone’s best feature is taken away (perfect body, thick hair, flawless line-free skin), it sucks. I asked my boyfriend how most of his friends describe me (I haven’t had thick hair since before I met him), and now I’m “the girl with the brown hair.” It’s still about the hair, even though I am now so nondescript. It’s boring! But of course it’s better than being “the balding girl.”

    Who am I?
    Have you lost your defining feature? Have you reinvented yourself? What sentence do people use to identify you? I really want to reinvent myself and be “the girl with…” and not have hair anywhere in that sentence! I don’t know who to be. I was at a party yesterday and a friend said she’s worked so hard to be herself – to be “Farrah.” I feel like I still need a defining feature because I don’t know what being me means anymore. Prince was so sick of his name and image that he became “the artist formerly known as.” I feel like “the girl formerly known as the girl with the thick curly hair.” Ugh!

    Distraction from my hair loss
    Now that my hair sucks, I don’t want people looking at it, so I’m trying to think of what I can do/wear to distract from my hair. I don’t have any tattoos but have seriously thought about getting some as a distraction. I haven’t read the book “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” but apparently just one tattoo makes you worthy of a book and movie. I’m not into fake boobs, but half of Las Vegas women can be described as “the girl with the giant fake boobs” but of course you have to add on “and hair extensions” to that sentence. I’ve been trying to workout more so I can be “the woman who can get away with skinny jeans” but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

    My favorite book is “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and the main character goes through the whole book buying stuff to redefine who she is. She thinks that once she’s known as “the girl in the green scarf” her life will be perfect… Lately I’ve been buying jewelry I don’t need, partly because I’m depressed about my hair loss, and because being “the girl with the cute necklace” is better than “the girl with the thin hair.” I’ve thought about shaving my head but being “the girl with the shaved head” is something I’m so not ready for.

    Will a wig solve my identity crisis?
    I’ve been considering wearing a wig or hairpiece for a while now, but that brings up new problems. If I end up with a wig that isn’t realistic enough I’ll immediately be “the girl with the wig – OMG why is she wearing a wig?” If I find a super realistic, beautiful wig, I’ll be “the girl with the perfect hair.” That sounds great and all, but I’m tired of being defined by my hair! And I don’t know if I want to call attention to my head if I’m wearing supplemental hair. I love the color pink and really want a crazy pink wig like Nicki Minaj, but I think with my suburban life, wearing it would cause too much unwanted attention. 

    Who are you?
    Tell me who you are – how would you describe yourself, and how do others describe you? Have you also suffered an identity crisis from your hair loss? Have you found a new identity that you’re happy with, despite your hair loss? For now I’ll just be “the girl who has no idea who she is…”

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  • Hair Restoration For Women – My Clinic Visit
    March 8th, 2011

    hair loss restoration womenI went to a Las Vegas hair restoration clinic today – one that specializes in hair restoration for women and men. Hair restoration is another name for hair transplants – a surgical procedure that moves hair follicles from one part of your head (normally the back) to where you most need it – the top and front. Personally I’m not looking to get hair transplants any time soon (if ever) but the consultation was free, and I was hoping to finally get a definitive answer about whether my hair loss is genetic, or if something else is causing it.

    Even though I was recently diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia (this link goes to my skin care blog), a very small part of me still thinks it could be chronic telogen effluvium, and I would like to know for sure so that I concentrate on the right things. Some hair restoration doctors do hair mapping, where they look at your scalp under a video magnifying camera to determine if your hair is miniaturizing (which most likely means you have genetic hair loss that will probably get progressively worse). I was hoping to get that done at today’s appointment. 

    My female hair restoration appointment
    The hair restoration clinic I went to is owned by a popular doctor that has clinics in a few locations in California and Las Vegas. I had come across his name years ago when I was first learning about hair loss, and I’ve seen him on TV shows and read about him in magazines as well. I had first contacted their office about getting HairDX genetic testing done, and I may still do that soon. This doctor is also working on a promising treatment to “cure” hair loss, so I was excited to meet with someone that understands hair loss.

    I first met with a consultant that went over my hair loss history and treatments that I’ve tried. He looked at my hair and noted that I have fine, evenly thinning hair all over my head (even in the back, which is where the donor hair would come from if a transplant was ever done). He asked if I’ve always had fine hair, and I really don’t know. I used to have super thick hair, and I never thought of my hair as fine before, so I think my hairs have shrunken a bit in diameter (and of course tons have fallen out too). The consultant told me he could see how stressed I was about my hair, and to try to stop stressing or it will just make it worse. What’s funny is that I felt more relaxed than normal at a hair loss appointment, and I told him it’s just a given that I will stress about my hair, although I feel a lot calmer about it now than I did last year. There were several years that I tried to pretend my hair was fine and I didn’t think about it, and that didn’t magically bring my hair back then. When I feel calm and relaxed, people still say I look tense – I guess that’s just how I am.

    Hair transplant candidate?
    Next the doctor came in and briefly looked at my hair. He didn’t have a magnifying camera to look at my scalp, so I was a bit disappointed about that. I had hair mapping done once, about 8 years ago, and at the time they claimed my hair follicles looked great and showed no signs of miniaturizing, but I have a feeling the shrinking has since set in. The doctor noted visible miniaturizing at my hairline and temples, and drew lines where transplanted hairs would go (if I had the procedure). I have heard that most women with overall thinning (like me) are not good candidates for transplants because the donor hair thins too, and there’s so much area that needs to be filled in to look acceptable (men can get away with a lot less coverage). It seems like the doctor would do a transplant on me if I wanted one, but he wasn’t pushing it. If my hair loss stabilized and never got worse, then I could see getting a transplant to fill in my hairline and wide part, but if it gets any worse (which is likely since I’m only in my mid-30s), I wouldn’t have enough hair to work with in the future. After the appointment I wondered if female celebrities, and rich women, get hair transplants at the first signs of thinning, and then of course thicken up their hair with extensions. That might keep your hair looking good for a while, but eventually it would probably get too thin too to look acceptable if your hair loss is genetic.

    Overall, hair transplants can be a good option for some women, but for someone with overall thinning, or alopecia areata, where hair loss can come and go in different areas, it’s usually not the right solution. For women that have lost hair in a small area due to an injury, a scar from a facelift, traction alopecia in just the front, a high hairline, or just a small stable balding area, then it could be a viable option. Eyebrow hair transplants are a good treatment if you need to permanently fill in sparse and balding brows. There are side effects and risks from hair transplant surgery, including shock loss, which means additional hair falls out after the surgery (usually temporarily). Hair transplant surgery is a complicated topic, which I may write about in more detail in the future.

    The hair restoration doctor’s suggestions for me
    The doctor said if I were to get transplants, he recommended 1200 grafts (I’m not sure if that’s just for my thinning hairline and temples, or if that covers my entire thinning part). Then he said if I’ve ruled out all of the likely causes of non-genetic hair loss (hypothyroid, anemia, hormone imbalance, etc.) then it’s probably genetic, or maybe a combo of genetics plus stress, and hormones. My blood tests always come back “normal” for the most part, but one thing I eventually want to consider is extensive hormone testing and bio-identical hormones.

    The doctor said he recommends women use Rogaine foam 5% once a day. I told him about my headaches from Rogaine and the never-ending shedding, but he seemed to think the shedding would end eventually (but what if it doesn’t?) I’m still too scared to try Rogaine all over my scalp again, but maybe I’ll try it just on one discreet area. I also haven’t tried the foam yet. Currently I’ve just been using liquid Rogaine on my temples and hairline – and I can’t tell if it’s working. Next he mentioned buying the supplement Viviscal, which they sell at their office. I had thought Viviscal was another one of those scam products, but I’m going to look into it and might try it. Next he said I could try laser treatments (either a series of in-office laser treatments, buy a HairMax LaserComb for around $400, or buy some sort of $3ooo laser helmet). I have considered getting a HairMax, but the results seem to be lackluster, although some people claim to see results. I’ve also considered in-office laser treatments, but they are expensive, you have to do them indefinitely, and again few people seem to see positive results.

    Finally I asked about taking Propecia, and if he thinks it can work for some women. Unlike my current Dermatologist, who thinks Propecia can make female hair loss worse, this doctor has never heard that. He said he would prescribe Propecia to me only if I had the HairDX genetic testing done, and it said I would be a good candidate for Propecia, and then I promised not to get pregnant (I’m not having kids). So I’m thinking about doing the genetic testing, or trying to find another doctor somewhere that will just prescribe Propecia. But I’m not quite there yet. I want to give the Spironolactone I’m taking some more time to work first.

    Final thoughts
    After the doctor left, the consultant said he wouldn’t try to do a hard sell on me for anything because the practice is plenty busy and they want to keep up their good reputation and have happy clients. He said the doctor is very meticulous and does great work, and from what I’ve read about this doctor, I believe that’s true. If only I was a man with a great donor area! But at least women can just buy great wigs and hair pieces and instantly have nice hair. If you are considering transplants, and are a good candidate for it, I would do a lot of research on doctors before picking one. There are a lot of doctors and different techniques out there – good and bad – and results can vary greatly. Also, the cost of hair restoration is expensive, and you may need follow-up surgeries as your hair loss progresses, but the price can be worth it.

    Have you consulted with a hair restoration doctor in Las Vegas, or anywhere? Have you had hair transplants? Let me know.

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  • Lolcats Mock Ur Hair Issuez
    March 4th, 2011

    wig lolcatThere’s something about cats that make you feel worse about yourself, because they are so darn cute, furry, and perfect (at least my cats). My cats are always looking at me and mocking me, just like the lolcats from I Can Has Cheezburger (where I got these photos). You know hair loss has made you crazy when you wish you were a cat so you could have awesome hair/fur that never thins. Sure theirs sheds a lot, but unlike yours, it comes back beautifully. Sometimes I wonder if my cats are causing my hair loss because I am now allergic to cats, and the allergy medication lists “hair loss” as a possible side effect. Please don’t take offense to these photos and captions – I am just trying to make light of our horrible situation!

    < This kitteh ponders our biggest fear – can you tell it’s fake??

    blowdry lolcat
    This gorgeous kitteh shows off her luscious locks to mock your lack thereof.

    Rogaine kitteh
    This formerly bald kitty tries Rogaine and it actually works (really well!)

    Nair kitty
    Bald kitty reminds you of when your hair first fell out and you were sure it was because someone put Nair in your shampoo as a cruel joke (yes I thought this). But the joke’s on you because it wasn’t the shampoo.

    split enz kitty
    Kitteh doesn’t care about your hair probs – he is happy to make it worse just to spite you.

    bedhead kitty
    Kitteh’s job is to secretly make your hair worse.

    bald kitty
    Dad cat just rubs it in – you’re going bald just like him!

    special shampoo kitteh
    But you already tried the doctor’s special shampoo (and the expensive cream, foam, oil, and fancy tonic). Now what?

    big hair kitty
    This kitteh lost half his hair and still has twice as much as you:(

    shaved lolcat
    Shaved kitteh is mad now, but he turns his nose up to you because his hair is coming back soon.

    Kitteh makes you paranoid that it’s all your fault the drain keeps clogging – of course in reality it’s true.

    toupee lolcat
    Okay toupee kitty actually understands our plight…

    cat with weave
    Worst fear ever – getting into a cat fight and losing ur weave.

    kitteh with bed head
    Great – there really is no upside to being bald :(

    toupee lolcat
    Only kittehs can pull off bad cheap wigs.

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  • Celebrities With Crazy Wigs
    February 27th, 2011

    jessica simpson wigSometimes I wish I could be Lady Gaga or Katy Perry just so that I could wear crazy wigs and be seen as an eccentric, yet innovative and stylish celebrity. I love crazy wigs, but you can’t go around wearing them in real life without ridicule, whereas celebs can get away with it as part of their bigger-than-life personas. I was shocked that the current issue of New York magazine features Jessica Simpson in giant hair fashioned out of her popular hair pieces and hair extensions. Jessica has helped make hair pieces mainstream, which I’m thankful for, because it helps take the stigma out of women that wear hair just to look “normal.” What annoys me about Jessica Simpson, though, is that she has great hair to start with, so while she wears wigs and extensions from time to time, she totally doesn’t need them! Have you tried any of the Jessica Simpson hairdo extensions, bangs, hair pieces, etc.?
    Below are various celebrities that embrace crazy wigs and crazy hair. Most of these celebs have no hair loss issues like I do, but I’m happy to see them with crazy hair nonetheless. My only concern about celebrities wearing crazy wigs is that it could minimize the importance and legitimacy that realistic wigs have to women actually suffering from hair loss issues. What do you think about celebs and their outlandish wigs? Who is your favorite celebrity that is not afraid to wear crazy fake hair?

    Here’s another picture of Jessica Simpson from New York magazine in her hair piece wig!
    jessica simpson wig

    Cher is the celebrity that started the crazy wig trend years ago. Some of her wigs cost $10,000!
    cher wig

    Christina Aguilera embraces the giant hair look.
    christina aguilera wig

    Katy Perry wears wigs in a variety of rainbow colors.
    katy perry wig

    I look forward to seeing what crazy wig Nicki Minaj will wear next. I actually love this wig and wish I had the guts to wear one like it out in public.
    nicki minaj wig

    Another one of Nicki Minaj’s many wigtastic looks.
    nicki minaj wig

    Like a sheep dog, Rihanna has so much hair here that she can’t even see!
    rihanna wig

    Beyonce is wearing some awesome big hair here. I love this picture of her!
    beyonce wig

    Lady Gaga has taken her cue from Cher and tries to outdo herself each time with crazier and crazier wigs (like the meat wig!)
    lady gaga wig

    Lady Gaga in gray hair with teal streaks – why not?
    lady gaga wig

    Phil Spector might just be the craziest of all wig-wearing celebrities. Would you wear a wig like this to your own trial?
    phil spector wig

    Finally, do wigs make kitties even cuter?
    kitty wig


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  • Tori Amos – From Hair Loss to Wigs
    February 23rd, 2011

    tori amosTori Amos first caught my attention in the mid-90s with her popular song “Cornflake Girl.” I noted we had the same hair (although hers was bright red) and then I didn’t pay much attention to her until my friend became obsessed with her in the late 90s. My friend started going to Tori shows constantly and coming back with new meet-and-greet Tori photos throughout the years. I would always look at the photos and see Tori’s big smile, and in later years I would notice her Botox and then plastic surgery, but not once did I ever notice her hair. Oh how I wish I was still so oblivious. I remember looking at my friend’s Tori CDs and never even noticed she was wearing different wigs in some of the album art. When you don’t have hair loss, you really don’t notice people’s hair much, even when it’s obviously thinning.

    In my female celebrities with hair loss post, a reader commented about Tori wearing wigs, and I looked online for pictures of Tori throughout the years and I was shocked that she’s been suffering from hair loss since at least the mid-90s, but I never noticed. She’s been wearing wigs the last few years, which is quite obvious if you look at her hair loss progression throughout her career. I emailed my obsessed Tori friend and asked her why she never told me that Tori wears wigs (since she knows I’m obsessed with hair loss) and she told me she didn’t know! So knew she wore extensions sometimes, but never noticed the wigs. This gives me hope that most people don’t notice your hair, and even your friends and family might not figure out you’re wearing a wig, even if your hair drastically changes style and thickness!

    I feel bad for Tori publicly suffering from hair loss all these years (not that most people noticed), and if you google her you will see pictures of her with really obvious Androgenetic Alopecia (genetic hair loss) pre-wigs. But lucky for her, she has the money for some awesome wigs. Women with hair loss also wonder why no female celebrities seem to suffer the same fate, but as I’ve said before, it’s because most of them start wearing hair pieces and wigs at the first sign on a problem. Tori is one of the few younger celebrities (pre-menopausal I’ve seen with really obvious hair loss.

    Here is a Tori Amos picture from when she first became a mainstream singer (pre-hair loss):
    tori amos
    Below are various pictures of Tori in wigs. I remember seeing the photos of her in blonde and brunette wigs, and just thought she changed up her hair or something with dye and a haircut. Oh how clueless I used to be… Finally I feel bad for just talking about Tori’s hair, but I don’t know that much about her music. I just know I am now also obsessed with her just like my friend, but for different reasons!
    tori amos wig
    tori amos wig
    tori amos wig
    tori amos wig

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  • Depression And Hair Loss
    February 18th, 2011

    depression hair lossDepression, and especially severe depression, can cause hair loss, and as anyone that has experienced hair loss can tell you, hair loss can absolutely lead to depression. This vicious cycle leads to feelings of hopelessness and despair, but through my own experience, I believe there is hope for helping depression, and the depression caused by hair loss.

    Depression causes hair loss
    Doctors argue whether or not depression can cause your hair to thin and fall out, and if it does, how severe the depression must be to take a physical toll on your hair. I haven’t been able to find  studies that show how depressed you must be to lose hair, and how much hair you will lose if you are depressed. But the majority of doctors will agree that depression can definitely cause hair loss to some extent. If depression is your only contributing factor, the temporary hair loss – telogen effluvium – should eventually begin to correct itself a few months after the depression lifts. When you are in a state of depression, the hardest thing to do is get help, but it’s essential. Please talk to a doctor, tell someone you trust and ask them to get you help, or contact the suicide prevention lifeline if necessary. Two other types of hair loss – alopecia areata, and trichotillomania, are also made worse by depression, and I will talk more about these conditions in the future.

    • Hair loss from depression medication
    It’s a cruel irony that when you really need medication to help your depression, the side effects of the drugs can cause hair loss (generally temporary). Speak with your doctor, because there are some anti-depressants that have a lesser chance of causing hair loss as a side effect. Your goal is to get better, which will ideally help the hair loss, or at least help you deal with it better.

    • Other causes of depression that are linked to hair loss
    Depression is a complicated issue that has many possible causes, many of which also contribute to hair loss. Aside from genetics and traumatic events, depression can be caused by a hormone imbalance, thyroid disorder, side effect from medication, vitamin deficiency, stress, chronic illness, and substance abuse, and all of these issues are also linked to hair loss! Again it’s essential to work with your doctor to attempt to treat all of your problems. 

    • Hair loss causes depression
    After you realize you are losing your hair and you visit a Dermatologist, mostly likely you will be told “it’s only hair,” “you’re crazy – your hair is fine,” “you won’t go totally bald,” or “get over yourself.” I’ve been told all of these things by doctors and even by friends and family members. Nothing makes you feel even worse than having no support, and feeling like no one cares or understands. Even though it’s only hair and there a way more horrible things that could be wrong with you, it doesn’t hurt any less. 

    Society tells women we have to have thick, luscious hair to be beautiful, and women are made to feel their hair is what makes them attractive and desirable. And if a woman is defined by her hair (as I was), losing it is even harder. Another problem with hair loss is many women don’t know what is actually causing it and that is maddening – is it temporary from having low iron or a low thyroid or not enough vitamin D, or is it genetic, or is there something obscure that I’m overlooking? Aside from working with a therapist (which I haven’t yet but should), joining an online hair loss support group like Women’s Hair Loss Project  is what I find helps the most. There are hundreds of thousands of women out there going through the same thing, even though it seems like you’re the only one.

    • My ongoing depression and hair loss story
    I’ve always been prone to depression and self-diagnosed myself with dysthymia years ago, which is chronic low level depression. There are times when things in my life are going really well, and my situational depression vanishes for a year or two at a time. In my late 20s, I was going through some personal problems and found myself in the midst of the worst depression I had ever experienced. I felt completely hopeless and really couldn’t imagine I would ever feel happy again. To make matters worse, one day I looked in a horrible bathroom mirror and discovered my hair was thinning too. I had always worried excessively about losing my hair, and now I was barely functional, and going bald – my worst fear! I then became hyper focused on finding a cure for my hair loss, and realized the connection between depression and hair loss, which made me feel even more hopeless initially. I went to several doctors about the hair loss, and was diagnosed with temporary hair loss – telogen effluvium, and I also went on medication for depression, which was extremely scary because of the potential hair loss side effect. As bad as I was, I didn’t seek treatment for my depression until my hair started falling out, even though I should have. Without going into a lot of details, after about a year of the deep depression, I was able to come out of it enough to feel slightly hopeful again. At the time I also had hope that once my depression lifted, my hair would come back, so that also kept me going.

    When I look back at photos from that time, my hair did end up getting a little better a year or so after the worst of the depression, and once I realized I wasn’t going bald anytime soon, my anxiety over my hair loss subsided a little – I was no longer totally obsessed with it. My hair looked good enough, even though it was probably 30-40% thinner than it had been when I was in college. Nothing brings you right back into the depths of despair, though, like another bout with hair loss. Fast forward 7 years to the summer of 2010, and I went through another dramatic shedding phase where my hair no longer looked acceptable to me. The year before I had secretly bargained with my hair that as much as I didn’t like it, I would be okay if I never got any of my lost hair back, as long as it never got worse. My hair didn’t care, and I lost another 20% last year, and that’s when the receding began. My hope that my hair loss was a chronic temporary problem was shattered – I had genetic hair loss and it would probably only keep getting worse.  Half of 2010 was spent with me waking up from a nightmare, only to realize the nightmare was my real life. Again, nothing depresses you more than knowing your worrying and depression is making your hair worse, but you can’t stop worrying because you are going bald! So you feel completely hopeless. That’s when I started researching my options, and I realized there is hope – in the form of supplemental hair. Knowing there are great options out there for me again gives me hope. At this point my hair looks like crap, so I look forward to the day I will actually have enviable hair again.

    I no longer wake up in a panic every morning. But I know it’s only a matter of time that I can’t hide my hair loss any more. The waiting period, though, is unnerving because I don’t know if it will be days, months, or years before I will need the supplemental hair. I don’t want to start wearing it until I have to, but I don’t want to wait too long. I’ve also read the horror stories about finding great, realistic, affordable hair, so that scares me. And finally, I don’t think I’ll ever be truly free from the hair loss-induced depression. On days when giant clumps of hair fall out, I go right back into a state of panic. Now good days are ones where I don’t lose too much hair. I also fear how I will feel when I look in the mirror in the future when my hair is even worse. I don’t think I’ll ever be okay with getting old, wrinkled, and bald. But despite all of that, somehow I am managing to cope better now than I did 7 years ago, even though I am now older, balder, and more wrinkly. Living with hair loss is a daily struggle, and knowing the major depression could always come back scares me. I wish I had a real solution that would help others. It does get better, but it will always be a struggle.

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  • Grow Hair Fast
    February 12th, 2011

    grow hair fastHow to grow hair fast – many people want to know how do you do it, and is it even possible? Can you grow your hair faster, longer, and thicker? According to the book “Grow Hair Fast” by Riquette Hofstein, it’s completely possible to have a “new head of hair in 90 days.” I picked up this book a few years ago hoping it would offer new solutions to my hair loss problem. The book’s author is a licensed trichologist (a person who studies hair and hair loss), which is great because trichologists are very rare. Her degree is from the Rene Furterer Institute in Paris. The title of the book is slightly misleading because the book is about reversing hair loss, not growing hair faster. For the most part, hair grows at a predetermined rate, so I’m not sure you can really speed up its growth. Your best bet for that is to eat well, consume enough protein, exercise, sleep enough, reduce stress, and take vitamins that support healthy hair (which I will write about in another post).

    The “Grow Hair Fast” book features a variety of unique natural topical treatments to regrow hair. Before using any of the treatments in the book, you should do a small patch test first to make sure you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients. There are a lot of natural ingredients than can potentially cause a bad reaction. The author says if your hair follicles have completely stopped producing hair, this can’t be reversed, but if you still have peach fuzz, there is hope.

    Most people that suffer from hair loss have genetic hair loss (androgenetic alopecia), yet there is still hope to restore your hair, and combat the effects of DHT on your hair follicles. Riquette states 95% of hair loss is genetic :( She also believes as sebum builds up in the hair follicle (especially from regular styling products), the follicle becomes blocked and damaged, which literally kills the hair. This is a hotly debated topic because most doctors don’t believe your hair follicles become blocked, so you can’t “unblock them” to reverse hair loss.

    Grow Hair Fast regimen
    When it comes to growing my hair thicker, I’ll try anything, but this is where the book scares me – the author states her regimen requires an unerring level of rigor, and you must do exactly as she states or you won’t see results. I think she says this is a way to not be held accountable if/when the treatment doesn’t work because the regimen is extremely complicated. She blasts Rogaine as being difficult to use, but her plan is ten times more complicated! If I knew it would really work, I would do it, but since nothing else has really worked for my hair loss, I confess I haven’t tried any of the treatments in the book yet, let alone every single one of them. What I hope to find are other people even more dedicated than me that will try out the treatments in the book, and report back to me with their results!

    First up – you are supposed to throw out all of your hair products (shampoo, hairspray, styling products, dandruff shampoo, etc.) And you must give up using traditional hair dye (personally my hair looks horrible without lightening it). Then take a “before” photo so you can later see your progress. Next up you will get a “magic haircut” which will relieve pressure on your growing hair, and you will buy a boar’s hair brush. Next comes the hard part – you must make a variety of daily and weekly hair cocktails to cleanse and stimulate your hair follicles. You will be making scalp stimulators, a slougher cocktail, a mud pack, shampoo, a sealing lotion, a tea rinse, an herbal oil treatment, a conditioner, and more.

    Ingredients for your treatments include: vodka, cayenne pepper, various oils, castile soap, various crushed leaves like rosemary and basil, apple cider vinegar, jojoba oil, raw eggs, flour, rum, and lots more. Holy cow – I don’t even know where to get half the ingredients needed for the mandatory treatments. Riquette gives specific recipes for each treatment, and has different ones for different hair issues (dry vs oily hair). There are also recipes for natural hair dyes. Scalp massage is another one of the facets of the program.

    Next comes the diet portion of the plan because without the proper nutrients, minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids, your hair won’t grow properly. There’s also a list of vitamins that should be taken as well (speak to your doctor before starting on the vitamin plan because she suggests some controversial things like iodine). Proper exercise is of course also part of the plan.

    Grow Hair Fast conclusion
    This book can be summed up in one word: overwhelming! Losing your hair is traumatic enough, but knowing you must follow a difficult, time-consuming plan to the tee made me feel even more depressed because I didn’t feel like I could do it. At the end of the book there are a few before and after pictures of men, which show good results, but other than that I don’t know of anyone that has followed the book, so I don’t know if people really do see results or not. When it comes to growing my hair back and reversing hair loss, I don’t rule out anything, so I would still recommend picking up the book and trying some of the treatments for yourself.

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  • Las Vegas Wigs
    February 10th, 2011

    las vegas wigsWhen I first looked for Las Vegas wig stores, I was surprised how hard it was to find a good wig in my city – showgirl capital of the world! After some searching, I’ve discovered a few wig shops, and as I visit more I will list them here. If you don’t live in Las Vegas, then this info might not be too helpful for you…  Ideally I’m looking for places in Las Vegas that make toppers and hair pieces that will seamlessly blend in with my real hair. And I want one that looks really good (like the wig the girl in the picture is wearing).

    The Wig Cottage in Henderson
    The Wig Cottage specializes in wigs for people with alopecia and cancer, and the store offers a comfortable environment for those self conscious about their hair. The woman that runs the store understands the emotional aspect of buying a wig, and will help you pick out the right wig in a private area. You can also schedule an appointment. They mostly sell high quality synthetic wigs from Noriko and Rene Of Paris, and they can order wigs from either line if they don’t have the color or style in stock that you want. They don’t have a lot of wigs on display, but they do have a good selection to try on. Once you purchase your wig, the price includes a haircut of the wig, so that your wig looks more natural on you.

    2510 St Rose Pkwy Suite #110
    Henderson, NV 89074

    Hair For Her  in Las Vegas Outlet Center
    I stumbled on this store when I was shopping at the LV outlet mall, and it has a nice selection of synthetic wigs on display in a variety of colors and styles. They also carry party wigs, and I’m not sure if they have human hair wigs. You can try on the wigs with the purchase of a wig cap. I haven’t tried on the wigs there yet, but plan to do so soon because I saw several that I liked. They carry high quality name brand wigs like Rene Of Paris. This is a small store, so people will be able to see you try on the wigs, but most people in the store are also shopping for wigs, so I didn’t feel too self conscious.

    7400 Las Vegas Blvd S #49
    Las Vegas, NV 89123

    Ulta and Sally Beauty
    Both of these chain stores have a small selection of hair extensions, clip-on bangs, and clip-on hair pieces. Sally Beauty also carries a small selection of wigs.

    Beauty Supply Warehouse in Las Vegas
    This large beauty store specializes in ethnic beauty products, and carries tons of different products. They have a large selection of hair extensions and hair in general in a variety of colors, but if you are like me and have no idea what to do with the pieces of hair, you will feel overwhelmed. The store employee I spoke with was very nice and found some hair extensions that seemed to match my hair, but I didn’t end up getting them because I wasn’t sure if I really wanted clip-on extensions. They have a decent selection of wigs too that you can try on, but they mostly come in black or dark brown colors, and I was looking for something lighter brown with blonde highlights. There are also a lot of customers in the store, so if you are nervous about having people see you try on wigs, this will be an intimidating experience. There are 5 Beauty Supply Warehouse locations (I went to the Decatur location).

    1401 N Decatur Blvd
    Las Vegas, NV 89108

    Hair Plus Beauty Supply in Las Vegas
    This is another large beauty store with lots of beauty products. They also carry a lot of hair extensions, and if I knew anything about extensions, I’m sure I could have found something good here. As far as wigs go, they had a decent selection of inexpensive wigs that you can try on if you purchase a wig cap, and they carried wigs in a variety of colors. I didn’t find any wigs that looked like what I was looking for (a high quality style similar to my wavy brown hair – with highlights), so I didn’t try on anything. Like Beauty Supply Warehouse, if you are suffering from hair loss, this store might also make you feel self conscious if you go there to try on wigs.

    1048 N Rancho Dr Ste A
    Las Vegas, NV 89106

    Reese’s Wigs in Las Vegas
    This wig store has only been open since 2010 and I have seen a bunch of TV commericals for their store and salon. The store is nice but I found the selection to be pretty minimal. They don’t really carry hairpieces and there’s only a small selection of synthetic wigs. I was interested in finding a human hair wig, but they only had a few to choose from, and the one I tried on just didn’t look right on me. I didn’t see any other wigs that I wanted to try on because none matched the style of my current hair, or the style I wanted to get (Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Lopez looking hair). This could be a good place for older women to shop for wigs, and they have a full service salon where they cut wigs for you.

    4620 West Sahara Suite #3
    Las Vegas, NV 89102

    Serge’s Wigs in Las Vegas
    This store probably has the biggest selection of wigs in Las Vegas, but even still I had a hard time finding a wig I really liked, and the amount of wigs at Serge’s was just a fraction of what you’d find on the internet. I was hoping this store would have toppers that would blend in with my real hair, but the only thing that had were falls that add volume to the back of your head. That doesn’t work if you have thinning hair on top. Serge’s has some human hair wigs, but I ended up trying on a few synthetic wigs. They looked pretty good, but since they were synthetic they still looked too wig-like to me. I was there a half hour before closing so I didn’t have a lot of time. I will go back when there’s more time to try on more wigs.

    4515 West Sahara
    Las Vegas, NV 89102

    I have been to one Las Vegas hair restoration clinic, but I haven’t been to places that do hair systems or hair extensions yet. From my research, I have discovered the wig stores in Las Vegas don’t carry a good selection of human hair wigs, they don’t sell hairpieces to be worn as toppers to cover thinning hair, and they don’t make custom hairpieces for you. As I visit more supplemental hair places in Las Vegas, I will update this list. If you know of a wig store or hair piece company in Las Vegas or Henderson, let me know!

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  • Male Celebrity Hair Transplants and Hair Pieces
    February 3rd, 2011

    celebrity hair piecesThere are a whole lot of male celebrities with hair transplants and hair pieces! Sure we all know about the 100s of balding celebs that don’t hide their lack of hair (Bruce Willis, Dr. Phil, Vin Diesel, etc.), but I’ve come up with a list of famous men that either wear hair pieces or toupees, or they’ve had hair transplants to regain a fuller head of hair.

    As I stated in my female celebrities with hair loss post, I am not writing about balding celebrities to be mean – I just want regular people (like me) to know that you aren’t alone with your hair struggles – beneath the perfect facade, Hollywood is full of men that will do whatever they can to have hair. I always felt it was so unfair that celebrities didn’t bald like the rest of us, but that’s not true. And I’m tired of being made to feel like there’s something wrong with me due to my hair issues, which aren’t easy to fix without a lot of money. Please note that this list is my opinion, based on watching interviews of celebrities, and studying before and after pictures. I could be wrong in some cases.

    Male actors that wear hair pieces, wigs, or toupees:

    • Charlie Sheen
    This one came as a shock to me! In the picture here, you can see his real hairline. Obviously he normally wears a piece, which makes his hair look a little too perfect (which is what got me googling “Charlie Sheen wig” many times over the past year).

    • John Travolta
    He wears different hair pieces all the time. In some pictures he doesn’t wear anything and you can see his real receding hairline. It took me years to realize he was wearing hair!

    • Kevin James
    He’s been wearing a toupee for years, and wore one on his show “King Of Queens.”

    • Brendan Fraser
    He’s quite bald under the various hair pieces he wears for his movie roles.

    • William Shatner
    Personally I think his hair pieces look great.

    • Hugh Laurie
    He also has a great hair piece because I had no idea he wore one on his show “House” until I saw him on TV going hair piece-free.

    • Steven Meisel
    Apparently this famous fashion photographer has been wearing a wig for years.

    • Jeremy Piven
    Jeremey Piven has a large hair transplant scar on the back of his head, and wears a toupee on “Entourage” to cover it up.

    • Andre Agassi
    He is a proud bald man now, but he used to wear a wig while he played his professional tennis! I had no frickin’ clue until he outed his wig-wearing a year or two ago.

    • Ted Danson
    Apparently he’s been wearing a toupee since forever. Again I would never know if he didn’t talk about it.

    • Al Pacino
    His hair is a mess. I don’t know if he just wears a toupee, or has hair transplants and a toupee, but his hair always looks horribly fake to me, and his hairline is in the middle of his forehead!

    • Steven Seagal
    Another bad toupee…

    • Jon Cryer
    I had no idea until recently that he, like his cast mate Charlie Sheen, wears a toupee. There are dramatic before and after pictures of him online.

    • Rob Schneider
    I think he had hair transplants at one point, and then started wearing hair pieces.

    • Ant
    When Ant, the comedian, got famous(ish) he started wearing a toupee.

    • Nicolas Cage
    His hair is also a mess, and he normally wears really bad toupees in his movies. You would think with all the money his movies make they could make his hair look better.

    • Christopher Meloni
    His hairline always looks slightly suspicious to me on “Law And Order: SVU” and it appears he wears a small hair piece.

    • Joe Pesci
    He wears various hair pieces.

    • Ben Affleck
    This one came as a shock to me, but he may wear a hair piece. There are pictures of him with a bald spot on the back of his head, and his hair does normally look a little too perfect. The verdict is still out for me on Ben.

    • Joey Lawrence
    What’s going on with his hair? He used to have that awesome hair and then he supposedly shaved it for a role, and suddenly people started taking him seriously, so he kept it buzzed. That’s the story he told everyone, and I believed him until I caught a recent episode of his show “Melissa And Joey.” Whoa! His short hair just looks weird – maybe it’s real, maybe it’s transplants, a toupee, or makeup??

    Ed Norton
    His hairline has improved with age. Hmmm…

    Mike Myers
    I don’t have proof he wears a toupee, but his hair always looks a little too thick and perfect to me.

    Jason Alexander
    This “Seinfeld” actor has always seemed totally fine with his balding, but in 2011 he got a hair piece and publicly talked about it. He got a realistic looking hair piece, one that he asked to be as thinned out as possible so that it looks totally real – not overly stuffed. 

    Male musicians that wear hair pieces, wigs, or toupees:
    I used to think male rockstars held the key to hair loss because almost none of them went bald! Well I was wrong – they just wear wigs! It’s okay – I love them either way!

    • Joe Lynn Turner
    This male singer actually has had alopecia since he was a child, and he wears a wig.

    • Axl Rose
    I don’t know exactly what’s going on with Axl’s hair, but I suspect either hair transplants, or a combo of transplants and extensions, or maybe even a hair piece with braids (if that’s possible). I suspect he was a recluse for many years to get his hair sorted out.

    • David Lee Roth
    David Lee Roth was balding quite extensively post-Van Halen in the 90s, but when I first saw him in concert in ’98, he had a full head of blonde hair, which didn’t match his super dark side burns. He latest hair looks a lot better!

    • Gene Simmons
    Gene Simmons from KISS officially wears the ugliest toupee I’ve ever seen. I was flabbergasted when I found out it was fake – who would pay money to have that hair??? With all the money he has – wtf??

    • Paul Stanley
    In real life, Gene’s KISS band mate Paul Stanley has awesome-looking hair most of the time. It looks like he wears a really nice wig, but I’ve been told by people that know him that he’s had transplants.

    • Bret Michaels
    We all know Bret Michaels from Poison wears hair under his cowboy hat. In the picture on this page, he’s clearly wearing a wig, or a large hair piece. You can see him in a variety of wigs in some music videos he put out in the early 2000s, and on his show “Rock Of Love.” He also shaved his head for the 1998 movie “A Letter From Death Row” and you can see his real receding hairline in that movie. I don’t know why he has such a hard time finding hair that looks real, but I assume that’s why he wears the cowboy hat and bandana so much.

    • Elton John
    Elton is another example of a celebrity that wears hair correctly. I think his various wigs look great!

    Enrique Iglesias – His hair has gotten thicker and better looking with age. Given that his dad and grandfather have hair loss, and the fact that he almost always wore hats until recently, most people agree that he now wears a toupee.

    • Ric Ocasek
    I just read that the lead singer of “The Cars” has been wearing a wig or hair piece, during the whole time he was in the band in the 80s, until now.

    • Mick Mars
    I also just read he’s been wearing a wig since at least his Motley Crue days.

    There are many other lesser-known musicians that wear wigs, and let’s not forget Phil Spector, whose former past time was wearing crazy wigs.

    Celebrities with hair transplants:

    • Matthew McConaughey
    He’s had a hair transplant to fill in his receding temples. The last time I saw him, his hair was still looking great.

    • Marc Jacobs
    Marc Jacobs, the fashion designer, has admitted to having a recent hair transplant.

    • Gordon Ramsey
    I didn’t even think his hair looked like it was balding, but he just underwent a recent hair transplant.

    • David Spade
    He’s been struggling with hair loss for years and I believe he had transplants several years ago and just started wearing supplemental hair too.

    • Ian Ziering
    As a huge “90210” fan, Ian Ziering was the first celeb I heard about that got a hair transplant. His hair still looks great today, so his cousin Dr. Ziering did a great job (I assume his cousin did the work). Dr. Ziering actually has an office here in Las Vegas and I was going to make an appointment with him one day because he does a few things for hair besides just transplants.

    • Bono
    I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with Bono’s hair, but I assume the U2 singer has had transplants.

    • Tom Arnold
    I haven’t seen this actor lately, but I remember thinking his transplants looked really good the last time I saw him.

    • Richard Simmons
    Yep he has transplants – would you suspect it?

    • Kirk Hammett
    This Metallica guitarist had hair transplants many years ago.

    • Chris Daughtry
    I just read that this famous bald singer just had transplants! We’ll have to wait and see if he grows his hair out.

    • Jon Gosselin
    Too bad his hair transplants didn’t make him any less douchey.

    • Christian Slater
    He new hairline is still receding and has a weird shape to it, but it’s farther down than it was at one point.

    • Joe Biden
    You know hair transplants have gone mainstream when the Vice President has them!

    • Donny Osmond
    A friend of mine assisted with his hair transplant.

    • David Cook
    This American Idol had thinning, receding hair on the show a few years ago. Now you would never know he was dealing with hair loss just a few years ago.

    • Joel McHale
    He’s had a great hair transplant because I never knew about it until I saw before and after photos.

    More rumored hair transplant patients: Sting, Liam Neeson, Gary Sinise, Mickey Rourke, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Robert Forster, Harry Connick Jr., and just about every other male in Hollywood over the age of 25!

    I haven’t included any dead celebrities in my list, and I know there are more celebrities that I haven’t mentioned here. I’ll update the list when I find more before and after pictures that look convincing. Who am I missing – what male celebs have hair transplants or hair pieces? Finally, again I am not ‘outing’ these celebrities – either their before and after hair is quite obvious, or they’ve openly talked about their hair transplants.

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