Last April, I wrote the article, Telogen Effluvium: Waiting for it to Pass. At that time, I was experiencing severe, unexplained hair loss which was diagnosed by my dermatologist as Telogen Effluvium. Since then, I am happy to report that I did have some progress toward feeling that my hair is thickening. It is by no means back to “normal,” but I am confident that perhaps the worst is over in terms of the grand scale hairfall I was witnessing. After losing about half of my hair, here are the things that I believe may have made the difference along this long, scary road. I am hopeful that some of these strategies may go far in helping others with a similar dilemma, as answers on how to resolve this problem are certainly difficult to find.
Taking Biotin and Improving My General Nutrition
When all this started almost one year ago this October, my primary care physician recommended that I take Biotin, up my protein intake and perhaps use a multivitamin. I did all of these things and I have to say that nothing noticeable happened for a very long time. However, here I am now and after eating a daily Luna Bar for many months as well as improving my nutrition in as many ways as I could, I do feel as though things are on the upswing.
Monitoring My Vitamin A Intake
One crucial word of advice that I have to offer as a caveat to the above is in regard to vitamin intake and I feel it is very important, especially with regard to hair loss. Do not over take Vitamin A. With my dietary supplementation including the Luna Bar and my multivitamin, I think I overdosed myself a bit. As suggested in several articles I came across, including Does Vitamin A Cause Hairloss?, this could have contributed to hair loss. I cannot say for sure if dropping the multivitamin actually helped me, but perhaps it is something you should consider if this could be a factor for you. I did notice a turn around in my hair around the time that I stopped the multivitamin/”power bar” cocktail I was ingesting.
Adding a Vitamin D3 Supplement
This is the thing that I truly believe helped me turn the corner. I read in the article Vitamin D and Hair Loss at Livestrong.com and the Dermatology Online’s Journal article, Does D Matter? The Role of Vitamin D in Hair Disorders and Hair Follicle Cycling, that Vitamin D3 could perhaps help in transitioning your hair’s cycles from one phase to another. I feel the D3 may have helped to kick me out of the telogen (resting) phase. I have a lot of new hair growth, and although it is going to take a long while for it to catch up to my other hair, I am just simply happy to be seeing it there. I feel that in my case of telogen effluvium, I was experiencing shortened hair cycles. I am thinking this vitamin may have helped me to transition back to a more regular rhythm. It is imperative, however, that each individual speak with their physician before adding new supplements to their diet.
De-stressing My Life and “Righting my Wrongs”
Perhaps it is coincidence that my hair seemed to start improving as summer came to an end. With my children out of school and the fast paced life we live during the year at a bit of a slowdown during break, maybe I was able to relax a bit and give my hair cycle a chance to respond to less stress-infused days. Also, as mentioned in my previous article and the many resources linked therein such as Medscape’s article on the pathophysiology of the condition, Telogen Effluvium is reported to often be associated with the occurrence of a traumatic or stressful event. Such an event did occur about one month prior to the onset of my condition. Since then, I was able to resolve in a way what had bothered me so over these past few months. If there is something in your life that is a source of sadness to you and you can work toward putting it into perspective in your life, this could certainly only help you in many ways, perhaps including improved hair growth.
Coddling my Hair
During the time that I was experiencing alarming hair loss, and when I seem to again be in this phase but thankfully for shortened periods, I coddle my hair. I do not brush it, comb it, or color it with harsh chemicals. I use Natural Instincts semi-permanent hair dye only, which is said to be gentler on the hair. I rinse the dye out of my hair very gently and touch up my hair only when I absolutely have to. I don’t think this so much helped to fix my problem as it did preserve the hair I had during this time when my hair was very thin. Also, it is my personal belief that you should not use products with Keratin in them.
Patience and Faith
After having this experience, I would like to assert that I do think in most cases, things do get better within a year, even if it does not seem to feel that way. Perhaps cyclical hair loss will be something that will happen to me on and off forever now. I do not know. But I can say that so much of the internet information I read did say that Telogen Effluvium most likely resolves on its own, and now, in retrospect, I may have to agree that this is likely true. For that, I am grateful and I offer this belief now to have faith as I know how encouraging such news can be to a current sufferer. More stress will never help the situation so try to stay calm and believe in the coming of better days.