It’s occurring to me, that throughout the entirety of this, I’ve yet to show you what my hair looks like now. It’s partially because I honestly don’t look at my scalp that often. I did so much in the beginning to the point that I was obsessing over it. Every day I examined everything to see if there was new growth and when there wasn’t, it was a huge let down. It became really depressing and it wasn’t helping anything. So, I stopped focusing on my scalp and started focusing on what I could control: how it was styled, what products I used, what tools I used, etc. (If you want to see more of the products I use, you can check out this post in the series.)
Today, I am continuing my Hair Loss series, if you wish to see the first part/background of this series, you can find the first post here, and the second part here. Again, please make sure to seek guidance from professionals/doctors before any self-treatment.
Today I wanted to touch on some of the products that I have used and still currently use on my hair to at least give the illusion of thicker, fuller hair. I used the word “illusion” because I don’t fully believe in hair products that are “guaranteed” to regrow hair nor have I tried them. I have actually been cautioned against trying them by my doctor, so I’m not overly interested. As always, if you’re having a similar issue and want to try something like this; you do you (with your doctor’s/professional’s blessing), I’ve just never used done it.
One of the best things I’ve done in this journey is finding an amazing hair stylist who understands hair loss and was willing to not only style my hair in a way that would make me feel less self-conscious, but also recommend ways for me to style it on my own as well as products to help give my hair volume (especially since the hair loss was around part of the crown area), some texture, and some thickness.
*If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I was in Target the other day (I’m sure that’s no surprise for anyone) and found this Orchid Oil treatment spray from OGX (Organix) on a clearance endcap.
It’s a protection oil mist for color-treated hair to help hydrate and provide shine for hair. I asked if anyone tried it and a couple people DM’ed me and said they loved it. So, I figured it’s 50% off (and I had a coupon for OGX products) let’s try it. First of all, it smells AMAZING! It has a really light orchid scent, which is kind of fitting for spring, I think. You spray it on damp hair before you dry it (and you can lightly mist again once it’s dry) and then blow dry/style your hair as normal. The mist is really light and it does not weigh your hair down at all and you don’t feel it in your hair. I only wash my hair maybe every 2-3 days and I used this when I washed it Thursday night and I was concerned that it would make my hair oilier as time went on, but I still don’t feel it in my hair and it still isn’t weighing it down. But it did make my hair look super shiny and really healthy, so definitely something to check your Target endcaps for if you have dry, color-treated hair.
*Devon is on spring break as of 2:40 yesterday afternoon. I’m really trying to not be jealous (mostly because my break is actually a few days longer than his is) but it’s still really hard to think about having to get up for work for the beginning of next week. I always have that small evil part of me that wants to make loud noises to wake him up when hes still sleeping and I have to go to work. Is that bad? I don’t actually ever do it, but I think about doing it. But knowing him, if I do that, he’ll retaliate harder than what I did and that’s not worth it.
*Devon also proclaimed that since he’s off, he’s going to make dinner every night this week. I’m just over here like:
*The new Match Game is my favorite show in the entire world. Alec Baldwin is the best dirty old man they could have ever gotten to “replace” Gene Rayburn. Devon and I actually have determined the perfect panel out of the normal celebrities they have on there and we’ve determined that Titus Burgess, Niecy Nash, Chris D’Elia, Leslie Jones, Rosie O’Donnell, and Jack Brayer woould be the dream team. I would probably bust an organ from laughing so much at them.
*Beauty Brands is having a really nice $5 hair care sale today. I got about $50 worth of high end styling products for like $17 shipped. It’s stuff I haven’t tried before, but for the price, why not? Im not against trying some new things. You Ann also use promo code EC14118 (also on the website front page) to get an extra $3.50 off any $10 purchase.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!!
Today, I am continuing my Hair Loss series, if you wish to see the first part/background of this series, you can find the post here. I am also adding a disclaimer to this blog to please be sure to see a doctor if you are having any kind of hair loss. What I did was under the direction of my dermatologist and my primary care doctor, and while everything I did is considered pretty safe, it’s still best to check with a doctor before beginning any sort of treatment.
While I think, at this point, it’s obvious that I love my dermatologist, I also love that she wasn’t so quick to put me on a lot of medicine that may or may not work and have me try a bunch of stuff that could do more harm than good. She really wanted me to replenish what seemed to be lost in my body and see how much that helps. If medication would be needed down the road, we’d talk about that when the time came, but it wasn’t the first step, which I loved.
I needed to get my body back to fully functioning. I was only about 6-7 months past my Mononucleosis issues and she, and my primary care doctor, even said it could be up to a year before my body and my internal systems are fully back after being shut down so severely by the Mono. So, part of it was just allowing my body to finish recovering, still trying to work on helping my stress levels so that my body could do what it needed to do and still resting when I needed to.
But I also previously stated, while some of my nutrient levels were a little questionable, it was the Iron and Vitamin D levels causing the most concern because of how low they were. She had me begin a regimen of supplements to try and recommended some dietary changes to help bring my levels back into a normal area.
First task was my iron level. It was pretty dang low. However, she didn’t recommend I start an iron supplement because they can be really rough on your digestive system, even the “gentler” formulas can sometimes wreak a lot of havoc and she didn’t want to subject me to that unless it was completely necessary. She wanted me to try adding more iron-fortified foods into my diet to see if that would make a change before suggesting full-on iron supplements. She highly suggested cooking in a cast-iron pan, as much as possible (since a little bit of iron is infused into the food every time it’s used) and to start incorporating more leafy greens and red meat into my diet (who gets told to eat more red meat? Me) along with more beans and dried fruits.
Devon’s Mom gifted us a really nice set of cast iron pans our first Christmas together and I use them as much as possible, they’re the best. I love cooking food in them anyway but it’s nice to get an extra nutrient benefit from them. And I did start incorporating some of her suggestions into my diet. I’m really bad with dried fruits so I don’t those, I think it’s the texture that kills me. But, I do love spinach and garbanzo beans (it was a lot of the basis for my Spinach Pasta Salad) so I really try to put at least one of those things into a lot of dishes I make.
I have still yet to go on an iron supplement. My iron levels aren’t anywhere near perfect but they aren’t as frighteningly low as they were before. Basically, they’ve come up enough that my doctor feels fine with me just continuing to eat iron-rich foods and not killing my intestines with an iron supplement.
Along with iron-rich foods, I take three nutrient supplements every morning. I’m sure at some point, I could just take a multi-vitamin, but I really wanted to concentrate on what was most needed.
One thing most needed was Vitamin D. I was so surprised at my levels because, if you know me, you know I love drinking milk. Love it. I drink so much of it, it’s almost insane. I thought because of the insane amount of milk I drink that the Vitamin D in the milk was enough. Apparently it wasn’t (and the milk I drink doesn’t have nearly as much Vitamin D as I thought it would). My doctor had me start a prescription strength Vitamin D supplement to kick start things and then I was able to go down to regular dosing after about 4 months. As you can see, I still take a pretty high dose and if my next bloodwork (which I’m actually having done on Monday) comes back with good results, I’m actually going to knock the strength back a little. I don’t want to take more than I need, but I’ve just needed a lot of it for so long.
Along with that, I take Biotin every single day. My dermatologist told me that it’s the one supplement that actually has medical evidence to prove that it helps to re-grow hair. She also cautioned that without fixing the problem, biotin could just be considered a temporary fix because once you stop it (if you haven’t found the source of the hair loss) you could lose the hair you grew back again. So, it wasn’t meant to be a cure-all. She suggested it to help start the process and to help wake up any follicles that may have “gone to sleep” from all the trauma to my body. I do believe that it has helped immensely in a lot of the re-growth I have had. It’s weird, I don’t really notice much difference in my nails with it, maybe my nails are just weird, it might make them grow slightly faster, but not enough that it’s game changing or anything for that.
Finally, something I started, maybe about 7-8 months ago was taking Cod Liver Oil. It wasn’t part of my doctor’s initial recommendations, but after doing some research of my own about a year ago, I talked to her about adding it to my daily regimen. She wasn’t against it at all even indicating that if there was any kind of inflammation in the follicles, the cod liver oil would help to decrease it and allow the hair to grow back. Since I started taking it, I’ve also noticed that my hair’s thickness has increased, all over my head, my hair is thicker or more dense than it used to be. I’ll put my hand in my hair and it almost feels like my hair is hugging my fingers, which is really nice; it feels good when I run my hand through it.
To this point, I have not needed medical interventions like medication (except for the RX strength Vitamin D initially) or surgery or anything and I don’t think I will (unless something happens), which is great. While I am all about going to the doctor to stay healthy, I don’t want to take medications when I don’t need to; if there is something safer that can help, I’d rather do that. Unlike the first doctor I saw who wanted to just do temporary medication fixes, I am so grateful to have found the second dermatologist who was willing to look for a cause and try to help me grow my hair back permanently without a lot of harsh medications or treatments.
If you are having a similar issue, don’t just read this and say “oh hey, let’s take super doses of biotin, vitamin D, and cod liver oil and I’ll be fine”. Go to your doctor, tell them what is going on, ask to have blood work done to check everything out and make sure you’re fine and devise a treatment plan to get your hair back. It’s a lot less stressful than trying product after product and not having any of it work. Find the cause and treat the cause, don’t just go for temporary satisfaction, it’ll make you feel worse when it goes away again.
Next week, I’ll continue with part three and go through some styling products and tips that help disguise hair loss and to make your hair appear thicker while you are re-growing your hair.
I’ve talked about my hair issues in previous blog posts but I hadn’t really said much about it in awhile. I went to my hair stylist a couple of weeks ago and she raved about the condition and thickness of my hair and using words like “I’ve never seen your hair so thick and full before!” I started going to her when I realized I was having hair loss issues, so she really probably hasn’t ever seen that.
I thought I would give a bit of an update on my hair because I know some people still ask me questions on my previous posts about what I’ve done to get some of my hair back and even just comments that some of you have similar issues and are struggling with it. So, I thought I’d not only update on the current condition of my hair but also just tell my experience with growing it back and what I’ve been doing to help myself and my hair come back to life. I’m breaking this down into a 3-part series (might actually be 4, I haven’t fully decided yet) to make it easier to read and because…I can talk a lot sometimes.
This first part of the series, is just mainly giving some background into my journey with hair loss. It sucks. Plain and simple. It just does. This sounds so dramatic, but losing your hair is almost traumatic for women, especially when you don’t know why you’re losing it.