It’s happening again

Well my hair is officially coming out again – after months of denial – I popped into H&M today and unfortunately caught the three way view of the back, front and side of my head.

It’s looking holey, threadbare and generally a bit shit. Here are some photos taken this week:

Bald patch at the front - January 2017

Patch at the front – January 2017

image2

Back of the head January 2017

The back of my head January 2017

Back of the heed January 2017

 

I’ve still got a way to go before it gets as bad as it did the first time but a small part of my brain can’t stop worrying that THIS is going to happen again:

_DSC0192

My hair when I first shaved it off back in 2012 – look those eyebrows! Strong eyebrow game.

Partial loss all over

2012 – Patchy McPatcherson

Where else am I shedding?

My chest has a few patches  – though there is a lot of white hair growing back in each patch.

Is there any regrowth?

I think so -there are the white hairs mentioned above and  my moustache seems to be filling out – but I’ve thought that for a while now. I don’t actually  know. I will need to compare old and new pics and look a little closer.

Trying to keep my shit together

Being a natural pessimist and a bit of a worrier – my inner voice keeps repeating  the following type of statements on a nasty, insidious loop:

  • It’s all coming out AGAIN

  • It’s going to happen the same as last time

  • I’m going to have to wear hats all the time again

  • I wonder if it’s because I’m stressed

  • Why am I so stressed? If I wasn’t so stressed my hair might grow back

It’s pretty annoying to say the least but I am trying to be mindful and relax. I know from past experience that worrying, freaking out and being sad does NOTHING to improve mood, regrow hair or make you a nice person to be around.

It’s hard to maintain a chipper outlook when you wake up and your pillow looks like a barbershop floor or you’re stood in front of a stranger and wondering if they’re staring at your hair.

What am I doing differently?

I’m not taking any anti depressants or smoking cigarettes anymore. Though that annoying inner voice keeps reminding me – Your hair came back when you started smoking again last time.

I’m taking a drug as explained in my last post – called Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). I have been taking it since 5 November 2016 and so far – NOTHING. I am paying for a private prescription and my hair seems to be getting worse. Apparently it takes a while to kick in. I’m giving it 6 months and then knocking it on the head – pun intended.

I’ve started wolfing down vitamins like they’re haribo – I’m currently taking:

  • Vitamin D
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin C
  • Acidophilus

I am also taking Chinese medicine – in the form of a capsule with Phytofol – this herb is used to nourish the liver and replenish Kidney energy (Jing) to promote healthy hair follicle function.

hair tonic with phytofol

Hair Tonic

This Chinese medicine was given to me as a present on my recent holiday to Australia. I met up with a fellow AA sufferer – Johannes, who has been following my blog for a few years. We met up for dinner and drinks when I was in Melbourne in December. We chatted about lots – including AA coping strategies and different things we have tried to regrow hair.

Johannes and me

Me and Johannes

Johannes advice

It was amazing for me to meet Johannes. he was a very positive person and someone who I am glad now to call my friend. He gave me this piece of sage advice -which I am trying to reflect on whenever I get down:

Remember, yes AA while not life threatening, is certainly life altering but you are not your hair, my friend – You are so much more, and hair while of course aesthetically nice does not define you.
I think we could all learn a lot from the above quote. It’s very hard to shift that awful voice that sometimes submerges your waking thoughts.
Instead of listening to the negative internal monologue – actually listen to another objective human point of view – preferably someone who knows you or someone you trust.
Actually listen to what they say.

9 comments

  1. So upset for you to hear your hair coming out it’s been such a trial learning to cope with this as a family member I feel for you
    As a professional semi permanent make up artist I offer you my services if you should ever need them xx take care much love and respect to you

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  2. I have had a a for about 20 years. It used to be my face and eye browse now it’s attacking my head. I started going to the college of traditional Chinese medicine and I’m on my third week of acupuncture and herbs . They said they can help. I will keep you posted

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  3. Strange stuff that happens with us, i’m clueless to what could be the cause…

    But i do know that if i could switch body the issue would be resolved, not possible now though.

    Reece, take care with vitamin C, i suspect too much iron (even the normal levels can be considered high) could be the cause of my hair loss, but that might be me in just another wishful thinking. Another thing is, have you ever heard about the AIP protocol?

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    1. Hey there

      I hear you re the Vitamin C. I have just ran out and wasn’t going to bother replacing – so it is timely for you to comment that.

      I have only recently heard of the AIP protocol. Apparently that coupled with the LDN medication can work wonders. However it is really restrictive and I don’t know if I want to put myself through even more misery than that of losing my hair for 6 months plus.

      Have you done AIP?

      Cheers
      Reece

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      1. Reece

        I’m currently trying to adopt some stuff from AIP, example: shifting the ratio of omega 3 and 6, that is pretty easy, just a matter of eating more fish/sea food and less red meat/poultry. Other than that, i have bought Dr. Sarah Ballantyne book “The Paleo Approach” to read and understand more about the AIP plan, i’m still one my way (which means i don’t fully follow the protocol), i decided i will give one year to see what it can make, if nothing, at least it has teach me some stuff about eating a little bit healthier like the Omega thing.

        Anyway, my hair loss seems different from Alopecia, though my doc said it is Alopecia, it looks like more a diffuse hair loss. My problem with autoimmune disease is with Seborrheic Dermatitis (if this is even an autoimmune disease?!?!??), which has diminished 30%-45% since AIP.

        Also, i never heard of the LDN drug, really interesting, i will try to understand more about it.

        There is this woman Youtube’s channel, named Stella, which had success in treating her Alopecia with AIP, though she doesn’t follow it anymore (she said it is too restrict, and even the protocol itself is made to reintroduce banned food after feeling better, in order to test what one can endure without problems). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8d1yEd480Y

        Thanks!

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  4. Hi again,

    There is an LDN group on Facebook – a closed group if you search alopecia and LDN you will find it.

    I have Seborrheic Dermatitis flare ups too. At the moment my scalp is white and flaky, scalp hair is diffuse and my face is red and chapped. This time of year is always bad for me! Thanks for the YouTube link. I will check it out.

    I have been looking at AIP for a while – amongst everything else. The trouble is that finding out what works is difficult as most people make so many changes and try multiple ways to improve the situation – so who knows what really works.

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