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Hair Loss/Sudden oily, itchy scalp, hair loss and now realizing that toenail fungus may be correlated....???


I'm a 40 year old healthy Latin female that is quite active. I work out 3 times a week and try to eat sensibly. I am not on any RX meds. I do take Dong quai and Black Cohosh daily along with a Hair/skin/nail multiple vitamin.  I have no known family history of problems with hair loss that I can find. I have never had a single issue with my scalp being too oily or too dry. I have never had hair loss before or changes in the texture, All of which changed starting in June 2012.

To give a quick outline of my issue - I started back on Birth control pill in May and by June started feeling the texture of my normally very shiny, super thick and soft hair completely change to coarse and not so shiny. The hair close to my scalp felt like there was conditioner that had not been rinsed out properly. For a while I blamed the water because I had just moved. Until, it hit me that the added hormones may be to blame. I stopped the pill in September and within a month my hair seemed to return to almost normal (October). I also noticed increased hair loss when shampooing/conditioning or brushing my hair that has yet to slow down since starting and stopping the pill as well. The oily slightly itchy scalp problem returned in December except it seemed to only be above one temple and at the crown of my scalp. Since then it has encompassed the rest of my scalp mainly at the crown of my head and at base of my scalp. This does not go away with shampooing although I attempt to manage it. I also need to add that I do not have any scaling skin on my scalp at all. I do not wash my hair daily and do not use a lot of unnecessary heat on my hair either. (I use sulfate free shampoos) Things I have tried already are: 1/3 white Vinegar 1/4 water combo before shampooing and it helped a little bit. I have also tried tea tree oil mixed in with shampoo and also noticed some good come from it. However, the yucky feeling always returns by the end of the day no matter what I use to manage the gross feeling. I should add that the oily hair close to my scalp are not obvious to people on the outside. It does not soak my hair.

As most of us do in this day and age, I have been reading many things online about what causes this phenomenon and what home treatments help this only to become more frustrated and more confused. Plus, I just realized in the last couple days that a mild toenail fungus I have been battling for the past couple months using an OTC topical (25% Undecylenic Acid twice daily) might actually be linked with my scalp and hair problems. Am I right to correlate the two? - Or Could the brief use of the birth control pill have skewed my hormones into oblivion? (which is why I started taking the herbs Dong Quai and Black cohosh to try and level out hormones if they were imbalanced)

My biggest concern at this point is to treat the problem properly and not just manage the symptoms. I can now feel that my volume of hair has been reduced significantly and is really starting to worry me.  I would sincerely appreciate any of your wisdom in this frustrating issue that has left me completely clueless.

Thank you for your time!!

You have a telogen effluvium.
Excessive shedding of normal club hairs can be brought about by a number of stresses: parturition, febrile illness, psychological stress, crash diets, drugs . These factors may cause termination of the growing phase (anagen) of the hair follicles and transformation into the resting phase (telogen), causing a telogen fallout 2 to 4 months later. The normal average scalp has 100,000 hairs. Approximately 90% are in anagen, 10% in telogen. Normal average daily hair fallout is 100 hairs. With telogen effluvium, the anagen/telogen ratio may be shifted to 70% anagen, 30% telogen, with average daily shedding of 300 hairs. Treatment depends on determining the cause and correcting it.
Causes of Telogen Effluvium

Severe infection
Severe chronic illness
Severe psychological stress
Major surgery
Hypo or hyperthyroidism
Crash diets inadequate protein

The birth control was responsible for your hair condition. The toe nail fungus had nothing to do with your hair problem.
In our clinic we treat this hair condition with B12 shots once a month.

Hair Loss

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>


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