Hair Loss/TE or Femalr Pattern Hair Loss??
Hello. I am a 23yr old female and have noticed hair loss for about 4 months. In March I started to realize an increase in the amount of hair falling out. I mostly lose hair in the shower, when styling, and from running my hands through my hair. I lose anywhere from 50-100 a day which doesn't sound severe but it is a drastic increase for me since my hair has always been very thin and fine. I would say I've lost about 40% of my hair. It is all over my scalp with thinner areas at the temples, sides, and the very front of my hairline.
I had blood work done and was diagnosed with anemia (low red blood cells and Ferritin level 4). I have a couple triggers for TE. I am vegetarian and started eating very poorly around February after a break up and moving. I also came of birth control for 6 months and went back on it in January. The texture of my hair has changed greatly in the past month- more dry and whispy/staticky.
I've seen two derms and was given conflicting diagnoses. Does this sound like AGA or TE? It's all been very quick which makes me hope it's only temporary. I am starting iron pills which will hopefully help! Thanks.
Iron deficiency and low ferritin is highly associated with female hair loss. Some experts recommend getting ferritin levels up to 70 for women with hair loss concerns. Vegetarian sources of iron from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc is not as easily absorbed. Vitamin C, when consumed with vegetarian sources of iron, greatly increases absorption. High phytate foods such as grains, beans, nuts, seeds, potatoes etc. interfere with iron, zinc , calcium and magnesium absorption. Tannins in tea also interfere with iron absorption. Limiting these foods or eating/drinking them apart from the time you are eating foods high in iron may help increase your levels.
Starting, stopping or changing birth control is common cause of hair loss. The hair growth cycle thrives on balance. Having to adjust to being on birth control, off birth control and then back on again can be difficult for the body to cope with. Birth control contributes to hair loss in many different ways--from causing inflammation to creating nutritional deficiencies. I am including a link to an article that explains the effects of birth control on hair growth.
With androgenetic alopecia, the individual hairs (mostly on top/center of head and near bang area) will gradually become thinner and thinner with each new growth cycle. The thinner hairs provide less scalp coverage. Excessive shedding is not usually associated with androgenetic alopecia but sometimes precedes the onset.
Your condition sounds more like telogen effluvium. Because you mention hairline, temples and sides, I am including an article on conditions that cause hair loss in these areas.
Getting your iron levels up and increasing oveall nutrition may be very helpful.
Please let me know if I can help you further.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig
Birth Control and Hair Loss
Hair Loss On Sides, Temples and Around Edges
Understanding Female Hair Loss