Hair Loss/Hereditary or stress related?
I am a 25 year old female. In 2011 I had surgery and close to that time my hair began to fall out on top. I saw a hair loss "specialist" who took magnified pictures of my scalp. She told me the hairs on the back of my head are significantly thicker than the very thin and more sparse hairs on the top. She said this means it's hereditary, tried to sell me expensive products, and then suggested rogaine, which I started using. Fast forward two years and I stopped using the rogaine because I wasn't convinced it had helped the hair grow back at all. A week later I had another surgery. That was a month ago and my hair is significantly thinner.
I'm not sure if this is because I stopped the rogaine or because of the stress of the surgery. Is there a way to be sure? Today I had blood work drawn to check hormone levels, but I'm a little freaked out. Is the fact that hairs on top are shrinking indicative of hereditary loss? No women in my family have thinning hair. Help!!!
It seems as if you have inherited AndroGenetic Alopecia (AGA =female pattern baldness).
Minoxidil keeps hairs which are aging in an active growth phase by artificially stimulating them to keep growing despite getting the hormonal message to die. If you use it for two years and then stop you should expect to get a sizable shed due to those hairs having gone into the end stage of growth- the telogen phase. This is called a Telogen efflufium.-TE.
Any stress -emotional or physical-can lead to a TE. The actual shed is seen about 4 weeks after the stress.
In chapter 4 of my book "Hair Losss Answers" which you can read for free online,I discuss TEs
Stress can cause a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. This condition is not caused by the general accumulated stress of ordinary interactions with people at home and at work, but rather by sudden severe emotional or physiological incidents. Severe stressful events can cause some or most actively growing hair follicles to prematurely shift into the regression phase, and then the resting phase, during which the hairs fall out easily.
There is usually a delay of a few weeks to a few months before the shedding is noticeable, but after this delay the shedding seems to occur quite suddenly. Because the shedding is delayed, this type of hair loss is often a mystery to the person suffering the condition. The stressful event that triggered it is frequently forgotten, and it is rarely thought to be connected with the “new problem.”
Examples of sudden severe emotionally stressful events include the death or terminal illness of a family member or close friend, marriage, divorce, and unexpected job loss. Severe physiological stressful events shock the body, and some examples are heart attacks, major surgery, and illnesses with prolonged high fever such as malaria, viral pneumonia, and severe cases of the flu.
In most cases of telogen effluvium, the hair follicles recover and soon shift back to the regular growth cycle."
In Chapter 9 I discuss Rogaine - oral contrception pills- and spironolactione as treatments for AGA--http://www.hairdoc.com/hair-loss-anwers/chapter-9-drugs-that-grow-hair/