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Hair Loss/Shedding and diminished hair density

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My parts
My parts  

Ponytail -before&after
Ponytail -before&after  
Hello Melanie,

I'm a 33 year old woman and i'm suffering from thinned hair. My hair has always been fine, but the quantities, though not overly abundant, felt normal. I remember it was common for me to shed somewhat heavily at a certain time each year, but it wouldn't last long and the thickness of my ponytails was never really affected. Two years ago, the shedding didn't stop as usual... i kept shedding and shedding. There have been short periods in these two years when the shedding seems to slow down and i start feeling a little bit more density to my hair. But now i'm really worried as my ponytail is down to half or even less than what it used to be. Aside from the fact that it seems to be stuck at the same length for more than a year now!

I see my center part looks a little bit less dense, but it seems it gets worse and worse closer to the ears and nape of neck. I'm attaching photos so hopefully you see what i'm talking about.

In my family there's never been a bald woman, though my dad and both grandpa's are bald.

I don't know if my hair loss was brought on by a health issue i've had where i lost more blood than usual due to a fibroid. Around that time that i started getting worried about my hair (mid2013), i also donated blood. By the end of 2013 i had an episode of major blood loss and a couple of months later i donated blood again (this time i was told they shouldn't have let me donate as my red blood cell levels were down, but it was too late as the pint was out already). In this two year period i was on and off birth control pills. I just got the fibroid taken out last month and back on BC. So i wonder if maybe my iron levels are down and causing hair loss? though i had blood tests before the fibroid surgery last month and i was told the tests turned out ok.

I hope you can give me some insight as to what might be wrong with me and provide guidance as to what i should do. I miss my hair and I would love to have it back.

Many thanks in advance and sorry for the long description.

Answer
The most common type of hair loss that causes excessive shedding is telogen effluvium. When telogen effluvium lasts more than six months it is considered chronic. Any time the body has a difficult time coping with an imbalance, disturbance or change, telogen effluvium can occur. Because you have had previous episodes of excessive shedding, you may be susceptible to this condition.  
The medical condition and loss of blood  definitely could have triggered telogen effluvium. I do agree with you about checking your iron/ferritin levels. The "normal" range can vary quite a bit. Some experts recommend a ferritin level of 70 for women with hair loss issues. Even if low ferritin is not the cause of hair loss, a level of 70 is recommend to help initiate new hair growth (no matter what the cause.)
Going on and off birth control can also cause stress to the body and can contribute to hair loss. I am going to include a link to an article that will explain how birth control can contribute to hair loss.
Often there is more than one factor involved with hair loss. Your body has gone though a lot with the fibroid, loss of blood, birth control changes and recent surgery. The body's built-in healing system works on priorities. It will ignore the hair when it needs to heal or restore balance elsewhere.
Taking the time to heal from the surgery and restore balance is key. The hair growth cycle thrives on balance.
Essential oil scalp treatments can also be very helpful in stimulating new, healthy hair growth by increasing energy and nutrients directly to the root and follicle of hair.
Birth Control and Hair Loss
http://ezinearticles.com/?Does-Birth-Control-Cause-Hair-Loss?&id=7185487
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig

Hair Loss

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Melanie Vonzabuesnig

Expertise

Female hair loss is my main focus. Women today are very susceptible to several types of hair loss including telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, and androgenetic alopecia. I can answer questions about the causes and types of female hair loss. I can share information about natural holistic remedies to improve female hair loss conditions.

Experience

My interest in female hair loss sprung from my own experience with extensive hair loss. Determined to grow my hair back, I diligently studied every piece of information I could find on the biology of hair growth. After successfully re-growing my hair with safe and effective natural products, I felt compelled to learn more and to share this information with other women. I am experienced in blending custom hair loss formulas. I am also experienced in writing about female hair loss issues.

Publications
My hair loss information has been included in The Truth about Womens Hair Loss by Spencer Kobren, Naturally Healthy Skin by Stephanie Tourles, Alternative Healing by Bill Gottleib and Natural Health Magazine. I am the author of several books on hair loss.

Education/Credentials
I am a certified aromatherapist specializing in formulas for scalp and hair conditions.

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