Hair Loss/Help

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QUESTION: I have always measured my ponytail circumference to keep a check on my hair density.  Even when I was shedding a lot over 120 per day, my measurement stayed the same. Now since my last baby (1.5 years ago) my ponytail went up a tiny bit with her, but now it's gone down, past the normal by 1/4" and I dont get it because I'm not shedding over 100 per day.  I'm very distraught as I just don't get it. Any ideas?

ANSWER: It's difficult to determine what may be going on with your hair based on the information you've provided. Please send me more information on your hair condition. Have you been diagnosed with telogen effluvium? How long have you experienced excessive shedding? You say that your daily shedding is now under 100 per day. Would you say that your daily shedding has retuned to normal now? To gauge what is "normal", think back to the time before the excessive shedding ever started. Even if you are seeing under 100 fallen hairs per day, you may still be experiencing excessive shedding. The most common type of hair loss that causes excessive shedding is telogen effluvium, or chronic telogen effluvium (when excessive shedding lasts over 6 months.) With telogen effluvium the hair growth cycle becomes disrupted causing more than the usual amount of hairs to retreat to the telogen (resting) stage prematurely. These hairs will then be shed approximately three months later.
Once the hair growth cycle returns to normal, it can still take awhile for hair volume to increase. During pregnancy the hair growth cycle changes. Hairs stay in the anagen (growing) stage longer. Hairs that would have normally gone into the resting/shedding stages continue growing. During pregnancy hair is often thicker and grows longer.
Please send more information about your daily shedding. Also let me know if there are any texture changes, if individual hairs seem thinner in diameter, and if there are any areas that are thinner than others.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig

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QUESTION: thanks for getting back to me.  I usually shed 40-70 normally.  Since the baby I've had times of shedding 40, and then months of 70, and sometimes up to 100 but just for short periods of times.  I know my husband has told me, that since those 6-7 months of not many new hairs growing (since they were in the anagen phase while pregnant) all the new growth is starting from zero so it can take a while.  I'm hoping maybe my hair, even though it's been a year, is still going through a balancing act.  I have "Thin" hairs when I've talked to you about before, but we know that a "certain amount" is normal.  So I think I'm still in normal range, although sometimes there are more than other times, but I have them throughout my head, so there's not an "area" and then of course, I know a lot of the thinner hairs are from my neck area too.  so it's hard to say.  My husband says the part looks the same, the thinner hairs only grow from 2-5 inches.  I have some spots where I see like "a hair is missing" but there is a "hair follicle pore" with color but it seems like they can take a while to "come to the surface" Maybe just patience and I'm still breastfeeding, not as regular now, so maybe that has to do with it?? I Hope it is something that can be reversed.  HOpefully waiting to hear from you. . . Andrea

ANSWER: It sounds like you may still be dealing with telogen effluvium as you are seeing 40-70 and sometimes up to 100 fallen hairs per day. Postpartum telogen effluvium is very common. The shedding usually begins about three months after baby is born. Usually by the time baby is one year old, the shedding has retuned to normal. The volume of hair should only be slightly less than pre-pregnancy hair. In some cases breastfeeding may prolong telogen effluvium especially if you are feeling rundown, sleep deprived and not getting enough nutrients. The postpartum period requires extra care and extra nutrients. The is often difficult to achieve. Have you had your iron/ferritin levels checked? Low ferritin is highly associated with hair loss. Have you had hair loss issues prior to the delivery of your baby?
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hope you had a good vacation.  Trying to find some peace still in this "ponytail drop" I've had.  Hopefully I am still in telogen effluvium (gosh it lasted four years after my third child).  I am still breastfeeding and my pattern is that during pregnancy, the volume didn't change much, after pregnancy, it grew slightly (like 1/4") and then when I started to shed normally again (70-100) it began to slowly go back down, but now it has gone below the normal measurement by 1/4"  so I hope there is still some hope for me that it's not going to continue going down.  I am often lacking sleep, still breastfeeding. . ..

My ferritin is 24, but in the past it has been low as well and I had no ponytail change, so I don't know if that is the direct cause!  When a hair falls out, does it/can it take 2-3 months for a new hair to appear???  And could it be that being my baby is 1.5 years old, I need to give it more time for my ponytail to re-establish? thanks

Answer
The hair growth cycle thrives on balance. When the cause of telogen effluvium is unknown, it is helpful to become as balanced as possible, both physically and emotionally.  Make sure you are consuming adequate nutrition both for yourself and your baby. Be sure there is plenty of nutrition left for.  Hair is the last part of the body to receive nutrients. The body will deliver nutrients to all the vital organs first. Once all the vital organs are nourished, the hair will receive, what, if any is left. Increasing yur ferritin levels may also be helpful. Even if low ferritin is not contributing to your hair loss, some experts believe that getting ferritin level up to 70 will increase chances of repair.  Essential oil scalp treatments may also help to stimulate healthy new hair growth and improve quality of existing hair.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig

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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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