I was pulling out too many strands of hair. I pretended like it was normal but panicked every time- why was it happening again? Could it be anxiety, depression, stress or were my thyroid levels out of wack?
I had experienced hair loss before but I had it checked out. I was noticing more in the drain and a lot around my hair ties. I avoided processing how much was falling out after blow drying my hair. With that issue, stressing also brought terrible acne choosing to show up around my jaw line and neck. Sure I put off making an appointment until visually I noticed thinner areas on my head.
I finally went to see my primary care doctor. She had my TSH, T3 and T4 checked but results came back normal! Now I've seen a dermatologist since I was in high school for hereditary acne but this was all new. Scars were covering my neck and I was embarrassed to go out without makeup on which wasn't helping to heal the mess. This doc said it was due to high stress levels. The diagnosis was telogen effluvium and medication was prescribed to lessen the effects.
Telogen Effluvium: is caused by physical or emotional stress, disrupts your hair's normal growth cycle. Hair goes through a stage of active growth, known as the anagen phase, which can last for up to three years. The telogen phase of growth is when your hair rests; this phase can last for up to four months. Telogen effluvium occurs when more hairs than normal are pushed into the resting phase of growth.
Well of course I was stressed, my relationship ended and I was devastated. I ate very little when this happened so I consumed bland things like pasta and crackers. My body was trying to get my attention and I was choosing to ignore it.
The doc prescribed something I didn't think twice about and popped the pill hoping it would help. Did I know what the hell I was taking? Only that it was mainly used for elderly patients with high blood pressure. I was letting myself be a puppet- nodding and doing as I was told. My body was like "woman, what are you taking?" I finally snapped to and chose a natural way of dealing with this hair loss.
Sometimes we don't take the signs our body is telling us all that seriously. I was trying NOT to be the hypochondriac I had been for years. Listen here- by showing concern for your health, you are NOT being a hypochondriac. By being anxious too often about your health or finding ailments and medical diseases based on a runny nose, yes you're going over the edge. Find the happy medium and become in tune with your body.
I listened to what it was telling me. Choosing to make changes in my nutrition and practicing more self-love through personal development, helped me understand why I was experiencing so much stress. This young and I was losing hair to stress.... no thank you! I slowed down and took more time to learn about what makes me happy and surrounded myself with friends and family who made me feel loved and supported. Some friendships developed and existing ones grew, I drank more smoothies for quick doses of veggies and protein, and I sucked up all the self development podcasts, books, articles, blogs, etc. that I could get my hands on. Those things may not help you much if it is due to career or family stress. What is in your control? Remember we cannot control other people, their reactions or behavior but rather we can control our tone, facial expression, response, behavior, and reaction. This goes for interactions with family and coworkers! It's always a work in progress, not a quick fix kind of method.
Stress wreaks havoc on your body.
What is your body saying to you?
Not only did this happen once to me but a month or two after I lost my grandfather and my job, there were handfuls coming out daily. I was trying to realign with my soul purpose and heal from the losses. My hair dressers spoke up when it felt thin to them, to which I am so grateful they did. I dove into creating my own business and my body knew the best way to get my attention was what woke me up last time. Acne flared and clumps of hair fell out. This time I stepped up my game! Nutrition adjusted to remove certain ingredients since I was already very healthy. Self development was first and foremost for me on a daily basis. Exercising increased with enough sleep to follow those longer days. Friendships either grew stronger or I walked away from the ones no longer serving me. I looked hard at my relationships past and present to understand how dependent I was on others to make me happy through people pleasing and codependence. That's a whole new topic for later...
Side note: I still chemically treated my hair, used hot tools, took Omega3's everyday, and went off my thyroid medication. DO NOT GO OFF MEDICATION WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR'S GUIDANCE.
These dyed, blond locks are growing healthy and thick again! Strong and healthy hair has always been important to me because I see so much beauty in the identity it creates for a woman. It can help you stand up tall with confidence or break down your self-esteem. However, that narrow minded thoughts have since been adjusted to understand we do not need hair in order to be a confident, gorgeous woman. I know a beautiful, strong woman with alopecia and has very little hair on her head but she doesn't let that stop her from laughing, smiling, enjoying her grandchildren, or finding the right wig to make her feel like a million bucks. Yes, this mom has some fun with her wigs using them as pranks and really trying new looks. She has shown me that your hair does not define you but rather how you step into each day with gratitude for what you do have in life. Don't let your short, long, gray, auburn, blond, brunette, dirty blond, curly, frizzy, straight, thin, thick, or wild hair determine the woman you are. Own who you are no matter what you see in the mirror. You've been blessed with a heart that beats.
So take a step back and look at the pains, aches and lurking symptoms that just don't seem normal. Chances are you need to get more sleep, drink more water, add more greens or address what's stressing you out. If your head is spinning thinking about everything, I'm here to assure you that you're not alone in this but please BREATHE! Those thoughts are adding to the stress and hair loss or whatever your precious body is screaming at you.
Remember ladies: You are beautiful as you are!
If you need more support you can work with me further on listening to your body. Shoot me an email or schedule a discovery call!