On the heels of my Instagram Live with Nutrafol & expert dermatologist Dr. Hope Mitchell where we discussed all things regarding hair thinning, I want to have a place for this important topic to live. Not only for the benefit of my beloved TTL community, but for anyone out there struggling with thinning or shedding hair. You are not alone darlings. At least 50% of people will experience noticeable hair loss in their life. This is something that can affect us all – women or men; young or old; and it is blind to race.
Common causes of hair thinning are:
- Hormones (e.g. due to pregnancy and menopause)
- Lack of Sleep
- Poor Diet
- Thyroid Issues
Anyone who is currently or has in the past experienced thinning hair I know your pain and frustration all too well. There are a number of factors that can lead to thinning hair or shedding. In my case when I was 31-32 yrs old I was under extreme stress and consumed with sadness leading to what I can now clearly identify as depression. I left my daughter’s father, I had no home, no job, no car, and now a single mom with two impressionable daughters to raise (May in middle school & Xia in elementary). For the first time after leaving home at 18yrs old I was back living with my parents. Most days all I could do was take my babies to school, come home, crawl under the blanket and wait for the afternoon to pass. Finally 2:30 would roll around, I’d muster up my lil strength, get in the car my parents let me borrow and give myself a pep talk so my girls wouldn’t see Mommy hurting.
After nearly a year of not paying attention to myself, not eating properly, and getting less than adequate sleep I was wasting away. My family tried their best to help me, but it wasn’t until I bumped into a close friend that I had my wake up call. She casually said, ‘T what’s happened to your hair?? Did you cut it?? It’s all gone!!’ Hearing those jarring words broke me. Like it was a huge gut punch!! While I did not & do not attach my identity to my hair those around me did and I suppose still do. It felt like I hit rock bottom. Here I am, giving my power to a toxic relationship, mourning the woman that would accept a life of being disrespected in every way a person could and for what?? In my mind I was like ‘you finally found the courage to escape him AND NOW you’re gonna let him take your hair?!’ I went home and looked in the mirror and for the first time really saw ME – it was a devastating moment. My body was a hollow shell and my hair was indeed tragically thin and unhealthy.
My Turning Point
I would say seeing my friend was a turning point. I can clearly remember telling myself to get my shit together and find my appetite for life again!! Shed the self-pity, begin finding ways to bring a measure of joy back to life. Bit by bit and day by day I fought my way back. Eventually I was able to conquer the multi-headed beast that was bringing me unrelenting stress: I sued & won full custody of my daughters, I began training as a corporate flight attendant, we moved into a property my parents owned, I even found love again. As I was healing from the inside out my hair began to grow back. Mike, my husband, will see early pictures of us and say, ‘Baby see, that’s you with unhappy hair and that’s you in-love with happy hair again.’ I found my appetite, both literally and figuratively.
I share this story with you all to say that hair loss can be multifactorial. For me, it was triggered by extreme stress which then was compounded by a poor diet and lack of sleep. While I do believe in taking supplements and hair serums to assist with hair thinning, this experience also made me realize that I had to make important lifestyle changes to better manage my stress and improve my diet and sleep. A pill alone would not have solved the root cause of my hair loss.
Hair Thinning Questions
- Can medication cause hair loss? Yes, a side effect of some medications can be hair loss. Talk to your doctor if you suspect a medication you take is causing hair loss.
- Can hair loss be caused by hysterectomy or menopause? Absolutely. A change in hormones is one of the common causes of hair loss.
- Is it true that COVID causes hair thinning? Fever or illness can cause temporary hair loss. This is called telogen effluvium caused when higher than normal amounts of hair enter the shedding phase of a hair’s growth lifecycle. Individual’s experiencing hair loss during the pandemic also increased due to the unusually high level of stress so many people experienced.
Have you experienced hair loss? What solutions have you found to help?