Update on Hair Loss, Alopecia, Omegas, Candida, Mega X

before-and-after-mega-x-plexus, hair loss, alopecia, omega

So many of you have emailed me and commented continuing to ask what I’m experiencing and doing in relation to my hair loss issue (an issue I’ve had to deal with since I was 19).

In particular, many have asked about minoxidil. Minoxidil was absolutely effective for me. You can read the blog post here. But I didn’t like the side effects. (More here). Weight gain and facial hair were the mildest. It was the depression (and anger) that got to me.

My extremely premature hair loss bothered me a lot! I even wore wigs sometimes, which was sometimes fun and sometimes weird. (see some of my favorite wigs here). I’ve tried many supplements. Hair Repair (the best at the time that I had tried), straight saw palmetto, and everything I could read about that seemed to have promising reviews. After taking something for 6-8 weeks, I would see mildly encouraging results, but then nothing. Revivogen was one of the most frustrating products, building up a supply of new growth only to lose it all (due to the synchronized growing and shedding cycles it encourages – completely pointless to me).

I’ve been trying something lately I wanted to share with you. I’ve been on this product for about 3 weeks. I went on it after dreaded post partum shed made me feel just terrible and always self conscious.

Here is the before and after:

before-and-after-mega-x-plexus

The before was from about 8 weeks ago, but it is what my hair looked like when I started on Mega X (made by Plexus). (Besides a few hairs I could see that had started to sprouted from taking Hair Repair for two weeks). I stopped taking Hair Repair when I started taking Mega X.

What encourages me is the way the new hairs line my hair line, and the way that stray piece of hair no longer falls down the center of my face because it has other hair to “cling” to. (Yes, hair sticks to each other – it’s one of the trademarks of healthy hair).

This is just the beginning, so we’ll see what happens.

Also after:

after 3 weeks of Plexus Mega X hair loss update

(I’m wearing Sonia Kashuk Tinted Moisturizer in Linen in this picture – I love it!)

And just another photo I like:

aftermegax

I should say that besides being on Mega X, for a month previously I was on the Triplex system from Plexus, which balances hormones and blood sugar, something I knew I was in need of. I would like to talk about this issue in a future post. I do not know how much this contributes, but I know hormones which are out of whack can be at the root of many unlikely issues.

Ingredients of Mega X:

Ahiflower seed oil, raspberry seed oil, broccoli seed oil, SDA (from Ahiflower seed oil), sea buckthorn berry oil, pomegranate seed oil, avocado oil.

 

Reese by Noriko – Wearing Hair

Hello new hair style. Perfect cut and color. The hair I’ve always wanted. Don’t mind if I do this do from now on.

Reese Wig by Noriko

Does it take long to do my hair? No, not really. Who does my hair? A lady named Patti…she lives a ways from here.

Reese Wig by Noriko

Little effort, lots of confidence.

Doesn’t break the bank.

Because this is Reese by Noriko. From Patti’s Pearls in California.

Reese Wig by Noriko

reese by noriko

More on Hair Health, Alopecia, Minoxidil, Saw Palmetto

It’s such a relief to stop using minoxidil (Rogaine, Lipogaine, etc).

After the initial wow I had using 5%, the side effects influenced me to switch 2%. Much better. However, the side effects of minoxidil are cumulative. I’m getting personal here, but tweezing your face twice a week, than once a day, than twice a day, will get to a girl after awhile. Then there was the side effect of depression. Not really strong, but a constant feeling of uneasiness that seemed to lessen considerably whenever I forgot to use minoxidil for a few days. Nate noticed it, too. Of course I also lost an alarming amount of hair and would start using it again.

I won’t comment on the side effect of weight gain except to say that it made an ordinary battle to stay fit harder. Nobody wants that.

So I’m done. And I already am experiencing the benefits of quitting. In one week I’ve gone from having to use the tweezer twice a day to twice a week. And what’s there is much finer in texture.

To counteract the withdrawal I knew I would experience quitting minoxidil (you lose all your hair gain in a matter of weeks if you quit minoxidil – no such thing as using it for awhile and then quitting if you want good results), I’m using megadoses of topical and internal saw palmetto – an herb. The only herb I know of with a reputation for stopping hair shed.

I told myself if I experienced the hair shed, I would mix minoxidil with it and go off of it more slowly. But in the end, I went cold turkey. It’s been a week so far. I know from experience that I would have lost a lot of hair already going cold turkey, but I’m not. In fact, I experience less hair shed than I did on Lipogaine.

Every day:

I take one dose of Hair Repair from Whole Body Research (includes over 300mg of saw palmetto) and

I absolutely douse the crown of my head in Surface Awaken Therapeutic Treatment, the second ingredient of which is Saw Palmetto. You can’t skimp with this stuff – I pour it on thick.

And that’s all I’m doing right now. Both products contain all the B vitamins and the Saw Palmetto also has all the amino acids which make up hair, as well as many other minerals, herbs and vitamins which help to maintain hair health. Between the two you are doing the essential things I’ve learned you must do to even have a chance against hair loss:

Block DHT.

Cause new growth.

Nourish hair.

They are 3 separate things which require 3 separate types of ingredients. Rogaine or minoxidil, for example, is a drug that artificially causes new growth but it doesn’t block DHT, so if you use it all by itself you could get new hair that gets attacked by DHT. If you block DHT only, you may not get new hair growth in places you have lost hair. And if you don’t nourish hair, the combination of the above might result in weak hair that is easily damaged or breaks off. This is not to say that effectively doing all 3 is easy. We are still in a stage of a lot of research when it comes to restoring lost hair from stress, genetics, medical conditions or trauma.

Here’s the picture from a few months back after using minoxidil-based products for about 4 months. Read more about my experience before and after minoxidil here.

Here is a picture of my hair after 1 year and 5 months of minoxidil use and the week after I stopped using minoxidil based products respectively:

minoxidil and saw palmetto hair loss

WP_20140621_09_03_53_Pro

 

(The first picture is product free and the second two were both after having done my hair). The only thing that’s really clear in my mind is that the Surface Awaken and Hair Repair have kept me from losing any progress I made with Lipogaine (Minoxidil) so far, though it’s only been a week. This is unexpected and of course, makes me hopeful that I will not have to go back on the stuff ever. The 2% was not quite as amazingly effective as the 5% anyway (though it was effective) but I just don’t think I can live with the increasing side effects for the rest of my life, which is, of course, what you have to be prepared to do if you use minoxidil-based products.

I’ll try to keep you all posted.

Interesting fact about Saw Palmetto: even though it is claimed by many (note the word claimed) to promote new hair growth, it also is prescribed by alternative medicine doctors and used by patients to reduce unwanted body hair. If it works, it brings many interesting questions to mind about drugs versus herbs, and the healing code many believe to be in herbs. The only way I can imagine saw palmetto to do this simultaneously is that by working with the female hormonal system, instead of just blindly causing hair growth (anyway and everywhere), like minoxidil tends to.

 

 

Length Update – Shaping a Growing Pixie

growing a pixie to a bob for curly hair - micro links and alopecia

Joni at Franklyn has my back. Months after cutting my pixie it’s still an unmanageable mop of hair. It’s been almost 8 weeks since Tech Hair linking in Philadelphia, and I was excited to get my first haircut of my new hair.

I explained the knots to Joni and mentioned that a wide tooth comb and brush were best, as was no straighteners. She was almost as psyched about the tiny links as I was and was amazed that there was something like that out there for hair-challenged people. So much healthier than extensions. I recommend! If you can afford it that is. But as Dolly Parton says, whether it’s real or not, your hair should cost a lot.

growing a pixie to a bob for curly hair - micro links and alopecia

My highly unsymmetrical hair has me seriously considering an asymetrical bob.

growing a pixie to a bob for curly hair - micro links and alopecia

I love it that the back was not too stacked or short at the neck. Not knowing what I will end up with, I’d rather do minimal cutting and shaping as it grows.

growing a pixie to a bob for curly hair - micro links and alopecia

When I got home I added some Bumble and Bumble (my favorite hair brand) texture cream (a little goes a long way), to make the left side wing out a little bit the way the right side naturally does. After not being brave enough for asymetrical bobs, I settled for texturing this, which I think looks better anyway.

growing a pixie to a bob for curly hair - micro links and alopecia

More on Alopecia Solutions: Tech Hair or Micro Point Linking

before and after micro point links or tech hair

I was going to wait a long time (until I could better afford it) before I did this. But I cancelled my last hair appointment (pixies seem to be my only option right now) because I was so under-excited about it. In fact I felt like crying. I didn’t want to go.

So I decided I couldn’t wait any longer to do something more substantial and immediate about my hair.

Read more about my story here.

So what in the world is Tech Hair or Micro Point Links? Well to clear up confusion from the start, it’s NOT any form of extensions, large or small. There is no tape or glue involved and hair is added one tiny little piece at a time.

Well, four tiny pieces at a time to one existing piece.

Every little hair (of the 400 bio hairs used) was pulled, giving me a very sore head! But this resulted in 1600 brand new hairs in a little over 2 hours.

This is an early reaction post, as I will have to see how it turns out for me. The hairs could slide out, be yanked out, or fall out with my naturally shedding hair.

But for now, I genuinely have more hair – instant hair! And that’s a pretty cool feeling. I no longer feel self conscious about my hair. In fact I love it.

alopecia and hair loss solutions

alopecia and hair loss solutions

alopecia and hair loss solutions

alopecia and hair loss solutions

alopecia and hair loss solutions

So how do they attach it to your own hairs? With tiny little knots.

alopecia and hair loss solutions four new hairs were linked to one bio hair with a tiny knot

So what did it look like before?

Before and after, side by side: (left: before, right: after).

before and after micro point links or tech hair

A lot more fullness at the crown and in the front bang.

Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder Review

how i hide my alopecia bumble and bumble hair powder

Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder.

Quick back story: I tried Toppik (hair fibers – little tiny pieces of keratin) and was very impressed. I really loved using this product. It grabs on to the individual hairs and thickens them by many times. The results were amazing. Even Nate was very impressed (though he thinks my hair is fine the way it is). However, I had such a bad allergic reaction to this that I got several rashes and a very large bump – which ended up to be a cyst (probably) that was inflamed that kept me from a good night’s sleep several nights in a row. I had to wash my hair several times before the ammonium chloride was completely gone.

Then I tried Caboki. I mean it’s a fiber (cotton this time) but doesn’t stick to the hair as well and is messier to use. It wasn’t as much fun. I didn’t love it.

Then I read this incredible post from Corner of Hope and Mane and was sold. I don’t think I used it as expertly but this is my first time and I like it. No messy powders. It’s sold as a dry shampoo and thickening spray. I wonder if Bumble and Bumble realizes it’s an effective hair loss concealer and thickener.

bumble-and-bumble-hair-powder-before-and-after-1

bumble-and-bumble-hair-powder-before-and-after-2

bumble-and-bumble-hair-powder-before-and-after-3

bumble and bumble hair powder

I’m kind of loving my hair in this picture.

It’s a bit pricey at $35 for 4oz, as all Bumble and Bumble products are. But worth it.

I took out my extensions

no extensions 1

Yup there they are.

extensions

Then I decided that the new longer pixie look would go with Sonia Kashuk Ultra Luxe Lipstick on Classic Red.

sonia-kashuk-ultra-luxe-lipstick-classic-red

This was my pixie 6 weeks ago. (The flash lighting always brings out burgundies that the webcam does not).

modern pixie before and after rogaine

This is a progression. Wig to extensions to all my own natural hair. My own hair feels good.

Do I look like Ginnifer Goodwin? I wish!!

Ginnifer Goodwin Snow White

Two hair videos – check out Extensions and Alopecia Update

This one is a fun video where I was loving my beautiful Jon Renau hair.

And this is an update on alopecia and extensions, etc.

 

picture180

My Pixie to Inverted Bob with Extensions Experience – Trans4mation Salon

Hair Before – Pixie Cut. [to fully appreciate this, you might want to check out this post: ]

Hair After – Inverted Bob. Definitely the healthiest looking one I’ve ever had.

What the gentle extensions look like – no tugging. They lay very flat. I don’t feel them. They are very light.

My lively natural hair and pixie cut

OK clearly I cannot stop blogging.

People are going to get confused. What is she doing with her hair? Five months ago it was almost to her waist. But that was not my hair, but the Zara. Then it was Julia. Now it’s a pixie cut, and so soft and touchable and undeniably my hair. At the end of this week, it’s going to be something different. If you need any help with the confusion, try my alopecia story here.

For now, this is my self-given (ok sort of husband-given [“no, dude, stop, give me some sideburns. No – leave me some length on top. Halle Berry, I’m telling you. Halle Berry”]) pixie cut.

What surprises me is the lively curliness of my natural hair, which wasn’t that way in December. And the color. I’m always dying highlights and lowlights into already something-lighted hair. I guess I haven’t seen the natural texture and color of my hair in awhile.

On Thursday, I’m going to get some minor extensions to bring the length forward like an inverted bob. I don’t really see how I have any room for extensions, but my new stylists thinks she can do something. We’ll see.

It seems I remember going to the salon once for exactly this color.