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

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(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.

 

 

Yoga, Kombucha and Paying off School Loans

Dear faithful readers,

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching about my blog this turn of the year. 2014 is an important and exciting year to me for many reasons and I’ve had to answer some important questions, some of them regarding this blog. I at one point considered whether or not I could keep blogging for wear your vitamins. Not because I don’t love writing but because I do. Is this the blog I want to devote my time to? Is this blogged trapped in its own identity? Do I want to keep writing about what this blog’s scope is all about, and can this blog be what I envision and need as a blogging platform?

The answer is: I am going to keep growing Wear Your Vitamins but with some changes.

For a long time I’ve wanted more of a lifestyle blog. Nate and I enjoy so many things we’d like to share with other people, and there are so many things I want to write about that are not just another makeup tutorial (which was never the purpose of this blog anyway). Sharing my life with others is the purpose of this blog – including issues related to health and beauty – subjects of great importance with me. In the next few months, look forward to reading about kombucha tea, yoga, makeup, skincare, relationship issues, friendship, building a life, etc. Because first and foremost this is a woman’s blog, but one from my very own unique perspective. Its my way of learning and growing and living and keeping alive passions which are very important to me. Maybe there’ll even be a bit about my music and writing, but those should be more referential in nature. (For example, as a result of all my introspection and prayer, I started another fiction blog called http://virtuallymarisa.com, where I share the adventures of absent-minded dreamer Marisa Maven, who is more of a misfit than a maven, and has big dreams to change the world. If only she could master school, work and family).

One of my favorite blogs is http://www.thesmallthingsblog.com. There is something about this faith-filled, beauty-filled, fun-filled blog that connects with my values and personality. I believe that beauty is deeply important to women, but I’ve always wanted to think of a way to express that love for beauty in an inside-out kind of way. Taking care of our souls and spirits is the most important thing we can do. But eating right and finding mind and body restoring exercise are also God-honoring ways to take care of our bodies. I have never felt so thankful for the gift of life than as I’ve learned to get in touch with my body and live in the way our bodies were naturally intended to move, live and eat. Skincare is another way we can take care of ourselves, but this starts from the inside out as well. And cosmetics? An artform for me.

I have a confession to make – I’ve been holding this blog, even though it’s precious to me, at arm’s length. Somehow I feel that since I’m in this really happy place in my life where my husband and I just started a business together and we’re haven’t started a family yet that I just have it too good to blog about my life. But I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and to be honest, my story has not been an easy one. To reach an oasis of peace where I don’t feel torn apart by 30 different demands is amazing. I have struggled with feeling, well, guilty somehow. Knowing that children will change everything keeps me from enjoying some of the things I’m at liberty to enjoy at this time.

But all that is going to change. Reading Kate’s story about her first weeks and months after baby really helped me realize that I’m always going to be who I am even when I’m a Mom. I’ll love to design, write stories, build websites and write for my blog. I’ll just have to do these things in a different way. It was so fun to see her sneaking on nail polish as her baby sleeps or calling him a good shopping buddy!

Here are some things about my journey in life that you’ll likely be hearing more about: Nate and I have been on a debt repayment journey for 3 and a half years. We started at something akin to a small mortgage ($120,000), and this was just student loans, consumer debt and stupid tax. We are now at $41,000 and really hope and believe that 2014 is our year to get it cleaned up and say good-bye to debt forever. We have made a lot of sacrifices and worked really hard to get here, but we’ve also been incredibly blessed.

We’ve put so much on hold to get out of debt. Vacations, travelling, buying certain things, giving the way we want to (everybody should give no matter where they are, and we do, but not like we’re going to some day), even starting a family. Once we get out of debt, we plan to take some time to really celebrate and enjoy some of the things we haven’t done in almost four years and then we want to start a family (adopt? definitely).

So I want to share this last part of the getting out of debt journey with you, and all that lies after that.  Wife, skincare fanatic, yoga and kombucha addict with a passion for getting out of debt and inspiring others to do the same, you’ll find it all here.

Welcome to 2014.

Moments from 2013:

This silly dog:

this silly dog

cutest bernese mountain dog ever 

Working from the mall:

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Christmas at Mom and Dad’s

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Pretty pleased with their presents:

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Great memories from our very rare weekend getaways to Reston:

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His handsome face:

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Summer:

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Walks along the river on Front Street in this beautiful weather:

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With this crazy guy:

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Weather that makes you want to do yoga:

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My skater’s pose has improved some since this:

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Cool buildings on Front St:

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Nate’s attempt at yoga:

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The river:

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More yoga, or did someone just knock me over:

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Not sure what this is but it represents us spending time together, which I love:

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We discovered Walden, a village inside a town, another reason to want to get out of debt:

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Some other holiday at Mom and Dad’s?

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Cracker Barrel mornings:

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I can’t deny it: I miss my hair. Man I miss my hair, even if it wasn’t my “natural” hair. Big deal.

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Hiking in the woods with Holly:

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Going from video chats with Nate at our separate jobs:

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To getting to work with him on our new business, Arete Imagine. (yes that’s always the way we look working together, right?):

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Visits from terrific friends:

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Exercising with Holly:

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Playing with our (then) 2 dogs:

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Working from my home office:

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Are you going to take a picture of me right now?

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Stop and smell the roses:

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Cute smart nephews:

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Not sure what’s going on here. Apparently I’m posing with Bilbo and some elf. Some unwilling sister and brother-in-law are also part of the picture (I think we were all coerced).

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Enjoying one of Nate’s breakfasts:

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Nate was so excited about windows 8 he made this cake:

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So excited to spend another year with you baby.

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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.

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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.