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I hate that I have to share this experience but I hate that there's a lack of personal experiences even more.

I’m mid 30 and I have lost A LOT of hair.  It started 2-3 years ago. I noticed more and more hair falling out in the shower and I was constantly sweeping it off the bathroom floor.  My vacuum also indicated that a shedding dog lived in my house. We don’t have a dog!

Despite the increase in shedding, I didn’t think too much about it.  I was in the midst of a stressful life chapter. Plus, I had just started my fitness journey.   The combo seemed like a reasonable cause for shedding. Everytime I discussed the issue with someone they would say the same thing in assuming the loss was due to diet and exercise changes.   I really believed that to be true and that it would work itself out. My hairdresser even agreed as she noticed some thinning and baby hairs growing in. Fast forward to now, the problem never went away.  Instead now I can feel and see the drastic change in the overall amount of hair that I have. Thinning is visible around my hairline. My parts are wider and my hair is flatter. I had long, thick hair...full luscious locks.  I cry.

It’s pretty scary and frustrating. Scary because it can be health related and frustrating because I’m exercising and eating pretty decent these days.  I feel jipped.

Back in February I decided to try minoxidil. My labs from the doctor came back normal and there were no underlying health issues found. Minoxidil is an internet and dermatologist favorite. It seemed promising. I hoped it would work for me. Within 3 days I was experiencing side effects. I had headaches throughout the day along with light headedness. About a week in I started noticing dandruff and extreme shedding. CLUMPS of hair were coming out in the shower. It felt like I was pulling out my hair every time a ran my fingers through it. There was shedding every time I combed my hair. More and more hair was found in the house. Even the washer and dryer had hair balls. I was worse off than before.

It was suggested that I wait 4 weeks as shedding typically stops after 3-4 weeks. The derm said minoxidil speeds up the hair growth process causing weak hair destined to fall out, to fall out faster! After experiencing increased shedding (pictured above) every single day, I decided to take another picture. Minoxidil wasn't the answer for me. It made things worse. Visibly worse at a faster rate. I cried when I compared the pictures. I stopped using minoxidil that day. I'm not okay with the product's short term effects let alone the possibility of long term effects. It's not worth it to me.

It took about 2 weeks to see less shedding. The shedding I see in the shower now is much less and back to pre-minoxidil days. I don't know if my hair will grow back. It worries me but being in quarantine for 5 weeks now, has made it less of a worry. I'm trying to utilize this time to practice some self love and self care. Self love means loving myself the way I am. Plus, I'm giving my hair a much needed break from chemicals and heat while I'm home.

The lesson here; My hair does not define me. It may come and go like other chapters of life and I'll be ok with whatever the outcome is.

Xx Dee


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