My Hair Loss Journey

I wasn’t going to post these photos, then I thought fuck it, life’s too short and I could potentially help others going through the same battle.

I started losing my hair early June, strands and strands would fall out when washing it, brushing it or styling it. I thought nothing of it at the time.

Back in April, I had two blood transfusions and was told I was anaemic. At the end of June I had a major operation for endometriosis which included removal of my right ovary and bowel surgery, which also led me to have a stoma bag for a year. It was a six hour op, so yeah a big one.

Anyway, after the operation I asked the surgeon why my hair was falling out and he said it was my anaemia and could possibly be post-surgery recovery. I was given iron tablets and to be honest they haven’t made that much of a difference.

In early August I really started to notice the hair loss, my once full thick fringe had really thinned out. I became self conscious and lost my confidence. I didn’t want to go out and I hated being in photos. I would only surround myself with those who I felt comfortable being around, close friends and family.

So, I ordered some hair supplements from Holland and Barrett – Silica Complex, Nordic Hair Volume Supplements and 2 packs of Viviscal Hair Growth Programme supplements as they had buy one, get one for a penny, plus 15% off, so came to £44 for the Viviscal supplements. I haven’t noticed that much of a difference as it’s still early days – about 2 weeks, but apparently it can take months and months for your hair to grow back anyway. I shall report back on these supplements in a few months time.

I even bought some hair loss shampoo which I’m not sure if it’s doing anything right now, but again it’s early days.

I’d appreciate any help with hair loss, anything you would recommend. I’ll literally try anything to get my hair back to how it was.

For now I’m going to continue taking my hair supplements, iron tablets and use my hair loss shampoo. And well, hope for the best.

It just sucks that I’ve lost my self confidence and my hair is still continuing to fall out. It really fucking sucks.
I dread to think what my hair will look like in a few months time if this continues.

On the up side, I still smile in photos because life really is too short, as much as I hate being in them at the moment, you’ve gotta put on a brave face and just deal with it. I keep saying to myself – you can’t hide away forever, you’ve gotta embrace your life and explore new places and see friends and family. The world isn’t going to end.

And, to some my hair loss isn’t even that bad. Yes my fringe is gappy and my hair has got incredibly thin, but it’s noticeable to me.

Are you dealing with hair loss? Or do you have any recommendations for thickening hair/growing hair back? Let me know in the comments below.

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24 Comments

  1. Janice
    August 9, 2020 / 9:41 am

    A year ago I had major op , 5 half hour thing then inpatient with pneumonia for 3 months . My hair was so thin but I took immune support & extra zinc it’s now thick like my teens . They say it takes at least a year to recover from major op. With each day you will get stronger . I had similar stuff to you in my 20’s & 30’s told I’d never have kids. Had my 2lb bit nothing at 41 . ……dont believe medics, maybe them not always right . I was on depo implant, oral hormone meds & blood tests showed I peri menopausal but bleeding daily for 18mths from endio/ fibroids, but was expecting to They said it was impossible my womb had been too reduced …liam was born at 31 weeks is 6 foot 5 . Please try to believe in miracles you will be better . Get better be happy xxxx

    • zoey
      Author
      August 9, 2020 / 10:18 am

      Thanks Janice, miracles do happen :). I’ll research into immune support, already taking zinc from one of my hair supplements. I’ve been told it could take a couple of years for my hair to fully grow back, sob.

      With regards to my endo, it sucks that I was told I can’t have children but we’ll see when the time is right. If not it’s not the end of the world. I’ll just get a load of dogs lol. xx

  2. August 9, 2020 / 10:36 am

    Hi Zoey. I know it must not be an easy thing to deal with but I find it amazing that you’re opening up this way, asking for suggestions etc. That takes a lot of courage too.

    I admit I’ve not faced drastic hair loss, but for a few months when I was lifting heavy weights at the gym, I was using protein powder to up my protein intake. While it was helping in the strength department, a pleasant side effect I realised was the healthy growth of my hair and nails. They became stronger over time for sure.

    I am happy to see your smiling photos! 🙂

    • zoey
      Author
      August 9, 2020 / 5:55 pm

      Thank you so much – means a lot!

      Ooo, I’ll try protein shakes, thanks! x

    • August 10, 2020 / 1:47 pm

      Hang in there Zoey! Try not to wash it too often and do a regular gentle scalp massage to remove any dead skin cells to aid in regrowth. You can also try topical rogaine, but maybe do that as a last resort? I’ve also heard dermarolling can help with regrowth too but never tried it for that purpose.

      I also take biotin supplements which are supposed to help with hair skin and nail health.

      You always look great!

      Angela | https://BlushandPearls.com

      • zoey
        Author
        August 10, 2020 / 2:07 pm

        I’ve got a derma roller, so if it became really bad, I would use that! I’ve started to notice hair follicles growing back over the weekend which is a good sign.
        I’ve also got biotin in my hair supplements.

        Aww and thank you x

  3. August 9, 2020 / 4:13 pm

    You are so brave sharing this with us. I also have really bad hair loss, with really noticeable bald patches and it’s horrible how much it effects our confidence. I’ve started using the tinted dry shampoos for when I need a confidence boost, as it does help to cover them up. Most of the time I just try and ignore them, it’s hard though. Your post will be so inspiring to everyone else on a similar journey xo

    Makeup Muddle

    • zoey
      Author
      August 9, 2020 / 5:57 pm

      Thank you so much :). Sorry to hear you have bad hair loss. It sucks. I may try a coloured dry shampoo, thanks for the recommendation. x

  4. August 10, 2020 / 2:51 am

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re losing some of your hair as part of the effects of your surgery. I can understand why you’d feel the need to isolate yourself temporarily. But on the positive side, it seems like your surgery went well, which is awesome, and that this hair loss is temporary! I hope you don’t stress about it too much <3

    http://bloomingsuitcase.com

    • zoey
      Author
      August 10, 2020 / 8:22 am

      Trying not to stress about it, just taking it as it comes. I just hope it doesn’t get really bad. i noticed yesterday that I could already see the hair follicles starting to grow back which is a good sign. x

  5. August 10, 2020 / 8:55 pm

    Six hours?! That’s a huge op, I hope you’re still recovering well. And thank you for your honesty in this post, I found it really inspiring to read, especially your positive thinking. I wish I had tips for you, but I really hope the shampoo and supplements start to work. Also, I think you’re beautiful no matter how much hair you have 😘

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    • zoey
      Author
      August 10, 2020 / 9:25 pm

      I’m recovering well thank you :). And thanks for your lovely comment, means a lot! x

  6. August 11, 2020 / 9:13 am

    I am dealing with hair loss too – it seems to be a post-Covid symptom. When I first became ill with Lyme 20 years ago, my hair volume halved over the course of 6 months (luckily I had a lot to begin with), but I’m quite conscious of it now. I am back using Grow Gorgeous Intense Serum, which I have found brilliant in the past and I’m taking silica but I’ve been told that, at the moment for some reason, I’m not absorbing any nutrients from my food. I have no intrinsic factor in the lining of my stomach so I can’t absorb B12, which means I have pernicious anaemia and I also have iron deficiency anaemia. I find iron tablets very hard on my stomach and I’m on a big cocktail of meds for Covid/post-Covid/Lyme mix so I’m hoping when I finish those (hopefully in October), that maybe things will improve.

    I feel you and will keep everything crossed that this improves soon as you’ve been through enough already xx

    Beautylymin | Pat McGrath Bundle Giveaway

    • zoey
      Author
      August 11, 2020 / 10:57 am

      Thanks for commenting :). Sorry to hear you’re going through the same thing Siobhan. I’ll take a look into grow gorgeous intense serum. Hope things improve for you!

      I can see some hair follicles growing, so fingers crossed it grows back quickly. I think the supplements are finally working. x

  7. August 12, 2020 / 1:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey – I’m sure this will help a lot of people and I hope you’re feeling better now considering everything you’ve been through!

    • zoey
      Author
      August 12, 2020 / 2:30 pm

      Thanks Jenny – I hope so! I’m doing a lot better now thanks :). x

  8. August 13, 2020 / 5:25 pm

    Hair is one of those things that has so much emotional bearing on our lives. I’m sorry to hear that it’s been zapping your confidence and I can totally understand how you feel. It’s probably not worth much coming from a stranger, but I still think you’re beautiful <3 Hope you're doing ok post op lovely X

    • zoey
      Author
      August 13, 2020 / 6:31 pm

      So so true. Aww thank you so much, means a lot! I’m doing a lot better now thanks :)… despite the hair loss. x

  9. Amber
    August 16, 2020 / 8:11 pm

    Hey Zoey,

    I have some experience with this and really hope sharing it can help you. Sorry for the length of this but I relate so much to what you’re feeling right now and wanting to give as much advice as I could. I lost a lot of my hair about 5 years ago when I was 23 (now 28). I was on a very strict diet (stupidly without taking supplements or making sure I was getting iron) when I noticed I noticed my pony tail getting smaller and smaller, and when I’d wash my hair big clumps were falling out. I was terrified as I’d always had thick hair and it was my favourite thing about myself. When I had my bloods done, not only was I anemic but a medication I was on for IBS (Omaprezole) had caused high levels of prolactin (a hormone associated with hairloss).I think the worst thing was feeling powerless over it, we just can’t control or predict how our bodies recover from something like that, or if the hair will grow back. My doctor told me to start eating more protein and taking ferrous sulphate tablets from the pharmacy. And I did, and I still researched hair loss solutions endlessly. I was so so desperate to get my hair back to its former glory. Like you, I would have done ‘literally anything’ but I actually found ‘letting go’ and just acknowledging that this was out of my control was a lot more helpful than the hours I spent desperately trying to quell my anxiety online. Over the next couple of years my hair DID recover ‘somewhat’. It’s less hair than I had before, maybe a third of the thickness, but it’s not obvious and it’s no longer at the trying-to -disguise-it stage (I agree with another poster that coloured dry shampoo really helps with that! It also gives some volume. Even now I use it daily just to recover some of that texture and volume I’ve lost). There was a bit of a learning curve as I learnt how to work with my new, fine hair but I realised a lot of hair styles are actually easier with thinner hair! I can do french chignons now and its really pretty! I also realised no-one notices your hair as much as you, no-one ever commented on my hair loss. In fact, even at half its former thickness I still get compliments! I kind of had an epiphany that hair loss happens to almost every woman at some point in there life, whether through hormones, sickness, ageing or stress. It’s inevitable and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!

    But the most important thing I did was to come to terms with my new thinner hair and stop wishing for my old hair. I know it’s hard, but I really believe if I could go back in time and speak to my panicked self I would say: the best thing you can do is to nourish your body and be kind to yourself. I made a lot of gratitude lists. I tried to do stuff that boosted my self-esteem which were unrelated to my appearance, like cooking and painting and crafting. I watched a lot of beautiful women on youtube who rock wigs and drew strength from them and even became kind of happy at the prospect of a wig if it ever came to that. As I became less fixated on my hair, and more accepting, it gradually got better. It’s a bit like the saying “a watched pot never boils”. I had to become at peace with the notion that my hair might recover, it might not, it might recover somewhat, it might not, and if this my new normal I’m still damn beautiful and I’m still loveable and worthy. As are you!

    Sending lots of love, you are not alone!

    • zoey
      Author
      August 18, 2020 / 1:14 pm

      Hi Amber, thanks so much for commenting. I think I have high levels of prolactin too… which is a bit concerning. I’m trying to eat more protein as well. I took ferrous sulphate tablets for about 3 weeks after coming out of the op, didn’t think they did too much to be honest as my hair was still continuing to fall out. But maybe I needed to be on them for months and months.

      You’re right I do need to stop stressing about it and let go. But it’s hard. My hair follicles are growing back, I can see baby hairs in my fringe which is a good sign. But the hair still hasn’t stopped falling out. x

  10. Laura
    August 19, 2020 / 10:53 am

    I have been anemic and suffering from hair loss since the birth of my first son 3 years ago.
    I had my second Son last year and, while still suffering hair loss from the first one it got even worse.
    A friend of mine who had a number of years ago developed bald spots suggested I start using Hask Biotin Shampoo.
    While I didnt expect it to promote growth (after all it isn’t getting into my body) It has. My baby hairs are much much stronger and numerous than last time and the hair that i do have is in much better/stronger condition.
    I don’t think I’ll ever use another shampoo again. My hairdresser commented on how much better it was condtion wise and how smooth on my post lockdown haircut!
    I may have 3 different lengths of hair but it will all catch up one day and hopefully be back to my former unmanageable thickness!

    Once I got my anemia under control it was much easier so I hope that you can soon. I do eat a lot of spinach (on pretty much every dinner plate of mine now!)

    • zoey
      Author
      August 19, 2020 / 11:57 am

      Sorry to hear this Laura. I’ve never heard of Hask Biotin Shampoo but will look into it!
      I should start eating spinach more! I have it in currys quite a bit. x

  11. india
    September 11, 2020 / 11:38 am

    I’ve had hair loss issues too. I’ve lost half my volume of hair and I’ve tried just about everything. The one thing the stopped the hair loss and started regrowth was getting on the Autoimmune Paleo Diet. Within the first week I noticed a big difference and probably by week two my hair stopped falling off and I started seeing regrowth. It was kind of crazy what other things I noticed. I have naturally dark hair, almost black, but it started turning a real light brown, like a mousy brown. Well within this first week of doing AIP my hair turned back to its original color. Also, my eyebrows grew back in as well as my eyelashes. My skin, which had darkened a shade, went back to its original tone. Oh, another thing I did was exercise daily.

    Eventually, I went back to my bad eating habits and I’m back to square one. I’m fixing to start the diet again and hopefully I’ll have great results again.

    There are other things I’m trying but they’ve not given me results like AIP.

    I first heard about AIP on SparkPeople, I think. I was searching “hair loss” and I came across a post about a person who has a friend with alopecia and she’d lost all her hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. She’d tried everything and the only thing that got her hair to grow back was getting on AIP.

    Good luck on your journey.

    • zoey
      Author
      September 11, 2020 / 11:57 am

      Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve never heard of the autoimmune paleo diet, I’ll research into this, thanks! Hope your hair starts growing back again. x

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