Updated: Nov 2, 2020
So, this is one of the blog posts, I've been draggin’ my feet on…mostly because it’s about a topic that has been super challenging for me over the last year, and it’s way more fun to write about the stuff I love…
Organizing, traveling, wine, mommyhood…..oh and printables, you know how I love making printables!! 📝
But this topic is tougher to share because it goes beyond the light-hearted surface stuff, and it is honestly a place where I feel vulnerable and insecure which is currently an area of fear and anxiety for me.
(Note: The links in this post are AMAZON affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our full disclaimer policy here.)
I find it so much easier to share about challenging things after they are resolved, but unfortunately, that is not the case with this situation.
I’ve recently been reading more books about transparency and finding real connection through authenticity (specifically I’m reading “The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene’ Brown which I highly recommend), so I’m working on stepping outside of my comfort zone of mostly focusing on the “fun, rah! rah! rainbows and unicorns fluff” that comes so easily to write about, and trying to share more openly about the stuff that’s not on the “perfect highlight reel” that most of us share on social media.
Many people may not know, but last year, I was unexpectedly hospitalized (oh yeah, ambulance ride 🚑 and the whole bit) for what the doctors were concerned might be either a pulmonary embolism or possible risk of congestive heart failure due to my resting heart rate being at 130-165+.
Yep, totally scary!
The good news is that it wasn’t as serious as it could have been, but the bad news is that I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and two autoimmune diseases. #umnothanks
For this vegetarian, non-toxic, holistic mama, it was a SHOCK.
I felt like a failure…
I eat well, exercise, use essential oils like it is a part-time job, take my vitamins…
Hell, I even use aluminum-free deodorant, so how could I be not healthy?!?
I thought I was doing everything right!
And so, a new journey started…one filled with lots of doctor appointments,
and a massive amount of supplements,
and a significantly restrictive diet (and that’s saying a lot since I was already a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian).
With this new “adventure” has also come some unwanted physical symptoms, and the one I want to share about today is hair loss.
Don’t get me wrong, I've never had a super luscious, thick coif, but what I did have has significantly diminished in the last 7 months, which is honestly a terrifying and helpless feeling.
As I started researching to see how I can remedy my hair loss, I found out that MILLIONS of women deal with hair loss, so it was encouraging and comforting knowing I wasn’t alone.
I’ve been highly intentional and focused on resolving my hair thinning challenges and there are some things that I’ve been doing and products I’ve been using that have really helped stop the excessive shedding and have begun new hair growth.
So I’m hoping that the painful experience I’ve been going through and the things I discovered on the way might help you if you ever find that you are in a similar situation…which I hope you never do!
Here are the things that I wish someone had told me 7 months ago at the onset of my hair loss experience, and I'm going to outline the things I have personally been doing with positive results:
1. STAY CALM
It’s so easy to say, and say H-A-R-D to do…first and foremost, don’t freak out.
As a professional “freaker outer”, this one was (and IS) by far the most challenging suggestion because once you start losing significant amounts of hair, you go into PANIC MODE! 🚨
But we all rationally know that added stress to any health issue is never a good thing and only exacerbates the problem.
Some techniques I have found super helpful in calming myself down are:
Share - Openly share with someone close to you that will listen and support you. Sometimes just sharing your fears and saying them aloud give them less power. It also is important to have support from someone who will help talk you through the irrational fears that come along with hair loss.
Meditate - I have found that quieting the mind and getting centered is a powerful tool in easing fear and anxiety. I personally use a free app called Insight Timer to help me use guided meditations in my healing journey. I also often use essential oils in my meditation practice to help me relax and to enhance the experience.
Visualize - I found several Youtube videos specifically for hair loss that helped me shift my attention to what I want instead of what I was fearing.
Tap - Using a technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique - AKA “tapping”) has been super helpful in releasing negative emotion and calming my racing mind. You can find many videos on Youtube to help guide you through the EFT process.
2. GET ANSWERS!
When I shared with my endocrinologist that I was losing significant amounts of hair, she was all like “that’s normal with thyroid conditions”…needless to say that answer was not good enough for me!!
Luckily, I didn’t take her feedback as “gospel” and continued to search for answers, and I found a new doctor who listened, wanted to help, and gave me hope that I could heal...
and it was then time for an #endocrinologistbreakup (BYE!👋🏻)
Trust your gut…I knew something else was going on, and this amount of hair shedding was not “normal”!
After a plethora of tests and a small fortune later, there were a few other things that were actively causing me trouble.
The #1 culprit besides my thyroid was that my adrenals were whacked due to stress.
Had I not trusted my intuition, I would have just stayed the course with a doctor who was not looking out for my overall well-being, so do not settle for anything until you get the answers you are seeking!
3. JUST EAT IT!
When I went to my new holistic MD about my health concerns, the first thing she recommended was increasing my intake of proteins and fats (specifically omegas).
So that is what I did!
I started drinking a protein smoothie every day and added hemp, chia, and flax seeds to give it an extra nutrient punch!
My doctor recommended Gold Era protein powder because it fits all of my dietary choices with none of the bad stuff (it's vegan, non-GMO, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free).
I also tried to increase my protein consumption with my daily food choices and started adding some clean fish to my diet.
The way that I integrated even more omegas is by swallowing a spoon on Barlean’s Omega-3 Fish Oil daily.
I was actually driving to my local health food store to purchase it and just realized it is cheaper on Amazon! They have a variety of flavors and I’ve tried Lemon and Orange, but I (and my family) like the taste of the Mango Peach one the best!
It is a super-duper easy way to get more omegas in your diet, and it tastes good too!
4. SWALLOW THE PILL, OR THE POWDER, OR THE TINCTURE (OR IN MY CASE ALL OF THE ABOVE)
After a more accurate diagnosis, my new doctor put me on a regiment catered to my body’s needs.
I’m am by nature a “Frugal Fanny” and feel super uncomfortable spending money on myself, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but supplements are PRICY!!
It’s taken a lot of positive self pep talks in order to invest in my health, but I know that they have been pivotal in my healing.
If you are curious about what I’ve been taking specifically for my hair, I’ll break it down here for you.
Disclaimer…I am NOT a doctor and am simply sharing the things that have worked for my specific health challenges, and you should always talk to a health care professional that you trust (AKA NOT my old endocrinologist) before starting a few supplement program.
Seriphos is a supplement specifically for adrenal support, which was one of the major underlying causes of my hair loss. With a simple blood test, your medical health professional can determine if you too are having adrenal fatigue and elevated cortisol levels which might be contributing to thinning hair. The good news is that hair will regrow once you get your stress hormones back in check.
ii. Collagen Powder:
Collagen powders seem to be all the rage right now, and I thought I would give it a go too!
So I took this Collagen Peptide Powder in my coffee every AM for about 3 months. I mostly chose this particular brand because it was so well rated on Amazon, and I think it’s a great option.
Just recently, after a little more research, I stumbled upon this product made by Organixx that seems to have a bit more potent ingredients, and I just started it this week, so it’s too soon to tell if I see much difference, but I'm hopeful it's even better than the last one!
iii. Hair Vitamins:
I use the Sugar Bear Hair Gummy Vitamins because they contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin B-6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Iodine, Zinc, Choline, Inositol, as the active vitamins and mineral. They also have no gelatin, no dairy, and no gluten, so it works for my specific diet.
Mind you, I take about a dozen OTHER supplements for my thyroid and autoimmune diseases, and I’d be happy to share those if you want to email me!
It might be helpful to talk with your Dr. if you are having some of the same health issues as I am… We are all in this healing journey together!
5. GO, GADGET, GO!
I have done A SHIT TON of research on what to do when you start losing more than a normal amount of hair, and one of the things that was frequently recommended was scalp massaging.
It stimulates circulation which in turn makes the follicles more active encouraging hair growth. After reviewing several products I bought this scalp massaging gadget from Amazon. I use it in the shower and on my scalp pretty much every single day.
It’s very inexpensive, it feels so good to use, and for an added measure, I turn my head upside down a few times a week and use it, just to give my scalp circulation an extra boost!
6. BE GENTLE
Your hair is the weakest when it is wet so be sure to use a wide-toothed comb when your hair is damp and try to minimize heat exposure (hairdryer and styling tools).
Also when you're struggling with thinning hair it is natural to want to pull it up in a ponytail or bun, but try to use hair ties that aren’t damaging to your hair.
Lastly, try to use less damaging chemicals on your hair. I color my hair, but I have switched to a less toxic hair coloring system and have spread out the time between colorings as far as I possibly can.
In case you are wondering, this Loreal Root Cover Up Spray has been a LIFESAVER for me that helps me color my hair less frequently!
I was buying it at my local discount retailer AKA Walmart/Target, but I actually found it was cheaper on Amazon! (Hello, shopping in my PJ’s at 10:00 PM!)
7. BECOME A PRODUCT PRO:
One of the first things I did when my hair started to excessively shed was to look for a shampoo and conditioner that would help. I tried the Juvatress system that I found online and honestly did not see much difference even after a few months of using it.
BUT, there are few products I did try that seemed to work A LOT better!
i. Essential Oils
I have been an essential oil enthusiast (maybe more of a junkie) for almost 14 years, and they are my “go-to” for any healing needs.
So I immediately made a recipe of distilled water and a few drops of lavender, geranium, rosemary, and cedarwood oils in a small glass spray bottle.
There are tons of essential oils “recipes” on Pinterest if you need some help coming up with the right mix.
My one word of warning is to be sure you use high-quality essential oils (I only order from doTerra & Young Living here in the US - I would not recommend buying any from local stores).
ii. Hair Products
Having watched a bunch of Youtube videos on this hair health subject there was a product I heard mentioned in several videos that piqued my interest.
I use it after showering and before styling, and it really makes my hair appear more full and voluminous. I had such success with that I’m eager to try a few other products.
I’ve heard great things about Olaplex products too so that’s on my list of things to try next…I’ll check back in with you and let you know how it goes! (let me know if you’ve found anything that you LOVE!)
Did you know that 1/4 of your hair shaft is comprised of water?
That’s why is it muy importante to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!
I actually place a big glass pitcher on my kitchen counter as a constant reminder for me to drink water throughout the day.
Although my success story has not fully revealed itself yet, I have stopped shedding hair as much as I was, and I can feel new hair growth coming in at the scalp which is a huge relief! I have hope that it’s only going to improve!
As I’ve embarked on this wellness journey I’ve realized to never take my health for granted, and I’ve got to be extra diligent about taking care of myself!
I’d love to hear if you have found anything helpful in maintaining healthy locks! As you can tell from ALL of the things I’ve tested out, I’m game to try about anything!
So until next time, cheers to terrific tresses and cheers to you!🥂