View Full Version : Just turned 21... Think it's happening

04-23-2012, 02:22 PM
No one believes me, I've taken photos and honestly I don't see how it's not obvious it has started. Everyone says my hairline is good, that my crown is fine and that I pretty much haven't started balding. You guys can be the judge.

It all started a year ago (april/may 2011), I noticed after a haircut that my hairline had risen slightly. My hair wasn't falling out, or particularly thin. Then my longtime girlfriend and I split up, and that was brutal. It wasn't very amicable, and it was very taxing on me. She just started college at a huge state school, and she was joined into a sorority which I would argue has a national reputation for being one of the "hottest" but more notably, also the sluttiest greek organization. I transferred schools last semester, and moved to one of the larger US-cities. I just couldn't shake her from my thoughts and move on that whole semester. Gradually, my hair lost noticeable density, and I began - and still am - shedding a lot. The shedding is mostly long hairs, not the small ones (possibly miniaturized ? ) I've heard people should worry about, although I've seen those come out on some rare occasions. Nonetheless, if i lightly shake my hair usually 1-4 hairs drop in front of me. I've heard losing up to 100/150 hairs a day is normal, but i feel like i'm dropping around 10-30 hairs an hour, which over the course of a day is way more than 150. Then this semester, after my whole ex issue resolved more or less, I've been stressing like no other over the fact that I may not be able to stay in the city I've moved to next year, which has been eating at me like no other because this is where I always dreamed and aspired to go to school. That's just a chronological timeline, there's not to mention that my finances are in disarray and my Father's gradually getting more ill and is not likely to live too much longer. It's like there's constantly something eating at me, this terrible gnawing impending doom...

While it seems like everyone brings up "yeah, it could be stress," I actually believe I may be suffering from both telogen effluvium as well as mpb. I think this because, my hair is shedding from all over, sides and back as well as the top and crown.

Genetically, not that it'll probably make a difference in your opinions, my dad and his dad both went bald, but in different patterns. My Mother's side is ridiculously hair-healthy. My grandfather is 90 and still has relatively thick hair for his age. All of her brothers are fine, with the exception of one which only has mild recession and he's at least 55>.

So i'm thinking about starting Minoxidil, I just don't know if I can risk taking finasteride with the side effects and hormonal shifts. The optimistic part of me thinks that hopefully the Minoxidil will slow down my hair loss until my later 20's and hopefully by then there will be other/better treatments or discoveries. Is this a safe measure? I know finasteride is the most effective, but I've read on here that some people were able to manage their MPB with Rogaine alone until their late 20's to early 30's, which is when I feel like it'll be less stigmatizing anyway to be totally frank.

Also, I know that you lose the hair you maintain after stopping both treatments, but does that mean that the hair loss resumes at the pace before you began treatment or does that mean that you lose all the hair you spared in a short time?

the pictures of my hair were mostly after a shower, I can gladly show more dry photos.

the first one should be my hair unwashed before I hopped in the shower to give you an idea.

the next ones are obviously post-shower

04-23-2012, 02:35 PM
some more photos, also a picture of 2 of my uncles and mother's father, because i figured maybe there was a slim chance my hair was just going through stress and it may just be going in that direction... probably not though... i'll post pics of my dad and his dad if anyone's interested, also my great grandfather on my mother's side also had great hair if that helps..

04-23-2012, 03:01 PM
Hey mate, im almost 21 and stressing about hair loss too because its in my genetics and other male family members started loosing their hair around now and its all gone by 26. Anyway...I would say go to an doctor (general practitioner) and they can have a look at your head/hair follicles, you can even do some tests. It doesn't look like you are having any signs of baldness yet but i know the feeling when you see hairs fall out.

You should try not to continually run your hands through your head to see how many hairs fall out as that is very stressful and you dont need that. Just go to the doctors, evaluate the situation and take it from there, dont stress untill you have to.

Also try some St. Johns wart, its a herbal clinically proven supplement that reduces, stress, anxiety, can improve the quality of sleep and general well being.

Also get on a good multivitamin...vitamin B gets used up dramatically in stressful situations and can leave you feeling flat.


04-23-2012, 03:08 PM
I definitely run my hands through my hair often, albeit gentle, so that's cool you know what im talking about.

also, i never sleep regularly. like, i've only slept every other night all week since my studies have occupied me

04-23-2012, 03:14 PM
Yeah, just give it a rest...I was running my hands through my hair and a considerable amount probably about 100 hairs fell out....I just felt like I was obsessing too much which I was..so i have stopped and im feeling more relaxed...im going to see the doctor about it sometime next week to evaluate the chances of me going bald (which I already think is extremely high)

Get some rest, do something you like that makes you feel good...unless your studying medicine you should be able to. Also dont wash your hair every time you get into the shower unless its oily as... its good to let the natural oils build up they strengthen your hair.

04-23-2012, 04:04 PM
You have no hair loss that is evident. Perhaps your hairline has just matured, which is a common occurence around your age. To be sure, go see a doctor who can evaluate your scalp with a microscope and see if you have miniaturization. If you do, then jump on finasteride and minoxidil. Your hair loss is clearly not "aggressive" so those treatments would likely work well for you.

Tracy C
04-23-2012, 04:43 PM
Hi LilB,

Your hair line is normal for an adult caucasion male. There may be some thinning in your vertex though the poor quality of the photos can be misleading. If this bothers you, you need to book an appointment with a doctor who specializes in treating hair loss. If it is happening, you are catching it very early and that improves your chances of keeping what you have as well as possibly recovering some of what you may have lost.

04-23-2012, 08:18 PM
Here are some higher resolution photos

temple 1 (http://bayimg.com/FaoHdaADd)


temple 2 (http://bayimg.com/FAOheAaDd)

What's the best option for an individual without health insurance? not sure where/what type of doctor/place would be best

also, if i part my hair, I swear I see a lot of those "miniaturized hairs" or at least I think they are

04-23-2012, 08:42 PM
It looks like you just have a mature hairline (normal), and not male pattern baldness. I wouldn't worry about it for now.

04-23-2012, 09:10 PM
out of curiosity, are you feeling itchy or experiencing any tingling feelings anywhere on your scalp lately ?

04-23-2012, 09:44 PM
a little bit yeah, parts of my scalp have a burning sensation at times and other times just feel really sore. my hair could best be described as really dry, and it gets "greasy" really easily. my friends make jokes about how i never take showers or wash my hair, even though i do every day... it's a recent phenomena. I don't like it, I'm sure that my terrible diet and sleeping have had some effect.

The general consensus is that It's not consistent with MPB on here, but isn't this how it starts? The hair gets thinner, and shedding gets insane? Would it hurt to start on Minoxidil before setting up an appointment with a derm/specialist?

i feel like I've read a lot of stories that resemble myself, " i used to have really healthy and thick hair"

Tracy C
04-23-2012, 11:42 PM
Here are some higher resolution photos.

Hello again LilB,

Better shots of your temples isn't going to tell you anything -because it is completely normal for males to loose temple hair as change from boys to men. The important shots are of your vertex and mid-anterior. Those are the areas that will tell you if you are balding or not.

04-24-2012, 09:30 AM
if I take some pictures of my hair parted at the top, will that be more helpful? I know that only meeting with a professional can truly diagnose what's going on, but that could take months for me honestly, so i'm considering minoxidil unless there are any risks with that.

and by parting my hair, expose my scalp and thinness on top

Tracy C
04-24-2012, 11:18 AM
if I take some pictures of my hair parted at the top, will that be more helpful?

Yes, especially if you can show your hair both wet and dry. The areas of concern are you vertex and mid-anterior. With your hair parted down the middle, you can expose those areas so you can get a better look.

If you do decide to use Minoxidil, focus your application on your vertex and mid-anterior. These are the areas that the medicine can do the most good. You can dry the medicine off your fingers in your temples if you want to. Just don't expect much improvement in the temples. Males, especially cacausion males, generally do not keep their temple hair. This is a normal male trait.

Also if you start Minoxidil, don't start off with the full twice a day dose. Taper up to the full dose over time. Start with the foam and use it once a day every other day about two hours before your betime. After three or four weeks of that, use it once a day every day. After three or four weeks of that, alternate between once a day and twice a day. After three or four weeks of that, use it twice a day every day. Once you are up to the twice a day dose, you can save a little money by using generic liquid Minoxidil for your evening dose.

04-25-2012, 04:34 PM
I have to disagree with Tracy C. Your main problem is not your mid scalp or your vertex, but your temples. They seem to be minituarizing just like my balding begun years ago. My temples looked JUST like yours do in the picture you submitted earlier : http://bayimg.com/FaoHdaADd . They started to lose their color and then slowly dissappeared :(

Tracy C
04-25-2012, 05:03 PM
Your main problem is not your mid scalp or your vertex, but your temples.

You completely missed the point. The point is that it is completely normal for males to loose their temple hair as they become adults. Since it is completely normal for males to loose their temple hair, the loss of temple hair itself is not a good indication of balding. The vertex and mid-anterior are the best indicators of balding. Now read that as many times as you need to in order to make sure you understand it.

04-27-2012, 09:05 PM
I think my hair line receded even more since i last posted.... (pics tomorrow)

also, does minoxidil make the hair in general a little more thicker over time or just the treated area?

Tracy C
04-27-2012, 10:10 PM
Minoxidil works where you put it. You should focus your application of Minoxidil on your vertex and mid-anterior where it can do the most good. You can dry the medicine off your fingers in your hair line if you want to.

04-30-2012, 12:20 AM
my main issue is that i feel like, my hair loss / thinning is almost equally all over my head, and now im starting to get 1 inch hairs, that are really thin , starting to fall out

05-01-2012, 05:29 AM
you look like you have a normal high hairline. Keeping an eye on it though incase it starts to retreat then you will be suffering from M.P.B but mose men do anyway

05-01-2012, 06:25 PM
http://i.imgur.com/1mMJZ.jpg?1 Right temple/Hairline

http://i.imgur.com/yrJ3a.jpg when i part and spread my hair to expose scalp

sorry about the blurry 2nd picture, but It was a huge hassle to try and get good photos with my phone since i couldn't see it and had to do it myself.

Also, another thing that is weirding me out and makes me think it may be telogen eff, is that the hairloss is EVERYWHERE it seems, not really in any pattern. i know only a doctor can determine this all, but really, I can't see a doctor for at least 4 months from now, so any advice would be incredibly appreciated. It's frustrating to have to rely on the help of the internet, but it's really all i can do right now...

http://i.imgur.com/tVIeo.jpg?1 (see what i mean?)

05-03-2012, 06:38 AM
anyone have any idea? about those pics?

Tracy C
05-04-2012, 11:00 PM
What you have going on there does not look like normal MPB. You need to talk to a doctor about this.

05-05-2012, 12:10 AM
I agree with Tracy, it does not look like the typical MPB. Are you under a lot stress at the moment? It looks very much like the hair loss my friend was going through and it was caused by stress, very little sleep and poor nutrition.
Go see your doctor!

05-05-2012, 10:30 AM
I have the same problem as you! Its called Dermatitis or Excema!
Sores on head with bumps , inflamed and itchy!

You not going bald. Its from stress, lack of sleep and not eating correctly! Or medication.
I have attached a picture of myself. Add me as a contact I would like to chat to you to share advice. Stop washing your hair with harmful shampoos.

Get a shampoo called Bioderma Node DS plus. You can get it of the shelf until you see the Doc.

Get well soon.

25 going on 65
05-05-2012, 10:50 AM
Stop washing your hair with harmful shampoos.

Get a shampoo called Bioderma Node DS plus. You can get it of the shelf until you see the Doc.

What about something like J&J's baby shampoo? Any thoughts?

Tracy C
05-05-2012, 11:29 AM
Any thoughts?

That Bioderma shampoo is really expensive. I'm not so sure about it but I am open to hear what the doctors here in the forum think. I do not think what LilB and Peggie3 have can be trating the same way as common dandruff or hereditary hair loss. It's something different.

Concerning baby shampoo though, I think it is generally better to use sulfate free shampoo for daily washing. If you have dandruff or hereditary hair loss, I still think Nizoral or Nizoral A-D are the best options available as far as shampoos go.

05-05-2012, 11:35 AM
This is what I think me and LiLB have. The major ingredient in the Bioderma Shampoo is :salicylic acid.
Which is a known treatment for Dermatitis. It gets really painful sometimes and I cant touch my scalp. I hope this information helps some members who might be suffering from the same thing.



Tracy C
05-05-2012, 11:50 AM
There are other shampoos that contain salicylic acid yet do not cost so much. Nizoral can also be used for this condition. It would be interesting to hear what the doctors think. Either way I hope the best for both of you.

25 going on 65
05-05-2012, 12:16 PM
Thank you both for your feedback!
I don't think I have the same condition, but have never liked the way most soaps and shampoos make my skin and hair feel, and I'm thinking it might be due to sulfates (at least partially).

I'm noticing the soap I use is SLS-free. Would this be OK to use on my scalp/hair or should I specifically look for a shampoo instead? (I do use 2% keto shampoo 1-2 times a week.)
Also, the ingredients list "vegetable derived surfactant (coconut/corn/sugar)." Is this OK or might it have some of the same unwanted effects as SLS?

Sorry for all the questions, I've just never known anything about this and I'm intrigued now.

Edit: also, are sulfates found in conditioners typically? And is there anything I should look out for in conditioners to avoid?

25 going on 65
05-06-2012, 01:22 PM
Bumped for purely selfish purposes.

25 going on 65
05-10-2012, 08:34 PM
So I noticed something interesting that may or may not be a coincidence.

I generally try to stick with glycerin soap to clean my hair, but oftentimes I get lazy and just use some cheap OTC shampoo instead (the glycerin soap is in bar form and it's hard to coat the scalp and hair with). For the last few months I've basically been using crappy supermarket shampoo when not using ketoconazole.

When I read Tracy's advice on avoiding harsh sulfates (I believe there are two kinds, SLS and ALS, but correct me if I'm wrong) I switched back to the glycerin soap, which doesn't contain them.

Only a few days later, I am noticing a hugely reduced shed in the shower. I've actually been going through a pretty major shed recently, with a lot of hair coming out in my hands when I shampoo, and I chalked it up to a cyclical shed from my regimen. But it's less than a week after switching and I'm literally seeing like 1/3 as many hairs come out when I wash, maybe even fewer than that.
Like I said, it could be a coincidence. But I'm starting to wonder now if some people are prone to shedding more with these sulfate shampoos.

Either way I'm relieved right now, because this was a heavy shed compared to what I'm used to. I hope it doesn't come back any time soon. :)