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Telogen Effluvium & Hormonal Hair Loss Update/Recommendations

Well hello blog world, it has been...a minute. Or maybe 15 months. My bad. I definitely need to do a life update post,  but that is for another day. I will just say this: work and health have been super time consuming for me in the past two years, so I have not given my blog or social media the time and attention that I would love to give. That is life-so I can not be too hard on myself.

Over the past year, I have been receiving tons of messages via Instagram and email, asking for an update on my hair loss. In short, it has gotten worse, better, worse, okay, etc etc. This "issue" with my hair is ongoing, and I have a feeling it will be for a long time, or maybe even the rest of my life. If you are new to this blog, or just stumbled upon this post randomly, I encourage you to read the original post (find it here) I made and the follow up post (here) to that one. However, I can say with confidence that I have found a couple products that have really helped with my hair growth and/or decreasing hair fall. With that being said, I am going to share my product recommendations that worked for me. I can not promise you that you will have the same results, but for me, they are tried and true products. I also still believe the main reasons for my hair loss/thinning was stress/traumatic experience (which in turn led to telogen effluvium) as well as hormonal imbalances (likely caused by my birth control, which has been stable the past year because I switched my pill a few times). For all products mentioned, I encourage you to do your own research and consult with a doctor before you start to implement any new vitamins or supplements. If you do not have a deficiency in a certain mineral or nutrient, taking the supplement may do nothing for you-in fact, it is possible that too much of a mineral/vitamin can actually lead to more hair loss or even acne (based on information I have combed through on the internet over the past few years-Biotin is a great example!)

I also am not going to add personal photos of every angle of my current hair state at this time, because I am about where I was with hair loss/growth when I did my last update. More pictures just makes the post longer, and I honestly am not happy with my Iphone 7 camera quality-I have one recent photo, right after I had my hair dyed darker (which can also make the hair feel thicker). You can see that I have a slightly widened part line, but it has improved from about 1.5 years ago. What you can not see is the thinning hair on the sides, which I can luckily hide by keeping my hair down, but I can not hide when my hair is up. To me, it just reminds me that while it sucks, and it can make you feel down, not everyone will notice your struggle, or even understand why you are "so upset about losing a little hair" (I've heard that one before). It's personal, it is hair to grasp, but I hope to give you some useful recommendations.


1. Zinc: According to the interwebs, zinc plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails, as well as keeping the immune system strong. I take zinc once a day (not sharing dosages because again, I encourage you to do your own research/speak with your doctor/have your labs checked).

2. Selenium: Selenium is a mineral that helps with reproduction, DNA, protects body from free radicals, helps with thyroid function and more. Free radicals basically can contribute to aging and illness. Lots of science stuff going on here, but basically, I notice a little bit of a difference in how much hair I am losing if I do not take selenium, so I am going to keep it up.

3. Astaxanthin: This is a new one for me (I started taking this about 6-8 months ago), but I will probably take it for my whole life. It is an antioxidant that comes from microalgae, yeast, bacteria and fungi. Again, this can play a major role in reducing free radicals in the body. It has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, plays a role in eye health, skin/sun protection and has been said to have an impact in helping with hair loss. This post is already going to be so long, so I prefer to not get into the science stuff about how it can contribute to reducing hair loss. I take it, I love it.

4. Hair, Skin and Nails: Since I take the other 3 supplements, I stopped taking this because I felt like I was over doing it, but when I did take it I was actually using "It Works" brand (HSN for short) and I felt like it definitely made my hair shiny, but I am not positive it did a lot for growth).

5. Evening Primrose: Some people use this for hair loss because it is supposed to be effective in counteracting certain subtypes of alopecia, telogen effluvium and hormonal imbalances; I used it for a few months about a year ago and ran out-honestly, I just found my note with the products I recommend (for this post) and stumbled upon this one...so I definitely need to go buy more of this ASAP! I ingested this in capsule form.

I usually will buy my supplements from Vitacost. I try to do my research to find the most reputable and "best" versions of each supplement/vitamin/mineral. I take probiotics every day as well, and try to eat a clean diet. I am not vegan or vegetarian, and I do indulge in drinking alcoholic beverages and eating pizza/ice cream, etc occasionally/on weekends. No one is perfect, but with my GI issues (will have to do an update) I prefer to try to eat clean about 80% of the time.

Hormones/Birth Control

Not much to be said here, but over the past few years I have had to switch my birth control probably 3-4 times. When I had blood work done about 2 years ago, we discovered my Sex Binding Globulin Hormone was sky high. This hormone binds to estrogens and androgens. Basically, since it was high, I had less free testosterone available to use. More science stuff, and it caused hormonal hair loss. The treatment for this was to switch to a progesterone only birth control pill. After about 6 months on this, I noticed a lot of hair regrowth and less hair fall-a dream come true, right? Wrong. Since I switched my pill, I no longer had the other hormones managing my ovarian cysts, so I ended up developing a grapefruit sized ovarian cyst requiring surgical removal! I had to choose between accepting hair loss or managing my cysts. So, now I am on a pill that is sort of in between. It kind of manages my cysts and it slightly keeps my hormones that contribute to hair loss in check.

Topicals/Shampoo & Conditioner/Treatments

1. Lipogaine Big 3 Shampoo: Find it here. This shampoo has mostly natural ingredients and helps to prevent premature hair loss/breakage and encourages natural hair growth. This shampoo also has Ketoconazole in it, which is an antifungal. I really loved this! I think I purchased it from Amazon originally, but can no longer find it, but I tracked it down on the Lipogaine site. Also, if you have colored treated hair, it is safe to use. I did find that Amazon has their Big 5 Shampoo, which does not have Ketoconazole, and has added caffeine, saw palmetto, and a few other ingredients. Find it here.

2. Phyto Paris Phytolium 4 Energizing Botanical Concentrate: This? This stuff works. I felt like it helped with regrowth, prolonged the life of each hair (before it would decide to fall out, which in turn decreased the amount of shedding I experienced), improved my scalp health, and was super easy to use. It also helps increase the density and fullness of your hair. I didn't dread applying this (like I use to with the Rogaine Foam, ugh, I hated how it felt like buildup was on my scalp). It is pricey ($65 usually) but the 12 vials can last for awhile! I asked for this for Christmas and was gifted the wrong one, but I will 100% buy more (probably tonight), because I truly feel a difference now that I am not using it. I am having a harder time tracking it down, so I hope it is not being discontinued. If that is the case, I am about to buy 20 boxes! Find it on Amazon or Dermstore.

3. Rodan & Fields Lash Boost: Okay, so this one is a little out there, but I had Lash Boost for my lashes, so I was curious if I would see a difference if I applied it to my scalp in the areas that I would like to see more rapid results. While it is not meant to be used this way, I chose to apply it to my hair line (mainly) (as well as my brows) and noticed that the hairs that were there appeared to be fuller and healthier. Since I was using it that way, I decided to go ahead and sell Rodan & Fields products, because I was amazed with the results I was getting. If you are interested in Lash Boost (or other R&F products for that matter) email me or message me on social media, and I will fill you in on any specials/promos/discounts I may be offering. You can find my site here.  

Miscellaneous Recommendations 

This post is getting very wordy, but I want it to be helpful. I am going to try to just list my last few few recommendations! If you want more information regarding a recommendation, email me, comment, or google "hair loss and (my recommendation you want more information on0". Most of these are recommendations to decrease further damage to hair.

1. Minimizing hair washing. I try to limit to 2-3 washes a week.
2. Minimal heat. I try not to blow dry my hair if I do not have to. I limit the flat iron/curling iron to probably once a week. Lots of heat-free hair styles!
3. Switch the side of your hair part occasionally if possible
4. Mostly healthy diet
5. Do not comb/brush wet hair!
6. Sleep on a silk pillowcase
7. Use a scalp exfoliating product/scrub 2-3 times a month
8. Remember that while it is hard, you are more than just "your hair"

That is all! I feel that I have established a good "hair health" routine for myself in the hopes that I will continue to conquer hair loss. It is tough. I have been there, I feel for you, and I know how helpless it makes you feel to look in the mirror and see thinning hair or areas of complete hair loss. I remember crying, being frustrated, embarrassed, and sad. Know that you are not alone, and that there is a community of others (men and women) that know exactly how you feel. Feel free to message me on Twitter, Instagram, or via email (kelseylenay@hotmail.com). You can always comment on my posts as well, but if you do not have your settings applied correctly, I will not be able to reply.

Thanks for reading,
XO, Kelsey

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