Hair Loss? Heads Up, Ladies. Here's Help! (cont.)

Now, there are medicines that contribute to hair loss. They are the following:

  • Medicines that go under the subtitle of anticoagulants/blood thinners
  • Any medicines used for gout
  • Too much vitamin A
  • Birth control pills
  • Antidepressants

There are 30 million women currently in the U.S. right now dealing with some form of hair loss. FPHL stands for female pattern hair loss. This is when the hair becomes thin in the front of the scalp and then becomes thin towards the back, all the way on the top, but starts where the widow's peak is. There's a wonderful product that I do carry called Home Support that is a shampoo; it's a three-step process. It's a little aggressive on the scalp but brings the blood circulation to the scalp and helps the follicle.

Nothing is guaranteed 100%, of course. This mystery condition hitting so many women right now, unfortunately, is a step-by-step trial and error process. The good news is that there are a lot of alternatives out there.

MEMBER QUESTION:
I have just been diagnosed with cancer and will be starting chemo in a month or so. I have had long red hair since I was 16 and am now 52. I don't even know where to start with the issue of losing my hair. What is the first step?

GIBSON:
First of all, I am sorry for your challenge. You must know that more women are living from cancer today than ever before. Therapies and treatments used today are better today than ever in history. That's the first thing.

Secondly, know that with chemotherapy 99% of the time your hair will come back. So you have not lost your hair forever. In fact, regrowth usually begins even before treatment is over. Now, where to start? Would you mind telling me what form of cancer you have, No. 1, and if you're having radiation in conjunction?

MEMBER:
Breast cancer; and radiation first.

GIBSON:
We're going to walk through this together right now. We're going to go from feeling like a victim to being a victor together right now. Your hair does not always fall out from radiation, and there are some treatments and chemotherapy that also don't cause your hair to fall out. However, let's get prepared in case it does. Have you asked your physician if the type of treatment you'll be receiving is going to make your hair fall out?

MEMBER:
Yes, it will.

GIBSON:
I want you to go to your hairdresser and what I want to do is have your hair cut very, very short, and I'll tell you why. I don't want you to wake up with your hair on your pillow; I don't want you to be in the shower with all your hair falling on the floor, and I certainly don't want your hair falling in your soup. All of the above can happen, and will, all of which will add to emotional duress. Let's not go there; let's conquer that one now.

This will do two things:

  • One, the head gets very sensitive with radiation and chemotherapy, most of the time. Sometimes it doesn't, but most of the time. It could be as sensitive as having difficulty putting a brush through your hair. I don't want you to have to experience this, nor do you.
  • Two, this will help with wearing a wig. It will be much easier to fit and to deal with without the hair coming out and without clumps underneath, which happens in perspiration. What I mean by that is, when we sleep and we perspire, if you're going through treatment, sometimes the hair that has fallen out on your pillow will end up matting your hair on your head forming a very painful ball, pulling on the follicle. Let's avoid this.

There are terrific wigs available. If you would like to email me about the type of wig to get, etc., feel free to do so at yrcrowningglory@aol.com. But remember one thing. Life is very temporary. Our conversation will never take place in the same way again. This process will be over before you know it. As soon as you decide to move through this process you can focus on knowing that you're healthy afterwards and that your cancer is in remission, regardless of your appearance or how you may be feeling one day, because this will be behind you very soon and you will move through this. It's absolutely possible.

MEMBER QUESTION:
Are you familiar with flaxseed? Two tablespoons every other day works well for me. As soon as I stop taking it for about a week straight, the hair loss returns. I have had gradual hair loss ever since high school (long strands by the root) and the condition worsened after I had children. I breastfed both of them. Any ideas what could be causing my problem?

GIBSON:
I am not that familiar with this issue of flaxseed for hair loss; however, email me your information at yrcrowningglory@aol.com. I will ask one of my experts in the alternative area and get back to you. How long ago did you have your child?

MEMBER:
The last one was three years ago.

GIBSON:
Get your hormones tested. Are you 10 years or less close to menopause?

MEMBER:
I am 42 and holding.

GIBSON:
You're near a perimenopausal age, so my first suggestion is getting your hormones checked. I will find out about the flaxseed for you. I don't know of any other answer for you at the moment, but I will find out.

MEMBER QUESTION:
There are a lot of articles saying shampoos use chemicals and are not good for the hair. What is your opinion?

GIBSON:
There are shampoos that use chemicals, and the more natural shampoo the better. First of all, biotin is very good for the hair. Some say it's good for hair, some say it's only good for the nails. My experience is it's been good for the hair. I always believe going into a health food store, using the more natural organic botanical shampoos are the best, versus over-the-counter regular shampoos out there. Rusk hair care products are good.