I was recently introduced to a lovely coach named Andrea from Estonia.
She was part of a Zoom business meeting set up to discuss International marketing objectives for a well-known International weight loss corporation.
During our introduction, I had recently joined the firm as acting Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) on a long-term consulting project.
A few weeks after the initial Zoom call, Andrea sent me a Slack message asking if we could have a private call to discuss the topic of hair.
At the time, I was surprised by her request because our joint project involved weight loss marketing.
Andrea told me she'd been Googling me.
During her search, she discovered Hairboutique.com, the consumer hair and beauty website I founded more than 25 years ago, in early 1997.
Eventually, she discovered all the other hair and beauty sites I'd been involved in, extending back to the mid-1990s.
After religiously following a strict weight loss program for the past year, Andrea, who just turned 40, started experiencing major hair shedding.
She was horrified and shocked as huge chunks of hair fell out in her shower. It was even more upsetting when she ran her hands through her head to find them coated with called strands.
Even worse, when she was jogging in the morning, she said she left a trail of "flying hair" everywhere.
Andrea confessed to spending many hours reading all the blogs, articles, and related consumer hair information on Hairboutique.com.
She told me she "was amazed" when she read that I had battled various types of hair loss (Chronic and Persistent Telogen Effluvium, Traction Alopecia, and Androgenetic Alopecia) my entire life.
At that point, she desperately wanted my advice on how to stop her massive hair shedding. She told me she wanted any tips I was willing to share from my own lifelong hair loss journey.
My first piece of advice was to encourage Andrea to find a physician who specializes in female hair loss.
I explained that my own initial journey started with a dermatologist who referred me to an endocrinologist who partnered with my gynecologist to create a custom hair loss program for me,
Even though I suspected that Andrea might be suffering from delayed weight loss triggered Telogen Effluvium (TE), she had other hair loss issues.
Rapid hair loss commonly triggers TE which begins approximately 90 days after the weight loss begins.
She had just turned 40 and had two small children, I mentioned that there could also be potential hormone or thyroid issues swirled into her hair loss mix.
Andrea told me she was hesitant to go see any type of physician about her hair loss or to have any testing done.
Why? She was afraid they would tell her she was going permanently bald.
She told me that baldness ran on both sides of her family and that her maternal grandmother had lost most of her hair over time.
While I commiserated with Andrea regarding the hair loss traumas she was experiencing, I warned her that time was of the essence with her shedding.
It took a lot of trial and error for my various physicians to figure out the triggers for my various hair loss experiences. Eventually, they successfully addressed them with an array of medications and treatments.
It's critical to get a baseline diagnosis so that you can make good decisions on your short and long-term hair loss management programs.
Unfortunately, so many factors may be at play with a hair loss condition that it takes a highly skilled team to piece all the triggers, causes, or underlying physical issues together.
I was taking Spironolactone (Aldactone) years before other doctors were prescribing it off-label for women's hair loss.
Even though I was fortunate to find a physician who could help me with my hair loss challenges so many years ago, I realized that I was responsible for gathering as much of my own knowledge as possible.
Knowledge really is the power to make the very best decisions for dealing with your own hair loss issues.
A compounding pharmacist worked with me for customized hair loss topicals. Additionally, I was taking carefully blended thyroid medications, plus an array of hormone creams.
My nutritionist had me eating Nori seaweed for my roots. I was doing yoga, visiting an acupuncturist and a rolfer to balance my body.
Heeding my request, my hypnotherapist experimented with me on self-hypnosis for hair growth.
I alternated my self-hypnosis tapes with regular daily meditations.
My homeopathic physician gave me Bach Flower essences and remedies. An aromatherapist gave me scalp massages with customized essential oil mixtures. I also sucked down lots of supplements and herbs, which I had my doubts about.
While my kitchen sink approach is not appropriate for most sane, busy people, I'm always willing to be a human test subject for hair and hair loss-related issues.
My shedding eventually stopped, and my hair regrew back to most of its original thickness.
It was never exactly the same again, but it was stable for a while until age caught up with me.
Then I started to have a different type of thinning related to women's androgentic alopecia. That's another story for another day.
After 25 years of writing for Hairboutique.com, 10 1/2 writing on Quora (108+ million views), and as an editor for multiple women's magazines, I will be writing about hair topics until the day I leave this planet. Or lose my mind, whichever comes first.
I will also continue to research, dig, ponder and experiment with consumer hair and hair loss issues.
There are still so many things we don't really know yet or completely understand about the hair and hair loss worlds.
Although I got Andrea started on her own hair loss fact-finding and medication journey, she is just at the tip of the iceberg.
Let me take a moment to thank all of you who continue to stop by and read my blogs, articles, and musings after all these years.
I appreciate each and every one of you.Best wishes to all.
Please follow us on Twitter at: https://Twitter.com/HairBoutique. I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.