My Alopecia Areata Experience

Hi all,

I am 25yrs old & just started losing hair 6 months ago. My younger sister discovered my first bald spot in June 2012 while she was helping me style my hair. She said: " Umm, you have a bald spot!" I said: "What? No I don't!" And I completely disregarded her comment, & it didn't cross my mind again for another 2 weeks. Then one day I was styling my own hair, & I saw the bald spot for myself. It was about the size of an Australian 50 cent piece, and it sat to the left of my crown, so I had to look down in the mirror to be able to see it. It was really a massive shock & I couldn't believe I could have lost that much hair & not realised?! ( I have always had very long hair. ) I called my dad & I cried, he came home from work just to look at it and told me that it is probably stress and/or hormone related. I've had a very emotional/stressful year.

I was in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend who lives in New York, & there was a lot of stress/nerves leading up to going and visiting him in May 2012 for 4 weeks. I wasn't sure if I had scratched the hair out or if it had just fallen out. But I had had a severely itchy scalp prior to finding this spot. I remember exactly where I was when the itching began, I was sitting on the airplane on my way from Australia to Los Angeles. My scalp was all of a sudden EXTREMELY itchy & I remember thinking that I must of had head lice. I remember thinking where on earth I would have got headlice from at my age, having not really been around any young children of late. I also remember thinking how embarrassing it was going to be to ask my boyfriend to check my head for headlice when I got there!! So my head continued to be itchy for my entire 4wk trip. I had my boyfriend check my head for headlice on many occasions & he told me there was nothing at all there. Not even dandruff or any signs of a dry scalp. One spot was more itchy, more often, than the rest of my head, & that spot was now the spot that was bald.

I had my family monitor my bald spot over the coming weeks, & we noticed tiny hairs growing back on the spot so I didn't see a doctor or anything because we assumed it was a one-off reaction to my extreme sadness/stress when I had to leave my boyfriend to return to Australia. 3 months later, I had my back to my sister, & she told me she could see another bald spot. I said: "WHAT!!!!" and I burst into tears. This time I felt really really really depressed. My original spot was still quite bald so now I had two to worry about. This second spot was at the back of my head in the centre, and was also about the size of an Australian 50 cent piece. After discovering this second spot, my entire head was extremely itchy. Especially the back of my head, towards the bottom where this spot was, and all around it.

I went to the doctor, he mentioned Alopecia Areata, and sent me for some blood tests to check my iron levels etc. He also took me off the contraceptive pill which I had just started taking prior to going to New York. He said the hair loss could possibly be caused from the change in hormones because of the pill, or that maybe that pill wasn't agreeing with me. When my bloods came back, everything was fine. I was healthy, my sugars were lower than average which was good, my cholesterol was lower than average which was good, but my iron was also a little bit low, however the doctor wasn't concerned about it. He tried to send me away then, but I told him that none of that solved the problem of my head being extremelyyyyy itchy to the point that it was driving me crazy. So he gave me a topical ointment called 'Elocon' to apply to my scalp every night. It is used to treat inflammation and itching due to allergic reaction. It was a teeny tiny bottle and I remember thinking how ridiculous it was going to be to try and cover my scalp in this liquid every single night. It was a time-consuming process, my sister had to apply it for me every night and this involved parting my hair in lines, and rubbing the liquid into my scalp. The itching subsided a little bit, but then I missed one night of applying the lotion because my sister wasn't home, and the itching came back which meant it wasn't treating the problem, only relieving it. So I gave up on that.

I went to a different doctor next, who scraped my scalp to rule out a fungal infection, when the results came back, there was no sign of a fungal infection so the doctor really didn't have any answers, and referred me to a dermatologist which I never went to see. The second spot at the back of my head grew rapidly. It easily quadrupled in size over two weeks. :-( I never had a problem covering the first spot, but this second patch was/is really really hard. At the end of September I went to see a herbalist/naturopath. By now I had the original spot which was growing a tiny bit of hair, the huge patch at the back, and a new spot, smaller than the other two, that was situated directly opposite where my first spot was ( top of my head, to the right of my crown.) I had an hour long consultation with her, she said the fact that I have had Asthma since I was a toddler, and the fact that I suffer from hayfever as well means that my immune system is already compromised, and that it wouldn't take much to tip my immune system that little bit further, and cause hair loss. She said my immune system was attacking my hair follicles. Just like everyone else on this forum has mentioned, she put it down to stress and hormone imbalances, possibly tipped over the edge when I started on that new contraceptive pill. She mixed me up a herbal mixture, and also gave me iron tablets. She also informed me that this would not be an immediate fix for my Alopecia. She said natural remedies are an on-going thing and may take years to do their job. This was disheartening but I stuck with it anyhow.

My first month on the herbs was very interesting. After the full month, my scalp was rarely ever itchy anymore. Which was great because I really thought the hair was falling out as a result of me scratching a lot. I also noticed other changes in my body as a result of the herbs sorting out imbalances in my body and hormones. For one day in that first month, I had an insane sense of smell. The most common smells smelt soooo strong to me & were making me feel sick and throw up. I was also having hot/cold flushes which was very weird. I noted all these things down & the herbalist found it all very interesting to hear and explained that my body is like a messy room, and the herbs are working at sorting out the mess & putting things where they belong, and that all these experiences I had been having were my body's reaction to the herbs doing their job. :-)

I have been taking the herbs now for almost 3 months, and while my head is hardly itchy anymore, it occasionally still does get itchy, especially in already bald spots. My hair is fully grown back on my original spot, it is about 3-4cm's long & sticks up out of the rest of my hair like a bloody mohawk. lol. My second (largest) patch has hair about the same length in the centre only, still waiting patiently for some decent hair to grow on that patch as it is the hardest one to cover on a daily basis. I should say that all that new hair is growing back in my natural colour. (dark brown) But the 3rd spot has started growing back in a blonde colour.... So that is interesting. I'll see what happens with that as it gets longer. I might get natural foils! lol. I have 3 other small spots that have come about in the past 1.5 months, despite taking the herbs. They are however, much smaller than any of the other ones. No bigger than the size of an Australian 5 cent piece. So that is a plus, because they are quite easy to cover.

Overall, I've noticed that all of my hair is thinning, I used to have a reasonably thick ponytail & now it really can't be classed as thick at all which really upsets me. :-( I don't really know what to expect in the future, just like everyone else on here, I am worried about losing all my hair, or losing so much that I cannot cover it up anymore. One thing other people might be interested in looking into, is an Alopecia masking lotion that I purchased online. You can buy it in most hair colours, it is just a coloured paint that you can mask your bald spots with. It works really well. I paid AUD$50 for a small tube of it, but a little goes a very long way. :-)

I'm happy to have found this site, nice to be able to share my story & I'm very interested in talking to anyone else who is dealing with Alopecia.

Morgan -x-

ilovepurple87 ilovepurple87
22-25, F
3 Responses Dec 14, 2012

Hey, I too suffer from Alopecia Areata and half on my hair (bottom half) is gone. I have tried a lot of things including the elocon lotion. What herbs did you use? When the doctor put me on iron tablets they made me feel really sick, did they do that to you? I stopped taking them because of it but I might try again.
Thanks very much xx

similar case, I typed up my story but it deleted :( but reading yours was very enjoyable.

Hi. I am experiencing the something can you tell me which herbs and vitamins I could take?

same thing*