It’s not so secret that not all?of these blonde locks are mine. Since I?ve outed myself (and also recently wrote about my hair loss journey in Women’s Health), I?ve received many questions about my extensions?how I wear them, how I conceal them, and general hair health. After all of the excitement from this past week’s photo shoot for our next journey?our life-changing app?and thanks to Chrissy?(who killed it with?all of the photo shoot hair looks), I wanted to share a list of my hair care favorites, my hair loss story, plus some behind-the-scenes photos from our Transform App shoot.
Why such premature hair loss? Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with too-low calories (as many have guessed). I’ve been cycling between 2200-2600 calories for nearly 2 years now. That’s def not the problem. My sweet friend, Carly, at the National Hair Loss Association, enlightened me on the subject. Apparently, all of the stress I’ve encountered over the last 5 years (my dad’s death, pregnancy and childbirth, 4 kidney surgeries, umbilical hernia surgery, and sleepless nights in general as a really busy working mom) have, in essence, kick-started me into my not-so-lucky genetic destiny.
NOTE: If you are noticing SHEDDING, you are not going bald! This is just your hair going through the natural stages. We shed nearly 100 hairs a day! You know you need to worry when you notice your hairs shriveling up and “dying”?getting finer, thinner, and more brittle. If you notice it in the midline part, front sides of your hair, and the crown, these are signs of Androgenetic Alopecia. Here’s a look at one of my before and after photos during this work in progress.
While there isn’t a way (at this time, at least) to REGROW my hair that’s been lost, there are tools to help stop hair loss dead in its tracks. And there are ways to cover it while the damage is being repaired. Here are a few of the tools I am using:
- Capillus 272 Laser Cap: It’s beaming lasers into my scalp as I type this! #NoShame The medical-grade lasers are supposed to dilate the shriveled up “anorexic” vessels in my scalp to make them obese again! The one time obesity is a good thing. 😉 Apparently, over time, those vessels that once fed my hair follicles are now smaller and further away from the surface of my head…making it much tougher for the hair follicle to receive nutrition. With the lasers essentially FORCING my vessels open, my hairs can finally be fed again! I use this 4 nights a week, 30 minutes each session…RELIGIOUSLY. (And here’s a less expensive option too!).
- Monat Revive Shampoo and Monat Revitalize Conditioner: This sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner combo is loaded with the right ingredients to treat your “weak” scalp and volumize your hair. I use these products on my real hair, then Inphenom Hair Treatment Shampoo and Conditioner on my extensions every time I wash. It’s much thicker, heavier, and more nourishing for the natural beaded rows.
- Monat Intense Repair Treatment: This spray-in treatment?has a cocktail of peptides and essential oils that are supposed to stimulate the scalp and encourage growth. I use this at night before bed or right before the laser cap.
- Anuva Scalp Vitalizing Complex: These are liquid vitamins that I use right after I wash my hair. To be honest, I don’t know how effective it is, but I figure it can’t hurt at this point, and I might as well add it to the line up of products!
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections: In short, PRP is where they draw your blood, spin it, and inject just the platelet-rich plasma back into the affected areas. Many people with injuries have this done to help heal the affected areas quickly. We are trying to heal and bring attention to my scalp. It’s basically a nice little boost, but it’s only effective when combined with the laser treatment above on a regular basis.?I have NOT done this yet, but I am scheduled for my first appointment on March 17th. I will post about it!
Now let’s talk about how we can hide signs of hair loss until these products start kicking in:
- Extensions: Options range from clip-ins, to halo, to natural beaded rows. All of them have their pros and cons.?If you don’t need/want long hair every day, go with the clip-ins or halo. Halo is the least damaging, but not so inconspicuous in my opinion. For every day, I would opt for natural beaded rows over clip-ins, as the clips will actually create balding spots when used over long periods of time. NBRs are much less damaging. Go see Chrissy?she’ll hook you up no matter which route you want to go!
- Hair Dusting Fibers😕This “sprinkle in” powder will help hide areas of your scalp that your hair won’t cover by dusting it with colored fibers.
- Style Edit Root Touch-Up: Similar to the hair fibers, this will cover up balding spots by coloring your scalp to match your hair, but it’s better on the hairline than the fibers mentioned above.
Whew! That’s a lot. But regardless of all I mentioned above, THE most important piece of my hair care regime is…drumroll… knowing that with or without hair, I am still beautiful and feminine. It’s hard to believe in my moments of weakness and insecurity, but I have to remind myself of this daily. As a woman, it’s hard to separate?the two?hair and beauty. But the reality is that kindness, positive intentions, love, confidence, and owning all of the good that you are is what makes you beautiful and feminine. <3
Even still, a good hair day is Always. Worth. Celebrating. 🙂
Please share your hair care secrets below…balding or not!
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I too have suffered and still am suffering from hair loss. I lost a whole lot of it after my last child who is now 6. I have tried the fibres that you sprinkle on your scalp but got seriously embarrassed when I went for a massage and left my fibres on the white sheet that my head rested on. The poor lady thought my head was that dirty! I then went to a clip on wig. The clips caused me to have bald spots where the clips would rest. I now am hoping one day for a total hair make over with extensions but have yet to come across someone that would do this. I literally want to be able to walk in and say “do me” and have them pick out, color, cut and style professionally. I have a thin crown so I am not sure extensions would even work. I would love to have nice looking hair. My hair does bring me down.
I love the fact that you are absolutely honest. I am working out to make sure I reach the ideal BMI ratio. I am overweight at the minute, I was obese at some point. One thing, I notice when I hit the gym regularly is the fact that I loose hair. I realised that I hadn’t given much importance to hair care along the process. I started taking biotin tablets once every day and vitamin E oil for my scalp and dry ends. It helps, now knowing these tips will help me more. Thank you so much for being you and being an inspiration for my weight loss journey.
I opt for the keratin bonded extensions. As a teenager I went thru chemo and lost ALL MY HAIR! I get it – it is the one thing that makes me feel feminine. My hats off to any woman who rocks a pixie cut or even baldness – but “having been there, done that” I choose extensions to complete my look.
Thanks for your honesty!
I have the same extensions. How often do you have yours redone? I thought I would got 6 months. My hair never would grow. Now with the extentions my hair grows fast.
Thank you for sharing Heidi! It’s nice to know I’m not alone! I’ve never felt worse about myself! Always struggled with my weight and now loosing all my hair ? The fact that I just had twins has helped my hair! I’ve never felt worse about myself! I am going to have to try some of these products! Thank you so much for sharing! You’re such an inspiration! Do you use the dust fibers and the color spray?
Hello! Thank you for your tips and honest text! I totally understand you and feel you. I have been experiencing heavy hair loss myself, I haven?t been diagnesed in detail, but the doctor said it could be alopecia. I was really self concius about it for a while. I?m sure that it was caused by the huge amount of stress that I had due to work and school. But fortunately I somehow managed to stop the balding. The true is that I started to focused on my diet and supplimentations because I am trying to get pregnant. Unfrotunately I haven?t been blessed with that yet but the hair loss have stopped. True is that I eat only organic whole foods, no additives, no suget, no floor, I eat tuns of suppliments (organic mostly as well :-)) Suppliments very from chinese herbs, classic herbs for pregnancy, fish oil, royal jelly, folic acid. And i also stopped focusing on my hair instead I focus on pregnancy 🙂 Greetings from Prague 🙂
I’m 36 , my hair has been thinning for years and my sister and mom barely have any hair. ?
I started using Monat products last year and it’s helped but my hair is still so thin. I wish I could post a picture for you too see it before verses now.
The Drs and dermatologist both say mine is androgenic alopecia since my mom and sister both have it also. Oh well, glad my hair doesn’t define me inside ??
Rebecca, The laser cap is the key to restoring hair. I too am working with NHLA and they have been awesome. I highly recommend reaching out to them for help.
Wow! Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your story!! Those that criticize have NO idea how painful this is. I started losing my hair at 18! Just on the top. It is devastating. I had 2 hair transplants about 8-9 years ago and for a brief time, 4-5 years, it was so nice to feel beautiful and feminine again. I’ve started losing it again.
It’s is a painful thing to go through. I had no idea how depressed I was about the hair loss until those brief years, i was so happy then. I try to not think about it and accept it but it’s a hard thing to know that you keep losing it.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Thanks for sharing your story. I also have been loosing my hair. I am currently using the Monat products and as I have not seen any growth I have noticed my hair hasn’t been falling out. So that’s a plus. I don’t have the means to use the other items you listed but glad they make you feel better about yourself. Hopefully we both will not go BALD! lol
All my best, Sharon
In your case, you seems pretty sure that your hair loss is genetic, but as experts in body transformation, did you and/or Chris ever witness Telogen effluvium in your participants journey? I started to loose hair when I lost a big amount of weight and was diagnosed with this ”temporary hair loss” by a dermatologist. They said that around 40 years old, shocking my metabolism (weight loss by eating 5 smaller meals a day) could cause Telogen Effluvium and that it would grow back. I have also noticed an hormonal change during that period of weight loss (shorter cycle) This had me kind of stop all weight loss progress for several years… I stopped loosing hair, but the full thickness never came back. Now I’m back to finalize my transformation journey and I’m pretty scared of loosing hair again. I even had them cut shorter because it looks thicker that way and it avoids the pulling of the eternal pony tail when working out! I heard on a Quebec weight loss tv show that it happens to most woman on a substantial weight loss program… I would like to know if you have witness this during your years of experience with huge weight loss and if so, maybe share some of your participant stories and how they overcame this temporary situation.
Thank you for sharing your hair secrets!
thank u Heidi so much for covering this issue. My hair started thinning as a teenager and after testing the doctors chalked it up to genetics. I tried rogaine when it was still an actual prescription! It caused me to get little light facial hair! Anyway, hollywood makes us women look as if we should all have long luxurious locks and so often that is not the reality. Almost all female celebs have extentions for thickening etc. Dolly Parton wears wigs and has been open about it for decades; so thats refreshing. Also, I was watching an episode of “Grace and Frankie” on netflix and there’s a scene where Jane Fonda is at her vanity table taking off her hair pieces! I was actually glad that they showed that! Anyway, thank u for your tips and for deciding to be open about this issue. Plus, I agree that as a woman it does suck to be balding!
oh I do have one question: since most female patterned baldness is on our crown have u discovered any hair extensions that we can use even with a very thin crown of hair?