I'm 24 and I noticed my hair loss in April of 2010. It's funny because I began noticing days after a haircut in which I had my hair "shredded" (thinned out) because it was so damn thick that I couldn't really style it. My barber said "if i do this you'll notice some hair coming out for a while." He didn't specify if it were cut hair or telogen hairs that would be falling out. Regardless, I started noticing.
I was pretty certain it was telogen effluvium because I'd lost my job, interviewed and got a new one, had a minor health scare, lost 25 lbs (practically all my body fat), changed my diet, and went through a particularly stressful breakup with my girlfriend of two years.
By the time I realized "Oh crap, if this isn't TE and it's MPB I need to start doing something about it before it's too late" (that was after denial/hoping I was just being paranoid about the hair loss) I got a doctors appointment, got referred to a terrible derm who did one hair pull test and said "it's TE, just wait a month or two and it should go away." Finally I saw a more respectable derm last week who basically said "probably MPB, start some Rogaine, take these vitamins (Biotin, Folic Acid), and come back in two months to see about Propecia etc."
So I used liquid Minox 5% for the first time today and plan to keep using it. I'd love to believe I have TE. I have no receding hairline(yet), thinner spots above and a little set back from my ears, and I can see some thinning on the top of my head. What still keeps my hopes about TE (sucks to not know) is that I have definite diffuse hair loss all the way to my neck hairline. I can pluck 2-4 telogen hairs with a mild squeeze and tug. The thinner spots on my head were naturally thinner when I had a full head of hair, so logically they look thinner now. Still, I don't want to be a fool and let the MPB (potential, but likely) get too far.
My question is, how can I ever know if it is really just TE if I start Minox and even Propecia in the next couple of months? I don't want to be using these meds and spending $$$ for the next 10 years without being sure. I'm hoping that if it is TE, the Minox will get all my hair back on a regular growth cycle... but then what? Stop and hope it doesn't all shed? I had plenty of "triggers" for TE, which are mostly resolved, so there should be an end to it (aka not chronic TE)... but I can't wait to find out that I'm wrong and get more months behind on MPB.
What do you all think? I'm dying for some thoughtful advise.