Rapid Norwood Progression In Female

Bluelilac

Established Member
My Regimen
Female here. I started shedding and balding in a Norwood pattern, which became a major noticeable issue this time last year. Around this time one year ago I had a feminine hairline, just noticed increased excessive shedding. Now I’m a full on Norwood 2 or 3 with diffuse loss as well. This seems incredibly fast. Anyone here move from no visible hair loss to a Norwood 3 in just one year? Doesn’t help that I’m a woman and just keep hearing over and over that “females don’t lose their hairline” from doctors and hair loss medical sites. Well, this one did. Also my entire sides have receded with vellus hairs left in replace, I’m assuming this means I’m doomed to become an advanced Norwood, like a 7? Is this DUPA? My center part is still intact though.

In a weird way I am semi-grateful the pattern is going this way, all underneath, and not classic female Ludwig, as I am able to hide it with long hair, bangs, and extensions for the time being. I’m just dreading the day when these don’t work and I progress. I have been on spironolactone for a year with no improvement, topical minoxidil for 7 months with no improvement, and just picked up a prescription for oral minoxidil. Worried to start it as I heard many women get a bad shed and it didn’t end up working for them and nothing grew back.

I’ve attached photos of how my hair looks when I pull it back and underneath and how it looks when my hair is down. My hair when styled and with the tape in extensions looks totally fine to me and I would be ecstatic if I could keep it at this state for as long as possible, but how do I do this?? :(

Is it normal for balding to progress this rapidly? Female hairline to this in just one year? Would you say this is a Norwood 3? Does anyone ever hit a Norwood 3 and just stop there? Or does balding always progress with time?
 

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JonnyGo

Established Member
My Regimen
It looks a lot like my hair loss pattern and I’m a guy. My entire sides are thinning up until the temples but the center is like almost perftect. Have you been to a dermatologist? If so, what did he/she say?
 

onceuponatime

Member
My Regimen
Female here. I started shedding and balding in a Norwood pattern, which became a major noticeable issue this time last year. Around this time one year ago I had a feminine hairline, just noticed increased excessive shedding. Now I’m a full on Norwood 2 or 3 with diffuse loss as well. This seems incredibly fast. Anyone here move from no visible hair loss to a Norwood 3 in just one year? Doesn’t help that I’m a woman and just keep hearing over and over that “females don’t lose their hairline” from doctors and hair loss medical sites. Well, this one did. Also my entire sides have receded with vellus hairs left in replace, I’m assuming this means I’m doomed to become an advanced Norwood, like a 7? Is this DUPA? My center part is still intact though.

In a weird way I am semi-grateful the pattern is going this way, all underneath, and not classic female Ludwig, as I am able to hide it with long hair, bangs, and extensions for the time being. I’m just dreading the day when these don’t work and I progress. I have been on spironolactone for a year with no improvement, topical minoxidil for 7 months with no improvement, and just picked up a prescription for oral minoxidil. Worried to start it as I heard many women get a bad shed and it didn’t end up working for them and nothing grew back.

I’ve attached photos of how my hair looks when I pull it back and underneath and how it looks when my hair is down. My hair when styled and with the tape in extensions looks totally fine to me and I would be ecstatic if I could keep it at this state for as long as possible, but how do I do this?? :(

Is it normal for balding to progress this rapidly? Female hairline to this in just one year? Would you say this is a Norwood 3? Does anyone ever hit a Norwood 3 and just stop there? Or does balding always progress with time?

You'll probably get more/better replies on the woman hair loss section https://www.hairlosstalk.com/interact/forums/womens-general-hair-loss-discussions.15/
 

Bluelilac

Established Member
My Regimen
It looks a lot like my hair loss pattern and I’m a guy. My entire sides are thinning up until the temples but the center is like almost perftect. Have you been to a dermatologist? If so, what did he/she say?

I’ve seen two hair loss specialists. The first was when this all started about a year ago. He looked at me and told me to keep on the spironolactone and come back in X amount of time. I was having a massive shed at the time, so I do know I had Telogen Effluvium which I believe was due to a high fever I had a couple months before the shed started. I also have some strange hormonal imbalances, not classic pcos as I have normal androgens and low DHT even, but I do deal with high cortisol and prolactin. The derm told me the shed was probably linked to the fever and issues with cortisol.

My shedding stopped for almost five months and I thought I was getting regrowth, but my shed started again last month and I lost all my regrowth and now I’m diffusely thinning even in the back by my nape and in the “donor zone”. I went back to the hair loss derm and he looked at my hair and said “definitely not genetic hair loss”. I’m skeptical though as feel like when you’re a woman presenting with a receding hairline and thinning in the temple area they are quick to say Telogen Effluvium because they just look for the Ludwig pattern in women. And when I wear my hair down and styled it looks normal, and I think doctors hate listening to women whine about their hair. He probably figured I would have a decent amount of hair for a while before it got really bad and he maybe didn’t want to stress me out?

I went to another hair loss derm back in January and she said she also thinks it’s related to my cortisol issues, told me I should see her friend who is an neuroendocrinologist but I’ve already seen two who ruled out a pituitary tumor. She said it could be mild Androgenetic Alopecia or Telogen Effluvium. I went back again to ask for oral minoxidil and she gave it to me. She said I may be one of those people who struggle with CTE. She said she sees a ton of regrowth on my head but she also noted I do have some slight miniaturization. She said she looks at people’s scalps everyday and everyone has a degree of miniaturization. I have a slight amount and it could either be Telogen Effluvium unmasking Androgenetic Alopecia or speeding up the process or it’s just CTE and she claims CTE can cause weak thin intermediate hairs to grow in. I know that this well known hair loss dr, Dr. Jeff Donovan, disagrees with this. That CTE will not change the diameter of hair. I have no idea what to believe but assume I am just dealing with crap genes, DUPA mixed with Norwood pattern, and CTE caused by my whacked out hormones and speeding up the Androgenetic Alopecia. Sucks because no females in my family deal with this, immediate or extended.
 

stachu

Experienced Member
My Regimen
My girlfriend had the same situation. She receded to NW2 very quickly. But she has some hormonal unbalance problems. So i guess hit on blood tests. She diffused also a bit but seems she is growing it back after year.
 

Dutchie

Established Member
You should look into PRP injections.

If all else fails however most women are excellent candidates for hair transplants because you have lots of donor hair

Slide15.jpg


 

itchymadscalp

Banned
My Regimen
You don't have other symptoms ? Like having too much body hair ?
You don't have itchy scalp ? No skin issues ?

Everything is ok with your vitamin d ? iron ? tsh ? b12 ?

You're still attractive btw (#nostraight)
 

Bluelilac

Established Member
My Regimen
My girlfriend had the same situation. She receded to NW2 very quickly. But she has some hormonal unbalance problems. So i guess hit on blood tests. She diffused also a bit but seems she is growing it back after year.

I’m glad to hear your gf’s hair is growing back in now, I hope I can be as lucky! I don’t have high androgens but I do have high cortisol and prolactin so I honestly think there is a link, especially since I have some other unpleasant symptoms going on and no women in my immediate or extended family have hair loss like this. Although I know that really doesn’t matter and I could very well just have Androgenetic Alopecia due to genetic factors.
 

Bluelilac

Established Member
My Regimen
You don't have other symptoms ? Like having too much body hair ?
You don't have itchy scalp ? No skin issues ?

Everything is ok with your vitamin d ? iron ? tsh ? b12 ?

You're still attractive btw (#nostraight)

I do have other symptoms but get nowhere with doctors and endos once they realize my issues can’t be solved with a pill or surgery. My vitamin D is good, B vitamins are actually too high, most likely due to taking hair growth supplements with biotin, b12 and MSM. Iron and ferritin good, just checked it the other week for a third time. Thyroid panels always normal. Androgens normal. It’s gotten to the point where I order my own labs now because I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on with no real help from the doctors anymore. No skin issues and no issues with hirsutism in the classic sense but I did start sprouting more vellus hair all over my body and this is before rogaine use. So it’s like a layer of long peach fuzz everywhere! Yet I never had that before. I don’t meet the full Rotterdam criteria for a PCOS diagnosis so that was taken off the table by my new endo, but I have the metabolic issues with insulin resistance and fluctuating blood sugars which came as a total shock to me when I failed an OGTT. I was found to have high cortisol and prolactin, but have seen endos at two pituitary clinics and had pituitary and adrenal tumors ruled out. They were checking for Cushing’s, but I don’t fully meet that criteria either. I have a long list of strange symptoms that I’ve dealt with for a few years, it all feels very hormonal in nature. Muscle fatigue, bone pain on and off, headaches, low energy and fatigue, sleep issues, hot flashes, low sex drive, mood swings, my crazy weird fluctuating high blood sugar and low blood sugar, which I’ve been told is linked to my high cortisol and I believe it because I can have normal blood sugar eating a piece of candy one day and the next have diabetic readings eating the same piece of candy. Makes zero sense and my a1c is perfect at 4.6 and fasting insulin and glucose is normal and sometimes low! I mostly stick to a low carb diet now as I have no idea what my blood sugar will do.

I think I must have some form of like atypical adrenal pcos or something and it’s due to excess cortisol. Or I have one screwed up HPA axis. It’s hard to accept this isn’t part of a larger health issue when I have these strange symptoms going on but who even knows anymore. I probably just have classic Androgenetic Alopecia, I’m just shocked it’s happening so fast and in a male pattern with “normal” androgens.

Thanks for the compliment! I’m trying to enjoy my hair as much as I can for as long as it still looks presentable. Really dreading having to wear a wig or something, ugh. Not looking forward to dating in wigs. Hoping it never reaches that point but it just keeps happening so fast. Just now I got out of the shower and in the shower alone I lost 103 hairs. Yes, I counted, haha.
 

Bluelilac

Established Member
My Regimen
You should look into PRP injections.

If all else fails however most women are excellent candidates for hair transplants because you have lots of donor hair

View attachment 114046


One of the hair loss derms I saw does hair transplants and I wanted one when I went the first time and he told me I’m not at that stage yet haha. I feel like I am now though! I’m worried I can’t have a successful one as I’m thinning diffusely now. My nape and back started to thin out recently. I feel like my entire head is going through miniaturization. I shed these really thin sickly looking hairs from all over and the back of my scalp feels just like how my sides did when this all started. I hope this isn’t the case as a transplant was my backup plan if I couldn’t reverse this.

I thought about PRP, but I’m worried because I’ve read some women complain that it caused them to shed more hair and worsened their Telogen Effluvium and didn’t work on top of it. I’m still probably willing to try it, just worried.
 

itchymadscalp

Banned
My Regimen
@Bluelilac : You can try supplements to lower your prolactin (like Vitex), for Pcos ... even if you dont have it officially you can try Berberine. Or least look into that. But maybe it could make things worse, I really don't know. For cortisol : black chocolate and green tea ?
That's weird I have the same symptoms ... same hair loss, except my hair on the top are very dry. I also have headaches, bones and muscles pain, fatigue, ... And I have androgenic alopecia (and I'm under castration drugs, still losing even with very low testosterone).

Have you considered to take finasteride ? Or something stronger than spironolactone ?

103 hairs in the shower, it's not too bad, but still obviously you're losing your hair.

Good luck.
 

Ikarus

Banned
My Regimen
This is a weird situation because your hair looks exactly how my sisters hair looked after she just gave birth (telogen effluvium, but her hair grew back and even thicker than before). Did the dermatologist do a biopsy on the hairs, and your scalp?

But honestly, if you did end up feeling as if you needed to wear a wig, you would work it. It's unbelievable how realistic looking wigs have become over the years. Here's an e.g.


 

Armando Jose

Senior Member
My Regimen
Hi BkueLilac
Sorry hear your case, best of luck
But You are no affected by common hair loss or androgenetic alopecia, the pattern is diferent. Yours sides are affected as a diffusse alopecia.
have you a before photo? Did you were diagnosed alopecia in a clinic? Also, meds as spironolactone or oral minoxidil can affect all scalp hair
Best luck
 

Bluelilac

Established Member
My Regimen
This is a weird situation because your hair looks exactly how my sisters hair looked after she just gave birth (telogen effluvium, but her hair grew back and even thicker than before). Did the dermatologist do a biopsy on the hairs, and your scalp?

But honestly, if you did end up feeling as if you needed to wear a wig, you would work it. It's unbelievable how realistic looking wigs have become over the years. Here's an e.g.



I also have thought that over the last few months, my hair looks just like postpartum hair loss...but I have no baby to show for it lol I never had a biopsy but I was told it could be either chronic telogen effluvium or Androgenetic Alopecia or both. It got noticeably bad last year when I had a massive shed that lasted 6 months where I was losing 300+ hairs a day. It stopped for five months and I had zero shedding but now it’s starting up again. I kept telling people it seemed my hair was thinning for a couple years prior to the big shed, but no one believed me because it was only noticeable to me. I feel like it’s a case of CTE and possibly DUPA? Or CTE that sped up my Androgenetic Alopecia that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed until I was much older. Maybe?
 

Dutchie

Established Member
To me it looks like Androgenetic Alopecia.

I'm not an expert though, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night
 

Ikarus

Banned
My Regimen
I also have thought that over the last few months, my hair looks just like postpartum hair loss...but I have no baby to show for it lol I never had a biopsy but I was told it could be either chronic telogen effluvium or Androgenetic Alopecia or both. It got noticeably bad last year when I had a massive shed that lasted 6 months where I was losing 300+ hairs a day. It stopped for five months and I had zero shedding but now it’s starting up again. I kept telling people it seemed my hair was thinning for a couple years prior to the big shed, but no one believed me because it was only noticeable to me. I feel like it’s a case of CTE and possibly DUPA? Or CTE that sped up my Androgenetic Alopecia that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed until I was much older. Maybe?

Honestly, I don't think it's androgenic alopecia. I honestly do highly recommend that you do get a biopsy because it could be anything; it could potentially be androgenic, it could be Telogen Effluvium / CTE, it could even be a form of alopecia areata.

What about your eating habits?
 
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