Telogen Effluvium and hair loss

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6/26/13 EDIT:

I went to the dermatologist finally and he studied my scalp. He said that most likely the thinning was caused by a stressful event from a project I underwent 3 months prior to the start of the thinning. This can happen and is called telogen effluvium. For whatever reason the cowashing may have been exacerbating the shedding, which decreased radically after I stopped cowashing.

Bottom line is if you think your hair is shedding excessively or thinning, you should get yourself to the derm ASAP. If you think you're getting a negative reaction from anything you're doing or using, stop right away and consult your derm and/or your family doctor.



Below is a link to the thread I posted in General Discussion. I wanted to give you a heads up here in case you were starting to cowash and missed it. I'd appreciate it if you left comments on the original thread, so we don't have too many threads on the same thing.

Please please if you're starting to cowash keep an eye out on the density of your hair. Measure your ponytail before you start and keep measuring weekly. If the density decreases, please stop cowashing. I didn't really keep an eye out on the density and when I finally figured out the flatness of my hair wasn't only from styling and products but also from my hair THINNING, I had already lost a pretty good amount of hair. It's very noticeable now and I'm very sad about it. I wish I would have stopped earlier.

Please be careful. Though I realize this doesn't happen to everyone, it happened to me. If you search for "thinning, thin, cowashing" or other combinations you'll see other threads from other curlies experiencing the same thing. Please learn from my mistake.

Based on my experience I couldn't recommend co-washing. (Low-poos on the other hand have given me no problem). If you proceed to cowash, please proceed with caution. Take good care of your hair.

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...g-my-hair.html

Last edited by PomegranateCurl; 04-01-2014 at 06:16 AM.
Sorry to read this. Same thing is known to happen to susceptible individuals with sulphate surfactant shampoos, experts believe that is due to inflammation at the follicular level and I do wonder if you are experiencing a similar effect as you admit to being rather enthusiastic. Of the people I have read about experiencing this phenomena, a good number have pre-existing scalp and/ or other inflammatory health conditions.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Wow. I read that co washing can thin the hair if you don't thoroughly clean your scalp by starting out by vigorously massaging your scalp in the first wash. Then rinse that out the cleanse again with a slower scalp massage & rinse again. By doing this you keep the hair follicles stimulated. But if not, you can experience hair loss. I read this on live curly live free.
Samanthascurlz likes this.
I am sorry this happened to you as well. However, co-washing has allowed my hair to thrive. My hair actually looks denser. I hope you what works for you.

texture - medium/fine, porosity - low/normal, elasticity - normal
co-wash - NaturelleGrow Coconut Water or Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm Bark & Blue Malva Cleansing Conditioners
LI - KCKT mixed w/ SM C & H Curl & Style Milk
DC - NG Mango & Coconut H2O or Chamomile/Brdck Root
Gel - SM souffle (winter), KCCC (summer) or CR Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel (year round)
Sealers - Virgin Coconut Oil, Avocado butter, Aloe butter
Ayurvedic treatments - Jamila Henna, Sukesh, Aloe Vera Powder, Hibiscus Powder
.




This sucks, sorry you've lost hair!

this makes me paranoid. Just started co-washing 19 days ago and i have been measuring my ponytail diameter and its stayed consistant - but the amount of shedding in the shower is ridiculous. Even when i only have a day between detangles. It's just hard for me to think of any logical reason why omitting shampoo or moisturizing your hair cuticle would cause hair loss. I'll keep measuring my ponytail weekly.
Sorry you are having issues with thinning hair. It doesn't seem logical that washing with conditioner and massaging one's scalp would cause hair to fall out, but hey anything is possible!
I've been conditioner washing for many years now and it's made my hair so much healthier and happier. I have to fight hair thinning and dryness due to thyroid but my hair is still healthy thanks to CG.
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Aug 2014**
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I think it's important that anyone reading this knows that this is a very unusual situation, most people who co wash have no issues at all, and the op has not yet identified what it is about co washing that is causing this problem. It could therefore be something as simple as an ingredient in the product being used, rather than the fault of the process.

Of course, anyone changing any part of their routine should be aware and keep an eye on changes to their hair, but please don't let this put you off trying something that has such good effects for most.

Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using CurlTalk App
2C, Medium thickness, Low posity
Recovering from a year of keratin and bleach with CG

Routine

Low Poo, Condition, Leave in, Curl cream, Supersoak, Gel, Diffuse on high heat, with minimal lift to encourage waves and reduce frizz, Dry on cool with nozzle down to smooth hair and finish drying,Shine Serum

Weekly gelatin protien treatments.
Wow. I read that co washing can thin the hair if you don't thoroughly clean your scalp by starting out by vigorously massaging your scalp in the first wash. Then rinse that out the cleanse again with a slower scalp massage & rinse again. By doing this you keep the hair follicles stimulated. But if not, you can experience hair loss. I read this on live curly live free.
Originally Posted by curlicious13
Hi there. I think vigorous massaging may actually have been part of the problem. I was well aware that I had to massage vigorously in order to keep my scalp clean.

In the original thread I posted a link to a poster with a similar experience. Excessive Shedding: Could Co-Washing Be the Culprit? | hairscapades Basically the writer has deducted that cowashing softened her follicles too much, leading to excessive shedding in the cleansing and detangling process which led to thinner hair.

There's a high chance this is what is happening to me.

I've also been doing some research on waxing preparation. Though I've never waxed my (body) hair before, many sites suggest exfoliating and moisturizing before waxing.

"Softer hair follicles release hair more easily; to make your waxing experience both pleasant and productive try exfoliating and then moisturizing prior to the event. First, exfoliate the area you want to remove hair from, then smooth on some type of non-comedogenic (non-clogging) moisturizer to soften hair follicles and the surrounding skin."

Discovery Health "What's the best way to prepare skin for waxing?"

SO, it seems to fit in with Hairscapade's theory. I did have A LOT of shedding during cowashing but I didn't really think anything of it. I stopped cowashing and started low-pooing, and on my third low-poo I already noticed a SIGNIFICANT reduction in shedding during cleansing.

So it's very possible that my follicles were softened too much, and then combined with my vigorous massages, it caused excess shedding thus thinning out my hair.
rapunzel4ever and ashkins09 like this.
I think it's important that anyone reading this knows that this is a very unusual situation
Originally Posted by Yoshimi
My situation may not be in the majority but it is not singular. This is just a simple search on this site, not even going past page 3 of results:

Co-washing and thinning hair?

CG Method causing hair loss?

Hair falling out after CG?

Possible thinner hair from cg method????

I think CG made my hair fall out

hair feels thinner??

Obviously other curlies are reporting the same problem. I'm not saying the problem is caused by the same things... some could be not massaging enough, others massaging too much, others could have ingredient sensitivities, but thinning is being reported with a certain frequency.

I think of it like medications. If let's say 5% of people report a certain side effect of a medication, then that side effect must be included in the "possible side effects of this medication include" part of the information packet. Sure, 5% isn't the majority, and it may not happen to you, but 5% means it has been reported enough to be relevant.

I really wish I would have read a "possible side effect of cowashing is thinning hair" warning somewhere, anywhere before I started cowashing. Then I would have been keeping a closer eye on the density of my hair, and probably stopped before I lost as much as I did.

That's why I've started these threads. But honestly I think that these warnings should be in the CG Handbook itself, as well as the "Introduction to the no-poo method" sticky as well as all the Newbie stickies. It's easy to miss a thread if you don't know what you should be looking for.



As a side note: yes I know other curlies love co-washing and have done it without problems and yay happy I'm glad. But your good experience doesn't invalidate my bad experience. Though I may be in the minority, trust me, you don't want to be the one to end up with thinner hair. We're all here to make the best out of our hair and help it be the healthiest that it can be.

I've noticed that in a lot of the above threads commenters aren't always willing to listen to the OP or even believe that they could be having a bad experience, or immediately assume that the OP is doing something wrong. Just because co-washing has worked really well for the commenters doesn't mean the OPs aren't having problems with the cowashing method itself without user error.

Trust me, I'm not here on a tirade against CG. I've been sulfate-free and cone-free for at least 3 years without even knowing what CG was. I started getting into natural skin/hair as I thought it was a healthier alternative. Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database | Environmental Working Group When I discovered the CG method and co-washing, it seemed like a natural step ahead. And I loved how my hair and scalp felt while co-washing, soft, moisturized, no buildup, no itchies. But then I realized my hair was thinning and it all went down the drain... metaphorically and literally I guess.

Last edited by PomegranateCurl; 05-15-2013 at 01:33 AM.
My situation may not be in the majority but it is not singular. This is just a simple search on this site, not even going past page 3 of results:

Co-washing and thinning hair?

CG Method causing hair loss?

Hair falling out after CG?

Possible thinner hair from cg method????

I think CG made my hair fall out

hair feels thinner??

Obviously other curlies are reporting the same problem. I'm not saying the problem is caused by the same things... some could be not massaging enough, others massaging too much, others could have ingredient sensitivities, but thinning is being reported with a certain frequency.

I think of it like medications. If let's say 5% of people report a certain side effect of a medication, then that side effect must be included in the "possible side effects of this medication include" part of the information packet. Sure, 5% isn't the majority, and it may not happen to you, but 5% means it has been reported enough to be relevant.

I really wish I would have read a "possible side effect of cowashing is thinning hair" warning somewhere, anywhere before I started cowashing. Then I would have been keeping a closer eye on the density of my hair, and probably stopped before I lost as much as I did.

That's why I've started these threads. But honestly I think that these warnings should be in the CG Handbook itself, as well as the "Introduction to the no-poo method" sticky as well as all the Newbie stickies. It's easy to miss a thread if you don't know what you should be looking for.
Originally Posted by PomegranateCurl
Side effects of specific drugs are reported and end up in the leaflets when there is causation not merely correlation or coincidence. They don't count all deaths or all digestive disturbances regardless of the cause within that 5%, they pick their 'subjects' for the initial studies carefully to weed out other reasons (eg. alcohol, other medications, comorbidities), studies are double blind and there is a control group using a placebo. None of that is being done here.

You are wanting a report of something in the handbook that has not been studied, could be down to either technique or anyone one of numerous ingredients. It's like putting frightening health warnings on ALL foodstuffs about food allergies and sensitivities regardless of the ingredients, anyone can react to anything at any time it's up to us to be mindful. Most of us are shoving numerous chemicals onto and into our bodies on a daily basis with no understanding of what they are or how they interact.

I do think it's very valuable to have threads like your other one so the issue can be discussed, but the title of this one is scaremongering rather than informative. If you later discover you have a completely unrelated reason for your hair loss OR an allergy to a protein or plant extract in the conditioner you selected then how are you going to take back your WARNING about co-washing?
Curlini likes this.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
[QUOTE=Firefox7275;2170306]
I do think it's very valuable to have threads like your other one so the issue can be discussed, but the title of this one is scaremongering rather than informative. If you later discover you have a completely unrelated reason for your hair loss OR an allergy to a protein or plant extract in the conditioner you selected then how are you going to take back your WARNING about co-washing?
Originally Posted by PomegranateCurl
If this were the case, I would be EXTREMELY happy to go back to my original post, edit it and write at the top: "NEVERMIND Problem NOT caused by co-washing." Honestly I'd be jumping up for joy because that means a. I'd have found a cause a (probably) a solution to my problem and b. I could co-wash again which I would be pleased to do.
You are wanting a report of something in the handbook that has not been studied
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
Yes this is a problem. To my knowledge, co-washing has not been medically studied.
I just can't see how co-washing could cause hair thinning more than sulfate shampooing. I'd look at ingredients or health way before technique.
You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
I just can't see how co-washing could cause hair thinning more than sulfate shampooing. I'd look at ingredients or health way before technique.
Originally Posted by chupie
Softened roots (from overconditioned scalp) + vigorous massaging and detangling. This is a very logical possibility.
rapunzel4ever likes this.
I'm so sorry this happened to you. When I first tried to cowash my hair with Tresemme Naturals I hated it. I went months without doing it and I was having issues with the frizzies (extreme). Well that's when I discovered As I Am cowash. I started using that and got a 100% difference. I moved on from As I Am to Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp. My hair got more and more curly and less frizz. Now I use Naturelle Grow Ma ngo & Berry and Everyday Shea conditioner (I alternate them). I'm telling u this because what I discovered is that the reason why my hair hated cowashing is because of what I was using. IMO, Tresemme Naturals is not a conditioner I can cowash with having fine, low porosity hair. I have to have a conditioner/cowash that is formulated thin with LOTS of slip. I now cowash almost everyday with no issues with hair loss. When I don't cowash I wet my hair in the shower and put conditioner on it, let it sit while I wash my body, then rinse it out as the last step before I get out the shower. I shampoo my hair once a week with Kinky Curly Come Clean or Giovanni Triple Tea Tree shampoo. My hair has to have a clean palate once a week.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using CurlTalk App
PomegranateCurl likes this.

Last edited by GoldenBlaze; 05-19-2013 at 01:13 PM.
I've experimented with co-washing quite a few times (and I am again) and have never experienced hair loss. However when I tried Wen I immediately noticed WAY too much hair shed and my scalp felt sore. I looked online and was told that I was just doing it wrong or simultaneously developed a medical condition like maybe a severe vitamin deficiency (right after my first wen use-lol) so I gave it maybe two or three more tries but I kept losing hair and by day 5 my scalp was red and very sore (it felt like when you have your hair in a tight pony all day and then take it down). Anyway, I stopped using it and all of this stopped almost instantly. I'm 99% sure it was an ingredient sensitivity/allergy. So to those saying you don't understand how co-washing can cause hair loss, it definitely can, but it might not be the method of co-washing that has anything to do with it but rather the actual conditioner. To the OP-have you only been using one co-wash throughout this ordeal? Did you carefully check over the ingredient list? I'm not saying that an ingredient sensitivity is what you have, but it's certainly something to look into. Also I can see how if you're sensitive to an ingredient it would be much worse with co-washing since it is directly on your scalp, for a while, and you're massaging it in. If the same ingredient were in something like a gel, you might never even notice it. Anyway just my 2 cents. Sorry this happened to you though OP, I know how awful it is.
Just starting CG! 5-13

2A, fine, dense, high porosity, highlighted

low-poo: Leonor Greyl bain vitalisant b*
co-wash: CJ smoothing*
RO: ^, SS Caitlin's*
DT: CJ rehab
LI: CJ rehab
stylers: CJ CCCC*
oils: coconut


*experimenting
HG

loves: aloe, oils, esp. coconut
hates: acv, baking soda
on the fence about polyquats
Hello there!

I had indeed been using only one product to co-wash the whole time. It could very well be a sensitivity to one ingredient. The thing is my scalp was never sensitive, sore, red, itchy or anything unpleasant the whole time I was cowashing. My scalp was quite lovely in fact! This leads me to believe that it may not have been an allergy or sensitivity... as it probably would have lead to other symptoms as well. That's why I still think the over-conditioned follicle hypothesis is the most plausible explanation.

And big hugs and thanks to above-posters for your kind words! It has been pretty disheartening. I was so excited to start being "intentionally CG" and take better care of my hair that I felt understandably "betrayed" when it started falling out. At the end of the day, what works for some doesn't work for all.

Also, I remember dating some guys some years ago that started losing their hair. Back then they were all really upset but I never thought it was a big deal; it was just hair. Now that I started losing mine, I have much more compassion. It's pretty devastating. I have a lot of <3 for people who go through this.
I just can't see how co-washing could cause hair thinning more than sulfate shampooing.
Originally Posted by chupie
I've been sulfate-free for years and would never go back! This isn't a co-washing vs. sulfate-washing issue. For me it's low-poo vs. co-washing. I never had problems w/ excess shedding or thinning hair while using low-poos and I've used low-poos for years.
I am one who loses a lot of hair when I cowash. Whether it's due to the extra manipulation or some other reason, the fact remains that when I cowash, there is a lot of hair in the drain. When I use shampoo, there is much, much less hair in the drain. I've used lots of different conditioners to cowash. I still lost a lot of hair. I even recently tried cowashing again for about a week. Lots of hair loss again.
PomegranateCurl likes this.
2C/3A, fine, higher porosity.
I had indeed been using only one product to co-wash the whole time. It could very well be a sensitivity to one ingredient. The thing is my scalp was never sensitive, sore, red, itchy or anything unpleasant the whole time I was cowashing. My scalp was quite lovely in fact! This leads me to believe that it may not have been an allergy or sensitivity... as it probably would have lead to other symptoms as well. That's why I still think the over-conditioned follicle hypothesis is the most plausible explanation.
Originally Posted by PomegranateCurl
Overconditioned follicles sounds like pseudoscience to me - if that were the case people who uses a rich moisturiser (face or body) would be reporting hair loss in their droves and that is not the case.

It's more than possible to be sensitive or reactive to an ingredient without other symptoms, you are muddling that up with allergies where you would generally expect itching or soreness or redness ('macro' inflammation). Clinically detectable signs do not always correlate with patients reported symptoms in many health disorders.

Irritation, inflammation and damage can occur at the cellular level ('micro'), sulphate surfactants are a prime example - some get hair shedding or thinning but no other dermatological symptoms, I had an an elbow patch of atopic eczema from shampoo bubbles plus a slightly oilier face and scalp but no soreness, redness or suchlike on my head. Within a week of quitting sulphates, my eczema patch cleared never to return and my scalp and face were noticeably less oily which was totally unexpected.

Furthermore a 2010 study found skin thinning and increased water loss from aqueous cream (1% SLS) yet the participants were not reporting obvious symptoms, in fact this product has been medically recommended for many years for patients with dry skin conditions and damaged skin barriers! Aqueous Cream : National Eczema Society
turquoisecurls likes this.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect

Last edited by Firefox7275; 05-23-2013 at 07:54 AM.

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