sudden thinning hair in 40s

Hello -

I'm 43, and two years ago, I began shedding an inordinate amount of hair. It went on non-stop for about 21 months... leaving me missing nearly half my hair (yes I've measured! Ponytail circumference). Doctors tell me I don't have a thyroid problem or a hormonal (as in sex hormone) problem. However, my cycles did go wacko just before the loss started, and, self prescribed iodoral (iodine) seems to have halted the excess abnormal shedding (I took the iodine since all my thyroid numbers are bottom of normal range (the free hormones themselves and the TSH all low).

I was losing 200-300 hairs a day for nearly two years.. it's more 50-100 now). Though my shedding is 'better' I don't have a lot left to lose.. and I'm not seeing much regrowth, other than really small wispies at my hairline (intact but paperthin) and also at my (nearly bald!) temples where they don't seem to grow longer than 2 -3 inches. Oh, and, my crown is *horrendous* - I am losing a LOT back there to the point of my rear part beginning to feather out every which direction - this really terrifies me. Hairloss does not at all run in my family for either gender, either.

So! What I want to know, is, have any women here also experienced sudden, significant, hairloss in their early 40's with no apparent cause? And, have any of you recovered some of that hair, and if so, how long did it take?

I know this sort of thing (womens hair loss) is very variable, but since I 'hang' on hairloss boards, all I read are 'failure' stories.. I'm wondering if there really ARE some 'success' stories out there! Many thanks.

-disintegrating long henna waves

Last edited by hennared; 04-18-2010 at 07:52 AM.
I'm sorry you've gone through this without finding a cause or solution!
I have much less hair than I did when I was younger, but nothing like you have experienced.
I have no help or advice for you but wish you good luck!
--I'm located in Western PA.
--I found NC in late 2004, CG since 2-2005, started going grey in late 2005.
--My hair is 3B with some 3A, texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
--My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
--My CG and grey hair progress --
My mom, who is in her mid 60's, has lost half her hair recently due to tremendous stress. I had been researching essential oils for hair and found that people were having success massaging certain essential oils in their scalp at night. Here are the links:

While my mom was in the health food store asking about the oils, a woman overheard the conversation who had the same problem. She had a lot of success taking GNC Ultra NourishHair vitamins.

So...of course I did some research here on! I found "V" had success taking some of the same vitamins in the GNC ones. Here's what she had to say:

"I am currently taking 5000 mcg of biotin and 2000 mcg of MSM for hair growth and 8000 mg of odor free garlic to reduce shedding. I have been taking the biotin and msg for about 6 weeks and I now have new growth! My hair loss was really noticable in hair above my forehead and now by center part has filled in a lot thicker. I actually wore a center part in my hair yesterday and wasn't worried about it. If I did this before and had conversations with people they would keep looking at my thin hair. As for the garlic it greatly reduced the amount of hair I shed. I've been taking it for about 3 1/2 weeks and it took about 2 weeks for shedding to slow down."

(((HUGS)))) I hope you find something that works for you! Please keep us posted!
2c/3a, fine, low-med porosity, below BSL, mod CG since 9/09

I'm fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world." - Leigh Standley
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 94

Last edited by porzellan; 06-26-2010 at 02:37 PM.
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 94

Last edited by porzellan; 06-26-2010 at 02:36 PM.
I'm so glad you posted this. I used to have ridiculously thick hair, and in the past year or so it has thinned to what is probably a normal amount -- but I am afraid it's not going to stop. I don't seem to be shedding more, but it's like what I lose to normal shedding isn't being replaced.

I have a number of factors that could be causing this, so finding a solution is difficult. "Sub-clinical" low thyroid, too much stress, recently menopausal, some heart medications knows to have thinning hair as a side effect, etc. I've talked with my doctor about different med options, but with my condition, not taking meds is not an option.

I did find some good information in Christiane Northrup's books on women's health and on menopause. She outlines the causes and some solutions that might be helpful. I haven't been trying these long enough to know if it will help, but she's a well-respected authority on women's health, so we'll see.

I'll also try the vitamins you mentioned. It's so ironic. When I was younger I complained that I could lose half my hair and still have a normal head of it. Well, now I think I have and I'm terrified. Wish I'd never said that now!
"Tell me, are you incapable of restraining yourself, or do you take pride in being an insufferable know-it-all?"

"Honey Badger don't care!"
So glad to read this, too. Though I think my thinning is genetic, I would like to do whatever I can to diminish it. I have taken Biotin in the past without any noticeable results, but maybe it's the combination. I might try it...

Keep us posted, hennared...
in humidity hell south Florida or high and dry Colorado
CG since 2005
2a, 2b, 3b - fine hair, low density - low/normal porosity
washing: cj curl assurance gentle cleansing, cj daily fix, as i am coconut cowash
conditioning: cj smoothing, cj strengthening, giovanni 50/50 balance, darcy's pumpkin seed, kinky curly knot today
styling: homemade fsg, kinky curly curling custard, cj pattern pusha
pt: cj curl fix, cj repair me
avoid: humectants, polyquats
My hair is thinning, but I think it's genetic. I've been eyeballing Joan Rivers Good Hair Day powder.
With me it's not genetic, it's age. I had fairly thick but fine hair. Now it's still fine, but thinner. It was gradual but it started with perimenopause, so I attribute it to hormonal changes.

A carrier oil (like jojoba or castor oil or a mix) with a few drops of the essential oils mentioned in post #3 will stimulate the scalp which is good. I also think taking garlic would help. I had a thin patch at my temples 2 years ago and actually did garlic treatments on my hair (stinky); so taking garlick can't hurt.
My blog -

Playing with my hair is a hobby. Fluffy, fine natural 4a. Goal= Healthy, beautiful hair that retains its length.
Hear that crash? It's me falling off the CG wagon.
With me it's not genetic, it's age. I had fairly thick but fine hair. Now it's still fine, but thinner. It was gradual but it started with perimenopause, so I attribute it to hormonal changes.
Originally Posted by Suburbanbushbabe
This is my story. Have fine hair, but had a LOT Of it, so much that sometimes hairdressers would thin it out to control the bushiness.

Now, I wish I had my density back. It's still fine, yeah, but now thinning. And yes, started thinning around 40 (am now 50).

I tried taking Nourishair, but had an allergic reaction. Bummer.

One of the few things I had that I felt proud of when I fixed it (my hair) and that's ebbing away. Sucks.
Natural since 11/25/09
Then: fine, superdry, non-elastic, porous
Now: medium, dry, elastic, lower porosity, BSL

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