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My Hair Loss Story: Facial and Head Hair Loss. 28 Years Old.
I posted this in another section of the forum, so forgive me for re-posting the similar content, but I'm in desperate need of help, answers, support, and feedback. My confidence is decreasing by the second.
I used to view myself as quite a ladies man throughout my life and time in school as a kid/teenager and even for several years after high school. I'm happily married with 3 children, and my wife and I are in it for the long haul, but it doesn't make me feel any better about myself knowing I'm losing any sense of individuality in regards to my facial hair and head hair. I considered my facial hair part of my identity, but now I'm at the mercy of it. I don't feel attractive and even though I know my wife does and will love me regardless of hair or no hair, she does prefer I have it.
For those of you that don't feel like reading though all of this post, here are my issues in summary:
*Thinning and patchy hair loss all over face.
*Some of these patchy spots re-grow, but never as full as it once was.
*A lot of the re-growth often comes back in different colors that make it hard to see. I used to have full, thick, dark brown facial hair... Since patches, I have noticed pure white, silver, grey, red, and very light brown hair on my face.
*Thinning up through corners of frontal hairline back to crown of my head
*Patchy thinning and loss in more defined spots throughout head hair (noticeable patches on sides and in the back).
*Thinning of hair up from neckline up into about an inch up from the neckline in the back.
Now, my questions after you view the pictures... Is this simply a case of alopecia barbae on the face and MPB on the head? Or could both be a result of fungus? Could both be some sort of alopecia? In the post below, I describe in detail how all this came about if you're interested. A dermatologist did say that I have alopecia barbae, but I'm not 100% convinced. Let me know if you have any insight, suggestions, or solutions for my problems. I can deal with going bald if I absolutely have to, but to not even have facial hair??? I'm fearing when the thinning gets so bad that it all has to go...
Here is my original post and all the pics:
Hello all, new member here and obviously, this is my first post. I ask that you please bare with me and read this post in it's entirety because I imagine a lot of you have done quite a bit more research in hair loss than I have and I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback.
I have some questions that are of a great concern to me regarding my hairloss. First off, I'd like to say that I somewhat expected some degree of hairloss because MPB runs in my family, but I've had some slight variations in my hairloss that make me question whether this is strictly MPB.
For some additional background info I'd like to add that I went to the dermatologist a few years back (possibly 08, may have been 09) after developing bald spots and thinning in my facial hair. I'm now 28, so I was around 24 or 25 then.
This aspect has been extremely frustrating because I always thought, "well, at least if I go bald I can still be the cool guy with awesome facial hair." I DID indeed have awesome facial hair prior to these patches showing up.
Not any longer. I used to have very dark brown, thick facial hair. I could grow a full mustache no problem, soul patch, goatee, etc. Since 07, I started developing bald patches or thin patches in my facial hair. I also began to notice over time that some of it would grow when it appeared bald, but it was extremely light or white colored. Since, I have also started to notice red, white, grey, and light brown hair growing on my face.
Additionally, it seemed for awhile that the patches would appear then hair would start to show up with some color again in those spots and then I'd develop a patch somewhere else. With my mustache for example, it appears to grow back thicker sometimes and then other times I'll have a bald spot in it or a straight line of baldness running through it in different spots at different times.
For the most part though, the original spot where my facial hair started "balding" has remained fairly consistent - it still has remained fairly thin but at certain times appears to grow dark hairs again.
When I went to the dermatologist in 08 or 09 it was mainly about my facial hair but I also had them look at my hair in the frontal area because I originally developed a small indention in my hairline that hadn't previously been there but wasn't all that noticeable. My barber noticed it because he had been cutting my hair for years, but anyone else aside from he and I probably wouldn't pay it any attention.
At the appointment, despite not shaving and looking like a homeless person with face mange, the doctor said he didn't see what I was talking about initially. I told him from what little research I had done, it appeared to me that I was developing alopecia barbae. He was a resident doctor so after debating for a few seconds with him saying he didn't see it, he called in the attending. The attending immediately says it is alopecia barbae.
We then talk about how there is no known cause and some treatments work for some but not others. We talked about injections but they said they preferred to go with a topical ointment first because the injections could cause temporary indentations in your face.
I used the prescription ointment once, and after further reading about it's "black box" warning, I decided to never use it again. I'd much rather be miserable and feel ugly than develop a disease because of the medicine. No thanks.
Furthermore, at the appointment, the Dr. said he did notice some possible or "slight" MPB, but not much of anything at the time. They had me do some blood work to rule out any possible thyroid problem and all of that came back fine.
Fast forward to today, I'm still very unhappy with my appearance, mainly because of my facial hair. I always took pride in it and was one of the first to grow a mustache in high school. I considered it a part of me, not an add-on. Now it's hard to make it symmetrical when grooming it because of all the variances in color/thickness or presence of hair period.
Additionally, I started to thin even more in the frontal portion of my hairline and am well on my way to balding as my hairline has receded as well, not horribly yet, but noticeably.
But, after letting my hair grow out a bit more so I could style it to disguise the thinning by spiking it or combing it back, I decided to go back to my clean cut, close hairstyle that I do myself with a #2 or 3 clipper.
So, after cutting it today, some once small and barely noticeable areas are now much more pronounced and defined in regards to thinning. What concerns me is that these spots in my hair make me question whether this is just MPB or is it alopecia? I have attached pictures and would greatly appreciate your help if any of you could guess.
I know you're not doctors and I shouldn't substitute your opinion for a licensed physicians, yadda yadda yadda, but I could use some other insight. I actually went to the doctor about 3 different times for the facial hair thing before seeing the dermatologist about it in 08, but they didn't care and half the time acted like I was seeing something that wasn't there.
Here are the pics, and please help if you have any insight:
You show Male Pattern Baldness, which is the same as alopecia.
I agree with the Doctors in regards to your beard: it isn't there, nothing strange at least. The pictures you took show a healthy beard(unless you are referring to acne, which is a completely different phenomenon).
I can't tell from the pics...your beard looks fine to me!!
Dr Rahal in January 19, 2012
4808 FUT grafts- 941 singles, 2809 doubles, 1031 triples, 27 quads
My Hairloss Website
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