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I'm a 31 year old African-American female who's been suffering from hair loss for several years now. I first noticed thinning in the hairline during my late teens and over the years, it's progressively got worse. I also suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which may be a contributing factor in my hair loss.

 

A few years ago, I went to a dermatologist to see if there was anything I could do. Overall, the dermatalogist seemed very disenterested and spent no more than 5 minutes with me. She said she could not determine if my hair loss was caused by the Polycystic ovarian Syndrome or if was traction alopecia, and that there was nothing she could do to help.

 

So I've basically been hiding my hair under extensions for the past 10 years. Nobody has seen my hair except for my hairdresser and the dermatologist. At this point in my life, I'm tired of the embarrassment and the shame, and I know I have to do something about it. From browsing the forums the past few weeks, I see that it's not recommended to select a doctor based on price but unfortunately for me, money is an issue. At times, I've been tempted to go to one of cheap hair transplant mills and take a chance. I know I'm probably thinking irrationally, but it seems like it would be better to walk around with a bad hair transplant than go through life with no hair.

 

I know the photos are terrible quality but I won't be able to take better ones until the extensions are removed. I'm looking for recommendations of reasonably priced doctors in the Georgia/Carolinas area who have experience working with ethnic hair. Also, if anyone can provide a rough estimate of how many grafts I may need, I would greatly appreciate it!

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It looks like traction alopecia to me. And the fact you are now wearing extensions is probably compounding the issue. I always want to warn young African-American females (and sometimes males) who are wearing braids or dreadlocks... but alas, it's none of my business.

 

Whatever you do don't go to some cheap doc just because he's the only one you can afford. The misery and distress you are in now will be nothing compared to getting butchered. I highly recommended reading the forums for awhile and using the search function. Also, contact several Coalition docs on this site and do as many online and in-person consults you can. Be honest about your financial predicament and you never know what can happen.

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Thanks for your response. I know that the extensions aren't helping at all, but I don't really have any other options at this time. I didn't start wearing the extensions until the hair loss got pretty bad. Believe me, there's nothing I want more than to not have to wear them any longer.

Edited by Shanna001
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The chances are that it is traction alopecia. Can't you wear your hair without it being pulled back so tightly? That's the cause of traction alopecia and why it's occuring at the front. You also might be able to hide the effected area with a different style.

I am a patient and representative of Dr Rahal.

 

My FUE Procedure With Dr Rahal - Awesome Hairline Result

 

I can be contacted for advice: matt@rahalhairline.com

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The chances are that it is traction alopecia. Can't you wear your hair without it being pulled back so tightly? That's the cause of traction alopecia and why it's occuring at the front. You also might be able to hide the effected area with a different style.

 

I completely agree with Matt and Aaron.

Newhairplease!!

Dr Rahal in January 19, 2012:)

4808 FUT grafts- 941 singles, 2809 doubles, 1031 triples, 27 quads

 

My Hairloss Website

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You need to consult with a recommended surgeon from this forum and he needs to see your donor and recipient area without extensions to fully appreciate the situation. Unfortunately, you must stop using the extensions, braiding and pulling your hair back tightly because it will just continue to erode. If you continue to use that method than the transplanted hairs can also be destroyed or pulled out, so it really is a lifestyle change for you, which must happen.

I am a consultant for Dr. True and Dr. Dorin. These opinions are my own.

 

Dr. Robert True and Dr. Robert Dorin are members of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians

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Part of finding a resolution is acknowledging the cause and changing course. For us with MPB it's about suppressing DHT. Maybe dermmatch or another concealer might be able to hold you over when you give up the extensions.

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PCOS is largely known to cause hair loss in women. The good thing is that it responds to medications pretty well.

Finasteride 1.25 mg. daily

Avodart 0.5 mg. daily

Spironolactone 50 mg twice daily

5 mg. oral Minoxidil twice daily

Biotin 1000 mcg daily

Multi Vitamin daily

 

Damn, with all the stuff you put in your hair are you like a negative NW1? :D

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Part of finding a resolution is acknowledging the cause and changing course. For us with MPB it's about suppressing DHT. Maybe dermmatch or another concealer might be able to hold you over when you give up the extensions.

 

That's true. But in my (obviously non-professional) opinion, I believe that the original cause of my hair loss is due to the PCOS. I acknowledge that traction alopecia has probably contributed to it, but I believe the original cause is PCOS. The hair loss started well before I started wearing extensions. I have almost all of the classic PCOS symptoms -- polycystic ovaries, hirsutism, extremely irregular cycles, infertility, insulin resistance, and high testosterone levels. So it's a good likelihood that I have DHT issues also. I don't think it's too far-fetched to believe that my hormonal inbalance may have contributed to my hair loss.

 

I don't know too much about dermmatch or other concealers, but I'll do some research on them.

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  • 1 month later...

There is a Doctor in Maryland named Dr. Monte Harris who does excellent work with African American women with traction alopecia. He is not listed as a coalition doctor on this site but I was strongly tempted to fly out to meet with him. I also found some seemingly good doctors in AtL just by google searching, I ultimately found this website/blog and just used a recommended coalition doctor in my area to repair my hair. I too am african american and I have been wearing dreadlocks for 17 years. My doctor said that I probably just have normal male pattern balding. I always made sure that I didnt twist my roots tight, I more or less left the new growth until the locked by themselves, I think that prevented my from developing traction alopecia and I kept my dreads cut short so the were not heavy or tugging at the scalp.

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