PCOS/Insulin Resistance Support - Balding/Thinning Hair-Post-weightloss, will it grow back?

07-21-2013, 12:20 AM
I've never been diagnosed as having PCOS (my family is not the type to have a family doctor; I was twelve the last time I had a physical done), but I've got almost all of the symptoms. The only thing I'm doing to try to regulate these is trying to lose weight.

I don't mind the fact that I have one period every few years, but

I hate the way I look, and I'm not talking about the shape of my stomach, my bat-wing arms, or my moon-crater thighs.

I hate the facial hair that takes me an hour or two to pluck just so I can leave the house for five minutes. I hate that I need to pull the hairs above and below my lips, my "sideburns", and my "beard" every three days (sometimes sooner).

I hate the fact that I'm self-conscious of wearing low-cut shirts not because I have small boobs, but because of the dark hair between my breasts.

I hate the trail of hair on my stomach and the manly thigh hair that lead me to believe it will be impossible to wear a two piece bikini when I do lose all of this weight.

All of those can be hidden or removed; they're awful, but they aren't the worst.

Above all else, I hate the bald/thinning area in the front of my head. I hate looking in a mirror because I hate seeing skin with sparse hairs on the top of my head, the size of my hand.

I hate that I have to part my hair alllll the way on the size and basically have a comb over to try to cover up the bald spots. I hate the fact that the wind blows my hair like crazy and exposes this secret to the world.

I hate that people's eyes trail upward to my head when they talk to me.

I hate that I let my friend convince me not to clip my hair in place so it wouldn't fall from it's covering position, and because of this, the picture I took with one of my favorite celebrities features my bald spot. I hate that I could spot it a mile away.

My hair has been thinning or balding since six years ago when I was sixteen. I first believed it was due to malnutrition from the six months I spent eating three Nutrisystem meals a day and nothing else. I only recently learned that people with PCOS experience hair loss as well.

I've tried Saw Palmetto, Vitamin D3, Biotin, and multivitamins; they haven't done anything to help.

So, I have a question that I'm almost certain will not have a positive answer, but...

Is there any chance that the hair on my head will grow back after I reach a healthy weight?

07-21-2013, 10:28 AM
Hi words!

I popped in here because i saw the title of your thread, and if it's one thing that we weight loss surgery folks know is hair thinning. But that's not your problem. obviously.

I can't urge you strongly enough to go see a doctor. there are several serious long-term risks associated with untreated PCOS. Treatment is simple for SOME people, but difficult for others, and i'm sure other people on this forum can tell you about their experiences. BUT, their experiences are NOT a substitute for good medical care for YOU.

Living with PCOS without medical care for 10 YEARS is - ummm - well, i'll leave you to choose the word that best fits, but no matter what word you choose, it's NOT a good thing.

please get the healthcare you need and deserve

07-21-2013, 11:13 AM
I had balding as a teen but I think it was due to stress and the hair came back. Also, I've shaved all my life various parts of my body but recently, I've noticed my body hair seems to be on the normal spectrum. I think birth control to regulate my hormones has helped in that area. I do urge you to see a doctor. If money is a concern, I think planned parenthood can treat you as well and I've hear their costs are reasonable.

07-21-2013, 12:05 PM
I was just diagnosed with PCOS last month and also struggle with thinning hair. Mine is not terrible, but I know what you mean about having to wear your hair a certain way. I never had an issue until 3 yrs ago right after I had my son, and figured the hair loss was just normal after the ups and downs of hormones post-baby. But it just never got better, and over the last couple years the other symptoms (facial hair, acne, etc.) got worse also. My mom has had PCOS for many years and also struggles with thin hair. I would definitely say that you should get checked out, if you do have PCOS the long term effects if untreated are not good (like Jiffy mentioned above). My Dr. warned me that if it's not controlled with meds it can increase risk for diabetes and a higher risk of uteran cancer if your body isn't regularly menstruating. Anyway, I understand how you feel, and hope you get some answers.....:hug:

07-21-2013, 07:58 PM
Agree with finding a Planned Parenthood if money is a problem. Otherwise, I would try to get to a doctor to get the correct diagnosis and the medication.

Hair will grow back -- and you can control the unwanted hair too -- but you have to treat your PCOS, you can't just wish it away.

Supplements can help some people, but it's not guaranteed. It's part of a larger medical intervention. I've been able to use supplements in lieu of medicine like Metformin and such, but I also choose to do things the harder way, by strictly controlling the type of food I eat and how much I exercise.

Please see a doctor, preferably reproductive endocrinologist (these doctors usually know about PCOS).

07-21-2013, 08:53 PM
Wow. Thank you all for responding.

What usually happens during these doctor visits?

07-21-2013, 10:58 PM
During my appt, she asked me if I was experiencing the different symptoms and found out that my Mom also had PCOS and put it all together and said that's what she figured I had. She did order bloodwork as well as an ultrasound, but I was also experiencing some pain and she wanted to be sure I didn't have a large cyst. So I don't know if the ultrasound is a normal part of diagnosing? But I believe the bloodwork is a normal part, as they want to be sure that it isn't something else that might present like PCOS. Hope that helps..... :)

07-22-2013, 10:20 AM
Words - here's a fact sheet that describes some of the issues with PCOS, and has some info about what to expect at the doctor visit. Depending on your particular situation, your doc may order more tests.


There's a lot of information out there, but some of it is really technical, and i don't want to scare you more than you already are!

The Nashville area has quite a few excellent reproductive endocrinologists [YAY VANDERBILT!], and they'll all be surprised that you've had no medical care for more than 10 years [just want to prepare you for that - don't let that intimidate you!]. But even though they'll be surprised, they'll deal. what's important is that they take care of you.

In the weight loss surgery forum, we sometimes suggest that folks print out threads that are interesting to them and take them to their doctor's appointment. If taking this thread [or any other for that matter] along with you will help you in any way, go right ahead and do it.

07-22-2013, 03:32 PM
Thanks so much, guys.
The article wasn't working with that link, but I went to the main website and was able to find it. The only difference is that the ending is .html instead of .cfm.

I'm worried about the process of treatment (i.e: the doctor's visits, the medications), and I'm worried about the cost of all of these. I don't have health insurance. My family is living off of the small income my dad makes from his small business. So, no benefits.

I think after I settle into this semester at my school, I'll see if I can get a job and save up some money for this kind of stuff. Right now I definitely can't afford to be taking the different medications for each symptom.

How much do the medications usually cost?

07-22-2013, 09:26 PM
maybe you could see a doc through the college health center? i have no idea what the deal would be at your school, but it should be reasonable. BC pills can be quite inexpensive, but a lot depends on what the doc prescribes. and a lot of docs start with that. i'm glad you're thinking seriously about this -

07-23-2013, 11:44 PM
Thanks for all of the help.

I hadn't thought about seeing the school health center, but I'll definitely stop by when school starts and see if they're anything they can do to help. They can probably give me a physical at the least and refer me to someone.

07-24-2013, 02:10 PM
It doesn't have to be expensive.

Metforim at Walmart is only $4.

The BCP will depend on whether your doc thinks you need generic or brand-name.

I think it can be affordable, it kind of depends on what's there.

The other thing that's awesome for PCOS is eating healthy, losing weight and exercising...

07-24-2013, 04:02 PM
Wow, I didn't know Walmart sold medications that cheap. That's definitely good to know.

I'm working on the healthy eating/exercise part to lose weight. Staying at a friend's house for the second week in a row (should be the last), and I'm good at making myself breakfast and lunch because she isn't during that time, but when she's home for dinner, it's harder for me to stay at my calorie goal. She's a skinny girl, possible barely overweight or at the high end of her healthy range - I know she's concerned about belly pudge-, but her eating style is snacking. She'll come home grab a bag of fruit and just snack on it, so I end up snacking on it too. Then when she doesn't want to eat anymore of those, she grab something else to snack on. I keep myself from eating the chips that she snacks on, though. And when she makes dinner, I feel like it's rude to refuse it, but she doesn't really make them the healthiest, though she has modified the way she cooks a little. I brought Cheerios and brown rice with me, and she bought me whole grain bread. I've convinced her to use olive oil instead of butter if she's cooking for me. But she also still makes things her way, so she'll had cream of chicken soup to her chicken and potatoes for us to put on top of our rice and barely and vegetables for dinner. I tried having a small portion.

The other day I actually asked her if I could cook, so I baked chicken, turnip greens, and squash, but I don't think she liked it very much.

I'll try to do better, still.

I looked into my school's health center, and they have a women's health area, where they'll do a pap smear and breast exam, but I'll have to spend 50 dollars to get the lab work sent out. I'm not sure if they draw blood or not. So, I might start there.

07-24-2013, 06:20 PM
wordsthatrhyme, my sis has PCOS and she has all of the symptoms you describe. About the hair there are several things you can do right now to help yourself.

1. Start using a sulfate-free shampoo (L'oreal makes a whole line)
2. As hard as it is to see the hair go down the shower, wash it regularly. You need to clear out the sebum that blocks the root.
3. Try the supplement Valarian Root (from a health food store)
4. Joan Rivers (yes, the comedian) makes a powder to fill-in where hair has thinned-out. You just brush it on, the brush in included. It has kept my sis sane for years. It's called Joan Rivers Beauty Great Hair Day Fill In Powder with Brush. (She gets it on QVC, the shopping channel, or just google it.)

There have been great advancements in laser technology for hair growth. In some instances, hair can grow back. It's expensive and I don't know if insurance covers it, but it's something to look into in the future.

Best of luck!


07-25-2013, 07:13 PM
Thanks, Lass.

I'll look into all of those. :)