For those of you who have been following my occasional posts about my hairloss saga, I thought I'd post the latest. I've concluded this is an unwinnable battle. Despite the doctors, the topical and oral meds, the cortisone shots, the full blood workup (came back a-OK) and the prayer, my hair continues to do nothing but shed and thin. Since this started in late 05' I've lost at least 50% of the hair from the top of my head; probably more. The last few months have been the worst, with my hair coming out in plugs when I wash it. I didn't relax for more than a year, hoping that would help stop the shedding, if it didn't reverse it. In that time I lost more hair than ever and my hair has been its most unhealthy, with breakage and thinning even tho I followed protocol for transitioning. I tried flat-ironing, but I noticed my ends didn't like it. I tried braid-outs, but my hair had become so thin they didn't look nice like they once did. I gave up rollersetting because I'd lost so much hair that a fresh set only highlighted all my bald spots. It took 20 or 30 minutes to pull my hair into a ragged-looking ponytail, because I had to push and shove and arrange just to look halfway OK. I could see my scalp thru my new growth along my hairline when the sun shone on it. It has been humiliating. And I HATED transitioning. Discovering my hair texture was fun, but it was unacceptably difficult to manage and, because I was wearing my hair with many inches of new growth, I looked a HAM even when I tried the tricks I've read here. I left the house embarrassed every day and avoided mirrors. Finally I decided that all I'm doing is choosing between evils because there is no good answer. I relaxed last week after thinking about it for months. It's falling out no matter what I do and I've never felt my loss was caused by relaxers in the first place. I had no idea whether it would all come out after the process, or if I'd be fine. But I could no longer stand hating my appearance day after day and making excuses for how I looked when once I'd felt attractive and confident. I haven't lost my hair from the relaxer, but it's early. In fact, it looks better than ever, almost like my old head of hair. I was able to achieve my first smooth post-loss ponytail and I've felt the best I've felt in a long time, because I again feel presentable and generally attractive. The bad: I knew the relaxer would reveal just how thin my hair was, and sure enough, I still spend time in the mirror combing and brushing to hide my scalp. I avoid touching or dealing with my hair now because it alarms and sickens me to feel how much I've lost. For now, my days of styling my hair are behind me. I can hide and control things only with a plain, tucked ponytail so that's all I wear now. I bought a Newhair wig, the Cheri. I hate wearing it, because I don't wear it for convenience. I wear it because I am forced to if I want to conceal what's happening. I only wear it when I'm going out, and people have been complimenting me on how great my hair is looking. It's a great wig. It's also a lie; people want to touch my hair and I can't let them. I'm scared for someone to feel or see that I'm wearing a piece. It's not the same as when you just wear one to take a break or cause you didn't feel like doing your hair. I'm wearing hair because I'm balding and I'm ashamed of that. I love the momentary break I get from feeling unattractive, but I hate that the only way I can do that is to fake it. And how long can I keep this up before someone figures it out? I miss my own hair; I never used to worry when the wind would blow. Now I'm paranoid of wind. I have always been considered attractive, and get complimented on my looks. My vanity has taken a beating; will men still find me physically attractive now that I'm losing hair? What's hot about bald? I've been thinking about returning to the dating scene, but then I remember my hair; I can't bring myself to do it because of the shame I feel about my hair and what it suggests about my health. It's not socially acceptable to go bald as a woman and I'm not at peace with this yet. I may never be. I'm continuing with my Rogaine/oral Spironolactone/biotin recipe. All I've seen so far is so much shed you'd think my follicles had received an evacuation notice. Doctors don't know, I don't know. I've thought of just shaving it to take back some control, but with the spotty bald patches I'd have to shave to the skin--definitely not comfortable with that. So I'm soldiering on. I saw my derm a few weeks ago, after she'd prescribed some topical steroid. Her first question was "So! Is your hair growing back yet?" as if it just magically would. I've felt terrible that, if that was supposed to make it come back, it didn't--and what does that mean? The kenalog steroid injection I got in my backside almost a year ago burned away the tissue, as Kenalog is wont to do; I am a bit deformed now, with a somewhat deep trough of dented skin along my backside as if someone skimmed the length of my buttock at an angle with an ice cream scoop. Docs say it'll probably never fill in; at least you can't see it thru my clothes. All this and still no regrowth. Brutal, but I've tried. I really have tried my best. Oh well--on the bright side the spiro has made my skin FLAWLESS. Birth control pills have nothing on this stuff! It even turns back the clock a bit; I look like caramel-colored china. I do love that. I've read that it takes as long as a year or two before spiro can work, and many months with rogaine. I'm in for the long haul. I guess another bright side is everything I've learned along the way; I know SO much more now than I ever knew before. And the hair I have is thriving, growing (even tho I'm still achieving length goals, they seem pointless now too)... I just wish I could have it all back. I wish every day for that. ALLLL that said, I won't post about this again until and unless I see a drastic development or make a major decision. My loss continues to worsen at this point, and that's that. To anyone else who's experiencing hair loss of any sort, I wish you all the luck with your journey.