It has been a while since I posted on this blog, real life has a pesky way of distracting me. But as I washed out the oil mix from my hair tonight, I realized there is one blog post I should be posting, asap, for all of the women with PCOS experiencing hair thinning and hair loss. I wish I didn’t completely understand the excruciating psychological pain of hair loss, but alas, I do, and I send my sympathies to other cysters who experience it too.
My hair was always thick, healthy and wild. Every time it failed to become sleek and glamorous like tv commercials, I would curse my hair and threaten to shave it off. Of course, the threat was empty, and had I known that by the age of 27 my hair would thin to the point of threatening to go bald on the crown, and become so lifeless and thin, I would have spent my time rockin’ the crazy waves and loving it. But I didn’t, and here we are.
My hair didn’t start thinning until roughly 2 years ago, and being so thick, I didn’t worry at all at first, I barely noticed. But as it gradually got thinner and I lost so much of my natural volume, I began to wonder what was happening. Then came the harsh wake up that it was worse than I thought; a trip to a new hair salon for a new style saw me leave afterward fighting back tears. As the incredibly insensitive and rather rough hairdresser played with my locks, she laughed and loudly proclaimed for hair that looks thick there’s “nothing there”. Of course there was hair, I wasn’t bald. But her loud announcement and consequent stares of other ladies made me want to shrink into the floor. Needless to say, I went home to google for answers, and never returned to the obnoxious woman who was lucky to keep her own hair after the mood she put me in.
Why was I losing my hair all of a sudden? The first thing I could think of was to enter “PCOS & hairloss” into google. And there it was; androgenic alopecia. Hair loss experienced by many PCOS sufferers is the result of excess testosterone, which means we are lucky enough to have male pattern hair loss. A quick google search on androgenic alopecia will give you all of the technical jargon and detailed explanations. But my main focus for this post is one little gem of natural wisdom that I am finding to be a great help.
Castor oil, coconut oil and lavender essential oil. Yes, it’s that simple.
3 times a week, I mix equal parts castor oil and coconut oil, enough to coat my scalp and hair from root to tip, and add a few drops of lavender essential oil. The coconut oil may need to be melted. Mix the 3 ingredients together, and evenly apply on the scalp, and work through the roots of your hair, massaging the mixture down to the tips. Once your hair is completely coated, loosely tie it up and leave the oil mask in for a minimum of 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water, and wash with a gentle shampoo and condition as normal.
What got me started on this technique was a suggestion somewhere that castor oil is fantastic for strengthening and thickening hair, and even has the ability to regrow hair previously lost. Then somewhere else I read basically the same sort of result can be found with coconut oil. So I figured, due to already having both on hand, and being unable to make a firm decision on which to try, why not mix the two, and add some lavender for the general healing and soothing properties, whilst getting a nice fragrance. I have to admit, I was a sceptic. I doubted this oily, sticky, annoyingly messy mixture would do anything other than make my hair impossible to wash clean. But after the first application, I noticed my hair already felt much better – still thin, still shedding, but softer, silkier, not so dry and brittle. After the first week, shedding decreased. After the second week, my hair was thicker, stronger and hardly shedding. And then… life got busy, I got lazy, and I stopped using the mixture, promising that I’d get back to it “any day now, sometime this week”… for 6 months.
Tonight, after brushing my hair and feeling how dangerously thin my hair is after months of wearing it up in a pony to avoid the whole issue, I chastised myself and immediately oiled up my locks again. I am using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner at the moment – not gentle, but I’m not perfect. After the oil mask, a good shampoo and condition, and allowing my hair to naturally dry, the thin, lifeless hair from the day is thicker, soft, silky and full.
I have absolutely nothing to gain from sharing this information – I have no products to peddle or money to make. This is just what I have discovered works to make my hair feel better, and look better, almost instantly. I am determined to keep it up regularly to see if the regrowth results actually happen, and I will update in the future whether it works on that front or not. Losing hair as a female is devastating, the thought of being bald and patchy terrifies me. Of all the symptoms of PCOS, I find this one the most degrading. So this is me putting my experience out there, and hopefully it helps someone else in the quest to fight this symptom.