Will my hair ever grow back?
This report was sent to me by a trichsters who attended a recent trich conference
HAIR RE-GROWTH POSSIBLE!
I just attended the TLC retreat, and also a session on Hair Biology with Dr. Novak. She gave lots of interested information on hair biology. PLUS, MOST people DO have the capacity for hair regrowth. Most TTM people who do not think that their hair will regrow is because they HAVEN'T been in recovery LONG enough, so they think it won't fill in, so they actually keep pulling. According to Dr. Novak, the LARGEST % of people HAVEN'T damaged their follicles enough to stop regrowth.
More importantly, there were Successful TTM'ers AT THE Retreat, who had pulled hair for 20+ years, been in recovery for 10 years, and had ALL their hair back! I met them in person, and saw their BEAUTIFUL HAIR!
Peach fuzz or thinner than normal hair is a GREAT sign because it means your follicle IS still ALIVE! It does also mean it is temporarily traumatized, and that your hair is in a state of HEALING. Peach fuzz is a
precursor to regular size hair, just as in babies.
Kinky hair also is a GREAT sign because it means your follicle IS still ALIVE! It does also mean a tempora rily traumatized follicle, and that your hair is in a state of HEALING. The waiting game is LONG for these to go back to straight. I have hair almost to my waist, and as I have changed my head criteria, I have foot long hairs that are at least 6 inches of kinky before they went back to straight.
So, it is not an overnight process. Pulling out the kinky hairs is a mistake because you are actually making them more kinky each time, and traumatizing the follicle more each time - so it will take that much longer for it to go back to straight. It is possible, although NOT likely, that kinky hair might stay that way. In other words, for MOST people, once it is kinky, it WILL eventually go back to normal. (It is the eventually that we have a hard time with.) If your hair is growing in white, it will probably change back to its regular color after awhile. Means the color sac is (usually temporarily) traumatized, and will eventually start producing color
again. Age also was a factor in this. I have also had this experience. Some of my hairs go 1 inch and half Grey before changing back to dark brown. Again, a small % of people could permanently experience loss of
color - usually older people closer to the normal graying age.
Myths vs. Facts
Myth - There is a pervasive, erroneous worry out there that "root" pullers damage their hair more than the "other" pullers.
Myth - If/ when you pull and get the "white" thing, you won't get their hair back, or higher probability that you won't get your hair back.
Myth - If you see blood, or other stuff attached to the root, you won't get your hair back, or higher probability that you won't get your hair back.
FACT - If the hair comes out, the root IS out, and ALWAYS is out, no matter what is attached to it.
FACT - It DOESN'T matter anyway, because the old root DOES NOT generate the new hair.
FACT - The MAJORITY of us can have TOTAL regrowth!
FACT - VERY IMPORTANT - What you may or may not see attached to the root has NO affect on possibility for regrowth. It is NOT a sign of permanent damage! People see all kinds of weird things on the roots - and there are tons of things that go in that make the root look different at different times in the growth stages - size, shape, color, stuff attached to it, etc.
FACT - Pulling lots of the white things means you are pulling all the "Youngest" hairs. It may mean it takes longer for those hair follicles to gear up again since they normally wouldn't regrow until that hair died and fell out naturally.
FACT - Pulling the kinky hairs will probably make them even more kinky - further SLOWING down the healing process for that follicle.
FACT - Pulling the extra thin (peach fuzz) hairs makes the healing process START over, you would have to get a new extra thin (peach fuzz) hair, before you could get a regular hair, so you are SLOWING down the
FACT - You can see above how our own pulling patterns can make us think we are not getting our regular hair back, when in fact we ARE!
RECOVERY TIME FRAMES
Different areas of hair have different chances for recovery speed.
Lashes - FULL recovery, some people can get them in 6 months, if you have been pulling for years and years - could be 2-4 years.
Eyebrows - FULL recovery, can be slower than Lashes - this is an area more easily damaged and does not regrow totally back for some people.
HEAD - FULL recovery, 2-6 years for Normal Hair! Think about it, your hair only grows 1/4- 1/2 inch a month, and you have to wait for each hair pulled to start its growing cycle again. Plus, if it is growing in kinky or "peach fuzz", you have to wait a long time (my experience 6 months), for that phase to change back to regular hair. And then you have to grow length again. I think the Doc's time frame also takes into account people who are in the process of recovery, and having occasional pulling relapses.
On possible damage forever - the Doc talked about this as a rarity although possible. Even in this chance, it would be pretty rare for someone to be able to damage ever follicle on their entire head! She emphasized that there are usually physical signs on your skin (not the pulled out hair) if you have permanently damaged follicles. If you had scabs and scars, that could be a sign for those particular spots of possible permanent damage. You would STILL have to wait to recover from TTM behaviors, and stop picking at those areas for MONTHS before you would know for sure. Female pattern baldness areas are the easiest permanent damage area, and some people in recovery do have thinning and damage in those areas. But again, that is not the experience of MOST people! You can't even begin to evaluate that until you have been pull
free for months to years!
2a). The white thing is NOT the root, it is the Root Sheath (surrounds the root) - also sometimes called the bulb. The white thing is only present in Growth Stage 1 of hair (the youngest stage).
2b). The part you pull out is the root. The root sometimes has the white root sheath around it, sometimes NOT. Sometime the root will have other things on it, including a black bulb.
2c). If you pull out your hair, you usually can see the root. It looks very different at different growth stages. It
is the rounder part at the bottom - but how round or oval it is varies depending on the growth stage. Sometimes it is so round it looks like an onion with a stalk, where the root is the onion. Sometimes it is so
straight, the root is just the 1mm at the bottom (it is big enough to see). If you see the white bulb, the root is under the bulb, more towards the bottom. Sometimes there are other types of cells attached to the root, which can be different colors, or different textures, some kind of see-through, some not. If you see an "ink spot" at the bottom, that is probably because you also have a root sheath or attached cells looking "white" or "lighter color" - and are seeing the "black ink spot" at the bottom which is just a spot of the root without the root sheath. i.e. like looking at the end of a hot dog (root) sticking out of the bun (root sheath).
2d). Normally, when hair falls out on its own, the root falls out, and the hair grows back completely. You can't damage the root by pulling, because it is gone. The root has nothing to do with regrowth.