Hair Stopped Growing

During the period between November 2001 to June 2002, my hair completely stopped growing. Now, assuming you’ve just received the best haircut of your life, this wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Just think of all the money you’d be saving on regular haircuts! (Not to mention expensive shampoos and conditioners).

However, this apparent convenience truly concerned me. I knew that the state of one’s hair was more than just cosmetic, and a true reflection of overall health status. During this same time, I experienced a tremendous change in my appetite.

I rarely, if ever, felt hungry. Not surprisingly, I lost a significant amount of weight. The initial weight loss was welcomed; my continued, intentional weight loss was a major cause of concern. As a result, my nutritional intake fell dramatically. My hair was not receiving nearly the nourishment that it required to grow at a normal rate. My hair felt lifeless and dry, too.

I tried to reassure myself that once my stress levels finally lessened, my hair would resume growing at a regular rate. I had just defended my doctoral dissertation, in October 2001. I was completing a post-doctoral fellowship in psychological pain management. So, it was safe to say that I was dealing with a fair degree of stress.

By this point, I also had been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. During the summer of 2002, I made the radical decision to have my hair cut short. Very short. Shorter than I had ever had it cut in my life. For whatever reasons, my hair started to grow back at a normal rate. Soon, I was requiring monthly trims to maintain my style. So much for saving on expensive shampoos and conditioners!

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