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My Story... so far

When I was 41 years old, all of my hair fell out. I had long, thick, brown hair, and it was a feature I always really liked about myself. When I lost it, it was shocking. When my eyebrows and eyelashes followed suit, it was devastating.

For six years I tried various natural treatments, mostly focused on gut health. I eliminated foods and took tons of supplements. I spent tons of money on supplements and hundreds of hours researching, but my results were nil.

In 2020 I entered a clinical trial for a new treatment called baricitinib, a jak inhibitor. I was thrilled when I started regrowing hair- eyelashes first, then a few brows, then about 70% of my head hair. But then, after about 7 months, the progress slowed, I started shedding, and by the one year mark I hadn’t grown enough hair to be considered a success, so I was dropped from the clinical trial.

Over the next few months most of my regrowth fell out, and then I started tofacitinib, another jak inhibitor. It worked really well for about 7 months, then progress slowed and I started shedding again. I added oral minoxidil, which helped but I continued to shed hair. I switched back to baricitinib, which was now FDA approved.

As of this writing, I am 7 months into my second go at baricitinib. This time, things seem to be different. My hair is nowhere near where it was before I lost it 9 years ago, but it’s not falling out, and I’m continuing to see progress.

So what’s the difference this time? I don’t know for sure, but I suspect it’s because I’ve been working on removing my root cause for the past year. About a year ago, I discovered high levels of mold in the house, and had it remediated. I recently retested, and although there is still some mold being detected, it is much improved.

Most of us have something that is keeping our immune systems active. It could be environmental, such as mold or contaminants in the water supply. It could be the build-up of heavy metals over time. Or it could be an infection that the body may not have completely cleared or sent into dormancy, such as Epstein-Barr, mycoplasma, or Covid. It could be a combination of things. When the body is continually fighting something, it’s hard to suppress it completely with pharmaceuticals. Your body wants to protect you, and it will fight you to do it.

Am I out of the woods now? I have no idea. We’ll continue to improve our living environment, and I’ll continue to remove the mold from my body while I heal. My goal is to achieve full hair regrowth, then slowly, very slowly, reduce the pharmaceutical to the lowest effective dose. Then we’ll see.

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