Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hair's Lookin' At You, Kid

So I've been gone for a couple weeks. Not posting, I mean. But most of the people who even read this drivel were at Christmas dinner anyhow. You know who you are.

Now I'm back. I have, in all honesty, been trying to think of something to blather on about and I've decided I've found it. I had one of those Eureka! moments and I wasn't even vacuuming at the time.

I visited an MS message board where they were asking about others on Copaxone suffering from hair loss. If you have been a member of any MS forum for any length of time, you would have noticed the ebb and flow of the tide that washes certain topics into the forum and then back out again. Always being brought up by someone who isn't aware of the pull of the moon on these very questions.

So the topic opens with one person, whose hair is falling out, being suspicious of her medication (Copaxone) being the culprit. I remember back when I was on it, I also thought it was responsible and I read and reread the package insert, but nary a mention of that as an adverse event was to be found.

The topic continued to grow, with other MSers chiming in about how they, too, suffer from the hair on their head being less than the hair on their floor. Not everyone was on Copaxone, however. Some were on Rebif, others on Avonex, and even others that had never been on any MS disease modifying drug.

I read all these posts and one thing struck me as a common thread among us. Um, we all have MS!! (I swear Einstein was on some branch of my family tree!)

For my own personal battle with hair loss (documented by plumber receipts) I look back on it and can say, without a doubt, that it didn't matter if I was on medication, off medication or switched to different medication. The one steady factor that remained was my hair filling the brush -- and the drain -- at an alarming rate.

I could never commit a homicide (and sometimes this is the one thing that stops me) because there's no way to not leave my DNA behind. My hair would be everywhere. Heck, they wouldn't need to send it off for DNA analysis and waste all that taxpayers' money... they could just follow the trail back to my head.

So I had to find other hobbies.

The really amazing thing is not what my full length robe would look like if I had saved all that hair and knitted one, but the fact that my head is still covered with a full, luxurious mane. I bet, if you could zoom in on just one hair sprouting forth from my scalp anew, you could watch that sucker grow, kind of like a Chia Pet.

After going through several vacuums which would break and crap out, I had decided that appliances are no longer made to last and gave up. We removed most of the carpet in the house and that's when I was amazed to discover that the floor now had a new carpet after just a short time. And it was a long brown shag. No, wait, that's my hair.

Why, if it's so prevalent in the MS community for us to be losing our hair, (but it's a fact independent of our drug use), isn't anyone studying this to find the root (heh heh) cause?

Maybe it's a simple thing like a vitamin deficiency that, once addressed, would not only cure our hair loss but also our MS. Wouldn't that be amazing?! Of course that's a reach. But something is causing the hair loss. And something causes MS (but they don't know what). Maybe that's why I was never very good at science. If they don't know the cause of MS and they don't know the cause of hair loss, and I have both, then they must be caused by the same thing. I tend to reach conclusions in an unscientific way that never got me an A in class.

And wouldn't it then be funny in a cruel sort of way, if the folks who don't *think* they have MS but do have thinning hair, read this and started to worry?

So, as I sit here idly running my fingers through my hair (and then collecting the pile that came out to throw away) I wonder how to wrap this up. I think a list is in order...

List of tips to manage hair loss:
  • If you don't want to pay the plumber every 3 months to come unstop your drain, brush your hair BEFORE you shower.
  • Wear a hair net when cooking.
  • If it's long enough, keep it in a pony tail or braid. The ones that come loose have no escape, and you will leave less of a trail (especially useful if you're a homicidal maniac and don't want to get caught).
  • Quit trying to find the answer to why it's falling out. The stress of worrying about it can make your hair fall out.
  • When all else fails, blog about it. It will flesh out a post nicely. Kinda like that essay you had no desire to write but, nonetheless, had to be at least 1000 words.


  1. Looks like a correlation and not a cause. Stress makes our immune systems get stupid and stress makes our hair fall out.

  2. NOW I know why they always catch me - dagnabbit! I really should own a blonde dog so I could blame it on her!

  3. Well, I have the hair loss for sure, but no MS, thank God; just bad genes for male pattern baldness. Having a good sense of humor is the best thing, in either case, so you're on the right track!

  4. OMG! Thank goodness you are back...I have certainly missed this dose of humor, er, I mean, SERIOUS PROSE!

    Alopecia Areata...autoimmune disorder and fancy schmancy name for FRICKIN' HAIR LOSS. Got it, have bald spot, will travel.

    Some of my best friends have MS and hair loss... (ROFLMAO!)

    Linda D. in Seattle


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