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Matthew Kofron
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 08:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I am currently 26 years old and my hair line has receded to where I am a 2 and approaching a 2a on the Norwood scale.

My question, is it common to feel pain in the scalp just prior to a period where hair line recession accelerates? It seems wherever I feel pain, within several days to a few weeks, hair in this area falls out. It's like my hair loss occurs in spurts and not a constant gradual process.



Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 08:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


I don't know if it's common to feel pain in your scalp prior to a period of accelerated hair loss. There is a condition, though, known as burning scalp syndrome (BSS). When the hair follicles enter into the resting stage (telogen) of the hair cycle many people with pattern baldness and telogen effluvium experience a burning sensation in the scalp.

Hair loss usually comes in spurts. It is not an even progression. There is also the phenomenon of seasonal shedding. Many people shed more in the spring and fall than they do in the summer and winter.

Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 11:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have been doing the scalp excercise for nearly seven months, i am not certain whether it is a miracle hair regrower, i have gotten rid of that really itchy sensation that i would get in my thinning areas. i just realized i have not had it in months when i use to have an itchy scalp several times a week.

Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 02:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


At least not having an itchy scalp is a benefit. I'm sure you have tighter facial muscles too after doing the scalp exercise for seven months. I'm sure the scalp exercise is good for the scalp skin because of the increased blood flow into the area during the exercise. This is probably the reason you no longer have that itchy sensation several times a week.

But evidently you are not growing any new hair. Has your hair losss stabilized or are you shedding just as much as before you started the scalp exercise program? Have you noticed any difference in you hair - density, texture, color?

Posted on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 04:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

My hair loss was also preceeded with a burning/stinging sensation on the scalp. Not surprisingly, the areas where the stinging occured is where my hair has began to thin and fall out at the age of 36 after previously having unbelievably dark thick hair.
Not sure what has caused all this but my mother's dad was bald.
Still a shocker though even at my age after getting a really short hair cut and noticing how bad it had become over such a short period of time.
Bought some Procerin but don't hold out much hope of it working having read online that it may all be a con.
Time will tell....

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 08:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


I wonder if something in your life was a trigger for telogen effluvium (TE) - sudden weight loss, accutane, antidepressants, vegetarian diet (low iron), period of prolonged stress. A hair and scalp problem called the burning scalp syndrome (BSS) is sometimes associated with many hair follicles entering into the telogen stage of the hair cycle at one time.

This is just a thought, certainly not a diagnosis. Hair loss problems, their cause and treatment, are complex. No few paragraphs on an Internet forum can give you the specific help you need, but I think if you read through many pages and many messages on the different hair-loss forums, some useful knowledge will emerge.

Posted on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 04:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i would like to add my own comments to this thread as i have been experiencing something similiar. i have always had VERY massively thick hair. no joke, the things were so thick, i used to have problems fixing it because it was so thick. the hairs would almost stick straight out. i've been cutting my own hair for something like 6 years now so i really know my own hair and every little thing about it--how it feels, how it moves, hairline, and so forth. it grew so fast that i would cut it every 2 weeks, and even that was waiting too long.

i graduated college last may and i started working in august. i would wake up every morning a little early to try to comb my hair into something acceptable for the office and it would always give me trouble as usual. come december, i started to get extremely stressed out. the job is very, very stressful, especially for someone my age (22). around the very end of march, i started noticing my hair was getting easier to fix. at first i attributed it to maybe how i was washing it, or how i had cut it. i had been growing my hair out long too since about november, so this was kinda weird because it didn't seem as thick. at the back of my head, i have a little swirl and this is where i started to feel a strange sensation of burning. it was isolated to just that one spot, and it happened every now and then. it was weird.

i started to then notice a lot of hair falling out in april. i wasn't sure if maybe i just hadn't noticed before because now my hair was long and i could see it fall out easier, but it got to the point where everyday a ton of hair would just fall out in the shower, at work, then when i came home. the stuff was everywhere. i noticed my hairline receding slightly. then the burning started spreading. additionally, the overall feel of my hair was very thin. all over my scalp i no longer had the feeling that it was thick when i ran my hands through it. very scary.

it is now the beginning of july, just about 4 months after i started noticing the fallout, and my hairline has receded more. my hair is also very thin all over my scalp, and in the area that the burning has spread to, i can see my scalp. it's insane. none of my friends believe me when i say i'm going bald because i had really thick hair to begin with, so i guess what it turned into now in such a short time is somewhat unnoticable still but i myself notice a drastic change and it causes me grief. my hair is still fairly long, so i hide the thinning well. i guess this is why my friends don't believe me and make jokes, but i don't think it's a coincidence that they always comment that it looks like i just cut my hair. whereas i used to cut it every 2 weeks, i have not cut my hair in about 3 months now.

oh and one more thing to note, around april, i started having massive anxiety attacks and insomnia. my heart rate/blood pressure would just sore randomly, and i'm sure it's no coincidence that my hair began falling out during this period. lately the attacks have been less as i've been trying to help my life with meditation and other activities.


Gemma Kolanta
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 10:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I too am a sufferer of burning scalp syndrome. I am 28 yrs old and have suffered from bouts of severe anxiety in the past. The burning sensation tends to feel worse when I am stressed but I suffer even when I am not stressed. My hair has thinned. Its a bit of a viscious circle cause when my head burns I get stressed so it burns more! Does anyone have any personal evidence that antidepressents help with the burning senasation or any other suggestions

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 01:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


Antidepressants certainly help anxiety and stress, but they often cause hair loss. You'll see personal testimony of this on any discussion forum you visit.

The burning scalp syndrome is hard to cope with. I don't think antidepressants are the answer. I hope someone on this board will give you a good suggestion.

Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 05:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i notice too that when i am stressed out, the burning seems more. when i'm less stressed, it feels like my scalp is "nervous"... it's not quite burning but it's a weird sensation, does that make sense?

the pattern that it's falling out is like mpb (top and font) although the fact that my head burns makes me wonder. and also the fact that all my hair is a lot thinner now, sideburns and back included. it's just moreso on the top and front.

sometimes i think a few are growing back, they might come in small but then just stop, and might fall out again.

it's hard to control the anxiety period and then realizing the drastic change in my hair just makes it that much worse. ugh

i posted the previous message signed "-j" by the way.

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 07:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


Most dermatologist think there is no sensation of burning or itching in and around hair follicles that are becoming miniaturized. But a minority of dermatologists think there are feelings of "discomfort" in miniaturizing follicles.

I have a theory about what causes the burning scalp syndrome. This theory is completely unsubstantiated but it does make some sense physiologically. (Some things that make sense, though, are not exactly true. When I take a bike ride in the morning it makes sense that the Earth is flat.)

A tight, immobile scalp usually has a sluggish lymph flow. Lymph fluid is what carries metabolic debris from scalp tissue. If waste products are not carried away efficiently and fast, some subclinical inflammation might ensue. Muscle contraction in the scalp (the contraction of the epicranial muscles) speeds up lymph flow and therefore the quick elimination of waste products.

Muscles are all around the scalp - the frontalis in the front, the occipitalis at the back, and the auricularis and temporalis at the sides. But in the middle (vertex, crown), where itching is notoriously bothersome, there are no muscles - there is only the galea, the thin, fibrous membrane with little blood supply. (There is a blood supply over the galea, though, in the subcutaneous layer of the scalp.

It's usually in the area of the galea where severe itching develops, and this itching seems most intolerable in extremely tight scalps. Does any of this make sense? Check out the anatomical pattern of the galea, then check out the area of "burning." Does there seem to be some congruence?

Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 08:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

ok, so now I have read all of the messages and I have the same thing; what do I do about the hair falling out and the scalp hurting? I am a 57 year old female; could it be hormones? are antidepressents not the answer?

Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 04:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

hi my name is Khalil, I'm 23 years old and i'm suffering Male Pattern hair lost since i was 15or 16. In the first 3 years i used sugar Pill but didn't help at all. Then when i was 19 used Neoxidil ( 2% Minoxidil). In the first year i saw my hair loss has been decreased but after that slowely the hair loss re increase . I think right now I would be classed as a 3 or possibly a 4 on the Norwood male pattern baldness scale. I've been using Revivogen for about 40 days and the results are very discouraging: After quitting Neoxidil my hair loss is very moderate and week after week i feel that my scalp is more visible. !!!!
And for the shampoo, my first 5 times were good and i felt that hairloss during the shower is decreasing. But Again guess what?? the hairloss in shower reincrease to it normal level!!!!!
the only incouraging thing (after using Revivogen) is that i see very little new thin hair but i don't see them growing that much....
Honestly I am asking if I should stop using it and return to Minoxidil????
One more thing is after doing your excercice i found that my scalp is so oily though my hair are dry and dull!!!!
Thank you
please Answer me

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 12:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


I answered you by email. I'll answer your last question here:

When people first start to do the scalp exercise many notice an increased oiliness in their scalp. This is because the scalp exercise squeezes excess sebum from the sebaceous glands. The sebum from these glands enters directly into the hair canal close to the canal opening. There is some DHT in this material so you should shampoo at least three or four times a week. Use just a minimum amount of shampoo and rinse thoroughly.


Posted on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 12:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

"Check out the anatomical pattern of the galea, then check out the area of "burning." Does there seem to be some congruence?"

i'd say generally yes, although it has seemed to spread out to other places, like the sides of the top and the front. but the majority of it is around the galea area, and that's where it started/felt worse.

i'm speaking of the burning sensation. i never experienced any itching. also, my scalp feels hot when i touch it sometimes. like moreso than usual head heat.

i'd also like to note that around the time this all started and up until maybe last month, i was also experiencing bad dandruff. i don't anymore, and additionally the shedding has gone down more and more.

Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 06:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

just want to add, recently i've been using aloe vera gel on my scalp, and it seems to help with the burning some. my hair looks and feels very very thin now though, i cut it short and it's really scary what it's become in just 5 or so months...

Posted on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 11:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

22 yr old male. hey i wrote a few months ago about me having thinning on the right side of the front of my scalp. It hasn't really changed much in 3 months, but i have this constant dull pain where the hairs have thinned and seem more brittle than the rest of my hair. If i'm balding that's life, but i'm freaking out just in case it might be something else.

My concern is that it might have been caused by a fracture that i had on that side of my head; but could that affect the circulation several years after as i grew. I also remember right before it thinned that i was very stressed, and had horrible headache from sleeping next to open achrylic paint containers (art major). could that be cause to te?

Just woried because i hear that thinning is usually always symetric whether it's diffuse or mpb and the dull pain is a constant stress. Any one know what the hell this is?

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 09:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


You wrote, "but i have this constant dull pain where the hairs have thinned and seem more brittle than the rest of my hair."

I'd have some imaging tests done to see what's happening in that area of your cranium. Forget about getting answers to your problem from people on this board. You want firm answers based on tests. These new imaging machines can tell you exactly what's wrong.

Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 06:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

thanks. Can my dermatologist give me any answers. I have an appointment tomorrow So i guess i should ask about an imaging test huh?

Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 10:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have read that amitriptyline can help with Burning scalp syndrome. I am taking it now and will let you know how I get on

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 12:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


Let us know how you do on this drug. Amitriptyline is an antidepressant that is also sometimes prescribed for eating disorders and chronic pain. If you read the messages on hair-loss forums from people on antidepressants (mood elevators), you'll see that many of these people attribute their hair loss to these drugs.

Mark Jeans
Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 04:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I am a 23 year old male. I have been experiencing hair loss for a few years now and really bad over the past year. I suffer from severe anxiety and panic attacks i also have depression and insomnia. I have been taking herbal medication for my anxiety for the past year and it has made quite a difference.

My stress level has been high for 4 years now. I moved away to go to college and after about a year i started having anxiety attacks almost every day and it just took alot out of me. Also last year i was going to get married and then that fell through and that got the stress going again. So my question is did the stress and anxiety make my hair fall out? and will it ever come back?

I have been using stuff on my hair now for 7 months...well i used procerin for 6 and that didnt work and nioxin for half of that time and really didnt see any results. I went to the hair club a month ago and started using there extreme hair therapy and which has stuff like nioxin in it and also rogaine and since i have been using that my hair has been falling out like crazy, and is really starting to show even when i dont have stuff in it. I have thinning all over the top and its getting quite hard to get through a day now. Let me know what to do.


Mark Jeans

Mark Jeans
Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 04:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I forgot to add that I have been having scalp pain and itching for most of this year also. If i itch around that spot a hair comes out and the itching usually stops.

Mark Jeans

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 08:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Mark Jeans:

Your question is will stress and anxiety make your hair fall out; and will it ever come back. You want a definitive answer for this. Of course there is no definitive answer.

The causes for baldness and hair loss are multifactorial. This means genetic predisposition (several genes on both sides of the family), plus interaction with environmental factors (stress, anxiety, diet, drugs).

You wrote, "I have been using stuff on my hair now for 7 months..." My opinion is that the "stuff" you're using is not going to help you much. People who start losing their hair, though, are apt to believe the advertising copy they see on the various websites that peddle this stuff.

My suggestion: read through the educational material on my site - - at least a half dozen of the key pages. Once you gain knowledge about the biology of hair loss, you'll be better able to make rational decisions about treatment options and avoid the scam products and companies.

Everyone says that appearance is important to them, but some people lack the motivation to do a little work to improve their appearance. The work I'm talking about is learning about your problem first, then taking effective action. Hair is a major component of appearance, but you know that already.

Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 10:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

k i found this site by doing a google search on burning scalp and hair loss, im a female who used to have very thick hair, but im noticing major thinning around the hairline and crown. hair feels different. anyways, i have had this burning scalp problem, i also find at times my face and chest area will get very heated and this connected. would i go to family doctor for this or straight to my dermatologist?

Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 12:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hello, I have been suffering from what I assume to be Burning Scalp Syndrome since the summer of 2002. I've seen two doctors and they make me feel like I'm making the symptoms up. I was referred to a dermotologist but he automatically put me on Effexor without even listening to my symtoms or exploring other options. He believed that Effexor works with stimulating the hair follicle into regrowth. I was only on a low dose for three months but took myself off it as it was not doing anything besides giving me nightmares and jaw clenching. The dermotologist basically said he didn't know what else to do for me.

I am 25 years old and have always had thick, dark, healthy hair. When the burning started, it was at the crown of my head and has since spread over the majority of the head. It gets very hot at times and very painful. It feels like my scalp can't handle the weight of my hair, if that makes any sense. It also feels like someone pulled my hair really hard and the scalp is sore.

The hair loss is really freaking me out, I feel like if this continues that I will have bald patches within the year. My hair looks and feels different, very thin and flat, and any hair that grows in around the hairline is very fine and falls out easily. It comes out in handfuls in the morning, in the shower, is all over the pillow and sheets, over my clothes, I can't stand it and it adds extra stress.

I've tried using different pillows, using different shampoos and conditioners (Nioxin?), taking vitamens, getting haircuts, even an antidepressent that supposedly works, but nothing has helped!

I don't know what else to do, but it does help to read that others are going through this as well. Any advice would be great.

Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 03:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

just some advice from NYC to anyone reading this page:
i've recently been suffering from many of the symptoms being described here. like many, i suspected the worst. finally i went to see my doctor who told me not to worry, it was likely due to stress. the pain i'd been feeling began a few weeks after i had started a new job in the city, even though my work doesn't feel that stressful to me. the doc said i was likely feeling stress subconsciously (in addition to the stress i felt about potentially losing hair), and to try such stress relievers as exercise or biomechanics. he also suggested getting 8 hours of sleep and eating right, neither of which i had been doing. lastly, and maybe most importantly, he suggested i get my eyes checked. i've never worn glasses before, but it turns out i'm farsighted and was straining to look at the computer screen all day. this caused stress which manifested itself in a number of ways, one of which was scalp pain. according to the doc, the scalp, like other parts of the body, is sensitive to hormonal changes in the body (women often feel scalp pain after pregnancy), and that something which causes hormonal imbalance like stress and anxiety can easily trigger pain in these areas. after all this, i'm now free of scalp pain and notice no increased hair loss. i hope this helps.

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 09:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


What you described as burning scalp syndrome was causing you distress before your doctor prescribed Effexor (venlafaxine). This is an antidepressant - a mood elevator. Have you been reading any of the messages on other hair loss discussion forms? Many people state that their hair loss problems started or got worse after taking antidepressants.

Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 01:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'd take the advice that guy two rows above me gave. I have the same Burning Scalp issue and thinning hair.

It started about 4 months times its very intense ..and there is NOT my imagination..its very real.

BUT it started during about the most stressful time in my life and it started THE DAY after I noticed my hair was thinning inthe back...I've had it ever since..every goddamn day.

BUT I just went to Spain for a week on a vacation and didn't feel scalp pain once. Not one day. Got back a week ago and its been here every day.

Its doubt. Whats the correlation between the pain and the hair loss. If I stop the pain to I stop the loss?? I'm guessing no..maybe slow it though

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2004 - 12:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


I can't give you a good answer to your question - "Whats the correlation between the pain and the hair loss?"

The standard answer you'll get if you read texts on hair loss is that there is no pain involved when hair follicles are becoming miniaturized or actually dying. But when you read messages on discussion forums, you'll see that many people who are losing hair is certain areas of the scalp experience some pain or intense itching in these areas.

This is sheer speculation, but I think that miniaturizing follicles are often subject to subclinical inflammation. This inflammation causes the pain (burning) or itching.

Your further question is about the relation of stress to this burning sensation. I can't answer this.

jayne davis-collins
Posted on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 11:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i cannot believe that i have found this website. i am in my 40's, have had what most call 'beautiful hair.' then about 2 years ago,i started getting the painful scalp and started noiticing some more than usual hair loss after showers, and combing it- also more loss.

i had used pinetar shampoo in the past for painful scalp, i am a runner and these symptoms usually signified a case of needing to massage the head more during shampooing to get rid of sweat-oil build up; did not work this time.

other factors which came into play at the time-
---STRESS, which like 'anon' on Sept. 3 said, these stressors did not feel like stress but obviously, they had to be!:
*my marriage went south
*i returned to college full-time first time since late 70's!
*had to acquire a computer and learn how to use it!
*had to relocate and find new friends
*was working 3 jobs, dropped one to attend school
had to ask my parents for $-have never done that.
*my 3 children needed my help to process divorce
and tended to blame me...
*i got so busy with all of this that my running became almost nihl
MEDICATION-wise, i had been on antidepressants before and they never caused hairloss or anything.... i have taken some but quit...
at the same time that all of the above occurred i had to quit taking VIOXX for pre-sed arthritis b/c the insurance comapny would not give it to anyone who did not already have ulcers.MY HAIR WAS AT ITS BEST WHEN I WAS TAKING VIOXX..

I HAVE WONDERED if the scalp pain is not from an autoimmune problem that has gone to my scalp...AM still checking that one out. IN THE MEAN TIME...

ENDOCRINOLOGIST said that throid was low, fixed that!--got levoxyl.HE ALSO PUT ME ON BIOTIN, SELENIUM AND ZINC

ALLERGIST- i am going to see this dr. and query the possibility of this being an allergic reaction. i already have allergies and maybe this is a new sensitivity to something.

DERMATOLOGIST put me on hematogen for an extremely low serum iron level-this is now 'fixed'---women should check this one out
HE also out me on the 'luxiq' a cortisone foam to calm down the pain, redness flairups
PSYCHAITRIST put me on klonepin and busperone to curb the anxiety- whenever i feel pain in scalp i take the busperone and it calms me and therefore the scalp...
when the hairloss started to get worse, i began stroking my hair to get the loose hairs out before they got on my clothes...bad mistake, can't stop pulling on hair!

i went to a wonderful nurse practioner who is doing HYPNOSIS THERAPY for the anxiety. She is teaching me to relax and stop touching my hair!
AND i have found that i probably really shot myself in the foot when i quit running-it was the thing that helped me cope all of my life and i quit when i needed it the most..
TOM has mentioned that the hair follicles are shrinking and that this is at the core of this painful scalp/hairloss thing. i have been told the opposite, that the hair follicles are inflamed and enlarged and therefore pressing on nerves--what do you think about this idea?
i also use the nioxin shampoo and this has given ne some confidence while i find the answers...

by and large, as you can see, i have done the thorough search for an answer both physically, psycho-emotionally, spiritually too-i have found a church to serve in.
this all started in summer of 2002 and now it is 2004. i still have a burning scalp and hair loss. i may still find an organic problem, still need tips from anyone out there... but i do think that the pscho-emotional is a much bigger player than we think.


Tom Hagerty
Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 09:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Jayne Davis-Collins:

Your message demands a long reply but I have no time now. I'll get back to it tomorrow. But I'd like to make one comment now. You wrote, "TOM has mentioned that the hair follicles are shrinking and that this is at the core of this painful scalp/hairloss thing."

Here's what I wrote: "This is sheer speculation, but I think that miniaturizing follicles are often subject to subclinical inflammation. This inflammation causes the pain (burning) or itching."

In the most usual type of hair loss, the hair follilces are miniaturized but the extended follicular unit is larger. The whole unit (pilo-sebaceous unit) consists of the hair follicle and the adjacent sebaceous glands. In people who are losing their hair or have other scalp problems, the sebaceous glands become quite large exuding substantial quantities of sebum.

Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The sebaceous glands adjacent to the hair follicles definitely are larger in men with MPB. These larger glands are active in the production of sebum which contains DHT. The DHT can then be reabsorbed through the scalp skin possibly exacerbating the miniaturization of the hair follicles - a vicious cycle.

Jayne Davis-Collins
Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 09:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

thankyou for responding, i would welcome anything you have to say on this subject, b/c i still cannot make the pain go away all the time. does the pain mean inflamed follicles? and if so, is this the time when the hair is at risk to come out, perhaps b/c the follicles are acting like injured tissue and 'laying aside' the job of healthy hair production and maintenance?

even when i am feeling fine and am happy i have trouble with the burning sensation...(so i don't think that going on vacation will halt the issue)that is why i think that this is an allergy or a problem for a rheumatologist.
Tom, are you a physician?

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 09:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


Pain could mean inflamed follicles. Click - My Approach - then read the sidebar with the heading "Another theory." Does this theory about quickened lymph flow getting rid of waste products in the scalp area make any sense to you? Many people on this discussion forum have noticed that after several months of doing the scalp exercise, scalp pain disappears or is greatly diminished.

An allergy? An allergy to what? The most likely is an autoimmune reaction. But if this were the case, what treatment would the rheumatologist suggest? Autoimmune problems are difficult to treat.

Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 04:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


Sorry to be busting in like this on someone else's thread with a relatively irrelevat question to the original topic, but what is the meaning of assymetrical recession? MPB implies a great deal of symmetry from what I gather by looking at bald people all day long. Should I get some blood tests done to be on the safe side of this one?

And now a comment relevant to the thread:
While I don't have any actual scalp pain during my shedding, some spots of my scalp get incredibly itchy after a rigorous scalp excercise session.

Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 05:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

definitely check this out:

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 09:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


That's an excellent article that you gave us a link to. Tension headaches, according to the article, are caused by sustained muscle contraction. "One cause of this muscle contraction is a response to stress, depression or anxiety."

Many people who do the scalp exercise report on this discussion forum that tension headaches disappeared after only a short time on the program. The scalp exercise does not result in sustained muscle contraction; it keeps the scalp muscles pliable and resilient while giving the scalp flexibility.

Stress, depression, and anxiety, on the other hand, tend to foster contracture, which is a permanent or semi-permanent contraction of a muscle or muscle group.

The article, by the way, has a detailed anatomical drawing of the facial and neck muscles.

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


The overwhelming majority of people with MPB have a symmetrical pattern of hair loss. A very few have the asymmetrical pattern that you refer to. I don't think that any tests could determine the cause of this asymmetry, certainly not blood tests.

People who have had blows to the head which may have resulted in some scar tissue or adhesions may develop an asymmetric pattern of loss. I don't think this would be correctable.

No, I don't understand why a a spot or two on your scalp would itch after a session of the SE.

Paul Zender
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 08:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'm surprised to find out that I'm not the only person suffering from a painful hair loss condition. My hair loss began at age 18 and I developed intense burning and pain in the areas of hair loss. I was able to predict which areas would be next because of the inflammation that preceded hair loss.
Then I developed "scalp atrophy" in the balding areas, which is a term that you don't hear discussed very often. Scalp athophy is a tightening, hardening, and thinning of the scalp associated with MPB that is very uncomfortable. Put together all 3 things, burning, pain, and scalp athophy, I was miserable.
Doctors were rude, disbelieving, and unable to treat it. I tried everything from Progesterone injections into the scalp, and various other topical treatments to Minoxidil, and nothing helped by much.
Over twenty years later now i still have this condition, and there are only a few things I've discovered that seem to calm the symptoms. 1. The use of niacin by mouth causes a flush of the skin that temporarily helps stop pain and helps to slow hair fallout, and sometimes stimulates some regrowth. It used to be available in topical form, and that was the best treatment I ever had for this condition. 2. Denorex shampoo has a mentholated effect that is soothing and helped reduce fallout. Mentholated rub on gels or creams in general are helpful.
3. The use of a daily tranquilizer helped me with spasms of the scalp muscles and anxiety. 4.The use of Zoxtrix cream (red pepper)on the scalp helps to fight pain and increases circulation which i think is a major factor involved in the inflammation. 5.When tightness and pain are especially bad, tying a bandana around the head can help reduce the disomfort.This is also mentioned as a headache remedy by some headache specialists. Beyond that, we are still at the mercy of unknowlegeable doctors to this day.

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 09:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Paul Zender:

You said your hair loss began at age 18 - mine began at age 19. Many people who have been fighting the hair-loss wars for a long time ("Over twenty years later now i still have this condition") tend to develop rigid threories about the causes and treatments of their condition. I suppose I'm guilty of this cognitive narrowing too. But if you still are open to new ideas, I wish you'd read My Approach. I may be delusional but I think the scalp exercise program keeps the scalp flexible and lowers the potential for scalp (skin) atrophy.

You said that you tried progesterone injections. Progesterone is a steroid hormone, in natural form, obtained from the corpus luteum and placenta. Topical steroids and steroids injected locally increase greatly the potential for skin atrophy. This is not a personal insight; you will find this bit of information in medical texts.

"The use of a daily tranquilizer helped me with spasms of the scalp muscles and anxiety."

Go through the different discussion forums on hair-loss web sites and you'll find many messages about hair loss related to the use of antidepressants and mood elevators (tranquilizers).

If what I wrote in those two long articles I gave you a link to makes any sense - or doesn't, I would like you to post a message here again.


Jayne D-C
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

hello again, Tom and all. I have been looking on websites that detail info on tricyclic anti-depressants ('google'the previous 2 words and you can see the info too) like amitriptiline and hair loss is not ever mentioned in the side effects. however, weight gain would be the major prohibitive factor for me-info said that this could cause gain of a pound per month....i think it might be important to note that any side effect can be just temporary and some side effects don't come into play because dosages are not high enough to bring them on.I have been around mental patients, people who cannot conduct any semblance of normal life without very strong doses of antidepressants, these are the people that i have seen with thinning hair and weight issues. Anyone that has mentioned taking effexor, etc. their physicians are going to start them out on the lowest possible doses hoping to effect results with as little meds as possible. No medications are meant to be permanent. they are meant to help your body live normally through a rough period that your mind has to journey through! Also,I think that the person who mentioned that their doctor told them to pursue regular, normal sleeping and eating patterns was giving good advice; we are really only meant to 'ride the rollercoaster' a couple of times a year at the county fair!
Tom, i don't know what i could be allergic to that would cause hairloss other than something like 'celiac' which is an allergy to wheat gluten. As it builds up in the intestines, lots of things happen and hairloss will continue until the allergens are cleansed from the system and exposure ends.Celiac can be determined via bloodwork. I am still thinking autoimmune as the problem; we will see. lately tho, i have been losing almost no hair in the shower or during the day. i don't know if this is the ol'anagenic time of year for me, or that the meds and luxiq and hynosis are kicking in. I went to your website; i like everything there. i just have a question--men have hair transplants and the new hair 'lives'. if the blood flow was non-sufficient to support the old hair how is the new going to be sustained? how does this exercise differ from the effects of a simple massage of the scalp? just curious.

Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 08:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


I have had a panik attack 4-5 months ago and after that (a couple of week later I think) I realized that I have lost hair. Maybe I was not checking carefully before that, and the hairloss was already there, I don't know. To this date my hair is still thin.

I also have a sensation that I would describe as getting goosebumps or something like that on the right side and back, and sometimes on the of my head. I also have some kind of burning/irritated like feeling on top to. The "goosebump" sensation comes when I think too much or remember what I had to cope with and after that (mostly but not all the time) I feel the burning/irritated feeling on the areas I have refered above.

Sometimes I loose sleep, or wake up in the middle of the night and can not sleep for a couple of hours.

Can this be AGA (androgenic alopecia)? Because the burning sensation is related to AGA and some other alopecia. I am very woried about that.

Another question is this. I have had an big fear in 1990 or so and have had a little thinning in the front part of my hair. If my hair was long you would not notice it that much. I did not get regrowth or little regrowth at that part. Would that be categorized as AGA?


Tom Hagerty
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 09:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Jayne D-C:

You wrote, "No medications are meant to be permanent. they are meant to help your body live normally through a rough period that your mind has to journey through!"

Pharmaceutical companies make most of their profit off drugs that are "meant to be permanent" like the drugs to lower cholesterol or keep blood pressure under control. Rogaine and Propecia are supposed to be taken permanently or all that was gained will be lost according to the manufacturers. And how about people with bipolar disorder - if they stopped using lithium, the manic stage would reapear to make their lives unmanageable again.

"i just have a question--men have hair transplants and the new hair 'lives'. if the blood flow was non-sufficient to support the old hair how is the new going to be sustained?"

Lack of blood flow did not cause the hair in balding areas to fall out. Other factors like overly sensitive receptor sites for DHT in hair follicle cells caused the original miniaturation of the follicles and therefore the hair. The hair follicles transplanted from donor areas of the scalp are more resistant to miniaturization. When they are transplanted to balding areas, new capillaries form to nourish them.

" how does this exercise differ from the effects of a simple massage of the scalp? just curious."

I've written about this in detail many times before. I don't want to do it again here.


Tom Hagerty
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 09:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

This page is now too long - too much vertical scrolling. Please post new messages on this topic here - Scalp pain followed by hair loss, page 2.