Lovely.

I was a hormonal mess as a teenager.  I had terrible skin (which I cured with Accutane – not pleasant) and terribly greasy hair.  Post-Accutane, my skin/hair normalized almost entirely due to hormonal birth control.  So, you can imagine the joy that is now, as I have been off the pill for four months and am at the mercy of my whacked out hormones.  (Also: hormone, hormone, hormone.)

I give you “Things I Didn’t Know Could Happen To My Hair (And/Or Face)”:

1) I had no idea I would go from perfectly normal, three-washes-a-week hair to completely-unable-to-wash-clean hair six weeks after stopping the pill.

2) I had no idea I would then spend the next 10 days washing my hair with three different kinds of “stripping” shampoos, before trying baking soda pastes and Dove bar soap in desperation, only to discover that my hair was still greasy immediately after drying post-wash every single time.  I took two showers a day for ten days and my hair was never clean.  It was the worst.

3) I had no idea I would be attending my best friend’s baby shower, a graduation at the school where I had just been hired and several family events in those ten days with (still filthy) hair I just washed with a bar of body soap.  (Spoiler alert: I looked like a crazy person.)

4) I had no idea I would solve this hair trauma with a $2.50 bottle of Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo and I could never have predicted the sheer joy I felt when my hair dried for the first time in what seemed like fifteen years and was actually clean.  (As it is, though, I still can’t go more than 24 hours max without a shampoo.  Screw waiting for positive test results – the grease factor is really the worst part of trying to conceive.)

5) I have had at least one active pimple on my face at all times for five weeks.  I’m hesitant to even complain about this, because when I was sixteen, I would have traded anything to have only one pimple at a time.  However, I’m a month shy of 26 and have been acne-free for five years and there is something really distressing about suddenly having to worry about whiteheads and bright purple facial scars again.

Basically, I’m feeling pretty beautiful right now.

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9 thoughts on “Lovely.

  1. I bet you really are beautiful right now! Don’t worry, the pregnancy hormones will probably balance it all out again. Or not, but hey, it’s possible.

    And “(Spoiler alert: I looked like a crazy person.)” made me LOL.

    • Hahaha! I’ve always hoped pregnancy hormones would even me out – I deserve nine months of relative normalcy! At the moment, however, I’m stuck with the worst of both worlds: menstrual symptoms (i.e. terrible skin/mood/outlook/relationships with others) and nothing to blame it on. 🙂

  2. I really love your blog. Very cute…I can totally relate…Here is a list of my musts and must dos for the at home fine tuning of the skin. I have the http://www.riiviva.com at home microdermabrasion tool. It’s magnificent. It also saves me $250 per session. I do the plum and onion recipe for my acne. I know it sounds different but a girl can never have too many ideas. I do the tooth paste dab for any pimples and of course the cool yogurt facial treatment is a must for sure

    Yey, you have a new follower now. Woot woot.Thanks girl and keep it coming. GirlPower

  3. Hi, I too suffer from really oily hair and after I stopped taking birth control (due to the fact that I didn´t tolerate it) my skin exploded too! It was sooo oily and I had acne that covered my entire face! I was wondering what type of birth control you went on?

    • I was on Gianvi, which is a generic form of Yaz, for about two years. My only issue with it was that I’d get terrible migraines for the four days I was on the placebo pills. (I thought it was a small price to pay for being a normal person in all other ways). Now that I’m off it, I have a least one active, deep cystic pimple at a time and have to wash my hair every day (I just went two days and it was not good). I just read through your blog and I think it’s awesome that you are tracking your Accutane progress. I have exactly two pictures of my skin before I started and zero of myself during the process because I just felt so horrible all the time. However, all the insanity is SO worth it. At the risk of sounding dramatic, that medication changed my life.

  4. Did you take birth control while you were on accutane? My derm told me that the acne can return when one terminates birth control. I hate having oily hair and skin, and prior to accutane I had to wash my hair at least once a day. I would wake up in the morning with really greasy hair and after a day at uni, I would usually have to wash my hair before going out (so I feel your pain:P). I was wondering if you took birth control, while being on accutane? I signed the “I pledge” paper, and didn´t have to be on the pill. My derm told me that it is common that the acne returns after terminating birth control. So maybe your skin will calm down once the hormones are in balance.. Did you have oily skin prior to accutane, and did it return to the oily state after you finished? I was also wondering how long you were on accutane and how long you were acne free after you ended your treatment? I really hope accutane will work for me, and no I don´t think you sound at all dramatic:P! If this really does work, than no wonder it is called “a miracle drug”… My derm told me that after I finish with accutane I will have to use a topical retionid (aberela). This is to prevent me from getting acne after my skin returns to normal aka oily state. Acne has really affected my self esteem, and I having a hard time to actually believe that accutane will work for me.. but I feel like I have no other choice than to try it out! Did you have days when you didn´t believe accutane would work? I read some blogs about people having to take accutane several times, and some people have to take it after 6 months of ending their first treatment. :/

  5. Oddly enough, I was actually happier than I had been in years when I was on Accutane. I had some very odd faith in it – I had tried countless rounds of antibiotics and topical creams at all the dermatologists I’d been to and I was just so excited that someone had finally put me on Accutane that I was really, really happy the entire time. That’s not to say I didn’t feel miserable, because my skin was both breaking out and flaking off (which meant I couldn’t wear makeup) and my eyes were so dry I couldn’t wear contacts and actually got a bunch of eye infections (pink eye and sties, etc.). It was a pretty horrible time for me, but I felt like the horror had an end, you know? I was finally doing something that could fix it (because by that point, I had completely given up on everything else – Proactiv and salicylic acids and all that crap).

    I wasn’t on the pill when I took Accutane (I also signed the abstinence pledge) because I had taken a high dose birth control pill the year before I started Accutane and it made every part of my body get enormous. When it came time for me to start Accutane, I was so terrified of hormonal birth control that I just decided not to have sex ever again (…or until I got rid of my acne).

    My skin (face, chest and back) and hair were completely unmanageable before Accutane and in the past six years since I’ve been off of it, I have never, ever had any break out that was like what I had before. Ever. I’m currently doing a lot of weird hormonal things to myself that have screwed with my equilibrium, but when I’m not doing that, Accutane was absolutely a total success for me and has been for most (if not all) of the people I know who took. My youngest brother had terrible cystic acne all over his face and just finished his first round of the medication. His acne is way less severe, but as he was starting from a really horrible place, he still has mild break outs and will probably go on a second round to clear it up for good.

    I would totally recommend sticking with it! I know how upsetting and aggravating and self-esteeming-collapsing the entire process is, but like I said before, it absolutely changed my life. I am so grateful for it.

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