Sep 1, 2014

Melissa's Hair Diary: Natural Hair, Fibroids, and Me - Part 1


About a month ago, I underwent a Fibroid Myomectomy - I had two large non-cancerous fibroid tumors removed - leaving my uterus intact. To say I was surprised that I had to go through this procedure is to say the least. I thought I'd share my journey to recovery in three posts. Part 1: Before I knew I had the tumors, Part 2: Living life with the tumors and Part 3: The recovery and the future. Let's get started.

The picture above is from 2011 - it was the last time my hair 'acted right'. It was thick, curly, and my edges were flourishing! About six months later my hair started to shed like crazy! I didn't know what the deal was, but I knew I had an issue. So, I did what most naturals do, I started the vitamins. After some research on other natural hair blogs and YouTube channels, I chose to use biotin and Vitamin E to help with hair growth. I went to a stylist and got my ends clipped too. Anything to stop the shedding.

What I didn't know was hair shedding is sometimes an internal issue. For me, the development of the tumor started to pull the important vitamins and minerals out of my system causing my hair to shed, break, and feel really dry. I didn't have an answer, I knew there was an issue, but I never thought it was a fibroid tumor.


In my circle, three of my friends had fibroid removal surgery in ONE YEAR. When it started to hit home, I started to realize that fibroid tumors were a real thing. I started to think about the women in my family, most had fibroid tumors, and almost all have had partial or complete hysterectomies.

During my research, I found that Fibroid tumors occur in 80% of ALL WOMEN, more than 50% of those women are women of color (African decent, Latino, and Asian).  Plus, there's a definite connection between relaxers and fibroid tumors. This connection is what leads many black women to starting their natural hair journey. That wasn't my story, but it's a real deal.

Tumors can grow in all parts of the uterus including the fallopian tubes, outside of the uterus,  and in the lining of the uterus. Most women experience pain in the abdomen, heavy menstrual cramping, long periods, and fatigue when the have fibroid tumors. Most doctors recommend removal of the tumors and/or the uterus to help women get back to normal.   

I never had ANY of those symptoms. So, I never thought I'd have to deal with the issue. I was different. My cycle was like clockwork, barely any cramping, and I still had the flow of a teenager, 5 days max. It was another discovery that led my doctor to the helping me figure out what the HECK was going on with my hair and my body. But, I'll tell you about that in Part 2 . . . stay tuned!

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