Stop and Reverse Birth Control Hair Loss

Edited by Donna, Eng, Doug Collins, JP1986&& and 1 other

If you are taking birth control pills, hormone injections, progestin implants, using the skin patch or using the vaginal ring you could be experiencing hair loss. These forms of hormonal birth control contain hormones that can disrupt the delicate balance of the immune, endocrine and reproductive systems. In some women, the hair loss occurs when they stop taking the pill. With others, hair loss is experienced three to seven months after they stop taking it. Either way, the hair loss is caused by an excess of androgenic activity that causes hair follicles to shrink, resulting in female pattern baldness.

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Hormonal Birth Control Methods That Cause Hair Loss

Hormonal birth that can cause hair loss include:

  1. 1
    Hormonal injections.
    Hormone shots are injected directly into the upper arm or buttocks to prevent ovulation.
    Some forms of hormonal birth control are delivered by injection.
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  2. 2
    Oral contraceptives.
    Taken by mouth, these are pills that suppress ovulation. The female body is dosed daily for 24 days of month with excess amounts of the hormones estrogen or progestin or both estrogen or progestin (depending on the brand of pill that you are prescribed.)
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  3. 3
    Progestin implants.
    Tooth-pick sized rods that are implanted surgically on the underside of the upper arm just beneath the skin. The rods suppress a continuous dose of progestin, which in turn prevents ovulation.
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  4. 4
    The skin patch.
    This is a clear plastic patch that is placed on your buttocks, upper arm or shoulder. The patch constantly releases sustained doses both progestin and estrogen into the body to suppress ovulation.
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  5. 5
    The vaginal ring.
    This is a two-inch flexible ring that is placed manually into the vagina and that continuously releases the hormones progestin and estrogen to suppress ovulation.
    The vaginal ring is infused with hormones to prevent ovulation, but although it is an effective birth control device it can cause hair loss.
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How to Stop and Reverse Hair Loss Caused By Hormonal Birth Control

  1. 1
    One of the best ways to avoid hormonal hair loss is to immediately cease the use of hormonal forms of birth control.
    Hormonal birth control methods work through the suppression of the production of estrogen and/or progestin in the body. This means avoiding hormonal injections, oral contraceptives, progestin implants, the birth control skin patch and the vaginal ring as described above in the section Hormonal Birth Control Methods That Cause Hair Loss
    Alopecia hair loss pattern at the top of the head; a possible consequence of taking birth control.
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  2. 2
    If there is female pattern baldness in your family, don't take oral contraceptives or use hormonal forms of birth control Hair loss in women is related to an inherited hypersensitivity to hormonal changes.
    It is best to choose a non-hormonal form of birth control to avoid problems. These options include using condoms, a cervical cap, the diaphragm, the IUD and the Lea birth control device. Refer to the section below, Non-Hormonal Birth Control Options That Stop Hair Loss below to see a complete list of ways to prevent pregnancy without risking baldness.
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  3. 3
    Ask your doctor for a prescription for pills with a low androgen index.
    This is no guarantee of stopping hair loss, but it does reduce your risk of massive or permanent hair loss. These pills are also a little less effective at preventing pregnancy.
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  4. 4
    Eating a healthy, high-protein diet may help regrow your hair.
    Androgenic hair loss is very hard to fight because it is caused by hormonal disruption. Stopping use of the hormonal-disrupting birth control method is the answer. However you may be able to encourage your hair to grow in healthier by eating foods high in protein, iron, biotin and the B vitamins such as eggs, steak,, salmon, nuts and leafy greens.
    Poached eggs are one of the best foods to eat if you are trying to regrow your hair.
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  5. 5
    Avoid subjecting your hair to traction damage.
    Hair follicles shrink during the use of hormonal birth control methods and hair strands become thinner. Don't stress your delicate hair follicles further by tying your hair tightly in a ponytail or clip or by tugging on it with a curling iron or brushes. Wear your hair loosely until it grows back.
    Avoid stressing your hair with tight braids if you are on hormonal birth control to avoid damaging fragile hair roots further.
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  6. 6
    Avoid all chemical processing until your hair grows back.
    It is a bad idea to damage your hair follicles further by using hair straightening chemicals or dyes on your scalp. Let your hair grow in naturally and give your scalp a rest to prevent permanent hair loss.
    Wear your hair naturally while on birth control to prevent hair loss.
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Non- Hormonal Birth Control Options That Stop Hair Loss

Non-hormonal forms of birth control that do not cause include:

  • The cervical cap, which is a silicone dome that fits tightly against the cervix and prevents sperm from entering the uterus
  • The contraceptive sponge which is a s disposable sponge placed in the uterus that contains spermicide
  • The diaphragm, which is a latex dome that is used in conjunction with spermicide to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus
  • The female condom which is a polyurethane sheath, that resembles a plastic baggie that is inserted in the vagina and catches the sperm before it can enter the vagina
  • Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (The Copper IUD), which uses copper wire to change the bio-chemistry of the uterus so that it kills sperm
  • The Lea Contraceptive which is a flexible silicone deice that is coated with spermicide and placed inside of the cervix to prevent pregnancy
  • Spermicide, which contains a sperm-killing chemical called nononynol-9 and comes in the form of a cream, gel, foam, suppository or clear film that is applied inside of the vagina.

Donna West diaphragm.jpg

Tips And Tricks

  • The birth control pill is sometimes prescribed for a type of hair loss called female pattern baldness (alopecia), but only in women who have not been on the pill before and have no genetic predisposition towards hair loss
  • Most women who stop using hormonal birth control find that their hair grows back within a year.

Questions and Answers

Having hair loss and texture change from seasonique - should I switch to low androgen pill or stop the pill?

I have been on seasonique for 8 years with no issue. Winter 2015 I tried to stop it but got bad cystic acne that I had never had before going on the pill. Waited several months but couldn't handle the acne and went back on seasonique. Three months after and since have thought my hair has been thinning gradually. In November noticed texture change to coarse and dry which happened very quickly with shedding. Stopped seasonique and am taking vitamins but not sure whether to switch to low androgen pill or stop the pill. Which is better for the hair? If I stop, how do I control the cystic acne without hormones or spironolactone? Don't know whether stopping birth control or switching to low androgen is best for hair. I have tried: Stopped seasonique but has only been 10 days. Got bloodwork done to rule out thyroid, iron, etc. All came back normal. Cut my hair to make it look thicker. Started taking multivitamin and biotin. Got a prescription for low androgen pill Desogen but haven't started it yet. I think it was caused by: Stopping and restarting Seasonique. High androgen birth control.

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In this case, it is best to follow your doctor's advice and take the prescription for the low androgen pill Desogen. This, in theory, should help you reach a state of hormonal balance that helps prevent the hair loss and at the same time prevents the acne. To help support the elimination of DHT from building up on your hair and skin, try rinsing your hair and face with cooled nettle tea, while you are in the shower. Nettles are natural neutralizer of DHT. Simply brew four cups of boiled water with two nettle teabags and let cool. Drench your hair with the nettle solution and make sure that you dab a washcloth into the solution and wipe your face with it. Do this every day before soaping up and washing your hair and body in the shower.

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Article Info

Categories : Hair Loss

Recent edits by: JP1986&&, Doug Collins, Eng

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