How To Stop Hair Loss From Birth Control
Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
And for most women of reproductive age, the pill is a safe and convenient way to avoid becoming pregnant. However, as with all medications, the birth control pill can potentially cause side effects.
Although its uncommon, some women report experiencing hair loss while using forms of hormonal contraception. Read on to learn more about the link between birth control and hair loss, as well as steps you can take to prevent hair shedding while using the pill.
Preventive Measures Against Hair Loss
- Consume food, which is rich in vitamin A, B, C, E, protein and iron.
- Intake flaxseeds, fish and walnuts to get fatty acids, which is essential for natural health of hair.
- Increase the quantity of biotin, silica and zinc in your meal as it induces hair growth as well as keeps the scalp healthy.
- Avoid using hot or warm water for hair wash as it increases hair loss.
- Do not use very hard shampoos on hair instead, go for mild ones that contain moisturizer.
- Use steam to rejuvenate your hair. Dip a clean towel into hot water, squeeze the excess water and cover your hair with the towel. Leave it till the towel cools down. This increases blood flow towards the scalp and even clean the pores, present on the scalp.
- Rubbing of fingers vigorously on the scalp after washing hair also increases blood circulation and prevents hair loss.
- Drink adequate amounts of water, based on your weight and sodium intake.
- Keep your scalp clean and avoid dirt and dust.
- Hair trimming is again a good option for preventing loss of hair.
- Do not tie back your hair tightly.
- Do not comb your hair when it is wet, and do not even towel-dry it again and again roughly.
- Avoid blow drying on a daily basis. It damages hair follicles and makes the scalp dry.
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Incredible Hair Skin And Nails
Paige started out losing hair, but within 6 months her head was covered in the fuzzy joyous sign of new hair growth! Some women experience increased acne with certain hormonal contraceptives, and others experience hair loss, itchy skiin other skin symptoms. Whatever your symptoms, they have a root cause and you can support your body in healing.
Paige was able to clear her skin, bump her natural glow and grow some luscious locks.
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What Is The Pill And How Does It Work
Birth control pills are taken daily to prevent pregnancy. The pills contain hormones similar to the ones that naturally exist in a womans body. Those hormones help prevent ovulation. And without ovulation, theres no egg released for sperm to fertilize.
There are two types of birth control pills: progestin-only pills and combination pills . Both types of pills are highly effective they just contain different amounts of hormones.
You can also choose between conventional pills and extended-cycle pills. The conventional pills come with 24 active pills and four inactive pills. This enables you to get your period regularly, every month. Extended-cycle pills are designed so you take more active pills in a row and typically have your period four times a year, or once every three months.
Hair Falls Out For Many Reasons
Many new moms experience excessive hair shedding after pregnancy. Hair shedding usually peaks about four months after giving birth. By their childs first birthday, most women regain their normal hair growth. If your hair does not regain its normal fullness after one year, you may want to see a dermatologist. Something else may be causing your hair to fall out. People lose hair for many reasons, and an accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.
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What Are The Symptoms
Your symptoms will depend on what kind of hair loss you have.
If your hair is thinning, it happens slowly over time, so you may not notice the hairs falling out. If your hair is shedding, then clumps of hair fall out. You may lose hair all over your scalp, which is called general hair loss. Or you may lose hair only in one area, which is called focal hair loss.
With inherited hair loss, men usually get bald spots around the forehead or on the top of the head, while women have some thinning all over the scalp, but mostly on the top of the head.
Since your hair has a lot to do with your appearance, losing it may cause you to have lower self-esteem if you don’t like how you look. This is especially true in women and teenagers.
Hair Loss In Black Women: Tips From An Expert
Almost half of black women experience some form of hair loss. However, few doctors are familiar with black hairstyling practices, leaving many women to sort through unhelpful or even harmful advice on their own.
Dermatologist Crystal Aguh, one of just a small group of dermatologists across the country specializing in hair loss, offers these tips to help women protect their hair and recognize common warning signs of hair loss.
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Birth Control & Hair Thinning
How oral contraceptives can contribute to hair loss and what you can do about it..
Birth control pills work by adjusting the balance of hormones in your body.
Because the growth cycle of your hair is influenced by hormones, your hair may be affected if you are taking a contraceptive pill . For some, this manifests as hair loss.
Please note, there are two types of hair loss associated with birth control pills: hair thinning and hair shedding. They have different symptoms, and are caused by different things.
Hair thinning takes place gradually over time and is an inherited condition. This article primarily focuses on the connection between contraceptive birth control pills and exacerbating hair thinning.
Hair shedding is immediately noticeable, and is caused by a disturbance, imbalance or shock within your body. For more information on how birth control methods may affect hair shedding, please visit our page on Hair Shedding and Hormonal Contraceptives.
Negative Effects Of Hormonal Birth Control On Skin
The following are some of the common and rare skin disorders which may result from the use of hormonal oral contraceptives, depending on how users react to the hormones contained in the contraceptives.
Results and side effects also vary depending on the volume and density of the contraceptives used. These are manageable for the most part at home and there are professional treatments also available, if need be.
Acne. A common chronic disorder that affects the hair follicle and sebaceous gland resulting in the expansion and blockage of the follicle and inflammation.
Melasma. A common skin disorder that appears as a bilateral, blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation.
Autoimmune progesterone dermatitis. This is a rare skin condition in women that is directly correlated to their menstrual cycles. It is the skins response to the hormonal changes that happen before menstruation. The skin rash is an autoimmune response to the progesterone in the body.
Spider Telangiectasis. A benign vascular skin lesion.
Porphyria cutanea tarda. This results in . Individuals with PCT show very fragile skin on the back of their hands and the forearms. Other sun-exposed parts of the skin such as the face, scalp, neck, and arms may also be affected.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What is causing my hair loss?
- Is there a treatment that will work for me?
- How long will it be before my hair grows back?
- Will my hair grow back the same, or will the texture be different?
- I have a fungal infection. How long will it take for the medicine to start working?
- Should I change my hairstyle?
- Can I do anything to make my hair look fuller?
Can Birth Control Can Protect Against Other Conditions Too
Birth control pills can also help with a wide range of other conditions, from anemia to hair loss.
Heavy periods may make you prone to anemia due to the amount of blood lost. When youre anemic, you dont have enough red blood cells to carry healthy amounts of oxygen throughout your body.
Anemia can make you feel tired, weak and even out of breath. By lightening your period or making you skip it altogether, the pill can reduce the amount of blood loss and alleviate anemia symptoms.
If you have certain types of hair loss or excessive hair growth , birth control pills can be a surprising treatment. They regulate the amount of androgens, male hormones, in your body. Keeping androgen levels within normal range may also help hair growth return to normal levels.
Birth control pills can also help with many other painful conditions, like migraines, mood swings and polycystic ovary syndrome . If youre not sure whether birth control will help you, read more about when to talk to your doctor about painful period symptoms.
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How Birth Control Pills Influence Hair Loss And Growth
Since birth control pills alter hormone levels, they have the potential to mess around with your skin and hair. First things first, it depends on the pill youre taking. The synthetic hormones in it can be either oestrogenic, in which case they help to keep hair in their growth phase for a longer period, or androgenic, which can reduce this time period considerably, explains Dr Mahesh Chavan, consultant, endocrinology, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.
An increase in androgens will lead to thinning of hair, which could then result in female pattern hair loss . If you already have high androgens in the body, which is common in the cases of PCOD and PCOS, taking the right pill can not only treat the concern, but also help with female pattern hair loss by increasing the oestrogen in the body. Furthermore, it can reduce hair growth on the face as well, says Dr Reshma Vishnani, consultant dermatologist, trichologist and aesthetic dermatologist, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.
Still, it all depends on your genetic makeup. If youre genetic predisposed to having sensitive hair follicles on your scalp, androgenic oral contraceptives might have a negative impact on hair growth. So if you were to have female pattern baldness at the age of forty, it will unmask earlier, says Dr Vishnani. However, this also works the other way roundif you take oestrogenic pills, they may actually help improve hair density and growth considerably.
Gently Dry With A Towel
After washing your hair, use a soft towel to wrap your hair and let the towel naturally soak the excess water. Avoid rubbing your hair shafts together to dry your hair.
Use a scrunching motion to gently dry your hair without damaging the roots or the shafts. If you are in a hurry, use a hair dryer at a moderate heat setting. However, avoid frequent use of blow dryers at all costs.
Heres What You Can Do To Counter The Effects
Dr Vishnani points out that just like your skin, your hair behaves differently during the each phase of the menstrual cycle. Just before you menstruate, the hair gets oiler due to the high level of testosterone in the body. This can also cause an increase in hair loss during the time, she explains, adding that hair fall can happen due to several reasonsmedication, genetics, stress, thyroid levelswhich can all play a role in hair loss when you use oral contraceptives. Its usually just temporary, and happens only in the beginning in the telogen effluvium phase. In this phase, whatever hair was going to fall anyway is pushed out. And to reverse that, you need to treat it. We have to first investigate for other concerns too, like iron and Vitamin B, and thyroid issues. If any one of these things arent in the right amounts, we supplement that. If the DHT levels are high, it needs a different hormonal treatment. The most common treatment to combat the hair fall is using minoxidil topically. Other popular treatments include mesotherapy and PRP, says Dr Vishnani.
Does Birth Control Cause Hair Loss
As mentioned above, the birth control pill can cause side effects. Some of the most common include headaches, nausea, spotting , changes in your menstrual cycle and soreness that may affect your breasts.
The birth control pill can also cause a few less common side effects, such as changes in your sex drive or potentially serious issues such as blood clots.
These arent common, but are important to know about before using birth control.
Hair loss isnt a frequently reported issue related to the birth control pill. However, in some cases, the hormones in the birth control pill may affect your hairs growth cycle and result in a form of temporary hair shedding called telogen effluvium.
Normally, your hair grows as part of a multi-phase cycle and grows to its full length over the course of several years during the anagen phase .
Next, it enters into the catagen stage which is a transition from growth to rest.
Finally, hair enters a resting phase called telogen, during which it ceases to grow and is replaced by a new hair that grows from the same follicle.
If your body is sensitive to the hormones in the birth control pill, it may cause your hair to move into the telogen phase of its growth cycle prematurely.
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Can Birth Control Help Treat Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a painful condition caused when the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. The uterine lining sheds during menstruation. Uterine lining growing outside the uterus has nowhere to go, and this causes extremely painful cramps. And, as tissue builds up over time, the tissue can become swollen and inflamed.
Birth control with high levels of progestin is a common treatment for endometriosis. The pill can be used to skip your period, which keeps the uterine lining from shedding and stops painful endometriosis symptoms. Progestin also thins the uterine lining, which can lessen painful symptoms when you do get your period.
What You Can Do
The first thing you can do is simply understand what’s happening, acknowledge that it’s temporary , and allow yourself some grace.
But of course, there are several ways you can tend to the acne that you are experiencing at this moment:
- Since you’re likely experiencing increased sebum production, look for oil-controlling and anti-inflammatory botanicals and products. Jojoba oil is thought to balance sebum and microbial overgrowth. Green tea has been shown to help ease sebum, redness, and inflammation. Finally, lactic acid is a gentle exfoliator that is equal parts hydrating .
- Hormonal breakouts tend to be localized around the mouth and chin. So instead of treating your entire face with acne-specific skin care , you can treat the area at hand. Try multi-masking with a clarifying mask on the lower half of your face while adding a hydrating option elsewhere.
- Consider lifestyle changes. For example, consider whether food and stress are additional triggers. You can try putting yourself on a clear-skin eating plan or at least limit dairy and foods with a high-glycemic-index rating. As for stress, we know that lowering levels of stress can be good for multiple factorsbut we also know it’s hard to do, so the best advice here is to try multiple modalities until you find one that is right for you.
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