Treatments For Neurologic Conditions Can Change Hairs Texture Color And Volume These Experts Explain Why And How To Handle The Changes
Kelly Baker was 13 when she was diagnosed with and prescribed divalproex sodium . The drug controlled her seizures but caused her hair to fall out, which was terrifying. “When it first started, I had no idea what was going on,” says Baker, who is now 42 and lives in Los Angeles, where she’s a family therapist. When her doctor adjusted the dose, the problem resolved. But a strange thing happened when her hair started to grow back. Her previously straight hair came in curly”not a little bit curly but the curliest hair you’ve ever seen.” Baker didn’t know how to tame it or style it or which products to buy. And she didn’t love being asked repeatedly by classmates and friends, “What happened to your hair?”
Baker’s change in hair texture is not uncommon after hair loss, says Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Different factors like hormones, nutrition, and genetics can change hair color or texture,” she says.
Baker endured her curls for two years and then found a stylist who could relax it with chemicals. “I didn’t want to look different,” explains Baker, who still takes divalproex sodium. “But I hated the process. It’s so bad for your hair, and the chemicals get into your system, and it never lasts. I’d get it done, and then my hair would grow an inch and I’d be back where I started.”
How Hair Grows
How Depression Might Play A Role In Hair Loss
Experts have found some evidence to suggest certain depression symptoms may be linked to hair loss.
A 2012 study explored possible links between hair loss and depression symptoms in 157 women of various ages seeking treatment at a dermatology clinic.
The researchers asked questions about:
- hair type
- underlying health conditions associated with hair loss
- depression symptoms
- personal relationships
Of the women interviewed, 54 percent said they experienced hair loss. While 29 percent of the women reported two or more symptoms of depression, 38 percent of the women experiencing hair loss also had at least two key depression symptoms:
- a persistent low or sad mood
- fatigue and low energy
Study authors also noted that women in their 20s and 30s were more likely to experience symptoms of both depression and hair loss.
The study didnt determine that depression actually caused the hair loss, however. The researchers also didnt rule out all possible medical causes of hair loss. Still, the results suggested that changes in mood, such as depression, may be linked to hair loss.
Ashwagandha Lowers Cortisol Thus Lowering Corticosteriod Levels A Prime Factor In Hair Thinning And Stress
A double-blind placebo controlled study with chronically stressed patients who took 125mg to 500mg of a patented form of ashwagandha , saw significant improvements to their stress, and biomarkers associated with cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein. Those who took 500mg of ashwagandha had cortisol levels 30% lower than those who took a placebo.
Ashwaghanda is also believed to get rid of dandruff and improve scalp circulation for improved hair quality. Nutrafol for Men and Women are both formulated with Sensoril Ashwagandha to help improve your hairâs health that may be affected by elevated stress hormones.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Hair Loss Concealer
What Further Research Is Required On The Psychological Effects Of Hair Loss
A strong theoretical understanding of the psychological impact of alopecia is required, including knowledge of the immune system, the stress response, and psychological responses to hair loss. Appropriate treatment strategies and regimes need to be established, implemented, and studied in a clinical setting.
Self-consciousness about body image is consistently portrayed and commented upon in the media. The role of the media in emphasising an expectation of a full head of hair should be explored, as well as how it can be used to educate society about hair loss and tolerance of peoples physical differences.
Hormones Including The Pill
In women, estrogen or progesterone hormone replacement therapy , also known as menopausal hormone therapy or treatment for menopause, is associated with the onset of telogen effluvium.
Hair loss on birth control pills is also a frequently reported side effect. Some women experience hair loss while they are taking the pill, while others see shedding only after stopping oral contraceptives or when they switch from one type of pill to another.
Hormone injections, hormone skin patches, progestin implants, and vaginal rings can also lead to hair loss.
Why does the pill, other contraceptives, and HRT cause hair loss? They trigger the telogen phase in your hair follicles, particularly if you are sensitive to the given hormone or if you are already predisposed to hormone-related hair loss . Its the same mechanism seen in alopecia during and right after pregnancy.
So, birth control pills and hair loss: Is it permanent? For most women hair loss related to birth control pills is not permanent. However, if you are already predisposed to Androgenic Alopecia , you might continue to see your hair fall even after stopping the pill or any other hormone-based birth control, and will continue losing hair progressively thereafter.
To help prevent or at least slow down this situation, the American Hair Loss Association recommends opting for low-androgen index oral contraceptives.
They are listed from the lowest-androgen to the highest-androgen index:
What Is Hair Loss
Hair loss is a common problem that affects up to 50% of men and women throughout their lives .
Hair loss can be broadly categorised into scarring alopecia and non-scarring alopecia, with hair loss on the scalp further classified as focal or diffuse alopecia.
Hair loss can occur anywhere on the body, but most commonly affects the scalp. Abundant scalp hair has societal and cultural importance. Loss of scalp hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes frequently leads to psychological distress.
Causes Of Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium happens when the body is stressed in a number of ways. You may have heard people talk about hair loss occurring after childbirth or after a major surgery.
Other conditions which may result in this type of hair loss include an illness, poor nutrition, crash dieting, or starting a number of different medications. The mental stress of clinical depression, or whatever event precipitated depression in someone with situational depression, can cause telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium occurs when hair follicles go into their resting state of growth too early and stay there. Since a larger than normal number of hair follicles are in the telogen phase, hair loss can occur diffusely, all over the scalp. Humans normally shed around 100 hairs daily, but this number can be greatly increased with telogen effluvium.
The good news is that hair loss on Wellbutrin is temporary and completely reversible. There are several distinct types of telogen effluvium. The one related to Wellbutrin is caused by a temporary disruption in the hair cycle.
There is another type of telogen effluvium in which the trigger is ongoing. Some people with thyroid problems or nutritional deficiencies experience this type of telogen effluvium, which is more gradual than other types but lasts longer.
How To Handle Depression And Hair Issues
The good news is that Frank said that hair loss caused by TE is temporary and generally resolves on its own. However, it’s vital to address your depression as soon as possible.
“If youre experiencing depression, its important to visit your primary care physician who can help guide you to either a psychiatrist or psychologist to get the right treatment necessary to help overcome it,” said Frank. “There is no shame in speaking to someone or taking medication to help overcome depression.”
Does Wellbutrin Cause Hair Loss
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Suffering from depression is like living in a well its dark and feels very, very alone.
Antidepressant medication can help, but may come with side effects and adverse reactions. Understanding these risks before you begin antidepressant drugs can help you prepare for those potential results.
If youre experiencing hair loss at the same time youre taking Wellbutrin for depression, you may feel stuck between a rock and a hard place like you have to choose between your hair or your mental health.
This isnt the case. You can have both.
Talking with a healthcare provider before you make any changes to your medication doses will help ensure you make choices that stand to have the best outcomes.
In other words, theres no sense in giving up your antidepressant if its not causing your hair loss.
There may be a way to halt your thinning hair while preventing a depression relapse.
The Link Between Certain Ssri Medications And Hair Loss
Some SSRIs that have been linked to hair loss include Prozac , Lexapro , and Zoloft , among others. These medications have been used for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders including mood and anxiety disorders.
Over the years, several cases have been reported worldwide of people who took SSRIs and experienced distressing hair loss as a side effect .
Which Antidepressants Are The Most Likely To Cause Hair Loss
The retrospective cohort study examined the effects of antidepressants including fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, duloxetine, venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, and bupropion.
Of the studied medications, bupropion, an atypical antidepressant, was found to have the highest risk of hair loss associated with use of the medication. Paroxetine, commonly known as Paxil, is an SSRI and was associated with the lowest risk of hair loss.
The other SSRIs and SNRIs studied were associated with a risk of hair loss that is lower than bupropion but higher than paroxetine.
Chris Evans Jokes About ‘moobs’ From Hair Loss Medication
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Some hair loss can run in families, whilst other hair loss can be brought on by a number of factors. Not all hair loss is permanent, and there are a number of treatments out there. According to the NHS, your GP should be able to tell you what’s causing your hair loss by looking at your hair. There are also a number of myths around why you might be losing hair.
High Blood Pressure Medications
We usually hear a lot about metoprolol side effects including hair loss. But that is not the only blood pressure medication linked to alopecia. ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, both used to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions, can cause hair fall in some patients after a few months of starting the treatment.
The most common heart and blood pressure medications that cause hair loss include:
Only about 1 to 5 percent of patients report hair loss with blood pressure medication, and it is usually a temporary side effect and fully reversible.
Furosemide is a blood pressure medication that does not cause hair loss as is Hydrochlorothiazide. Discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of these drugs and the ones you are taking.
Do not interrupt or change the dose of your current medication without first consulting with a health professional.
Why And How Do Medications Cause Hair Loss
Drug-induced hair fall is often due to an alteration of the normal hair growth cycle caused by the pharmaceutical. Some drugs directly damage the hair follicles and some drugs disrupt the growth phases, making them longer or shorter.
Usually, each follicle goes through 3 main phases when growing hair:
The Anagen phase is the active hair growth phase. It may last between 2 and 7 years. This is when your hair grows longer.
The Catagen phase is a short transitional phase that lasts about 2 weeks. This is when the hair stops growing longer but it is still attached to the follicle.
The Telogen phase is the resting and shedding stage that lasts about 2 to 4 months. This is when the hair starts detaching from the follicle until eventually the hair shaft and bulb detach and fall. This gives room for a new hair strand to grow from the same follicle and the cycle starts once more.
Based on this explanation, medications cause two types of hair loss:
When To See A Doctor
Its always best to talk with a dermatologist or other healthcare professional about any hair loss that concerns you.
Even if you have symptoms of depression, hair loss often happens for other reasons. Without the right treatment, you could keep losing hair.
Since significant hair loss can cause stress and contribute to a low mood, it could even be the case that consistent hair loss is fueling feelings of depression, rather than the reverse.
Its best to connect with a professional if you notice:
- bloating or changes in weight
- trouble with memory and thinking
Preventing Or Stopping Hair Loss
Using a special shampoo or changing the way you care for your hair will not prevent telogen effluvium or stop the process once it is underway. Stopping Wellbutrin is the surest way of stopping future hair loss. Working to , however, may reduce one of the triggers for this kind of hair loss.
Telogen effluvium hair loss usually resolves around six months after the stressor which started the process is removed. For example, without any intervention, hair loss usually resolves around six months after delivery of a baby, after the resolution of an illness, or after a new medication is stopped.
Possibility 3 The Patient Has A Hair Condition That Is Different Than Telogen Effluvium But Is A Close Mimicker
A variety of conditions can mimic “telogen effluvium” including androgenetic alopecia and diffuse alopecia areata. These need to be carefully ruled out by a dermatologist. Similarly, other scalp issues which can be worsened by depression such as seborrheic dermatitis can increase the amount of daily shedding a person experiences.
Blood Pressure Medications Captopril And Lisinopril
ACE inhibitors are a class of medications used to treat high blood pressure. They include the medicines, and . Both of the drugs have been known to cause hair lossbut only in around 1% of patients taking them.
What You Can Do
If youve recently begun taking a new medication and have noticed hair thinning or loss, talk to your doctor about switching to another medication. They may be able to choose a medicine that doesnt cause the same side effect. Your doctor may also recommend that you stop taking the medication for a few months.
If youre experiencing pattern baldness as a result of medication, some treatments like Rogaine , Propecia , and dutasteride may be right for you.
You may have to use these medications for a certain period of time before you see results. For example, it may take six months or more to see results from Rogaine treatment. Learn how to get the best results out of Rogaine.
Hair transplant surgery or laser therapy may also be right for you if youre experiencing pattern baldness.
Home and lifestyle remedies include wearing a wig or hairpiece and covering your hair with a scarf or hat.
Many people who undergo chemotherapy choose to proudly display their new look. Remember that if youre going through a tough health situation, you have every right to be proud of how youre fighting it. Its entirely up to you to decide the look youre most comfortable with.