Hair Loss At 20 Years Old, Sarah’s Story

by admin on October 4, 2007

At the age of 20 years old, I decided to go on birth control, so my doctor prescribed me to “Symphasic”. About 3 or 4 months later, I realized that my hair was thinning, I left it for about 6 months.. and then I went to my doctor, and she switched me to a different birth control – Yasmin. I thought it would be the answer, and I would be cured… but I was FOR SURE wrong. The hair loss got worse. Every month I lost a little more. It wasn’t until this past June that I decided to give up birth control all together and hope for the best. My hair loss began to stop a little, until around the middle of September, and that is when it started shedding more, and it continues to October, which is now. I keep hearing that it takes up to 6 months or more for birth control to get out of your system, and I HOPE that I will then grow my hair back, but what these women on the this site have to say is no hope.Does this sound exactly what you women have gone through? I am starting to get scared. I have had blood tests- and apparently there is nothing wrong with me. Should I be hoping that going off birth control was the best thing, and I will grow my hair back? I am so stressed about it, and like other women say… it takes up about 98% of my thoughts every day! I am crazy self conscious and i cant stand it any longer. if you could please write any comments or suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated!Thanks so much
Sarah

*******

Hi Sarah,

I read your story and I instantly was taken back to 8 years ago since your hair loss began around the same age mine did. I have to point out that I’m not a doctor, but here is my opinion on your situation. Honestly Sarah, I think you have a really really good chance of recovering from this completely, I’ll tell you why. The duration of time you were on the pill wasn’t very long, and also Yasmin is suppose to be a low androgen index birth control pill so I don’t think the damage it would cause would be as severe as say the pill I took, which was Loestrin FE, the highest (or at least was the highest) androgen index pill. I’m not sure about the Synphasic birth control pill because I’ve never heard of it, I tried to Google it and didn’t find much on it, however, on the upside I didn’t find anything good or bad on Synphasic, which I think is a good sign. When you type in the pill name I took “Loestrin” and “androgen index” or “high androgen” you’ll find TONS of stuff that point to women having hair loss problems, a lot of sites explaining it is a high androgen pill etc etc. I don’t even know why they prescribe it to women and I certainly don’t know why they had prescribed it me at 20 years old. I didn’t find anything like that about Synphasic, that’s not to say that the pill wasn’t bad for you, obviously it was, you had hair loss from it, but at least there isn’t an overwhelming about of negative stuff on it. I think that’s a good sign.

Blood test’s being normal is pretty common for women experiencing hair shedding after coming off the pill, I don’t know why, but perhaps it is because there is a range of what is considered “normal,” and since we don’t usually test those things when we are fine, how would be know what our “normal” really was. I haven’t heard that it takes 6 months for the pill to get out of your system, but that would seem like a reasonable duration of time that it might take for your hormones to re-stabilize themselves, of course this is just speculation.

As far as the shedding, it usually takes 3-4 months to experience shedding after stopping the pill and it is not uncommon for the shedding to continue for another 4-6 months. You stopped in June, you started shedding in September, I’d say that is a pretty normal situation, similar not only to birth control hair loss, but postpartum hair loss as well. That doesn’t mean this is going to continue on forever. I think you did the right thing getting off the pill. I think you are giving yourself the best opportunity to recover from this, I wish I had made that choice years ago. I even wrote a post about that titled “regretting past decisions on my hair loss.” Sarah, if I could go back I would leave everything alone and ride it out. I was young, instead of jumping around with treatments and getting back on the pill I think the better option would have been to try and let my own body heal itself, and hopefully my hormones would have re-stabilized, or whatever, so that my hair loss caused by getting off the pill would have ceased on its own.

You probably have some months of shedding ahead of you, so hold on and know that you made the best decision at this time. Trust in yourself. Know that you have more hair now than you realize and the shedding while distressing to you, isn’t noticeable to others. Looking back now I realize even when I thought I was at my worst 8 years ago, 7 years ago, 4 years ago… I wasn’t. No one really noticed my hair loss. I did, and it made me hide and feel self conscious, but I realize now how much hair I had back then, even after suffering with hair loss for so many years. Today is a very different story for me, but our cases our very different. You are making the decision I should have 8 years ago.

You should realize something when you search for hair loss answers online and you find other women who may be suffering, and as you wrote “say there is not hope,” the women who have gotten all their hair back after birth control hair loss or postparum hair loss or whatever type of hair loss, are most likely not spending their time online in “hair loss support groups.” I wish they would be, so they could provide more hope to others, but how can I blame them for wanting to abandon the memory of it all together? There is hope, plenty of women recover from birth control pill hair loss, just because some don’t doesn’t mean you won’t. I met a women a long time ago while looking for a house (she was the real estate agent) and I cannot even remember how the conversation started, but she said she had hair loss from going on the pill, she eventually stopped it and after awhile all her hair grew back. Success stories are out there, but I guarantee this woman isn’t online talking about her experience because thankfully it no longer is a part of her life.

I don’t want to mislead you in anyway so I should point out that in some women the birth control pill can kick in androgenetic alopecia in women who were already genetically predisposed to it, but this isn’t true for everyone. There are treatments out there for women, and you have options if you find the hair loss continues, but I wouldn’t worry about that now.

Be patient and hold on, I think you have a really good chance of getting past this, don’t second guess yourself.

{ 186 comments… read them below or add one }

andrea October 5, 2007 at 12:42 am

Hi, thanks so much for the encouragement… my story is almost EXACTLY like Sarah’s. I got on the pill when i was 18 and noticed my hair thinning about 4 months later. that was orthotricylen-lo. after doing some research i switched to yasmin, hoping it would help. that was 3.5 years ago. i’m 21 now and my hair has continued to fall out diffusely and is scary-thin now. when i put my hair in a ponytail it’s about the width of a sharpie marker. i’m always worried my scalp is showing all over the place. worst of all, i’m in college and i sit in class EVERYDAY looking at all the other girls hair. i feel like i’m the only young girl suffering from this! i’m thinking about finally sucking it up and going off the pill– for good! i really want to do this but i’m really scared of the shed that everyone talks about afterwards. does anyone know what percentage of women get major TE after stopping the pill? i’m terrified… i can’t lose any more hair or i will never leave my house again!

sarah, what was the total amount of time that you were on the pill before you stopped? do you think it was worth it to get off the pill?

Thanks,
andrea

admin October 5, 2007 at 9:23 am

Hi Andrea, Even though it feels you are the only one suffering with this, you most definitely are not. I know that feeling well also. I also spend a crazy amount of time staring at other women’s hair, in life and on tv. It has gotten to where I can’t really enjoy movies anymore because all I do is check out the thickness of hair and the tight parts of the women and men in the film.

Your concerns about getting off the pill due to the possible shed are very real and very valid. Anytime their is a hormonal shift, going on the pills, off the pill, having a baby etc. it is possible to go through a shed. Your story is sort of the reverse of mine, My hair loss kicked in after stopping the pill and didn’t experience any while actually on it. I don’t know if there is an actual percentage of women who do go through telogen effluvium after stopping pills, everyone is so different. Some women go on and off pills all the time and don’t experience shedding or hair loss from it, others such as myself end up kicking in androgenetic alopecia from taking the synthetic hormones. I did end up going back on the pill orthotricyclen at the advice of my doctor to help restablize my hormones and treat my hair loss. I wish I hadn’t but that decision was made 8 years ago.

I wish I had an absolute answer for you. The possibility does exist that getting off the pill could cause a shed, but it also could be the thing your body needs to stop the hair loss. If you plan on having children one day that day will come when you have to make that choice to get off the pill. For myself, I wish I made the choice to stay off the pill completely as now I feel trapped into taking it for life basically. Which is why I write a lot about wanting to shave my head, so that could stop the medication and not have to see my rapid hair decline. I work on ME, I work on trying to realize I am more than my hair so I can free myself from the prison of my medication.

I’m sure this isn’t very helpful for you. But I just thought I’d share my thoughts.

~Y

angela October 5, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Hi girls,
I am so happy to have come across this site today because for the last week I have been frantically searching every website out there on the link between BCP and hair loss and a lot of forums are dated.
My situation is very similar to Andrea’s.. I am 22 years old and have been on the pill since I was 17. In high school I would obtain my pills through a local clinic. They didn’t always have the same brand, so I would take whatever they would give me (thinking that they were all pretty much the same). My body seemed pretty tolerant with all my switching so I wasn’t concerned. Throughout the years I have gone off the pill 3 times. The first two times were for only one month, and the third time (May 2006) was for two months. I had had these 1-2month gaps because I wasn’t able to obtain the pills and didn’t think it would affect my hair. In retrospect, I couldn’t have been more incorrect.
In May 2006 when I stopped taking Aviane aka Alesse, my hair was falling out at a much higher volume than normal. I didn’t know what it was from, so I started back on Aviane (bad decision) in August 2006. During August I was losing a lot of hair, and was growing more concerned. I went to my dermatologist to try and find some answers. He was the first one to inform me that hair loss was probably linked to the cessation of my pills. He explained that it was similar to post-pardum shedding and that it will shed for a few months but then all come back. From August 2006 to March 2007 I had very abnormal shedding. There were strands all over my bed linens when I woke up in the morning and on my clothes even when I didn’t touch or play with my hair. I tried to stay calm, and for the most part, I did. This was because I always had a lot of thick textured hair. But now, looking back on it, my hair was thick until mid-high school (when I started the pill) and progressively got thinner. My family pointed it out to me as well. However, I NEVER associated the change was caused from my pill.
So right now, it has been 16ish months since I stopped the pill. I have lost half the amount of hair that I began with. Andrea, my hair in a ponytail is a sharpie marker too! The shedding is now normal, and the hairs are starting to regrow BUT they are BABY fine and do not seem thick enough to compensate for such a dramtic loss over the last year. Because I am still on the pill I am afraid it is affecting the texture of my regrowth, and that being on it is making it fine and sparse, and all over thinning (because that is what it has done for me overall since I began them). I want to stop taking them, but I am afraid for the same reasons as Andrea. I don’t have the same amount of hair as I used to where I can afford 50% of it to shed. And now that it is not falling out excessively, I am tempted to just give it 6 more months to see if it gets better. But what if it gets severely worse? … I am not really sure what to do and am trying to joke around with my friends and bf that if I have to shave my hair and pull a Britney I will. And I will just be happy in my wig.. but really that is not really what I want.

Andrea: I just graduated college so I know how you feel. I am sure that some girls are going through the same thing too. I have one friend who is dealing with the same thing but not as severely as me, and I know of someone else who lost a majority of her hair too… It makes me so sad and mad that no one warns you of this possibility. I feel like we are both in a similar situation. We don’t have much hair to spare if we get off the pill, but if we stay on, it might get even worse. From all the research I have been doing, I think I am going to try and “prep” my body for the hormone change it will have to soon endure when I get off the pill. I am a vegetarian, so I am pretty sure my iron and protein levels are under par. I read that these nutrients are important to hair growth, as well as Vitamin B.

Sorry my entry is so long. I feel like I am more just rambling because I am 90% sure I will stop taking the pill and just deal with whatever happens after. *hope for the best, prepare for the worst* I am scared but I think its the best decision…

Andrea: keep me posted on your condition and what you may have decided in your situation.

-Angela

Sarah October 6, 2007 at 4:11 am

Woww…. I am amazed by the response i have received to this problem, and all the others girls that are so quickly responding to the SAME problem as i am….I cant believe I never found this site early… i search like a crazy person almost a couple times a week for answers to this problem.. !!! First off, thank you SO much for responding to my problem, and making me feeling less alone! Although i know you are no doctor, It is good to here advice from someone that has experienced this..because doctors REALLY don’t seem to understand it! or care for that matter! THank you sooo much for your support and time, it really means so much.

Second of all, Andrea and Angela, I am now 21… and i am in college too… it is AMAZING to see that other people are going through the same thing as me… and your daily thoughts are SO much like my own!! i look at my hair everyday, trying to analyze and see if there are new hairs..and yes, my pony tail is as thin as a sharpie too! And looking at other girls thick head of hair everyday at school kills me almost everyday. To answer andrea’s question.. I started the pill Symphasic in April 2006, and switched to Yasmin in Janurary of 2007. Then, i recently quit yasmin in June 2007. So over all, i was on birth control for a year and 2 months.

SO do i think it was worth getting off the pill? At the moment, I am shedding quite a lot.. and yes, it sucks.. but over all, I am extremly happy that I am off the pill. First off, I am happy not to be having any more crazy horomones entering my body, and I am also happy that hope may still exist in my future. Right now the shedding really sucks.. and if it lasts longer than 6 months well maybe i will have a different opinion then, but i could tell almost a month after i had quit that new hairs were growing. although i am shedding now, i have faith that it might stop. I am also trying hard to beleive that all the my body is in the process of getting the pill out of my body. I say this because my periods are on a weird cycle, and also i am breaking out on my chest.. which NEVER has happened. SO i figure, it the rest of my body is dealing with the horomonal shift, then my hair is too.. so i am trying to just weight it out. Along side, I am also taking a multi vitamen specifically targetted for women, and also iron supplements.. whether these will help, who knows, but i thought i would give them a try anyways…

A couple questions… Angela, are you on the pill or off the pill now? in your response, it said something about “16 ish months of stopping the pill”?
To the administrator of this site.. ( once again, thank u sooo much!!) ..do those who usually expereience hair loss from birth control have androgenetic alopecia, or telogen effluvium?

Well girls please keep my updated on your thoughts, and what you are doing.. I will most definitly keep you updated on my process.. and HOPEFULLY there may be some positive results in the near future….
Once again thanks, and keep your head up. xx

andrea October 6, 2007 at 4:39 pm

hey girls! thanks for the responses… wow! i have pretty much made up my mind to go off the pill this december and just see what happens. i’m terrified!!! i wanted to get off of it asap BUT my boyfriend is studying in Paris this semester and i’m going to visit him over thanksgiving break. there’s NO WAY i wanna be stuck using condoms in the most romantic city in the world, lol. i’ve been taking prenatal vitamins because they’ve been recommended to me by several people. they are like regular vitamins, but more amped up (like instead of 100% daily value of something, they would have 150%). i’m also taking 1200mcg of biotin everyday. i’m really hoping i don’t go through a major shed when i get off the pill, but if i do i think i may invest in some Toppik, which helps cover up your scalp (google it… it’s really weird but i’ve heard it works). also, i’m planning on teaching english in Korea for a year starting august 2008, so if all else fails i get to escape the country for a while. if worse comes to worse, maybe that’s when ill start wearing a wig… i won’t know anyone there, so no one will know the difference! i will let you guys know how everything goes, and i would love for you to do the same. we all need some hope! have a wonderful day girls :)

admin October 8, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Hi Andrea, honestly if I were going to another country I’d shave my head… right at the airport before I got on the plane :) A new place where no one knows you is perfect to start a new look! I understand you sticking it out a little longer on the pill, might as well right, and get the benefit of freedom while spending time with your boyfriend in Paris, wow, lucky you!! Paris, never been there, hopefully I’ll make it there someday.

Let us know how everything goes with getting off the pill.

Sarah – to answer your question regarding which is experienced more by women getting off the pill, androgenetic alopecia or telogen effluvium… I’d say unfortunately thats very hard to answer. Many women only have the telogen effluvium (shedding) and return to normal, but there is also that large percentage of women that begin to have to deal with female pattern hair loss that was kicked in by getting on the pill or off, just the messing of the hormones. It’s such a tricky thing to try and understand. I read a story once from a woman who had a child and experienced post partum hair loss, then it all grew back. She had another child and the same thing happened.. hair shed and all grew back, then she had her 3rd child her hair shed and never grew back like the times before, subsequently she was diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia. Why the first 2 times she was fine and the third not?? who knows. Because of my situation and hindsight is always 20/20 I do think I would have waited longer to begin treatment like I mentioned previously. Did I jump the gun.. maybe. But I have to accept those decisions and try and move on from here. Losing your hair is so scary that sometimes I think women start to treat themselves too prematurely when perhaps a little time would have proved a favorable outcome. Treatment is always there, and while you don’t want to wait too long, as catching it early is important, I don’t think women who have only been shedding a few months should jump right on the treatment wagon either.

But back to the question you asked, I honestly don’t know what those numbers are. I am happy to read that you are happy with your decision to get off the pill. It’s important to stay positive and trust your decisions.

~Y

Sarah October 13, 2007 at 11:39 pm

thanks for your responses, i really appreciate it!
I just had a couple questions, i was wondering if you knew any answers for them…
I was reading up on TE and it states that it occurs 2-4 months after the factor that caused it (eg. stopping birth control). it also says that the hairs that come out have little white bulbs on them. Is this the same as androgenic alopecia? do they both start out the same? or do u know if andro. alopecia starts right away? i am just curious to know if there is any early symptoms that i can tell whether or not it is TE or AA, or do i just have to kind of weight it out?
Thanks :)
sarah

angela October 16, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Hey girls,
I went to my derm last week and he said to take 3,000 mcg of biotin for two months and then get off the pill and it should help the shedding by 50%.. I guess its worth a try?
Admin: you have been helping me more than you know. Simply by your very educated opinions/advice. Thanks so much!
Sarah: Sry my comment was a bit confusing. I am currently on the pill, but 16 months ago is when I stopped it for a period of three months and then got back on. So I am now on, trying to get off. Being off the pill for three months kicked in massive shedding but to give you some hope, it IS growing back. 16 months later I see hairs. At least for you, you are off of them and on your road to recovery; whereas, I got off and now am back on.. so I kind of screwed myself.. so I’m bracing myself for the coming months as I try to get off them once again.

-Angela

admin October 16, 2007 at 10:11 pm

Hi Sarah –

I think what you read about telogen effluvium occurring between 2-4 months after the offending incident is pretty accurate. Like I mentioned in my answer to your story above, I stated it usually takes 3-4, but 2-4 seems right as well. It is different for everyone.

In my experience some of my hair that sheds has white bulbs, other times it doesn’t. I just showered and shed a lot of hair, but none of them had bulbs this time. I distinctly remember a couple months ago that all of them had white bulbs. So I’m not sure what causes the bulb to appear. I do have androgenetic alopecia and experience both, so I’m not sure it is an indication of one or the other (telogen of AGA).

I wasn’t sure what you meant by ” if ando starts right away” ? As far as determining if it is androgenetic alopecia or telogen effluvium… an experienced and knowledgeable physician who frequently treats hair loss can determine if your follicles are experiencing miniturization. Miniturization of the follicles is a sign of female pattern hair loss. I’ve heard that some women also have scalp biopsies to determine if they have androgenetic alopecia. I have no knowledge or experience with scalp biopsies because I never have had it done. Pehaps someone that has had one can shed more light one the subject.

Hi Angela –

Thats a good tip about the 3,000mcg of biotin, I’m going to look more into that. It definitely is worth a try, I’d do it if I ever get the courage to get off the pill.

It really makes me so happy to hear that my words have been of some help to you. So thank you for that!

~Y

RJ October 22, 2007 at 4:08 pm

I think its great that you guys are helping eachother out. I have been batteling this same problem with my hair for 5 years now!

RJ October 22, 2007 at 4:46 pm

My hair is really really thin now, and doctors just say that there is nothing wrong with me because all of my tests come back normal. Is anyone else experiencing extreme hair loss and also fatiuge? I have been to doctor after doctor after doctor and they all say,…. oh, its your thyroid im sure. then they do the blood work and it comes back normal and then they just say that I am fine. I have been on and off of birth control pills so many times. First put on them when I was 17 due to lack of periods. During my 20’s I got on and off of them, sometimes a couple times within the month, which probably what messed me up big time. I tell my doctors that and they say nope, BC doesn’t cause that. Well then how come I find so many people on the internet with the problem, and it says right in the package insert under side effects…. may cause hair loss?!?! I have been 7 months off of the pill now with still no real improvement. I also would like to know about the white bulbs on the end of the hairs that come out. Could someone describe what theirs look like? Are they supposed to be tiny and fall off if you touch them? When I scratch my head sometimes that is how they come out but it kind of just looks like part of my scalp. So I am just wondering if that white thing that I am considering a bulb is the same thing that everyone else is seeing.

gypsy October 22, 2007 at 6:29 pm

hi RJ

i see your doc as tested yur thyroid, but has he tested your iron levels or your prolactine levels, sometime when your prolactine levels are off , you wont get a period…are you on any other meds to help with your hair loss?
your not alone…take care.
gypsy

RJ October 23, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Yes. They have done a complete work up on me. They say that my iron is on the low side but it is still normal. I took a high dosage of iron for about a year. No results from that either. I am not on any other sort of medication for it. I was even desperate enough to go to the hair club for a little while. HUGE waste of money. All they do for you is take your money and you have to buy extreamly expensive shampoos and go in for hair treatments. You have like 6 steps you have to do every day, and one of them is minoxidil, which is just rogaine which works on its own anyway but its a hassle and started making me have blurry vision because it enters your blood stream. So enough with that. Luckily I did get part of my money back. But I think they charged me 900 dollars for nothing. I could have bought the rogaine over the counter and saved hundreds. But I cant go that route. I am just on herbs right now and digestive enzymes to help out my thyroid and my stomach. I am seeing an alternitive care practitioner who seems to be very convinced she can help me and that it really is my thyroid, but I think it is from the on and off on and off with the birth control pills. Has anyone elses hair became extremly dry during, and going off of the pill?

Sarah October 24, 2007 at 8:49 am

hey everyone,
I just wanted to share my “mini” success with you all…, it may not be much, but i do know that every single bit counts.
Today, ( I am in Australia right now, therefore it is night time right now) i was doing an essay, and i became really upset because I have still been having quite a bit of shedding. So as the true procastinator that I am ( haha) I decided to “examine” my hair. i don’t know about you, but i try not to do this very often …. well surpsingly, i was quite impressed. I looked at the top of my head, and the hairs that i had seen groiwing about a month ago ( they were extemml small, and i figured it was nothing) were alot longer. and there seems tto even be NEW small ones that are developing as well. Although i am still having some shedding, it is mostly aroud my ears- the place where I have never had shedding. This is the first time i have had regrowth since my whole experience with this hair loss thing.. so it is quite excitiing… so for all of you who are going off/ or are off birth control…. keep your heads up! because there is hope off that nasty birth control… hopefully its for real, but i will keep you all updated. !!

admin October 24, 2007 at 3:49 pm

Hi Sarah – Thats wonderful News!!!! I’m so excited for you, small victories count big time. Thank you so much sharing that positive update. Like I mentioned in my initial response to your story, I think you have a really really good chance of getting past this. I’m so hopeful for you.

~Y

RJ October 25, 2007 at 1:05 pm

I know that you will all probalby think that I am crazy, but I have been desparate and looking for a solution to this hair problem. I have come across this weird idea a few times, and it was actually published in a book that I was looking through the other day too, so I thought that I would share. I am not sure if any of you have heard of nail buffing, but you take your fingernails and you buff them together. Some how that is supposed to send of some body signal to your hair follicles and make them grow… Yes I know… I think its crazy too!!! It says to do that 3 times a day for 5 minutes at a time. Its free and easy, so might as well give it a shot.

admin October 28, 2007 at 9:19 am

Hi RJ – I don’t think anything that any woman wants to try to help themselves and their hair is crazy especially when it is something as innocuous as nail buffing. Like you said is free and easy so why not? I’ve tried quite a number of things myself to help with my hair loss, I’ll have to make a post about all of them sometime. Worst case scenario you’ll have shiny nails :)

sheree October 31, 2007 at 10:26 pm

hi. i feel your pain and frustration as i, too, have been experiencing hair loss—male pattern baldness for over two years. i’ve had several blood tests taken over the course of these two years, and until the most recent one (3 weeks ago), they all came back normal. i know my body very well, and knew that this hair loss was not hereditary, and i eliminated the possibility of medications that i had been taking. everyone, including specialists, told me that it must be stressed related despite me saying that i didn’t feel stressed. i sought several opinions from various obgyn and endocrinologists. finally, the most recent test results confirmed my beliefs all along—hormonal imbalance. the blood test revealed that i had elevated male hormone levels which clearly explained my “unexlplainable” hair loss, uncontrollable acne (even under the care of a dermatologist and professional facials), and excessive body hair. i’ve never experienced any of these problems previously, but when i first began to notice, they all seemed to manifest around the same time…thank GOD i used to have really thick hair on my head, because my hair loss has been happening at a fairly rapid speed.

So… my obgyn recently prescribed yasmin and spironolactone which, together, are supposed to be extremely effective in controlling/stablizing these issues by lowering androgens (male hormones) and increasing estrogren. my dermatologist and endrocronolist, as well as my obgyn, are confident that within 6 months, i should experience a noticable difference overall, and a drastic one as far as improvement with my skin.

i just started both therapies today, so way too soon to make any judgements… my suggestions to you are to identify a dermatologist that specializes in hair loss and have them take a scalp biopsy (sample of your scalp that is examined under a microscope) and communicate any and all meds you’re taking, take zinc and vitamin B complex, use only a wide tooth comb and start from the bottom to detangle and work your way up towards the roots, don’t blow dry, have blood test taken every 3 or 4 months as something new may show up that previous tests didn’t show before (i’m a witness to this), pray (it works if you’re sincere and believe), and do not stress (stress is the true enemy as it affects all bodily organs without you knowing). be sure to ask your dermatologist or primary doc about prescribing a birth control that is appropriate for you along with spironolactone.

i sincerely wish you all the best, and will let you know how my new therapy works out for me. my fingers are crossed as i’ve been praying hard for relief. there’s hope for us both, and we truly have to believe there’s an answer for us, and that stressing is NOT the answer.

RJ November 2, 2007 at 11:04 am

Sheree-
I hope this treatment works for you. From personal experience, it did not for me. I have been battling hair loss for over 5 years now. I have tried every doctor around and have tried so many things. My derm also put me on the Yasmin/spiro combo. He also told me to load up on Biotin, which also did nothing. I took it for well over a year. Every body is completely different, so it might work for you, but also do your research. I took the spiro for quite a while before reserching it. I found something that said you can not take it if you are or could become pregnant because it causes birth defects in babies. It has something to do with their genitals not developing properly or something. That was enough to freak me out because if it can cause something that huge to happen to a baby, I didnt know what it was doing to MY body. So I stopped taking it, but I gave it a fair trial period. I am definitly not saying it wont work for you, but It did not for me. I think its nice to hear real people’s true experiences.

Liz November 7, 2007 at 6:47 pm

when i was about 18yrs old my friends started noticing my hair was getting thin but i just shook it off then time went on an i started seeing my hair fall out alot but i was in denial..now im 27 an everybody sees it..im so depressed because i also have other health issues an just ashamed that i dont see any of my friends or family if it wasnt that i needed to work i would just crawl into my own little world an never come out..

RJ November 9, 2007 at 5:46 pm

Liz-
I know exactly how you feel. you are definatly not alone here. They say that stress causes hair loss too. It might not have been the inital cause of the hair loss, but now that the hair loss is stressing you out it could be adding to it. I for sure know the feeling of wanting to crawl in a hole and never come out. Its like it starts to rule your whole world and you are so self conscious about it you dont ever want to do anything. I am the same way, but I am determined to figure something out. Whether it is stress or a missing enzyme in my body, I wont just sit back and let the doctors tell me that they dont know what is going on. I now have to take matters into my own hands. I will keep you updated on anything I find out.
Question for you though…. do you ever drink? I noticed that when I started drinking, my hair started coming out. Well, drinking and having a crazy lifestyle.

admin November 11, 2007 at 12:05 pm

Hi Liz, Welcome to the site! Rj is right, you are not alone and I echo all of her same sentiments. Are you seeing any doctor for your hair loss or using any hair loss treatments currently? You mentioned you had other health issues as well, I’m not sure what they are but they could be playing a role in contributing to your hair loss.

For me the best thing to do is be as proactive as possible in treating my hair loss and seeing different doctors because I wanted to feel I was doing something to for myself. Something to gain back some control over what was happening to me. Like you, I’ve spent years hiding and staying home, but what I realize now is it is important do whatever you can to help yourself feel better and continue living your life. Hair loss is unbelievably depressing, but we get a vote in whether or not we let it take over us. As hard as it is, try and remain as positive as possible.

If you haven’t already seen a doctor about your hair loss it is important to do so. Hair loss is caused by a variety of different factors and it isn’t always female pattern hair loss. There may be something they will find out by doing some blood tests or a scalp biopsy if you opt for one. Female pattern hair loss in women is usually treated with either Rogaine, Spironolactone, sometimes low androgen birth control pills, and sometimes a combination of the above. And of course there is always the option to not treat your hair loss with medication but perhaps explore the option of adding hair to your own. There are lots of things that can be done so try not to lock yourself away. It’s important to see your family and friends and just live life. I realize it’s not so cut and dry but maybe consider wearing some cute hats when you go out to help hide the thinness. I’ve worn these large stretchy headbands that are pretty chunky so they hide a lot and they’re in fashion, so thats a bonus.

Don’t give up.

Amy December 15, 2007 at 8:29 pm

Hi all-
Thank you all for posting your stories, experiences, remedies, thoughts, and feelings. Reading these has helped me dramatically in terms of emotional stability and clear thinking.

I am a very healthy 24 year old. I was an athlete in college and have continued to eat well balanced meals and make exercise a priority. I work in a boarding school, teaching, coaching, and living in the dorm, and although this can be stressful, it has been getting easier.

I have always had long, beautiful, thick blond hair. Over the past 2 years, I have noticed gradually thinning hair. Over the past three weeks, my hair has become dramatically thinner. The rate of hair loss is increasing exponentially. I know have a balding spot (bigger than a quarter) on the crown of my head. I have gotten blood tests, and like many of you, all hormones, vitamins, etc. are in the normal range. The doctor said to give her a call if symptoms continue. (are you kidding me?? give her a call when I have no hair left??) As I am sure many of you have experience, this is extremely frustrating. I want to move some place far away and never go out into the real world. I know that I need to continue to live my life and recognize that hair is just hair, but at this point it is extremely difficult. It is hard for me to feel attractive when I am constantly worried that my scalp is showing. I too find myself looking at other women/girl’s hair with envy. (and I am surrounded by high school girls with a ridiculous amount of full beautiful hair).

I am scheduled to see a dermatologist and my gyno this next week, but I am not hopeful that I am going to get any real answers. I have read about how your hair loss is related to the birth control. I was on birth control (orthotricyclin then orthotricyclin lo) for most of my college career. After college (about two years ago) I went off of the birth control. Since then, I have had maybe 3 real periods. I have read that it takes a while for normal periods to return after going off of birth control, but 2 years is a little much. I am convinced that the hair loss and the lack of periods has to be related. Though I want my body to fix itself on its own, I am wondering if going back on birth control will jump start everything (and encourage hair growth!). I am at the point where I am desperate for answers and will try anything.

I love my hair, and have always thought of it as my safety blanket – if other things were going wrong, I always still had my thick beautiful hair. Without this safety blanket, I am feeling out of control and depressed. It is hard for me to concentrate on anything else, and I feel bad that I am not giving myself 100% to my teaching and coaching.

I have a 2 week break from school, and am worried that by the time I get back, my bald spot will have spread to the point where it is not easily covered up. I am considering shaving my head, wigs, and any other option I can think of. I don’t want to be too drastic, but I need to do something, and hats just aren’t going to cut it.

Thanks for any advice anyone has – and for all of the advice and support that you have already given me through your posts!

Tina December 21, 2007 at 6:43 pm

Hi everyone,
Thanks so much for all your posts, knowing that we are not alone…
I am 21 years old and just started Alesse for a month now, and I been missing the pill every couple days. I am also in college so it’s really stressing me out so much now that I started losing hair. I noticed a few days ago there my hair was falling out a lot. When i was shampooing my hair it just keeps coming out !!! It won’t stop. I was so freaked out. I’ve never seen so much hair not on my head before.. =*( But after reading all the posts I am relieved that there is something I can do about it. Thank you so much for sharing all your experiences

Anyone know if I have just started the pill for a month will my hair loss keep getting worse for 6 months even though its just a short period that I have began the pill?

I have also thought of taking Biosil while on the pill. Would that help my situation? Or should I just get off the pill?

And yes seriously, why didn’t our doctors or anyone else warn us about hair loss problems before putting us on the pill anyways -_- ?????

Thank you so much. And I hope you all good luck!

Shanlaree January 4, 2008 at 1:37 am

I too hope this treatment works for you.

This is so hard -to take in and figure out how to cope. It is so stressful. I re-member people saying it was all in my head as it started with me. I have a gradual thinning going on and I just do not want to loose any more.

I am 33 and this is happening to me but not from birth control. I was just told to take Rogaine 5% and I was given a blood pressure med and Yesmin. I just saw my dermatologist last month. I bawled in her office. I think every one heard me in the waiting room – talk about discomfort. My story (I call my release) is at my blog feel free to read it and share your story with me as well.

This is such a great site for us to help one another cope and come up with ideas of what we can do next.

Blessings-
Shanlaree

angela January 7, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Tina,

I’m currently on Alesse as well, and all I know is that I was taking it for awhile and noticed that my hair was thinning but didn’t think it was bc of the birth control. Then I stopped it for a few months and the shedding was horrible. Then I started it up again and the shedding was still bad and I’m not sure if it is bc you lose hair when you get off of it AND when you get on it (like it sounds like you are experiencing). I’m behind on reading posts, so I’m not sure of your story and if you have shared it, but if you don’t need to be on the birth control I would suggest you get off of it now bc it will only fall out like this again when you decide to in the future.

Take care,
Angela

Sarah January 22, 2008 at 9:09 am

I know its been a while, but i thought that i would give a quick update. It has now been about 7 months since i have gone off the pill. my hair is still shedding, but it has somewhat declined in the past month. I am having regrowth, but it seems to be very tiny vellous hairs that just seem to fall out eventually. Does anyone have this? The more and more i look at my hair, it seems like AA… :( As the obsessor that I am, I have looked at it from the top with a mirror, and it just seems that the hair I have is getting thinner and thinner. Regrowth is there, but its just really thin hairs, like i said. Anyways just wanted to see if any other girls are having any success with getting off BC? I have recently began taking a complex multi B vitamin, and iron supplements. I am trying to use anything that is not natural as a last resort…. but eventually it may look like that i have to.

sarah

admin January 22, 2008 at 9:39 am

Hi Sarah, I am glad to hear that the shedding is starting to slow down, that is a really good sign. I think having any regrowth is good, those follicles are active and alive and in time may eventually mature into full terminal hairs. Hair growth is such a slow process. It’s seems it very unfair that it falls out so much quicker than it can grow back in.

I know a lot of the long time readers of this blog already know my own personal feelings about the benefit of getting off the pill when it is potentially the cause of your hair loss. I’m all for it. You took that big step and are seeing a decline in shedding. It is a difficult thing to do to try and weather the storm of shedding, but you seem to have gotten over the worst of it. I don’t know if you have androgenetic alopecia or not, but you should feel good about the decision you made to stop taking the pill.

Hair loss decisions are so tough and we always second guess ourselves. I think the best thing is to trust yourself. I hope some other women may be able to provide some more insight about their situation with success of getting off the pill.

Vellus hair is, still hair that can turn around to your regular normal terminal hair. After all a lot of babies are born with vellus hair on their head, in time it grows in stronger and thicker. Stay positive!

~Y

Karen January 22, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Ladies,

I must admit that I am confused. I hear a lot of women complaining about the pill causing their hair loss, yet I am also seeing the pill as a possible solution to hair loss. Aren’t all contraceptive pills low androgenetic these days? I am 39 years old and began losing my hair years ago, but this was the year it became really noticable. It is genetic, it runs in the family for women so I pretty much feel screwed. I’ve tried rogaine but it did nothing but make the situation worse. Should I go on the pill and hope for a hormonal miracle, or should I stay far far away from it?

Alice January 25, 2008 at 5:50 am

Hi girls,
I’m so glad I found this website. I’m 22 years old, and my hair is getting thinner all the time. When I was younger I used to have really thick, wavy blonde hair – now its, fine and very thin.
I read somewhere that shedding 50 or so hairs a day is normal – I know I’m losing more than this. I usually see them on my clothes, or on the back of my chair, even when I haven’t touched my hair. I’m scared to brush my hair, because so much of it comes out in the brush – I also avoid washing it more than 3 times a week for the same reason.
The thinning I can see most is at the front – when I look at that part of my head, I can see my scalp and I never could before. I also used to have a very tight parting, but now it’s wider where the hair is starting to thin.
Looking at my hair and other peoples’ is becoming an obsession for me too. It takes up my thoughts constantly, and every time I find another hair on me, I just get this sinking feeling in my stomach. I’ve noticed the thinning for a couple of years now, but mostly in the last month or so.
The only thing that I imagine could be casuing it is stress – I’m on my own a fair bit at the moment as my partner works away a lot and I miss him all the time. Can stress cause this?! I’ve read what you’re all saying about the pill but I’m not sure it’s that for me – I’ve been on it since I was 16 constantly, and haven’t had any problems before. I also eat really healthily and do lots of exercise so dont think it’s diet related.
I’ve not seen a doctor about this yet but I have an appointment this afternoon so I’m going to ask what they think. The only thing I’ve done so far is started taking some vitamins specifically for hair/nails – who knows if these even work?!
Sorry this is so long, just needed to vent. I was on the train home this morning, and it was all I could think about – I was getting more and more upset and when I finally got back to my flat and shut the door I just collapsed on the floor in tears. I dont know what to do, I feel so self conscious, i think everyone is looking at me and I keep reaching up and touching my hair as if I can convince myself it isn’t happening. Does anyone have any suggestions?!
A

Aditi January 26, 2008 at 12:00 am

First of all, let me just say I’m so happy to have found this site. Doctors have just brushed off my hairloss as genetic, even though my dad just started losing his hair in his forties.

I started birth control (Yasmin) when I was 18, I can’t really remember, but at that point, I think I noticed some hair loss. I had a lot of hair through high school and it never used to shed. I’m 19 and a half now, and my hair density has really deteriorated in the past year. I remember exactly a year ago, my swim coach put my swim cap on and said, “wow your ponytail is definitely the biggest out of all the girls on the team.” it’s no where near that anymore.

I never thought that my birth control could be causing my hair loss, my doctor always said it would help it. I don’t know whether or not to go off it, I don’t want to risk losing a lot of hair. My doctor suggested that PCOS might be an explanation for my hair loss last year, along with the change of my flow, but I guess that could also be caused by the pill itself?

I find my hairloss comes and goes in monthly cycles too. I feel great about it the first two weeks of my cycle then when my period starts looming in the future, I lose so much hair it just paralyzes me with fear. my part is a lot wider than it used to be, so I know that the hairloss is getting worse. I have no idea what to do.. there seem to be so many options and explanations, but I hate doctors and don’t know that they’ll suggest I do anything! I’d rather take action by myself, but the question is where do I go from here? I think I’ll try stopping my birth control as well as taking sugar out of my diet, upping my iron, flax, biotin, saw palmetto, holy crap that’s the longest new years resolution list I’ve made ever!

pleeease if you have any advice for me or if your story is similar, tell me what you’re doing/did. I can tell you one thing, I started shampooing with Nizoral, and I think it made it worse, but I’m really not sure.

Cristina March 6, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Hi Ladies,

I too am very happy to have found this post. I am 28 years old and have been going through the same thing you all describe. I started bcp around 18 on triphasil, I was fine on this then moved to Massachusettes where they only prescribe the generic drug so I had to switch to tivora. Supposedly it’s the same but looking back, about a year or so after I switched, I noticed I was always picking hairs off my clothes, my pillow, my brushes etc. Little did I know what was going on. This goes back about 5 years now, my mom finally mentioned something had to be wrong and she though it might be the pill… of course as usual, I didn’t want to listen to my mother so I stayed on it. Then I became aware of the issue myself, I had a lot of blood tests done and everything came back normal except my testosterone levels were low. My dr. prescribed Yasmin because it is non-androgenic and is supposed to help w/ hairloss. I have given it a good run, a year now and have seen my hair progressivly get worse =( I too notice like someone mentioned above, the last two weeks of my cycle i’m shedding like crazy. My hair hardly even stays in a pony tail now and forget about a side part or the cute side-swept bangs I used to love! I have finally decided to go off the pill all together. Who knows what will happen since I had to go on it for irregular periods. Hopefully now that i’m old it’s balanced out a bit. I don’t know what will happen with my hair but the only thing I am certain of is if I stay on Yasmin, I will continue to lose more hair and I don’t have any to spare to begin with. So I was wondering, Sarah, now that it has been quite a while since you stopped taking the pill, how are you doing? I read you were seeing some vellus hairs, have you sprouted more? Any other ladies have a status after stopping the pill? I wish you all luck and hope soon we all are over this dreadful problem… p.s I too find myself obsession about other women’s tiny parts hehe… it’s awful!

Sarah March 18, 2008 at 7:09 pm

well, its beeen about two months or so since i last posted. TO be honest, sometimes i feel my hair getting better, and then when i look at it closer i want to cry. the shedding is very minimal.. however, somehow it still seems to be getting thinner, and it looks as though the hairs that i have are miniaturizing. whether this is true, im not sure. But i do not that if they are minaturzig – it is a large symptom of AGA
:(. so that is where I am at right now. its been about 9 months off birth control. I have an appointment with my doctor so she can refer me to a derm, and hopefully I will get some more solid answers.? its consuming my life its horrible. anyways… this probably isnt the most uplifting post, but u did still some how have faith that it could still possibly grow back.

admin March 18, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Hi Sarah,

Minimal shedding is a really REALLY good sign. For me that is the first step. I’m happy if I lose no more than 50 hairs in a comb through after a shower. It is still reasonable to me, I’ve lost 500 before.

You said you feel your hair loss is geting better… try and focus on that, believe me I know how hard that is. I mentioned this before, but you made a choice that I often wish I had done myself. I always wonder if I would have been better off just staying off the pill and never starting again.

Be confident in your decision. The truth is the treatments will always be there, whether it is taking Spironolactone and a low dose birth control or Rogaine. Right now you are giving your body the chance to try and straighten itself out, and I think that is a good thing. It is definitely a good idea to consult with a dermatologist who uses a densitometer or something equivalent to determine if miniturization is present. Miniturization is indicative of female pattern hair loss, but I think at the point you are now it would be pretty hard to determine just by looking at your hair through naked eyes. I can tell now by looking at my hair once its fallen out of my scalp. But early on all the hairs looked pretty sturdy :)

Keep me posted. I’m sending you lots of strength and hope and a big hug from beyond the internet.

~Y

N April 11, 2008 at 3:32 am

Hi everyone!! im 20 years old and had taken the pill since i was 18! i took a pill containing Ethynodiol Diacetate! i didnt take it for contraceptive reasons but for hormonal problems. for the first few months i was very regular in taking the pill but after about 4 months i sometimes forgot to take them for a few days! i was very irregular in the consumption of them but none the less took them when i rememberd! i stopped taking them last september! as i was gaining a lot of weight and started to notice that my hair was thinning! i didnt realise it until people started to point it out to me! my hair used to be very thick and wavy and i used to love styling it!. . . at first i put the hair thinning down to colouring and straightning and cane rowing my hair too often and my mother agreed so i stopped the pill alongside messing around chemically with my hair! i started to put oil in it before i went to sleep and washing it out the next morning aswell as drying it with cold air rather than hot because hot air causes the roots to weaken! and i came across a herbal hair solution website which charged for an ancient indian recipe to stop hair loss so i thought why not try it! i found out that if cut up pieces of ginger rosmery and lavender and boil it in a pot of water 4 20 minutes then let the water cool and strain it! put the water into a spray bottle n spray the solution onto your hair twice a day! i have been doing this for 2 months now and have seen lots of little baby hairs growing! my hair seems a little thicker than when i was on the last month of taking the pill! it has been around 7 months since ive stopped! i havent seen a dramatic change but am hoping that it will grow back! im very upset that my doctor didn’t inform me that i could possibly lose my hair!

i am very self concious and want to know if i could possibly hav andro alopecia what are some of the symptoms? what foods contain eastrogen? i have noticed a bit of facial hair growing which i never used to have this was in conjunction with the hair loss and i have had severe acne! i know the doctors will just try and put me on another pill if i go to them with these problems but is there any other solution to these problems?

btw girls try using castor oil on your hair a lot of people say it works ive been using it it my hair does seem a lot healthier and stronger! it doesnt fall out half as much as it used to! but i just want the thickness back!

thanks!
mwah! x

Jessica April 12, 2008 at 1:17 pm

I have been losing my hair for about 9-12 months now. It wasn’t very noticable at first. Just a few more hairs in the shower here and there. Then I began pulling handfuls of it out in the shower and noticing that my drain would look like a small rat had drowned in it every few weeks. At first I shrugged all of this off thinking it was a result of high stress levels from a recent move to a new state, new job, etc. Then yesterday I went to get my hair done and my hairdresser made a comment about how noticably thinner and less dence my hair seemed than just a few months ago. So since last night I have been freaking out! Now I know I am not the only one noticing this problem. I began researching and miraculously made the link between birth control and hair loss. Which I never ever ever would have thought of in a million years. About a year ago a switched to the low does hormone pill Loestrin 24. I went to my doctor with concerns about low sex drive and that is what he suggested. If i could go back in time I would have gone off the pill all together because not only has my sex drive decreased more but I have lost 40% of my hair. After reading all of your posts I am terrified on what the correct decision is to make for me. Stop the pill, switch pills? I cannot beleive this nightmare! It is great to know that so many women share the same problem though?

Appreciate any thoughts/comments!

Sarah April 13, 2008 at 7:14 pm

First of ,Y, I would just like to thank you for giving such amazing support! you truly are are very helpful, and help me concentrate on the positive things. I thought i would just give a bit of an update.. i have currently been off the pill for almost 10 months. I had a large dred shed, but it has calmed down since december, and little hairs have been appearing since then. its been frustrating, because I end up shedding alot of these small hairs as wel, and they are also EXTEMLY thin as i had stated before…but i still have hope!..Jessica, personally, i think going off the pill was the best thing i did. I think that my hair would have gotten worse. Although, my hair is not that great now, I hae read past experieences of those who have quit birth control and they have stated that it took them a full year to start going new hair. I found this old hair loss forum which is full of older posts about women who had gone off birth control and still had hair loss. it was great to read them, because they would update on there recovery. Alot of them quit the pill, road out it out and have their hair back to normal. I am hoping the same happens for me,
Just a question, for any one that has answers… does hair loss of small little hairs signify AGA? I read somewhere that it is the follicles getting used to working again, but then i also hear that it is a what happens when u have AGA? any thoughts?
anyways… hope everyone is doing well, and congrats Y on your little success there as well! take care everyone.

Meg April 15, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Hi Everyone! My name is Meg and I have been experiencing a substantial amount of hair loss. I am going my family physician tomorrow morning and hopefully get some tests done with him- I already went to the dermatologist but I really don’t think he took me very serious. No one would be able to tell that I am losing hair since except for me but at the rate it’s coming out people will be able to tell pretty soon. I started birth control for the first time about a year and a half ago- I was first put on Loestrin(horrible!)I didn’t notice any hair thinning maybe because I was probably too busy looking at the 30 extra pounds my butt accumulated. Anyway, I then switched to Avaine- which I loved! I lost all my weight, and my boobs got bigger… my world was great! Well, I stopped taking it in September ’07 then I started taking it again in December. I really didn’t notice any changes until about 2 months ago when my doctor started prescribing me Adderall for ADHD (it’s an amphetamine with mixed salts) that’s when my hair started falling out- hair loss is not a side effect of Adderall or so my pharmacist says… she said birth control would be the culprit but honestly I really don’t know. I stopped taking Avaine this month and I still take the Adderall occasionally (for school or studying) Maybe it is the Adderall or birth control or both? Has anyone heard of anything similar to my story at all. I’m getting really freaked out and it doesn’t help that I’m a hypochondriac. I just want my long luscious locks back :(

admin April 15, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for checking back in and keeping us updated. I’m really proud that you made your decision and are sticking to it and that your shedding has slowed down. I really think you made the right decision to get off the pill. As far as the little hairs shedding, it means those hairs are having a shorter hair life cycle, but I don’t necessarily think that is indicative of androgenetic alopecia. In my opinion I think it could mean the hair cycle is trying to regulate itself and in time they will stick around longer :) Take heart in knowing you can always begin any treatment or pill, but right now you are giving yourself a fair shot at letting your body and hormones get back to normal and self regulate. That is the one thing I wish I had done for myself.

Thanks for much for checking back. It is really good for other women to hear updates.

~Y

admin April 15, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Hi Meg,

I did some googling and found that Adderall and Ritalin can both produce hair loss. So that is definitely a possibility. If it is the cause then stopping the med could quite possibility help. Also looking at your timeline of birth control pills, in my opinion your last stopping and starting of the pill from sept to dec could definitely also be the shedding culprit.

Maybe this is a silly question but how necessary is the Adderall for you? You should talk to a doctor about it, but I’m thinking of the two that it would be the safer hairwise to go off of to try and see if it would resolve your hair loss. I am not a doctor, this is just my opinion and I really don’t have much knowledge about adderall I just did some digging online.

How did your appointment with your doc go today?

~Y

Cristina April 17, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Hi Ladies,

Thought I would check in and post a quick update. Nothing too exciting, I’ve been off Yasmin now for about 6 weeks… Luckily I got my period after just 5 weeks of being off the pill, i’ve heard so many horror stories of it taking months sometimes and I’m affraid that could mess w/ hormones even more! My body seems to be adjusting fine but I am shedding a ton! Has anyone else who has gone off the pill noticed a big shed soon after stopping? I have read it’s usually after 3 months so I’m affraid I haven’t even hit the begining. I was really frustrated b/c a lot of the baby hair I had growing in around my hairline were falling out, but I think it is actually filling back in. I could be imagining things, but I really hope that’s what it is =) I also hope it’s happening all over my head and I just can’t see it! we’ll see…

N, it’s funny you mention the ancient indian recipe. I think I saw the same advertisement and was interested but I figured since they were charging, it had to be a scam. Do you put the treatment on wet or dry hair & just on your roots or all over? I might try to make a batch this weekend =) Good luck ladies and I hope we all get over this soon!

Maria April 18, 2008 at 4:25 am

Hi. I just wanted to chime in as I have tried almost all these “remedies” on these website regarding hair loss and nothing has worked. I was on the pill for about 3-4 years never noticing the hair loss I was having since my hair was so thick when I started I could never find scrunchies or clips that would even stay in my hair when I was younger. Through the time I was on birth control I started straightening my hair with a straigtening iron and I was actually happy when I saw my hair was like other girls because I used to not even be able to get it straight because I had so much hair. Anyways, I broke up with my boyfriend of 6 years and had no reason to stay on the pill. After I got off it I would say I lost about 60-70% more of my hair. I would walk around my house and just see hair everywhere where I would be walking. All over my pillows, shirts, friends if I hugged them. It was really bad. I did the same thing as everyone else does, go to the derm, and the reg doc. No one had any advice except count the number of hairs. Meanwhile we all know our hair and know when there is a problem. So I stopped going to the doctor. I had an IUD put in for birthcontrol that has no hormones. My hair no longer sheds anywhere near what it did. I probably have average hair shedding now. But my hair did not grow back at all!! All the hair I lost is gone. It has been over 3 years, so as much as I hoped and prayed I am pretty sure it is gone. You know it is bad when your hair dresser that used to say you should model your hair for a living says “oh you have fine thin hair like me”. It is awful and embrassing. I even had my best friend, family, neighbors all ask me what happened to my hair. Like someone else had said. I never really had much to brag about as far as my appearance but I had my hair! Nowadays I dread going out and having to do my hair. I usually keep it back in a bun in clips not a ponytail holder because I am afraid I will lose more hair. I am only 25 years old at this point not married. I don’t have shedding anymore so there is really nothing the doctors can say or do. I have cut my hair short so many times in hopes when it gets longer it will be thick again to no avail. I was contemplating extensions but they are expensive and can cause hair loss. So there seems like there is no winning in this situation. I can’t imagine myself at a club trying to meet someone with a wig on at 25 years old. All because of birthcontrol pills, I wish I had saved myself until I was married…..seriously!!

Angela April 18, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Maria,
My story is very very similar to yours. I used to have thick hair but have been on and off the birth control pill for 6-7 years and it has really done some damage. I, too, have lost 60% and it is slowly starting to get thinner by the day. My shedding has stabalized from the stoppage of the pill two years ago, but i am currently on the pill because when I stopped it I didnt know starting it up again would be an issue. So now I feel trapped…holding onto the hair that is still there and afraid to get off the pill even though I no longer “need” it for its function. I worry about what my hair will look like when I finally abandon the pill, and I also worry about what my hair will look like after I have children and my hormones fluctuate yet again…
Honestly, your post made me quite pessimistic about my situation bc it sounds VERY similar to yours and I was always hoping that if I ever got the courage to give up the BC the hair would eventually grow back. I see that you’ve said its been three years and no luck… I’m sorry.
I am 23 and I don’t want to be wearing a wig either! Although if it gets to that point then I have no choice and will have to deal.

Take care,
Angela

Maria April 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Hi Angela, Thanks for your resonse! It is a very difficult situation especially being as young as we are! I am planning on a starting a new diet tomorrow. I typically try new things every couple of months when I still notice no re-growth. The newest stuff I have read is basically to increase water intake and take flaxseed oil. I have tried every sort of hair vitamin supplement created with no results. If this works I will post my results. I am also going to start trimming my hair every month. Luckily knock on wood I have never had any balding spots but I am basically dealing with just a significant decrease in the amount of hair and texture. I have heard of people who have lost more hair being pregnant but I also have heard of a massive increase in hair growth. I am not worried about that right now, since I have no plans to have children for now. I just miss my old hair and also find myself like others comparing myself to the women on TV. I can actually name those actresses who have thin hair ex. teri hatcher from desparate housewives. It has consumed me over the years it is awful. I will keep everyone posted if I see any results.

N May 7, 2008 at 5:23 am

Hi cristina!!

i usually spray it on twice a day! once in the morning once in the evening! it can be on either wet or dry hair aslong as you make sure that it has been properly massaged into your scalp! it seems to be working more and more each day! i see new baby hairs and they seem to be growing longer! i am also taking a vitamin for hair skin and nails aswell as saw palmetto! but before i started taking those two i was applying the formula and it was working! have a go of it! see what you think and let me know! i think its wrong for the websites to charge for it! i payed for it because i thought it was worth a try! atleast i can pass the info on for free now!

good luck with it! let me know how you go!

x

mila June 13, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Hi all..

The past week I broke down after realising that my hair falling out wasnt a seasonal thing like my GP said two months ago. My mum was the first to notice my hair loss at the beginning of MArch (3 months ago), however in hindsight it probably had been falling out for a few months before. I think it started after going on Diane 35, which I began taking in September 2007 (9 months ago).

I have seen two different GPs since and all three have said different things. First, it was nothing to worry about, a seasonal thing. The second said that Diane wouldnt be the cause, and bloodwork ruled out any problems with my thyroid or low levels of zinc, although i did have low-normal iron levels (I have since started taking iron supplements, hello black poo!). The third GP I saw a week ago. I brought up my concerns about being on the pill and she said that it is possible that my body cant tolerate the progesterone in the pill, and she suggested to stop taking it. I asked about hormonal imbalances and she said that it wasnt really possible to do one until I came off the pill so as to establish my normal levels.

Over the past week instead of studying for exams I have been consumed about my hair and looking for answers. In the research that I have done, it seems that for those who noticed their hair falling out after being on the pill, some have said that after 3+ months of getting off them, they have noticed their hair stop falling out. I guess time will only tell…

With everyones hair loss, has the hair been falling out with the root attached? Pretty much all my hair is coming out with the root attached… also I have noticed that over the same period my scalp has been flakey (dandruff?) but with little white balls which are quite unlike dandruff? Next time I see my GP Im meant to get a referral to see a dermatologist if the hair continues to fall out. A month seems like an age when your hair is falling out.

When I saw the GP last I also brought up PCOS, as I thought I had a few of the symptoms, crappy oily skin (not acne as such) and I have always been a bit more hairy than your average girl (hirsutism?), and now hair loss. The GP said she had never seen hair loss due to PCOS…

Since starting the pill my lifestyle has changed quite a bit, from being really active and playing a lot of sport to absolutely nothing (until two months ago when I started playing soccer again). My diet became pretty shit too, though I havent put on weight. I have read that insulin has a significant impact on hormones, and it is possible that my crap diet and lack of exercise has affected my insulin? I think this insulin thing ties back into PCOS, although I cant remember what it was…

Clearly im looking for answers everywhere…I have a feeling that there has been a change in hormones and it is caushing the hair loss, and i just happened to start taking diane at about the same time. In which case it isnt helping the hair loss as it should?

My parents are doing their best to cheer me up, also making me eat better…my dad seems to think that taking me on walks and feeding me eggs will seem to help bless him. My mum has just gone to get me some almonds (Im having one of my distraught moments as we speak)….Im seeing a naturopath in a week, I am a sceptic, but i hope she will be able to shed some light on whats going on.

This is really awful, and something no one should have to deal with. You all are in my thoughts. good luck

Sarah June 24, 2008 at 10:19 am

well it has now been a year since I have been off birth control. How am i doing? to be honest, not that great. At the beginning of this past month, i had an awful shed. I thought I was improving, and then bam – the shed hit. Not only that, i started noticing that the hairs that are falling were noticably thinner at the root end.. almost colourless, and hard to see. This is what depresssed me the most because, from what it seems like, it only points to one thing … AGA. Althought i do see alot of regrowth hairs that seem like good regrowth, this thinning of hair discourages me, and makes me scared of the future. After this past shed, I started doing some research on the pill that i was on Synphasic – which by the way, is appparently a very unheard of BCP! Although i did not find much on it, i found info through pills that are alot like it (ortho novum 7/7/7). through this very informative charti found out that it was a moderate-level androgen pill. I guess this “moderate” amount was enough to trigger hair loss! I guess it contains Norethindrone and Ethinyl Estradiol, whatever that means. all i know is that what that evil stuff is, its totally ruined my hair! Anyways my mom has finally gotten fed up with me being depressed with my hair, and is coming to the doctor with me to convince her to refer me to a derm. I havent been to a derm because everytime i see her she says “dont worry, your stressed, it’ll come back”. … granted, I am super stressed this past couple of months due to a horrible break up, work, and finishing up my degree in university. However.. the thinning of individual strands of hair… not really sure stress does that. anyways, i realize this seems like a super negative post, and i apoligize, but in a way, its really just me coming to terms with the situation, and beginning to learn that i cant keep thinking this whole hair los thing is due to TE, and i cant wait it out. I am realizing that i cant keep waiting, and i gotta fight the health system in order to get the answers i need.. good or bad! sorry this is so long, but i really needed to vent! i hope everyone is doing wonderful… i pesonally decided i am on the way to happiness whether i become bald or not! xo

Sarah July 5, 2008 at 5:09 pm

I just wanted to give a quick update on my situation, and shed some positive light for anyone that is losing hair… as i know myself it is unbeleivably devestating. After this whole ordeal, i tried to get my doctor to recommend me to a derm. she did, however when i called the derm they said that they have no appointments open until JANUARY!! i instantly sat down and told my self, theres gotta be someone else i can see. I started doing some research, and bumped into a site promoting a Tricholgist in my area, who seemed pretty knowledgable in diagnosing hair loss and all-natural treatments. I went and saw him, and all i can say is that i am extremly impressed. there is good news and bad news- the pill triggered AGA. however, he said that the hair miniaturization that exists ( he sat me down and let me view everyhting under the microscope, and explained to me everything, it was unreal) is actually pretty old- which means i had it before the pill, but the pill did cause it to speed up. anyways. after i was able to take that information in, he sat with me for about two hours explaining me the different options i have. he told me how diet and supplements ( when taken very seriously and strictly) can reverse the baldness. he showed me pictures and progresses of his clients, and the results are amazing. he also went through other things (my blood test results, allergies i have/had in the past, etc etc) and also took those into consideration. he is now making me a custom-diet to my needs, plus all natural dht blocker supplments, and topical creams ,and says that i could possible reverse all this…with lots of patience and time of course! Anyways, i get all the stuff next week, and whether or not it works out, i figure at least i’ll be health, and feel like i tried! I figure i might as well try the all-natural way instead of going on a medical HT blockers like spiro right away. Considering I am only 22, i dont want to take anything that could possibly stop me from having kids- (it would devestate me! ) anyways, thought i would just tell everyone what I am doing. if it works- great, if not, well at least i tried right!! anyways, also wanted to thank everyone for the great words on this site. its extremly inspirational and heart lifting when going through such a life-changing experience!

Vicky July 6, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Hi Sarah

It’s great that u are still persisting in finding answers to your hairloss situation. I was on the pill 10 years ago and i did shed approx. 4-6 months later and then it did eventually stop, but i also think that had something to do with me getting pregnant and my hair did respond well to that. However the last 3 years have been difficult after having my third child my hair after breastfeeding and other situations(low iron, stress and health prob) i no longer have the protection that pregancy brings. It doesn’t get any easier whether your in your 20’s or 30’s or 40’s. It’s consuming me and all the doc’s i’ve being to really do not offer much help, not in my opinion any way.

I read that you live in Australia i also live in Australia and would love to know the trichologist u went to as i prefer to treat this the natural way and use the medication as a last resort. I’m currently on some herbal supp. and it has slowed things down and like u i have got some regrowth but it feels and looks miniturised and weak, if this trich. can somehow reverse the miniturisation that would be great!!! but i know that miracles cannot be performed either so i will be realistic in what he says and take in any recommendations.

I wish u good luck in your natural regime and i do hope you get all of your hair back in time.

Best wishes Vic

Sarah July 8, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Hey Vicki
I am sorry to hear about your hair loss troubles, as you know i do feel your pain.
Your story sounds alot like mine.. only yours has persisted with the birth of your children, which I am sure for myself the same will occur!
I was in Australia, however I was only there for a year, as I went to school in Perth. I envy you for living there permenently… I loved every second of it, and I am determined to go back eventually!
I am actually from Canada, however… my tricholgist told me that the school that tricholigsts go to is IN australia, he actually thought that I had someone refer me to him from there! If you do some research, you will mostl likely be able to find lots and lots of tricholgists in australia-especially since alot of research is conducted on hair loss there.
I too hope this natural regime will possibly bring some results. I know I have to be realistic and patient however I figured if I have gone through it this long, I can keep going.
Hope all is well, and if you need any help finding a tricholgist in your area let me know – however when i was doing my own research on one, i did see many of them were in aussie. take care!

mila July 8, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Sarah,
im from perth too…do you mind passing on the details of the trichologist you saw? were they in perth?
cheers

Vicky July 8, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Hi Sarah

Thanks for replying, Canada -umm that sounds great too!, do u want to swap? Anyway i have already seen a trichologist, however he wasn’t very good and yours souded alot more knowledgable than the one i had seen so i thought it couldn’t hurt to ask.

I hope u get the results u are after with the natural approach, in time, keep us posted.

Best wishes Vic

nikki July 24, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Hey i am 25 years old and i have been on birth control for 7 years.. since january i have been noticing some serious hair loss, i lose about 250-500 hairs a day, clumps in the shower drain, i brush it after showering and fill up my garbage with hair falling out. its come to a point where i havent worn my hair down in months. im scared to do so. this whole thing really bothering me, n everyone thinks i am crazy, n cant give me any advise, i had my blood checked n everything was fine.. i just dont understand what is going on with me, i feel fine otherwise, its just i cant wear my hair down anymore.. it bothers me alot. i used to lose 10 strands a day n blow dry my hair like crazy… now i cant even remember the last time that i blew my hair out. im debating cutting it off n cry myself to sleep :( i hate that im a hypochondriac too, makes me worry about everything

Heather September 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Hi Nikki and everyone,
I am 25 years old too. I have been experiancing hair loss since I was about 18 years old (around the same time I went on birth control). Over the last year it has become a lot worse and more noticable. Same thing- I used to loose 10 hairs a day, now I loose about 250 and I always have hair on me. I have gone off birth control two times. The first time I went off, I also had a cortizone shot from my doctor and things improved dramatically to the point where I said- I think that I can be on birth control again. I went back on and it was not long before the problem came back and went off again about two months later. I got another cortizone shot, but no such luck this time. I had a biopsy of my scalp taken recently. The results were inconclusive (naturally) but pointed towards very early signs of andrgoen alopecia or a low grade chronic tellogen effluvium.
Please understand that you are not alone. I know how awful this can make you feel. I think about the problem way too much and I think that worrying about it makes it worse.
Question for everyone- does anyone ever feel like their scalp is actually painful, especially in small little areas?

Emilie November 22, 2008 at 12:27 am

Hi girls, thank you all so much for sharing your stories. I’m 23 and I started taking Alesse when I was 19. I stopped when I was 21 and by that time, I had already noticed that my hair was thining. It never occured to me that the birth control pills might be causing the shedding because I didn’t start to “really” lose my hair until after stoping the pill. I too used to have thick glossy hair but now, it’s only half of what it used to be. At first, I noticed that my hair started to change color (it was black but then turned brown). I was quite happy about that at first. But then I noticed that my elastic bands were getting too loose and that I was having trouble putting my hair into a pony tail. Eventually, the elastic band would always fall off because I simply didin’t have enough hair to hold onto it. I know that my mom has AGA, but I’ve always prided myself for having hair like my dad, thick and dark. But now, I fear that I will lose my hair after all.
I often sit in class looking at other girl’s hair and imaging how nice it would be to have a full head of hair. It’s really difficult knowing that if I hadn’t taken the birth control pills, I might have saved myself all this grief and worries. I still haven’t talked to my doctor about this, but I’m planning to do that hopefully next month. With Christmas so close, you just never know how long the wait is.
Thank you all so much for listening. I have kept all this bottled up for a few years now and it’s just nice to be able to tell my story to others who understand.
Take care and good luck!

K December 30, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Hello guys

Ive just come across this page now and it has beeen so helpful so thank you soo much. I am 21 now but my hair loss started when i was 18/19 .. it had nothing to do with BCP.. my iron levels were low and my hair just started to fall out like mad ..my situation is completely the opposite. I had iron deficiency aneamia and even through ive taken iron tabs regularly for the past 2 years my hair has gone so thin from the sides and top, there is scalp visible everywhere and the hair loss is very very obvious to the point where other girls always notice and look at it. I also have a very very heavy period, I was speaking to a girl at my college about this one day and she said she had the exactly same problem as me 2 years ago and her doctor put her on the BCP. Her hair is now very thick and no scalp at all is on show and she called the pill a miracle. I am now on the pill and have been for almost 3 months i am hoping it would work for me as out situations were so similar. I am going to stick it out and hope to god it does not get any worse.

Thank you and take care guys

Ashley February 22, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Hi. I am a 21 year old college student and I am so glad that I found this website. I have noticed my hair loss and thinning since I was a freshman in college, about 3 years ago. I had been on BC since I was 16 but was on and off it so much that I don’t fully remember my BC history. I do remember coming to college and switching to a different brand and noticed my hair falling out in the shower. I talked to the nurse at the school and she switched me to a different brand. Most of the conversations we had were all related to stress. I didn’t feel stressed, but it was almost like she insisted that stress was the cause of my hair loss. Even my hair dressor was convinced that it was stress. I kept thinking, I have never noticed this before when I was stessed so why would it be the cause now? I kept switching between brands that year and then in 2007 I forgot my BC when I left for vacation so I decided it was time to officially get off BC. A few months later my hair fell out like never before. But then I eneded up getting back on BC a few months later because I missed the regular periods, abscence of acne (face & body), bigger bust and buns, and more curves. My palms were covered after shampooing and I had half the hair that I remembered having in high school. I started getting depressed about this and tried everything. I started taking Biotin and that didn’t seem to help. I stopped dying my hair thinking that was the cause. I stopped straightening it and tried to go as natural as possible. I finally went to Sally’s because a friend of mine recommend Nioxin, which of course was expensive, so I went for the cheaper brand. I started noticing hair regrowth within a month and less of my hair was falling out. At that point I wasn’t sure if it was the combination of the vitamins, natural styling, and shampoo or if it was just one of those things. Even though I was still shedding here and there I was still getting more hair growth. Finally, I got off BC, AGAIN, in June of 2007. The whole extra hormone thing was really freaking me out and I had been on BC for so long. They say not to take it for more than 5 years. Plus, I have heard that your hormones change every 7 to 8 years. So I really wanted to be as natural as possible and get my body back on track. So at this time I was now taking a mutli-vitamin, hadn’t been using the generic Nioxin shampoo for a few months, but wasn’t noticing any extreme hair loss. I figured since I hadn’t payed much attention to my loss of hair before, that maybe strands in my comb everyday was normal.

I eneded up being off my BC for 6 months and finally gave in to going back on it again because I couldn’t stand all my acne (another thing that really affects your self-esteem). Plus, I had lost so much weight that I lost a whole jean size. I am already petite as it is, so this is very frustrating. I am currently on Aviane which is a low-estrogen BC and before starting it I bought the real Nioxin. At first using Nioxin I had no hairs in my comb after showering. I was so excited. Once I started my BC I have a crap ton. I am so pissed and over this whole hair loss. I am young and shouldn’t be losing my hair. And a women’s hair is like her pride and joy. Everyone sees it. You can’t hide it very well. And even if you are in sweats but your hair still looks good, then you still feel good.

My next act is to stop taking the pill. I have two weeks left but I’m not even going to bother. My hair is more important to me than my cycle. And acne, well I have a good concealer. I am more than convinced that BC screws up your hair. I used to have thick hair and now it is so thin. It is devasting and depressing. Doctor’s don’t seem to understand nor care. Tomorrow I am going to my health center with some printed out research and I am going to demand that they start telling their patients what BC can do to their hair.

For all the women out there who are currently experiencing hair loss and are on the pill, I highly recommend that you get off of it. No, I am not a doctor, but after reading all these comments and doing a lot of research, I believe that BC is not good for your body in any way. I wish I would have kept waiting it out. Now I have to start from month 1 instead of month 6. I would also recommend trying either the generic brand of Nioxin or Nioxin itself. It has helped my regrowth dramatically and I believe that in conjunction with stopping the pill and taking a mutlivitamin, you could witness an improvement also.

On a final note, I support and hope that you ladies will have enough gumption to talk to your doctor about this problem. Take them the facts and demand why you weren’t given informed consent about hair loss being a possible side effect; a common side effect at that.

Sam Locklear February 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Was your hair loss in a pattern? Like a the front of the head or in certain areas or was it like all over?
Please let me know.
I take birth control but my hair is thinning at the front on the head and on top.
email me back and let me know.

Crystal March 3, 2009 at 1:44 am

I’m pretty terrified right now. My hair has been thinning for a little over a year. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was in the beginning, but now, I think I’m seeing it get pretty bad. I’m starting to see me scalp a lot more in my center part. I don’t know what to do. I’ve always had long, thick, naturally straight black hair, and having to see about 70% of my hair fall out, it’s enough to make me want to break down sometimes. I am already on anti-depressants and have a huge problem handling stress, so this is absolutely ruining my physical, emotional, and mental well-being. I become obsessed with this from time to time and can’t stand to look in the mirror on certain days. Taking showers is so stressful for me. I can’t stand it. I desperately want this to stop and my doctors don’t seem to care and dismiss me as being too vain. No one seems to understand how much this can affect you. I’m 22 years old and this started shortly before my 21st birthday in November of 07.
Now, with that said, (I’ve been dying to say that without anyone calling me self-absorbed or reassuring me that it’s mostly in my head) I’ve been wondering as to whether or not taking the “morning after pill” or Plan B could have any affect on hair loss. I’ve heard stories about hair loss relating to birth control, but nothing about how the morning after pill might affect this. I was on birth control for less than a year, but that was the shot, not the pill. I was 17-18 at the time and I didn’t have any problems with my hair until I was 21. What I always thought was strange was the I did go on Ortho for less than a month in September of 2007, because my body did go various changes in that time so I stopped almost immediately. My hair loss began November to December of 2007. Could being on that birth control for that amount of time cause this much damage to my hair? Literally, 60 to 70% of my hair is gone. I would really appreciate some sort of opinion from somebody that has gone through this and what they have heard from their doctors. I understand that everyone is different and I don’t expect a professional medical opinion from anybody, however, until I can afford to find a doctor that seems to care and could help me find out what’s wrong with me, some sort of advice, reassurance, or just an opinion based on what they heard from their doctors would help me so much. I just feel so helpless and alone with this issue. Anything would help right about now. Thank you.

Calum March 8, 2009 at 4:37 am

I just wanted to post something that may (or may not) help those of you searching for answers. About a year ago I was in a similar position to all of you, 22 and freshly off birth control and dealing with massive cycles of shedding. I went to the doctors for months, did all the blood tests and nothing-everything came back normal. I stumbled across this site, http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com and it was like a lightning bolt. I was poking around and found an article about the different blood tests they do for thyroid. It turns out the majority of docs only run a general test and ignore other more specific tests if the first test comes back “normal”. It can happen though that these values are normal and your thyroid is still messed up. I went to a specialist (found from a list of top thyroid docs via that same site) and he did the right tests. Turns out I had a mild form of Hashimoto’s which they only saw in ONE of many blood tests. To tell the truth, at this point I was pretty sure the doc was a quack (how could he find what 6 other doctors had missed?!), but was so desperate I decided to try the meds. I got on the medication, started feeling better than I had in years, and the hair loss slowed to a stop after a few months. It might not be the answer for everyone, but it taught me that you have to be your own best advocate. So my advice is educate yourself and stand up for yourself. Figure out what thyroid tests have and haven’t been done, and check out that website if you like.

Melissa March 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I’m really glad that I found this website. I am 22 years old and I have been on birth control pills since I was 18. I used to have really curly hair, though it was never thick, it had lots of volume. About a year after I started taking Yasmin, I noticed the change in my hair. It wouldn’t really curl as much, or even hold a curl if I used a curling iron. I just attributed it to having a really stressful freshman year in college. I didn’t really think about it again until last year when I tried to grow out my hair (I had cut it really short sophomore year). My hair grew noticably slower, and it came in all straggly. During the last twelve months I have really noticed a difference in my hairs thickness. When I put my hair back in a pony tail, I have to wrap the holder about six times around my hair!

I asked my doctor about my pill. She decided to switch me off Yasmin onto Logestral, but I don’t really see the problem resolving itself, though. I am also tempted to stop bcp completely, but it really helps with my cramps and I am sexually active.

I am glad that this website is here. I really thought that I was the only person that was practically balding at 22. Even my hairdresser commented the other day on my hair.

My biggest question is why don’t doctors see this as a bigger problem? There are many women on birth control, and after doing some research, there are a lot of us that are losing hair because of it.

Noelle March 12, 2009 at 5:45 am

Sarah- where in Canada are you? Vancouver by any chance? If so, or even if not, can you provide your trich info? Thanks!

Rhonda Holt March 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Hi ladies, I re-read your posts up on this side of the website.. I have to agree with so many of you and to say I too was on Ellese BCP a few years ago then I had married and went off.. Never noticed my hair loss until I went off of the pill, now when I was on it…I wont about a year and was told my body would readjust and it would stop falling and regrow.. That was not true!! I lost half my head of hair and was totally devastated.. I went to my gyno after suffering and not even wanting to leave the house.. I could see my scalp, and even my marriage was falling apart because I was so depressed, so many dont understand us women and how much it effects us emotionally and physically… Our hair is our image our crowning glory, when we wake up and it looks good we feel good.. If its not there and or we have a bad hair day we have a bad day.. Well losing it is much more devastating then those who never went through it and look at us like we are crazy.. Until they go thru it they will never understand how painful it is…I spoke with my gyno and they did tests and found nothing, and when I spoke to him about going back on the pill from me having endomeotriosis and reading up on that some BCP have certain benefits to hairgrowth to where others can cause it.. I think its our body gets used to that hormone and goes into a kind of shock when we go off and sometimes it can not re stabilize its self and like starves its self from excepting nutrition and the things it needs to get the hair to regrow, so it basically suffers.. My Gyno agreed to retry and go back on and see what happens.. Well I did, and reading the posts along with others I see that they say Lo-estrin in a high androgen pill and think it causes hair loss, that is the pill i am on and have been on for years and it stopped most of my hairloss and I regrew most of it back.. I was told by my gyno and pharmacists back when they put me on it that is was a favorite pill with the least amount of side effects.. I am on that pill year round and I have never gained weight from it nor lost my hair and a few other ladies whom are on it have gone through the same… I then hear Yasmine is the lowest androgen pill and have heard more horror stories of hair loss then most pills.. So someone please tell me why it is they say Lo-estrin is the cause… I think it is nonsense and i think it is we are all so different that what works for one may not work for another, some need more estrogen and others progesterone, I thimk if you lose your hair you need to change to a different type if your going to take BCP’s or dont start them at all.. But us ladies know so many need to be on them, mine is for my health issues which it has helped me so much and this BCP I love it.. I see no problem from years of taking it.. I also know that being a nutritionist and a cosmetologist that shampoos we do need but we need to find one with the least amount of ingredients.. and more nutrients.. So many of them are not good for your hair and full of wax that builds up on the scalp.. I have put up several posts on the main page to this site, and have helped so many and I am still receiving emails to how much the Braggs apple cider vinegar has helped with hairloss problems.. This product is cheap and in your grocery store.. It is raw pure and natural and you use it after you shampoo.. When you get out of the shower.. All you do is mix it with distilled water and the Braggs in a squirt bottle and spray it on your scalp to saturate it.. Then message and comb it in, leave it on a few moments to dry in then ad your styling products..Yes it smells like vinegar, but once it dries and you apply your styling products there is no smell, and is it worth getting your hair back? It has been a blessing to so many I have suggested it too.. And it stops an oily scalp and re balances your scalp with the proper alkaline needed, I just received another email on how it helped a ladies daughter’s hair and it is so shiny and the oil’s are gone and her hair easily detangles.. They also take it in some juice as well to feed the inside like the outside.. I have also read about Royal Jelly being an awsome supplement for hairloss.. Its inexpensive too.. I have been using the braggs for about 1yr straight and I do not see excess hair in my hands or the shower any more like I used too.. I hope this helps some of you and you give it a try.. You may be suprized from the results.. I had a Actinic keratosis forming on my face and I was scared about it becoming skin cancer.. I used that Braggs straight with a Qtip and rubbed it on several times a day, well that little soar has almost completely disappeared.. I dont know how this stuff works buts its benefits are amazing.. Now I use the braggs mixture all over my skin and let it dry.. And have found problem skin websites saying it is beneficial for the skin… I have also been on Chromium picolinate and MSM for years from a lady who suggested it when I was having acne problems and she owned a health food store.. Its had my skin completely clear and all whom I have recommended it to in the past have said the same.. So if you or your kids are having acne try using those together.. I promise it will clear your skin up.. I sure hope I can help so many of you with your hair and skin problems, its so hard on us women and we need to stick together and help each other when we find things that work for us we need to try and get out there and share it in hoping it will do the same for them too.. Well I wish everyone the best of luck and to have many happy hair days to come… Thanks Rhonda

Julia April 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I am completely astonished to discover the insanely large amount of women around my age that are losing their hair, for one reason or the other. It’s so easy to go into the “i’m all alone in this” state of mind, which I have been trying to come out of ever since I started losing my hair five years ago.

This hair loss has not been due to BCP, for I only took BCP this year, and for only 1.5 months. After I stopped taking it (due to blood coming from my nipple, very very freaky, especially in the middle of college finals) I noticed that my hair did begin to fall out a lot more than before. My cycle was also really messed up (so far, I’ve only had 2 periods since this september, and it’s already been six months). I got blood work done (testing for the usual female hormones and thyroid hormones) and everything came out fine. Doctors really don’t know what they’re doing, do they? At least not the ones I’ve come across. (And it seems that many of you also object to the doctors’ dismissive and/or careless attitudes when it comes to prescribing pills and not fully explaining the potential side-effects.)

I see new hairs growing all the time, but I’m still not seeing any real progress, or at least not the kind that I’d like to see. I think I’ve lost about 50% of my hair. And I had a lot of it. Anyhow, now I am working with an alternative medicine specialist who tells me that sometimes, imbalances are so minor that they don’t come up on the blood tests or are deemed insignificant by doctors. However, since everyone’s bodies are different and everyone reacts differently to various imbalances in their body, then this minor figure could be what is causing and/or also contributing to the hair loss. So, your thyroid may be affected (due to BCP or a different factor) but it may not show up on the test, and so the doctor proclaims the hair loss ‘unexplainable.’

Thyroid function greatly depends on our diets, and one of the things that I’ve been researching for the past month is how yeast, or rather a case of candida albicans (systemic yeast infection aka overgrowth of yeast throughout the entire body) affects bodily functions. The effects of candida are endless; it is able to affect any and every organ/biological system, and can be the culprit behind an enormous range of conditions, from acne, to thrush, to fatigue, to depression/anxiety, to a variety of autoimmune disorders, including MS.

Since candida is capable of adversely affecting thyroid function, it is therefore capable of causing hair loss. I have also read that birth control pills are one of the many things that can contribute to candida overgrowth (crappy diets included of course). Even though my hair loss started way before i took BCP, i know that it was exacerbated by taking BCP, and I also know that it led to a development of candida in my body… So, now I am trying to eradicate this yeast infection, all the while taking herbs and vitamins (omega-3 fish oil and Ho shou woo root is supposed to help, along with saw palmetto, a dht/androgen blocker.) Even if I do have androgenetic alopecia, i know that it doesn’t run in my family, and so it is possibly and hopefully reversible.

It’s definitely hard to leave the house and go to school and watch girls/women be so carefree, enjoying the hair you used to have long ago. But I’ve learned that obsessing definitely makes it a thousand times worse and adds to your stress like nothing else does! And I’ve also learned that adding artificial hormones into your body and messing up the natural cycle can lead to disastrous consequences, not only hair loss. I’d steer clear of BCP for good, even if it seems to help, or seems to not be doing any harm. It’s a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing, that one day down the road may tear off the sheep skin and show you its true colors.

Alicia April 17, 2009 at 3:03 am

I wish I had found this site a long time ago. When I stopped taking the pill (Yaz) about 8 months I never imagined my hair would start falling out. The first 4 months were really bad I didn’t want to wash my hair because when I did I would have to put a handful of hair in the rubbish after. I couldn’t tie my hair up because you could see my scalp through my hair. It was also so oily and looked horrible by the end of the day even when I only washed it that morning. I was always checking out other girls hair when I went out or when I watched tv and movies. It made me depressed sometimes and very self conscious. I was and still am jealous of girls with long thick hair.
I can’t believe almost all the girls on this site have gone through the same thing because of BCP. I ended up going to my Doctor and I had all the blood tests too, everything came back normal. My doctor recommended I take another BCP which I’m not going to do.
Right now my hair isnt falling out anymore. I have been taking Biotin and multivitamins which has helped. I can tie my hair up now because my hair is starting to grow back. However I am getting horrible cystic acne on my chin and back which I never used to get while or before I started taking the pill. When I first stopped taking the pill I was getting maybe 1 cystic pimple a month but over the last 3 to 4 months it has been getting worse. I don’t know how to treat it and I’m scarred it’s going to keep getting worse. Has anyone else had this problem?

nicole April 29, 2009 at 9:41 am

hey girls! my story is kind of like sarah’s. i know this story is pretty old but right now i’m experiencing significant hair loss. i’m sure its not as noticable as i think but when i take a shower there are atleast 1 handfuls of hair that come out and when i brush it the shedding is terrible. plus, when i put my hair in a ponytail i notice a slight bald spot on top of my head near the back. luckily, if i brush it the right way, its not noticable but it’s pretty embarassing and a little frightening. i started taking the generic form of yasmin called ocella 4 months ago, and it began to give me severe migraines about a month ago so i stopped taking it. i noticed the hair loss in the shower about 2 weeks ago, but the bald spot started occuring about a month ago while i was still on the pill. i’m hoping my hair loss will stop because i already have pretty thin hair. anyway if anyone had or has an experience like mine please let me know! thanks :)

why can't bald women be in? May 11, 2009 at 9:20 am

Wow…. my life all over again. I had been on a strong birth control since I was in junior high due to my periods. I started losing my hair in High School. Extremely thin to the point that strangers started pointing it out to me at the stores. I had doctors and tests tell me it was genetic but no one in my family had lost their hair, family thinks it is stress. I tried all kinds of medications, creams, shampoos, prescription and non and got off birth control in college. Best thing as far as the hormones go. I do take testosterone as that is what women are lacking when they loose the top part of their hair (so I was told)… baby hairs come in but they are thin and few. I changed my diet, and tried all kinds of home remedies…nothing drastic showed up. Not too long ago I got sick and the steroids they pumped me with cause more to fall out, to the point that I had to wear a wig. Love the look, everyone does and no one can tell …but it gets hot… and I am tired of not swimming or always reverting to a hat. Was considering transplants…what do you all think? I am not 37.

Kellie May 12, 2009 at 9:59 am

My story is a little different from most here, but I am around the same age of the majority of posters (I just turned 23), so I thought I’d share my hair loss experience thus far…

I started BCP when I was in college, first Yasmin, then Nuva Ring for a couple of years. When I graduated last spring I stopped Nuva Ring because I was no longer covered by my parents’ insurance and I wasn’t sexually active anyway. About three months later (August) I started to notice my hair falling out. This continued for many months and I just attributed it to the stress of being unemployed and searching for a full-time job. I finally went to my gyno in February to ask her about it, reading that Nuva Ring is notorious for causing hair loss, and also fearing it may be PCOS. She (the BCP worshipper) said that it could not have caused it. I never had any problems with hair loss before BCP, or even while I was taking it. So she prescribed me Yasmin, saying it was low androgen. I figured it might rebalance my hormones and straighten me out. I’ve been on it for about 3 months now and I don’t see much change. Handfuls are still coming out when I shower and brush my hair. I’ve had my thyroid and everything else tested for that my gyno and dermatologist could think of, and everything came back “normal”…So the dermatologist prescribed spironolactone (50 mg daily to start out with) and Rogaine, both which i started at the end of April. I hate using Rogaine. It has an odor to it, and while the foam works a bit as a mousse and adds some volume to my hair, I have to wash my locks every day or else it gets greasy. I’m headed back to my derm. at the end of June when she’s going to reevaluate my dosage and check for effectiveness. So I’m giving these options a few months to see if anything happens. The problem is, if this works for me, then I’m pretty much stuck doing it f-o-r-e-v-e-r for fear that my hair will fall out again. Even worse is if it doesn’t work at all…

I’m trying to stay positive and hopefully there is some sort of solution for me. While my mother and grandmother both have hair that has thinned, they are about 52 and 86 respectively (neither of whom started to lose their hair early on like me).

At this point, I am fairly convinced that in my case my hair loss is not due to going on BC, but rather going off of it and throwing my body’s balance out of whack. I’ve been considering taking saw palmetto or some other ‘treatments’ (ie shampoos, etc) but I don’t want to try too many things at once and then not know what it was that really worked.

Anyway, any sort of advice or support would be appreciated. Like most others, this whole ordeal consumes me, and sometimes brings me to tears. It helps to know that I’m not alone, but that fact still doesn’t put more strands on my head:) If anything changes for the better (or the worse, eek!) I’ll keep you updated! Thanks!

marjorie May 29, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I’m 26 and I had a similar problem. Was taking Yaz for only 2 months, and after going off the pill, the crown of my head shed and now it looks like a whole new layer on top of my head—and it’s so thin! Thankfully, I was only on the pill for a short period of time, but it really SUCKS that my hair is shorter on top and longer on the bottom (I like to call it the mullet). I’m hoping it will just grow back….it has a good 6 inches to go before it will look ‘normal’ again, but the hair itself seems healthy. I’m just going to keep it in the sunlight and keep it strong with protein and maybe a good hair shampoo/ vitamin. If it doesn’t have regrowth after the summer, I might freak out, but it already seems to be getting better. How frustrating!!! I miss my old hair soooo much, and really want it all long, nice and pretty again. I did buy some extensions to make up for the discrepancy, and those help, especially when I go out. I bought real human hair, paid about 160 for them. I don’t notice too much shedding, so hopefully the hard part is over! I feel everyone’s pain tho…not a fun thing to go through!!!!!

emma June 12, 2009 at 5:17 am

hi my names emma i have just been reading through all the message on here and i know what you are all going through with hair loss. i was 21 when i started to notice that my hair was starting to go thin i have been on the pill on and off since i was 16 but i started taking it peoprly when i was around 20. i am now 26 and it has tekn me 5 years to get a diagnosis that i have androgenetic alopecia. i was ocnstantly being turned awat by doctors saying there was nothing wrong with me which was extremely frustrating as i know my own hair and i know it was going thin. but i three years ago i was told to go on the yasmin pill as they said it helps hair regrowth and unfortuunately ican say they are wrong as my hair has kept getting thinner. Then about 8 months ago i was prescribed the dianette pill as they said this also helps hair regrowth and i have recently looked up online and it says tht it helps shed excess hair so therefore it doesnt help hair regrowth at all and my hair has gone considerably thinner since. I have had my hair cut short to help it look thicker but now as it has come to the poin of it bein so thin i cant do nothing about it and its causing me a great deal of distress and i have lost all my confidence and i find it hard to go out anymore.
But i have found sometthing which im willing to try and i have looke dit up on several websites to research it and thts saw palmetto tablets. google saw palmetto and you will find a lot of useful answers . I havent tried it yet but im willing to try anything that i find might help. But i know one thing for sure i wont be going on the pill again for a while just to see if it is actually the pill thts making my hair go thinner as i find its likely that it is . I also find it so frustrating that a lot of hair treaments only go out to men which im sure there are alot of men out there affected but i know a few men myself who suffer form this and they arent affected as they say they can just shave their hair off, which isnt the case for a woman as i find hair is an important asset to a woman an it makes a woman feel like a woman .. without it i feel ugly and horrible. I just hope one day there will be a solution for us and at an affordable one at tht

Jessica - 20 yrs old June 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm

I feel so incredibly fortunate to have found this website. Over the past couple of months i have noticed my hair has been falling out more than usual, and being a person with really thick hair i was used to losing more hair than the average person. I figured that my hair loss was the result of having a bad hair color go wrong and fried my hair but than i realized that my hair wasnt breaking it was coming out from the root and i couldnt figure out why my hair was falling out. I am almost 99% certain now that my hair loss is a result of being on the pill for almost 3 years and abruptly going off just a couple months ago. I was on marvelon 21 for the first couple of years and for the last 6 months had switched to and been taking yasmin. I cannot believe that doctors dont warn us girls about the possibility of hair loss. I am lucky enough to have had a thick head of hair before this all started cause if i wasnt as fortunate id probably be bald right now. It’s hard to explain to someone the severity of thinning hair because no one really takes it that seriously or even understands unless they to have experienced it themselves.
sooooo incredibly glad to know im not the only 20 year old out there experiencing something that is far beyond my years to even deal with or rationalize, this really shouldnt be happening but it is. The best thing for your body is to be organic and healthy and to not put any percriptions in unless truly necessary. I was contemplating on going back on the pill but after reading these insightful blogs it is now clear that the best thing for you body is to let it get rid of all the hormones and to balance itself out naturally so then i wont have to worry about going on and off the pill again!

Pat 26 years old July 3, 2009 at 5:04 am

Hi, I´m sooo glad I found this website and have a chance to tell my story to people who would understand my suffering. I´ve been having hair loss problems since I was 16, and it wasn´t caused by taking BCP. I went to the endocrynologist by that time and he prescribed me with BCP to help me stop the hair loss. I think at the beggining the hair loss was really imp0rtant, since my hairdresser told me about it, and she suggested using ampoules to promote hair growth and taking vitamins. I did it for about an year without seeing any results, I was still lossing my hair. I was ashamed of that, but apparentrly nobody but my hairdresser noticed it. I continued lossing hair but I think not as much as at the begining though it started becoming thinner and thinner. When I was about 22 years old, and over 5 years taking pills I decided I wanted to get off birth control and have a rest at least for some time. About two month after I got off BCP my hair started falling out like never before, I was used to lossing like 100 – 150 hairs per day, I had accepted that my hair would never look shiny or healthy but at least I wasnt´n bald. I really freaked out so I got in BCP again quickly hoping that would slow down the hair loss. And it did, my hair continued to fall out but not as much, I mean I went back to the initial situation of lossing about 100-150 hairs a day. Since that time, and it´s been 4 years now I´ve been taking Yasmin, afraid of leaving them b/c my hair would start falling out like crazy again. Even if my hair is thin, I don´t look bald and my part line is a bit wider than before but not really noticeably. Neither my family nor by boyfriend sees anything different with my hair, and we´ve been together for 6 years. I´m 26 now, and I will get married soon. And we want to have babies, but the problem is I´m really scared to get off the BCP and start lossing my hair a lot again. When I was 17-18 I really thought I was going to became bald, but it´s been 10 years and I still have enough hair to cover my scalp though I have a low density and I never use it in pony tails cause peolple will notice. I know I don´t have much hair and I can´t afford lossing it like that time before cause probably this time the result will be devastating, but I do want to have children and I was trying to convince myself that being a mother is much more important than having my hair, I know that´s the way I feel but I´m still so afraid of becaming bald. Sometimes I´m more positive and when I look at myself in the mirror I think my hair doesn´t look so bad, but other days it looks horrible. And I felt so identified when you said you look at others women hair all the time, cause I do the same and I realised that women hair loss is not that uncommon. I never go to the hairdresser, I cut my hair myself and I had never dyed it. I think brushing and dyes will not help my hair. I forgot to mention that I´ve always had re grow, my head is full of tiny little hairs all the time, of which I´m glad but it makes my hair look awful as each hair is of different lenght and many hairs stand out. I wish I never had started taking BCP but it´s too late now. Anyway, I just wanted to share my story with you and gain some courage to stop taking pills to concieve. I hope everything turn out for the best and thanks for listening.

Jamie July 14, 2009 at 1:19 am

Hi all,
I recently went off of the pill and started to loose my hair. I was also taking Ritalin and was not sure if that was causing problems. First my head started itching and then was very red and hot and sore and next thing I know my hair is falling out. I went off of the pill about 2 months ago and when my hair started falling out decided to go off of the Ritalin. I had been very ill for the past year with my docs pointing at an autoimmune disease which can also cause hair loss and scalp problems. I have tried Neem oil and that has helped calm my scalp down and it is supposed to help regrow hair. It stinks very badly but is worth a try. I am terrified that my hair will continue to fall out but am glad that I have found this site and realize that I am not the only one. I hope that together we can find some sort of miracle to stop the loss of hair and assist with regrowth. Good luck to all of you this is truly a nightmare.

janey August 10, 2009 at 1:50 am

hey all…. first of all OMG loosing hair really sucks and its good and bad to see that i am not alone. Well for the past 2 hours i have been reading all the posts and doing reaserch and i am mortified to what i have found…. i too am noticing hair loss, but i am still on the nuvaring and scared to get off of it for the fear of losing more hair but also scared of losing hair while on it….catch 22 or something…. well i also noticed that i have gotten hair in areas of my face that make me feel….unwomenly and have gone to the doctor before and got brushed off as bad genes….my mother has no unsightly hair now does my grandmother…… BUT now i am seeing that my thinning hair and my harniess can be due to my birth control…. I do not know what to do…… I’ve been on birth control since i was 17 i’m 23 now….. (currently i’ve been on it regularly now for 1.5 years) i really want to get off of it….but i am sexually active as well and am scared that my thinning might progress…..i still have most of my hair and it looks normal but it is no where near to the thickness i used to have…… i really need some advice……. thank you in advance!!!!!

Sara August 11, 2009 at 8:52 am

I feel very lucky to have come across this… I have been noticing for the past few months that my hair has been thinning on the top, and sides, and slightly in the back as well as getting really oily! I thought I was alone! I am only 19 years old, and my hair is falling out??!?!!?? WTF! But hearing that it could have been triggered by birth-control is something that kind of relieves me. My mother has really thin hair as well, as my grandmother! I am so scared that I will look like that in the coming years!
My older sister, however, complains about having TOO MUCH hair??!??
Anyway, If anybody has any suggestions please send them my way!

I am too young for this and of desperate need of a solution!
The smallest bit of advise would help!

Alayne August 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Sarah, I am relieved I found this site. I have been searching for a week to find information linking BCP and hair loss. I was put on Loestrin in June of this year and from day 1 it gave me side effects but they weren’t hair related. Until 1 week ago (August 11) I was drying my hair a found a bald patch – I knew immediately it was due to the Loestrin because that was the only variable in the past few months that could affect my hormone levels. I promptly stopped the pill, called my Gyno who emphatically denied my hair loss was a result of the BCP, and she recommended going to the dermatologist. I am shocked and disappointed at her lack of concern and out right refusal to believe it’s something she prescribed me. I could go on about how she’s done nothing proactive to help me, but seeing I’ve gone so far as to join a hair loss blog sums it up.
Since I stopped the pill 9 days ago my hair has been shedding profusely; it is disconcerting and I wonder HOW LONG does the shedding usually last? I already have 1 bald patch on the right side of my head that I have to cover by parting my hair over it. But now I’m seeing signs of thinning all throughout my head. Can anyone offer insight on how long it takes for a woman’s body to naturally restore the correct hormone levels so her hair stops falling out?

Thank you for caring; I’m with you too.
Alayne

Kari August 24, 2009 at 11:34 am

RJ

Okay, you stopped writing?? But I was trying to follow yours because I saw your original post about the HAIR LOSS & FATIGUE. That is what is happening with me for a couple years now. And the WHITE THINGS on the end of the hair happens to me. My alternitive doctor though maybe it is because my body is really acidic so I started taking vitamins to help with acidity…nothing helped. My thyroid is fine, iron in fine, vitamin B fine, everything they tested is fine. So it’s “normal” to have hair fall out. NO it’s not normal to have it fall out in clumps & not even want to wash your hair because it falls out so much.

I need a cure because this problem runs my life. Seriously. I’m on a mission to solve it and i’ll try nail buffing, rogain, whatever. I already take biotin and vitamin b, alkaline salts, and multi vitamin…nothing has worked yet.

Corinne August 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm

It’s been very interesting reading all of these posts and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to tell their story.

I was about to get several blood tests done this morning but I fortunately found in a book yesterday that they are not necessarily helpful in diagnosing causes of hair loss. After reading several responses stating the same information here, I am very confident in this decision and am very glad that I did not waste the money on it at this time. In the meantime I am interested in the saliva test and will be talking to my current physician about getting mine tested.

I have lost an extreme amount of hair in a matter of only 10 weeks. I have bald spots that get larger with time and thinning all around. I had been able to wear a scarf around the front of my head for the majority of the time. However, over the past few days I have realized that it has gotten to the point where I can no longer safely cover the thinning spots in the back of my head. If my small amount of hair shifts at all it will reveal a large bald/thin patch. I am now covering my entire head with a scarf (or hat) whenever I am out. My eyebrows are almost non-existent and have drawn them on for the past week. My left eyelash is progressively getting thinner and I only have about 10 lashes left, some clumped together, others standing by themselves.

I am 24 years old and started noticing my first signs of hair loss in February of this year. I got married last April (2008) and started taking the bc Sprintec then. About 10 months later (February this year) I noticed the hair on my arms and legs was thinning; small areas had no hair while right next to it there would be a normal length hair. I also noticed a little thinning around my face. Within a few weeks all the hair on my arms and legs were gone. While it was very scary and unsettling, I did’t have to shave for weeks! (you’ve got to find the upside during times like this). I was hesitant to think that this was from the bc because it had taken so long to reveal this side effect. Well it eventually all grew back and I thought everything was normal. Even more reason to discount the bc. Then about a month later I found a small quarter-size bald patch on the back of my head. A good friend of mine said that she had gone through this before and that it was due to her bc and stress. I was reassured that I could just wait it out. With experiencing the hair growth on my limbs I wasn’t too worried. Let me point out that my new growth was very fine and blonde. Even now, almost 5-6 months later only a few hairs have returned to their natural color.

On June 13th 2009 I was at an outdoor movie with friends and ran my hands through my hair. The quarter-size bald spot felt much larger. I had my husband look at it and he confirmed that it had gotten much larger. I just started crying, it was such a shock. The spot was now about the size of the base of a small drinking glass. I was fortunate to be with friends and they shared in the grief with me. About a week later I decided to get myself off my bc.

That day was the start of the horrific loss I have suffered since then. It’s been about 8 weeks since I have been free of bc. Regardless of my continued thinning I am 100% confident that getting myself off the bc was the best thing for me. I don’t have any answers for anyone but I do have encouragement. I noticed last week that I now have “peach fuzz” on the top of my head. I was so relieved to see that because I can be assured that my hair follicles are going to be fine. I still lose a lot of hair when I run my hands through it and in the shower, but I am sure my hormone levels are balancing out.

I have yet to see a dermatologist; I was not able to get an appointment until 6 months out, January of 2010. While this is discouraging, I can look forward and hope that by the time of the app. I will be able to show the doctor my new hair and discuss possible causes and ways to prevent this from happening again.

If anyone is interested I have recently picked the book “The Truth About Women’s Hair Loss” by Spencer David Kobren. It is a very interesting read. I was able to get it online used for $6, including shipping. It has helped me to feel more connected with my loss and proactive in seeking out guidance.

We all have similar yet very special individual stories. I hope that you are able to find something that gives you hope or helps you to feel not so alone in this battle.

Corinne August 25, 2009 at 12:55 pm

To those who are actively taking birth control and losing hair:

I’ve heard many on here express that they feel trapped by the birth control. They are afraid of getting off and experiencing more thinning etc. Everyone’s situation is different and many may feel differently about the prescription drugs. However, there are other forms of birth control than the pill, shot, ring, etc. I know that in today’s society women are expected to take the “pill” without any reservations. With both sexes playing their part, the stigma is that men are not to have to be burdened by wearing condoms etc. For those out there taking the pill purely for recreational purposes, is your hair worth it? Would you really rather sacrifice your hair than ask a man to wear a condom? Your hair will likely grow back after your body has balanced itself, but it could take months of thinning before it is back on track. Wearing a condom requires only a fraction of time when you think of suffering hair loss for months. It just saddens me to hear that some of you are torn because of the convenience of the pill. When really, how is a convenience to you when your hair is falling out? YOU ARE WORTH IT! Take care of your body first! Yes, it sucks to loose your hair. I have lost 50%+ of mine and look like I’ve gone through chemo. But I know that my body is no longer subject to altering synthetic hormones. In my situation I believe that the sooner you get off whatever is triggering the hair loss, the better for you and your body.

Corinne August 25, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Pat, if you’re still out there, I have a question about what you said.

If anyone else has any insight about this question I’d love to hear your response!

You mentioned always having new growth. What do you mean by “always having”? Do you mean that the new grown will fall out and grow back again? Or do you mean that it always appears to be new growth but doesn’t grow very fast etc.? About a week ago I noticed my first new growth since my last more tramatic loss and was wondering how long it might take for it to look normal and blend in again. It is very fine and blonde. I am expecting that it will take months before it blends in. My new growth on my arms and legs are still blonde and it’s been 4 or 5 months since it started growing. I’m considering cutting several inches off the rest of my head because there is no point right now in letting it grow longer. I was actually considering cutting off all my hair because it looks so bad (and is oily within a day) but then the new growth began and I don’t want to damage that.

m August 25, 2009 at 6:43 pm

i am really glad i stumbled on this website. i am 21 years old and going through the same problem. i recently started losing hair, especially on my hairline in the middle of my forehead. i have a burning sensation in those areas. ive been on yasmin since i was 15, or 16. its really scaring me that im losing so much hair, however, i have a receding hairline to begin with and im very insecure about this. now that im losing more hair im afraid my hairline is going to be more visible. i am tryin gto make an appointment with the dermatologist but ive mentioned that my scalp has burned before and he said he doesnt know why and made me feel like an idiot. im scared that if i discontinue using birth control that im going to lose such a rapid amount of hair that im going to have a lot of bald spots because ive been on bc for so long. i hope i can figure it out soon bc im really depressed over this issue but im so glad to see that there are other women my age going thorugh the same thing, it makes me feel that it is more common than we think. but i wish there was an easy cure to this.

Corinne August 27, 2009 at 12:08 pm

M –

From what I have learned a saliva test that can test for the levels of several hormones and minerals in your body is the best choice for determining if hormone levels are the cause of the hair loss. I am trying to get in the the doctor early next week to have this test done. If I think this test was helpful I will let you know!

As for the burning sensation, many may experience this. The sensation is an indicator to the areas of your scalp that are currently “under attack” and may experience some thinning. I found this out through my studies.

Pat 26 years old October 1, 2009 at 4:31 am

I´m still here,
Corinne,
to answer your question, what I meant was that I always have tiny hairs pointing out of my head, some of them eventualy grow longer and became normal hairs and I suppose some of them just falls. I noticed that most of the lost hairs are the longer ones, but I sometimes found short hairs in my comb too. All my hair is of different length, so it doesnt look healthy. I also noticed that I have only one thin hair coming out of each follicle, and that there´s a big distance between follicles, so I have low density. When I look at my sister´s hair I see she has more than one hair coming out of the same follicle and her follicles seem to be closer to each other. I think some of my follicles are dying and so no hair comes out of them and I´m losing healthy follicles with time. I also have the white thing at the end of the hair, I suppose that´s the way the root of the died hairs may look like, but I´m not sure.
The new hairs are brown, the same color the rest of my hair has. I don´t lose much hair at the back of my head but mainly in the front, sides and specially bad at the top where I have really little hair left.
I will take off bc pills soon and I´m afraid I will lose a LOT of hair and probably people will start noticing this time. The idea of losing more hair makes me feel so awful. Well, I´ll let you know

KT October 6, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Hi folks-
I can’t tell you how glad I am to have found this website. I am 25 years old and have been slowly losing my hair for almost 10 years. It all started when I went on birth control at 16. I noticed more hair in the shower, on my pillow, etc… At first I didn’t mind– as a kid I hated my hair (unruly, frizzy, could barely get a brush through it at times) and the change in texture made it much more manageable. I wish I had done something about it back then… Oh well, hindsight is 20/20. I finally sought help at 19 and was told to use Rogaine. I did not notice any improvement, though the shedding decreased a little. At 21 I saw a dermatologist who specialized in hair loss– he changed my birth control to Yasmine and told me to continue taking Rogaine. Still no improvement- my hair continued to get thinner, though I had no visible bald spots. Fast forward to today– I had my first child 4 months ago and seem to be losing my hair in clumps (aaak!). When I first discovered that I was pregnant, I was terrified to stop using Rogaine thinking that my hair loss would get even worse. Thankfully, my hair loss stabilized during the pregnancy and it actually looked pretty decent. Now that all of my “progress” has been lost I have a dilemma- I am breastfeeding and thus cannot use products with minoxodil. Sometimes I am tempted to transition my daughter to formula so I can selfishly resume treating this problem. Honestly, the whole thing is crazy– I not even sure Rogaine helped me in the past! I guess I’m just desperate for a solution. I don’t even know how to style it anymore- I hate wearing ponytails because it highlights how little hair I have, but I also hate wearing it down because it is so wispy up top and around my temples (so much for sexy face framing layers). I am desperately seeking natural alternatives so I can try to control the shedding while continuing to breastfeed– if anyone has had success please let me know! I guess it won’t be the end of the world if I can’t find a solution. I have a loving husband who has known me the since before I started losing my hair– he is amazingly supportive and constantly reassures me that he will think I’m beautiful even if I go completely bald (though I find that hard to believe at times!). At this point I just hope that my daughter doesn’t inherit my hair issues. I also worry about my younger sister– she just started birth control so I have been all over her to keep a close eye on her mane. Thanks– writing this down has actually been really cathartic. Best of luck to everyone.

Tajt October 17, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Thank you for this website!
I thought I was going crazy but its comforting to know that there are other people out there going to the same thing.
I have been taking ocella for the past 5 months and i noticed thining hair about a month and a half ago. One day I looked up in the mirror and in the front part of my head you could see my scalp. I completely freaked out. I always had a lot of hair and hair loss but I never this much thinning. I stoped the pill about a week ago and am praying to every god in the universe for it to grow back. I started using phytoceane line of products and biotin and am also planning to visit the dermatologist as soon as my insurance kicks in.

Elizabeth November 21, 2009 at 10:22 am

Hello to everyone,

I have literally just read through every post written, and it’s such a comfort to realize that so many young girls and women are experiencing the same problems. My gyno prescribed Yaz to me 12 months ago to regulate my cycle (I had very few periods as a teen), and since then, my hair has been gradually thinning. I feel like I lost 40+% of my hair. It still looks healthy, but the thickness just isn’t there anymore.

As an almost 19 year old in college, I find myself looking at other girls’ hair, remembering that it was only a year ago that that was me. As soon as I read about the bc-hairloss connection, I stopped taking Yaz, right in the middle of the pack. The gyno had suggested to simply take bc right up until I wanted to have kids, but I am so glad that I stopped. Reading up on the pill has just enlightened me so much; I can’t believe I just took the pill w/out researching first. I have always been an “all-natural” girl, thin, healthy, runner, and I simply do not want the pill in my body.

It is my hope that going off the pill will eventually yield results…I want to see results tomorrow, but I realize that it could take quite a long time. Considering cutting my hair, but if I see regrowth, maybe I won’t have to. I’ll keep everybody updated, hopefully in a few months there will be news.

My final advice though, is to get off the pill as early as you can and let your body regulate itself.

Best of luck to everyone, hang in there

Rachel December 7, 2009 at 10:18 am

Sitting in class:
Someone stated that when their in class, college they look at all the pretty girls with beautiful hair… well i do the same thing.. I hate it too my hair is thinning big time. Im scarred for the years to come (i mean year to come) if it continues to get worse to sitt in class with no hair sounds unberaable id feel so uncomfotable id just want to leave. But i guess i’ve just got to get over it, im affraid the wig might be itchy and uncomfortable but things could be worse, Myself and everyone else should relize that Hairs not every thing.

Relation Ship:
I mean I have 3 guys that really would still date me and two who truelly would marry me even tho they know that one day i could be bald. I Guess people dont care that much and it just puzzles me that one guy let alone 3 guys would still be in a relationship with me even tho i might go bald but each guys know me for a few years still. But for anyone who feels like i do young and 21 and balding you dont have to be alone their are guys out their who will still love you and want to be with you consider the circumstance.

Rock out even if your bald get a kewl bandanna or hat, or a gourgeous wig change your style once in while. do it up who cares your beautiful!

My Story On BC:
I was on BC since i was 16 im now 21 and last dec i started bounsing on and off birth control thats when i started to notice the hair loss and finally descided to stop taking it 4 good well its been about 5 months since my period and the shedding was so horrible the first 3 months my hair is still thinning badly and i see not a single sign of hair growth. so i Decided to go back on the pill 3 days ago Im scared very scared that im making the wrong choice. But when i was on BC i started thinking i was losing my hair after i heard a girl in class say that BC was cause her hair to shed so i went in a panic when i was barly lossing my hair and stopped taking it well that was bad really bad because i really started to loss my hair and i think i developed androgen apocia. When i had little hair loss on BC i had at least little hair folicles sprouting out of my scalp and know i have no little hairs and i miss them dearly. So im giving BC another shot i dont think i have notthing to loss its not TE which i thought it was the first 3 months but if it was TE i would have those danm little Hairs sprout out of my scalp and then grow to become long locks of hair but nope its just bald spots now and its still shedding.. so hear i come BC Again . I WISH I COULD SUE!

My Scalp:
My hair was tingling the first three monts after BC. And currently it feels so weak i hate to shower especially the front part of my scalp but i have to do it daily to clean the DHT and sebum ( oils That increase hair loss) off my roots. I have a white bulbs at the end of my hair strand that fall out which sould like TE but i havent seen hair growth in months. also i get bad dandruff when i use rogain or mixidoil which sucks.

Adderall:
Adderall is horrable for your body i was on it for about 2 years i really noticed a change in my body the 2nd year my skin, hair and emotions was getting ugly i finally realized its was time to quite. My last year on adderall is when i really started to notice the hair loss i was on bc too. and i only took adderall for school purposes .. not every day twice or three times a week if you want your hair to get better id get off adderall and a combonation of adderall and birth control can deff. have an overall effect on your whole body. and i know its hard to quit taking adderall i mean it helps so much with school work and getting stuff done but you can do with out it trust me, it took me along time to figure that out for myself. : ) good luck
– i dont think adderall was exactly the cause of my hair loss Bounsing on and of BC was but Adderall weakens your body furthure the increase in hair loss and adds stress and stress will cause hair loss. Adderall had a big impact on me besides my hair and i feel so much better now with out it and my skin looks so much better too.

Sarah December 30, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Well i have not been on this site in literally years.. im not even sure what probed me to come revisit it, as it gives me thoughts of a disastrous time of my life back in 2007. Through all the posts I have read on this thread, i see there is alot of sarah’s, but i am the first one to post my story long ago, and i thought it would be beneficial if i gave an update for everyone on where i am today. First off, i’ll say that unfortunately I have not regained all of my hair. BUT… it has not gotten worst, which was my biggest fear of all. Second off, i will say that i do not regret my decision to get off birth control. I know it had a large doing in why i lost alot of hair. So where am i at now? Well… my hair is thin, yes, but it has not gotten any worse since the summer of 2008, and i for sure have grown some of it back as well. If i can give any advice to girls that are going through this: GO see a nutritionist, or Trichologist in if one is located in your area ( if you live in Ontario Canada – there is one in Toronto that i went to. ) Get them to check your blood, allergies, etc, and come up with a healthy personal diet. That was probably the best thing i ever did. He (the trichologist i went to see) made me realize that regrowing my hair has to do with fixing the inside, in order to fix the outside-eating well, exercising, and not stressing!!! (hard to do when your losing bundles of hair, i know) . Do not mess with medications – they are the devil! if anything, they will only mess your system up more. Even if they do work, are you going to continue taking them your entire life? probably not the best idea. Although i have not regained all of the hair that I have liked to, i still believe that i can. .. i will be honest in saying I have not been consistent with the diet or the vitamins that the trich. recommended for the fact that when i get some results from the diet in the beginning, i stopped caring for a while….for once, i was able to not worry about my hair .. the first time in 2 years. As a new years resolution though (which probably is what prompt me to come scope this site) I have promised myself to get back on to the diet and try and regrow more of my hair. Hopefully this resolution sticks and i see more results. anyways, i hope this gives at least a little bit of hope to girls that have lost hair due to the devil i like to call birth control… i know i was always looking for any shed of light! take care and dont stress :)

Corinne January 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for updating us on your situation and I am so glad to hear that you were able to be seen by a doctor that seemed to know what they were talking about. I am excited to hear that you’ve also had some new growth! I had never heard of a Trichologist but now I will keep that on my radar. I am seeing a naturopathic doctor and also share the understanding of fixing what’s on the inside. I’m also seeing an endocrinologist for the first time next month. I think that a Trichologist would be the next best step to take. Thank you for the advice! And good luck with your new resolutions! I am also trying to exercise everyday. The diet aspect is more challenging as I still have Christmas candy lying around. Fortunately and unfortunately, it’s almost gone =/

Jennifer January 26, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I just recently stopped taking BC (about a month ago, 12/09). I took it for a short period of time, beginning in May of the same year. I started out with Yaz/Yasmin, and about a month later my hair began falling out drastically. Luckily, I had thick hair to begin with. I told my doc about the situation and she prescribed me Ocella, and then switched me to Apri. After seven months of taking the pill, I finally decided to get off of it. I would have stopped earlier, but all of the sites I had read said that eventually your body’s hormones will balance out. Well, they didn’t. Then I was informed by an online expert to take Tagamet. I take it twice, sometimes three times a day. Since taking it, my hair hasn’t stopped falling out but the shedding has improved a bit. He told me it would take about 6 weeks to work, and I’ve been taking it for about 5 wks. I also got a product called Shen Min which is a natural DHT blocker. On the box it says it will take up to 4 months to see results. Like everyone else, I constantly think about this. I don’t believe I’ve ever been so freaked out and pissed off in my life. Tell me why hair loss is not a noted side effect on ANY BC brand!! Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella are currently facing a class action lawsuit for certain side effects like gall bladder disease, stroke, etc. Maybe they should add hair loss to the list? Just b/c it is a cosmetic issue doesn’t mean it should be ignored…

Jules February 8, 2010 at 3:29 am

I have been visiting this site for awhile now, as a result of hair loss beginning at age 20 after starting LoestrinFe. Like many others, I had thick, thick, curly, out of control hair. Now, 3 years later, I have much thinner hair an oily scalp, dandruff, and a completely different hair texture (wavy/straight). I have been to 2 derms trying to figure this all out but neither has been very helpful. I am no longer taking any sort of bc (I have an paragard IUD) and over time, I think my shedding has decreased though my hair is still thinner. I noticed that many women on this site are young like me (or are concerned about their looks) and are fretting over how they will ever meet a guy who would date a bald girl, etc… So I just wanted to say, NICE GUYS EXIST. I promise. My boyfriend has seen me through all of this and no matter how many times I walk into the room crying about my hair, he always tells me he will love me even if I have no hair at all. Some of my guy friends also knew about my hair loss struggles and their responses were: “So? You’ll get a wig.” and “you can fake hair, you can’t fake a pretty face and a kind soul.”
I just wanted to share that with all of you because though you might not think so, young men can be very understanding and sweet about all of this. So don’t fret! Even your worst hair nightmares come true, know that there are plenty of guys out there who wouldn’t judge you for it and would love you just the same. Like my friend said, “you can’t fake a pretty face and a kind soul” – I’m sure there are plenty of other beautiful things about each and every one of you besides your hair – things that are not so easily replaced.

Sheena February 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm

As Sarah has mentioned there “are many Sarah out here” I am too one of them. I was diagnosed of ovarian cyst for which has to undergo Surgery. And I have no idea why my Dr suggested me birth pill- Diana 35(took for 6 month) after stoppage of it I am having massive hairfall. Met many Dermatologist but no sign of improvement. I have been through every single thing mentioned by other. But the one thing which can help us is colon cleansing (which I will try) to remove all the toxins from the body. I also suggest to do some Yoga which will get us out of the depression. One very important thing constantly remind ur body that the HAIR WILL REGROW, believe me it helps a lot.If there is anything I get will keep u updated

Rachel March 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I wrote my story on Dec 07, it’s time for an update.. Well i have hair growth huwha for that but im positive its a short lived proccess. My hairs beging to shed again and I hate the fact I don’t ever want to go out on the boat or be in the sun cuz my scalp is completely visuable I Hate It. But I guess i could of got hit by a buss or had a harder card delt to me.
in 12-07-09 i told everyone i started BC again I’ve been on and off BC for 4 years now and OMG i wish a doctor would of informed me of the possible side effects its will have on you. I was on BC for maybe 2 years i stoped taking it for 5 months… my hair begain to shed pretty badly. I didn’t see no hope or sign of hair growth plus i haven’t had a period in 5 months so I started BC again along with propecia (im going to adopt) in Dec, Luckly I started to have hair growth it was a mericle but the thing is im not sure if its because of the BC or not? maybe my body’s hormones were becoming balanced. I will never no, but it doesn’t really matter anymore because history starting to repeated itself once again.
So maybe I’ll go bandana shopping or buy a long flowing scarf to cover.
Good luck and i wish you all the best.

P.s. i ask 4 of my good guy friends if they’d date a girl who has to wear a wig or bandana and they all said yes! I know the idea wasn’t thrilling but their will to cope with it… and that give me alot of hope

Maeve March 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm

It is so great to come across all of these stories. It seems that everyone has so much in common. In a way it surprises me to realize that so many people deal with this problem. I am 19 and a freshman in college. My hair loss started in late December or early January and has rapidly become incredibly noticeable.

I have always had incredibly thick hair until now. It has gotten so much thinner and I’m afraid that if it keeps shedding at this rate I won’t have any hair soon, as my scalp is very visible in the front and my part has gotten really wide. Every time I run my hands through my hair it seems that several hairs come out and brushing it makes me want to cry.

I’ve been stressed out being far away from home for the first time, so I’m not sure if this could be the root of the problem or not. I have also been on BCP since I was 16, but never had issues with my hair until recently, so it seems unlikely that it is related. I got my thyroid tested and for anemia, but both came back normal. My doctor said to start taking biotin, but wasn’t really sure what else to suggest other than to eat healthy and start getting sleep more regularly.

I hate that my life is now all about my hair when I never had to worry about it before. I spend obscene amounts of time staring at my hair and scrutinizing other peoples hair. Also my scalp is sore and red/inflamed. Does anyone else have this problem?

I have spent so much time lately looking online for something to help and am feeling so lost and down. At least this gives me a place to read the stories of other people suffering from the same problem. I wish hair didn’t matter so much in our culture. You are all incredibly brave and at least we all have each other.

Jules March 19, 2010 at 12:11 am

Maeve – have you been to a dermatologist? A red/inflamed scalp could be a sign of an infection which could be treatable with a round of meds. Also, though your blood tests may have come back “normal”… there is a huge range for normal. Just so you know, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists suggests that the normal range for TSH should be .3-3. If you’re having hypo/hyper symptoms you should definitely check your results. As far as the ferritin, my dermatologist (and others I’ve head of) have recommended that it should be above 60-70 for good hair growth. This is well above the cutoff for what is considered anemic.

PS: Try not to obsess about this. I know it sucks, but honestly, worrying is just going to make you feel so much worse. Remember all the women (young ones too) who are going through this with you. You are not alone. Do what you can to fix the problem, but don’t forget, even if you can’t stop this you WILL be ok.

Maeve March 19, 2010 at 6:42 am

Jules,

No I haven’t seen a dermatologist, though I should probably look into it… It is really frustrating that levels come back normal even when they’re not. Though I suppose that we aren’t ever tested to know what normal is or was, so how would anyone really know?

The only other thing I can think of is that I am on Keppra to treat my epilepsy. I’ve been on it since the end of July, so am not sure if this could be a cause or not. I’ve found a few cases of this online, but it’s hard to really know.
Thank you for the encouragement. It means a lot. :)

Allison April 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I Wish I had come across this site years ago.
Like many women and young girls on this site, I also have similar story. However, I never made the connection between hairloss and birth control pills. I first blamed my initial hair loss on my poor diet in my late teens. I was anorexic for a few months and then started experiencing extreme hair loss so I stopped. Since then I have gained much of my weight back, which is fine, but continue to experience thinning. During my anorexic stage I was also on birth control pills, I believe it was Tricycline. Once my long term relationship was over and was no longer on them. I just associated my hair loss to my unhealthy lifestyle or perhaps genetics (my older brother experienced premature balding) . Recently, about a year ago, I was put on Trycycline again, then switched to the patch, and then Alesse. Alesse affected me tremendously. I became severly depressed and noticed my hair shedding. The shedding reminded me of the shedding i experienced years ago. Of course I went to my doctor and everything is normal which is very frustrating to me. I am 25 and fear being bald by 30. I have since come off of the pill, about 6 or 7 months ago. The shedding is not as bad but it seems to continue. I’ve been on a multivitamin, cod liver oil pills, and B 100 complex. I purchased saw palmetto but haven’t really bagun using it consistenly because there is not alot of research on the affects it could have on me. I am not going to look into speaking with a trichologist or holistics doctor. This site has really helped. I thought I was alone. Now I can tell my boyfriend that IM NOT CRAZY!!!!!!

Rabbit May 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Wow…reading Sarah’s story, and a few responses, just made me cry. I was put on BC pills several years ago and had horrible side effects including hair loss, so I made the decision to go off the pill going on a year ago. I was really hoping my hair loss would have evened out by now…but it hasn’t. It just keeps getting worse. I hate looking at my brush or my bathroom floor, because they’re just covered with shed hairs. :( This is very hard, and a really tough thing to go through when you’re young. You can’t realize how emotionally damaging this is unless you’ve experienced it–and most people don’t, most people just tell us we’re crazy. Well, we’re not. I love all you ladies, and I really keep my fingers crossed that there is hope out there for all of us.

Sara May 18, 2010 at 10:54 am

I cannot beleive my eyes! I started to loose my hair in my early twenties and stayed on the pill for 14 years never putting two and two together. I am now 32 very self concious and just ordered a hair piece. I feel better knowing I am not alone and a possible cause for my problem. I was on loestrin for a few years then they switched me off of it due to “possible side effects”. Thank you for your support!

Pilar May 21, 2010 at 9:22 am

My story is very similar to a lot of ladies that have posted on here.

My shedding began around 2 months AFTER stopping Yaz. I was only on it for 1.5 months and pill free for 2 years. Prior to that I had been on Ortho Tricyclen Lo for 9 years and when I went off the pill I had no bad effects at all! My skin actually looked a lot better, depression was gone and my sex drive was back! 2 years of being pill free, I was talked into taking Yaz. My GYN made Yaz sound like a miracle pill. Even though I my skin was almost clear, I was still really oily, but only got 1-3 pimples right before my period and they healed pretty quickly. Well I went on the the beginning of August and within a few weeks I felt horrible! I was getting health palpitations and a lot of anxiety. I knew right then and there that I didn’t want to be on the pill. 1.5 months I decided to stop. I figured this time would be just like when I went off the OTC Lo a few years back and that my body wouldn’t miss the synthetic hormones – I WAS WRONG! Around 2 months after I took my last pill (middle of November 2009) I started noticing hundreds and hundreds of hairs falling off my scalp while in the shower! It was so terrifying that I began to count the hairs. Just after a shower I was losing over 300 hairs and everywhere I went<, I was leaving my hairs behind. For those first few weeks, I would get panic attacks with just the thought of having to take a shower and see all those hairs fall out. I cried and cried and even took 2 weeks off from work. I went to a few doctors and they tested my hormones, thyroid and iron. I was also extremely anemic with a ferritin on 5. So for me it was kind of a double wammy. My primary care thought it might be the cessation of the pill, my GYN compltetely denied that the pill would do something like this (she said it was stress) and the Endo said that DEFINITELY the pill can cause this. It’s been 8 months since I’ve been off the pill and 6 months since the hair loss began and it’s getting A LOT better! I was shedding over 300 hairs every day from November through March 2010. In January, I started noticing new hairs popping up, some of them were lost but some of them have now grown into 1-2 inch hairs that are just as thick as my previous hairs. In April I noticed a decrease in shedding. For a 1-2 weeks I was losing an average of 150 hairs, then 80 hairs and now for the last 2 weeks I’ve been losing an average of 40-50 hairs per day. I can also run my fingers through my hair through out the day and not come out with 4-5 hairs in one hand! I’m also getting a lot more re-growth all over my head. These past 6 months have been the hardest 6 months of my life. It’s hard for others to understand what it feels like to feel like something is out of control and you have no way to stop it. I have lost about 40% of my air but luckily I started out with A LOT of hair and even with the 40% loss, no one has noticed.

I just want all you ladies to know that there is hope and things will get better. I remember at the beginning looking for answers and thinking that it would never slow down – but it did. Please hang in there and know that there is a light at the end of this horrible tunnel.

Pilar

Mary June 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I am very glad I found this website.

For 20 years I had never messed with birth control. I knew I should have gone with my gut feeling on birth control, which is I don’t think you should mess with mother nature. My friends all urged me to go on BC due to my heavy periods with extremely painfully cramps. I did start taking Ortho Cyclen in March of 2010. From the beginning, it was awful… nausea, acne, anxiety and worst of all hair loss. The hair loss was awful in the shower… handfuls of hair. I would cry and all my friends thought I was nuts because they couldn’t really tell a difference. I can tell a difference because my hair used to be thick and full and now it is much thinner.

I tried to seek advice and everyone put down the idea that it was due to BC. I was going through a lot of stress with the last few months of my college semester due to classes and boy problems. I was also a vegetarian and thought maybe I wasn’t getting enough protein. I also think maybe because I have highlights and would straighten my hair daily that my hair was damaged, but my hair falls out by the root not breaking. It is natural for me to shed after winter as well. But still the hair loss was not noticeable to me until I had started taking BC.

I went back to the clinic and expressed all my concerns. The doctor decided it was best if we changed to a different pill. So in May, I started taking Lo seasonique. This pill is better but I still have hair loss. I have been stress free because it is now summer. I have decided to eat meat again which I wish I didn’t feel compelled too. I no longer straighten or blow dry my hair. I also take vitamins. I still have hair loss but maybe not as bad. After reading all these stories… should I just get off the pill??

Kristen B. June 9, 2010 at 7:40 pm

@ Mary – I have experienced the same shedding problems while on Ortho Tri-cyclen Lo and after getting off regular Orth Tri-cylen. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you’d like to get off BC pills all together, but I have personally found they affect my hair in the same way as you’re seeing. It might be worth it to stay off of them if you are able to do so. On the plus side, my hair did start to slowly grow back after I stopped taking the pills (it just took a little while.) I have no idea if my hair will ever be as thick as it was originally though. Best of luck to you!

Jaclyn June 10, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Hi girls!! It’s really nice to see the support/feedback from others who are experiencing this. As girls, I know I take a lot of pride in my long hair, that used to be thick. I’m 23 and was on the pill for about 5 years (Yasmin). I had very long, thick thick hair that everyone used to comment on. I stopped the pill about 5 months ago and now have lost probably 60% of my hair. I’ve been taking minerals and supplements (Biotin) Women’s formulas etc. and nothing has seems to lessen the hair loss. I’m going to see my Dr. tomorrow (I will give you all an update on what he says) but I already have decided on my own, that my hair is going to shed until my hormones level out again and my body is back to normal. I guess all I’m really seeing my dr. about is comfort that my hair will grow back to the way it used to be. I also have not gotten my period in 5 months since my withdrawl bleed. I will never, ever go on the pill again because of what it does to my body. Had I known I would be dealing with this, I would have never gone on the pill. If one day I have a daughter, I will try to find her alternative means that are non hormonal and just as effective. I tell all my friends to avoid going on the pill if they can. I will update you all on what my Dr. says tomorrow!!!

Mary June 11, 2010 at 11:52 pm

@Kristen B

Thank you for your advice and support.

I can’t decide what I should do! I hear going off the pill can continue the hair loss for more months. I like being on the pill for the reason that it clears up my skin, keeps my periods from being so heavy and painful, bigger breasts, no mood swings, and I really don’t want to get pregnant.

I am so afraid that I have triggered androgenic alopecia. My dad had hair loss at a young age. I haven’t been on the pill for more than 4 months…. I think I will go off it and pray that it gets better. Or should I give it more time and see if my hormones adjust? UGHHHH!!! I HATE THIS!

Be Strong Ladies.

Vickytoria June 12, 2010 at 3:25 am

Hi,

I’ve read every posting on this site ….. and thank Sarah for starting it!!

I’m 37 and have noticed hairloss for over 10 years .I’ve only just realised the connection to the BCP. I have been seeing my doctor on and off for the last 10 years because of it. She perscribed me Loestrin30 as she clearly didnt know the link with this and hairloss. I cam off of it in Dec and that’s when my hair really started to shed and change texture (frizzy hairs at the front …. which means my fringe is just a joke now). I saw the doc again last week and she perscribed me Yaz ….. luckily I looked it up and found this site before taking it …… So glad because I’ve decided that this is last thing I want to do is put this into my body and have even more hormones upset my natural balance and the dreaded thought of not being able to come off of it. Sadly girls, we did not know that the BCP would have a huge affect on our hair, and there must be hundreds of women out there taking these pills and lossing hair, and do not know what we do. Most of the posts I have read here contain the words ‘regret i started taking bcp’ and all though that is very true we can not travel back in time, so we should not beat ourselves over the head with ‘wot ifs’ as that just makes us feel more depressed about this horrilbe thing. I’m going to give myself a year to see how things go …. without added hormones and try not to keep looking in the mirror too often as all this does is cause more upset. I love the posting that Jules gave ‘you can fake hair but not a beautiful soul’. This is a real support for all of us who have found this site ………. lets keep each other going hey? I’m going to put my faith right out there as I’m a christian so I’m going to PRAY about my problem with hairloss as I’ve seen so many miricals happen ……… I’ll keep you all posted. lots of love x

Anna June 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Anybody out there have hair loss like me?
I took birth control pill (generic) Ortho Tricyclen lo, then Ortho Tricyclen, took Buproprion and Lorazapam, dyed ALL my hair every 2 months, uggh…
My hair started falling out in droves when I started the anti depressant and Ortho Tricyclen. I have lost 60% of my hair. I didn’t realize how much my hair meant to me , nor how much it represented me…

Vickytoria June 13, 2010 at 4:46 am

Hi,

Does anybody know what it means when your hair takes on a frizy tecture. My hair at the very front has started to receed about the size a of 50pence piece. The hair in this area alone as gone frizy ………….. does anyone know why? I think (sadly) that this area of hair my be dieing off? I would really aprreciate your advice?

Many thanks, V

Sarah (another one) June 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Hi Ladies,

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have read every post on this site several times as I have been checking it frequently for the past year.

So, at 22 years old, I switched from Loestrin 24 to Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo in January of 2009. In April, I discontinued the Ortho because of its side effects including blurry double vision and eye dryness that has permanently damaged my eyes (although both my gynecologist and eye doctor believe this cannot be the case)

A month later in May, I noticed the hair loss.

The last year has been the most trying of my life. I will say I have lost around 40% of my hair. And after 6 months of shedding came and went, I became so depressed and felt doomed that I had kicked in AGA.

BUT NOW I HAVE HOPE.

A FULL YEAR after my hair loss started, things seem to finally be turning around. I do not shed as much in the shower anymore. Sometimes only 10 or so hairs. I still shed a lot more than I remember before this, but my hair is feeling a lot more normal now than it did six months ago. I hardly EVER have the tingling and itching that I had for months– often accompanied by a huge shed.

And I have regrowth.

Is my hair still thin? yes. but I am feeling a lot better and now have hope. I wanted to share this with you all in order to maybe help someone else. IT TOOK A FULL YEAR for me to get to this point. I HATE BIRTH CONTROL.

If anyone has any questions for me, I will be checking back in. I am hesitant to say I am a success story, not just yet. But I may be getting there. My love to all of you xx

Pilar June 25, 2010 at 8:42 am

Hi Sarah,

Thank you so much for your post. I definitely thing you’re close to the SUCCESS STORY finish line, so thank you for giving us hope that things will eventually get better.

I took Yaz for only 2 months and 2 months after stopping the pill, I started shedding HUGE amounts of hair (over 350 hairs just after showering). I’m now going on my 7th month of shedding and even though it has slowly decreased, I’m still losing more than normal amounts (30-90 hairs a day). So far I think I’ve lost about 40% of my hair and it’s really depressing. But I’m hoping that just like you, the shedding will stop (or atleast go down to 10 hairs a day). In the beginning of the shed my scalp was really itchy, but by the 3rd-4th month of shedding the itching stopped. Then in the 6th month of shedding my scalp started itching again and this time it was accompanied by tingling.

How long did your shedding last? How many hairs were you losing in the beginning? Did you expericen the itching and tingling all throughout the shedding or did you experience it even after the shedding had decreased? Is your hair loss an all over thinning or did you lose more in certain areas?

Even though I’m still shedding more than normal amounts of hair, I’m also seeing a lot of re-growth. I started seeing re-growth around the 2nd month of shedding. Some of the small hairs fell out and some have grown into 2-3 inch terminal hairs. Even now in my 7th month of shedding I’m still noticing some of those small hairs falling out. Did you notice you were losing the small hairs?

Hopefully soon, I’ll have my own success story to post on this board.

Thank you so much Sarah!

Pilar

Sarah (another one) June 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Pilar, to answer your questions:
How long did my shedding last? Well, I still consider myself to be shedding because I still lose more than MY normal amount of hair. But really, the only time I lose hair is after I get out of the shower and finger-comb my hair. I don’t count these hairs, but I assume it is around 30 or so that I lose. It has slowly decreased to that amount. I would say I was shedding 200 hairs a day in the early months, getting down to around 100 hairs a day around month 7 and slowly decreasing from there.

I experienced a LOT of tingling/itching from months 3-7. I still experienced scalp sensations occasionally (a few days a week) I would say until month 11. Now I hardly ever feel itching or tingling.

My hair is definitely thinner everywhere, but I lost the most hair in my bangs and at my temples/sides of my head. There is a thin spot (that is slowly improving) right behind my bangs that makes my part look very wide if I part it there.

I have had re-growth the whole time also, but definitely not enough to make up for the shedding at all. It is only now that I feel I am catching up, and I feel like if it took a year to get this bad, it will take AT LEAST another year to get better. I always lost mostly long hairs, but there were occasional short hairs that I lost as well.

I should probably also throw in that I have been taking L-lysine, vitamin d, and B12 for the past 6 months, as well as a Zinc supplement for one week. I noticed my shedding decrease after taking the Zinc for a week. I also wash my hair with nizoral 2% every other wash, and spray tricomin spray on my scalp before blow-drying. I feel that this has helped with the scalp itching and tingling. Of course, my improvement could have happened WITHOUT all these things, but it’s impossible to tell.

Good luck. Stay strong.

Pam July 2, 2010 at 8:37 am

I’ve just read the 3 first post and had to stop cause I’m about to cry ; ( snif , I was looking for a possible cause for my shedding and I thought it might be due to my horrible eating habits. But now I see it might be becuase of YASMIN, which I started taking 4 years ago becuase of a polycystic ovary condition. It makes me sad to know a lot more shedding is coming, just hope its not permanent and well due to the cysts ive gained a lot of weight which I haven’t been able to loose. Don’t like my options if I stay on the pill I will have no hair and if I dont take it all be fatter and might have to get a surgery if my cysts grow big. I’m planning on visiting an endocrinologist and a gynecologist, I’m living abroad so I hope I can find good doctors.

Thank you so much everybody for sharing what you have gone through, I’ll try and come back and let you how its been.

Pilar July 9, 2010 at 9:14 am

Hello Sarah!

Thank you so much for your quick reply!

I feel like my experience is very similar to yours. I’m still in my 7th month of shedding and it has decreased from what it was in the first few months. You mentioned that your hair loss has slowly decreases — did you ever experience an increase in shedding that came out of nowhere? In May (6th month of shedding) I noticed a decrease in shedding and was only shedding between 30-60 hairs day – this was after showering and using a wide tooth comb to comb my hair. I was at the rate of shedding for about 3 weeks, but recently I’ve noticed that I’m shedding an average of 40-90 and yesterday I lost 118! During this last year of shedding, did you ever experience anything like this?

You also mentioned feeling the itching/tingling a few times a week till month 11 — was the itching/tingling ALWAYS followed by an increase in shedding? I’ve read on some forums that the itching and tingling might be a sign of re-growth?

I also have lost the most in my bangs, temples and sides. But it seems that now I’m shedding a lot of the hairs close to the nape of my neck. But it’s really been an overall thinning and every part of my scalp has been affected. I just think the sides, bangs and temples are always a little more obvious.

Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate it!!!! It gives me hope that sometimes soon, the shedding will decrease and the itching/tingling will go away.

Take care,

Pilar

Pilar July 9, 2010 at 9:21 am

Hi Pam!

Have you been shedding hair the entire 4 years that you’ve been on Yasmin?

I found a website for Yasmin/Yaz Survivors (do a search for Yasmin Survivors Forum) — a lot of ladies on this site are very helpful and have experienced extreme hair loss while taking the pill and/or after stopping the pill.

You might also want to check out soulcyster.com (.net for the forum) for advice on addressing any PCOS symptoms you might have without the use to BCP. Last year they found a 5.2 cm functional cyst on my right ovary — 3 months later the cyst had dissappeared. This was without the use of any bcp.

From what I’ve read and what my Endo told me, is that this type of hair loss will eventually stop and the hair will grow back. Even though this has been a nightmare and very depressing, I have hope that this will soon end and things will start getting better.

Hang in there!

Pilar

Sarah (another one) July 13, 2010 at 7:16 am

Pilar,

Yes, I did and still do notice fluctuations in my shedding. sometimes for a day or two i will shed 90 or 100 hairs when showering/brushing when a few days before I was only losing 30. I also think the shedding increases around the time of my period.

For me, I believe the itching/tingling always meant shedding. Sometimes if I scratched my scalp where it itched 4 or 5 hairs would just dislodge from my scalp and into my hand. My theory is that the tingling and itching is caused by inflammation that makes you shed. This may not be the case for everyone.

I tell myself to be patient and take hope in the idea that my body is still healing itself. I have stopped trying to diagnose myself (TE, Chronic TE, AA, AGA, what have you) and just focus on how I feel and how my hair is feeling. Right now it is feeling like it just needs more time. If you want, you can email me at theatreintherye@msn.com and we can chat more :)

Leela August 1, 2010 at 3:15 am

Hello everyone,

I too have noticed hair loss within the last year, but only on the top of my head in a 3.5 inch patch near the front of my head. I haven’t noticed any overall shedding, but I wasn’t really paying attention to that until I read some posts here so I will definitely pay closer attention now. I have noticed general thinning as well, but its the worst on the top of my head. I am 21 years old, so this sudden loss seemed weird to me. I have been on several types of birth control over the past five years from the ring, to the patch, to the pill. I was not on birth control for the past year and a half and I started to notice the thinning within the past six or so months. I saw a doctor and had some blood tests and everything was normal. I first brought up this problem to some friends and one of them mentioned to me that she had been diagnosed with Alopecia and her doctor had prescribed something called Fluocinonide 0.05% solution. My doctor didn’t diagnose me with Alopecia – she thought my hair loss was mainly due to stress alone, but she did say I should go to a dermatologist to see what they thought. She also said a dermatologist could prescribe Fluocinonide but she couldn’t… So I am going to find a dermatologist and see what they say about Fluocinonide. My friend who had it prescribed to her said that it worked quite well and the areas where her hair was falling out grew back. So I feel like I should look into it. I don’t know if my doctor will prescribe it or if it wouldn’t be appropriate to treat whatever it is that I have, but I thought I would write about it here and see if anyone else has heard of this treatment. I’m so happy to see a place like this – thank you! I will write back if I find out anything from my dermatologist.

Sheena August 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Hey u all there!!!! I have a good news for all of you guys. There is a solutions for a hairfall……… As i mentioned earlier(sheena) i too have massive hairfall and its still continuing… I have tried everthing in life……. Everyday i would search somethings or the other on net for a solution….. It was one day when i just prayed to god and said i dont know how will i get solutions for my hairfall and opened a message from the Mother Mary’s book and too my surprised it read like this ” My child dont you worry leave everthing to God I want to you pray and grow in your faith for that you receive peace in Life. From that day onward i been praying day and night. And believe me the peace which i am receiving from God is unbelieveable. I still see 300-400 strands of hair everyday, but i just remain calm and composed and i pray to god “My healing from God is on the way”.
My friends you might say its crazy and hard to do so when you are frustrated but believe me nothing is impossible for God.

Prayer had changed my life, i will be healed by God and i know it will one day for sure. I want each and every soul no matter how hard it is to Pray. Believe in God

Prayer can change our Life.

I believe in Jesus, Mother Mary and Durga Mata.

Let me Pray for all those whose suffering for hairfall.

Jesus, we have come to you with our problem as we have failed in all that we tried with our understanding.
I pray to you to heal us and help us to grow in our faith so that we can serve you in happier way.
Lord Jesus our body is your creation, let it function the way you want it to be.
In this agony of hair loss, heal everyone and give us the power to serve you and come over the suffering of hairloss.

I surrender myself to you Jesus. Amen

say “Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven.

Give us this day our dairly bread: and forgive us our trespass as we forgive those we trespass against us. And lead us not into any temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

God bless you all;). If you get some time watdh God and daystar TV.

if i had to tell you about any man made product which would have instantly stopped hairfall , i bet that would have been in everyone house. But this time its not made made but God made. “Prayer”, the most pwerful spirit. Our faith will heal us. Believe in God.

sasha August 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm

hey ladies,

In Feburary of 2010 i went to the gyno. before my visit i had been taking the birth control prill trisprintec for about a year and a half. while in tri-sprintec i had no problems i gained about 10 pounds but being that i still wore a size zero it didn’t bother me. at my visit my gyno sugested i start taking loestrin 24. he said that i would only get my period for about 4 days instead of 7. a few friends of mine where on the pill and had good experience so i said why not a shorter period sounded great. When i first started loestrin 24 i didnt really like it. first of all it freaked me out that i would hardley get my period and i was feeling anxious all the time. i thought maybe it took a few months for my body to get used to it so i finished out the three month sample after three months i switched back to my old birth control (tri-sprintc). the month after i stopped loestrin i noticed my hair started shedding in the shower. at first i thought i was just crazy but it has continued for the past few months. i am not starting to worry that my temples look like they are balding. i am going to imidatly schedule an appointment with my doctor to see thier advice but, it doesnt sound like they always know best. does anyone have suggestions for me. i am at the beging of what seems to be a very long scary road. please help with suggestions.

Pilar August 11, 2010 at 5:43 am

Hi Sasha:

It seems like you’re experiencing Telogen Effluvium from changing pills and the change in hormones. TE can last anywhere from 3-12 months (from what I’ve read).

I took Yaz for only 2 months after being BCP free for 2 years and 2 months after stopping the pill my hair started shedding in LARGE amounts. For the first 2-3 months I was losing over 350 hairs just after showering and styling. It was horrible! I’m on my 8th month of TE and 10 months off the pill and the shed has decreased drastically. I now lose 50-100 hairs (which I’ve read is normal) but I still feel like I should be shedding less. The thing is that I don’t remember how much I shed before this started, so it’s hard to tell whether I’m back to normal.

In January I started seeing re growth all over my scalp. Some of it has fallen out and some have grown into 2-3 inch hairs. Of course the losing part of TE is A LOT faster than the growing part of it. But I’m confident that this will soon normalize and my hair will grow back to how it was.

How long have you been shedding? Have you counted how many hairs your’re losing? I also noticed some thinning at my temples. But only on the left side. It’s slowly starting to fill in…so hang in there.

I know how hard this is, especially the first few months when the hair loss is so fast. But hang in there! Little by little, things will get better.

Pilar

Margo September 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Hello,

Just to let you guys know, I am also a 21 year old female going to college. I just recently found this post like 2 days ago but I soon as I saw “Loestrin” my heart basically stopped and I couldn’t read anymore. Finally, a couple days later, I sat down and read the whole thing and am crying my eyes out and trying to search for the hope you are all talking about which sounds so great. My hair has been falling out for about 4 months now, I have been taking the generic for Loestrin (Microgestin 1/20) for about 5 months now. At first I had no clue why my hair seemed to be falling out and it started slowly at first but began increasing over the months as opposed to slowing. I don’t know why I waited so long to look it up on the internet, I guess I was in a sort of denial. Like I knew it was happening but didn’t think it was that big of a deal sort of thing, or thought it was actually breaking as opposed to falling out. But as it increased I became more aware that something was wrong, despite my boyfriend telling me that it was probably nothing to worry about, totally normal hair ‘shedding’. Well the first thing that popped up when I typed in “21 year old female losing hair” was this article. While this article scares the crap out of me I’m glad that I found it because I never would have figured it out on my own.

I have been taking various types of birth-controls since I was about 12 or 13 years old. That sounds horrible I know. I went off it for a couple years. The thing is, I’m really scared because unlike all of you I cannot just “get off the pill”. I have a medical need to be on it which is why I have been taking it for so long. I have severe (I mean lay on the floor, crying, cannot move severe) menstrual cramps during my period every time without fail and it has been this way almost since my first period which happened very early thanks to my genes. The only thing that seems to control it is oral contraceptives although I haven’t tried much else besides supplements which I couldn’t handle taking horse pills every day or week or whatever. Anyway, so here is a list of my various oral contraceptives throughout my life: Ortho-trycyclin (spelling?… maybe Lo… I don’t think so though, I don’t think they had that when I took it) I probably took that for about 3 or 4 years, absolutely no complaints, I loved it. The reason I got off it was because of this chiropractor who’s all natural hippy lady and told me to take ginormous horse pill supplements of calcium and other things every day or week I can’t remember. But those supplements never did anything and I suffered through that pain every month until I finally couldn’t take it anymore, and couldn’t miss any more school because of it. That’s when I went back to my Gyno (maybe about a year after dealing with the pain) and she prescribed me Yaz, which is the name brand for Yasmine or Yazmin… not sure the spelling on that. I took Yaz for…. many, many years… 5, 6, 7 years, I can’t even remember now. I loved it! I never had a problem with that pill. But I started hearing bad things that it can make you sick or even die (which I was stupid to believe because it never did anything and I’d been taking it for so long). But I got off it because it was too expensive and that was when this new doctor that I had never even seen before (I moved away and had to change doctors or make a 4 hour drive every time I needed to see my old one, which I now so wish I had done!) prescribed me Microgestin 1/20, again that’s the generic for LoEstrin 1/20-21. I didn’t question anything this guy told me… I’m so stupid. I mean, I have always had good experiences with birth control I guess so why question it now. But man oh man I wish I had questioned it from the very beginning. I was actually really liking this pill too, it was working great to control my cramps and PMS even, my skin is clear, my periods are light and short… I was loving it. But I would happily throw that all away to change what’s happening now…

Okay, now to explain my hair loss a little better as well… I do not shower every day, so I knew there was some shedding involved and that when you don’t shower for a couple days it can make that shedding more intense. Well… I’m not in denial about the fact that my hair is falling out anymore… so…. My hair mainly falls out in the shower.. Yes, I have counted my strands of hair once or twice and it seems to be anywhere between 30-50+ hairs per shower. Now remember, that hair loss is worse when I don’t shower for longer. When I take a shower every other day I lose about 30, when I don’t shower for two or three days it goes up to 50+. Sorry if you think that’s gross ladies I guess that’s just me, I’m an environmental freak, not a hippy tho! haha.

Anyway, my hair is still very full, I’m glad to report. But man am I terrified. My hair is me.. it defines me… I love it and every time I think about losing it the way you girls are my eyes start to water. I’m very scared. I’ve made an appointment with yet a new gyno because the old one won’t see me anymore since I didn’t pay my bill in time but I’m really scared because I know I can’t ever get off the pill.

So now for my questions: Do you think that because I never had problems with Yaz if I went back on it it would be okay? But I know that you ladies are saying you had problems with it and hair loss and that really makes me nervous. I know no one here is a doctor… but if anyone has any advice for me at all that would really be great. Depending on how much this new gyno knows about my problem I may also go see a dermatologist. Like I said before, I’m so glad to have found this site, and I’m so grateful for you guys to post your stories because our situations are so similar, but that is also what terrifies me and my boyfriend keeps telling me not to think about it all the time and to have positive thoughts that it will be reversible but it’s really hard and I just don’t know…. I’m sorry… I’m ranting… It just really terrifies me. Anyway I’m done now, I’ve said so much I’m sure no one will want to read it. but please, if you have anything to say to me at all I would really love to hear it. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your above posts as well and for being willing to share your stories. Best of luck to you all.

Margo

kristy October 16, 2010 at 11:31 pm

hi my name is kristy im 25 year old wommen i allready unfortunate with poor health since birth but nothing majore as of yet i recently started discovering that im loosong a big part of my hair and more loosing what would they diffrent reasons of me almost loosing all my hair i cant let down my hair anymore as i am embarasse by it curly or strait can you help me in hopeing to find why and how i can get it to stop and make it grow back would be greatly appriciated

Kk October 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I’m 26 and for the past 6 years my mom has continued to tell me how my hair has gotten thinner from how thick it used to be. I always just said that hair changes and maybe that is what happened. Recently I went to my old college hairdresser. I go to her husband and I was complaining about my hair being so thin and she came over to do my dye cuz he had to leave. As soon as she got her hands on my hair she was shocked at how thin it was and immediately started talking to me about going to the doctor. She stated it could be thyroid issues because she’s seem that in the past. After reading this website I’m worried that it could be the bc I started othotricyclin in hs ad in college switched to yasmine. That was when I strews seeing a change in hair loss and length. It isn’t as thick as it used to be or as long. I never noticed it because I just thought as I said before my hair changed as I had gotten older. I have switched bc several times and got off it for awhile but I had major acne breakouts so I just got back on. I’m now worried that was a mistake. I’m definitely calling my dr tomorrow to see what she says and try to find some answers. I just worry about the acne breakouts and the more hair loss that may occur. I wish I would have listened to my mom sooner and talked to my dr.

Pilar October 27, 2010 at 5:53 am

Kk:

I’ve have lost a lot of hair after going off the pill. I took Yaz for only 2 months and 2 months after stopping my hair was falling out in ropes.

I went on a forum called “Yasmin/Yaz Survivors Forum” and found a few women that had experienced the same as me. I also noticed some women noticed gradual hair thinning once they started the pill and while on it. I would recommend checking out the forum.

Before going Yaz, I was pill free for 2 years and my hairs was long, full and thick. Before that I had been on Ortho Tricyclen Lo for 9 years and when I went off that pill I had absolutely no bad effects. I have a feeling that the new progesterone in both Yaz/Yasmin do more harm than good.

Please see a doctor since hair loss can be a sign of different things. But please prepare yourself to hear from your doctor that BCP’s and hair loss have no connection. My OB/Gyn (the one the prescribed Yaz) completely denied that Yaz was the reason for my hair loss – even though it’s listed as a side effect.

Pilar

Ginger November 6, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Just thought I’d throw my story (so far) in the mix.

I’m a 33 y/o who just got back on BCP about 5 months ago after 3 1/2 years off. I’d had no problems on Ortho-Tricyclen for the many years prior to going off completely, but was put on Loestrin 24 in July to try and remedy my acne and even out mood swings.

About 2 months ago, I started noticing dramatic hair loss just like everyone explains — handfuls at a time. I’ve always had very thick hair, so it took a few weeks of this before it became alarming, but it’s only gotten worse. Family and friends are noticing… I can’t style my hair the same… and you can actually see my scalp through my hair on the top of my head. (Very tempted to link in some before and after pics, but for privacy reasons, decided not to.) I’ve made an appointment to get my hair cut shorter just to try and minimize what loss I can… the best way I can explain it is that in less than two months time, it looks as if someone else’s hair has been put on my head.

Up until today, we’d attributed this dramatic and very noticeable change to some traumatic events that have taken place in our family… but after having my period on and off for nearly a month straight, decided to look up the effects of Loestrin and ended up stumbling upon a whole network of women dealing with this type of hair loss.

At first, I was devastated by the indication that the loss is permanent and the lack of posts and messages from women who have partially or fully recovered from this. But this entire thread has been very uplifting to me, and I thank you all for taking the time to share. It’s therapeutic to know I’m not alone and to know I have some options and hope for the future.

After everything I’ve read, I’ve decided to discontinue Loestrin immediately. I’m not interested in switching to another BCP in fear of this getting any worse than the several months of continued shedding in my future as my hormones work themselves out — After all, I don’t have much hair left to lose.

I’m going to contact my GP and try to get referred to a dermatologist if the gyno doesn’t take me seriously… just to see if there’s anything I can do while I wait this thing out and pray for regrowth down the road.

God Bless and thank you again,
Ginger

Pat 26 years old November 11, 2010 at 4:23 am

Hi all! It´s been a long time since I didn´t visit this post, I´m 27 now.
Well just to update you, my hair lost is still there, slow but persistent. But fortunately, as far as I know by asking my husband and family, not really noticeable. Of course mu hair looks thin and weak but I don´t look blad, for now.
I did a deep search on the web about continuous hair loss, I´ve been noticing it since I was 16 that´s more than 10 years ago. After reading many articles, I diagnosed myself on having chronic telogen effluvium. TE is extreme hair loss often associated to a shocking event or giving birth to a child, etc, but CTE is continuous hair loss for more than 6 month without an apparent cause. I think that´s what I may have, it also says you don´t get completely bald since hair re-growth occurs troughout your entire life. I think the hair thinning and reduction in hair density is because hair loss is faster than re-growth. I dont know if I should be happy about this but I decided not to worry anymore and stop searching for a solution because I won´t probably find one. I´m trying to think positive and hope that this is true and people with CTE don´t really go bald.
Hope this information may be usuful for some of you,
Thanks for you support with all this posts,
Pat

paula November 16, 2010 at 4:30 am

Hi this is the first time I have seen this website and I found it rather interesting, I have terribly thin fine hair and believe me I have tried everything I have used all sorts of hair products thickening shampoo and regular trips to the salon to try and thicken my hair but nothing seems to work, I constantly find myself looking at other girls and enving the thick beautiful hair, I wear clip in extentions to try and boost my confidence but that doesn’t really help, everyday I wash my hair it falls out so much I am soo scared. I have a bf who says he loves me but im worried he will leave me when all my hair comes out. I also take the pill (marvelon) and I know im lacking in iron do you think if I take iron supplements and stop taking the pill will this help, I have had blood tests done and they jus said in lacking iron I tried taking sea kelp but that just resulted in spots all over my face. my hair at the moment is shoulder length but im getting a very thinning part at the front and im scared of going bald please if there is anything out there that you could advise me thank you
Paula

Gina December 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Hi everyone

I am 20 years old and stumbled across this website while looking for tips on what to do about my thinning hair.
I have never had really thick hair but over the past few months it has gotten really thin. I have been on the pill for several years and been on a few different ones. For the past year i haven’t been taking it religiously because me and my boyfriend split up and didn’t see the need. For the past, oh I don’t know maybe 4-6 months I haven’t been taking it at all and have noticed my hair slowly getting thinner and thinner. I am now wondering after reading all your stories if this is the reason for that?!

I spend half time looking at my friends and sisters hair (i have 3 sisters, all with encredibally thick hair) how thick it is and wishing it was the same for me! I can’t have long hair because it is too thin and I just look bald on top if I do. So I, like you Paula, spend my time putting in hair extensions to try give me a boost of confidence, not that it ever works. I have been to the doctor several times and they have said nothing about it, I didn’t been know my pill could have anything to do with it! So thank you to everyone that has written on here and it gives me hope that after a while my hair may start to get ticker once I have stayed off my pill long enough.

If anyone has any advise or similar stories to my own it would be great to hear from you.

Thanks
Gina

nicole December 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Hey everyone! just found this site today and i loved reading everything. i am 22 years old and my hair has been shredding like crazy for years. my hair was never really thick but definitely not this thin! i am balding by my temples and it sort of looks like at the top of my head too. my hair seems to shred like crazy during the summer and not as much during winter. my hair looks absolutely terrible, never used to look like this. i went to the dr. and they did the thryoid test and blood test and everything is “normal”. so i thought well maybe it is because i used to dye my hair alot in high school and i styled it too often but i havent dyed my hair in 2 yrs and only style it for special occasions whcih is rare lol. but i dont get how that can be, celebrities dye their hair all the time and style it everyday other ppl i know do the same thing and no problem . so after reading this i was thinking maybe it is my birth control, now that i think about my hair loss has been occuring since about 4 yrs when i started it and has drasticly changed in appearance. i really just want to cry all day everyday. my hair loss has me so worried that i will be bald by the time im 30. i am so self-conscious about how my hair looks and just want to find help. i am going to schedule an appt with my dr. within the next wk to see a derm and i think ill see my obgyn too. but going off bcp like you guys have isnt really an option since me and my bf arent ready to have kids. if anyone has any suggestions or anything that be great cuz this hairloss problem is the worst ever! :-(

Jen January 14, 2011 at 1:07 am

Hi girls

I’ve been lurking on this site for a while and share a similar story with many of you–I’m 22, went on birth control twice between the ages of 16 and 19 for a total time of about 1.5 years. A few months after my second and last time on birth control, my hair started to thin, and has continued to do so since. I’ve now seen two dermatologists–the first said it was stress and the second was much more confident that it is androgenetic alopecia.

As some of you may know, being diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia at the age of 22 is distressing, to say the least. But knowing now that this was caused by birth control that “flipped the switch” for my genetically predisposed birth control before the age of 20 and was never told this by physicians/nurse practitioners pisses me off..to the point where I am contemplating suing.

Who would be interested in developing a class action lawsuit against either a pharmaceutical company or the like? Any premature hair loss caused by lazy doctors/medications that need more blatantly dictated side effects are NOT our faults, ladies.

Lets do something about this so others don’t have the same misfortune that we did!

Olivia January 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Hi everyone,
just let me say i only read the first few posts becaus this is a very long page, lol. umm.. im 16 years old and have been on the pill since i was 13 years old for achne and am now suddenly experienceing EXTREME rappid hair loss, im talking, everytime i have a shower and wash my hair piles of my hair falls out at a time.
I’ve never experienced anything like this before, could it be from the pill? because I’ve been on the pill for ages and had no problems…
Any advice would be appreciated 😀 thanks

Sarah (another one) January 23, 2011 at 8:35 am

Hello again,

Jen- I have thought of suing MORE than once. That’s for sure. The psychological damage caused by losing your hair as a young woman is devastating and I feel someone should be held accountable. I just wouldn’t know how to go about something like that.

To update the rest of you, I am now 9 months into what I would call my “recovery” from pill-induced telogen effluvium that lasted a full year. My hair is hanging in there and doing quite well. I don’t shed hardly at all in the sh0wer anymore, I consider myself mostly back to normal. Now that the shedding has normalized, it’s just taking a LONG time for my hair to catch up. It can fall out so much quicker than it can grow back. The front part of my hair still bothers me a lot. I used to have thickness in the front that made pretty bangs/fringe, but that hasn’t returned as of yet. Also, while my hair was very thick before, each individual strand of my hair is quite fine. I think this makes it take longer to see a difference with regrowth.

I don’t know if my hair will ever be the same as it was, but I know I’m still recovering and probably will be for a few years to come. I am encouraged by the fact that I am still seeing new growth with tapered ends and my parts are tightening up very slowly. Whoever made up the figure of 6 months of shedding and regrowth within a year is completely wrong in my case, and probably a lot of cases.

Nicole January 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Hello everyone,

I feel like I have been reading this page for hours lol. I wish i had time to read everyone’s stories! Well, I am 21 years old and have been experiencing some hair loss (mostly shedding/thinning) for a few months now; I guess it’s been going on for about 3-4 months. I’ve seen quite a few doctors to figure why my hair is falling out more than usual. First, i got on birth control (Loestrin 24) which my gyno presecribed in October 2010. I took that for a little less than 2 months and noticed my hair falling out more than normal, so I called my dr. and told them to change me to a low androgen index b.c., because i had read that women lose their hair from high androgen index b.c. (like loestrin). So, I started on ortho-cyclen in december, but only took for it a month. And I just decided to stop taking b.c. overall, and just let my body recover (hopefully). Next, I saw a dermatologist in December 2010, just a little bit over a month ago. He said I had telgoen effluvium due to stress and illness I had a few months before that. He prescribed me some drops for my scalp and shampoo to re-grow hair, and he said the shedding would stop in a couple months or so. He also ordered some bloodwork to check on my hormone levels, etc. My thyroid level came back high, indicating hypothyroidism, he said it was nothing to worry about. But, I was worried because I thought that it may be contributing to my hair loss. So, I went saw another doctor, just my family physician. He prescribed me Armour to get my thyroid level back down. I have been taking Armour for a little over 2 weeks now. I have extremely depressed and anxious about everything. I can’t stop thinking about my hair loss, it’s so stressful. I don’t know what to do and if it will ever go away. And, the worst part about it is, I don’t know what is causing it. It seems like it could be a number of different things causing it. Just recently, my eyelashes started thinning as well and I wonder if that is related to my hair loss. Currently, i am taking some hair vitamins and evening primrose oil. I have been on the hair vitamins for almost 2 months now and I just started taking primrose oil. I heard it helps with hair loss….I really don’t know what else to do at this point besides just wait it out and see what happens. I am hoping it gets better soon, but it’s been like this for a few months now, so i don’t have much hope. The waiting is the hardest part because i am so impatient and just want my hair to stop falling out. I am trying to do everything I can to make it stop. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?? I would really appreciate it. I don’t know what’s going on with me and just want some answers. I am considering going back to the dermatolgoist if things don’t get better in the next couple months. PLEASE HELP!!!

Nicki February 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Hi there,

I took Yasmine for 3 months. Two months after stopping I had the worst hair loss imaginable. My hair shed for over a year. It was pretty bad for around 4 to 5 months but then it tapered down and was still shedding abnormally even 15 months of TE. I had the worst itchy scalp and I think I developed seborheic dermatitis because of teh pill. Life was pure hell. However, 3 years after TE hit, my hair is completely back to normal. It took a long time, there were times where my part was the size of a melon, but over time it closed, and now my hair is shiney and healthy, just like before. so hang in there girls, it will get better even tough it doesn’t seem like it.

Pilar February 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Hi Nicky-

All I can say is WOW! Your story sounds almost identical to mine and I hope more than anything I end up with a happy ending like yours!!!!

I took Yaz for 2 months and 2 months after stopping my hair was falling in out in ropes! The hair loss was also REALLY bad for the first 4-5 months and then SLOWLY tapered off. My abnormal shedding lasted for around 11 months and for the last 3 months I seem to be shedding normal amounts with some minor fluctuations here and there. Around the 6th month into TE my scalp was also very itchy, red, sore and very uncomfortable. I later found out that I had developed Seborrheic Dermatitis when in the past I have NEVER had any scalp issues – it was all the pill’s doing. It’s been 14 months months since TE hit and even though I’m shedding normal amounts and getting lots of re growth, my hair is still very thin and my part is still wide. Your story gives me SO MUCH hope that things will slowly keep improving until one day my hair is back to normal.

Are you still dealing with scalp issues?

Thank you again for your post!

Pilar

Nicky February 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Pilar,

To answer your question, No, I am no longer dealing with any scalp issues. I had to use steroid shampoos to help alleviate the pain and get rid of the seb, dermatitis. It seemed to have worked fine.

I believe I shed for a little over a year…maybe longer, I cannot recall. at about 18 months after stopping Yasmine, I went back on BCP. whilest I hated going on bcp again, I was involved in a relationship and did not want to chance getting pregnant. My doctor recommended Dianette and I have been on that ever since. he mentioned it was a hair friendly pill and that is why I decided to take it. I have had no issues with Dianette..boobs are a bit fuller but I don’t mind:) So far so good.

I hope I wont get a shed again when coming off, I don’t think I should as I heard yasmine is the one bad for hair fall.

Don’t worry, your hair will grow back…mine did.

Good luck,

Nicki

Jessica February 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Hi…uhm, I don’t know where to start. My hair started falling out around my 21st Birthday in October, and it just keeps getting worse. I don’t know why it is falling out, I guess it could be due to a number of reasons…I have just moved away from home to university in London and I have found that the water drys my skin out a lot more. But I have also not been taking the pill so oftern, my boyfriend still lives at home and I only see him at Christmas, Easter and in the Summer, so I take it when I go back home, I didn’t even think it could be a cause until I read other stories.

I have been to the doctor and had blood tests, they came back negative, and she tells me there is not a lot she can do. I have been given a lotion to apply to my scalp called Betnovate, but it doesn’t seem to be making any difference.

In the space of 4 months the thickness of my hair has halved, and tonight I found what must be the weakest area, the back of my hair where my parting swirls slightly, there is hardly any hair left!!

I don’t know what to do!! I feel so ugly, I’ll look beyond terrible if I lose all of my hair!! What can I do!!?? I dread washing and brushing my hair! It just leads me to tears seeing and feeling so much hair falling out!!

Please someone tell me what to do!! I don’t know what to do!!

Pilar February 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Hi Nicky,

I think it’s so great that you were able to get rid of all the scalp issues, grow your hair back and most of all, that you came back to these boards to update.

I would be careful with Dianette just because it’s similar to Yasmin/Yaz. They’re all considered newer generation pills with anti-androgenic effects. Yasmine and Yaz are also considered to be “hair friendly” and given to women who have FPB. I am also not ready to get pregnant, but I’ve been charting my cycles and using condoms. It’s a pain in the you-know-what but I’d rather go that route than going back on any type of hormonal birth control.

Thanks again for posting your sucess story – it gives a lot of us hope!

Pilar

Miranda March 24, 2011 at 1:31 am

wow I’m so glad I found this site. Sarah, I feel your pain – I’m 20, 2nd year uni in Sydney!
I was on the pill for 3 plus years because of acne and my hair began to shed and thin about a year in. I did plenty of brand switching and went to an endocrinologist who put me on Spiro and Yasmin combined – I won’t lie I did miss a pill here and there but nothing I thought was major. I guess over time this may have stuffed my hormones up, I was losing my eyelashes and eyebrows as well- I also have polycystic ovarian syndrome which might just be doubly adding to the whole situation – hair loss was stressing me so much and stressing my body that I took myself off it almost 4 months ago. hair loss remained the same rate as it was on the pill until literally a week ago – from then it has just suddenly rapidly increased to worrying levels! maybe it’s a normal amount of shedding, its been so long I can’t even tell anymore…but the fact is, I don’t much hair to lose! I need to conserve every strand I have! It’s definately growing back but much thinner than it used to be in my teens before I got on the pill. Sarah, your story is worrying me…if it takes my hair as long as it did yours to stop shedding so dramatically, I’m going to be completely bald in a matter of months..I have the patience to wait it out, but I’m not sure I have the courage!

Melissa March 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I JUST found this site and very glad that I did! I am a 30 year old mom who finally got on birth control this past Dec 2010. One reason I went on was because for as long as I had periods they have been extremely heavy along with REALLY BAD CRAMPS! So when I finally decided to do something about it I went to my doctor and they tested my blood which showed that I was extremely anemic. So I started taking iron pills and she started me on Loestrin 24 which I was excited that it also had iron in it and that it would help improve my periods. The first few months were great! My cramps were not as bad, my period was shorter and I was feeling really good! Then this past month I started noticing extreme hair loss in the shower, every time I brushed my hair, put it up in a pony tail or just running my finger through it. At first I thought it was from stopping my iron because it was giving me constipation (sorry for to much TMI) so I started taking them again and the shedding continued, so then I thought well maybe it’s my shampoo or dandruff since my scalp was itching. So today I started searching the internet and the main thing I came across was a lot of women saying that they lost a lot of hair from Loestrin 24 and other bc pills and it started to make sense to me because that is the only other pill I am taking and before starting it I just had normal shedding not anything like I am experiencing right now! I am so glad I came across this and reading your stories I am sure this is why I must be losing hair like crazy and I have notice some thinning in my hair when I look at it (even though my husbands says he does not but I think he might just be saying that to make me feel better and not worry). So now I am wondering if I should stop because I don’t want to try another if it is going to continue to do the same to my hair but then what happens to my period because I can not go back to the way I was before because it was just so pain full! What to do, what to do? If anyone has any recommendations on any other pills to take just so I can keep my periods regulated that are not as harmful or any other suggestion you might have please let me know!
Once again thanks for all of you stories I am glad I understand what might be going on now!

Melissa

Sarah (another one) May 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm

so, it’s officially two years since my hair nightmare began. and i see light at the end of the tunnel! I promised myself i would come back to the boards and update with good news (because i spent hours during my dark days looking for any hope)

for the first time in two years, my hair is starting to feel “normal.” for a long time, i had convinced myself that i was exaggerating and i didn’t even know or remember what “normal” was. but now that my hair has reached this point, i can say that it is totally possible for a woman to know and feel just how abnormal her hair is.

i can now blow dry my hair without seeing glaring white scalp wherever i part it. i can wear my hair in a ponytail without feeling like a balding man. i can part my hair without the use of a fine-toothed comb in that ONE particular spot where my part isn’t wide. it’s like the old days.

i still have recovering to do, but i am SO glad i let my body heal itself instead of jumping back on hormones or doing rogaine or something of that nature. i really thought i was hopeless for a long time.

but with patience, there is hope.

Yvonne July 5, 2011 at 12:37 am

Ok, I have been on Loestrin FE 24 (I think that’s it) for about a year and a few months, and oh my god. I have noticed SO much hair loss…..

So normally my hair is VERY thick and very curly. Over the past year I’ve noticed that it’s started to lose it’s thickness, and even it’s curl! Now, my hair is thin, limp, and the strangest part is that my curls have completely straightened out! So now, the top half of my hair(from the ears up) is pin straight and limp, and the bottom half is thicker and curly.

So my question is, do you think my hair would stop falling out if I went on a very low dosage birth control? Do you thick it can grow back? When I was 15 I was on Ortho-Tri cyclen lo for almost a year and there was no hair loss at all.
Also, I don’t have any thyroid issues or any of the problems listed above. And in my family, there is virtually no hair loss. My mom’s hair is very thick, like mine used to be, and she has enough hair for three people! And my dad apparently also had really thick hair too, and no balding(I say apparently because I don’t know him).

Someone please respond, I am beyond stressed about this!

Pilar July 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

Hello Yvonne:

I think the reason you’ve been experiencing hair loss is because Loestrin is a highly androgenic pill. The hair loss will probably continue if you stay on this pill. From what I’ve read, once you go off a highly androgenic pill, there is still a chance of a dread shed, but it will stop and your hair should re grow.

I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo for 9 years and I NEVER experienced hair loss while on that pill or even when stopping it. After being pill free for 2 years with a thick head of hair and clear skin, I tried Yaz (which is actually ANTI andorgenic) for 2 months and had horrible side effects. Two months after stopping Yaz, my hair started falling out in ropes and my skin broke out! This lasted for almost a year. It’s been a year and 7 months since the nightmare began and I’m happy to say that my hair is SLOOOOOWLY growing back and my skin is back to normal.

I would recommend going off the pill completely since we really don’t know the harm that these artificial hormones are doing to us. But if you absolutely need to be on the pill, then go back to OTC Lo.

Pilar

Yvonne July 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Ah thank you! Yeah I’ve been reading ALOT about Loestrin and all of these pills. I already stopped it, and I’m seeing my doctor on Monday 7/11/11 to see if I could switch to Desogen. This has one of the lowest androgen levels, and I do need to be on the pill unfortunately.

Also, I’ve started taking a natural approach to all this. I take hair, skin, and nails vitamins, I’ve been using castor oil on my hair for about 2 months now, and soon I’m gonna go buy soon folic acid vitamins. I also eat pretty healthy, and try to stay away from processed foods. They hurt my stomach anyways. I also have neuralgia in the stomach, or Gastralgia, so my entire abdomen is sensitive to food and other stuff. I actually thought that this hairloss was caused by me being so stressed out about my stomach issues, but it’s not.

Anyways, I definitely suggest you try to do the same in trying a more natural approach, in addition to any other hair growth therapy you’re doing. I’m glad that your hair is starting to come back, hey slowly is better than nothing! This gives me hope that mine might grow back too. Oh, have you ever tried going back on Ortho Tri Cyclen lo after the yaz?

Pilar July 11, 2011 at 7:48 am

Hi Yvonne:

I try to eat really healthy (most of the time ;)) and also work out. When the shedding first started, I loaded up on hair vitamins, B vitamins and any vitamin that was recommended for hair growth. I took them for 3-4 months and really didn’t notice a difference. Without them I’ve been seeing lots of re growth. I think once TE runs it’s course, your hair will usually bounce back on it’s own with or without vitamins.

After this horrible experience with Yaz, I haven’t considered going back on any type of hormonal birth control…at all! Even though I had no problems with OTC Lo, I don’t want to risk it.

Pilar

Yvonne July 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Sheesh that’s seriously stubborn hair loss! I don’t blame you for not going back on the pill at all!

So unfortunately my doctor didn’t want to prescribe me Desogen because she said there’s more of a risk that it can cause blood clots. So I’m back on OTC Lo.

The other day I was putting Castor oil on my scalp, and when I was parting my hair I noticed that the part was not as thin! In fact it seems alot thicker. Thing is, my hair is still growing in straight. I mean pin straight. And my hair is naturally very curly. So I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else with curly hair, and if so, did the curly come back? Or even wavy hair?

I guess my main question here is will my natural texture ever eventually come back?

emily July 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Hi sarah, i had almost the same story as yours except for i started the birth control aty 17 and i searched and searched for years to find an awnser. I am now 21 and I found this pill that i take with DHT blocker in it. its a pill that blocks certain hormones in your body that lead to hair loss if it over produced in your body. I dont know if it will work for you, but i was also on yaz, 2 years ago and thats when my hair was at its worst. I ve been taking the dht blocker for almost six months and ive seen a significant difference. do your own research or what you would like but the brand i buy is called Nu hair. their is also shampoo and conditioning products on amazon with the DHT blocker formula in them that you may be interested in. I hope this helps and just know you are not alone in this scary experience.

nancy August 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm

After being on Yasmin and losing approx 50% of my hair with a diagnosis from the dermatologist as accelerated aging (something… alopecia, at 42) and both the derm and gyno denying any connection to birth control for 5 years, I went off of it in Sept. 2010 and noticed significant regrowth by December 2010. I had tried Men’s Rogaine for 9 months, recommended by my derm. with no results along with other herbal and vitamin remadies. When I googled hair loss and yasmin specifically I found that it is the drug of choice for Dr’s with patients that have male body hair growth and those woman LOVED Yasmin and Yaz due to the fact that they lost their unwanted male patterned body hair. This fully explained why after having my appendix removed and they shaved the pubic hair prior to the surgery it hardly grew back, but did after being off the pill for several months. Wish I had trusted my instincts a little more instead of the Dr.’s who really do not research side effects and the drugs they are prescribing if they aren’t commen side effects published by the drug companies (because, gee, alot of woman would not buy the drugs if they knew that was a side effect). This explains why many woman in their 20’s are complaining of hair loss after being put on one of these newer pills – conincidence, I don’t think so! My hair will never be what it once was, but at least it rebounded some, I never knew that something like hair loss would bother me so much, to the point that I was counting the hairs coming out after showering (4 times the loss what is normal) and staring at every woman’s hair in public to compare my thinning to others, and being very tearful in the hairdressers chair when he admitted he’d never seen my hair so thin (even after having 3 babies) I even looked into other alternatives when my husband said “it has to be that pill”, hubby was right (hard to admit!)

Cassidy August 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I took Loestrin for about three months last year and had bad mood swings. I was put on it again this summer due to period complications and it did nothing for me (so i thought). I only took it for three months.

I have been off it for maybe over two months and have been noticing hair loss that has started quite recently- like just the last two weeks. I NEVER connected the two things together until now.

Because I only took the pill for a short time, will I still deal with a great deal of hair loss? I am absolutely freaking out!

Kristen L August 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I’ve been visiting this site for a while now but have never posted anything before now. First off, I want to say there is hope! The human body is an amazing thing and can bounce back from a lot of things.

I am 29 and I started taking Alesse when I was 18 years old. I never had a single problem until Spring 2008 when the pharmacy didn’t have Alesse and gave me the generic version Aviane. Two months on Aviane and I noticed my hair was thinning. I had long dark, extremely thick hair and everyone I talked to about it thought I was crazy. I had all the tests done and nothing popped. There was no reason other than the BC. I stopped taking Aviane and switched back to Alesse but the shedding continued. The shedding would come and go until last year when it started getting really bad. I was getting really depressed and my boyfriend told me that I should talk to a specialist. I live in the Norther Canada (Yellowknife) and we don’t have specialists so I went to see a naturopath instead. Boy am I glad I did! At our first meeting, we talked for 2 hours and he reassured me that we could grow my hair back. I went off BC in March and haven’t looked back. The shedding is continuing but what I am also seeing is regrowth! I have noticeable hairs on my hairline that stick up out of my part and even my boyfriend has noticed my hair growth. As the shedding is still continuing, I’m not claiming to be cured but the signs are pointing to recovery. I have some regrowth hairs that are over two inches long now. Keep the faith ladies and get thee to a naturopath!!

Deanna (19 y/o) October 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Ok, it took a while, but I read every single story on this page. First off I would love to thank Sarah for encouraging so many women to speak out, and next I want to thank everyone who has shared there experiences.. Some of your stories have brought me to tears. My story is quite different from a lot of peoples here but please hear me out.

I am African American, and since the beginning of this spring I had been going through a sort of hair identity crisis. It had become weak and dry and brittle due to over use of heat styling and chemical processing.. I started doing a LOT of research on hair growth and health. At the time my hair was a little past neck length, and I thought it would be in my best interest to start taking better care of it. April of this year I began using the nuvaring as suggested to me by a nurse in my OBGYN’s office. He wrote me a prescription for it without really telling me anything at all other than “Come back in a few months for a check up”. So whatever.. I didn’t do any research on it then (I really wish i would have) and i started the ring maybe a month later. at this point the only side effects I noticed were cramping and some spotting, which the website said was pretty common when first starting on the ring. On top of that I had started a healthy hair care regimine and my hair was slowly becoming more and more full and long, I thought everything was wonderful..

I stopped using the nuvaring for a number of reasons, I had only been using it for a little over 2 weeks, and after that i noticed no side effects at all. fast forward to last month, I started using it again. I noticed almost instantly my hair began to shed and i could not figure out why.. It was really upsetting me because I had been working so hard on my hair and now it was falling out at an extremely unhealthy rate. I took the ring out a few days early purely out of curiosity, and that was last week. I was due to put in another one tomorrow but after reading your stories i am now 100% certain I do NOT want to do that.

I’m hoping that the shedding will stop soon since I had only been using the method for a few weeks, and I have read stories on other sites where women claim the shedding was only very temporary for them with such a short usage, and their body was getting use to the change in hormones. Perhaps my body didn’t get a chance to get use to the change at all and the shedding will stop its self? I am trying to remain optimistic. I will spread the word about the serious connection between BC and hair loss. This is truly amazing how long this has been going on.. I’ll never use any sort of hormonal birth control again. Wish me luck ladies, I’ll keepyou all updated on any changes ~<3

Rhonda Holt October 22, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Hello everyone! I have a question and need really good advice…I have endometriosis , Hemorrhagic IC bladder disease and have recently had a test come back with Epithelial cell abnormality.. I was put on loestrin 10 years back as my dic said it was good for the Endo and worked well.. I also had major hairloss back then and I read on here how bad loestrin is and do not understand how it completely stopped my hairloss and the endo symptoms..I am now 45 yrs and going thru the terrible pre menopause crap and again have been losing my hair and I know all of you have had some form of hair loss, but I have to live with baby thin fine hair my whole life that wont even hold a ponytail.. that is how thin it is;( and now its shedding again in large amounts and I am seeing my scalp in the frontal area and my hair density is almost gone..I cry every day and never leave the house and go thru the suicidal thoughts daily.. I even had a man once tell me i have the thinnest hair he has ever seen on a woman and it nearly killed me..
I have to be on the BCP as the estrogen helps my bladder disease and the Endo symptoms..So I am stuck and please someone help me to know what BCP is best that you have tried and has helped the hairloss, facial hair growth and is one of the best lowest anti-androgen pills used for my situation..I think we are all different and the loestrin worked great for me 10 yrs ago but my body is changing and my health too and i feel now this loestrin could be working against me from the changes when it helped me before.. So i have to change to another and need any ones help on which one they would try in this situation that would help the hairloss and still work for the endo/bladder disease.. I am about to lose my mind and need some help and am seeing a psychiatrist too..ANY HELP I WOULD APPRECIATE Thanks All;)

Rhonda Holt October 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Sorry about the Miss spelling guys! I been in such devastation I cant think straight! I know many of you with this severe hairloss have been driven out of your minds not being able to think, or want to get out of bed nor eat, or go outside.. I can not believe the effect it takes on us.. I can only pray for hope and they will find a cure for so many things.. Especially hairloss! No one can even relate to the way we feel and what this does to us in so many ways until they experience them selves.. Our hair is our life line and crowning glory, once lost we too cant seem to find our way out of the devastation and saddness..

Rhonda Holt November 3, 2011 at 5:23 am

I do not know why Loestrin and other high androgenic pills are talked down so much.. Its quite strange but when I take the low androgenic BCP I seem to use hair and have more acne/oily skin, But when I take Alesse or Loestrin it seems to stop my hairloss and clear my skin.. I was quite confused and did some research and I found that we are all so different and even on the androgen.. We can either have to much or lack of it there for needing more.. I have to be on a BCP from how bad my endometriosis is.. And I am guessing I must of been one who lacks it.. Our bodies need a certain amount of androgen just like estrogen, and if we are androgen deficient that that would answer why some of us lose our hair on the Lower androgen pills, while others do not on the higher ones.. I think it best that we see a holistic doctor that tests only hormone levels and find where we are truly deficient and that was we would know what our bodies need rather then second guessing our selves and if you are one who takes BCP due to health issues to not just start off on one and put the blame on that pill until we know where our hormone levels truly are and where we are truly deficient.. This is a awesome website and I pray all of us hairloss sufferers do find what each of us truly lacks and needs because we are all so amazingly unique in our own way..;)

Susan November 16, 2011 at 5:47 am

I’ve read these posts many times, on various forums, and under different stories. I’ve never actually commented, but thought I’d share my story in case someone can benefit from it or learn something new.

My first major hair loss came with a Lupus flare (Spring 2008). My periods had stopped and my hair was coming out at an alarming rate. I have taken various meds for my Lupus, but during this particular flare, which was the worst one I’d had, I took prednisone, methotrexate and plaquenil. Once the flare began to subside, I was still without a period. I did not have my menstrual cycle for 6 months, when I decided to go on a birth control pill to see if that would bring it back. I went on Alesse, my periods came back and so did my hair. TONS of new regrowth and my hair actually seemed thicker for a while then it ever had been (I’ve had fine hair all my life).

Between Fall 2008 till Fall 2010, I was off and on Alesse. Mostly on, but I was never great at taking it the same time everyday, or sometimes I would forget. In around Fall/Winter 2010, I stopped taking it. I wasn’t dating anyone, so I figured, what’s the point? It was around April/May 2011 that I started noticing that my hair was thinning. I wasn’t shedding large amounts last time, but I remember one day, styling my hair in the mirror and thinking “Woah, I see my scalp, what the heck?” Since then, it’s just been a very gradual diffuse thinning. And since May, I have been on the exhausting and difficult journey of figuring out why this is happening. My Lupus has been in remission for almost 3 years now.

I began seeing a naturpoath in May. She discovered I am fruit intolerant and had little to no stomach acid, so I was not digesting my food probably and therefore not abosorbing nutrients properly. I began a new diet, eliminating all fruit, I’m supposed to stay away from other fruit related things, such as wine, but a girl needs SOMETHING to hold onto! I also eat more simply, organic when I can, nothing processed. Yes I indulge from time to time, after 4 months of changing my diet to a more healthy way of eating, I have cut my sed rate (the amount of inflammation in your body) in half. This is a very good thing, especially where my Lupus is concerned.
I took Betaine HCL to build up my stomach acid. I also take Biotin, B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and iron. My thyroid levels are a little low (still within “normal” range) so my naturopath has me taking a natural supplement to regulate my thyroid.

The biggest thing I can say regarding this issue, is that you HAVE to be proactive with your health. I am very fortunate to live in Canada and to have not only free healthcare, but a great insurance plan through work that covers my naturopath visits.
One thing that not even my naturopath caught, was my ferritin levels. My naturpath said “your iron is fine”. I thought, ok great. But I now get a copy of ALL my bloodwork results and noticed that my ferritin is 42. And after Googling my heart out, discovered that is actually low, and most sites say a ferritin level of at least 70 is required for hair regrowth.
I also just had my estrogen and testosterone tested. They are both within the “normal” range. Although testosterone is on the higher end of the normal range (2.0 nmol/L).

I had seriously been considering going back on Alesse to see if it would bring my hair back. But after reading all of these posts, and feeling in my heart I’d rather have my body regulate itself naturally, I think I might hold off on that. I saw a dermatologist and he was useless. Gave a little tug on my hair, asked if my father was balding and said I had him to thank for this, that it was genetics. That was helpful…. So I got my GP to refer me to a female derm. to see if I’d have at least a more sympathetic ear. Oh, I have also started taking evening primrose oil as it is supposed to be good for your hair, and may even block androgen conversion? Or something like that…. and I use Nioxin.

My fingers are crossed that things will still turn around. While my hair has gotten progressively thinner, it’s still not in the shockingly noticable stage. All of my hair loss is at the temples and underneath. There is no widening of my part yet (knock on wood) and to just look at me, you probably wouldn’t guess that by simply lifting up my hair, you could see my scalp.

I’m more then happy to answer any questions or help anyone out in any way I can. Hopefully sharing this may help someone.

suki November 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Reading people’s stories made me feel reassured to know I wasn’t on my own! I made the mistake of having a one night stand on holiday with someone who said the condom ‘fell off’. I then panicked because I had stopped taking the pill a couple of months previously when I had broken up with my long term boyfriend. Because I didn’t know where to get the morning after pill from in a different country, I took 10 normal pills in the hope it would add up to a morning after pill! 2 and a half months later all my hair started falling out. Over the space of two months I have lost 2/3(!) of my hair. Now I think that the hair loss has halted, and I’m taking vitamin tablets and MSM to try and help with the regrowth. When I was losing my hair I was completely and totally depressed and felt hideously ugly. Chunks of my hair would come out if I tried to brush it with my fingers so I just eventually stopped trying to comb it until it got matted into dreadlocks. Although I now only have 1/3 of my hair left, I have started to feel optimistic that it will grow back again eventually. Good luck to everyone! xx

Pat November 30, 2011 at 5:02 am

Hi girls!!! I have some good news to share and may be give hope to some of you. I told you the first time I stopped taking BCP my hair started falling out like crazy around 2 months after. I quickly went on the pill again back then and the loss slowed down. I stayed on it for about 5 years. But then, 2 years ago I got married and a year after that we decided we wanted to have kids, it wasn´t easy to stop the pills this time, I was terrified to lose any more hair since I already have little left, but I did it anyway hoping for the best and convinced that having a baby was more than worth it, even if I became completely bald. However, this second time I went off BCP I did not lose any more hair than usual and 6 month later I got pregnant. I´m very excited and cant wait to have my little baby in my arms. Don´t know whats gonna happen with hair loss after delivery I´ve heard is pretty bad but I wont worry about it right now. So every time is different and you may not lose hair every time you go off the pill, I think the best is to try and be positive and always remember that there are tons of things in life more important than hair! best luck to you all!

Kayleigh December 5, 2011 at 9:36 am

Hi all, been attempting to read all the posts but havent gotten through them all yet! It’s comforting to see though that there are so many other people going through similar situations! I’m 23 and last year realised that my hair had become scarily thin. I have always had really thick hair, bush like if you know what i mean, and always had to get it thinned out at the hairdressers in order to keep it tidy. I think it was partially due to this that it took me so long to notice the hair loss. I was on cilest untill 2 months ago for 6 years (started at 17). Never changed pills was always on the same one, and it was last year that I got sunburned on my scalp for the first time in my life, mentioned it to family and everyone THEN told me that they had noticed that my hair was getting thinner! so i went to my doctor but it took until may of this year to be seen by a obgyn to see what might be causing it (PCOS is in the family). apparently they cant find any cause, am currently thinking that it might have to do with the pill as it has been very gradual and quite diffuse… that is until recently. It has definately kicked up a notch since i stopped taking the pill, after the first 2 weeks off it it was crazy bad, then slowed to more than before but not as bad, now it gone back up again… Literally I cant take a shower without losing loads of it, everytime i rub my hands through my hair to condition it they come back covered in hair! In varying states as well some of it is my usually thickness in the strands but some of it is also very very fine, almost wispy! It is extremly distressing… I have decided to stay off the pill in the hopes that my hormones stay normal (I was told to come off in the first place because it had reduced them down to almost non existant levels) so i am hoping that this increase is just the temporary one mentioned by other posters on ceaseing the pill and that maybe it was perhaps just caused by the pill in the begining (so far no other cause has been found but i have yet to see a dermatologist, i am now on the waiting list but its 3 years here unless you have an emergency!! and i cant afford to go private!). It would give me some hope that it would sort its self out if it was the pill and at least i would then worry less as i know you an all imagine that that just makes it worse! Even if I could just keep at it the current level it would be something ya know?! everytime i look at myself in the mirror all i see is scalp, but i know it could be and might get worse if it continues… any advice or thoughts or suggestions or comments or anything that any of you have to say in realtion to this would be really really appreciated!

A Girl January 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Having finally reached the bottom of this thread, I feel like I want to post about myself. I’ve been noticing my hair falling out at an elevated rate for about 2 1/2 to 3 months now. I started taking Microgestin Fe 1/20 (generic Loestrin) about five months ago. I suspected that the BC might have had something to do with my hair loss, but I wasn’t entirely sure. I did an initial internet search, but couldn’t seem to find anything. Finally I found this site and it makes me absolutely sick to think about what I’ve been doing to my own body. It’s horrible to think that at 19, I’m facing these sorts of issues. I wish that somebody had warned me or that I had checked out my prescription before blindly taking it.

So far everyone I know says that I’m crazy when I bring up my increased shedding. But I know my hair, and it shouldn’t be coming out the way it is. I’ve never been one for washing my hair every day, but now I just plain dread it. I try to touch and manipulate it as little as possible and haven’t done it in three weeks. Hair covers my collars, coats my hands in the shower, and nearly clogged my vacuum cleaner when I did my room today. This morning I noticed two patches at the back of my head where my scalp is showing through. Additionally, my part is wider at the front and thin on the left front part of my crown.

For weeks I’ve been considering it a foregone conclusion that I’m going to lose all of my hair. At this point, my biggest hope is for it to not get any worse. Reading what you all have to say here has given me some hope. I decided to stop taking BC two weeks ago. My shedding hasn’t changed yet and I’m bracing myself for it to get worse, but I have to trust in my body’s ability to forgive me and balance itself back out. I don’t know that I want to go see a doctor yet. I’m going to try and give my body a little time (a month or two) to work on itself, but I don’t want to wait too long.

And if it does turn out to be something that can’t be reversed, well, I’ll be very, very upset, but I’ll also remember that I’m more than my appearance. There are a lot of great options when it comes to hair pieces – maybe I’ll even get the kind of smooth manageable hair I’ve always dreamed (provided I can save enough money!).

Thank you all for your support. :)

Cassie February 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

The thinning of my hair has been depressing for me. I am glad to hear I am not alone. I am 44 yrs old I switched to loestrin BC about3 yrs ago because of fibroid issues. I never had any problems with BC’s or hairloss prior to that. I started noticing the thinning and it has gotten worse. I have taken blood test and biopsy’s and everything is normal. I stopped taking the Loestrin by accident about a month ago. After reading everyones posts I will not be going back on it.
My biggest concern is if and when the body finally regulates utself does the hair grow back or are you left permanenetly bald and thin?

Nik February 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm

hi.
i have been growing more and more concerned about my hair loss. at present day, i loose hair in the shower, in the sink, when i brush my hair… and throughout the day. and only recently i have actually started to FEEL a difference in my hair. ive never had really thick hair, but its starting to feel a little ridiculous. looking back on all my hair experience i cant really decide what could have caused this.
as i read everyones responses, it seems birth control has definitely played a role in hair loss for some of you. ive never thought of this. i started taking birth control when i was 17, i stayed on orthotrycycline lo (sp?) for most of the time. when i was around 18 or 19, i started taking this other pill that only made me have a period every 3 months, but my obgyn said i didnt medically need a period at all, so i was taking the pills and skipping the pills that give you your period, so i never had a period! i did this for a year but i started to feel bad on them. i switched back to ortho lo. no i am 20 yrs old and i have been off of the pill for about 6 months. i would say during this 6 months i have definitely noticed hair loss that is progressively getting worse. so now i feel like the birth control may be to blame. but i also have some other hair experiences.
this is sad, but i cannot remember when this happend. maybe about a year ago… i had gotten a perm. its funny a perm is just one of those things everyone has to do, and no one can talk you out of it until you try for yourself. well, i should have listened to everyone! my perm looked horrible on me! i was desperate to get rid of it. so i permed my hair straight that very night. i had 2 perms within 24 hrs. stupid i know. but several hair stylists assured me i would be okay to do this. after both of these perms i started noticing hair loss, maybe i should just be thankful theres a hair left on my head! but like i said, its progressively getting worse.
i would say that i loose about 25-30 hairs in the shower, and then about 25-30 hairs again when i blow dry, brush, style my hair. i understand that a person loses about 100 hairs a day, but i figure they dont lose all 100 at once…
it may be all these things combined that have contributed to my hair loss, im not sure, but i am very interested in hearing everyones opinion. and i would really appreciate it.
i have scheduled a dermatology appointment but they couldnt get me in til next month. so i will probably remain concerned until then! any advice would put my mind at ease (i hope…).
thanks in advance!

A Girl March 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I thought that I would come back and post here because I know when I was really upset with my hair two months ago, I was looking desperately for any sort of hope.
I don’t know that my hair loss journey has reached its end, but I do know that my shedding has decreased noticeably. I stopped taking my BC (microgestin) at the end of December and I saw a dermatologist specializing in hair loss at the beginning of February (Dr.Curtis in Atlanta, very nice and knowledgeable and took my insurance :) ). The derma diagnosed me with TE caused by birth control and told me to use Women’s Rogaine and several vitamins (GNC Ultra Hair Nourisher, Biotin 5000mcg, folic acid 800 mcg, and Iron 65mg daily) and over the past month, my shedding has slowed down. Instead of losing 50+ hairs in the shower, I’m back down to 20 or less.
I have a return appointment in July to be checked. I feel like I’m jinxing my semi-success by posting about it, but I think I owe it to tell my story and my solution (so far) to anyone else who’s suffering like I am. I’ll try to come back here and update after my next appointment on the off chance that my story could be helpful to someone else. :)

KV March 14, 2012 at 11:32 am

Hello Everyone!

Well I have been reading everyone’s posts and boy I sure do sympathize with everyone! So here is my story…. I have been on a birth control for a year and 7 months now called Junel Fe. I went on it because during my period I would be come violently sick. I started the pills when I was 22 and I am now 24. I was noticing a gradual shedding but nothing that would raise a red flag in my mind. I was going to mention something to my gyno, but then decided it was my imagination. The last two months I have noticed my hair thinned out drastically. So I went and bought salon product Nioxin to use on my hair. While it does now regrow hair, at least it is helping what hair I have, to have some body.
While I was at the store looking to buy vitamins, I asked a pharmacist which ones would be better and he asked why I was taking them. I explained to him and told him about my hair thinning. Now my thinning I would say is no more than 100 per day, which seems to be in the normal range, but my hair has thinned out a lot. So far no one can notice it except for my self of course, but I must say I am very self conscious about it. That is when the pharmacist told me my pill can cause hair loss. I was shocked, sick to my stomach. and bawled my eyes out. He told me to take pre-natal vitamins and biotin as both are known for healthy hair.
That week I called my gyno and told her what was going on. She claimed the pill couldn’t do that and I told her she was mistaken. She sent me for bloodwork and all my levels came back perfect (good news). But unfortunately she said to finish out my pack to not cause any other issues. So I am listening and I finish out my pack this Saturday and then I am DONE with birth control pills. She immediately tried to give me more pills claiming they would help. I told here there is no way I am taking more if you didn’t know this could do it to me in the first place! So I am anxious/ worried/ and nervous to see what will happen once coming off of these pills.
I do have a very busy schedule with work and school as I work multiple jobs and I am finishing grad school and have an internship. Those around me claim this is a combination of a lot of stress and the pills, making it a multiple step problem. So since the stress is not always easy to limit, I am taking it one step at a time by coming off of the pills and trying to get my body back to normal. I feel like I have poisoned my body and I am upset with myself for taking these pills in the first place. My family and boyfriend told me not to as they were worried about side effects like blood clots, not thinking hair loss was one.
I must say my friends have been very good at supporting me as well as family. I had some stress that my boyfriend would leave me in case it gets worse and I go bald, but he said it is just hair that’s not the reason we started dating. That calms me down a bit, but the unpredictability of what can happen still is stressful.

AH April 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Hi everyone,
I am having the same experience of distressing hair shedding after stopping Yasmin 2 and a half months ago, after taking it on and off for way too long…?10 years.
I started taking it to clear my skin up, and it worked amazingly, but looking back my skin was never really bad at all and I should have just lived with the pimples. I am a doctor myself, and would never recommend that women take hormone-altering pills unless they really really have to.
I am reassured by the explanation on this well-regarded NZ website:
http://dermnetnz.org/hair-nails-sweat/telogen-effluvium.html
I hope others are too!

Missy May 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I also suffered hair loss on Loestrin. Showed no signs of even thinning, they took me off of it after three months, now it is beginning to grow back, but I want to encourage all these women to report this to MedWatch, it is what most insurance companies suggest, and they won’t do anything about this until they get more, you fill out all the information, and send it in. I hope that most of you report this, and together maybe we can make a difference, hair loss seems to be hormonal, but everyone enjoys getting involved and telling you other reasons, don’t listen, just report what you know. Thanks

tahlia July 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Hi everyone, i’m so glad to have found this blog. Im currently 22 years old and my 1st hair loss episode was 2 years ago (when I began university) where I lost 1/3 of my hair. Lucky alot of it grew back a few month after. However ever since then my hair loss has been continuous. Today I only have 1/4 of what I use to have. Note I used to have a riduculous amount of dark, thick, curly hair. Throughout my life, I always had a hard time taming my hair, and today I wish taming crazy thick hair was my biggest hair problem. I also want to point out that I am NOT on the pill, and never have been on the pill and am still experiencing hair loss throughout the past few years. I’ve done alot of personal reaserch and found some quick tricks that have been helpfull to me in reducing hair loss. I began applying olive oil or aragon oil onto my skull making my hair stronger (but more greasier looking) in result this helped with reducing my hair loss from 50 – 10 hairs a day. And whenever I would shampoo I would do it very lightly, as if Im massaging it for 30 seconds and wash everything off asap with a minimum amount of water. Which also helped with my reduction with hair loss. I recently went the doctor and he scheduled for a blood test next week. He also mentioned that it could be animia, thirohd or stress. I feel like it would be stress althought Im wishing that it would be animia so I can just take iron pills and hope for regrowth. Hey girls do any of you know what I can do to reduce stress??

Tamara August 27, 2012 at 4:44 am

Ladies,
I have been experiencing the same thing for the past year and a half. I met my fiance and began taking Loestrin 24. I took the pill for a year before I finally connected it with my severe hair loss. I have been off of the pill for almost 4 months now. I can definitely see a difference in my hair. It is looking shiny again and my hair loss has decreased dramatically. My hair is still extremely thin, so much so that I am embarrassed to go out- until I met my new best friend: clip-in hair extensions. I went to Sally’s beauty salon and bought some 14 inch hair extensions that simply clip into your hair. They are awesome. They give my hair the thickness and length that I never had before. No one can tell that they are not my own hair. I am sure that I will use them until my own hair gets back to normal. You can wash, dry, and style them just like your own hair. The clip-in ones only cost around $100. Also, I have been taking lots of vitamins. Specifically, biotin, zinc, a multi-B complex, vitamin E, iron and a prenatal vitamin. I also drink Ensure high protein shakes and I can really tell a difference. I hope this helps someone out there. This has been the worst experience and it makes me sick that women are not warned about this horrible side effect until it is too late and their hair is already gone.

Nora September 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Hi Ladies,

I’ve been gradually reading through all of these posts for about the last two weeks or so. I kept stopping because I was so terrified at what I was reading, and upset at the similarities to my own situation, however I have found it really comforting however to know that there are other women in my situation who are losing their hair at such a young age. It’s awful and traumatic, but the more that we share our stories, the more we can spread awareness to others. I want to post my own experience in case someone finds it useful. I apologize in advance for the length of this post!

First of all, let me preface this with a bit of background information about my life and my health. I am 24 years old, and I would say that I’ve been continuously shedding for about 4 years, maybe 4.5-5. I don’t know the exact timeline because up until that point I’d always had a ridiculous amount of hair. Like…my hairdresser had to thin it all over every time I got a haircut because I would get tension headaches from the weight of my hair pulling on my scalp. My bad hair days resulted from my inability to manage my large amounts of hair to my liking (I’ve also always had oily skin and hair, so that didn’t help). I would kill to have those problems now. So naturally when I started shedding I just thought “Hey, everyone loses x% of hair a day and I have gargantuan amounts of hair, ergo I’m losing the same percentage as everyone else but because I have so much hair it just seems like a lot”. I’ve also always had both a high forehead and a widow’s peak, so I never really paid attention to my part because I was always combing everything to the side to hide them.

I don’t have any real family history of hair loss. An uncle is thinning a bit on top on my mom’s side, and my 90-year old grandparents have some thinning hair, but hey at that age they’re entitled to it :) I do however have a predisposition to depression and mental health disorders on my dad’s side. Additionally, I’ve suspected for a little while that my thyroid isn’t right. My mom has a hypoactive thyroid and my sister has had rheumatoid arthritis since the age of two, so I’m not a stranger to autoimmune diseases. I guess both of these are risk factors for hair loss of some kind.

Physically…I’ve been in mediocre health since I was 14, when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. When I was around the age of 12, my dad was diagnosed with ALS, a horrible terminal illness that ripped apart my family and my sanity. He passed away when I was 16. I’ve suffered through periods of depression and near constant anxiety ever since. I also gained a ton of weight. I was always very fit, but by age 15 I was about 180 lbs at 5’8. I eventually ballooned to 195 by my senior year of high school. I was too self-conscious to exercise, extremely unhappy, and I only slept about 5 hours a night and napped during the day. From age 14-18 I was also on an antidepressant called Celexa, which is now illegal in Canada and known to cause weight gain and a cornucopia of side effects. Still, my hair was unaffected.

Finally, in my first year of university I turned some of my health issues around. I lost about 30lbs and started getting more exercise, started socializing more, and was away from most of the stress of my family. I also met my boyfriend :) So, when I was 19, a young doctor at my university’s health clinic put me on Alesse. Now, I don’t know that I had a lot of side effects-I just know that I hated it. The only thing that I’d liked about it was that it regulated my periods. I’ve never had regular periods-I get them every month sure but every couple of months they’d come a week early and then stay at that day for awhile before moving again in a couple of months. All over the place. Anyhow, on Alesse my sex drive disappeared completely (not fun when you’ve only been dating someone for 3 months), and I started getting depressed again. I stopped going to classes because I was too anxious. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. My grades were awful-something I’d never experienced before. I was on it for about…half a year before I begged for something else, so my doctor put me on NuvaRing, which she said would release smaller amounts of hormones into my system. I didn’t really notice a difference in my mood, so when I started seeing a psychotherapist in June of that year, I stopped it abruptly because birth control and antidepressants apparently don’t play well together. I still wonder if the abrupt stoppage in BC, and then the start of a new antidepressant are what did me in.

By the time 3rd year uni rolled around I was 20 and things weren’t going well at all: my academic situation was awful, I was depressed and anxious all of the time, I barely saw my friends-only my boyfriend. And, around January of that year I noticed that I was shedding quite a bit. Loads of hair coming out on my hairbrush and in the shower. Still, I chalked it up to stress and really it didn’t affect my hair density much so I ignored it and focused on my other problems. Since that point it’s been one big rollercoaster of stress: moving back home in 4th year and getting plunged into the stress of a dysfunctional family once again, getting suspended from school because of my grades, my boyfriend (who is my primary support system) moved away as well for a period of 3 months, and continuing academic struggles. I also gained back all of the weight I’d lost and generally ate badly, slept at odd hours, and got very little exercise. During all of this I am sure I maintained about the same rate of hair loss. In hindsight, my hair likely was thinner but I just hadn’t noticed.

Finally last year things got a little better. I’d worked outdoors the previous summer and gotten a lot of sun, which improved my mood. I’ve worked long hours on and off at a nursery ever since I was 16…and actually I have gotten quite a few sunburns during that time-some undoubtedly on my scalp. I also have always had to pull my hair back in tight buns or ponytails because of my oily skin. So sun exposure and yanking my hair back probably didn’t help. Anyways, because of all of that sun and exercise I’d felt good enough to stop with the Cipralex…which I did abruptly and stupidly that summer. I was back at school, but as stressed as ever. In February of this year, my mom finally decided to sell our house after years of not being able to keep up with the costs of maintaining it on her own. I’ve no doubt that most of you know the stress of a move, but this was especially stressful for me because I was finishing term work and entering exams (which usually gives me anxiety attacks anyways), and also because…I couldn’t bear to leave. All of my memories of my dad were tied to that house and I cried everyday at the thought of leaving them behind. We had months of renovations and negotiations with a terrible realtor, loads of packing. My mom crumbled a bit at some points and I had to take over for her and run the preparations and take care of my younger sisters. My nutrition was especially bad. During this period I noticed for the first time that my skin was actually dry instead of oily! It was so pale (I am naturally a tan person) and dotted with acne. My scalp was still oily though, although I had tons of dandruff but the shafts themselves were very dry, brittle and lifeless. I hadn’t gotten a haircut in awhile since I’d been so busy, so my hair was also very long and damaged. It was also falling out all over the place. I definitely noticed it but assumed that once the move was over I’d rebound.

Fast-forward to a couple of weeks ago, when I stepped into my bathroom to do my makeup. The lighting is really harsh, and for the first time I noticed that my scalp was much more visible than it ever had been. My part is also twice as wide as it used to be. I’ve also noticed that my scalp is very tender, and hurts slightly when I move the hair anywhere other than my natural (now large) part. As you might have noticed while reading this, I am a neurotic person by nature, so I immediately started quizzing everyone about it. My family and boyfriend both think I’m being ridiculous. One friend did say that she’d noticed that my crown area was thinner, but that’s about it. However we all know when something’s not right. We can FEEL it. I’d been feeling that my hair was brittle and noticeably thinner for awhile, but I’d always assumed that it was just due to all of the stress in my life and that it would grow back-because it always had.

So, what’s the cause? I’ve been searching for possible reasons and to be honest….there are so many possibilities: poor health and nutrition, chronic stress, traumatic (for me at least) life events, uneven BC and antidepressant usage (I am still killing myself that I switched between the two so quickly and also stopped cipralex so abruptly). I’ve also…er..used plan b about three times because when you don’t rely on hormonal BC…you get paranoid (or at least I do). Actually I took a plan B 2 months ago, and although I’ve never had anything more than mild cramps while taking them…I wonder if that had an effect since my hormones have always been in flux – my period start date recently changed AGAIN on me after that. At any rate, I am so confused and upset right now. I keep wondering what happened, if it was a combo of the all of that, and if there is anything that I can do about it now.

Since that time I’ve overhauled my diet. I’ve cut out most sugar, alcohol, caffeine, almost all starchy food, and just generally eat very healthy. As per the responses on this forum, I’ve examined my diet and upped my protein and iron intake, as well as taking an iron supplement, B12, zinc, magnesium, bee pollen and fish oil. I’m starting to exercise more and I have started getting enough sleep. I’m trying to manage my stress but it’s difficult, especially when all I can think about is my hair loss. I’ve scheduled an appointment with my new GP but it’s a whole month away and after hearing some of the horror stories about insensitive derms and doctors on this forum, I’m a little worried that she’ll dismiss me because I still don’t look like I’ve lost a lot, even though I know I have. I still have hope that if I pursue a scalp biopsy, I can figure out what’s going on. In the meantime, I just have to help my body try to right itself.

So…..that’s my giant story. I’d love to hear if anyone has had a similar experience, especially regarding birth control and antidepressants. I’d love any feedback in general actually. Have you ladies found standard medical treatment to be more effective than natural treatments? Any and all feedback is appreciated.

I wish all of you the very best :) Thank you for giving me hope.

-Nora

Nora September 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Oh! One last thing. Has anyone had an increase in hair loss following contact dermatitis? On top of everything else I had a severe poison ivy reaction in July. Like 60% of my body covered in rash. It was so bad that I was prescribed allergy meds and a pretty hardcore topical steroid cream for the itching. I only used it for about a week because I found that it thinned my skin quite a bit, but perhaps all of that right after Plan B right after a year of extra-bad stress? Anyhow I’m just looking for answers.

God (of your choice) bless,

-Nora

Sarah September 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all that have posted on here. I have recently been struggling with hair loss and its something you NEVER ever ever would think of! and then BAM! u are faced with it! I have been on Loestrin24FE for almost 3 years now. I did switch to OrthoTri a couple times in between there. My blonde hair was always everywhere! But I never really thought anything of it, just figured those that I lost are growing back… However, recently I noticed how thin my temples are and how thin the actual strands of my hairs have become. They are almost transparent! :( I don’t know if its due to switching birth control or stopping a week of birth control, or what its from.

I think my new years resolution will be to get off the pill and pray that things go back to normal!

Sarah October 6, 2012 at 8:52 am

Hello ladies,

As the author of the original posting, this is this the first time I have visited this site in many years. When I came to the site this morning, I was astonished and heart felt to see over 150 responses have gathered from ladies experiencing the same “hair loss emotions” as I have – stress, anxiety, depression, etc. It is extremely comforting to know that so many other people know what I’m feeling, especially those who have experienced hair loss due to the pill. (no matter what my doctor says – I know I’m not crazy!)

So why today did I decide to visit the site? After many years, I still suffer with accepting my hair. Thankfully (and I am VERY thankful for this) I have not seem to experience too much hair loss over the past 2 years. Despite this, I have not been able to grow any hair back and I am still very self conscious of my hair. It consumes me all the time, it’s completely taken over my life and its exhausting.

So this weekend, for a variety of reasons, I decided that I am giving my hair one last shot, and thats it. And by that I mean, attempting to somehow grow it back. Sounds ridiculous, right? I agree. However – I feel like if I don’t give it one very last chance, I won’t be able to move on.

So here’s what I’m doing. A few years ago, I went to a trichologist (basically, a naturopath for hair loss) who I gave a bunch of money to (of course) create a “hair regrowth diet” for me. Now, as the years have past and more information on allergies, food, hormones, etc have been released, I have realize that this diet very much relates to an all natural, gluten-free type diet, in addition to a mix of supplements. Actually, it very much relates to the book “The Hormone Diet”. (if you haven’t read it – a GREAT read by the way.)

The thing is – I never really gave this diet a fair shot. I have no reason as to why I didn’t, but it just never really happened. So – starting next week and for the next three months, I am completely devoting myself to this diet.

After the three months, I’ll decided whether or not I’ll continue, or if I’ll start researching for a hair system. Either way – I refuse to let my hair own any more of my life.

In addition – thank you to everyone, (especially to the administrator of this site) for sharing all of your stories. I can’t tell you how much it means to come back to this site and see so many women staying positive and supporting each other.

I’ll be sure to provide updates on my progress, as I know I love hearing about everyone else’s. :)

Stay strong and thanks again!
Sarah

donna November 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

My daughter’s been on Alesse for 6 months and has been experiencing hair loss before that and since. Can anyone share stories of their hair loss experience AFTER stopping Alesse. Thank you.

Alicia November 15, 2012 at 11:35 am

Hi Sarah. How’s the new diet going? Keep us posted. I’m going to look for the book this weekend 😛

Sydney November 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I have searched high & low to find a site like this where people respond & share their stories. I am 18 & have been on birth control since January 2012. I first was prescribed Loestrin 1/20 FE. It ended up giving me reoccurring yeast infections which were starting to become unbearable. I visited my doctor in September and she switched my birth control to Ortho- Tri Cyclen Lo, which didn’t seem to give me any problems until now… I have extreme hair loss with in the past 2 weeks. I have been doing my research & have been scared out of my mind. I really take care of my hair & to see it fall out is just devastating. I don’t plan on going off of my BC because of the extreme hair loss after stopping BC. I’m pretty sure it might be a hormone imbalance, but does anybody know how long it takes for your hormones to balance, i am worried i’ll go bald. i would love some feedback from all you who are experiencing the same thing as i am! thank you

Alex December 8, 2012 at 9:25 am

hello everyone, just came across this page im 24 and have been suffering from hair loss for over 2 years i like many of you have had endless blood tests that have all come back normal! I was referred by my doctor to a dermatologist who really didn’t give me much advice and put me on iron tablets which didn’t make a difference! I have also been taking the pill Loestrin for 6 years but switched to the contraceptive injection (depo) to see if it would make a difference it didn’t and also gave me severe acne, two months ago i was took off the depo and put back on Loestrin and have noticed my hair has gotten even worse its everywhere in the shower and plug hole iv tried to not get upset but its really getting me down again! not sure if i should come off the pill completely im just scared that it will fall out more!

would be grateful for any advice

Lisa January 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Hello everyone :)

I have just spent hours reading through all the comments, and like everyone else, I am so glad it is not just me!

I am 22 years old, and I have always had fine hair – but lots of it. It is a different story now where I just have thin hair.

So, I have been taking the pill on and off for years… And the most recent one has been Yasmin. I decided to take myself off of the pill Dec 2012 as doctors did not seem to be taking me seriously. I have had 4 blood tests in the last 6 months. My doctor looked deeper into the second blood test as he suspected thyroid problems due to my hair loss, tiredness and coldness. I have an underactive thyroid and been taking tablets for around 4 months however so far my hair has continuously thinned.

I’m not sure about everyone else’s hair, but mine seems to be where my part is widening and all over the top is shredding. I am no longer able to clip my fringe up, or have a middle part as the hair is too thin and all you can see is my scalp.

I am going to go back to the doctors next week and I will be taking paperwork to ask for my bloods to be looked at deeper. I am also going to ask him to recommend a trichologist or dermatologist to see.

It has really got me down in the last 6 months especially (although it has been going on for about a year). I have refrained from dying my hair for 6 months too!) I no longer use straightners and I let my hair dry naturally – there is literally nothing else I can try. So I have decided to get my hair cut to shoulder length and some blonde highlights, if you can’t beat it – make yourself feel better! I have let myself go whilst feeling so down an out and I’m determined to pick myself up.

If all else fails I have been doing some research on hair toppers – not quite wigs or extensions but they can clip over the top section of your natural hair.

:)

Keep in touch everyone! x

heidi May 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I WENT ON IUD…. LOST 95 percent of my hair diffused thinning and it has not stopped i got it taken out about 4 months ago they will tell you you are crazy and it is not the IUD i know my body. Its the most upsetting thing to ever happen to me my hair is all over the place (what little i have left) every day i wake up and count literally tons of hairs on my pillow i cant comb it without it falling out, Its not over processed i am a cosmetologist went to school for that and i can legally do hair. Just it all changed the texture and everythign i comb it…and it falls out. THE IUD IS THE WORST EVER they handed me the packet 3 years ago and it failed to mention hair loss. Then now i see it on the websight….how can a perfectly healthy girl at 28 just loose 95 percent of her hair? you tell me? people hated to do my hair because it was the thickest ever now that has all changed. Its just disgusting it feels like a cancer patients going through chemo you comb it and it comes out…….unruly and just diffused thinning . PLEASE wARN YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THE MIRENA IUD

stacy May 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

@ Heidi I lost 95% of my hair too in just 9 months from stopping generess fe birth control im 27. How does a healthy 27 year old lose that much hair that fast too idk. I u would love to talk with u get ur email address or something since we are both going through the same thing. I am also a cosmetologist and my hair was extremely beautiful and healthy just 9 months ago.

Sarah January 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm

I came to post this because I always said I would come back and try to help people if I ever recovered. Well, here’s my story in video form (I’m recovered!) http://youtu.be/kA3G1cRU60E

Jennifer March 14, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I experienced all of the same symptoms. IN highschool all the boys paid attention to me, and girls were envious of my hair which my sister loved to braid, it looked like the Ukranian president if you know who I am talking about!! I started taking birth control when I was 19, I think my hair started thinning immediately, however I did not put the two together so I am sadly not sure about the timing. By my late 20s it was looking pretty bad and I was almost always wearing a hat, it depressed me but I figured there wasn’t much I could do about it and I honestly gave up the idea of even finding a husband (a far cry from my Highschool days). I even asked my doctor and he told me there was no way Yasmin could even cause hair loss because it has a low androgen index (yeah, a lot HE knows!).

About three years ago I decided to go off of birth control since I was no longer had a sex life to speak of, however the hair loss continued until I became pregnant (that’s another story!). Within a month of becoming pregnant the shedding stopped, and even after I gave birth the shedding didn’t resume. My hair is looking better every day and I have a beautiful 6 month old.

Sarah, I love your story too by the way. My conclusion is that hormonal birth control is POISON.

Jennifer March 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Sarah, I don’t have youtube account, so I can’t reply there, but I had the same weird thing with my eyes. Eye doctors said EXACTLY THE SAME THING! “No, it isn’t birth control.” It got better after I got off the pill but didn’t go back to normal until I became pregnant with my daughter.

I think drug companies just don’t understand at all how hormones work in our body… doctors need to stop putting birth control as a harmless solution to young girls.

lanita July 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Sarah,
You truly provide hope i am now 22 and my hair is soo thin been dealing with the hairloss for 4 years,by the time i realized i was having hairloss due to my birthcontrol (depo) i was 3 years in that was when i was 18. Its only getting worse but im thinking it is only taking my body to get rid of such a toxic chemical. considering with depo you have a period only every 3months. By the way after 3 years of being off birthcontrol was when i finally started getting a period, just a sign of how truly aweful it is for you. I have taken all sorts of natural hairloss pills that say hair regrowth, for the past four years with no results. Anyways my question for you is what did you do to recover from your hairloss, Diets, shampoos, dermatology, trichology?
best of wishes
Thank you
Lanita

Sandra November 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

I have been on the pill lo loestrin fe for one month and stopped it immediately due to hair shedding;( it was so bad that I looked it up n found this site n just stopped taking it.. I am scared as to wether or not my hair will stop falling out.. any suggestions on what I should do? Do u think the shedding will stop or get worse? Thank you ladies so much please reply.

Kar January 26, 2015 at 1:25 am

Hi Ladies, let me just say that this blog/website has been the best thing!!
I have never had very thick hair, but it was literally 4 to 6 times thicker than what it is now. I have been experiencing hair thinning for years now, since I was about 24, I am now turning 30.

I always thought it was due to stress and just bad genes, although none of the woman in my family have hair loss. I too also had my thyroid and iron levels and all the blood tests and everything came back normal.

I first went on the pill when I was 18 due to irregular periods. My doc put me on Melodene. I did not react well to this and had terrible mood swings. I then went from Melodene to Yasmin, which I was on for about 7 years. I didn’t have any issues with Yasmin, other than discharge. but clearly that what was causing my hair thinning. About two years ago I asked my doc to take me off because I could not deal with the discharge anymore (I was not aware then that it was causing my hair loss too). My doc then put me on the new pill that had just come out on the market called Qlaira. I had terrible side effects with this, including anxiety, mood swings, headaches, etc. I then went on to Yaz but again the discharge started. My doc then recommended I try the Nuva Ring. I was on the Nuva Ring for about 4 months, this is when I really started noticing my hair loss in chunks (but still never related it to the Nuva Ring) I also was still getting bad discharge and bad skin pigmentation. In December 2014 I decided to take the Nuva Ring out as I was fed up with it and told myself I was done with contraceptives as clearly I do not react well with them.
Early this year I went to go see my doc again and told her about my skin pigmentation and also asked what I can take for my hair loss, she did advise that one of the symptoms of Nuva Ring is hair loss.

About a week ago I started with the dread shed phase (which I was not aware of until I found this blog). I have been losing my hair rapidly, its thinning a lot on the sides and on my crown. I was in absolute tears and have been at a total loss of what to do. I have started taking a double dose of pure Omega 3, Hair,skin and nail tabs and neurobion (vitamin B tablets). I also went to a hairdresser that deals a lot with hair loss (especially hair loss due to hormones) and they recommended I use Kerastase Specifique Aminexil Force R. Its capsules that you apply to your hair on a daily basis for 42 days, its supposed to soften your hair follicles and promote hair growth. My hair dresser advised that it stops 90% of hair loss within 7 days and within 6 months I should have a gorgeous mop of hair. I have been using it for about 3 days now and just yesterday I noticed a decrease in my hair loss, not sure if this was because I was just having a good hair loss day or because the capsules are working. The 29th will be 7 days so I will then be able to see, but when I googled it and looked at some of the reviews I saw only positive feedback on the product.

I will never go back on any form of BC. they are all poison for your body and honestly cause more harm than anything else!! I cannot believe that doctors are either not aware or refuse to care about the side effects of these BC on woman!!.

I will give you all feedback hopefully on Thursday with some good news or once I have finished the 42 capsules.

Krystal May 12, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Hello everyone. Does anyone have any updates on their situations?!

amanda June 9, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Hello,

My question is regarding Yasmin. I have started taking it actually this week on the first day of my cycle, fast forward to today which is day 4, I have no blood. So weird. Not even spotting. Has this happened to anybody before? Obviously I want my hair to re-grow by using it, but my doctor put me on this birth control bc I have two simple cysts in my ovaries and a few on my uterus and I am iron deficient, just not anemic. ugh! I am all for not bleeding per say, but just didn’t know if anybody else has experience this as well. I guess I can ask my doc but would like to know from other women if it has happened to them. Also, has anyone been put on yasmin for cysts on or in their ovaries. Not PCOS but just a few simple cysts, one is 2.6 cm? Why do I hope this is the cause for my hair loss? I guess bc it is so hard for me accept that is just genetic. I would love to be at the point where some of you women are, moving on with your life and not letting this crap keep you isolated. Ugh! I feel like I am somewhere in the 5 stages of grief for my hair right now, lol. Anyways, thanks for any insight.

Kaylee July 1, 2015 at 8:02 am

So I am 24 years old and was on BC for almost 9 years and switched to a new kind this past January… I noticed my hair was thinning and freaked out and stopped taking it completely by the end of February. So its now been about 4-5 months and my hair is thinning more and more every week. I’ve always had very thin and fine hair so the extra thinning is extremely stressful. Especially towards the back of my hair line, that is where it is thinning the most. I also have some itchiness as well. But when the hair falls our sometimes there is a dandruff like flake at the end of the follicle?? Does anyone else have this??????????

I’ve read so many different posts where some people it takes years for the shedding and hair loss to stop and for regrowth, and others say up to 6 months… I hope I’m in that 6 month category but not knowing is so stressful. If my hair keeps thinning like this I’ll have bald spots all over by the end of the year! It’s embarrasing and depressing.

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for a good shampoo/conditioner to use? I’ve been trying to wash my hair every other day since the shedding got worse but I tend to have very oily hair. I’ve just been alternating between a dove shampoo and head and shoulders…. not really impressed with either though.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I don’t know what to do about this anymore! The docs all say I’m fine, but this is definitely an issue I’m struggling with.

Petey3 July 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm

It sounds like you are going through telogen effluvium because you said the hairs you are shedding have a white flake (bulb) at the end of them. Hopefully this will stop within 6 months of the “trigger event” which for you was likely changing and then stopping the pill. Your hair should (crossing fingers for you) start to look noticeably better by 6-12 months depending on how long your hair is. Many women on this site use Nizoral shampoo for itchiness and flaking but it is very drying so you can’t use it everyday and be sure to use a good conditioner on your ends. I also like to use a sulfate and paraben free shampoo on alternating days as well. In the mean time you should probably see a dermatologist to rule out any other cause and ask for all the blood tests including a ferritin test. Hope this helps. All the best.

Leave a Comment

Join the Women's Hair Loss Project Network to meet other women
with hair loss. Share your thoughts, comment, rant, rave, laugh, cry...communicate. Click To Join
Just Launched - Join the NEW Forum for The Women's Hair Loss Project. If you are already an existing member of the Network then you already have an account set up and will need to use the Reset Password link to enable your forum account. Click To Join

Previous post:

Next post: