I Will Beat This – Jessica’s Hair Loss Story

by admin on September 11, 2009

I had written awhile back but wanted to send you my story again, and this time post some positive updates.

One thing that I noticed way back when my hairloss journey started, was that the negative posts and testimonials by far outweighed the positive ones. My fear was that most women were losing this hairloss battle. My hope was that once they solved their hairloss nightmare, they were too busy not worrying about their hair to post their updates. I want to submit my story because I am having positive results as I attempt to figure out what has happened to my hair and how to stop the cycle of loss.

It was 2004 when my life changed. It was 3 months after I had stopped taking birth control (alesse) and my hair was coming out in ropes. I’ll never forget taking a shower before going out one Friday evening, and my hands were covered with hair. At the time, I had no clue that it was related to the cessation of using birth control. I thought I was dying, from cancer, from something. I stayed home that night and didn’t go out, I’ll never forget sobbing the whole evening, scouring the internet trying to figure out what was going on. My vanity was bruised. I remember feeling too ugly and embarrassed to be social or even go to the gym. I took a 3 week leave of absence from my job to go be with my then-boyfriend (now wonderful husband!) in Europe where he was for work. I needed his support and he was truly there for me no matter how embarrassed I was. I had extensions put in after much research, just to make me feel like I had hair again. I did everything I could to mask what was going on with my hair, while I devoured information to figure out what happened to me. It was then that I realized it was the birth control pill.

I made the mistake of jumping back on birth control because doctors told me that I might be responsive to a hair-friendly pill like Yaz or Yasmin. I chose Yasmin and figured I would just stay on it the rest of my life if I had to. Back then, all I cared about was how I looked, not about my health. I kept the extensions in for about 2 years. One day I went into the salon to get them done and my stylist said – “You know you don’t need these anymore. They are just your security right now. Your hair is fine.” What?? My hair was fine?? I was so used to the weight of the extensions that I didn’t believe her. She washed my hair and cut it without the extensions, and we blowed it dry. She was right, I looked totally normal. I was ELATED. I don’t think I stopped touching my hair for days. It was all mine, and I looked absolutely normal. It had thin spots, sure, but I could wear it up or down and it had body and I looked like me again. It was not nearly as thick as it was before the loss, but it was enough.

Fast forward to 2008. My husband and I wanted to try to have a baby and I dreaded having to come off the pill. I felt like I had worked so hard to get my hair back, and now I was going to have to let it go again. I was terrified that if I tampered with it, it might not come back again. Also, everyone kept telling me that fluctuating hormones could kick in AGA and I was pretty sure I already had AGA since I have some thinner spots, so I was even more scared. But, having a child meant more to me. I went off the pill and 3 months later, luckily, I got pregnant. However, the shedding started even though my hormones had changed due to the pregnancy. My hair fell out in buckets. All of that long, healthy hair went down the drain. It looked horrible yet again. This time though, it only lasted 2 months, because I was pregnant and I was benefiting from a surge of estrogen! Eventually, my hair didn’t shed at all. The entire pregnancy, I would lose maybe one hair a day, it was a beautiful time of not having to worry about my hair, and I was off the pill and completely au natural. It felt great.

I knew that post-partum hair shedding was going to be waiting for me after I delivered our little girl, so I just  enjoyed having thicker hair again and savored each day. I figured I would just get back on the pill after her birth. I learned that if I wanted to breastfeed, I wouldn’t be able to be on the pill. I enjoyed breastfeeding so much that I thought, oh well – if I had to be bald so that I can breastfeed, then I’ll do it. It’s worth it. At 2.5 months post-partum, my hair came out in bunches. I Was losing over 200-300 hairs a day and didn’t have much to begin with! I Wanted to go back on the pill so badly, to stop the loss… But something inside of me said, don’t go back on the pill, don’t cave, stop tampering with your hormones and just let them figure it out. I knew that I might not get my hair back, but I didn’t want to stop nourishing my child for my own vanity! Plus, I just wanted to see what happened, even if it meant losing more hair than ever before
and encouraging AGA to take over my of my scalp.

Well, here I am at 5 months post-partum. I still shed every day but not as much as it was 10 weeks ago. The hair IS coming back in, slowly but surely. My ponytail feels a bit thicker these days. I have a great regimen to support my hair: Nioxin Shampoo and Conditioner, Thicker Fuller Hair Serum, and Air Dry. Prental vitamins, and Fish Oil supplements. I am not going bald, in fact, I think my body is enjoying getting back to it’s old self. No synthetic estrogen needed.

What I believe is that this is all a journey. Tomorrow, I might wake up and have a massive shed that renders me so thin on top that I’d have to get a topper of some sort. Or, I might wake up with a fuller head of hair than I’ve ever had before. It seems to ebb and flow. I started this journey in 2004 and here I am 5 years later after pregnancy and again stopping the pill, and I still have hair. I feel like I am winning, I feel like I am beating it.

I wish that doctors/OB’s/GYN’s would tell you that when you go off the pill, it is like having a baby. Your body craves that estrogen and lets go of everything it doesn’t need temporarily. I think lots of us have gone back on the pill quickly in order to reverse that loss because waiting it out seems so scary. In my case, I think I had to let my hair hit rock bottom on it’s own, which I am doing right now so that it can adjust and regulate itself.

Do I think I will have thick hair again? Nope. But I would like to have more kids and I just don’t want to have to come off the pill yet again, sending my body into artificial shock for no reason. I am going to continue healthy hair habits, and pray that it keeps coming back enough on it’s own that I can make do without obsessing about it constantly. I can’t believe that I’m here, that it’s 5 months post partum, and that I’m ok.

For those of you who are experiencing similar pain, you know this is a small victory. I want to encourage everyone to be on their hair journey and have hope, have optimism that you can figure it out. Even if it means that you need to supplement with artificial hair to make yourself whole again, do it. Do what it takes to feel good. Post positive successes, and results. Encourage others. Let’s beat this!

{ 231 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristina September 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Thank you for that kick-ass story! But, seriously to focus on your positive results and having the courage to wait it out while your body adjusts takes faith and strength. Not going back on birth control is such a good example to other women who are wavering on what to do; it is an individual decision, but I’m sure you have inspired some women to go the natural route.
It is inspiring to me to read your story!
Thanks, Kristina

LDK September 12, 2009 at 11:05 am

You must have had a temporary hormonal imbalance that you were able to straighten out, and thus re-grow your hair – that is awesome! However, you probably weren’t dealing with Androgenetic Alopecia – I hate to sound negative, but if you are experiencing hair loss due to female pattern baldness, you probably will never be able to re-grow your hair – there are things you can do to help slow down the process of loosing your hair – but if it’s in your DNA, it’s a loosing battle. On the flip side, it makes me sad to hear about so many vulnerable women spending so much money on scams and false promises in the effort of trying to get back their hair. There is no cure for hair loss (female pattern baldness) otherwise none of us would be on this site. There are other reasons besides FPB that women loose their hair, you are one of the fortunate ones because your shed was not due to a sensitivity to DHT, and consequently minitiarizing of your hair. Thyroid issues, temporary imbalances due to childbirth, bcp, surgery…. those issues can be resolved if it doesn’t trigger Androgenetic Alopecia in their systems…. I do think there is something to be said for getting off the pill in order to let your body go back to it’s own natural hormonal fluctuations. I am not trying to be negative, just realistic. I am certainly jealous of you – and happy for you too!

lori September 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm

i lost my hair due to hormone imbalance. It was after having ovary removed in 2007. Still to this day, hair is coming out due to low female hormones and now the male hormones are the dominate ones(even though they are low too). I think my hormones were low to begin with.
Now that i take estrogen and progesterone.(natural hormones)..it’s getting better.
I think all the above causes AGA to be honest. It doesn’t always have to “JUST” be genetics to bring on AGA.

Jessica September 14, 2009 at 6:53 am

Hi LDK….. I do believe that I have AGA to some degree. Back in 2004 when I started going to dermatologists to figure out what this was, they took a scalp biopsy and said that it was AGA due to miniaturization. Also, when I’m going through a shed, I shed those horrible AGA hairs – the clear wiry looking kind that are real wispy. When I was given my scalp biopsy results, I didn’t want to believe them because my experience with doctors & hair loss had been so disappointing. Doctors didn’t seem to know anything more than i did, especially dermatologists. I think that it’s possible to have more than one issue going on at the same time. It’s not just that you have AGA or just Telogen Effluvium, it can be both. Like I said, I don’t have tons of hair, it is by no means thick, and I’ve got thin spots that I will probably always have. I have just learned to live with less hair and do the most with it. There were times when I was in the thick of massive shedding that my hair was not wearable. I had to have extensions or constantly wear a ponytail. Now, I can wear it down or up and it looks fine…. not thick, but absolutely normal and fine. For me, that is enough and it gives me hope that maybe some of my healthier hair will keep growing….:) Being able to not feel embarassed is good enough for me at this point!

jw September 18, 2009 at 8:22 am

I am 22 years old and have recently been dealing with hair loss due to being on NuvaRing. Reading your story and others on the web has me in tears right now. I stopped NuvaRing two days ago in hopes my body will get “back to normal” (the opposite of what your were experiencing, it sounds like), but results with that, at least online, sound to be very mixed. I’m extremely nervous. For the last few months, my hair has been coming out in handfuls at a time, it covers my clothes and pillows. I’m afraid to brush/style it, and even wash it. I hope both your horror story and mine both have happy resolutions.

Christina September 21, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I am 21 and I have two children a 2 year old and a 1 year old. I have been experiencing sever hair loss since I had my second child. I was on Mirena but after 6 months of loosing my hair I decided to have it removed. I am now on the pill and still loosing handfuls of hair at a time. I can now look in the mirror and see my scalp on the crown of my head easily. I am stopping my birth control. I’m so depressed about loosing my hair. I go to the doctor wednesday hopefully they will figure something out. I’m very glad that your hair is coming back. Hair loss was the very last thing on my mind at age 21 but for me now it’s reality!

Honey September 28, 2009 at 11:06 am

Im kind of confused.
My hair loss has been because of coming off the birth control pill too( now im sure after reading your story).
I also noticed i got dandruff all of sudden also. So now my hair comes off in hand fulls at a time!
my question is, i got dandruff because of coming off the pill?
and can AGA be helped in the case of coming off the pill?

Annie September 29, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Wow!
Your story is amazing, but I gotta ask…
I’ve been using Nioxin for just over two weeks and am getting really scared with the number of hairs I find in the drain EVERY shower. I stopped using it just a few days ago because I can’t take how much I’ve lost in just two weeks (I’ve gone from NOT noticeably thinning to obviously balding – again, in two weeks). Can you detail you experience with this product?
please?
thanks,
Annie

Chameika October 4, 2009 at 10:10 am

Hi Jessica,
Thanks for your story. I just recently came out of a deep depression with my hairloss. I have been losing my hair for the past 5 years. I think my hairloss initiated when I switched up my birth control pills. I was on Ortho Tricyclen for about six years. Switched to the Nuva ring, then to Seasonel, then to Triphasil then to Yaz. All my switching happened over a 3 year period. What I later found out through extensive research on my own. Is Nuva ring, Seasonel and Triphasil androgen index are high. Thus explaining why being on Ortho Tri cyclen I never had a problem with acne nor hairloss. Now as for Yaz, yes it is a androgen friendly pill, but I had a lot of chin acne and my mood swings where horrible. This pill was not for me. Yaz was the last pill I was on 2 years ago. My hailoss stopped for 4 months exactly then it came back with avengance. I was not on any birth control pills for 18 months during that time the hairloss slowed down and got worse. I got pregnant and during my pregnancy, I did not experience any hairloss maybe 1 strain every other day. 7 weeks post partum my hair began falling out in clumps. It has been 2 months and it continues to fall out. I see scalp in the mirror. Also something disturbing I have noticed. I am starting to recede, which didn’t happen before. It’s like it has gotten worse and I am not sure if it will get better. It is a true fact your body does crave the extra estrogen you give it. And birth control pills in particular can activate AGA.
thanks, chameika

Holly October 4, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Hi Ladies! My name is Holly and I came across this site a few days ago. I wanted to let all of you know that after reading your comments and stories, I feel better. I am no longer embarassed about what am going through and in fact decided to take some action and see what options I have. I have not been formally diagnosed with any particular deficiency, hormonal imbalance, auto immune disorder or anything, but am siffering greatly from hairloss. In the past few months I have lost more hair than I thought I even had. I have some interesting info for those of you also begining to have hair loss or thinning. While doing some research into rogaine and provillus and products like it, I came across a girl who recommended a natural shampoo. Well after doing more research I decided to go with Jasons thin to thick biotin shampoo and conditioner. I have also been taking several different vitamins and watching my nutrition. I am EXTATIC to report that my hair has stopped coming out by the handfuls!! I dont know if anyone here has actually counted the strands they’ve lost but I have. Today in the shower, for the first time in monhts I did not lose clumps of hair, in fact I only counted 30. I was amazed, I kept running my fingers throuhg and waiting to be disapointed and have a handful of hair fall off, but it didnt. I just kept saying 30… only 30 holy cow… I lose more than that just by playing with my hair or running my hands through it. I would not say my hair is “thicker” but it is not as patchy when wet, it definatly has a little more volume to help cover the spots where the scalp is really noticable. I hope that I continue to have progress. I am tracking the results weekly with pictures and if I do have any significant change I will definately let everyone here know! Just reading your stories has given me alot of hope and courage not to be afraid of what may come. I thank eacha nd everyone of you who have been brave enough to take part in this website

Thank you
Holly

Tara October 18, 2009 at 11:47 am

My story is a very positive one – perfect for those who are starting to give up hope. I went on the pill at age 17 with very very thick hair. It started coming out/shedding at a higher rate, though not horribly, and the thinness of it was actually preferable at first as my super-thick hair was unmanageable. Of course, over the years, the hair became thinner and thinner until I could see through it to my scalp. I never associated my thin hair with the pill – didn’t even know it was a side effect.

Ten months ago, I went off the pill (Loestrin) and my hair started coming out even faster – large amounts all day, in the shower, and on my hairbrush. My husband finally broke down and told me he was worried about my balding. I freaked out, went on Rogaine (which only made it worse and was pointless as my body was reacting to the lack of estrogen), and finally found this site. This site helped me so much! I was seriously depressed and anxious about my hair.

Well, ten months after stopping the pill (I’m not using Rogaine anymore, btw), my hair is growing in – and VERY thick! I have a whole layer growing in that’s all the same length – the part near my hairline could work as bangs! All it took was going off the pill, suffering the “dread-shed”, and hanging in there.

All I can say to anyone who has lost their hair from being on the pill is: go off the pill, use fillers (Topik is great), hats, extensions if necessary to get through the dread-shed, and you will be rewarded with HAIR. Just hang in there, use this great site for support, and you will get through this. DO NOT go back on the pill – you’re too sensitive to the the hormones, or you wouldn’t lose your hair in the first place. Use something else that’s non-hormonal for birth control and have a full head of hair. If I could go back in time, I would’ve done this years ago. My hair is gorgeous, at long last!

Lisa October 21, 2009 at 11:54 pm

3 months ago I stopped taking my BC Ortho Tricyclene. Little did I know 3 months later I would experiece hair loss in clumps. It has been a month, and I am now back on it. Will it grow back? Or just stop for that matter?????

Samantha October 30, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Hello All, I too have been experiencing hair loss for over two years. I’ve been to many doctors who all tell me the samething , “it’s stress”. I’ve had blood work done and nothing seems to be off balanced. I have to say it gets very stressful at times when you know something is wrong with yourself and nobody can give you an answer. I started to go back in time and think about what I did differently over two years ago and it finally clicked! I was one Orthro TriCyclen low since I was 16 years old and me and my husband at the time decided we wanted to try for a baby. This is when my hair began to slowly come out. I first noticed a small bald spot on the back of my head. It wasn’t until 2 months ago when I really started to notice. I feel like I can never wear my hair down. My hair is always up. After reading many of your stories it has given me hope to hang in there. I did recently start taking Yasmin in hope that this will help my hair grow back. I just want to do everything one step at a time. I wish you all the best of luck. We have to hang in there! :)

Samantha October 30, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I forgot to mention I’m 24, not 16. But was on the pill for about 6 years.

kat November 2, 2009 at 3:42 am

What should i do if my doctor thinks going on the pill is a good idea because of the estrogen in it also i read that Yasmin has something in it that’s suppose to be equal to 25mg of Spironolactone..(i read that on Dr. Redmonds site) Ive never been on any birth control or medication so would trying this out make my HL worse?
Thanks xoxo

Kasey November 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm

I am so glad I found this site. I have had Hashimotos Disease (thyroid/ autoimmune disease) for about 15 years…yet the disease NEVER affected my hair…it has always been thick and shiny. I do have a progesterone deficiency and so I took bio identical hormones for that and hair was still fine. For 2 months now I have been on Femcon (first time EVER taking birth control) and my hair is falling out BIG time…should I stop taking the pill? All my doctors ( I have 3 of them, 2 doctors for the Hashimotos and my Gyno) say its not the pill but my thyroid disease…but it just seems like too much of a coincidence that I have had the thyroid problem for so long and never had hair problems….now all of a sudden I go on BC and im getting noticeably thinner. I guess I can just go off them now before its too late…but what can I use for BC besides condoms? Im so torn, I dont want to get pregnant…but I dont want to lose my hair!!!

Carol November 14, 2009 at 7:11 am

Anyone go through peri-menopause and started losing your hair?
What is the solution to hair loss in DHT sensitive women? I am on bio-identical to get this under control. I ordered Hair Essentials supplement because I heard it helps hair loss. The HRT is causing my thyroid top fluctuate and more brittle hair although sometimes I feel releif on it.
My ovaries are failing and so is my hair. I really am trying to get a ggrip because i also have burning scalp syndrome. It is absolute torture.
I was fine for nine years until peri hit. It’s hell on earth.

Traci November 16, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Hello, My name is Traci I’m 26 and suffering from hair loss. I don’t no what caused my hair loss. I got married 2 months ago sooo maybe stress. I stopped taking birth control about a year ago. I’m always cold skin is dry my Low Thyriod? My hair has always been thin, so Genetics Im sure, but it seems to be getting thinner. I’m so fed up with my hair. I just want to look sexy and feminine! Does anybody got any suggestions?

Christine November 18, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Traci, are you more tired/fatigued than usual? If so, your hair loss might have something to do with adrenal fatigue. Doctors don’t buy it but I noticed sudden hair loss around the time I was experiencing severe fatigue. Once I slept more and felt a bit less stressed I was shedding less hair. You need to take care of yourself, if this is the case. Sleep lots, drink lots of water, exercise for better circulation, practice deep-breathing, take biotin and vitamin B complex or brewer’s yeast (it’s much cheaper and contains certain B vitamins missing in most vitamin B complexes sold commercially) and lastly change your diet by avoiding meats, oils, preservatives, etc, and add more leafy greens to your diet. Something you might want to consider is a hair analysis for minerals and heavy elements. If your hair loss is caused by mineral deficiency, then proper mineral intake should help. Often people are deficient in manganese, zinc, and selenium. For some copper. And switch over to chemical free shampoo. There are lots out there. There are also internet sites that provide hair analysis. I’ve seen one or two that claims to identify from the analysis the source of hair loss? It’s something you might want to check out. I am considering getting it done for myself.

Christine

Stephanie November 18, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I’ve read through everyone’s comments and my situation is a little different. I’ve always had very oily skin and hair (genetics) and have some excess hair growth on my chin/neck. I recently had bloodwork done which showed high DHEAS levels (androgens). Back in 2006, I was on birth control for a 6 month period but didn’t notice any changes. In the past year or so, I’ve noticed my hair getting thinner and patchy spots in the crown. I feel like I’m using a large amount of hair and my doctor told me to try going back on birth control but not sure if I should. I’m worried that I’ll lose more hair or disturb my hormone levels even more. Could being on he pill back in 2006 be causing my hair loss now? Or am I maybe just going through some weird hormonal cycle? Any advice would be great. I’m also thinking of maybe taking some vitamins to try and see if that will help and I recently started adding flaxseed to my diet.

Gus November 19, 2009 at 1:05 am

Hi,
I want to thank your post, and wish you all the best luck for your hair loss problems!
My wife has a hair loss problem for a long time (maybe since she was 18), she’s now 27, and she believes her hair is better nowadays, she started to take the pill at 24, but she always made the biggest effort to fight and understand the root of the problem, so since I know, her she takes vitamins, a spray lotion named “Minocalve” and goes to the dermatologist 3 times a year to do cryotherapy, which burns your scalp with liquid nitrogen at-196ºC. For what it takes to me, her hair is perfect, although it’s thin, but perfectly controlled. We’re now thinking of having a baby, and she is afraid stop having the pill (Belara), because she tells me her hair is better after taking the pill. But, obviously it’s inevitable stop taking it, and I’m encouraging her to never take it again (after the baby), because after taking the pill, her libido decreased, and affected our sexual life. I don’t won’t to sound selfish, I’ve always tried to ignore the side effects, but after reading this post I believe that it’s worth it to go throw less better times and recover after some time by your own organism.

Celeste November 25, 2009 at 7:03 am

Hi, I’m Celeste and I’m 34 years old. My hair loss began a little over a year ago. I have always had thick hair that I always got compliments on. I have never been on any BCP because they always made me sick. Anyway, it just started coming out in wads. I went to a derm who said that my ferritin was low(29), so I took Repliva for 3 weeks and just like that , it went back to normal. I blew it off as some freak thing and went on with my life. Six months later, it starts coming out again, so I start on Repliva again. It gets not better. I go back to the derm and my ferritin is at 48, after being on Repliva for 3 months. She sends me to a hemotologist. All he does is monitor my ferritin level. This past week he checked and my ferritin had jumped to 92, but I am seeing NO improvement in my hair loss. My hair dresser seems to think it’s somehow hormonal related. All my hormone test have come back fine and I’m considering going on Yaz, to see if it will help. I am desperate and it is really affecting my entire life. Not looking forward to the holidays, but trying to paint a smile on for my two beautiful children. I’m also taking Replive, with lysine and orange juice, a daily multi-vitamin, biotin, fish oil, b12, and Zinc.

Any suggestions?

carson November 28, 2009 at 11:47 pm

DO NOT USE YAZ!!!! I am 46 years old, went on YAZ about one year and a half ago to control the sebaceous glands on my face. Had acne that was worse than anything i had at 14. The acne cleared up immediately and I thought everything was fine. This past July my doctor advised that my white blood cell count was off the stratsophere. After calming down I realized the only thing I did within the last year and a half was start using Yaz. I stopped. Some four months later my hair has broken off , just inside the middle area of my head. For some reason I have been blessed and have hair all around the crown, but only new growth in the middle. I went to a herbalist who advised that I also have an overabundance of sebum in my scalp, and the hormone imbalance is causing the hair loss. She made me a vitality tea and I have been drinking it for just about a month. My skin is almost flawless. I am hoping my hormones are also adjusting and until finding this site, was in a state of panic about my hair. DO NOT TAKE YAZ or YASMIN, the side effects are not good and if you do internet research, there are many lawyers who are collecting information to bring a class action lawsuit. REading these stories has calmed my nerves about what is going on. I am, however looking for a doctor who can give me a hair analysis. FYI, the herbalist recommended hemp oil around the thinning areas. I also use hemp shampoo and conditioner, when shampooing my hair I leave it on for about one half hour before rinsing it. Thank you all for sharing your stories, and I hope my experiences will be as helpful to others as yours have been to me.

tara December 21, 2009 at 8:49 pm

hey, i am 22 years old and was on yasmine for 7 months 4 months in i developed AA and suffered from 8 bald spots on my scalp one large hard to hide and the rest small and spread out. i stopped taking the pill as soon as i put 2 and 2 together and now my 8 spots have trickled down to 2 . i think personally its mother natures way of telling us not to mess with our bodies! worst part of all is that im a hair stylist and it was very difficult to go to work everyday and deal with women who have long thick beautiful hair ! i cried every night and wore extentions , people would ask me if i had cancer and that would make me feel even worse and even more vain.im still very insecure about my hair… and when people crack jokes in lude of comic relif i laugh along with them but when im alone i stare in the mirror and cry>

Hannah December 23, 2009 at 8:06 am

Thank you so much! Reading your story makes me feel as if im not alone. When I was 17 took Tri-Sprentic for a year due to horrible periods that caused em to miss school. All was well when I took the pill and after a year of taking it I decided to get off it. A month after stopping my use of the bill my hair started falling out and breaking off! My mother and everyone told me it was due to stress but I knew they were wrong. I went to my hair dresser and she put me on Nioxin thin and fine hair. I havent really seen any change from using this product but I have only used it for about a month. Also after three months of hair loss I finally realized that maybe it was due to going off the pill. I went to my doctor and she put me back on the pill. Im so confused Im 18 and im going bald! I used to have gorgeous curly brown baby-fine hair and now its dry breaking and extremely thin :(

Vanessa December 29, 2009 at 5:43 am

Tara~
I feel for you! I am almost 30yrs old and my boyfriend just pointed out last night how extremely thin my hair is getting. I myself am a hairstylist as well. I have always had very fine hair, but used to have alot more of it. I’m trying to figure out when my hair started getting so thin and I feel like its been the past couple of years. It is so thin now that I wear clip-in extensions, and in some spots you can see my scalp. The hair on the sides of my head are especially thin. I eat a very healthy diet and take vitamins, I dont smoke and I work out. I cannot begin to understand why this is happening to me! I’ve been in tears over it because I’m afraid something could be very wrong with my body. All of the women in my family have TONS of hair. After reading alot of these postings, I am wondering if my hair loss could also be connected to the pill. My boyfriend finds my hairs all over the place, and being a hairstylist, I take extremely good care of my hair. At first I thought maybe my hair was just breaking off from the chemicals, but I have not had any bleach in my hair for over a year now and my hair is still getting thinner. I have been on birth control since I was 20 (almost 10yrs now) but was on ortho-tri-cyclen and switched to yaz for a year and now have been on yasmin for the last year. I dont know how strong of a connection it could be, but it has been 2yrs that i’ve been on yas/yasmin and about the same amount of time that my hair has been getting thinner. If anyone has any more information about the connection between hairloss and birth control…especially yaz/yasmin, please let me know! Some of the posts say it helped their hair, others say it made hair loss worse! My ob/gyn seems to think there is no connection and that its safe but the more I read the more concerned I get!

Celeste January 19, 2010 at 7:27 am

Ladies,
Another thing, like I said before I am not on any BC and never have been, but the last several months I’m spotting between my periods. It makes me thing this has to be hormonal related, but nothing is showing up on my tests. I have the Yaz in the cabinet, but am scared to try it. I see my hemotologist again in February. It is so frustrating to think that I’ve lost the thing that I liked the most about myself. Something that I have found to be helpful is to stop counting hairs. I’ve found that if you stop counting you stress less and can move on a little easier. Anyone have any ideas on what could be up with me?

Cassie January 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

Hi Everyone!
I have suffered with hairloss after taking Yasmin for the past 4-5 years. I did stop for a few months in 2007 which seemed to trigger my hairloss. I initially didn’t notice this and when I did back in 2008 didn’t associate it with Yasmin. Well it’s January 2010 and I stopped Yasmin in October 2009. At the moment I’m sure I’m enetering the dread shed! :-( The only thing getting me through it is that a lot of the research I have come across seems to suggest that my hair will get better eventually! I’m currently keeping notes of everthing so I can look back and help others! I’ve also been taking photographs which I hope will show improvement in the not so distant future. I’ll come back when I have more information and hopefully more hair! 😀 x

so tired of this January 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Stephanie- not sure if you check this anymore but my doctor also said my DHEAS levels were high (I’ve always had extremely oily skin and hair as well). I was on ortho tri cyclin for 8 years. Never had any hair loss until about a year after I stopped taking it I noticed more hair falling out in the shower and when I combed it when it was wet. Not the clumps that some other people describe- but this has been going on since August and no new hairs are growing so it is finally starting to get thin on top (I had fairly thick hair to begin with). My derm, endo and gyno told me to go back on ortho since they found no other cause for the high DHEAS level. I’ve been on it for three weeks and haven’t noticed a difference yet. Has anyone else had an issue with their DHEAS level? Not sure if the birth control caused this or not- but like so many other women I was looking for a quick fix so I went back on it immediately. I also just started using apple cidar vigar rinse and ordered that Jason’s shampoo so I’m hoping I have some success- have those products worked for anyone?

I definitely agree with the earlier post about not counting the hairs. Like all of you I’m sure, taking a shower and combing out my hair after is such a stressful time. I pray before I run my comb through that I won’t see all the hairs fall out- and I’m constantly checking the shower walls to see if there is hair on them. All this stress definitely does not help the problem! I’m really going to try to stop doing this- stressing about it doesn’t stop the hair from falling so why bother!

Ann February 4, 2010 at 11:19 am

About 2 years ago I went on birth control for the first time -Yaz. My hair has always been super thick and about 6-8 months in – I noticed my hair not feeling the same. It would feel greasy and not right even after a shower. Over a year in, I noticed my hair had thinned significantly along with the texture (same greasy feeling). I never realized that the pill had anything to do with this, but now I’m convinced that Yaz had caused the thinning. I’m wondering why this happened to me since I’ve read that Yaz is very “hair friendly.” Anyway, I went off the pill on October 18th 2009 and am experiencing the dread shed now just like you Cassie. I’m wondering how long before the shedding will stop? I have read this is a waiting game and it will eventually grow back – I just hope it is sooner than later because my hair is already very noticeably thin. Hopefully I can get my hair back to where it was 2 years ago before starting Yaz.

Carmen February 4, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Part of me wanted to stop reading all the postings because it gave me a feeling of dread and denial was so much more comfortable even for fleeting moments . But I kept reading and some gave me hope, some gave me answers and some made me laugh as i recognized myself in the obsessing of hairloss. I have thinning areas at the temples and in the fringe and back of the crown but no bald spots. I noticed thining in my early 40’s but could not find any reason why as all the tests for blood, hormones, and tyroid were normal. I had a poor diet, high in fat and sugar, lots of stress and a genetic predisposition as my mother and grandmother thinned over the years. I, unlike many of you, went on the pill, yasmin to correct the prolem diagnosed from a hairpull by a dermatologist, as male pattern hairloss. Problem is I went very aggressive. I went on yasmin, used minoxidil, added supplements such as flax seeds, oils, b12, nizoral shampoo, decreased my sugar intake and made a conscious effort to stop fretting and counting shedding hairs. I started this regimen in Aug 07 and by April 09, put hairloss worries behind me as my hair was fuller, stronger and had a lot of new growth. I switched to yas in May 09 with continued positive hair results until Jan 10. Now, it is shedding again and thinning and I’ve fallen off the wagon and counting the “fallen” again. I am back on the computer researching, and back to the doctor for blood tests. Joy. I have no idea what is going on as this new wave of shedding is 8 mos after switching from yasmin to yas. Debating going back to yasmin??!!

Robin February 7, 2010 at 11:11 am

I searched and searched the internet to try to find up-to-date stories about my losing my hair after I stopped the birth control pill, loestrin (which they had put me on because of my low bone density). I was getting very depressed because all of the stories about hair loss after birth control were old… even stories back as far as 2004. I wanted to hear some of today’s stories, so thank you for posting this update.

I’m 33 years old; I went off the pill in September 2009 and have been losing my hair for the past two months. Like many, my hair dresser alerted me to the seriousness (something I was choosing to ignore). I have then hair anyway and was searching the internet to try to get an idea of HOW LONG this hair loss happens. It seems to vary for different people, but if anyone has encouraging stories, please let me know. I’d love to hear stories like “It only lasted a few months, and then my hair grew back fuller and healthier than ever!” Anyone??

Cassie February 8, 2010 at 7:19 am

Ann/Robin
I’ve researched this quite a lot and from what I have found out it seems the dread shred starts approximately 3-6 months after stopping the pill and can last for 6-12 months apparently. I’m not sure how accurate this is as you don’t seem to find any stories from women after their hair has grown back. I’m just hoping that this time next year I have my hair back! :-) I think we’ve all got our fingers crossed for this!

Cassie February 8, 2010 at 7:19 am

Ann/Robin
I’ve researched this quite a lot and from what I have found out it seems the dread shred starts approximately 3-6 months after stopping the pill and can last for 6-12 months apparently. I’m not sure how accurate this is as you don’t seem to find any stories from women after their hair has grown back. I’m just hoping that this time next year I have my hair back! :-) I think we’ve all got our fingers crossed for this!

Heather J. February 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Wow, I would have to say that reading about everyones elses struggles certainly makes me feel less alone. I am 22 years old and had been on birth control for about 4 years. About a year ago, I decided I wanted to stop taking the pill because I felt that it made me a little bit more emotional than I normally was. Although I did want to go off of BC (I was on othro tri cylen low), I generally responded very well to it- I just had this feeling that it was not good to be on. After talking to my boyfriend about it, we decided that maybe it wasn’t the best move to get off birth control. So I went to the gyno and she put me on nuvaring. I started nuvaring in Feb-March 2009 and loved it. It was a little weird to have a ring in there, but I had a steady boyfriend and he was okay with it. I didn’t really notice any side effects other than being slightly crampy and having much fuller breasts. Later on towards the end of the summer, my mom kept telling me my hair was getting thin. It pissed me off and I would argue that it wasn’t- it had been that way (I had horrible skin as a teen and went on accutane- as a teen I had very thick hair, so losing a little was not that noticable). I insisted that it was from the accutane and began my search/obsession with finding a cause for thinning hair. Originallly, I set out to prove to myself that accutane was still affecting my hair. After another month, I started to realize that my mother was right- my hair was definitly thinner. I continued to research my problem, cut my long hair above my shoulders, and made an appointment at a dermotologists office. The first thing my derm asked was if I was taking any medication and I said no just BC. She seemed to not even care that I was 22 and pretty much just told me that women lose their too and well, its a part of life. She began giving me cortisone injections in my scalp. About 2 months later, my constant research brought me to the topic of BC and hairloss. I freaked. I realized that I had really noticed my hair about 5 months after starting a new BC. Could that be it? I was so pissed at the derm for not even thinking twice about BC when I had found so much on the web to link the two. I kept looking on the internet both to prove my theory and to help find a solution. I read on nuvaring’s website that scalp hair loss was a side effect and found out that nuvaring was on webmd’s list of the top four birth controls that cause hair loss. I took the nuvaring out despite claims that stopping it would make it worse because I thought that it would probably work itself out if I stopped more than continuing on a cycle of birth control. After I stopped BC, I started to take this stuff called Nuhair because I was desperate to help it in some way. I read about it online and it contain a chinese root that was suppose to really help hair grow. I did not use the whole regimen because I was afraid to start a hairloss regimin that was for male pattern baldness if my problem was not that. Anyway I took the nuhair pills for about 3-4 months. I started to wean myself off because my derm (I started seeing a different lady who was much more responsive) said it probably was not smart to continue (the chinese root- he shou wo is said to be photoestrogenic) because again it would affect my hormones. So now I have been taking a mulitivitamin, a hair, skin, and nails vitamin, and boitin for probaly about 2 months now. It is really hard to tell if anything is helping, but I am defintly not losing my hair like I used to. It is still a huge issue for me though because of all the hair i did lose. I do not have any bald spots necessarily, but the back crown of my head definitly suffered the most loss. I use toppik and it works like magic, but I just hate having to use it everyday to conceal my problem. I wonder what I will do when summer comes around because right now- I cannot let ppl see me with my hair wet. Even though my situation is still bad to me, about 3 weeks ago I realized I had little hairs sprouting out all over my head at different lengths. Some hairs are about 2 inches while others are about 1 centimeter. My baby hairs too keep growing to the point where they look pretty funny. I was imediatelty relieved when i first noticed my hair coming in, however it is still bad to me. I keep telling myself that the short hairs that are growing in now are probably from the first hairs that fell out, so all the hairs that fell out later have just yet to grow in. I truly hope my theory is correct, that it was nuvaring, however I have a feeling that using that nuhair stuff probably interferred with the process. I use thicker, fuller hair products and toppik and it really seems to allow me to hide it, but my ponytail is rather thin so I always wear it in a low bun or claw clip. The vitiamins defintly make my hair grow pretty fast though so I am praying that it will all return to normal in a year. I may have to keep cutting my hair so it is less noticable when I wear it down, but really this whole situation really just took a toll on me. It is devasting as a female to lose hair, especially because no one seems to know anything about it. Even to this date my derm does not want to say it was the birth control, but for the last year I had to be my own advocate. If it weren’t for my obession and devastation, I probably would have never linked my hair loss to nuvaring and probably would have been bald. Like everyone has said before, I will make sure I continue to update everyone on my hair situation. Good luck to everyone as well, you are not alone.

Cassie February 18, 2010 at 7:58 am

Is anyone else suffering with terrible painful spots that just won’t shift? :-(

Cassie February 18, 2010 at 7:58 am

Is anyone else suffering with terrible painful spots that just won’t shift? :-(

Lou March 5, 2010 at 7:56 am

I have been on this website many times over the last 6 months and have found so much reassurance just from knowing that there are so many other people out there who are having a tough time of it with hair shedding.
My shedding started about 6 months ago and as I have had several triggers during that time, it just keeps on going! The most recent of which was stopping taking Yasmin around 3.5 months ago.
I have consulted just about everybody about why this is happening and whether there is anything that I can do to try and stop it and have learnt so much about hair during that time!
If it had just been the hair shedding I think I would have coped a bit better but with it I have had the awful burning scalp syndrome, hair which was painful to touch and terrible dandruff!
I was recently referred to a dermatologist who specialises in the scalp and hair issues who was so understanding and incredibly helpful. I had a whole raft of blood tests done including iron, ferritin, hormones etc etc and absolutely everything came back as being good. The hair biopsy showed that I have more hairs than usual in the telogen stage – which obviously explains the shedding. It doesn’t appear to have triggered AGA though, fingers crossed anyway.
The dermatologist was brilliant and reassured me that this will stop but that it will just take a bit of time. His advice was to make sure I have a balanced diet which is high in protein given that this is essentially what hair is as this will help with the regrowth.
I am 6 months into this and at times I have felt utterly depressed about the whole thing. My husband and family have been brilliant, so supportive, but no one really understands just how having big chunks of hair come out actually makes you feel. It’s not that I’m vain but I just like to always look well presented and when you’re constantly picking hair off your shoulders, it makes you feel a mess.
I do believe that one day this will stop and until then I’m trying my hardest to focus on all the other things that life has going for it. The dermatologist recommended that I should go and speak to someone about this who might be able to help me deal with it a little better and after much denying that I needed help, I think I do. That starts next week.
I’m trying to be positive and although some days it is easier than others, I do believe that this is just a temporary thing. I’m trying my hardest not to sit and count hairs or get upset when I find them all over the house as I know that that won’t help the recovery. I do think that the shedding might be showing some signs of improving although I’m not getting my hopes up just yet.
I have been warned that as telogen effluvium has struck once, it might well be my achilles heel but hopefully next time it strikes, I’ll be stronger and able to deal with it a bit better.
Anyway, that’s my story. For those of you going through this, a few tips. Try and find a sympathetic dermatologist, make sure you eat well and take care of your body – any neglect will only impact upon your regrowth, and try and stay calm – I started reflexology which helped so much with my relaxation. Just know you’re not alone and that there are so many others out there going through the same thing.
If this does eventually let up, I’ll let you all know.
Sorry for the long post!

jemz March 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Thank you for your story and your encouragement. My story is similar in that my hair regrew when I was pregnant but when my son was 5 months old… it started shedding. I hoped it would just be post baby shedding but it was more than that. I noticed that I would get sores in my head and they would bulge and burst. When they burst, my hair came out in clumps at the site of the sore. It was pretty gross. I was so depressed so it worsened the post baby depression. I did some research online and saw similar pictures of what my scalp looked like. I finally went to the dermatologist and she said it was folliculitus. No real diagnosis as far as I was concerned. So now I’m on a regimen of topical antibiotics and penicillin. It’s been 2 months and the swelling and sores are gone. My followup visit is this week. I’m anxious to see what the doctor says as the next course of action.

I am hopeful.

Bianca March 24, 2010 at 3:48 am

Hey guys. As the rest of you, I am also very greatfull to have come across this website and comments. I have been on the pill for 6 years now. I am now turning 24. In the last 4 years more or less I have notices extreme hairloss. I had very thick hair before I started using the pill (Janette). So I also started to do some research and realised that the pill is the only thing that could be the cause of my hairloss, as I have never been ill or had to use any other pills. Anyway, I have started using “amla oil” and it seems it really stops the hairloss. I am using it about 2weeks now and have also stopped using the pill, and my hear feels great. I don’t really see new hair yet, but I hope to see a difference within the next 6 months. The only thing that scares me, is that, in alot of the previous comments the ladies are losing more hare after stopping the pill. My hair is nearly 1/4 than it was 6 years ago, so I really do not want to lose any more hair!!! The amla oil stops the hairloss, but it has a terrible smell! lol. I am also planning to buy prozana pills which helped me in the past to grow my hair longer… anyway, I just also wanted to share my story and want to say good luck to all of you! I really hope we can all beat this terrible situation we are in. I get so jelous of all the girls having full and thick hair that it makes me angry, but I try to keep it to myself lol. Anyway, I will also keep you up to date with my problem and progress!

Amy March 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Feeling a bit of relief and quite tearful while reading this.
Totally confused about what to do. I went off Yasmin about 3 months ago, I was orginally on it for bad skin. For a while I thought I was on to a good thing but then the breakouts came back with avengence. At the same time I was experiencing massive hair loss but I put that down to a silly straightening treatment that I had in December.
Having just lookied in the mirror and seen a huge bald spot, I jumped on my laptop and found this website. Now I am freaking out.
I saw a Naturopath for my skin and told her I was going to go back on the pill because I was too self-concious (I’m 29 and work in sales). She told me to sit it out and at that time I still didnt think my hair was relevant and forgot to mention it, despite the fact its been coming out in clumps for the last 2 months!
I went back on the pill 5 days ago and now I’m not sure what do to, do I go back off, ride it out and see what happens but as well as the hair loss I’ll face bad skin or see if it stops coming out now I’m back on the pill??
If anyone has advice, I’d greatly apprecaite it. I’m not in a relationship at the moment so not concerned with contreception.

KVC March 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Amy,
I am sorry this is happening to you, the first few months of realization are the hardest. Hopefully your hair loss is not permanent and take assurance in the fact that it is so recent – there is a full chance that you can regain your hair.

I have so many questions, all of which stem from “I went off Yasmin 3 months ago”.
– How long were you on Yasmin? Have you battled acne since you hit puberty, or has it been a more recent thing?
– The acne came back with a vengeance immediately after quitting the pill? Or a few months after? What about the hair loss?
– Have you ever tested for PCOS at the gynecologist (i.e. a transvaginal ultrasound which checks for cysts on your ovaries)? I came off the pill about a year ago, also an anti-androgenic one like Yasmin. It had masked all my symptoms of PCOS for so many years, which is why once I came off it, the cysts began forming. Of course, the first few months of acne and hair loss I wrote off as “me just getting adjusted to being off the pill”. But it kept persisting so I was told to do get my hormonal panel tested. It came back with extremely elevated testosterone, which led me to my gynocologist. She did a scan of my ovaries and found cysts, which in turn produce testosterone, which in turn causes hair loss/acne. Often when I hear about girls who suffer both at the same time, I am inclined to say that there is a hormonal basis for the hair loss, rather than it being just a genetic thing. This is relatively good news, because there are a few more options for treatment than the usual Minoxidil.

I think you would immensely benefit from a hormonal check up. By this I mean a blood test which measures: testosterone, free testosterone, androgens, DHEA, and SHBG, estrogen, LH and FSH. If any of these come up elevated, especially the testosterone/androgen levels, both an endocrinologist and a gynecologist could together give you insight on what can be done.

If these all turn out fine, one of the following could be an explanation:
1) Your body is reeling from the shock of having to do the work itself i.e. control your estrogen-androgen balance. This is causing a huge but temporary shed – just shock loss. It’s called Telogen Effluvium and is triggered by a variety of things, from stressful events to bodily shocks, like coming off the pill.
2 ) If it goes on for more than 4-5 months without any regrowth, it is deeper than telogen effluvium. It might be the case that the Yasmin has triggered Androgenic Alopecia. I’ve read this for a lot of women on the website – please go to the “birth control pill” hyperlink and you will read a lot of experiences relating to yours. Do you have any genetic tendencies towards thinning? If so, at what age did these relatives begin their hair loss?

Amy, when I went off the pill last May, I did not know what I was in for. So many times was I tempted to hop back on it and erase away my pains, but I am glad I did not. Simply because it allowed me to get to the root of my problems. By this I mean that all the tests you run, blood work, ovarian ultrasounds etc, will be entirely futile if you are on the pill. Your results will be skewed and you will be stuck on the pill forever, out of fear of what would happen if you were to quit it.

It might just be, that after all your tests come back, the doctors suggest that continuing the pill might be the best option for you. For me, they found out that a mild case of insulin-resistance (prediabetes) was causing the cysts, which was causing the hair loss. Mind you, I am perfectly normal weight and have no other health issues – I would have never suspected this was the root of all my troubles. So anyways, they have put me on diabetes medication (which isn’t nearly as hardcore as it sounds), which has the unintended effect of reducing acne and hair loss-causing testosterone. I am hopeful and slightly relieved that I did not have to succumb to a lifelong dependency on birth control.

Good luck with it and please stay strong. It is devastating, but if you fight this early on, you will be thankful.
Ask me any questions you might have.

Amy March 28, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Hi
Thanks so much for your email.
I didnt really give many details did I?
I’ve had a problem with acne since puberty, always been on a pill for skin and was on Yasmin for a number of years, how long exactly I forget, around 3-4. The first month off it my skin seemed fine, now its the worst its been for years, mostly chin although also a little on the nose and cheeks (never had it there before). My hair loss started about 2 months ago and in the last month its been getting worse and worse.
I’ve never had any tests done, although I did have some pre-cancerous cells discovered last year and have since had the lazer operation (all sucessful), perhaps they would have potentially uncovered something then?
I also had an ultrasound due to immesnse stomach pains about 2 years ago and again nothing showed.
I still feel confused about whether to stay on the pill or not. I’m about to start a cleanse to speed up the process of removing toxins (not a crazy one, just a healthy food option one). My practioner says stay on the pill now, for the first month and that should help my skin.
However, if you feel that tests wont show up accurately maybe I should continue the process I have started. I do feel like I want to fight this and not be tied to the pill for the rest of my life but that vain part of me wants the quick fix.
I was chatting to a friend yesterday, who is also experiencing hair loss and she came off Yasmin last July. She is seeing a specialist this week but that scares me because its been almost a year for her and she says its worse than ever.
I guess moving forward I should make a doctors appointment and get a referal.
I really apprecaite you taking the time to give me such thorough advice.
Amy

KVC March 28, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Amy, you have suffered acne for a very long time now. It is not normal for it to run into your twenties without an underlying cause.

I am very sorry to hear that they found some pre-cancerous cells – where where they? And how did they find them – on accident?

I strongly urge you to get your hormones tested – and the ultrasound you did, was that of your stomach or your ovaries? I am specifically referring to a transvaginal ultrasound at the gynecologist’s office. I am almost certain your gyno and an endocrinologist could give you insight as to what’s going on with your body after coming off the pill. Please look up PCOS and see if you have any more symptoms. It is a “syndrome”, not a disease as such. For example, the most telling sign that one has PCOS is irregular periods (maybe 3 times a month) and acne.

I have almost no acne any more, and have never missed a period in my life. Yet my ovarian scans show little cysts, which produce testosterone, which is killing my hair. So there is really no one set mould for someone who has PCOS – it is just a bunch of symptoms that are caused by too much testosterone being produced in the body.

I do believe Yasmin has triggered, or unmasked a bunch of negative things – like the hair loss, which would not have happened till a bit later, if ever. Some women’s endocrine systems do not ever go back to their pre-pill state and this is the unspoken side effect of the pill that our GP’s fail to tell us.

In my personal opinion, I believe you should stay off the pill in the short run. Every doctor will tell you that you need to be off for at least 3 months for your blood tests to show your “true colors” – obviously everything will come up peachy if you are on a hormonal supplement which is doing all the work for you.
Same goes for the ovarian scans. Our ovaries are absolutely gorgeous when on the pill. Not a single cyst in sight.

Once these tests are done and you get a clear verdict, you can go back on it or follow other courses of action. So yes, please get two referrals: firstly to a gynecologist to check for cysts; then get your bloodwork done (all the male hormones, female hormones, and fasting insulin); then see an endocrinologist with this bloodwork handy.

I promise you will have answers within weeks. Jumping back on the pill is only a temporary band-aid, if even that.

Stay strong. And don’t hesitate to ask any more questions – I have just spent the last 2 months figuring out what is wrong with me post-pill era and don’t want anyone else to around in circles!

KVC March 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Sorry I meant periods sometimes as few as 3 times a year ** for PCOS sufferers. (Also, 10% of women have some degree of PCOS, it isn’t some freak condition! Anyways, have a read up on it.)

Cassie April 8, 2010 at 1:11 am

Hi Everyone!
I’m back again and quite optimistic. :-) My hair looks like it is improving but it is still quite thin just not as noticeable I suppose. My eyebrows are also growing more which is great! I have faith it will grow back as it was prior to all this but I am sure it will take a while as it is still shedding and had been shedding for 3 years prior to coming off Yasmin in October 2009. Hope you’re all seeing improvements too! x

Pilar April 27, 2010 at 10:04 am

Hi Cassie,

Thanks for the update. I went off Yaz in September (I was only on it for 1.5 months) and by end of November I was shedding A LOT of hair. Along with the cessation of the pill, I also had a ferritin level of <5! So I kinda had a double wammy. It’s been 5 months, I’ve been taking vitamins and iron, taking better care of myself and exercising. In the last 2 months I’ve had a lot of re-growth! Some hairs now are 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. The shedding still continues but it seems to have decreased a bit. I’m hoping once my ferritin level reaches 70+ and my hormones adjust, my hair will stop shedding and more re-growth will come in.

Have you noticed any re-growth? And were you losing a lot while on the pill or did the massive shed start once you stopped the pill?

I’ve also noticed recently that my hair looks a lot healthier and softer.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for all of us!

Pilar

Jessica May 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Hi everyone – this is Jessica – the original author of this thread “I will Beat This!” On a whim, I checked back here only to see the comments still going and my heart sank as I realize – this is a problem that the medical community has GOT to take seriously. Look how many of us have had birth control pill related hairloss for one reason or another! And then how many of us go on and off these hormones trying to salvage our hair while throwing our bodies into complete chaos?

I want to give you an update: My daughter is now 1 year old. I went through the terrible shed at 3 months, lost a ton of hair, just like going off the pill, except – this time – it has grown back in a bit thicker. Don’t think that I do not look in the mirror every day and thank God for it. I remember the days of staring in the mirror crying that if I could just have a little hair to work with, I would give up anything. I’d give it all. Anything, to stop the balding girl I saw before me. I’ll never forget the night it first started falling out in fistfuls (at least it was the first time I recognized it). I remember trying to do my hair to go out but it felt so thin. I put it in a ponytail but even then it looked terrible, so I thought. I remember what I wore out that night. That night changed my life. It was then that this journey started, and shortly after that I realized it was connected to the pill, which then sent me back on the pill on and off 4 times. In total, I had been on bcp for 12 years.

Here I am, the girl that the dermatologists told (AFTER SCALP BIOPSIES!!!!) had diffuse thinning and shrinkage of the hair follices. Basically that I could use Rogaine or continue to lose my hair. And here I sit – with a normal head of hair. Definitely not thick, but then again it never was. But it’s normal. No thin spots. No weird wiry vellus hairs, just healthy hair. I have been off bcp since 3 months before I got pregnant and haven’t gotten back on since….. 1 year after my daughter’s birth I have hair like I did when I was 25. I know it’s because my body has finally gotten rid of the hormones that I was unnecessarily feeding it. I am 100% sure of it.

I spent so much of my life obsessing, crying, driving my parents crazy, my husband, everyone….. so much money on extensions to make my hair look normal, so much time on the internet reading and commisserating. Here I am, normal hair.

I know that each person is different. Just because going off the pill permanently was what I needed to do doesn’t mean it is everyone’s solution.

I just feel like I have to share. I remember always posting on boards and blogs… please share positive stories. It seemed like the girls who had success and stopped their shedding or their loss disappeared. And I don’t blame them! They probably started living life again!But I have an obligation to give back because I spent years of my life looking for help. I would have paid a million dollars.

Thank God I wanted to have a child otherwise I would have stayed on the viscious pill cycle forever. It led me to my answer.

I set up a separate email and would be happy to answer any questions about my experience – please feel free to write me.
EMAIL me at:
jessica.hairhelp@gmail.com

I’ll be honest and candid and I’ll let you know exactly what happened with my hair and how long shedding lasted – etc….. I went through 5 cycles of shedding, and one big shed during post partum. I also was diagnosed with alopecia by several doctors. I had extensions, I have done research, I’ve been through years of going through doctors and websites…

Whatever I can do to help I promise I will!

Take Care and stay POSITIVE.

Cassie May 10, 2010 at 2:49 am

Hi Pilar,
I’m so glad you’re seeing improvements too! My hair loss initially started back in 2007, at its worst my parting was very wide and noticeable and as I have a fringe you could easily see my scalp my extremely thin hair. I’ve never had thick hair, it’s naturally quite fine so even a little bit of hair loss was noticeable. At the time I didn’t know what was causing it, at first I thought it was maybe hair products I used and when it didn’t improve when I stopped using hair products and switched to organic hair care I went to see my GP, this was September/October 2008. I had all the usual tests for Iron and Thyroid and also had my B12 checked as we have a family history of Pernicious Anaemia. When my results came back I did indeed have Pernicious Anaemia and put my hair loss down to this. My GP had told me it would take 12-18 months for my hair to fully grow back. A year past and there was still no improvement. I was even taking Vitamins and an Iron supplement to make sure my Iron levels were sufficient and Kelp for my hair growth and nothing. It was shedding like mad and I went back to my GP for help. They did the usual tests and tested my hormone levels. These came back very high as expected because I was Yasmin and still my Doctor could not give me any answers. Shortly after this I started looking into my Yasmin and hair loss and there it was! It was my Pill all along! I couldn’t believe it! I was happy to know what had been causing it but also terrifying to know I had to go through the dread shed and let my hair get even thinner to get it back. It’s been 6.5 months since I stopped Yasmin now and I feel a whole lot better, no more mood swings or anxiety and I have good days and bad days with my hair. ? Some weeks it looks like it’s improving a lot and then other it looks like I’m back to square one. It’s so frustrating! I’ve noticed it seems to get thinner just towards the end of my period and then it starts to look better 1-2 weeks after. I have a lightish brown coloured hair and dye it black so I haven’t noticed a lot of hair growth yet although I think I have new hair near my temples and my eyebrows and eyelashes have certainly thickened up. It’s been 6 weeks since I dyed my hair so hopefully next time I do my colour I will see improvements (fingers crossed). I will keep you updated and let you know! ?

Hi Jessica,
It’s fantastic to hear how your hair has improved. I’m so pleased for you and it makes me more optimistic about my own. It’s true how you don’t hear any success stories after coming off the pill and I used to tell myself it was because their hair had grown back and they had no need to come and post again. It’s great to hear there is light at the end this long and vicious tunnel and I can’t wait to get to it. ?

Cassie

Like May 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Hi Jessica,

I’m writing in hopes of encouragement, I guess. Here’s a summary of my story:

I had my son a little over 2 years ago and feel like my hormones have been crazy since then. I went on the pill after I had him to regulate my periods, and then started noticing my hair was getting lot thinner late last year. I’ve been on Spironolactone, iron supplements, biotin, all the good stuff, for about 8 months. I was still taking birth control pills (Seasonique) until last week. I’ve never done well on the pill, and I usually just feel sick all the time when I’m taking it. So I decided to quit. This has been my first week without taking it, and my shedding is somewhat stable for now. I guess I’m wondering when I should feel the big hit, and how long does it take for your hair to stop shedding from stopping the pill.

Thank you so much for your help!

Michelle May 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Hugs to everyone here,

Here’s a quick overview of my story. I began the BCP when I was 18. I started with Trinorinyl and my hair started falling out within a month. My dr switched me to Ortho Novum. Eventually, my hair loss slowed, and I was able to conceal my hair loss with hair styles. I have tried nearly everything. I am 44 and my hair has not grown back. Last year, my hair began another shedding when I found that I have Hypo Thyroidism. I am now on Levothyroxin 50 mcg. I now use scalp concealing creams and topix, it does an ok job. Now, I have decided to stop taking my BCP and try to let my body re-adjust. I am very fearful. I know I will shed and I am expecting the worst possible scenario. I am hoping that if I stop these substances that my thyroid will return to normal. My family does have female pattern baldness (all of my aunts have very little hair). Of those who participate in this post, had you known the extent of your hairloss before you stopped taking the pill, would you have still stopped? I know we all need to stay positive to move forward, but if you could do it again, would you have stopped?

Anna June 26, 2010 at 3:41 am

Hi I am experiencing alot of hair shedding in the last 6 months, I dont know what is causing it, I have seen a doctor and all of my vitamin and iron levels are within the normal range, I am 20 and have been on the same pill for the last 3 years, and have never changed, apparently it is quite a strong one because i used it originally to get rid of acne. what should i do? stop taking the pill? I have heard that this may lead to an increase in shedding, or should i change to a lower dose pill?
I really want it to stop, its all i can thing about lately.
any advice would be much appreciated
thanks

Mani July 4, 2010 at 1:26 am

hi there, I am experiencing a mass of hair loss currently due to going back on the pill after giving my body a break. I lost a lot of hair a few years ago while on either yasmin or Diane. After being on a break for over 6 months I thought i would try again as Doctors dont seem worried about it. Within one week of being back on Diane I think I have now lost half my hair. I used to have such think hair it was hard to find elsatics to hold it up….. and now I am panicking cause it is so thin I dont think I will have any left in a few weeks. I have gone to a new doctor who thinks I might Alopecia Totalis….but in all honesty I have been severly stressed lately. although the first time this happened I was not stressed at all. I am terrified where this is going and dont feel like I have any time. Any advice? Anything would be helpful.

Thanks! Mani

Pilar July 14, 2010 at 8:05 am

LIKE:

Did your shedding start shortly after you started the pill? How soon after your had your son did you begin taking Seasonique?

Usually post pardum hair loss occurs 2-4 months after. I’m thinking the hair loss you have been experiencing is a combo of post pardum hair loss and hair loss from the pill. I’ve lost a lot of hair from going OFF the pill (even though I only took it for 1.5 months), but I’ve read of a lot of women experiencing hair loss from going on the pill, usually a few months after they start. For some it seems to slow down once they stop the pill and for others (like me) will experience the dread shed a few months after stopping the pill.

During this time have you also noticed re-growth?

Pilar July 14, 2010 at 8:10 am

MICHELLE:

To answer your question:
“Of those who participate in this post, had you known the extent of your hairloss before you stopped taking the pill, would you have still stopped? I know we all need to stay positive to move forward, but if you could do it again, would you have stopped?”

I would have. But I think I would have prepared myself for what was coming. I took Yaz for 1.5 months and before that I had been bcp free for 2 years and feeling great. When I started Yaz, I automatically felt anxious, nervous and had a lot of heart palpitations. I knew that taking bcp wasn’t such a good idea and that’s why I had gotten off the pill (Ortho Tricyclen Lo) 2 years prior. When I got off OTC Lo, I suffered no side effects from coming off the pill. My sex drive came back and skin looked a lot better – no hair loss at all. I never realized that coming off a pill could do so much. So if I had to do it all over, I would still quit the pill, but do more research and prepare myself.

Pilar July 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

ANNA:

I think you really have to go with what your gut is telling you. I suffered from severe hair loss from going OFF the pill after only taking it for 1.5 months. I remember when I decided to go on the pill, there was something inside of me telling me not to do it. But I decided to not pay attention to my 6th sense and go ahead with it. BIG MISTAKE!

It’s really weird that you would start shedding the last 6 months even though you’ve been on the same pill for the last 3 years. Usually hair loss due to bcp will either occur a few months afer starting the pill or after stopping the pill. But then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if indeed it was the cause of your hair loss.

What pill are you currently taking?

I’m really sorry that you have to go through this (or any of us for that matter), but know that you’re not alone. Just like you, I want this to stop. Let’s stay positive, take care of ourselves and hope for the best! That’s really all we can do.

Pilar

Pilar July 14, 2010 at 8:27 am

MANI:

What pill are you currently on?

Since in the past you experienced hair loss from being on with Yasmin or Diane, I think your sensitive to any kind of hormone fluctuations. You mentioned experiencing a lot of hair loss a few years ago while on Yasmin or Diane – did you stay on these pills and barely stop them 6 months ago? While on the pill did you notice the hair loss decreased? If eventually it decreased, maybe the same thing is happening now.

I know how horrible this can be. I’m on my 7th month of shedding after going off Yaz (on it for only 1.5 months). My shed has slowly decreased but I’m still shedding abnormally.

One thing I have learned is that our hormones are a delicate thing and messing with them might cause us a lot of other problems in the long run.

Hang in there,

Pilar

Mani July 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Hi Pilar,

Thank you for your reply. To answer your questions, I went back on Brenda which is the equivelent of Diane (after having about a 5 month break) at the very end of May this year and within 10 days had masses of hair loss, continued on the pill wondering if it would level out, it didnt so went off it only after about a month of being on it. my hair loss hasnt decreased as yet… i am getting really scared now. its getting really bad. i would say half my head if not more.

when it happened in the past i think i was on Diane. I hadn’t made any changes, it just started happening. I didn’t stop the pill thought i kept going and eventually it levelled out but i never got all my hair back. i used to have very think heavy hair and now it is so thin it is scary.

Did you have any other tests (thyroid?) or anything?

Thanks for you help!!

Mani

Pilar July 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

HI MANI:

I’ve had all my hormones, thyroid and CBC tested last year before I got on the pill (July 2009), then as soon as the hair loss began (end of November), then in January, February, March and just recently in June. All my tests come back normal and are now at the same levels that they were last year in July (this is when I had been bcp free for 2 years and had my thick, long hair). Before going on Yaz, I had been been off the pill for 2 years and everything was perfectly fine. I had been on Ortho Tricyclen and Ortho Tricyclen Lo for 9 years and when I went off the pill, I felt great! No bad side effects at all. My skin actually improved! Then 2 years later I decided to try Yaz…BIG MISTAKE! I took it for only 2 months, from August-September 2009 and I was getting a lot of anxiety and heart palapitations while on it so I decided to quit. Then 2 months later in November 2009, the shedding began.

How much hair do you think you’re losing a day? In the beginning I was losing over 350 hairs just in the shower. Now I’m losing between 40-90 a day. Even though I’m seeing a lot of re-growth, some of it has been falling out.

My scalp has also been feeling a little uncofortable. Have you noticed any differences in your scalp?

Hope this stops for all of really soon!

Pilar

Cassie July 16, 2010 at 2:28 am

Hi Pilar!

I came off Yasmin in October 2009 and I am still suffering with the dread shed! I thought it had improved a few months back but now I’m back to square one. It’s so frustrating! :-( I think I have regrowth around my temples but the full front of my scalp is very thin and very noticable and I’m also suffering with an uncomfortable scalp! Sometimes it’s so sensitive I can’t touch it and other days it itches but I’m telling myself this because it’s growing back (hopefully it is).

Have you read anywhere how long it takes to get your hair back to normal? The majority I have read have been vague, the dread shed seems to starts around 3-6 months after stopping the pill and then this can last 6-12 months. So hopefully by this time next year we should have a lot more hair! I really hope so!

Cassie

Pilar July 16, 2010 at 9:03 am

HI CASSIE:

I came off Yaz in September 2009 and in November I was shedding TONS of hair. In the beginning I was losing over 350 hairs just after showering and styling. Around the beginning of May I noticed a decrease in shedding and was only shedding 30-60 a day. This went on for 2-3 weeks. Then by the ned of May, my scalp started itching/tingling/burning and my shed has incresaed to 50-100 a day (which I know they say this is normal, but I don’t remember if this is normal for me). The only thing that I can attribute to the increase in shedding is that I started taking an ULTRA omega 3 on May 5th and I’ve read several forums where omega 3’s have been tied to hair loss (TE). And also it started getting really hot and humid during that time and I was spending a lot of time in the sun. I think those 2 things might have caused the increase in shedding and scalp discomfort. I’ve also read about seasonal shedding and how shedding seems to increse in the summer months.

My scalp has been itching and tingling for the past 2 months. I’ve read that sometimes this can mean new hairs are growing but I also read this can mean another shed is on it’s way. I’d also like to believe that more hairs are making their way through my scalp! :) Have you noticed that you’ve lost any of your new growth? I’ve been noticing new growth since the end of January. Some of those hairs are now 2-3 inches long, but some have and continue to fall out. The ones that fall out are about an inch long. Where do you feel most of the scalp pain and itching? Is it all over?

I’ve read that TE after going off the pill can last up to a year. I really hope this ends soon and more little hairs start popping up all over the place. I know that it’s just hair, but this has been the hardest 8 months of my life!

Let’s hang in there and stay positive!

Pilar

Cassie July 21, 2010 at 3:31 am

Hi Pilar,

My hair first started thinning back in 2007 when I had a break from Yasmin which I had been on for around 3 years. After going back on to Yasmin the thinning continued but I was unaware that it was Yasmin causing this until last year when I found all the forums online. I had been to my GP on numerous occasions and he had done the usual blood tests and everything was fine apart from my B12 being very low for which I now have 10 weekly injections. So we all put the hair loss down to this as it is a form of anaemia. After a year on this my hair had still not improved even with daily supplements and that’s when I looked into Yasmin. Since stopping in October last year I think it has improved although I’m not sure! :-/ I have new hair growing around the temple area and my parting is certainly not as apparent as it was but it is still very thin across the front of my scalp with no apparent new growth which would be easy to see as I dye my hair every couple of months. Apparently they say it’s the telogen phase that is disrupted with Yasmin, the hair rest too long and that’s why the thinning starts. I’ve read a lot of information that says Omega 3 is good for hair growth as a number of sites I have been on have said to have Flaxeed which is omega 3. I have just recently started taking this so if I notice a change I will let you know. My hair has been shedding a lot for the past month or so and it’s beginning to get very difficult to style but I’m not sure why.

My scalp itches all over and it drives me mad it’s that bad some days! Sometimes my scalp can be very sensitive too. I can’t say I have lost any new hair but I’m not sure I have any really, usually the hair that falls are quite long strands as my hair is shoulder length.

I really do hope this only lasts a year too! I want normal hair so bad! I find myself looking at other peoples hair and getting increasingly jealous which isn’t good.

I agree! I think positive all the time, I don’t think there’s any other way to get through this.

Cassie

Pilar July 22, 2010 at 7:13 am

Hi Cassie:

My shed began to slow down at the end of April/beginning of May, but by the end of May my shed went up again. You mentioned your shed increasing this last month or so- is there anything you’ve done differently? A friend of mine found a post on a hair loss forum that mentioned hair loss from omega 3’s. I had been taking a regular omega fish oil cap twice a day but then at the beginning of May I decided to switch to an ULTRA omega fish oil cap and started taking 3 caps a day. By the end of May I was shedding so much more. I also wonder if the heat and humidity have anything to do with the increase in shedding? My scalp has also been itchy and sensitive. The scalp discomfort also started around the same time as the increase in shedding (end of May). How much hair do you think you’re losing a day?

Keeping my fingers crossed for the both of us!

Pilar

Sia July 26, 2010 at 6:14 am

I wish I could say the cause of my hair thinning was from Birth Control but I haven’t tried any for almost 10 years and I only tried them very briefly. I’ve got other problems too that makes me think something is wrong with my hormones or that I’m too sensitive to them..

The thing that makes me sad is how little the doctors seem to care, I’ve had some blood tests but not all, and I’ve read that some have to be taken at a certain time of the day/month. They don’t know what to do and they are reluctant to refer me on. I feel completely alone.

I know it’s normal to have some hair thinning but I had such thick hair – it was difficult to do anything with it, even keep it in a ponytail. Now, when I run my fingers through my hair it feels like there is barely anything there. I can see parts of my scalp.. I noticed that in the past couple years it has thinned out but, in the last 6 months, especially the last 3 it has escalated. It happened so quickly – noticed that I could touch my hair at any time and there would always be hair ready to fall out. In the last 3 months I have had burning and tingling on my scalp which makes my hair fall out even more. It goes with other problems I’ve had lately – bad periods, etc..

I feel like I’m supposed to just live with it… I wish I knew what the problem was..

Sia July 26, 2010 at 6:16 am

Pilar,

I’m taking Omega 3 capsules as well. Maybe it depends on how much, and which kind, because I have read that mercury can be bad for the hair. I have also read that Omega 3 can be good for the hair. It’s always so contradicting and confusing. I guess it matters where the source of the Omega 3 came from and what other things are added..

Cassie July 27, 2010 at 5:37 am

Hi Pilar,

I can’t think of anything I changed around that time although I did start a high strength fish oil which I had to cut down to taking just once a week as it was causing me to get terrible spots. Oh, I also tried Arnica for a days too! I’d read that this could help but this was stopped immediately after I started getting break outs. Apart from this nothing. Maybe it’s just the cycle of our hair, If yours started in May and mine started in June/July then it could be as you stopped Yasmin in September and I stopped in October. Either way it’s still frustrating. I’m loosing so much hair right now, it’s ridiculous! I can’t keep count of them, I’m loosing a lot in the shower and the bedroom carpet (which is cream) is terrible with my shed hair! I have to vacuum 3-4 times a week!

I’m keeping mine crossed too! ?

Cassie

Cassie July 29, 2010 at 2:22 am

Hi again Pilar,

I forgot to mention that I have also noticed that I am losing shorter hairs along with the longer ones. All have the root attached so I know these are not snapped hairs.

Cassie

Pilar July 29, 2010 at 6:48 am

Hi Sia:

I’m sorry you’re experiencing hair loss and I know first hand how hard and depressing this can be.

If you period has changed during these last few months and you’re also epxeriencing more hair loss, it can definitely be hormonal. You’re right when you say that certain hormones need to be tested during different times of your cycle. If it isn’t done on the right day it can show an imbalance that isn’t there or it can mask one. Most hormones need to be tested on cycle day 3 and Progesterone on cycle day 21 (or 7 days after ovulation).

Here’s a link where it shows what hormones you should have tested and what REALLY is normal.

http://www.fertilityplus.org/faq/hormonelevels.html#female

Up until April I was taking another brand of Fish Oil and had started to only shed between 30-60 hairs a day. Then in the beginning of May I switched to another brand, an ULTRA kind. I’m thinking maybe this was too much omega for me or maybe this brand wasn’t as good. I know that vitamin supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA and sometimes can do more harm than good. So for right now, I’ve just stopped taking any omega supplements.

What brand of omega 3’s do you take?

Pilar July 29, 2010 at 7:03 am

Hi Cassie:

Wow! It seems like we’re experiencing almost the same things!

When did you start taking the high strength fish oil and when did you cut down to once a week?

I started taking fish oil because I heard that it was good for hair and skin. I’ve also been experiencing horrible breakouts these last few months and thought fish oil would help. I actually noticed that it contributing to more breakouts.

I’ve been noticing new growth all over since January. But some of them have fallen out and some are now 2-3 inches long. Most of the hairs I’m losing are the long ones, but there’s always a few shorts ones that have the root attached to them and are around an inch long. This past week though, I noticed I lost a few of the longer new hairs. The ones that are 3 inches long. This made me really sad because I was counting on these hairs to thicken up my hair.

Do you wash your hair daily? Do you count how many hairs you lose? If you don’t…good for you! It’s become such an obsessive thing for me and so time consuming.

Let’s continue to stay positive and very soon this will stop!

Pilar

Pilar July 29, 2010 at 7:06 am

Hi Cassie: (again) :)

Have you checked out the Yasmin/Yaz Survivors forum? It appears that hair loss is very common with Yasmin and Yaz. There are a few women on those boards that have experienced hair loss while on the pill and after stopping the pill.

Pilar

Pilar August 2, 2010 at 5:44 am

Hi Cassie:

I would love to chat with you via email since our stories are very similar.

Here’s my email: pilarakemi@gmail.com

Pilar

Cassie August 4, 2010 at 4:11 am

Hi Pilar,

It does look like our symptoms and course are very similar!

I’ve looked back in my little book and found that I started taking Fish Oils on 18 June 2010 and stopped after 1-2 weeks due to increased spots and sensitive scalp. I also had the most terrible PMT which I have never experienced before at the end of June followed by my period being 2 weeks late. I’m not sure if this was associated with the Fish Oils though. I also increased my Zinc intake and started taking Flaxseen Oil on 17 July 2010.

I’ve only noticed growth around my temples but I’m whilling for the rest to start growing! :-) It’s looking very thin at the moment at the front of my head but I manage to cover this with my fringe and occasional coloured dry shampoo if I’m having a bad day. It’s so frustrating isn’t it when you just think it’s improving you jumps back again so you can bever be sure how it’s doing. :-(

I wash my hair every other day as I read that washing everyday can increase the oil poduction on your scalp which can also cause hairloss. I haven’t counted my shed hairs for a while now. I think the whole hairloss thing makes us very obssessive but that isn’t a bad thing, we’re doing it for all the right reasons. :-)

I have Pilar! The thread I was viewing was deleted after a while though. :-( It was a huge help to begin with as I had no idea that Yasmin was causing my hairloss. I just thought I’d see if I could find anything on the internet regarding Yasmin and hairloss as a last ditch attempt to find out why it was happening. I was so shocked when I found out as even my GP and Nurse did not know about this.

That’s so weird! I was going to leave you my email address too! It’s:

cassie_harrison@hotmail.com

Cassie

Laurie August 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Oh Wow, I cannot believe how many women are experiencing exactly what I am going through.. I’ve been on OrthoEvra for 6+ years (I am 29), and started noticing hair loss about 1-2 years after I went on the patch. At first, I thought it was the move to a new state & their harsh water (so much chlorine that it turned my blonde hair green, so had to go back to my natural light brown color). I bought the top of the line filter and used the best shampoos/cond/masks. After another 1-2 years, I asked my obgyn, if my hairloss could be related to the patch, and she said definitely no. I then decided to see a dermatologist (and he also said the BC is not related to hairloss), but i decided to go off OrthoEvra, anyways. Well, my acne became worse again (one main reason for being on BC), so I went back on the patch. I have visited another dermatologist in the last month, and she told me to go on Rogaine, Solaray Mega Multiminerals, and Biotin, and that I probably have an aunt down the line who had hair loss. (No females have ever had hairloss in my family, and all have very thick hair at ages 50+) So, after reading NUMEROUS stories online and seeing that BC can trigger hairloss, I am off to the dermatologist again. I plan to go off the patch (and hopefully find something to control my acne). I think that I will continue Rogaine to see if it will “open my follicles” to regrow hair a little more quickly (??!). **fingers crossed**

Doreen August 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Hi there, I noticed that some people were mentionning spots when they came off the pill. I tried coming off the pill a few years ago and went a bit nuts…very depressed…horrible hard pea like boils popping up everywhere and hair loss. I was diagnosed with PCOS years ago and prescribed ‘Dianette’…which I was taken off because it was ‘Dangerous’ Anyway I have been on Microval for 10 years now and I would like to come off it. I am dreading it however as I am 47 and not so sure that my hair would grow back this time…neither is the spots nor the depression very appealing. I am convinced that because I was prescribed the pill in my late teens that I developed PCOS. I had no problems prior to being prescribed the pill. I am sure that this is a side effect of the pill that they keep quiet about.

Good luck to you all.

Julie September 8, 2010 at 8:00 am

I have been loosing hair for over a year now. Because I just turned 40 I figured that this was life. :o)
I just realized that this coincides with my change of birth control pill. I was on Triphasil which they don’t make any more so I was switched to Triquillar (sp). I take it as HRT so I will be on it for the rest of my life. Which ones are the best for hair growth?

Erica September 11, 2010 at 7:12 am

Thanks so much for this website!
I couldn’t figure out why my hair was falling so much… now I know, I just stopped taking Yasmin (3 months ago), which I’ve been taking for 14 years (I am now 28).
Thanks guys, I’ll set up a visit with the endocrinologyst.
Thanks so much, now I know which direction to go.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Pilar September 15, 2010 at 11:10 am

Erica,

Have you checked out the Yasmin Survivors forum? I went off Yaz in late September of 2009. Even though I was only on it for 2 months, 2 months after stopping hair started to pour off my head. In the beginning I was losing over 300 hairs just after a shower. It sloooooowly started to decreased around February of this year. Now I’m losing 60-120 hairs a day and even though I have a lot of re growth, I still seem to lose some of those new hairs. So far I think I’ve lost about 50% of my hair, but since I started out with so much hair, most people haven’t noticed.

I would recommend checking out that site. There’s a lot of women on there thathave experienced hair loss while on Yasmin/Yaz and after going off.

Best,

Pilar

Ann September 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I wanted to update everyone. Again, I went off Yaz in October 2009. The shedding seemed like it was decreasing 2-3 months ago, but for the last month the shed has increased significantly and it feels like I’m back to square one! My scalp has been itching for a while now, so I went to have it checked out by the dermatoligist today. He did a pull test and was pretty surprised that it showed postive for telegon effluvium considering I’ve been off the pill now for almost a year. He checked my scalp and I have seborrheic dermatitis which he said could be why the telegon effluvium hasn’t gone away. He gave me a prescription for Loprox Shampoo and said to use it every other day. I will give another update soon.

J.A. October 11, 2010 at 10:36 am

Thank you for posting your story, and thank you to everyone else for their comments. I know understand what’s been happening to my hair for years!

I started bc in highschool because I had severe cramping, so much that I was unable to eat and faint. After starting Ortho Tri Cyclen the cramping was gone. I was able to live more normally, and not have a parent come get me out of school for being so unwell. I was on OTC for probably close to ten years.

During that time frame I also started to dye my hair. I noticed that my hair was not nearly the beast of a ponytail I had before, but was smaller. I just attributed it to the chemicals in the dyes and left it at that, since it was not severe. After reading all your stories I now know that it could have also been because of the birth control.

Since then things have changed a few times. Had baby number one and did not experience the shedding afterwards. Went back on bc and kept going on, unknowing.

Most recently I had baby number two and after about 2 months went back on bc. This time I tried the nuvaring since I found out (twice) that I could not remember taking daily pills. I was so excited to only have to worry about handling bc twice a month. Little did I know.

I started to lose hair. At first I was not concerned but it just kept coming out. The shower drain was full, my comb was full. It was always on my clothes, on the bathroom floor, on the backs of my seats, EVERYWHERE!! I avoided brushing my hair, touching it, even styling it if it could be avoided. I was afraid I was going to have nothing left.

My mother then suggested that it could be due to my birth control. I had never even considered the possibility. I never had the problem (so I thought) before then but I looked it up. Immediately I was surrounded by stories of women losing hair from birth control including mine, Nuvaring!

That very night I pulled it out and called my doctor the next business day. I left my message with the nurse, even gave them the info about which bc I was on before and waited for a return call.

When I got a call back I could not believe my ears. My doctor completely dismissed that it had anything to do with my bc. She told me it was because it was 3 months after having a baby, and had nothing to do with birth control. Granted, it could have been a combination of both but to have a doctor completely dismiss the concept that I had found so much proof online about just enraged me. I again left a message with the nurse and finally I got what I wanted. I was switched to a low dose birth control and hoped for the best. I also switched to a different doctor in the same office, hopefully one that listen’s to her patient.

One month later and I am still losing my hair. I don’t know how long it will take to regrow, but I am hoping it will be soon. Or, that it will at least stop. My ponytail is probably half the size it was before restarting bc and I now have a widow’s peak that I never had before. Either side of center has receded and has gotten very thin.

I was never one to worry about most hair concerns. A bad haircut was never something I feared since I always thought it would just grow back. That’s what hair does, or did. Now I am worried that I will have no hair. I started taking a prenatal at the suggestion of my husband and I am hoping for the best. I just don’t know how long it will take to regrow, if it does at all.

Pilar October 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Ann:

Your story sounds almost like mine!

I stopped taking Yaz in September 2009 (only took it for 2 months) and 2 months later I was shedding HUGE amounts of hair. The shedding slowly decreased and around May-June 2010 I was shedding 50-80 hairs per day. Then all of a sudden my scalp started itching, tingling and would sometimes feel a little sore. I ignored this since I’ve read a few articles and posts that talked about scalp discomfort and TE. Well around July my shed increased! I started shedding an average of 80-130 hairs a day. I also noticed my scalp was getting greasier and sometimes I would get a musky smell coming from scalp even though I washed my hair every day (gross….sorry). At the end of August I started using Nizoral (an over the counter SD shampoo) twice a week and I noticed that my scalp was feeling better and little by little the shed was decreasing. Finally last month I decided to see a Derm and she thinks I also have seborrheic dermatitis – a mild case. She saw some inflammation on the top of my scalp and some dandruff scales. She said since it was so mild, she wanted me to continue using the over the counter shampoo. The itching slowly went away but just recently it has came back again. Last week I dyed my hair and I think it might have irritated my scalp. I know with SD, our scalps tend to be a little more sensitive. How is your scalp doing? Has your shedding started to decrease yet? I’m now shedding 50-80 hairs a day and even though I’m seeing some re growth, it’s not enough to fill in the thin spots. It’s been a year that I’ve been off this pill and 10 months since TE sent in and even though things are A LOT better than they were a few months back, everything is not back to normal yet.

Hope you’re doing well!

Pilar

Pilar October 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm

J.A.:

I serisouly CAN NOT believe doctors keep denying that fact that BCP’s can cause hair loss. It is clearly printed in the leaflet that comes with the pills. They all say “May cause hair growth/hair loss”. When TE set in for me, I visited my primary care which thought going off the pill and having a low ferritin was the cause. But when I saw my OB/GYN (that prescribed Yaz) and told her of what was happening, she completely denied that the pill could do such a thing. She of course tried to blame it on stress when the hair loss was the only stressful thing in my life.

Well here I am, 12 months off this pill and I’ve lost about 50% of my hair. Sometimes I use Toppik to hide some of the thin spots but on most days I go without it. Most people don’t seem to notice since I did start out with TONS of hair. I’m just hoping that soon I’ll get more and more re growth and the thin spots will fill in.

Like you said, your sudden hair loss might be a combination of the both bc and post pardum hair loss. I know it’s easier said than done, but hang in there. Within a few months it should taper off and you’ll start seeing some re growth.

Pilar

Chelle October 17, 2010 at 7:51 am

Hi there,

After reading the posts I have decided to share my story. Hairloss can be a devastating, emotional, self esteem draining journey. I express it this way as I feel so let down by the doctors who prescribed the BCP with no regard. Nobody tells you that being on these hormones can have these life changing consequences. At 16 I was prescribes the pill by my doctor and soon after I noticed a marked difference in my hairs appearance (thinner) but put this down to possibly bad hair products. However, people started to comment and ask ‘what have you done to your lovely hair ?’ nothing I would reply.

I then decided to question the BCP and went back to my doctors at 17 she listened to my concerns but said it was impossible. I nevertheless asked for a different brand which she duly prescribed. Hairloss continued and I decided to come of the pill when I was 20. I asked the doctor for a referral to a dermertologist – fat good that was, he said as we get older your hair changes and all he could do was prescribe Minioxil. I declined and pointed out that I was only 20 !!! I continued trying all sorts of potions and lotions – I went to Philip Kingsley – tricologist and had hair steam treatments, Harley Street doctor who prescribed traquilisers, Dr Rushton also in London whom took blood test and said hair loss was due to low ferretin levels- took vitamins that he suggested but to no avail. So after exasperating all known avenues I still felt deflated as my GP could only assure me it as not due to thyroid problems.

However, a miracle happened in 1994 when I became pregnant and my hair blossomed , not back to its original glory but thick enough to hold my head up high. My hair was fantastic but after three months my hair began to fall again, so I bought myself a hair steamer and continued on the Pregaday Iron and Folic acid tablets which were prescribes to me whilst pregnant. This regime seemed to do my hair wonders steaming once a week with Jojoba oil and supplementing with Pregaday. Then I became pregnant again in 1996 and again my hair blossomed once again. After this pregnancy my doctor suggested the ‘Mirena’ coil stating that it is a localised hormone which does not enter the blood stream and how naive I was – my hair never really re-covered but I stayed on the ‘Mirena’ until 2008. (The hair steam and pregaday now had little results)

Fast forward to now – finally persuaded GP to refer me to an endocrine whom did a host of blood test at different times of the month, he is however, unsure if I have male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness or a mild case of PCOS. He has however, suggested that I go on Finstride and Femodene (BCP) for six moths to improve the volume of my hair which is so thin now I can only pull it back into a miniature pony tail – oh how I could cry. This is also trail and error as the blood test results were inconclusive.

The bottom line to my story is that there should be a test made available for people who possibly have a predisposition to hair loss as it is clearly apparent that synthetic hormones upset the natural equilibrium of the bodies hormone system with this being non re-versable in many cases.

Further to this GP’s just don’t seem to understand the impact it has and view it as cosmetic. But it has caused be me be depressed and has shattered by self esteem. Hairloss may not be life threatening but it should still be seen as a worth while medical complaint.

On the note of Finistride and Femodene I have not had the courage to pick up the prescription as synthetic hormones scare me – truly they do. The only consolation is that they created the problem and there is a possible chance that they may be able to fix it – who knows.

I shall post again if and when I decided to take them.

LOL XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Natasha October 25, 2010 at 9:11 am

I went off Yasmin in June of this year and since i only had one period that lasted for 2 days and i am now noticing a huge amount of hair falling out. I had blood work and my doctor said it was normal i am so scared that its going to get worse and worse, my hair is very oily now as well and so is my fase. BC is poison and will never take it again, but does anyone have any suggestions of what i can do to slow down the loss of hair, and lastly will it grow back eventually? Thank you for any advice.

Pilar October 27, 2010 at 5:46 am

Hi Natasha,

I went through the same thing. I was on Yaz for only 2 months and 2 months after stopping my hair was falling out in ropes (TE began at the end of November 2009)! In the beginning I was losing over 300 hairs a day, and yes I was counting (actually I still do). For the first 2-3 months I was losing close to 300 hairs a day and then SLOOOOOOOWLY it began to decrease. I’ve had fluctuations here and there, especially during the summer, but the it really started stabalizing at beginning of last month. So I basically had abnormal shedding for 9-10 months. I started seeing re growth as early as January but also noticed that I was losing a lot of the new hairs. Since this began I’ve seen my GP, 2 Ob/Gyn, 1 Endo and 2 Derms and had more than 10 blood tests – everything comes back normal. All of them have told me this is TE and eventually all of my hair will grow back. Even though the abonormal shedding has stopped and I do see a lot of re growth all over my scalp, my hair still looks thin. I think I’ve lost about 40% of hair and luckily I started out with A LOT of hair so most of the people I know haven’t noticed.

Now, for some advice…all I can tell you is that eventually it will stop. The most frustrating part is that there is really nothing you can so to make the shedding stop or slow down. Once Telogen Effluvium starts, you have to let it run it’s course. I remember the first few months I avoided washing my hair thinking that I would lose less…I was so wrong. Telogen hairs are going to fall out no matter what. Just know that little by little it will start to slow down and then you’ll notice that you’re back to shedding normal amounts of hair.

My derm has told me that in most cases, all her TE patients recovered all of their hair. Some only recovered a fraction of it. I’m still very hopeful that I will once again get my beautiful, thick hair back.

Have you seen a derm?

Natasha, I know EXCATLY how hard this is, to see your hair just fall off. But hang in there and know that things do get better.

Pilar

Jill October 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Has anyone had any experience after taking Balzvia birth control pill?

my 13 year daughter was put on this to control her periods which have been very irregular. She would have her period straight for 3 or 4 weeks, then go an entire summer without a period. The doctor prescribed Balzvia and she was on it for 9 months. Her periods were regular, yet 6 months into taking the pills she started to have hair loss. I did not think much of it, until her pony tail was really thin, now she stopped the pill and continues to have clumps of hair loss in the shower each morning. She had the thyroid checked which is normal, as well as hormone levels which are all normal. This is a tragic side effect for birth control pills and my daughter is devastated!! We are seeing a dermatologist and and endocrenologist tomorrow to see if the hair is going to grow back. Any comments??

Pilar November 1, 2010 at 6:50 am

Hi Jill:

I’m SO sorry that your daughter has to go through this at such a young age. My hair was fallingout in ropes AFTER stopping the pill last year. The abnormal shedding lasted for almost 10 months and finally stabalized last month. I’ve lost about 40-50% of my hair and it’s been devastating. But I’m also so grateful that the shedding has returned to normal and I’m seeing re growth all over my scalp.

When this began I also had my thyroid and hormones tested and everything came back normal. My doctor also tested for Lupus and anemia. How long has she been off the pill? Sometimes it can take up to 6 months (or longer) for your hromones to balance themselves out after stopping the pill, so most doctors recommend testing your hormones at least 3 months after stopping the pill.

I think it’s a great idea to take your daughter to both an Endo and Derm. I also saw both and both doctors diagnosed me with Telogen Effluvium.

Please tell your daughter to hang in there and that this DOES eventually stop.

Hugs,

Pilar

Angie November 3, 2010 at 9:31 am

Hi everyone!

I need help… I can’t cry or stress about this one more day. April 7th 2009 I was in the shower when suddenly a HUGE clomp of hair failled off my head. I felt devastated. The first thing that came to mind that I had some deadly illness. I inmediately went to the docs. At the time I was also getting over a very bad outbreak of Herpes simplex type 1 (around the mouth) and was taking medicine for it. My doc said “it must be the medicine” so off course I stopped the medicine and yet found myself shedding horribly. It has not stopped. I used to have long curly hair and now I have a very short haircut with no shape and keep it up with a small hair tie everyday. I can see my skull and my curls have lost some of their bounce. I have some weird straigh pieces of hair that drive me crazy. I have been tested for everything from vitamins levels to lupus and everything in between adnd everything comes back normal. The hair shedding started almost exactly 3 months after I broke up with an exboyfriend of 6 years. He is now remarried and I feel very much over it… I have never taken any other BC than Levlen/Levora. Please advise or comment. I am getting married in July of 2011 and do not want to be bold for my special day. I appreciate any comments. Blessings.

JL November 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Hi. Just wanted to know if anyone could give me any feedback. I went on BC at 19 and have never been off it (Ortho Tri-Cyclen). I started thinning (but not shedding) within a year, but didn’t make the connection until Fall ’09. I went on Tri-Cyclen Lo in January ’10 and the bad shedding began almost immediately. I switched back to regular the next month, but the shedding doesn’t seem to have even slowed. I have read that it takes up to 12 months for your hormones to balance themselves, but it’s been 10 months. Any thoughts?

JL November 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I should add that I started the pill at 19 in 2002 (I’m 27).

Pilar November 19, 2010 at 9:29 am

Hi JL:

I was on OTC for 2-3 years and then switched to OTL Lo with no problems at all. I then went off OTC Lo and again no hair loss. Then I was pill free for 2 years and decided to try Yaz. I used that for 2 months and 2 months after stopping is when my hair was pouring off my head.

I think for you, the drop in estrogen from OTC to OTC Lo triggered Telogen Effluvium and that’s causing the heavy shedding. Also, switching back to the OTC could have made TE last a longer since you had 2 changes in hormone levels in such a short period of time.

Some doctors will say that it takes anywhere between 3-6 months for your hormone levels to balance themselves, but I think in some cases it can last A LOT longer.

How much hair do you think you lose per day? And how much hair do you think you’ve lost so far?

Pilar

Natalie November 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Ladies,

First of all so thankful that I found this site and that it exists! And thankful for all of you and your strength and honesty in sharing your stories.

I was on BC for years as a teenager then stopped. No problems what so ever then the last year I’ve been trying different BC pills. The latest try was a new pill called Natazia. Something told me not to try anything new…why not use what I used to use when I young, it worked just fine. I didn’t listen to my innerself and tried what the Dr. prescribed…big mistake. The last few months I’ve noticed my hair thining. Not coming out in clumps but noticably thinner. I have two bald spots on each side of my temples. Ugh. I’m freaking out, obviously. Once I started really thinking about this, I did some googling and figured it had to be the BC pills so I stopped taking them and made an appt with the OBGYN. She told me to stop taking them (duh) and wait 2 months and see her again. Easier said than done.

Really, you can’t trust you doctors. You have to be your own advocate. I’ll spare you from past incidents but other doctors have let me down. So, I did some additional research and ran into this site. Now I’m worried that maybe this Alopecia thing could be triggered and I’m screwed. If I knew for sure it was just a simple waiting game, by not using BC anymore, then I’m all good but the not knowing for sure is nerve wracking. I’m sure you all can relate.

I’m also scared to see a dermatologist and have him/her screw with me more by prescribing something else that can mess me up even worse. I wish there were more dermatologists that specialized in this area. I live in the Bay Area and haven’t found anyone with any worthwhile reputation in this area. Very disappointing to say the least.

Thanks ladies and I WILL PROMISE to post updates on this nightmare.

-Natalie

Nina November 20, 2010 at 10:52 am

Hi everyone,
I am really glad I found this website. I have been suffering from hair loss since I was about 17, and I am now 21 and a senior in college.
I am posting for some advice. My hair loss initially was due to insulin resistance (I am thin and have a fairly healthy diet, so it took me by surprise!) I have been on medication for that a few years and I think my hair has improved a little bit since then. Regardless, I have about half the amount of hair I started out with when I was in high school. I have read stories on this website, but I really need some advice about birth control. I haven’t started any of the pills yet, but my reading on this website made me already aware of the potential consequences for my hair. This is what terrifies me.
What is a young woman to do? Birth control is so important and necessary to effectively prevent pregnancy, yet the price is to lose more hair? I don’t know if there is a specific type that won’t cause me to lose hair, but I’m scared because I have already lost a LOT the past few years, and I know I am predisposed to thin hair (both my parents have thin hair).
Is there a solution to this? How can we be on birth control and keep our hair/emotional well being?
-Nina

Leslie December 8, 2010 at 11:45 am

Hi all,
I am glad that I find this website. Now at least I am relieved that I am not terminally ill.

I began my BCP (Loestrin 24FE) early Sep and started to see hair shredding ~100+ everyday in early Nov. It’s only been 2 months. My hair is not thick to begin with. It’s very alarming now. I have never taken BCP before. I started taking multivitamins about a month ago. I regret so much taking BCP w/o doing more research on the side effects.

I read some posts and know that if I stop taking the BCP, it’s likely that the hair loss will get worse. But some posts recommend stop taking BCP, waiting for weeks/months until the dread shred stops. Then eventually the hormone level will go back to normal. I haven’t talked to my doctor yet.

In the meantime, I have summarized some things that I can do to restore my health:
1. Omega flex seed oil
2. Biotin
3. AG Pro Vitamins
4. Jason Thin to Thick Shampoo
5. Jojoba Oil treatment
6. Rogaine

Is there anything that I can try or you think helpful??
Should I stop taking BCP? I just want to see if there is any successful story on hair regrowth after stop taking BCP. How long does it take to recover, given that I only had 3 months of BCP?

Thanks,
L

Pilar December 9, 2010 at 8:03 am

Hi Natalie:

I know exactly how nerve wracking this can be. I lost hair AFTER stopping Yaz. I was only on it for 2 months and 2 months later my hair was falling out in clumps. Before Yaz I was pill free for 2 years with no problems whatsoever. Just like you, I had been on other pills and had no problems going off of them. I know both Yaz and Natazia are newer pills and I keep wondering whether these newer versions are causing more problems.

I know that some ladies that experienced hair shedding while on the pill and the stopped the pill didn’t experience the dread shed. So maybe (and I’m crossing my fingers for you) in a few months you’ll notice the shedding stop and more re growth coming in, instead of the shedding increasing.

You are absolutely right in saying that you can’t trust doctors. Now I research everything before moving forward with it.

Please keep us posted.

Pilar

Pilar December 9, 2010 at 8:11 am

Hi Leslie:

Loestrin is an androgenic pill and a lot of ladies seem to lose hair while on that pill. Have you noticed an increase in oil production and/or acne?

It’s very common to experience hair loss when starting or stopping the pill. Usually it happens 1-4 months after starting or stopping. There is a chance that the shedding will stop within a few months if you stay on the pill or it might continue. The same is you decide to stop the pill – you might experience the dread shed or the shedding might taper off. It’s really hard to say and that’s why this is so nerve wracking.

I was on Yaz for only 2 months and 2 months after stopping I lost tons of hair. My shedding lasted for 9 months with the first few months being the worst. It slowly tapered off and now I’ve been shedding “normal” amounts for the last 2 months. I do see a lot of re growth and even though my hair is still thin, I have hope that with time, it will return to it’s previous state.

Rogaine is usually recommended for genetic hair loss, but some Derms will recommend Rogaine to push the follicles into the anagen phase again. I decided to stay off the pill, ride out the shedding and now I’m seeing a lot of re growth without the use of any topicals or vitamins.

Pilar

Natasha December 18, 2010 at 11:09 am

Since my last post I have noticed my body has gone to a normal cycle. My face is not as greasy anymore. I had really bad acne on my forehead after stopping the pill, and now my forehead and my face is clear except a few break outs before my period. I am back on a regular menstrual cycle and my mood is great. As far as my hair loss I think it has stopped, I certainly do have normal hair loss but not in clumps anymore. My hair is thinner than is has ever been but I definitely see new hair growth. I am taking a multivitamin and an iron pill everyday and I think that has helped. Ladies the only thing I can say is wait it out, it can take 6 months to a year for your body to get back to normal after being on the pill for so long. I will never take another birth control pill and would not recommend it to anyone else. I was on yasmin and after stopping the pill I saw how it really messed with my body. Good luck to you ladies and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Patience is the key!

Louise December 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I don’t know if i’m more confused or not?
I noticed TE kicking in about 2-3 months ago and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I was on YAZ for well over 12 months (maybe 2 years) and i decided to go off of it to see if it was effecting my mood (i’ve had severe depression from pills in the past).
I was off it for only 1 month in total and went right back on because i felt fine. Then it started almost exactly 4 weeks after going back on it.
Now i’m concerned if i should just keep taking it and power through hoping that within 6-12 months my hair will sort itself out or go off it and deal with “the dread shed”?
If i was on it for sooooo long without any hair problems i’m hoping my body will eventually slip back into normality and i can remain on the pill.

I have been back on Yaz for 3 months.

HELP!

Pilar December 21, 2010 at 8:40 am

Hi Louise:

Going on or off the pill can definitely cause TE. Once you have started a bout of TE, you will need to ride it out and it will stop on it’s own. It seems like going off for that one month started the dreaded shed. You say you were off for one month and then after a month on the pill, the shed began. That’s how long it took for mine to start. I was on Yaz for ONLY 2 months and 2 months after stopping the pill, the awful dread shed set in. I was losing over 350 hairs a day for the first 2 months and then it slooooooowly started to decrease. I saw saw many doctors and 2 of them recommended jumping back on the pill. I decided against it since I knew that the day that I decided to stop the pill, I would have to deal with the same thing all over again. It’s been a year since TE sent and I’ve been back to losing normal amounts of hair for the last 2-3 months and seeing a lot of re growth.

For me TE lasted around 9 months but for some it’s a lot shorter. So hang in there and the shedding should eventually slow down and go back to normal. But please be aware that once you decide to stop in the future, there is a big chance that you might have to go through this again.

Are you still experiencing depression from the pill? If you are, that’s enough of a reason to go off of them.

Hugs,

Pilar

Sandra January 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Louise, I feel the same way! I noticed my hair thinning at the crown about a month or two after I stopped using BC (Ortho Tri Cyclen) so I decided to go back on it. It’s been over a year now I think and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I thought my body would just go back to normal too since I had been on the pill for almost 10 years! I was never really sure if it was the BC but now after reading all these stories, I feel like it must be, and I’m contemplating going off it for good. I have a Dr’s appointment coming up so I will have to see what she says.

Pilar January 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Hi Sandra:

I too, noticed a lot of shedding 2 months after I stopped the pill. I was only Yaz for 2 months and prior to going on that I had been pill free with no problems. Before that I had been on OTC and OTC Lo for a total of 9 years with no problems at all. Even when I stopped those after 9 years, nothing happened to my hair. I remember I asked her how come Yaz caused TE after stopping them when OTC Lo didn’t (and I was on that for 5 years!). She said they’re 2 different types of pills with different hormone levels…but she also said that even if I had tried OTC Lo again…it could have had the same effect even if it was the same pill I had been on for 5 years with no hair problems whatsoever. Our endocrine system is so delicate and now I’m so scared to every take anything again.

I remember when TE first started, I saw and Endo and even though she mentioned going back on the pill as one of my options, she also said that going back on the pill cuold possibly cause another bout of TE. So I decided to stay off the pill and just ride it out.

I know some ladies also shed a lot of hair while on the pill and once the stop the shed decreases. Have you considered going off the pill?

Pilar

Sandi January 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Hello Ladies,

I first just want thank each and every one of you for taking the time and sharing your stories. I am 28 years old and just realizing what is exactly happening to me. When every doctor is telling that i am fine and its just STRESS. I have to admit that I cried when reading all your stories and now I know that I am not crazy and that I am not alone.

I have been on Nuvoring since Jan, 09 and months later my boyfriend at the time noticed that I was shedding a little more than normal. I really didnt think about it because I had so much curly hand and thought it was just the Summer. I stopped taking around Jan, 10 the shedding stilled continued but I just didnt think it was a problem because the doctors were telling me that its just stress. So I started taking prenatal pills and working out by mid summer my hair looked not so full as it was but it looked curly and healthy.

I then went back on the same BC on Nov 10 and about 60% of my hair has fallen out. It looks so dry and brittle. My temporal areas literally are thin and can see my scalp. I now can also see my scalp in the top front and back of my head . My hair cant even hold a curl any more. All in just 3 months of being back on it. A few days ago before encountering this site I was just going to shave it all off and by a wig. The frustration of it all has made me loose a couple of crews in my head. There was NO ONE that could understand the grief that I was going through every other day that I washed my hair or even styled my hair.

The Derm. suggested that I use Rogaine but I am not sure if I am even seeing any results on that. I am really not sure what Rogaine really does in first place. I have been off the BC for a day and going make and appointment to get a scalp biopsy. So I am going to be hopeful and say THANK YOU TO EACH OF YOU.

Sandi 😉

Nicole January 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Hi! My name is Nicole I am 16 years old and I was on orthotricyclen lo for approximately 2 months and 10 days. I stopped around 12/7/10 because I wasn’t active with my boyfriend anymore. It has been over a month and I have been losing alot of hair every day. I usually count 30-50 each day in the shower. I read that it takes 1-3 months to get all traces of b.c. out of your system and for everything to get back to normal with your body. Since I am young, I was wondering when my hair loss is going to stop and when will I start growing back my natural thick brown hair I used to have if I do at all? If anyone has similar experiences and can answer me I would appreciate it. Thanks.
-Nicole

Kristy February 18, 2011 at 6:41 am

BCP and hair loss…I have to say I’m so thankful that BCP never worked well with my system. However, I know they will never televise or truly create awareness to the unknowing that BCP can cause hair loss, because it is propaganda and a way to control pregnancy in teenagers, etc…. That is what makes me sick. They think that is more important to keep it secret. There is a government website on hair loss in women and how it is on the rise. Granted I think there are many reasons stress being a big one because we are taking on so much more than men these days, however the hormone altering BCP has to be a huge offender, because it alters your hormones which govern your hair. It is crazy and maddening. Dark color hair dye that contains PPD harms your scalp over time PPD is outlawed in Europe, Germany and other parts of the world because they found it was harmful, however here in the US where it is a big industry they keep it quiet and keep using it.

G February 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Hi ladies,
Thanks for sharing – I too am thinning and it’s really worrying me. I have 1/4 less hair than I did quite a few years ago. – But really noticed the thinning this last year past. I’m 30 years old. However I’m different to all of you, as I’ve never been on the pill?!!? I have had 2 children and at this stage are not planning to have any more. i went to a hair specialist “Ashleigh and Martin” and they have suggested as part of my treatment along with other things to GO ON THE PILL. – I’m confused because I was told this could level my hormones out at help stop the hair loss??? But yet all of you are stating the opposite… It is clear that my hair loss isn’t getting better and it is not the cause of stopping the pill, so will goiong on it help?

Getting freaked out reading all these posts.

Christine March 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Hello all,
Thank you so much for posting your stories, although I have shed many tears reading them, it has given me some hope. However, I have found myself at a crossroad and am looking for any help/advice I can get.

I begin taking orthro-tri cycln lo when I was 19 years old (5 years ago). Exactly two months ago I began taking a new bc, lo ogestrel-28 (generic) because I complained to my gyno of breakthrough bleeding. Over the past two months, I have noticed my hair to be MUCH thinner and shedding a large amount

I am finally for the first time starting to put the missing puzzle pieces together. Since I went away to college my hair has gotten noticeably thinner. I have always brushed it off to bad genes and the stress of going away to school. I even went to numerous doctors and NO ONE put two-and -two together.

I have already decided to not take the lo ogestrel anymore but am going to for a physical in 2 days and am wondering if I should have my doc prescribe a more androgen friendly bc? Over the past 5 years I have probably lost about 40% of my hair and cannot afford to lose anymore from the post-pill dread shed. I will have to buy a wig, really.

Lo ogestrel has given me other side effects that otcl has not. Irritation, mood swings, lack of focus, exhaustion along with the hair loss. I called the gyno who prescribed it and she told me I was most likely pregnant (I am NOT)…she had no other advice, I am extremely disappointed.

ANY advice to this desperate reader would be much appreciated.
I do plan however to have the necessary blood work done at the doctor.

Lastly, I am not taking any multi-vitamin or doing any other special activity (besides avoiding showering, brushing my hair and looking in mirrors).

Should I be taking prenatal vitamins, biotin, iron? Please help!

Pilar March 17, 2011 at 7:58 am

Hi Christine,

Your shed might be from stopping the OTC Lo and switching to the new pill or it might be solely from the new pill. Hormones are such a tricky thing.

I was on OTC and OTC Lo for 9 years and when I stopped those, nothing bad happened. My skin actually improved. I was pill free for 2 years and stupid me decided to try Yaz. After 2 months on that I decided to stop them because of the awful and scary heart palps…then 2 months after stopping Yaz is when my hair was falling out in ropes. It’s so scary because I never thought this would happen to me considering I was on other pills, switched, went off of them completely and nothing bad happened.

Also, if you get a blood test now, your hormones are going to show that they’re off because you just recently stopped taking the pill. While on the pill, your own hormone production is halted, so when you’re tested, they all will show low. Most doctors will tell you to wait 2-3 months after stopping the pill to test your levels.

When TE first hit, I also avoided brushing, washing or even touching my hair. But once your hair is in the telogen phase, all of those hairs will fall out no matter what. I know it’s hard to see all those hairs just fall out, but it does stop.

During the months that I had super heavy shedding I also found out I was severely anemic and my doctor thought that might also be a reason as to why I was shedding so much. I took iron supplements and now my levels are good. But I wouldn’t take iron unless you’ve been tested and are indeed low. Make sure to have your ferritin levels tested and not just your CBC.

Courtney March 17, 2011 at 9:47 am

I’m really happy I found this website because I know i’m not crazy now!! I was on alesse for 2 years and then had breakthrough bleeding issues and my doctor perscribed yasmin. This did fix the breakthrough bleeding issue but over a period of 2 years I noticed my hair was much thinner than it used to be. I went to my doctor (at the time I had not yet made the connection with yasmin) and she sent me for a series of blood tests which all came back normal. After coming across this website I went to a different GP and he was at least willing to humor me and switched me to orth tricyclen lo and referred me to a dermatologist who I’m currently waiting to see. So I guess my question is does anyone thing switching brands will help at all, does anyone know of anything that will at least stablize the shedding and also will doing to a dermatologist actually be worth my time or will I just get blown off like with my 1st GP. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated as I’m 20 years old and beginning to really panic! Thanks!

J.A. March 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

Just thought I would stop by and give an update and my support to everyone who has posted here. I don’t admit to have read each and every comment but I have read my fair share and am still shocked at how so many doctors are oblivious to the effects of Birth Control.

It has been about 5 months since I last posted, completely stressed out and nearly crying every time I thought about brushing my hair. Lately I have noticed more fly away hairs around my temples and edge of my hair. I consider this a remarkable and exciting thing. Who knew that having messy hair would be something to celebrate, right? But is it.

So far my thin little ponytail has not shown a trace of thickening but I am not shedding nearly as much as I was before. I don’t have to scrape all the hair out of the shower drain anymore. That is one constant reminder that I am not going to miss. With that I am hoping that this is the start of something better. That I will actually get my hair back someday, and lose the widow’s peak birth control gave me last year.

I just want to say to everyone to be strong and informed. I really agree with the ‘be your own advocate’ comment someone had down earlier and to avoid extra medications that you may not even need.. It’s in your best interest to be informed of any new medication BEFORE you start taking it.

People may never think that losing your hair is a big deal, until it happens to them. I think it’s especially hard for a woman because hair is considered a symbol of womanhood. It’s just heart wrenching to start to lose that and question yourself and your identity as a woman. I feel for you all and wish I could give you all the encouragement and support you need.

Will I ever get all my hair back? I really don’t know. Right now not shedding every second of the day is enough for me. I hope you all can at least get to that step and more!

And I lastly want to specially thank Pilar for her constant presence here and her encouragement and dedication to us all. Her words helped me more than she may ever know.

Pilar March 18, 2011 at 9:26 am

Courtney,

Hormonal birth control can cause Telogen Effluvium while you’re taking, when you switch pills or when you stop. Any kind of hormonal fluctuation has the possibility of causing a shed. Some women will experience hair loss while on the pill, then switch and a few months later they’re experiencing hair loss. It could be the switching of the pill that caused the shed or it could be the new pill they’re on. When TE first hit after being off of Yaz for 2 months, my Endo recommended going back on the pill but then told me that trying another pill could cause another bout of TE. I wasn’t willing to take that chance.

I know how insensitive doctors can be, but seeing my Derm was the best thing I could have done. She showed a tremendous amount of compassion and understood how I felt. I would say give that Derm a chance…they might be able to better understand what is happening.

Pilar

Pilar March 18, 2011 at 10:04 am

J.A.,

That’s great news!!!!!! For me I started noticing a decrease in shedding and also seeing a lot more fly aways around the same time. You’re definitely on the road to recovery. :) It’s really a bummer that the shedding occurs so quickly, yet the re growth seems to take a lifetime! LOL But all we can do is be patient and hope for the best.

What you wrote in your last paragraph make me cry (tears of joy of course). It makes me so happy that I was able to help you. I know when TE first hit, I was scared, frantic and I felt like my world was crumbling around me. Finding this board helped me tremendously and whenever I found a post that showed a glimpse of hope or success…it made me feel a million times better. THANK YOU for coming back and doing the same!

Super hugs to you,

Pilar

carmen March 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Wow..here I am again with more questions than answers.

Ann, did you get your problem with Seborrheic Dermatitis resolved? And if so, did it help with your shedding?

Pilar, did you get the results? Do you also have SD? I feel for young women suffering from hair shedding.

I am in my mid 40’s and am thankful that I had no hair issues during my younger years. However, I do now, it is my reality, and I am so tired of my hair taking up so much of my time, money and thoughts. I started thinning in my early 40’s. I had been on and off the pill but had not been on the pill for over a year when I started noticing the thinning. At the time, I had a bad case of itching, bumpy, scaly scalp and lotsa stress. I went on the pill to try and stop the shedding. One year after being on the pill, exercising, and watching my diet my hair got thick again. Then a year later, got thin again..

If it was male pattern baldness, should it not get gradually thinner? Instead of thin, thick, thin again?? The pill doesn’t seem to make a difference one way or the other for me, I was off it for quite a long time when it starte and got both thicker and thinner on it.

I am now going to get a test for pre-diabetes and see if that might be the reason for the ups and downs of my hair. As far as my seborrheic dermatitis, don’t seem to get that problem when I’m on the pill, but off the pill it is awful.

Hopefully I get answers, soooo confused.
(BTW, I am also getting a saliva test to see where I am hormonally off the pill-off for 3 mos now..was told to test estrogen and progest on day 19, 20 and 21 of your cycle)

Christine March 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Hi Pilar,

When I saw that you had written back I felt such a surge of happiness so thank you very much for taking the time to write to me.

You were right, that after my blood tests my hormone levels were off. My hormone levels were low while my testosterone was high. (For a refresher, I was on OTCL for five years and lo ogestrel 28 for two months). My iron levels also came back low, (iron saturation 20% and ferritin 12 ng/mL).

My GP wanted me to stay on BC and prescribed me desogen (lower androgen). She looked at me like a deer in headlights when I told her my bcp was causing hairloss.

Granted I am only one week into the desogen (generic), I am wondering how long I should stick it out to see if the shedding decreases? Is it possible that there is an adjustment period needed and that the shedding will eventually cease?

Last question, I promise. In your experience, is it likely that stopping bcp all together will stop the shedding or do I most likely fall into the bucket of the dread shed since I am having hair loss on bcp? Still second guessing the decision to start a new pill.

Pilar, are you off bcp all together now??

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me. I feel so pathetic checking this blog everyday but it is my only outlet to this personal hell I have found myself in.

I am trying to remind myself of how much worse it could be, it is just hard when there is a mirror at every turn.

Hang in there girls, all of my love.

Christine

Pilar March 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Hi Carmen,

I was diagnosed with a mild case of SD and was given a topical steroid that I applied for 10 days, once per day. Almost all of the inflammation and redness went away after those 10 days and now I just mantain it with Nizorla 2% once or twice per week. My scalp still seems a lot more oily than it was it was pre-Yaz, but I hope just like the acne it goes away with time.

Pilar

Pilar March 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Hi Christine,

When I went off Yaz (only on it for 2 months) ALL of my hormones came back super low, even my testosterone. I’m guessing your T came back a little high because lo ogestrel is a higher androgen pill? Within months my hormones balanced themselves out. Even though my testosteron did go up a litte, it still remains low and around the same number as before going on Yaz.

When TE first kicked in for me, the doctor that prescribed the pill completely denied that the pill had something to do with. ALL other doctors I saw agreed that the pill was most likely the culprit. It still makes me so mad to think that doctors don’t know or don’t want to admit this side effect.

My ferritin was also low (<5) and I had to take prescription strength iron supplements for months. I saw 2 hematologists and they both wanted my ferriting between 70-100. The last time I tested was in October and I had reached 108. I’m now on over the counter iron supplements that I take during my period and a week after (per doctor’s orders).

It’s hard to say when the shedding will decrease. I know that when TE is triggered, you just have to let it run its course. The hairs you’re shedding now, went into the telogen phase 2-4 months ago. When I saw an Endo, she recommended going back on the pill, but was also scared that it might start another bout of TE and thought it would be better for me to let my hormones try and balance themselves out. But I have read stories of women re-starting the pill, slowing the shed and re growing their hair.

It’s really hard to say whether stopping the pill will cause a dred shed or not. I was on OTC Lo and OTC and when I stopped those and switched, nothing happened at all. Nothing while on them or after stopping. It’s all so tricky and personal. I’ve read of women thinning while on the pill and when they stop it tapers off and they re grow their hair. Then I’ve read of women thinning while on the pill and STILL go through the dred shed.

I am not on the pill and don’t plan on touching it ever again. I had been on OTC and OTC Lo for 9 years. Then I went off the pill completely and felt SOOOOO much better. My skin cleared up, depression went away and sex drive came back!!!! I was completely off the pill for 2 years and somehow I was talked into trying Yaz. I was only on it for 2 months and had horrible side effects. 2 months after going off is when all hell broke lose. I have been off the pill for 1 1/2 years and even though things are improving, they’re happening very slowly.

Christine, please don’t feel “pathetic” (such a harsh word :() for checking this site. This site helped me so much in the beginning when I didn’t know what to do and wanted REAL answers…or wanted more than what doctors had to offer.

I know we should be grateful (and I am) that things in our lives could possibly be worse, but I also know jsut how hard and horrible it is to experience this. Please know that we’re all here for support and I try to check this as often as I can. I want you to know that even though things have greatly improved for me, my hair is still thin and it has a long ways to go. But I am very optimistic that in a year or 2, things will be back to normal.

Please hang in there and I’m sending you a BIG virtual hug!

Pilar

Susan April 4, 2011 at 8:38 am

I’ve been on Rogaine extra strength foam for the last two years and have been on birth control for the last 15 years. Mostly it was Lo-Ovarol generic and then I switchted to Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo (brand name) only within the last six months. My hair just didn’t seem like it was getting better and has been seriously thinning in the last two years. I work out, eat healthy, take a multivitamin, b complex, biotin and drink plenty of water. I’ve been to multiple dermatologists and doctors and they don’t think that birth control causes hair loss- but you search the web and it says it’s linked all over the place. I’ve had so many blood tests done and they all come back normal. The doctors/derms basically say we’re sorry this is happening to you there is no cure outside of Monxonil application. I also decided to go to some naturalists to see what they had to say. They told me that hair loss could be a side effect of the chemically filled- pill and that I should go off of it to give my body a chance to reset. I’m tired of parting my hair certain ways, having to wear a hat when I go running, get self conscious in the summer on the volleyball courts and just knowing I’ve been on the pill for half my life and with the last few years of thinning and shedding and hair loss I decided it was time to try something different. I had a serious talk with my boyfriend and went off of birth control altogether for the last two months. So for the last two months the only form of birth control we’ve been using is condoms. I started taking Kerastase Densitive supplement and continue daily use of the Rogaine foam and I’ve noticed that my hair is coming back. I’ve also now been off of birth control for two months and have had two periods during the same time I normally did. For the last year, I usually had to use the Bumble and Bumble dark brown hair powder spray to cover the center/middle/parts in my hair- but I haven’t had to use it at all. So that is my success story. Ok now here is the twist. The condom broke last night and I went to Walgreens to get the Plan B pill and took it within two hours of our “episode”. The scare I felt wasn’t ideal. I’ve been on the pill for so long, gave my body a rest, my hair has been coming back along w/ my confidence, and then the condom broke and I find myself scrambling TODAY, trying to figure out if hair loss is better than getting pregnant before I’m engaged. I’m 31 years old and would like the engagement, wedding and then baby story line. No quick fixes or scrambling. Do I go back on the pill? Do I try Yasmin? Do I go back on OrthoTriCylin? I’m really at a loss for next steps.

Hope H. April 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Hi everyone,

I’m hoping someone can please help me with a few questions. I am feeling overwhelmed by this and while I know I am not alone, I feel alone in my sadness over what is happening to my hair.

I’m 32 years old (33 in September). I was on Loestrin for 14 months. Because I had such thick, curly hair that I cut into a layered, above-the-shoulder style, I didn’t notice that my hair was thinning. I also didn’t connect a few other side affects to the pill (night sweats, low sex drive, etc). I finally realized what was happening to my hair when I tried to grow it out. I connected the pill to the thinning and got off at the end of November 2010.

It has now been approximately 5 months since I’ve been off the pill. Sometimes I think it feels better, slightly fuller even, sometimes it feels so thin I’m afraid my scalp might be showing. It’s very stressful to count strands, but I’ve noted that I shed anywhere from 12 to 80 strands a day, depending on the time of the month. I started counting a few weeks ago so I don’t know if this is more or less than earlier this year.

My testosterone level was at 49 when I tested it 2 weeks ago (the lab I where I got tested indicates a 50 maximum for women). I was tested the day before my menstrual cycle so I can’t say I’m surprised (though still very upset) that it came back that high- I shed more right before my period. I’m going to get a new test later this week to see if my T level drops when I’m not close to my cycle. My iron and estrogen levels came back ok.

The doctor I saw recently suggested I try birth control and spiro. The challenge for me is that Loestrin was the second pill that affected me negatively. I tried Yaz in 2008 but had to get off quickly because my mood became very dark and depressed while I was on it. I’m afraid of trying a third pill because it seems that my body just does not agree with it. As for spiro, I am willing to try it but the doctor warned me that I may have trouble on it because my blood pressure naturally runs low.

I’ve decided that the best course of action for me right now is to give my body more time. I am praying that my body resets itself somehow to the hormone levels it was at before all of this began. I take fish oil, biotin and prenatal vitamins. My dad was bald (as is my brother); I don’t know my mother or anyone on my maternal side to know if baldness runs in that side of the family.

My question to anyone that will kindly take the time to answer is have you or anyone you know experienced a drop in T levels naturally after stopping birth control, without the aid of medication? If so, how long before this happened?

Thank you all for listening and thank you in advance for anyone that answers.

God bless,

Hope

jenny April 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm

First of all, I am thankful to come across with website. I was so frantic last night because I found a bald spot on the crown of my head about 1x1cm. I came off of OTC-lo in march (a month ago) which I was on for about 5years. I was started on BC when I was 23 because of irregular periods and now at 28, I decided to go off not knowing what to expect. My concern is that it has only been a month and I already found a baldspot, what will happen the next month?

I’ve always had fine, thin hair but always grew fast. I’ve always shed but lately (within a month) it has been increasing. After reading all your stories, I am afraid to know what is coming for me. At this point, I am not sure if I will be taking birthcontrol again, but I am worried that I wouldn’t get my period at all. As expected I started breaking out mostly on my jaw area, which means hormonal. I came across a website that has a organic approach on hair growth. I ordered new hair products (after researching, of course) that contain all organic ingredients and I cannot wait to try. They even have a bald spot treatment, hopefully since it just started that I’ll be able to beat it.
I did not want to start any other medication considering this happened because of BC. It is really devastating, I was unaware that BC causes hair loss, it is a shame that even our physicians are uninformed or ignoring this issue, considering I work in the healthcare industry.

I’ll keep you ladies posted, once I start my new organic hair products. But for now let’s just all pray it won’t get any worse.

ILSE May 16, 2011 at 12:42 am

I was on Minerva 35 for just over a year. I decided to go off about 3 months ago and my hair has been falling out for the last month. I saw a bald spot for the first time today and I can’t stop crying. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I had my Iron and Thyroid testes and it came out normal. I would like to know if I go back on Minerva, after how long will the hair loss stop if I start today? I am 23 years old, just got married and I’m a mess. I never wear my hair down anymore, because it keeps on falling out. My blonde hair is now fading and the regrow is so bad I am embarrassed to go outside, even for a run. I need help, I don’t even want to go to the store, because my hair is so thin. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

Mel June 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Hi Cassie and Pilar,

How is your hair now? I am in the same boat. Was on Yasmin for five years, actually – prescribed it to lower my hair loss, and I have to admit, it must have helped, because now that I have been off for five months, my hair is coming out i ropes (a perfect analogy someone used). I don’t know if I have the fortitude to wait this out.

Nikole July 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I had been taking Northo Ovum 777 for 13 years. A year ago my new gyno suggests that I take Loestrin because she said that I should try lower estrogen because of how petite and skinny I am. I tried it for 2 months and I didnt like it. I asked to switch me back and for the past year I my hair has been shedding like crazy. I have alot of thinning on the sides of my head and behind my bangs. I went to a derm and she just blew it off and said it was stress. I have had blood work for hormone levels iron and thyroid etc. and everything is normal. I just wish it would stop. I am afraid to stop taking 777 because now I think it will shed more if I do. I have never had a problem before. I wish I had never switched pills. My gyno says that after a few months of being back on it my hair should of went back to normal. I don t know what to do. I am afraid that eventually I will lose it all.

Pilar July 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Hello Mel:

It’s been a year and 7 months since this nightmare began and I’ve been shedding normally for 7-8 months and also seeing lots of re growth. My abnormal shedding lasted for 11 months even though doctors and most sites will say TE only lasts 3-6 months – LIES! My hair still has some catching up to do, but it seems to be happening, just a little slow for my liking. I keep wishing that the growing part of this ordeal was just as quick as the losing part – unfortunately nature didn’t make it that way.

Going through this hair loss was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to experiece and even though 11 months seemed like a lifetime…I made it! I know just how you feel and it’s hard to just to wait it out as your hair is falling out in ropes, but PLEASE KNOW…that it DOES STOP!

Hang in there!

Pilar

Pilar July 7, 2011 at 8:19 am

Hello Nikole:

Any change in hormone levels has the possibility of starting a bout of Telogen Effluvium and unfortunately you just have to let it run its course.

I was only on Yaz for 2 months and 3 months after I stopped that pill, my hair began falling out in ropes! The abnormal shedding lasted for 11 months and through out that time I considered going back on the pill to make it stopped, but I knew once I decided to go off of it the next time, I would probably go through the same thing all over again.

If you NEED to be on bcp, then stick to the one your body likes. I think switching pills and especially switching to one that is highly androgenic, set off TE. How long have you been shedding?

Pilar

Ann July 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Pilar:
Hi! I have been losing also for 10/11 months and it started right after I stopped the vivelle dot estrogen patch. I started back up again 2 months later but the hair loss continues. When your hair started growing back, where did you notice it first? I think I see some regrowth at my hairline but it seems weird that I would be experiencing both loss and regrowth at the same time. I am so worried I will never gety hair back!

jody July 10, 2011 at 6:10 am

Most of the comments I have read on this blog are from younger women, I am in my 50’s.. I started menopause at the age of 42. My Gynocologist immediatley put me on birth control to supplement the loss of estrogen. I started noticing excessive hair loss 2 -3 years ago. I started on Rogaine. Going to 4 dermatologists, 2 endrocrinologists and sticking with the same gyno. Its amazing how uneducated physicians are in this area .
Recently I found a dermatologist that perscribed either Propecia or 50mg Spironolactone. It was my choice. Thanks, but still confused. After reading these blog comments I noticed that most think the birth control is the culprit. Would this apply to someone older, myself? Dont I have to suplement my estrogen? What about bioidenticals?Thanks

Pilar July 11, 2011 at 7:42 am

Hello Ann,

I actually started seeing re growth 2-3 months into TE. Some of the new growth fell out and some kept growing and are now 6-7 inches long. My Derm said that during TE, you will notice shedding, regrowth and the shedding of smaller hairs. Since TE interupts the growth process, sometimes the follicle needs a few runs to get it right. When TE first first, I saw an Endo which suggested I could always go back on the pill, but she was scared that another change in hormone levels could cause another bout of TE or prolong the one I was currently in. I decided to stay off the pill and ride out the storm. The first place I did notice re growth was at the hair line. Then I started parting my hair in different directions and noticed a lot more re growth. Even though I still have not re grown all of my hair back, I’m positive that it will happen with a little more time. Please hang in there!!!!

Pilar

Dee July 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Jenny, I read over your story and wanted to mention something to you – you said you have irregular periods and often don’t get periods without being on the pill. It’s possible you have some form of PCOS or ovarian dysfunction which needs worked up. After stopping the pill you would be expected to have TE for several months; however, if your hair keeps on shedding and you don’t get regular periods back you need to go see your GYN to be worked up for amenorrhea (absence of periods). Often the treatment is to go back on low androgenic birth control pills to control the excess androgens and stop hair loss, acne, etc. Don’t wait past 6 months – if you don’t have a regular period back by then make your GYN work up your hormones. I’m a doc who is also experiencing hormonal hair loss so I have a unique perspective. Best of luck and take care!

Ann July 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Pilar:

Thanks for your comments. It really helps to hear how your regrowth started happening and has progressed. I have been shedding a lot lately. I wish I could say it has calmed down but it seems to have picked up speed and I lose about 50 hairs from washing and combing my hair out after my shower, daily. This is also combined with a new irritation of my scalp. I don’t know what this is from for sure but I started a new topical treatment called Procrinix. I don’t know exactly what’s in it but my Derm. put me on it (Dr. Griffin). I have a call into his office to find it if they want me to continue it since my scalp is irritated. I also made an appointment for a scalp biopsy next Tuesday. He has told me in the past that he felt it would come back TE/AGA mix. I just want to know what the lab says. I feel it would help me to have this diagnosis. Anyway, I’m also seriously considering starting Propecia or Spiro. Dr. Griffin will prescribe both. I think this may be my next step. I forget, Pilar, did you try either of these? I don’t think you did.
Thanks again!

Pilar July 13, 2011 at 6:15 am

Hi Ann:

I also noticed a lot of fluctuations in my shedding during TE, but it slowly started tapering off towards the end of 2010. And I ALSO experienced scalp irritation that was diagnosed as Seb Derm. My Derm told me that during TE, so many follicles have been shocked into the resting phase and this in turn can cause irritation/inflammation. I was prescribed a topical lotion and the irritaion dissapeared within a week. I remember my shed increasing during the time that my scalp wasn’t feeling so well. When I first saw my Derm, she told me that getting a biopsy was always an option, but she wanted to give it a few more months. We waited and the shedding stopped and re growth started making it’s way through. She didn’t think it was necessary since during TE or TE recovery, sometimes biopsies can come back showing AGA when in all reality it’s just TE. This happened to 2 ladies on this board (one of them, Bonnie who posted an update). They did biopsies and it came back as AGA but they both re grew their hair. I saw my Derm 2 months ago and I asked about Spiro. I wasn’t sure I wanted to take it, but I thought I was ask her what she thought. She said it was a great treatment for AGA, acne and hirsutism but she didn’t think I needed it. She said she saw healthy re growth and Spiro ALSO has the chance of starting another bout of TE…so she didn’t think I should take that chance – and I AGREED! I know it’s hard to sit around and wait as our precious hair just pours off out heads, but I would give it a little more time. I think going back on the pill 2 months after going off might have started another bout of TE or prolonged it. And remember that I was still shedding while seeing re growth…and mine also started at the hair line.

Pilar

Ann July 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Pilar:

Thank you so much for your input and words of advice. I would say you don’t have any idea how much they mean to me, but of course you do! You’ve been there so I know you know! :)
It is interesting to hear about your irritated scalp and that you lost more hair during the time it was irritated. I just washed my hair tonight and lost at least 80…after that, I just stopped counting. Too depressing! I have been focusing so much on this that I think it is not good for me…emotionally it is really taking its toll. I called a friend today and bawled on the phone. I also told the woman where I buy my make up and I started crying there too! It is just unhealthy to be so focused on it but then again, how can you just ignore it? I wish I had the answers.
I will talk to the doctor next week about my irritated scalp. I don’t think I have seb. dermatitis but maybe. I see nothing “on” my scalp or flaking of any kind. Just is pink and it feels often like I just took my hair out of a ponytail and the scalp feels sore. Do you know what I mean? Also burns a bit too but it is not all the time. I will say that for sure, my scalp is very sensitive to pulling, etc. I have to be careful when I am styling it and tell my little daughter to watch out for mommy’s hair because it hurts. I have decided that I will NOT let this get me down to where my life is consumed by this. There are TOO MANY beautiful things in life to appreciate and though losing my hair is horrible, there are worse things. I try to remind myself of that everyday.

I was very against taking spiro at first as I heard it can hurt your kidney’s or can be life threatening if you do not drink a lot of water. That scares me. However, I am now at the point that if the doctor really thinks I will benefit from it, I’d be willing to give it a try.

Anyway, I’ll let you know what they say next Tuesday at my appointment. I am starting a new job on Monday and am hoping they will not be staring at my head wondering what the heck is wrong with me!

Ann July 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Pilar: a few more questions for you.
-how long did you shed before it stopped?
-how much of your hair overall did you lose before it stopped?
-when the shedding stopped was it sudden or more of a gradual process?
-what city are you in- doubtful we are in the same city…but thought I’d ask as maybe you might have a doctor to recommend. I’m in Atlanta. If you want to email me directly, I am at: annk@mindspring.com.

Ann :)

Ann July 13, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Pilar:

oops! I just realized you already answered one of my questions before. You say you started seeing regrowth at 3 months. That, I could have handled. It has been 11 months for me. SO, I’m running out of patience to just sit around and wait some more and see what happens. The only regrowth I have is from the Rogaine/Propecia topical formula on the very top of my head/hair line. So, I’m just not convinced this is TE. Sad to say.

Pilar July 14, 2011 at 8:29 am

Hello Ann,

I started experiencing scalp irritation 5-6 months into TE. I also experienced the soreness and burning with some itching and prickling. Right before the scalp discomfort began, my shedding had started to decrease little by little but picked up when the scalp issues started. Four months into the scalp discomfort I finally decided to see a derm and I was diagnosed with Seb Derm. I HAD NEVER had scalp issues in my life and this was a HUGE surprise. I also didn’t have any flaking or visible signs of Seb Derm…but after a close look from my Derm, she said I had SD. She prescribed a lotion and I began using Nizoral twice a week. The lotion got rid of the irriation and pain but I still had some itching here and there. For the last few months I’m happy to day that it’s all cleared up and my scalp feels completely normal.

Here’s the answers to your questions:
-how long did you shed before it stopped?
A: I shed abnormally for almost a year. November 2009 – October/November 2010. During this time I saw tons of fluctuations and it went up a lot during the time I was having scalp issues.
-how much of your hair overall did you lose before it stopped?
A: I was lucky that I started out with a lot of thick hair so most people didn’t notice. Some close friends did comment on my hair looking thinner and asked if I had my fiance thin it out. My fiance is a hair stylist and would sometimes thin out my hair since it was so thick. But I would say I lost 40-45% of my hair. My fiance thinks it’s more like 25-30%.
-when the shedding stopped was it sudden or more of a gradual process?
A: It was totally gradual. I counted my hairs every day and unfortunately I still do. I don’t think I would have noticed the tapering off if I wasn’t actually counting every single hair – it was that gradual. But now for the last 6 months I’ve been shedding an average of 40-50 hairs per day.
-what city are you in- doubtful we are in the same city…but thought I’d ask as maybe you might have a doctor to recommend. I’m in Atlanta.
A: I’m in NYC. And I have a wonderful Derm Sherry Shieh.

Yes, I started seeing re growth 3 months into TE, but a lot of it fell out. I’ve also noticed that re growth seems to come in waves. Just a few months ago I had ALL these little hairs that are now 2 inches long and for a while I didn’t see any shorter ones. Now I’m seeing a lot of little hairs that are 1/2 inch long.

Honestly, I wouldn’t lose hope just yet. I think it’s good that you’re prepared and have researched all possible options, but please know that even at the 11 month mark…my hair was still thin, my part was HUGE and I thought it would never get better. And even though things aren’t completely back to normal, they are getting better every single day!

Hang in there!
Pilar

Ann July 15, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Thanks, Pilar for all. You truly are awesome and so sweet to keep coming out here to support everyone with your story and experience. I wish I was in NYC as I’d love to see your derm. She sounds terrific. I did call down to a specialist in the Lakeland, FL area this week and am going to be emailing them some pictures of my head/hair as well as mailing them copies of my medical records. I am excited to get another opinion from another hair specialist derm. He’s going to do what he can with me from over the phone as a first step. Good think is, if I need to, I could drive down there and back in a day for an appointment (or at least stay only one night in a hotel as I think it is about a 5 hour drive one way). I am SO hopeful he may have some other ideas. I’m also going to proceed with my scalp biopsy this coming Tuesday to make sure it is not some obscure scalp condition.
In the mean time, after losing 80 hairs (or more) two days ago (the most ever that I can recall in one day) I only lost 20 yesterday and today…drum roll please, 20 again! That is encouraging as the scalp pain has stopped for now. It feels better, which is such a relief.

What is discouraging to me is that I have not had hardly any regrowth in 11 months. The top of my head is bad…very thin. you can see a lot of my scalp and I have brown hair so the white scalp stands out. I’m going to look into Toppik. Did you ever use that? I have lost at least 60% of my hair so I have to do something. It is very apparent something is going on and I don’t want to shout it to the world! :)

Nikole July 17, 2011 at 4:40 am

Pillar
I have been shedding for a year now and it is just horrible. It is affecting the sides of my head the most. I hate putting it back in a ponytail because it shows. wonder if switching to another pill will work. I would rather just get off of them all together. I just wish I knew for sure
the reason why its happening in the first place.

Pilar July 18, 2011 at 7:48 am

Hi Nikole,

I have to disagree with most doctors when they say “once you switch pills it should stop withing a few months” – not true! I was only on the pill for 2 months and my shedding lasted almost a year! Everyone’s body is different and these synthetic hormones have the possibility of doing some crazy things. You were on a highly androgenic pill and then switched to the one you were on previously – that change might have caused another bout of TE…and yes TE can last a year. For me, I’ve decided that it’s better to be off any kind of hormonal birth control. All these pill have the possibility of causing hair loss – it’s printed on the leaflet that comes with it. Have you had your hormones tested?

Pilar

Pilar July 18, 2011 at 7:57 am

Ann,

The decrease in shedding is a GREAT sign!!!! During the end of last year when I started seeing a decrease, that’s excatly how I would see it. But just in case it does happen, if for some reason it goes up again, DO NOT get discrouraged – it happened to me too. I would shed high for a few days, then it would go down. Then shoot back up. But what I noticed was that when it would shoot up, it wouldn’t be as high as previous sheds and it wouldn’t last as long. Then little by little I noticed that those high shed days were further and further apart and lower and lower.

Is the thickness of your individual hairs on the thicker or thinner side? Since mine are a little thicker, when they’re growing in, they stick straight up – so they’re easy to see. Have you had anyone look for re growth? What I do is part my hair in different directions and hold my hair down firmly, then I brush my hand against the laid down hair in the opposite direction and this tends to lift up all the little hairs that are growing in (sorry if that’s totally confusig and doesn’t make sense).

I did use Toppik and honestly I don’t know what I would have done without it! I got it last May when I was 6 moths into TE. I would sprinkle it on the top and along my part where it was super duepr thin. Now I still use it once or twice a month just because I’m so used to using it, but I don’t find it necessary. I would recommend it!!!!

Pilar

PS I sent you an email but but I got a reply saying that you don’t accept emails from people you don’t know. I clicked on the link and filled out the request.

Ann July 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

Pilar:

Hi! Yes, I am encouraged right now that things seem to be slowing down after two weeks of a shedding nightmare that is unexplainable to me!! Thank goodness!
I am now losing on average about 25 hairs daily vs. the 75-80 but that’s just been for about five days so I hate to get cocky about it!

The hair that is coming in is mainly where I have been applying the topical minoxodil/propecia treatment since March vs. everywhere. I see it coming in at my hair line, some on the top of my head (to a much lesser extent) and then a good bit (the most) at my temples/near there. My hair is relatively fine by nature so I don’t think it will stand straight up. I went to the hairdresser this past weekend and she said she did NOT see regrowth anywhere else. She looked at the back of my head, the sides, etc. Nothing. So, I think I’m only experiencing success with that due to the topical treatment…that’s sort of depressing that my hair is not regrowing by itself but at least the topical is working ok. The VERY top/front of my hair behind my bangs is really thin and I have some very bald spots that look like they’ve been bald…forever! NOTHING there. NO hair growing there despite my rubbing it in very well there. Oh well.

Thanks again for all your support. I am praying and keeping a positive attitude. I hope that this is the beginning of a recovery. At the very least, I would love the hair that I do have to STAY PUT! Have a great day!

Ann

Nikole July 30, 2011 at 6:25 am

Has anyone used the supplement called Vivascal? I am thinking about trying it . It is supposed to help.

Melinda July 30, 2011 at 10:50 am

Hello everyone! Thank you all for sharing your stories. I have PCOS and take 1000 mg metformin a day. I began taking Loestrin FE to control my periods about 6 months ago. About 3 months in my hair started shedding – 2 or 3 hairs on my hand in the shower, few on the sink. I began using Nioxin about a week ago and the hair loss has increased – up to about 30 hairs during washing/styling and noticing it throughout the day. I saw my doctor yesterday – she took me off Loestrin and is switching me to Yasmin. I know that hair loss is a part of the syndrome I have, it is a side effect of metformin, and now the pill. I’m looking for feedback from anyone who has switched to Yasmin and if they saw an improvement and if so how quickly. Also if anyone has used Nioxin and experienced an initial hair loss which then got better? I’m also taking prenatal vitamins and a biotin supplement. I know that my hair is going to be an issue for me for the rest of my life – it’s hard to know how much to concentrate on it. Thanks for any input.

Ann August 6, 2011 at 11:10 am

Pilar:

You still Out there? I got diagnosed w AA this week from a scalp biopsy done in two places. I had a feeling that is what the test would say. I am still shedding about 25-30 hairs in the shower each day. Doctor put me on 5 mg of Proscar (propecia generic) per day. I do continue the 5% minoxidil topically as well. I am losing hope to grow any of my hair and feel this shedding will never end!! It is almost one yr!!! The dr seemed annoyed by my questions. She said just take your medicine and come back in three or four months. Can you email me again? Could use a friend to talk to his about. annk@mindspring.com.

Pilar August 8, 2011 at 7:43 am

Hi Ann:

Yes, I’m still here and please do not lose hope! I know of a few ladies (Bonnie on this board) that were diagnosed with AA after a biopsy and were still able to regrow their hair. I’m thinking that with the medication and minoxodil, you will continue to see some re growth and it might also help to decrease the amout of hairs you’re shedding….unfortunately you will have to give it some time.

I will email you right now.

Pilar

K August 9, 2011 at 7:42 am

Ann: I wanted to shared this with you . I am so sorry for your pain. It is on pubmed.gov and discussed many scenarios but it is somewhat encouraging…..”The diagnosis of AGA can usually be confirmed by medical history and physical examination alone. A trichogram can be useful to assess the progression of the hair loss. A scalp biospy is diagnostic but usually not required. In women with signs of hyperandrogenism, investigation for ovarian (polycystic ovarian disease) or adrenal (late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia) disorders is required. Mild to moderate AGA in men can be treated with oral finasteride or topical minoxidil. Oral finasteride at the dosage of 1 mg/day produced clinical improvement in up to 66% of patients treated for 2 years. The drug is effective for both frontal and vertex hair thinning. Medical treatment with finasteride or minoxidil should be continued indefinitely since interruption of therapy leads to hair loss with return to pretreatment status. Mild to moderate AGA in women can be treated with oral antiandrogens (cyproterone acetate, spironolactone) and/or topical minoxidil with good results in many cases. Hair systems and surgery may be considered for selected cases of severe AGA both in men and in women.
CONCLUSIONS:
Patients with AGA should be informed about the pathogenesis of the condition. If used correctly, available medical treatments arrest progression of the disease and reverse miniaturization in most patients with mild to moderate AGA.”
This is really good information. And I know that Kathryn may have seemed impatient but she has AGA as well. Almost everyone in Dr.Griffin’s office does but they manage it with medication. I have been using the 2% rogaine only at night and it has helped my hair. I just told myself I’m going to do this for a year and go from there. There is an amazing hair replacement studio in Alpharetta called New Horizons. I have been in touch with them in preparation. My hair still looks okay with most not knowing. I wear a few hair extension (micro link, no chemicals) they are uncomfortable at first but then I adjusted, it has been 6 weeks and I need to have them tightened up. But believe me they have helped my confidence. And I have all the pain and burning issues that you have and they have been okay. The first week I thought I was going to go insane, but I would just take advil at night and sleep on a soft pillow. I don’t even feel them now other than when I brush them. Is it like have your own hair, no, but does it make my appearance better yes and it does make me feel better. I did the extensions knowing that I may have to do them for the rest of my life but I had to do something. The strain this has put on me and my family has just been too much and I wanted to get better mentally for them. Ann I wish you the absolute best.

Ann August 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

K and Pilar:

Thank you both, from the very bottom of my heart, for all your comments and reassurance. I have updates! So, K, first let me say thank you for your very sincere and earnest post. I did not actually see Kathryn last time. I saw another Dr. in that practice who is new as Dr. Griffin and Kathryn were not available. She and Dr. Griffin recommended the Proscar and said I should try that first vs. Spiro. I have filled the perscription and am taking it now for about 5 days…so, maybe in 6 months, there will be something to tell one way or the other (I promise to let everyone on here know if the Proscar yields any positive results).

I have noticed in recent weeks (the last two or three) that my shedding has slowed down. I don’t know why. It is not attributed to anything new because I have not done anything new (other than the Prosar but I just started that a few days ago, so that is not the reason). My greatest wish right now is that the shedding STOP because I really don’t have any regrowth. Maybe a few “vellous” hairs (Sp?). They are like filaments…fine and very hard to see until they fall out.

I wish I knew the reason for my TE for sure, but I don’t think I ever will. Late Sept. is when I started shedding, so in one month, I will cross the one year mark. I have done what I can to put this in the back of my mind lately. I started a new job and my daughter started Kindergarten this past week. :) I’m trying to focus on living my life and not my hair. To HELL with it, is what I feel right now. I can’t let that control me. If I need to get extensions, K, or a wig, I will do so. I am going to live a positive and happy life…even if I am bald!

I love you ladies, who I do not know. You are wonderful and have given me strength and understanding when I could not get it from anyone else. My friends have no idea nor my family. I think unless you experience this, you just cannot relate.

I will check back in soon for an update…in the mean time, to you all. We are sisters-in-hairloss. But we are more than that…we are STRONG women who are MORE than their damn hair. Peace!

Ann August 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Oh, and I wanted to say also that my scalp is still sensitive (definitely) but the burning sensation I felt one month ago is gone. It lasted about 2 weeks and eased up, thank goodness. I definitely think that the burning indicates irritation of the scalp and a greater shed will be the result until the burning stops. If you have these symptoms, there is a reason for your scalp irritation. Get to the bottom of it…be good to your scalp and your hair and hopefully the irritation will subside.

K August 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Hey Ann

It is so good to hear from u! Please let me know about the pro med. Any side effects? I’m so so so sensitive to any kind of meds and ive seriously been considering but I’m so scared of chemicals, etc….but I’m to the point where I’m like I would rather have my hair and deal with the effects.

Please let me know. I wish you tons of hair on ur hair and your daughter a great school year!

bk subhakaran August 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

i’m so greatful for this site! its been really eye opening reading everyone comments. im 27 and have always had very thick curly hair. i moved to india 2 years ago and i went off the pill (orthro tricyclin lo) once i got here. at first i attributed the hair loss to the hard water and stress of moving but after 6 months my hair was half of what it was. its also very long…i have been let it grow out a lot. i am taking vitimans, zinc, a daily multivitimin and vitimin A. do you think the hair loss is because i went off the pill? what can i do to get my hair back? i always used to get compliments and now im so self conscience and looking at how thick everyone else’s hair is. i am buying a water filter so we’ll see if that helps. otherwise what can i do?! any other vitimans or hormoneies i should take?

Libby September 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Hello! I am very happy to have found this! Reading everyone’s success stories is giving me hope! I was on BC for 12 years, OTC-Lo. In March I decided to come off the pill to see what my body was like without the pill and because my husband and I would like to start having children sooner than later.

When I first stopped taking the pill I noticed zero side effects. My periods were coming like clockwork every month and I thought “Great!” … until the hair loss started. I had no idea that hair loss could be a side effect after I stopped taking the pill, my doctor never warned me … no one warned me. At first I did not think much of it because I have (had) very thick hair. I would lose handfuls in the shower, while styling my hair and throughout the day. Finally I mentioned it to my husband. At first he did not notice anything and thought I was over-reactiing.

Fast forward a few months. I am not losing so much hair every day we have to vaccum the bathroom almost daily, clean the drain daily and clean out the brush every time I use it. My once thick hair is now thin and limp. I can see my scalp in the front and can no longer pull it back in a pony tail. I used to have to use 2 hair ties to keep it up, now I can wrap one hair tie around it 4 times.

I started having other health issues so I went to my doctor recently. I mentioned my hair loss and he checked my thyroid and hormone levels. Everything came back normal. But I am now 6 months post, so I don’t know if even though my hormones have balanced out my hair is not quite there yet?

I am terrified. I am only 28 and do not want to be bald. I see some women who have gone bald and seem to have so much confidence … I envy them! I am not bald yet, but I have zero confidence. I look in the mirror and cry. I do not know where to turn. I was secretly hoping it was my thyroid … easy answer. Now that I know it’s not I am scared I am just going bald. No women in my family are bald but my brother went bald at 18.

After reading some of your stories I want to make an appointment with a dermotologist and see what they say. Maybe someone will have the magic answer? I do not want to go back on the pill and trigger another hormonal shock.

Ann September 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Pliar and K:

How are you all doing? K? How are you since your post a few weeks ago about how down you have been feeling? I hope you are doing better.
My shedding has gotten so much worse on the last 2 weeks. I don’t know why. Derm said “you may just be a shedder!”. I have been under extreme stress, so maybe that is why? Who knows. I am going to start on Spiro this weekend. I was resisting it bit hey, I will try anything now to keep the hair from all falling out.

K September 23, 2011 at 5:04 am

Hi Ann, I’m sorry you are under so much stress I’m sure that has something to do with the shedding. And that really stinks. I hope your stress has gotten better. There is a lady her in my office that has just started spiro because of hair loss but she also really does suffer from blood pressure issues. I’m still doing my 2% rogaine every night. And I do shed. Now when I take a shower maybe 5 hairs come out and a good bit when I brush it wet, it seems normal. But I do shed more throughout the day than I like. While I’m not shedding I do believe my hair is thinning. I am seriously checking into the hair replacement. I have been looking on the network and a good bit and the ones who are the happiest and are able to go on living without being so depressed about their hair are the ones who move forward with the hair replacement. I just don’t feel like fighting this battle with less than desirable results. I don’t want to keep doing rogaine and start taking anything else that I don’t know what is going to do to me long term. I haven’t seen Pilar on here in a while, I really would like to hear from her she is such a positive force. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and the spiro kicks in soon. Thank God for this site and all the wonderful women on here.

Ann September 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

K:

So glad to hear from you! I think Pilar is doing better and her hair is regrowing, so she may just not be coming here as much. I’m really glad to hear you are not shedding very much! That’s wonderful! I am going through a huge shed, as I said…strangely, I am also losing many of my eyelashes as well, this time. That is new for me!
I think I mentioned that I started taking Proscar about six weeks ago and I wonder if the shedding has something to do with that? I’ve read on the men’s hair loss boards that many of them notice this side effect after being on Propecia/Proscar after a month or 6 weeks. I think I will stick it out another couple of weeks and see what happens but it is really freaking me out and the eyelashes too! That’s so weird.

I’m getting the Spiro tomorrow at Costco (price is much better there and I get the Proscar there as well). They are starting me on 50 mg to see how I tolerate it and then if I do OK, they will bump me up to 100 mg. I’m just going to be popping pills left and right, if you consider all the vitamins I am taking etc.!

K, tell me about the hair replacement. When you refer to that, are you talking about a transplant or a bonded hair system? Or something else? I’m just not sure! I know it would certainly be amazing not to have to worry about this all the time. Goodness knows that my self-esteem has taken a nose dive and I am in a highly visable position in sales. I meet with customers and I just feel like people are probably wondering what’s going on with my yucky (formerly pretty and super thick) HAIR!!! K, you have regrowth don’t you?

Thank GOODNESS for this site and the wonderful Admin (whoever she may be) and all you FABULOUS women.

K September 26, 2011 at 4:34 am

Hi Ann, I am talking about hair integration or bonding. I don’t want to worry with this all the time. I’m in sales too! That is so funny. I think that is why this bothers me to the extent that it does because of sales and meeting with customers. And yes I do have constant new growth but it falls out. I think it just may be the follicles dying off. I don’t know because with the constant regrowth my hair never fills in. It is very wispy. Katherine said whatever you have done to your hair it is definitely trying to heal itself but even though I have new growth it is thinner than it was even 6 months ago. I don’t want this to dominate my life. And I can tell from reading and looking at the albums on the network the ones who move forward with their lives are the ones who do this. I wish you the absolute best. Keep in touch. If you want to check into this there is a place in Alpharetta called New Horizons. I haven’t been there yet, but I am in contact with them. Just getting my feet wet. Have a blessed week.

Ann September 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Thanks, K! I can’t get on to the network. I have requested to be sent the email to get set up several times but strangely, the email never arrives so I can’t get out there!

I know what you mean about work meetings. We are expected to look presentable and attractive! Such pressure. I have already been getting an upset tummy on the spiro so I do not know if I will be able to tolerate it. I’m disappointed!!

I would love to chat w you some time on the phone. If you are interested let me know and I can email you my phone number! Annk@mindspring.com.

Best to you!

K September 27, 2011 at 4:31 am

Hi Ann, You might have to ride that out. There was one story about a woman who got on spiro and took a very aggressive approach to her hair loss and got 95% of her hair back. She said it was incredibly rough the first 3-4 months with sick throwing up, extreme shedding, etc….and that most women could not handle what she went through but in the end it paid off. She used the 5% rogaine, spiro and something else I can’t remember. She said the side affects subsided after the 1st 3-4 months. You can read the blogs on the network without being a member of it. They have some pretty enlightening blogs.

Ann September 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Thanks, K. I will try to find that. I am glad to read any success story! I am so depressed which is ironic as I was giving you a hard pep-talk any feeling this way a few weeks back. Now, here I am feeling so hopeless, desperate and like I’m falling down the rabbit hole. I can’t help but feel like life is about half as joyous as it used to be before all this began. I am shedding like crazy. My hair is falling-out all over the place, all day long! It is just awful.

I am gassy and my overall digestive system is way off. I am on a low dose…only 50 mg! I can’t imagine being on 200mg, which is what I hear is the “aggressive dose”. Thank you for your compassion when you are in the middle of going through your own difficult time w your hair. It means so much to me.

Have you seen a trichologist yet? Do you know of any? I can’t find one in Atlanta on the Internet.

K September 28, 2011 at 4:41 am

Ann, I find this is such a roller coaster of emotion. There are times when I’m really strong and I’ve had a pretty good week this week so I feel pretty good. I’m sorry you feel so gassy that is miserable. Even though I am strong….today….I am definitely 1/4 of joyous and confident of what I use to be. I use to be up for anything in life, but now I’ve pulled away from most. But I absolutely know that we can have our lives back after reading some of the things on the network. Amber C, go look at her website, google personal hair therapy, Raleigh NC and you will find her website. She is so incredibly inspiring and cute. She lost her hair after having kids. It became her passion and now she does hair replacement and lives a very thriving life. When you see stuff like that you know you can have your life back. And one thing I think about is that losing your hair is definitely losing a limb (for a woman at least) but it is a limb that can be replaced and it not look fake. I am so so so thankful that I have all of my limbs and can walk, run, etc….I exercise almost everyday and it just feels great to be fit. I have not seen an endo. You might want to ask Dr. Griffin or Katherine if they know of one or your general practitioner. Try to concentrate on the things you can control and not the things you can’t. You can make your daughter smile and give her extra love, you can walk or run 3 miles, you can clean your home and light a candle or you can do something special for someone who needs it. You can talk to God. A friend of mine who’s husband left her in the middle of the night while she was pregnant with her child had like a life support person in her life kind of like what I guess AA gives somebody but that person would call her and check on her and my friend would be sitting in her rocking chair holding her baby, crying and rocking completely paralyzed by her emotions and her counselor would say her name and tell her get up and do something you know you can do you can get that vacuum cleaner and vacuum but you can’t make your husband come back. Do things that you can control. That just really stuck with me. Now don’t get me wrong I get paralyzed in my emotions often but I do chant that in mind when I am overcome with emotion. Check out Amber , she is a true inspiration to what we are facing. Let me know how you are doing.

K September 28, 2011 at 5:20 am

Ann, I found Bonnie’s story and she has several comments that were added on down the page. I think her story is under Spiro, just click on it and go down the page. But she definitely had success but suffered with shedding for 9 months and the side affects for 2 months…….

Bonnie 02.20.09 at 10:40 pm

I read this post and was happy to hear about this success story as I had much the same story and I wish I could read more of them. When I went off of my pill at 37, almost 9 years ago I suffered a massive hair loss. At first I thought it was just telogen effluvium (TE) and it would resolve in a few months….it did not. It went on for over a year and I had lost 50-60% of my hair and it was still falling out ..plus the new hairs were growing in very fine, but my hairloss was diffuse like TE so I went to a dermatologist and had a biopsy and the diagnosis was AGA or female pattern hairloss .

As upset as I was to hear that I new I had to act fast so I seeked out help from an endocrinologist. Since it was a hormonal thing that started the loss I knew it would take something hormonally related to stop it or control it. Anyway to make a long story short – 200mg spironolactone, Dianne 35 and 5% rogaine (2X a day) and guess what? 95-100% regrowth and at 46 I have the nicest hair I have ever had. Long and thick like it was in my 20s I never dream that this would have been possible. This is what I have learned form my experience:
1. Treat your condition early on and be very aggressive as AGA is a very aggressive condition.
2. If you have been losing hair for over 6 months likely you have AGA and not TE.
3.The treatments work if you stick with them but they take time, it took me 2 years to fully recover.
4. Everything has side effects my were very minor but most of the stuff just had an adjustment period no side effects after 2 months.
5. Be prepared for a lot of shedding the first 2-3 months. It is a good thing as it means your hair is going in a rapid growth phase and all the resting hairs will fall out faster to make room for the new thicker hairs.

I hope this helps and even if you haven’t been aggressive to date you may still get some good recovery with these treatments or some of these treatments, if you can take them… just stick with it!!!!

Ann September 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm

K:

Thanks! I wonder how Bonnie is doing now since that post was 2.5 years ago? I am hopeful she still has these great results! I agree, you do have to be aggressive. I also know that what works for one person will not neccessarily work for another. I hope the spiro and proscar will work for me…I think that is my best hope! I will not give up but boy, is my hair shedding like crazy right now! I got it chopped the other night…it was so dry on the ends, it does feel nicer to have healthier hair so that’s a positive. I broke down in tears in the hair salon..and could not stop for about 5 minutes. My hairdresser was really nice about it but she probably thinks I am crazy! :)

I agree with everything you said. It is like losing a limb. however, we still have all the abilities of a healthy person and we should enjoy those! You motivated me to go take a long walk right now and enjoy this gorgeous Indian summer weather! I do try to find enjoyment where I can…in the little things. Life is much dimmer now. I feel very isolated due to my new job (small company and I often work from home), being a single mother and now the hair loss. It is overwhelming at times.

I am glad to hear you are doing a little better now. I know it is an up and down thing. what is Kathryn telling you to do these days? Wait and see?

I did go see a new Endo yesterday. He got voted Atlanta’s Top Endocronologist by Atlanta magazine for 2011, so maybe he will find some reason I am unaware of? Or maybe he will have recommendations even if he finds nothing new. We are waiting to get the lab work back (blood tests) and will see what they say. Should know something next week.

Please know you are like a ray of sunshine to me in these darker days. Thank you ever so much for your kind support and friendship. I hope I can prop you back up on days when you need it too!

Ann September 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm

K:

Also, I have not noticed any side effects from the Proscar yet. Just the increased hair shed…which hopefully is a good sign and not a bad one! Dr. Griffin said “I’ve never heard of Proscar doing that before”. Well, hello! It’s all over the internet on the men’s hair loss forums! I mean ALL over them! They said it is a positive indication it is working there.

K September 30, 2011 at 4:48 am

Ann, It always amazes me how little our doctors know! I have not been back to Dr. Griffin since March. I truly did give up trying to find an answer. And I found his attention deficit disorder exhausting for his profession. While Kathryn is a lovely person she is almost numb to it because she is subjected to it all day and has it herself. It is just no big deal to her. And if they say the shedding is a good sign that is great! I really look forward to seeing positive results with you. I am still doing the 2% women’s rogaine at night and have started using the laser comb again 2 -3 times a week. I don’t think the laser helps grow one vellus hair on my head but I do believe it helps with the health of my scalp and hair. While I have new growth my hair is getting thinner. I truly think I will have to wear supplemental hair. I really am in a better state than I was before. I just try to fix my hair the best I can and just get on with it. Does it consume my thoughts yes and I wish like crazy it was the furthest thing from my mind and I was concentrating on what I was going to do for my husband or my son or my job. But no all I want to do is read about hair loss. It is crazy. I am not as sad or depressed as I was but I guess I am still in mourning. I just say in my mind talking to God, “what I wouldn’t give to have that beautiful soft lush hair line and density back and really appreciate it and see it”. I do stare at heads all the time I mean all the time. But I am completely surrounded by women with hair loss, there are 8 women at my work that have hair loss and 5 of them are major. But I am a little OCD. I was watching Something Gotta Give last night and was looking at Diane Keaton’s character’s sister in the movie and she has hair loss but it doesn’t seem to bother her and before I was faced with this I never even noticed that but boy can I spot it a mile away now. The next time you see Dr. Griffin you need to tell him to visit this website, maybe he could learn a thing or two! Have a great weekend!

K September 30, 2011 at 6:21 am

Dear Everybody, I just had to share that I really laughed today like deep down laughed got tickled and hair loss wasn’t on my mind at that moment at least consciously anyway. I have craved to laugh like that for 2 years now. It was a wonderful moment. Boy do I miss who I was before all this happened. And yes I am different saying that I am not is denial. Losing your hair is life altering.

Ann September 30, 2011 at 9:40 am

K:

It is amazing how distracted Dr Griffin is! He has one foot out the door as soon as he walks in! He doesn’t remember ever having met me. He doesn’t remember what medications I am taking until I remind him in the appointment and then he said I should start on Spiro last time without a moment of hesitation and I think it is because it is the only other thing I have yet to try! If I felt there were other dr.s in Atlanta to go to, I would choose someone else. He is very flakey and doesn’t make you feel cared about or confident in his suggested treatment plan! It is really awful. I One step away from finding a dr in another state who is recommended. I know there are others. Anyway, great that you laughed today and even for a moment forgot about he hair loss. Have you visited a place hat does hair replacements? Offers wigs, etc? Maybe it would help you to have a consult and consider wearing something until your hair returns. And note that I did say UNTIL!

Hugs to you!

K September 30, 2011 at 10:39 am

Ann you are so sweet to say “until”…. I am not seeing that happen but love your encouragement. I Haven’t yet, but had a consult and had to cancel Alpharetta is really far from me and I keep think am I gonna feel like driving there, etc….my schedule is so unpredictable! And yes he is flaky you are right and he does reach. Kathryn asked him if they should start me on propecia and he said, no…but I bet a million if I went back to him today he would do it without a moments notice. I bet I went to him 6 times before he was convinced I really had another problem besides the TE. I mean I can’t tell you how I had to hound him. He thought since I had so much regrowth I didn’t have problem, but what he wasn’t hearing was that the regrowth was falling out, I repeatedly had to show him. And what he didn’t see was that they were intermediate hairs, meaning they were on their way to miniaturization. He was my fifth doctor is why I guess I’ve given up and I’ve had every test possible run on me and all come out “normal”. I remember the last time I was there I saw a beautiful sophisticated graceful older lady very shy walking into their treatment room to get whatever kind of camouflage stuff they sale and it was so unprofessional in that room it was unbelievable; I was going in there to look at their laser combs which I didn’t purchase because I could stand how unprofessional the twerp behind the desk was.

Nicole October 17, 2011 at 6:29 am

Hello Ladies,

Im a 30 year old mother of two and I was going through the same thing as all of you. I read almost all of the comments from everyone and wanted to give my story for some encouragement. I was on orthotricyclin-lo for about two years and about 2 or so months ago I decided I wanted to switch to Seasonique because my gyno told me that you only get your period 4 times a year on it and who doesnt want to get their period less frequently?! I asked him if there were any bad side effects and he said no. About a week or two after I started taking the new bcp’s I noticed my hair coming out in “ropes”. So much came out in the shower that I had to pull it out of the drain at least two times with each shower. If that wasnt enough, when I would brush my hair my brush would get filled after just a few strokes through. My hair was EVERYWHERE. I remember one day I was sitting in class at college and I looked down on the floor and there was tons of hair on the floor around my chair.. I was mortified. I lost so much hair that you could easily see my scalp. It was the only thing on my mind.. I couldnt concentrate on anything else.. I found myself talking to everyone around me about it.. my family, my coworkers, my classmates.. it consumed me. At first my family didnt notice it but after a few weeks the lost hair began to be noticable to everyone around me. Of course, people who didnt know me wouldnt have known but everyone who is used to seeing me could tell that my pony tail was much thinner and that I had an obvious thinning at the top of my head that I never had before. I was going on line like crazy, reading different stories, trying to find something positive.. but most everything I read was negative. I felt like there was no hope. I was so confused. I didnt know whether to continue taking seasonique.. or to go back on orthotricyclin.. or to just stop birth control pills all together… So I just decided to stop taking bcp’s all together.. I figured thats what got me in this position and that the best way to stop it is to let my body do what it needs to do naturally… I started taking vitamins for stronger hair, I started to eat healthy, and even began to exercise figuring that if I got my overall body healthier then it will work harder at getting my hormones back in balance… Then about 3 days ago I took a shower and noticed that I wasnt loosing as much hair.. I looked in the drain and only about half the hair came out.. When I got out of the shower and brushed my hair only about 30 or so strands came out into the brush… It was such a GREAT feeling. Since that day its been the same.. less hair has been coming out.. the shed has slowed drastically. Although I’m still losing more hair than I normally would, I know that it is slowing down and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.. my body is beginning to adjust back to normal and little by little I am getting my hair back. I looked in the mirror at the thinning areas and noticed tiny hairs sprouting out.. things are getting better and I am feeling more and more back to my normal self. My advice to everyone is to GET OFF THOSE PILLS! Let your body do what it needs to do on its own. Dont read everyones horror stories and think that you have AGA and that you will never grow your hair back. I can guarantee that most of the women who post horror stories about their hair wound up growing their hair back eventually but never came back on to tell everyone that their condition improved. Keep your head up and think positive. Even though you are going through a rough time right now just keep in mind that it is only temporary and that soon enough you will feel like yourself again. Just stay away from those pills!!! Ill post again if anything changes.. Be strong!

fran November 3, 2011 at 9:42 am

hi jess. thank you so much for sharing your story, i don’t feel like im going crazy anymore!! i have been on and off the pill since i was 18 (microgynon, then dianette, then yasmin) and have come off last year to try for a baby. my skin went mental and my hair is so thin at the front when if anything i used to have too much thick hair even before the pill! anyway, i look in the mirror some days and think im so ugly, ive got acne and thinning hair just round the front and i dont even recognise myself. my skin as well as being disgustingly spotting seems thinner and not as much moisture. i hate it. but i like you so want a baby that im keeping on and ive got my hair extensions! you are so right when you say the doctors should inform girls of the side effects before they start taking it..it certainly would have made me think twice. the pill is pretty evil in every way and i will never go back there esp after being happily married. good luck jess with your hair battle, im so happy for you and your little family i hope you have many more :-) thanks for sharing xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ann November 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm

K;

I owe you an email! Look for one tonight from me! I want to see how you are doing as well! Miss “talking” to you!

Ann

K November 14, 2011 at 10:10 am

Hi Ann, How are you? Never received an email from ya. How are your treatments going? I hope you are doing well! Did you get on the network? I love it and am totally addicted to it. I am doing good. No major hair regrowth or anything just dealing ok.

Ann November 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm

K:

I wrote you an email today. Hope you got it. I went back to the dr today. Went off Spiro. It made me feel bad. Still on the Proscar. They also did change my minoxidil dosage to 10% from 5%. I have no regrowth and the thinning is really awful when you part my hair and look. I’m able to disguise it pretty well right now with styling but if you look at the top especially, it has gotten really bad. My hair count showed thinning all over my head, so diffuse. This leads me to think that it still could have something to do w my thyroid. This has been going on for over a year now. I’m SO over it!
How are things going w you?

K November 18, 2011 at 7:46 am

Did they seem hopeful with upping your dosage to 10%? I’m really nervous about moving up from even 2%. I use it almost every night. I am okay but my shedding seems to have increased in the last 2 weeks. Weird. Yeah, I know what you mean about over it! I got his 5% on my last appt in March, even the 2% makes my right breast hurt but when I used the 5% it felt like my right breast was going to explode! My system is so sensitive to everything. Yes I still can style my hair where it is okay and no can tell, but it is not easy. I only received one email from you and sent you two more. How are you otherwise? Emotionally? Was Dr. Griffin attentive? How do they do the hair count. I know mine for sure is diffused. All over thinned out.

Stacey November 20, 2011 at 8:37 pm

So glad I found this site…but so sad so many are dealing with this same problem.

I went off of Yaz in July, about 5 months ago (because my pharmacist at CVS messed up my prescription when I was headed out of town) and I decided to stay off of it since I took as a sign that this crap can’t be good for me…I was kinda emotional on the pill…. And I would like to get pregnant in about a year. Anyway, my hair loss is ridiculous! I’m suspicious that someone put something in the water or that I was unknowing exposed to radiation! Obviously that is not the case. But going off Yaz has caused me to lose so much hair that i have some pretty pathetic bangs with a rat-like ponytail. Yesterday I actually cried in the shower at the sight of how much I lost. My husband keeps telling me I’m beautiful and not to worry about it. Hummm I wonder if he’d still feel that way when I tell him how much money I’ve sent on thickening hair products to help mask the problem. Additionally, I now have major acne on the lower half of my face and I spend about 30 mins on special effects make-up so I can be presentable in front on my high end clients. I’m 28 and I have granny hair with middle school skin! Ugh! Since I’m 5 months in I’m going to not buckle under the pressure and get back on the pill. I’m going to wait it out and see what happens. Its really stressful! But at last i know what it is. I actually ad quit my job because I thought it was stress that was doing this to me. Really it was my hormone levels. Is there something I can take to combat this in the mean time. Is it worth seeing a doctor?

Nora December 3, 2011 at 9:12 am

I was diagnosed through scalp biopsy with a condition “consistent with alopecia.” That’s all it said – didn’t say whether it was AGA or alopecia areata…and my dermatologist didn’t elaborate. He just started throwing around terms like Aldactone and Rogaine. My hormone levels have all come back normal but I do suffer from occasional hot flashes (odd because I’m in my 30s). I wonder if sometimes my estrogen level just fluctuates low but I don’t know why it wouldn’t show up on a blood test. Anyway, I was told to try oral contraceptives. The problem with this is I believe this whole hair shedding process started when I came off the pill in 2008. And it’s n ever stopped, although it was manageable until this year. Now my hair is completely ruined. It looks fried, it’s thinning bad in certain spots, most noticeably at the temples and in my part at the back of my head. The BCP I was prescribed was Beyaz because it’s an anti-androgen. I was told to avoid any pill that had androgens, despite the fact that my male hormone levels were not elevated or out of balance with my female hormones. I’m really unsure what to do. I’m scared to take the Beyaz because of the negative responses regarding health safety (blood clots, etc) but I have to do something to try keeping my hair on my head. OTOH, if it does stop the hair loss, it’s just going to fall out again when I come off the pill. I don’t want to take the pill for the rest of my life. This is the reason why I don’t want to use Rogaine. It’s expensive and once you stop using it, all the hair that might have regrown will just fall out again. That’s a waste of money. I really don’t know what to do. I’m confused and concerned. If my hormone levels came back normal on a blood test, why do I have alopecia? I don’t understand why the dread shed after coming off the pill three years ago is still going on. Will it EVER stop? It doesn’t look like it any time soon.

Nora December 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Forgot to mention one other thing: my scalp HURTS. It constantly feels like I have had my hair pulled into a tight ponytail all day. Does anyone know why this happens? Is it related to AGA?

Claire December 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Hi everyone! I’ve been experiencing hair loss since stopping yasmin at the beginning of June. After 3 months is when I noticed my hair was coming out at a higher rate than usual. Around that time I also broke out in really bad acne, and exploded with muscle mass like the hulk. I’m wondering if anyone experienced these issues as well? I’ve also only had one cycle since then, which I know is pretty bad. I found this article a couple days ago and thought I’d share:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/35663.php
I personally believe TE kick starts the shed, but high levels of DHT prolong it. I also think DHT is responsible for acne, muscle gain, and weight gain/formation of cellulite that can accompany stopping synthetic hormones. I’m just hoping my body can regulate itself again soon. I will NEVER take birth control ever again, and I’ve been telling all my friends to stop. I’m 21 and infuriated that I should be dealing with these problems at my young age. Anyway, it’s the forums and personal anecdotes posted on the internet that keep me sane right now. I really appreciate that you all have the courage to share. I’m going to see an endocrinologist on the 15th and hopefully get some answers then.

Stay positive! It’s likely only temporary!

Jessica T December 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I was very happy to find this site but sad to hear of these issues! I’ve never heard of this problem either-not doctors or friends and I’m 30! Ive been on the pill since I was 20-first ortho tri and now Yaz. I never experienced any issues with my hair while on either pill. I also have thick curly hair and normally want it thinned out bc there is so much! I stopped the pill this June and this last month ( so 5 months) I noticed more hair coming out when I was prepping my hair for styling( I straighten it every other day). I wasn’t concerned at first but I could just tell it was falling out in a different way- not in clumps per say but it seemed twice as much as normal and more at the root-not breaking from ends. I also notice my head is a little itchy today, but not sure if that’s related. With that being said, I freaked out and found this forum. My body has also been crazy- I’ve had a period every two weeks, a feeling of sadness and depression, more anxiety, a little body acne( never really had before?), and a little face acne. Has anyone else had these symptoms? This is all new to me and I’m happy to report back with details as they happen, but I’m freaked about how long this shed period will go?? I’m calling the doctor tomorrow and also started bioten, but it seems from this that most doctors are not helping????

jen December 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm

i am 35 years old, and have a 7 month old daughter. something is going on with my body and i’m not sure what to think. i have always had fine thin curly hair. but it’s always been enough to get by. i know after pregnancy you lose hair. i have a 5 year old son and lost hair after his birth and had my thyroid and hormones tested but it all came back fine. my hair never really got thicker but seemed to stay at that level of thin-ness. well the last month to two months, i’m losing hair like crazy. i counted how many came out in the shower yesterday. almost 300. who knows how many more after i fixed my hair for the day. today, a whole ringlet fell out in the shower. it made me sick. i have put on a little bit of weight, and my libido is low and i can just feel something isn’t right. i’ve always thought i had a slight hormone imbalance. since about age 22 i had 2 or 3 chin hairs. now i suddenly have like 30. i had my tubes tied 7 months ago. has anyone else experienced this and did you find anything to help? i go to the doctor thursday. i’m so worried they will say labs are fine. if anywone has any suggestions to ask the doctor or has been thru this and has any suggestions that helped them i would really appreciate it. i will post whatever i find out.

Jessica T December 13, 2011 at 10:11 am

Hello All, just wanted to send an update! I went to the Dermotologist today and she confirmed what I thought…When I was on the pill, My body has thought it was pregnant and now that I am off of it, Im going through the shedding period( as if I just had a baby 3 months ago)…She said I will lose about 35% of my hair and it will take me about 6 months to 12 months to recover, but it will grow back. She said I will not go bald and we ran blood tests just to make sure everything else is in order. I will also be taking Bioten everyday, 5000 mg. She told me to try not and think about it, but of course its hard b/c you have a constant reminder everytime you pick up hair in the bathroom/shower/your clothes/ect….Good luck to everyone and I will let you guys know how things go! Im guessing Im about 1-2 months into the shedding period so far….

Violet December 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Hi Jessica,

That’s great news. My dermatologist said something similar back in July. I don’t remember when exactly I dropped the pill but it was likely about 12 months ago. My hair has not thickened to where it was prior to stopping the pill but it did stop shedding quite a bit. However, I just found out I’m pregnant (amazing!) and it has sorta led to another shed, annoyingly.

I hear that it will get thick again during pregnancy, which I’m obviously looking forward to, but then it will fall out again postpartum.

Did your derm happen to tell you if the hair you had while on the pill was really just thicker BECAUSE of the pill? I am worried that because the pill tricked my body into thinking I’m pregnant, I’ve had more hair all these years than I was really meant to have (which really freaks me out). I too have been on the pill since I was about 21, and am now 33.

Let me know if your derm gave you any insight on that. 35% loss definitely seems accurate (to me it sometimes felt like 40-45) but I just wonder if it will all ever come back, or if that was just basically “pregnant hair.”

Thanks all!

PJ December 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I started taking the Ortho pills after dating my boyfriend. My skin started looking flawless from head to toe. Then we broke up after almost 9 months so I stopped taking them. Shortly after, I noticed my hair in the middle back of my head started getting shorter, thinner and much more fragile towards the end of the relationship and after.
Later on I got a haircut, started taking biotin and nutrured my hair back to a healthier state. I thought it was was from the stresses of life and the break-up until 2 months ago when I decided to start taking the pills again to get that beautiful skin back. My skin is looking better, but my hair has began to break off again in the same area only after 1 and a half months of taking the pill. And it is also coming out from the root. I am on the end of my pack and I dont think I will resume next months pills. I have to find another avenue for beautiful skin and save my locks!

Lucy January 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Nicole…

Thank you for your note.. I read all the horror stories and think it will be me! I have a combo of stuff causing my shedding, at first I thought it was stress related like in years past, but then I knew something was off so I stopped taking Yaz and got all my bloodwork redone. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto Hypothryoid so now I am not sure if it can all be contributed to that or a combo of all 3 , since my labs were not terribly off , I am relating it more to a combo. I have lost quite a bit of hair, thankfully I had a lot, but now it thin!! but I also see the new hairs regrowing. So I am staying positive and know this is a moment in time… though I do have occasional pity parties!

Stacy February 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I am so encouraged, discouraged, sympathetic and moved all at once by all of your stories. I don’t have any wisdom or answers but I’ll tell you my story. I started on birth control at 17. I can’t remember what I started on but for most of the years and up to the end it was Ortho Novum. I’m 44 years old now. At 37 years old I had intense bouts of exhaustion and first began noticing hair loss. It was fairly thick to begin with. I was diagnosed with really high cholesterol and changed my diet at that time to a much healthier, more natural diet. I also began taking Omega 3’s to help with the problem. I also began taking an iron supplement due to anemia. I was also diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus which tends to resurface in cycles. I was losing enough hair in the shower to clog the drain daily. At about 39, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and prescribed Synthroid at 75 mg and then up to 100 mg. The hair loss continued in cycles. My ARNP told me I had alopecia, could take Rogaine, get injections and just live with it. I didn’t do any of those things and since the thinning wasn’t noticeable to anyone else did nothing. At 42, I had a hysterectomy due to a sudden onset of fybroids with heavy blood loss for over 60 days. Naturally, I stopped taking birth control at that point. I went through several more cycles of shedding and am in the midst of one now. I see an endocrinologist and a dermatologist, both of whom are nice and polite but seem incredibly unconcerned about my hair loss, both attributing it to stress and general aging. My CBC counts, iron levels and estrogen/androgen/testosterone levels all come back as normal. My skin is incredibly oily on my face, my scalp also gets itchy and sore during the dread shed I also get an issue with my eyes where they itch, burn and feel like something is in them, water and experience hyperphotosensitivity. These all cycle together. I should mention I’m of normal weight, work out and take supplements in addition to the Omegas: a daily vitamin, C + B12 and Zinc, Biotin, Manganese and the iron supplement. I’m 44 now and my hair has the vellums (sp) increasing at the top of my head and they are so wispy they fly away constantly. I hate my hair now and I’ve always been complimented on it. I’m at my wits end but it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I’m considering going back on Ortho Novum as NEVER had a problem on this pill although I was on when this problem started along with all other issues. It’s hard to unravel the cause.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Take care ladies.

Stacy February 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Forgot to mention I’m currently on Levoxl for thyroid management at approximately 66 mg a day, 5 days a week and 50 mg 2 days a week, yes that is an odd dosage but through trial and error that keeps my thyroid balanced. I know the medication can also be a complicating factor.

jenny March 13, 2012 at 7:39 am

Hi everyone, I’ve been reading hair loss related blogs for over three months now when I started experiencing serious thinning of my hair due to switching from yaz to ortho tri cyclen Lo. I tried to stick it out and stay on ortho, but the roblem only seems to be getting worse and there is no improvement. Like everyone else, I’m afraid to switch my bc again, but i made the decision I am going to go back on yasmin. I’ve been on both yaz and yasmin before and they both worked very well for me and even kept my skin clear and oiliness at bay. I have never had hair loss issues prior to switching bcs, but then again I hadn’t really switched my bc in around 4 yrs. I know that I have sensitivity to androgens as I have always been very oily and had moderate acne. I’ve read online that a higher estrogen bc is better for your hair than a low estrogen bc because estrogens bind to androgens, meaning there is less free testosterone circulating in your blood stream. Estrogen also can stimulate hair follicles and help with hair regrowth as well as reducing the amount that is shed. I do wish I had never went on bc, but just remember we are all very different in the way our hosts respond to oral contraceptives and hormone changes. I have read a lot of ppl saying yaz and tasking are the devil, but to be truthful they are the only ones that don’t make me bloated, have acne, or gain weight, or have irregular periods. Those who may have a sensitivity to androgens should consider yaz or yasm in because the drospirenone helps to reduce testosterone. As a woman, you DO NOT want more testosterone than estrogen. There needs to be a good balance, and what’s tough is each of us are different. Elevated testosterone or even a sensitivity (won’t show up on bloodwork) can cause your hair to become thin, brittle, oily skin, acne, more hair on your face or stomach area. I do not have inc. Hair growth on my body, but I have always had uncontrollable oily skin, like I need to blot numerous times a day or you can see a reflection from my oiliness. I pray that switching to yasmin will help control the hair loss and will help Regrow the hair I’ve lost, as I’m only 24 and have always had a TON of hair. Not it is so thin in the front that I can’t pull it back because you can see my scalp! This all happened two months after I switched and is still continuing. While the hair shedding has slowed down, it is still more than I normally shed and there is no regrowth whatsoever. I hope to post in a few months after beginning yasmin today that my hair is no longer shedding and has grown back, but we will see! The way I see it is switching may cause it to worsen,but I at least know for a fact that my hair never had issues while on tasking, and I haven’t been on ortho before so I may be waiting for my hair to fix itself when that may never come. I do still have hope, and I pray that my hair follicles haven’t been damaged because of this. I pray for you all. This has been the toughest three months of my life and I would never wish this upon anyone. I will repost soon to let you know my progress!

AM March 19, 2012 at 9:40 am

What a great story! I’m just starting out on my “journey” having only realized that hairloss like this could happen after going off the pill. Luckily, thanks to a lot of information on the internet I was able to figure out the cause right away. I’ve been losing hair for about 2 weeks now, and only been off the pill for about a month. I’m afraid to see where this will end because my hair is thin to begin with, but I’m just going to ride it out and take my vitamins and hopefully it will correct itself. I do not plan on going back on the pill, for this and the other side effects associated. I’m thankful to read your positive story and congratulations on your growing hair and growing family!

RB April 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I’m 23 years old, and in the last year, i’ve been experiencing extreme hair loss.
My hair has always been “my feature” with people always referring to me as “jennifer aniston” because of my “good hair”.
Well all that has changed.
My fringe consists of a few strands, my parting is wide and obvious, my hair is lifeless, my ponytail is pathetically thin. In short, every aspect of my life has been affected because of this. My relationship, my university studies, my social life, and mostly my self-esteem.
When i first started noticing the shedding i began taking every vitamin i could find that related to hair. The situation only deteriorated.
I recently (1 month ago) went to see a top dermatologist who specializes in hair loss.
After a ten minute consultation, and after a brief analysis of my hair through a mini microscope device, she simply informed me that i have female pattern hair loss.
She straight away put me on spiro (also known as aldactone) as this is known for reducing the interaction of DHT with my hair follicles. (Basically, DHT is responsible for the follicle ‘dying’ and thus causing the hair to shed).
I was taking spiro, but was reacting quite badly to it.
I was spotting every day in large amounts, and my period failed to come.
Note, i have never been on BC prior to this. I have always been EXTREMELY healthy and my periods have been super regular since i was 12.
I rang the doctor to inform her about my reaction to spiro and she said that the fact im spotting is not a good sign, and it is a side effect i should not have to tolerate. She also said that spotting means my hormones are clearly not behaving themselves and are somewhat irregular. She told me to stop taking the spiro and instructed that i go on Yasmin. She said that Yasmin would help align my hormones and once my cycle became regular (through the use of Yasmin), to then re-initiate the spiro. Interestingly however, she also said that Yasmin is the “hair friendly” pill and is often prescribed as a treatment for hair loss – even in the absence of other medications like spiro.
So far ive been taking yasmin for 3 weeks now.
My hair shedding has not decreased one bit. Loosing at least 75 hairs a day – and those are the ones i notice. there are definitely more that i simply cannot keep track of.
I would like to know if anyone knows whether yasmin can actually HELP hair loss. I understand from reading this blog that cessation of taking BC can lead to hair loss. That is not my issue. I would like to know of anyone who has expereinced success with taking the pill to treat hair loss.
I have one friend that i know of who’s hair incidentally grew extremely thick once she started taking the pill. but she did not have a hair loss problem to begin with, it just happened to be a (very fortunate) side effect.
I will begin taking the spiro in the next month or so on top of taking yasmin.
ANY comments would be greatly appreciated.
xx

riya April 21, 2012 at 12:47 am

hi ladies ,
just came through this site i m highly motivated through all you .. i m 23 yr old gal my hair started falling say 3 years ago .. we don’t have any heredity of baldness infact my maternal grand mom at the age of 85 having a thick hair line n long may be 5 times more then i have white though but thick white long hair , my mom had long thick hair too so if we see i am basically genetically blessed with long thick hair .. there was a time i was ashamed of my long thick hair .. it was too thick too leave them open .. i remember i chopped my hair once just coz i wanted to make a special kind of hair style but i wasn’t able to coz my hair was just too long and thick for same … i was dealing with depression say 4 yrs ago due to some personal reasons and my doctor started anti depression treatment … and with in a year i gained 23 kg weight i went 63 kg frm 40 kg in my teen my boyfriend broke up with me .. later after an year i was diagnosed with polysistic ovary syndrome and at the age of 20 i started taking this genette -35 to keep my hormones under check .. it was more like birth control pills .. after an year i realized i have become really plump .. and i managed to loose 15 kg by the time i was 21 meanwhile my hair kept falling but i didn’t noticed coz i was still having loads of hair on my head …so around 2 yrs back i realizes when my frnd said ur frnt hair flew away out of embarrassed i saw he was saying true i can see my scalp .. i cried for long went to so many doctor some prescribed minidoxile after using it fr few days i realized my hair was shedding more and more .. i was scared to touch my hair fearing they will fall i was in so stress all doctor said it is normal it will come back .. but only i can see they were not coming back i was losing more then 200 hair a day for say 3 months .. i stopped going out completely … then one accident happened i broke my leg and had surgery … my hair kept falling after three month of my surgery i left my bed and started walking then someone told me use onion juice and rub on ur head the affected area keep fr 1 hr n wash .. my head used to stink bad but i did twice a week n my hair fall stopped .. it became normal .. but still my hairline was very thin i was able to see half of my scalp thru hair … i kept my hair long so it will not be noticeable for others… now its been one year i m doing everything home remedies but my mind never stopped thinking .. i had my exam last day and before leaving for my exam i was more concerned about my head and i was looking for good doctors in net then right after my exam i went to doctor just to make sure if i m not having any baldness .. without seeing my head properly and saying anything he gave me a huge list of tests to be done before any conclusion .. he scared me more but now i m not scared i think the birth pill is the root cause .. even today i have this problem there is no major hair fall but still a very thin hairline .. i believe i can treat this and i am ready to cure myself no matter what

rochelle May 7, 2012 at 3:03 am

Thank you so much for putting me at ease thats totally whats happening to me right now and I am really scared,but I just went of elese and it all makes sense now.thank you again!

Elle July 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Hello,

I started losing my hair at 19 after starting the pill. I don’t remember the name, but it was one of the high androgen ones. I went off the pill, but the hair loss continued, even 2 years after stopping. After lots of research, I finally went on Diane and then Yasmin and both stopped the loss, but it never grew back. Two months ago, I stopped the Yasmin due to side effects (heart racing, never ending yeast infections that wouldn’t stop no matter what I tried) and though my YI and other problems stopped, the hair is falling out in clumps. It was already thin, now I’m getting an official bald spot.

One thing I do is after styling, I use cake dry shampoo which adds thickness. Bumble and bumble dry shampoo also is great at adding bulk but it’s a lot messier.

Anyway, I am at a loss as to what to do. I ordered topical spiro because it seems to be the same thing that was in Yasmin, but reviews online are mixed. I think the first bcp I used triggered permanent AGA in me– I think I was predisposed to lose my hair as an older lady, but my body probably felt the male hormones and started the process at 19 instead of 50 :( I am just so depressed because the hair friendly bcps were the only things that worked, and like all of you, it’s so disheartening to pull out a clump of hairs every time I run my fingers through it.

Anyway, crossing my fingers for this spiro thing…

ali July 24, 2012 at 7:59 am

without going into really long details…
I was on the pill for 12 months – and lost 1/2 my hair. Yes, HALF of my hair. I have been off them for about 18 months…take iron supplements (I did have my iron level tested) and use gentle products (Wen shampoo or non-sulfate shampoos), take phyto hair vitamins and yes, I have grown my hair back. It is a long process, very frustrating, and extremely scary…but you will most likely- if you are healthy, eating right, taking care of yourself, etc…grow your hair back. Find some peace in this…b/c honestly, I was shedding out so badly it was so scary and the only thing I could think about. I would count every hair that came out after I shampooed…etc. Now, I lose some hair when I shampoo…but I don’t freak out bc I have plenty. oh…another thing to try….is the phyto hair serum treatment for thinning hair …I believe this stuff does work to reduce shedding. It comes in glass ampules…I used 1/2 ampule every other day for 6 months. It is costly…but I believe well worth it and let’s face it…when you are losing your hair…you will pay anything to get it back. Also- eat lots of salmon, eggs, protein….and stay away from articial sweeteners and chemicals. I know how you all feel…it is awful. The only thing I could think about and made me really depressed. My ponytail was a dime in diameter…Now it is over a quarter size diameter…people tell me I have pretty hair again. Be gentle to it…don’t pull and tug and over style it…you will get your hair back.

J July 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Ali how long was you shedding for?

Chloe September 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Hi!

I’m 23 and i’m on BCP (alesse and then yasmin) since i’m around 17. I used to have thick curly hair. I now have only about the third of it left..

Two years ago I started to take my pill in a semi-continuous pattern. I then noticed that my hair where going thinner. I went to my doctor, got some bloodtest done (that turned out to be normal) and then I went to a dermatologist… no one could find the reason of my shedding.
I decided to wait, take some vitamins pills and wait for it to stop naturally… but it didnt!

I kept losing my hair in a extreme way.. at some point you can see alot more scalp then before. I went to see another doctor who suggested me to stop taking the pill to see if it was the root of my problem. And I guess it was!

I stopped Yasmin 3 months ago. My skin and hair became greasy but I could see there was a little less hair left in the shower. I got some bad weeks where i lost my hairs in rope.. but now it’s getting better (so is my skin).
I do have some regrow. I have full of little new hairs on top of my head and around my foreheard. They are about an inch long and i’m so happy to see them.

I hope my regrow will continue.. Only time will tell. I believe that those pills are not good for every women, I’ll NEVER that BCP again!!

Keep hoping and be patient!! I wish you all some good results!!
:)

RB October 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm

just a quick update.

Spiro (aldactone) has been super effective in controlling my hair from shedding.
I’ve been on it probably 7 months now, taking 100mg a day. I’m also taking yas and applying minoxodyl daily. It’s a very consuming process and sometimes i feel like a prisoner to this regime. But i can proudly say that for the last 4 months, the amount my hair sheds per day has drastically decreased. I went from losing close to 200 hairs a day. I would simply touch my hair softly and out would come 20 hairs. I would sit at my desk and study, not even moving, and hair would be falling out all around me. Now, i probably lose 20 hairs a whole day. Hardly anything, and i barely notice it. Whilst my hair has not regained thickness, i have accepted that i will probably never have my “old” hair back. However, i am so ecstatic that it has at least stopped shedding. The shedding was painfully traumatic and affected me deeply. I was crying every single day and not sleeping at night. I strongly recommend, that if you have been told that you have female pattern baldness as I was, ask your dermatologist to put you on 100mg aldactone. There are a few side effects, but all go away within a few weeks of taking it. It is WORTH IT! My life has restored itself, my mood is stable, and thankfully my hair is staying on my head!!!

Lolly February 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I suffered from female patten baldness at the age of 24. I went from having thick amazing hair to wearing full piece wigs.

I had seen every specialist under the sun as was concidering flying to the uk from south Africa to seek a permanent hair weave instead of the hot wigs.

I was told it was hereditary and there was nothing they could do for me, I spent thousands on treatments that didn’t work.

I even shaved my hair off to try start again.

I fell pregnant last year and at 28 I am proud to say I have the fullest head of hair. Can you believe it. My baby gave me the greatest gift I could ever have asked for. Since having him I haven’t had to wear a wig once! My hair is halfway down my back, healthy and shiny.

I’m still figuring out if it was the pregnant hormones or the vitamins I took while pregnant. I haven’t stopped the vitamins for fear my hair may return to its old ways.

I never had my hair fall out in lumps or even notice a change when the problem first started, it happened over a few years. Even 2 months after having my baby my hair still hasn’t thinned out. I’m holding thumbs it stays this way and swearing at all the specialists that told me there was nothing they could do for me!

How can u make a blind person see but you can’t figure out why we have female baldness.

I’d love to hear of similar stories of woman falling pregnant ans getting their hair back

hope April 22, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I’m 27, healthy at a good weight and take care of myself. I’ve been struggling hair thinning for about 5 years. I took yasmin for about 8 years and I finally decided enough is enough! Its been 2 months off and my scalp and face is insanely greasy. It makes me feel so gross. My hair is falling out even more. It’s so thin, and I swear it clumps at that roots where its oily to make it look even thinner. I’ve been eating so clean with tons of vitamins added and increased my workouts for nearly a year. I’m thinking I might have extra testosterone and feel this is all horomone related. My sister had graves disease (hyperthroidism) and had her thyroid removed and Ive been tested and came back normal BUT I have a slight goiter and all the symptoms of it!! I am getting a blood test this week (no health insurance). I just started using Nioxin system this week. I will respond if I see a difference. Anyone who quit BCP have this oiliness and how long did it take to see results in less oil and less hair loss? I swear if I find a cure I will tell the whole world, no woman should ever go through this!!!!

Shaunee October 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I am so sick of worrying about this! Loosing my hair is one of the worst things to ever happen to me. I’m obsessed, and read everything I can find. It started for me three months after having my second child. I’ve been through post partum shed before so I knew it was normal. It slowed down, and when my baby was 6 months old, my doc convinced me to go on yaz to regulate my cycle. Against my better judgement I did. Only lasted two months cause it made me crazy. A few weeks after I went off the shedding began, it will lighten then hit hard. I am 5 months off yaz and I don’t see a end in sight. I can see my scalp on top and have a REALLY thin spot on the back of my head that is hard to cover. I have been to see two dermatologist that specialize in hair loss. The first one did all the tests said he didn’t know way I was lossing hair, said It could be I was a little low on Iron and put me on iron pills. The second said it was cause I had a baby and it wait it out. My ‘baby’ is 13 months. I found this blog and I’m hoping now the hair loss is due to yaz and that it will eventually stop. I can’t afford to loose anymore, I am lossing sleep and precious moments with my family because this is consuming my life. I’m now considering a hair piece or something, can anyone help me. If only words of encouragement? Thank you

AR October 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I am so glad to find this post. I felt so alone and like something was wrong with me. I finally linked my hair loss to when I came of Loesterin 5 months ago. I know now to be patient and to see if it will come back. I just started using Nioxin again 2 months ago. I hope to achieve small victories just like you.

Melanie January 21, 2014 at 1:33 am

Hi, I think this is the second time I have read thru all of these posts. I too have been shedding large amounts of hair. Here is my story: I began Ortho tricyliln lo in January 2013 after switching from 2 other birth controls. All together I have been on them about 13 years. I am 29 now. Back in July 2013 I began taking antideppresants called Remeron and mixed it with Ativan. My hair seemed normal all up until October. I lost my birth control and didn’t take it for about 5 days. I messed up my hormones clearly, ugh. So I noticed my hair was thinner at the end of October. In November I noticed pieces coming out and more hair in my brush. I of course panicked and went to see a derm. Now I have been having scalp issues as well. Dry and flakey at first.
My first visit to the Derm was a joke. She shot my head with cortisone and then looked at my scalp and said ” are u allergic to something”. She gave me some Ovace wash and sent me home. After the shots and Ovace my scalp got so irritated it burned and I started losing more hair. A rope here and there in the shower and tons while styling it. This is not normal for me. Even clogged the damn vacuum and broke it. So I went back for my second appointment a month later and told her my scalp and hair loss got worse. I refused the shots and she refused a biopsy, I went to another derm. I had every blood test you can imagine all fine. I am taking supplements and biotin. I am anxious about everything in my life not knowing what has caused this and when it will stop if Ever.
Now I saw the second derm who said ” looks like youre losing hair in a patter”. I have since been referred to a Henry Ford specialist whom I see in 2 days.
My hair loss has been pretty diffuse but more noticeable behind my hair line (including the hairline) and my temples are pretty bad and I notice a breeze at the neckline.
Can someone please comment and give me an opinion.
To sum up:
I have lost a good portion of my hair which has always been long and thick.
I m wondering if the cortisone made it worse, if this sounds like te or aga, and could a week off my pills cause this mess.
Any advice will do because I am losing my mind.
I have been shedding since November it is January now, I noticed my hair was thinner in October.
I quit the antidepressants and the Ativan. I am still on the Ortho and am considering removing that too. But I don’t want to shed anymore. I am hoping for a biopsy but that may not be conclusive. ugh so many possible triggers and im just not sure what to do anymore. Seems like the medicated shampoos make it worse. I am using head and shoulders currently and washing every other day…watching my pretty hair fall out. help please and thanks

Melanie January 21, 2014 at 1:55 am

I must also add that I have noticed regrowth on the top of my head and near my right temple. I also have been losing small hairs with the bulb attached, what appears to be wirey white hairs, and some other odd lookers along with full strands.
If theres anyone out there I could use some advice or imput. Please and thank you.
I am not functioning very well due to all this. I am desperate.

Melanie January 24, 2014 at 12:34 am

Is anyone out there?????
I am updating just in case. So I went to y third appointment and this doctor was a complete joke. She looked at my scalp said it was normal and refused to listen to me or answer any of my questions. I feel so defeated. I am starting to look like Kristen Stewart My family thinks Im crazy! I just don’t know what to do anymore. I am losing hair and cant get any help.

Vero May 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

BC pills are BALONIE!!!

I have been on Ortho Tri Cyclen since I was 15 and am now 21. I am still on it but plan to quit once and for all once I finish in a week. My hair was actually normal and thick the whole time I’ve been on them up until 7 months ago. How can it be from the pill if you were fine for most of the 6 years? Right? That’s what I thought. I’ll get into why I know it is my pill.

For the past 7 months I have looked like a lunatic to my boyfriend and friends trying everything to stop my hair loss. When it first started my doctor told me it was telogen effluvium and was temporary. This was believable and I just took biotin and waited 4 months. At first I got regrowth (a lot of it) but every time I started a new BC pack more and more of the strong regrowth would fall out and my scalp would be red. Every time during my placebo pills my hair loss stopped and my hair in General looked better and the regrowth would be perkier. Sadly I ignored this for 7 months. Not wanting to discontinue the pill I told myself that if my hair was fine all this time and is just now suddenly falling out, it had to be something else. While ignoring this all of my regrowth eventually was lost from every time I started a new pack. I have lost so much of my hair that I can see my scalp easily. Three doctors actually suggested I go off the pill because my hair might improve if I do so but I literally told them no way because I only hear about hair loss after stopping the pill and don’t want to lose anymore! But I can’t deny this pattern in correlation with my pill pack. I always know when my hair is going to look better and healthier because that is during the 7 days that I am not actually taking the pill (my fake period). I’m always thinking “great that party is during my period so my hair will look good” or “crap that wedding is when I start my pack so my hair is going to be flat and falling out all over the place). I’ve decided to stop denying it. It’s not my thyroid (had every possible level checked all perfect) not my iron (perfect) everything else was perfect. It’s my birth control!!

Even though it’s scary to get off because of acne and the dread shed and having to be careful to always use condoms with my boyfriend after 2 years without, I have decided to do it. I am going to acupuncture and I hope it helps my body adjust. I hope we all have success in getting our hair back.

mb June 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

Hey ladies,
I just wanted to share my experience with you.

I was on ortho tricylen lo birth control for a little over a year; I noticed that my hair seemed a little thinner around my ears so I went off of it. About 2 weeks later, a lot of my hair began to fall out. Taking a shower was the worst and the constant feeling of hair on my back and clothes was psychologically draining. I knew that losing my hair wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to me but I was still very upset. As a 20 year old, I tend to focus too much on looks.

Anyway, my OBGYN told me to take biotin everyday & that the hormones from the BC would take about three months to leave my body. She said there is not much that you can do besides wait it out. I began to do research online and found out about telogen effluvium which is temporary hair loss caused by a trigger (change in hormones). I know that you want to figure out what is going on with you & worry about it constantly, but the best thing to do is to try and forget about it. Constantly reasearching just made me more nervous because usually people with more severe cases comment on these websites, leaving little hope. Live your life as normally as possible and keep yourself busy to prevent yourself from thinking about it. No one probably notices a change in your hair anyway. I also got a blood test and found that I was slightly anemic so I started taking iron pills. Having your blood tested might be a good idea.

Anyway, it has been about 2 and a half months since I got off of BC & my hair loss has slowed down a lot. I am sure that it will stop soon. The thinning isn’t really noticeable to anyone besides me & it should be back to full thickness in about a year. SO THERE IS HOPE!

I found out that it has happened to my mom twice and both times there was a trigger. So if I were you I would talk to your family members about it & ask. I think that it is probably genetic and is something that I will have to keep in mind if I ever want to get back on BC.

So, just try not to think about it and work on improving yourself. And just think about people going through chemotherapy who actually lose all of their hair. You’ll be fine and it will end soon. Good Luck!

Oish July 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm

I was wondering, did you have PCOS?

My case is slightly different because I have PCOS. The case for women like me may be slightly different. And I am not a convenient age to become pregnant yet.

Please contact me if possible to gain a little bit of advise maybe? Thank you

Jade November 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

What an inspiring story I am so pleased your hormones are coming back to normal! :)
I went into A&E the other month due to problems with my bladder (tenderness, unable to empty bladder and burning urination) they performed an ultrasound scan and was told everything was fine but I have Polycystic Ovaries. I am 22 years old weigh 8 stone no ache but extra facial hair than normal and body hair but periods are regular no family history of PCOS. Recently over the past 6 months I’ve been experiencing a lot of hair loss it feels thinner on the scalp and frontal hair loss. My GP perscibed me with Microgynon 30 I’ve been taking it for 2 weeks and hair did look like it was coming back and started growing baby hairs around my receding temples this made me so happy I could finally have my confidence back! The past couple of days it looks like it’s going back to how it was and started getting tingling sensation on scalp again and sprouting hairs on chin :-( I am thinking about coming off Mictogynon going onto Yasmin as I’ve heard this really helps with PCOS symptoms. I took a hormone blood test to check my levels and was told they were normal so I’m really confused to what’s happening with my body and it’s bringing me down badly, every day I look in the mirror and take pictures to see if it’s improved. I am having a laproscopy in a few weeks to see whether there is any other problems down below as I keep getting recurring thrush and pelvic pain.
Any advise from anyone would be so grateful about taking Yasmin as I’m so scared I don’t want to loose my hair it’s the only part I ever loved about my looks that made me feel beautiful. Please help xxx

cynthia December 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I see this is about 5 years old so I’d be curious to hear how your hair is doing now. I just realized the other day that my hair thinning is probably also due to going off the pill 3 years ago. Just got extensions but my hair is so thin and fine I font think they are a real solution. Don’t want to go back on the pill but am seriously considering it. But would like to hear how you are doing nowadays!

Monica January 30, 2015 at 7:24 am

So I am 33 years old going on 34 and had alsready noticed thinning of the hair. So some of the reading I have said that its hereditary from the mothers side in which case you think no problem she has alot of her hair and she is 65. I was taaking Junel Fe BC and a few weeks in I was losing more hair than usual. Im showering and the drain is already clogged faster than usual and i don’t have run my fingers through my hiar much to have a good amount of hair in my hands that it’s freaked me out. even the baby hair that has been growing has come out. I also happen to suffer from Seborrheic dermatitis in the scalp area as well. I am trying out Biosil, multivitamins and fish oil and already have an appt w my dermatologist this coming weekend. I really do not want to go back on the pill after this experience. its only been less than a month or or maybe exactly a month my hair has been falling its very scary.

gladys February 13, 2015 at 7:29 am

Hi every one. I have decided to share my story with you guys. 5 years ago, i started taking microgestin because I started dating my currently ex boyfriend now. At the beginning i noticed my hair falling out specially when i would wash my hair. It would come out in big clumps. I never payed much attention to it but through out the years i noticed my hair getting thinner and thinner. My hair used to be sooooo curly and thick and i used to have sooo much hair im not even exaggerating, and thats why i never payed close attention to my hair until a few years ago i finally realized that i was losing hair and i did some research and i found that contraceptive s can make your hairl fall out. So im single now and sonce i dont feel the need of taking birth ccontrol i decided to stop it. And i was excited to because of what the doctors have told me my hair would stop falling out and start growing back again. But i didnt know i could suffer from the dread shed, no doctor warned me about tthis. Immediately after stopping the pill my hair stopped falling for about 2 months and i felt so relieved like that was the end of my hair loss, i came off the pill in september 2014. By december my hair started to fall out again, i can see a lot of my scalp and specially at the front and top of my head, i cant wear my hair down any more, i have to put it in a bun, not even a poney tail looks good anymore, its so thing and fragile. I wake up every morning asking my self how did i get to this point

gladys February 13, 2015 at 7:41 am

Continuation of my story.

Its Feb 2015 and im still losing hair like around 100 or more everyday.i have read this is temporary but i feel like im going to go bald and people are going to notice. I never thought thia could happen to me and im so glad to have found this blog because i dont feel alone. By the way im 23 yrs old. Turning 24 soon in june so i jope by theny hair looks better and this shed has stopped. Oh i also wanted to try something natural and i went on the internet and came across these natural pills called DasGro. Been taking them for about 2 weeks and still have not seen any difference. If anyone have tried these pills i would love to hear your feedback on them. Anyways i try not to think about my situation, the dermatologist told me i had TE and that is temporary and my hair will grow back again but of course they are not the ones suffering and stressing and dealing with this so its easy for them to just tell you to wait. And thats what im trying to do but i am gettins so depressed lately i dont even want to go out because i dont know how to style my hair anymore. Well i guess im just gonna have to wait and deal with it.
But i thank everyone for your support and for sharing your personal story.
I really would love to read some posiitive stories.
Good luck to everyone. !
And positive thoughts

Petey3 February 21, 2015 at 10:25 am

Gladys,

I’m so happy your Dermatologist diagnosed you with TE. Not happy that your hair is falling out, but happy for you that it Will grow back. In my case, switching off of microgestin triggered TE and then Andrigenic Alopecia, which apparently can happen to some women even when there is no family history of it. A year ago I had a full head of hair, now I spray colored powder in it to hide my visible scalp. I know it’s hard not to be depressed or panic when you see your hairs come out or when you struggle to style your hair. Just hang in there. You have hope. You will get through this, it just takes time. All the best.

Jenny February 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Hi everyone,
I have read a lot of your stories and I’m hoping you can give me some insight! I am 22 years old and I am currently taking microgestin and have been on this pill for over a year and I’ve noticed over the past 4 months or so that I am shedding so much more hair than normal to the point where my scalp is extremely visible at the back. I don’t know whether to go off the pill or switch because I have read that microgestin is one of the BC pills that can cause hair loss and I’ve also read that going off completely can cause more shedding. I am setting up an appointment with a dermatologist this week to see if it is anything other than my BCP. Please if you have any suggestions or advice please let me know! I’ve always had thick hair and ever since I’ve been on the pill I’ve noticed it get thinner and thinner and I cant deal with losing anymore!!
Thank you
Jenny

gladys March 1, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Hi Petey3,
Thanks for replying. To be honest i feel so hopeless still im not surr if i was diagnosed right because my shedding has nit stop, maybe slowed down a little bit but there is a red flag, i have not gotten my period and it has been more than month and im getting acne all over my face, my hair looks and feels worst than ever and i have vety itchy scalp. I think i might have PCOS. I have an appointment with my gyno soon. I just hope there is a good treatment to treat my hair loss due to PCOS if thats my case. I really just wanted to stay off the pill and i thought coming off it would fix my hair loss but apparently i made a mistake for taking microgestin in the first place. If i could just go back in time ughh!! Does anybody have a PCOS hair loss success story?

Melissa March 8, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Hi,
I cannot explain what reading this article has done for me.
I was on the pill Yaz last year from 3/4 months but noticed that i became very depressed and the levels of hormones were making me crazy so i made the stupid decision to go off of it (October) without consulting my OB. When i secured an appointment(December) with him a month later he prescribed me to Minesse. Not knowing what i had actually done to myself now until reading this post and many others.
My hair started shedding a month ago (End Jan/February).
I attributed it to seasonal change. But i noticed persistent shedding out of the ordinary. 100-200 hairs a day. My hair has gone from lush and thick to thin and slightly dull (though dullness is a reflection more of my paranoia).
I have been scared ever since. Its horrible to say that i dont think i could look in the mirror without having hair because this is my fear, and its sadly a common fear for woman i have noticed through many posts. Hair is a vanity thing. Its funny but i do ‘love’ my hair.
Anywho after all the ramble now, after much internet searching and reading i have discovered this web post.
To know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that yes i believe my hormones are going to be out of whack for a good few months now because of my see-saw of hormones from stop/go/stop of birth control. I will never take the pill again. My hair will hopefully gradually return, if not i will deal with it one day at a time because ultimately i realise that i need to take a hard look at myself because i cant let this fear of losing hair destroy me and make me worried about how society or my boyfriend will be with me.

At the end of all my typing. A HUGE THANK YOU. I know i will be referring back to this post for the days and months to come because you gave me hope/strength/ understanding/ knowledge on something that effects women everyday

Mel

Kar March 9, 2015 at 10:18 pm

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 month after going off the nuva ring 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. After using it for about 3 days I noticed a decrease in my hair loss. I have finished using the capsules and although I am still sheddinga lot of hair, it has really decreased. I can run my fingers through my hair and not have hair fall out in clumps in my fingers.

My hair has gotten very thin, in the front on the sides and on my crown, it stresses me out every day but I am just trying to remain hopeful. I have noticed a lot of short hairs on the sides and on the top of my head, not sure if this is new hair or just broken hair, but I am going to go with the positive view that its new hair.

I have also started taking Milk Thistle tablets as they help to detox your liver which is where your hormones and excess hormones are stored and it is supposed to help rid your liver of all the extra hormones. I am hoping that that will also help me fight this battle.

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!!.

gladys March 10, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Hi Kar.
I totslly understand what you are going through. I dont wish this on anybody, losing your hair is the worst feeling ever. I posted a few days ago about going to an endocrinologist appointment to get my hormones level checked and to find out of what i has experiencing was pcos hair loss but i still havent gotten the results yet. However i have been taking this natural supplements called DasGro and it is amazing let me tell you!! No side effect, 34 diff natural ingredients that blocks DHT Hormones which cause hair loss . Anyways i encourage everyone whos going through this rough moment to give it a try. Heres the website Dasgrohairformula.com
I am happy to mention that my hair loss has decreases drastically in just a little bit over a month. And i see a lot of little hairs on my hair line which was looking pretty bad and thin.
Well o hope this is helpful.
I wish you good luck

Kar May 4, 2015 at 8:54 am

Hi Gladys,

Thanks so much for your feedback. I was also thinking of going to see an endocrinologist. Let me know about your results. Would be very interesting to see what they say. I will definitely check out the website. Sounds fantastic.
Thanks so much

Lauren May 18, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Vero- I don’t know if you ever check this but I seem to have the same coincidence as you… I’m 26 and have been on yasmin for almost 9 years now and everything has been great except I started having crazy hair loss November 2014 after starting fluconozale. Even though I stopped the fluconozale my hair has still be shedding massively. The burning and the itching went through a few cycles but all has been good the last 2 months or so, but still shedding somewhat (not as bad as it was before, but not normal yet). Then, last week I had the placebo pills and most days I literally lost like 10 hairs max. Then I started the new pack Sunday and the last few days have been noticing more and more hair coming out in the shower.

Just wondering- how did it go for you when you stopped the pill?? I’m debating because I know I sh0uld but don’t want to make the hair loss any worse….

Priyam July 18, 2015 at 11:02 pm

Last night, I decided to go off my birth control after I finish my current pack. Not that we are trying or thinking about getting pregnant (yet!) but I was just thinking that it’s time. I am twenty-eight and a half years old and I don’t want my body to be dependent on synthetic hormones for much longer. Quick recap: I went on birth control pills in March 2008 after a slight pregnancy scare (I was throwing up non-stop and the college health center doctor suggested a pregnancy test). I stopped in August 2009 after I got married and my husband and I were on two separate continents. I didn’t think going off birth control could have any possible after effects. DUH, ME! So when clumps of hair started coming out in the shower, I thought I had cancer and was dying, for sure.

Eventually, I figured out that it was from stopping the oral contraceptive (I also had a terribly painful, sore, itchy scalp and EPIC mood swings) – because I was 22 then and had no desire to get pregnant, I went back on it, almost immediately. The hair loss stopped within a two or three weeks and now fast forward 5 years later, while it’s not AS thick as it used to be when I was young (I am Indian and used to have crazy thick hair – my hairdresser would have to cut it and thin it from the inside because there was just SO much of it) but I have plenty on my head and apart from a wide parting, there’s not much to tell. I do lose more hair than I did in my pre-birth control days, before it was maybe 5 strands a day, now it’s about 20-30 when I shower, blow dry etc. Of course, we have white tile in the bathroom now so maybe it’s more noticeable now than it was with the previous dark brown flooring?

At every prescription renewal time, I have mentioned it to the 4 gynecologists that I’ve seen and I’ve always been told that “oh, that’s interesting, never heard of that before” or “no way, that’s not possible, you were probably just stressed from the wedding” or “you were depressed about your husband and you being separated.” YEAH. NO.
Anyway, now that contemplating going off birth control for good, I am terrified now because I know what it is to come. Does anyone have ANY idea how to perhaps even lessen the impact? Or is there a way to wean off of it? Any tips, ideas and help will be welcome.

Petey3 July 21, 2015 at 10:24 am

I am also stopping birth control next week. My hairloss started after a change in birth control last year and hasn’t stopped. My cycles are also irregular and both my OBGYN and a naturopathic doctor agree it’s time to come off. It isn’t helping the hairloss and my body is a mess. The naturopath told me to start taking progesterone pills for a month, then add progesterone cream for a month, then come off the pill. My OBGYN said just come off. I wish I knew…there has to be some way to “ease off”. Maybe you could see a naturopath or holistic doctor for advice?

Danielle August 4, 2015 at 7:42 am

Hello, just in the early stages. I know my hair is falling out but it’s not noticeable to anyone else yet. Does anyone else have experience with and itching/burning sensation? That seems to be triggered by caffeine, alcohol, and certain poor food choices? Does that sound familiar to anyone. I’m really struggling with what is happening to my scalp and whether I should prepare myself to completely loose my hair.

Thanks.

Audrey September 24, 2015 at 9:34 am

In response to you, Danielle, I haven’t noticed anything in my diet causing this. However, I do notice that it occurs a few days before a massive shed. Perhaps it is just the scalp reacting/preparing itself?

I started losing noticeably large amounts of hair about 6 weeks ago. It’s extremely frustrating, as none of my doctors can agree or even pinpoint which medication triggered the telogen effluvium. It has been horribly stressful and depressing to see the change in my hair everyday. Areas of my scalp show through at the temples, etc…

Does anyone recommend or even advise against certain supplements? I am very sensitive to biotin (causes acne). Or a regimen to slow the process? My roots seem very dry and brittle. Would something topical help? And lastly, has anyone had luck with Rogaine? I see mixed reviews.

Clearly, I am still frantic about the matter!

carol November 10, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Hi, I’m glad I stumbled upon this site, makes me feel good to find some kind of company in my struggle. I apologize if my english is not very clear 😛 I’ll try my best.

I started noticing some hair loss four or five years ago, very very little at first, but deep inside i knew there was something wrong… I didn’t made the connection back then (actually I’m doing it right now after reading all your stories), but I had recently quit yasmin when it all started. Since then I’ve been to every dermatologists here in México City, none of them helped me out, they all said everything was normal and it seemed to be due to stress.

Well, I finally found one very friendly derm, she’s super nice and eager to help! that made me very optimistic. She took a scalp byopsy and diagnosed me with Chronic TE (i still don’t understand quite well what that is) and prescribed me Rogaine at first. I had a terrible bloating face experience and had to quit after two months, it was a shame since I was starting to notice a loooot of new growths :(

Well, today my hair loss is worse than ever, i might be losing about 150 o 200 daily and temples looking worse every day, so I wen’t back to my dermatologist after quitting and now she prescribed me spironolactone and yasmin :/ but I’m quite scared of side effects of both of them… I think she prescribed me that because I have really oily skin on my face and scalp and some acne. I’ve read that spironolactone may even cause more hair loss. Also I remember that my libido was terrible when I was using yasmin and I don’t really want to go back to that. I find it ironic that you seem to have to give up on something to get the results you want, right? I want to look pretty, but i have to give up on sex or on health?… Something is not right hehe

Well, it’d be very helpful to listen to any advice or similar story (if it has a happy ending it would be greeeeat, but if not it doesn’t matter, been not alone is helpful too :)

Thanks!

Sarah February 1, 2016 at 2:31 am

Not sure if this thread is still active. I’m so glad I stumbled upon it last night though now I’m even more confused about what to do. I started taking bc pills Alesse or Aviane over 20 years ago as a teenager. I stopped twice only to have my girls (2 planned pregnancies) and that was over 8 years ago. I never had issues on my pill. I loved it and always had thin hair but that was just my genetic hair. It’s always been thin. Never really noticed thinning from the pill.
In March 2015 my OB suggested I switch pills due to my age 35+ and the risks with blood clots and stroke. I wasn’t happy but followed her advice and used Nora BE for 2 mos. I hated the way that pill made me feel so I stopped it. I wasn’t in a relationship and was divorced at the time. After being off the pill for a couple months I noticed my hair felt extremely thin. My mom even noticed and I decided to visit my pcp. He ran basic bloodwork and nothing showed. Said it was stress.
After several months of experiencing thinning hair and excessive shedding, I decided it was going off the pill that had caused the issue but not after a couple visits to a dermatologist who said it was just Telegen Affluvium and stress from my move to a different state around the same time I stopped the Nora BE. He even did a scalp biopsy and everything was normal. I continued to follow up w him but was in tears each time not understanding why the shedding wasn’t stopping.
I noticed my increased shedding was usually the week of my period and the week after.
I went back on Aleese in October and they eventually tested my testosterone while I was on the pill in December. My testosterone was too low so they put me on a testosterone cream (very minimal dose) and had me skip my period week on the pill.
I only did that one month but was still frustrated so I switched to a different OB within the same practice for a secondo opinion. She wanted to run a full hormone panel amongst several other tests and will be doing a pelvic sonogram but in order to do the testing, I had to come off my pill again. ? In 2 weeks I get my results and will have the sonogram but after being off the pill for 2 weeks..my hair is shedding even worse than the first time. I already had thin hair and now I feel like I have lost over half my hair..if not more.
Before reading this thread I was convinced I needed to go back on the pill..only a stronger pill..and that I have a hormonal imbalance. But now I’m not so sure.
I have a feeling nothing is going to show on these tests based off of a lot of your posts and maybe I just never gave my body enough time to correct itself though I had been off the pill for about 5 mos the first time.
My hair has only deteriorated since going back on my pill but it’s frustrating because I never had an issue w this pill that I was on it for so long. My periods are pretty normal and I do get bad headaches during the time I notice the excessive shedding around my period. I was told by my OB that I had to come off the pill to do the testing and it only took 2 weeks for the hormones to leave my body and show accurate results.
I’m so depressed. I start counseling today bEva use I am so upset. I haven’t been able to style my hair in months. I stopped using everything and only use Nioxin shampoo and conditioner. I usually let my hair air dry or I use the diffuser on cool. I have naturally wavy hair but it’s so thin around my temples, bangs and my crown is starting to show at the part. I cry daily and can’t stand seeing all my hair all over my clothes or in the shower. I used to be so healthy and active and now I don’t even work out due to the fact I would need to wash my hair or that I don’t want to put my hair up. My scalp is tender as well.
I have my next OB appt on 2/11/16 to discuss my results and have my sonogram. Now I feel like I should stay off the pill but am scared of what the next year or more might hold for me. I am a divorced mother of two and am not in a relationship though I recently was and I feel like my hair issue ruined it because I’m constantly obsessing over it and my confidence is so low. It has totally taken over my life. I look back at old pics from May 2015 when I stopped the pill and I cry. My hair was at its best..so long and pretty. Now it’s extremely thin, dry and breaks easily. Most the hairs I lose are shorter which scares me… though many are long as well. The worst damage is at my temples and bang area though the back is extremely thin as well.
Help! I’m 37 years old. Any positive feedback?How long will this hell last and what can I do in the meantime? Would you suggest hair extensions? Cutting hair very short? I’m so upset and live away from my family. I feel so alone and depressed.
Sarah J

Kar February 11, 2016 at 1:22 am

Hi Guys, so just under a year ago I commented on this blog about my hair loss story. I stopped shedding soon after when I used the Kerastase ampules, but over a year now and my hair is still so very thin and horrible. I decided to go a hair loss clinic to renowned doctor that specializes in hair loss and is actually known around the world. My hair has always grown very quickly, but since losing it it still grows very quickly but it doesn’t grow in volume so it remains very thin. When I went to this hair loss doc he advised that when we lose our hair, due to hormonal imbalances etc, it always grows back thinner and will continue to grow thinner and thinner. This I guess explains why my hair hasn’t grown back to its normal thickness. He has given me a few tonics and other stuff to help my hair to grow back thicker and to be restored to the way it was when I was younger. (I am only 30, so not even that old and have been experiencng hair loss due to the pill since I was in my early twenties). One of the treatments is Minoxidil AKA Rogain, but he has given me a higher percentage than what you can get over the counter, he also prescribed a few other treatments/solutions as well as a capillary spray with a shampoo and conditioner and vitamins that he recommends. He said we should see results within 3 to 6 months. Please note that this is not a cure but a treatment and its advised by the doc that I continue with the minoxidil and vitamins forever. The doc advised that you may experience a bit more shedding in the first couple of months of using minoxidil but this is only because your old thinner hairs are coming out to make way for the new thicker hair. apparently the whole process with using all the meds/solutions he prescribes speeds up the hair growth process and thats how you see results within a matter of months. the doc also said that you need not worry to much about shedding your hair but more so on how your hair grows back. I will report back in a few months and tell you how its all going.

Beth February 11, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Kar,
That is what I heard also. I also talked to a nurse who said to use 5% 2 times a day, because it has a half life.

Leetha February 28, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Kar:

What did the doctor give you?
How can the hair just become thinner and thinner?

My hair are shedding alot and the hair is so thin. I always had fine hair but this is terrible. I was of yasmin i 2012 and get pregnant. My hair was just fine. I had Mirena after birth and my hair was ok. A year after birth still ok hair. Two years after still ok but maybe it started slowly. Because the past year the hair has become more and more worse.
Removed Mirena two months ago and everty test are fine.
The doctors said everything is ok. Well its not…
I loose 200-250 hair every day, i can se some regrow but its not enought. The hair is so thin…and my scalp is red and itch.
I dont understand this….after so long time after birth….
And the Mirena was so fine. I felt so fine.
After this hair shit im crying all the time my life feels over.

I hope someone just could write to me.
I dont know if i should try Yasmine or just dont do nothing.
Im 36 and never had this before…

Leetha February 29, 2016 at 12:21 am

Sarah

How are you. Your hairloss look familiar to mine.
I feel so alone with this. Please feel free to write. I would bee in here several times a week.

Leetha

Megan March 6, 2016 at 10:59 am

Wow, what a relief to find this website. I started Yaz when I was 23. Slowly over time especially the last 18 months I noticed a steady increase in the amount of hair that was falling out. I used to have such thick hair which people also used to comment on. In December of 2015 I decided rostis taking yaz after something just didn’t feel right. Besides the horrendous side effects I’ve been struggling with, my hair is falling out more and more. I can’t wear my hair down anymore and my confidence has fallen.

I’m three months in and I truly hope that it will stop at some stage and maybe even start growing back again.

It’s amazing how losing you hair makes you feel like you’re losing your identity.

Thank you again for the website…all the way from South Africa

Megan March 6, 2016 at 11:01 am

Apologies *to stop instead of rostis.

Cc April 4, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Hi leetha
I’m sorry to see no one has replied to you until now ……but you are not alone hun just look at the amount of posts on here all of us women having similar problems with hair loss . I am 37 I had the mirena coil for 5 years never had a problem with my hair ….well not that I noticed (I had really thick hair then) …..when I had mirena in for 4 years my doc put me on a beta blocker which is a blood pressure tablet but gave it to me to prevent migraines which had got chronic .after 5 weeks of taking them I had a serve allergic reaction to them my face and airways swelled up 3 weeks after I was treated for that all of my hair fell out in the space of a few days ….dermatologist said the loss was so severe my hair would only have a 5% chance of growing back …(total depression?) well my hair is growing back it’s been 3&half years but it grows in then I get patches that still get very big but each year they seem to be a little less I have worn wigs for 3 years now I’m on clip in extensions and being a hairdresser who was and sometimes still gets very depressed I’m trying my best to have a bit of fun with the clip ins and staying positive I would love to go back to that dermatologist with a full head of hair and shake it in her face and tell her how wrong she was she left me devestated with no glimmer of hope I was in such a dark place …..so what I’m trying to say is there is always hope so try stay positive hun xxxxx

Amber April 13, 2016 at 5:04 pm

I started accutane in December 2015 and was on yaz birth control because I was required to. I stopped the birth control in my 3rd month and almost to my 4th I realized my hair has completely changed and thinned so so so bad. I have no idea what is wrong with me and I cry and have mental breakdowns everyday. I’m supposed to leave for Marine bootcamp in 5 months but I really don’t want to right now and I want to quit my job and hide in my room forever. I don’t even go to the gym anymore. I’m so embrassed somebody please help me and tell me it will grow back???!!! I’m supposed to go to Hawaii in June and don’t even want to go!!!!

Kar May 13, 2016 at 12:43 am

Hi Leetha,

I am so sorry to hear the pain that you are going through, but I know how you feel. I cant explain to you why you would be losing your hair so many years after being pregnant and after being on any form of contraception. After going to my hair loss doctor just under 4 months ago and I have been using all the medication he told me and how prescribed I can definitely see that my hair is getting thicker and thicker and my hair loss has reduced significantly. I would suggest maybe finding a proper hair loss doctor, someone who specialises in hair loss and who can look at your scalp and assess it correctly.
stay strong and just know that there is hope and I am sure that there is a reason for your hair loss and hopefully its only a temporary phase. My hormones and body is only now starting to go back to normal and I went off the pill a year and 5 months ago, and only now can I notice that my body is starting to correct itself and go back to normal. The pill works for some people and not others. Hang in there and don’t give up hope :)

Sarah October 25, 2016 at 10:14 am

Jessica..not sure if you ever still check this but what’s your status with your hair as of now? I’m going on over a year of coming off the pill and every month I debate going on Yasmin or Beyaz. I don’t plan on having more kids and going off the pill in May 2015 destroyed my hair. It’s very rough. Trying my best to hold out but when is too long? My hair is beyond thin. I don’t know how I’m not bald by now

Sarah October 25, 2016 at 10:19 am

Leetha…I am just now seeing your message. Please feel free to email me sarahj1020@yahoo.com

cindi November 26, 2016 at 2:07 am

Hello! I’m 23 & I wanted to share my story with everyone because hairloss has been something I’ve dealt with and have researched for years. Well, last year (2015-2016) have been terrible years for my hair. As of now, it is the worst it has been. My ponytail is a dime in diameter and hairloss is only something the men have dealt with in my family, and only during old age. My father is 74 and Is balding. My mother is 65 and has great hair still! My sisters have gorgeous and thick hair, as well.
When I was 18, I was concerned with shedding but it wasn’t a big deal. My hair was great and I would get it thinned, even. 19 was a rough year. I had a terrible relationship and I stuck with that relationship until I was 21. That’s when my hairloss got worse, during that time. I took antidepressants and had a hard time growing up in the wrong crowd. I experimented with pills that contaminated my body. Pain relievers, etc, while on sleep aide pills and antidepressants. I quit taking those things because I knew that was not the lifestyle I wanted to pursue and that terrible relationship ended when my partner went to jail! My family is very Mormon-like and very knowledgeable when it comes to providing their bodies with toxic chemicals. I am the only female in my intermediate family who has ever taken BC.
Fast foward to February 2016. I had a miscarriage, which was a horrifying emotional and physical experience.
A month later I began an orthotricyclen off brand prescribed by my derm., covered by insurance. It caused achne and irregular periods. My physician switched me to BC due to fluxuating periods. Then switched me again two months later, then just recently I started taking enskyce because the previous BC got recalled! (WHAT?!)
I haven’t had my period these past two months on enskyce, just 1 time of light pill bleeds. I’m also on acutane because of oily skin and have been on that for almost two months now. Acutane is for achne and is very harsh on your body. So harsh that it will cause birth defects if you became pregnant while on it. I have to take monthly blood tests to check my body and to make sure I’m not pregnant, and I ha e to be on birth control.
Anyways, my hair is terrible. I take daily vitamins, more th an I probably should. Everything and anything related to hair growth, well, I’ve taken them for years, since my terrible relationship when I was 19 years old.
This, though, is the saddest my hair has been. All I want is to have wonderful hair and I don’t know what to do.
My current boyfriend tells me he just wants for me to be happy, and says I’m a lot nicer when I’m not on BC.
I feel as if my hormones are all wrecked since the day of February 26th. I have been to my derm and talked to him about my hairloss and he just blows the subject off or deflects it! I’m thinking about stop seeing him because I think he just wants my money and doesn’t want to deal with any of his patient’s concerns.
I don’t want achne, which acutane has been awesome. I love it. People tell me my skin looks noticeable nicer.

I’m deciding whether or not I need to ween myself off of birth control and accutane altogether. Though, I love accutane and must stay on a contraceptive while on it.
I have stayed up nights and have researched for hours on the subject of hairloss, for years since I was 19. If my sisters can have beautiful hair and be many years older than me, while never being on BC or accutane, then so can k. I don’t want to live with a receding hairline, because my scalp is always visible. I can even feel the wind blow against the top of my head and the chill of the air on my skin beneath my hair..

I’m only 23 and the fact that I’m losing my hair to hardships makes me feel unstable. I will not let this happen! I have had blood tests done. I take iron supplements, sinc, biotin, calcium, etc. My thyroid levels were checked in October, and my TSH was high, but my doctor said it was not a concern because she believed it was because of the birth control.

I don’t want to feel as if I am dying because I lose my hair, I don’t feel as if I have I thyroid issue, but I have another blood test result to see on Monday.
I will combat this! I will retain my beauty! I must for the sake of being a woman, because I just want my hormones to be in check!

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