Hair loss and the oral contraceptive pill

There are a number of unwanted side effects that occur from the oral contraceptive pill, one of the most distressing being hair loss. Hair loss causes psychological, emotional and social distress and is therefore a very serious condition.

Your hair is falling out while on the pill

Hair loss is a side effect of high androgen pills.

Androgens miniaturize hair follicles and over time this can lead to thinning and loss of hair.

Do you have a strong family history of hair loss? Oral contraceptives with a dominant androgen component can cause or worsen androgen-dependent alopecia in women if they have a family history of alopecia.

Oral contraceptive pills with a high androgen content include: medroxyprogesterone acetate, levonorgestrel, norgestrel, and etonogestrel.

Your hair is falling out once you have stopped taking the pill

There are a few reasons this may be happening:

  1. If you have been on a low androgen pill and you stop taking this you may experience a rebound surge of androgens. Remember that your hormones have been switched ‘off’ for months to many years (depending how long you have been on the OCP), it will take a while for them to find their balance and stabilise. Be patient, when given the right support holistically they will find their balance and your hair should stop falling out.
  2. You are deficient in important vitamins and minerals required for healthy hair, skin and overall wellbeing. The OCP depletes the following vitamins and minerals: folic acid, vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C and E and the minerals magnesium, selenium and zinc.

How to support hair growth and health 

  1. Consider another form of non-hormonal contraception – keep in mind symptoms may get worse before better as your hormones find their balance, please be patient, it will get better (for more individualised information and support with transitioning off the OCP with less side effects please get in touch here)
  2. Balance hormones and initiate regular ovulation – when we ovulate we make oestrogen and progesterone which encourage hair growth
  3. Improve depleted nutrients – zinc, B vitamins, iron, selenium and vitamin E

Not on the pill and losing hair?

  1. Do you have PCOS? High androgens are a diagnostic criteria and as you now know can cause hair loss.
  2. How is your thyroid functioning? Imbalances can lead to hair loss.
  3. Check your nutrient levels – specifically iron – low iron can lead to hair loss. 

If you would like individualised support with getting your health back on track please get in touch, I offer one on one consultations in person or via Skype. Appointments can be made here.

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