The Pill, Thyroid and 4 other Types of Hormonal Hair Loss

hairloss

Hair loss used to be something that women suffered occasionally after childbirth or illness. It is now so common that doctors see it everyday.

The birth control Pill is largely to blame. It damages the hair follicle in ways that can take years to repair.  Other conditions such as PCOS and thyroid disease also play a role.

6 Types of Hormonal Hair Loss

1) The Birth Control Pill’s artificial progestin acts like a male hormone to shrink and impair the hair follicle. Modern Pills try to get around the problem by using different types of progestins, but they are not much of an improvement (and they have the unfortunate tendency to cause fatal blood clots). Ironically, the Pill is often prescribed to treat hair loss, in the hope that the synthetic estrogens will counteract the progestins and promote hair regrowth. My advice: Get OFF the Pill and stay off it. Let your body’s own estrogen and progesterone run the show for a change. Yes, stopping the Pill may trigger a temporary increase in shedding (2 to 3 months later), but that will pass. As your own estrogen and progesterone take charge, you will slowly regain your normal hair.

2) PCOS, testosterone and insulin resistance. Testosterone causes hair loss. This occurs in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (a condition which, incidentally, is headed for a name change because it has very little to do with cysts on the ovaries. (More on that in a future post). Most PCOS-sufferers have high testosterone on blood test. Some have normal testosterone, but  still show signs of  testosterone sensitivity (acne, facial hair). The  testosterone of PCOS is usually caused by insulin resistance, which in turn is caused by: refined sugar, omega 6 vegetable oil, smoking, vitamin D deficiency, and a problem with intestinal bacteria (another good reason to avoid antibiotics). The Pill causes insulin resistance, which is why using the Pill to treat PCOS is just bad medicine.

3) Progesterone deficiency. Progesterone is our natural androgen receptor blocker. In other words, it protects the hair follicle from testosterone. Progesterone is why women’s hair grows so thick during pregnancy.  To have adequate progesterone, we must ovulate regularly. Women on the Pill, and women with PCOS, do not ovulate, and do not make enough progesterone. (The progestins in the Pill are not progesterone, but can be more accurately described as anti-progesterone.) Another cause of progesterone deficiency is stress, which forces the body to convert progesterone into the stress hormone cortisol. Magnesium is essential for progesterone production, and calms the stress response. Magnesium is also an androgen receptor blocker. For this reason, I recommend magnesium for any woman trying to recover her hair. Natural progesterone is a treatment option, but must be used with caution, because an overdose will worsen the problem (see below) . The best way to enhance progesterone is to restore normal ovulation by correcting insulin resistance, thyroid or other obstacles to normal ovulation.

4) Thyroid disease.  Either too little or too much thyroid hormone can result in hair loss. The conventional blood test for TSH is not enough to detect subclinical thyroid disease. I recommend testing for thyroid antibodies, T3 and possibly reverse T3. Once a thyroid problem has been identified, thyroid hormone in the form of T4, T3 or desiccated thyroid can be used. Do not overdose thyroid hormone, because it will then cause the same hair loss problem that it was meant to treat (see below). The best treatment for autoimmune thyroid disease is not thyroid hormone, but instead to lower the autoimmune response (thyroid antibodies). This can be done by removing gluten from the diet, correcting intestinal flora, and supplementing selenium.

5) Estrogen deficiency.  Hair follicles love estrogen (which is why the synthetic estrogens in the Pill are often prescribed.). When young women have low estrogen, it shows up as scanty light periods (or no periods at all), and vaginal dryness. Estrogen deficiency is most often caused by low body weight, eating disorder, smoking, low carb diet, gluten intolerance or stress. The solution is to address the underlying cause, and get the periods flowing again. I do not recommend estrogen supplements for young women. The low estrogen of menopause is a different story. Post-menopausal women can consider low-dose bioidentical estrogen and progesterone.

6) Hormone overdose. Don’t fall into the trap of causing hair loss with the very hormone that you’re using to treat it. Excess thyroid, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA supplements can all cause hair loss. When the hair follicle is exposed to higher-than-normal levels of hormone, it shuts down and stops responding.  It is a case of hormone deficiency in a sea of hormone. Small doses of thyroid, estrogen and progesterone can be helpful, but there is a small window of therapeutic value. A hormonal sweet spot. If it feels like you might need more, then you probably need less. If in doubt, lower the dose.

Be a Detective

Other causes of hair loss include stress, illness, surgery and deficiency of protein, iron or zinc. Hair loss can be a side effect of many medications including anti-inflammatories and antidepressants. Count backwards on your calendar. The problem typically begins 3 months AFTER the cause, but it may be much longer. If the damage to the hair follicle is cumulative – as it is with the Pill – it may take years for the shedding to begin in earnest.

Once hair loss is established, it is often not enough to treat just one thing. It may be necessary to line up a few treatments to get results (Example: stop the Pill, supplement zinc, and address an underlying eating disorder).

Play the Long Game

Hair loss is distressing because it takes SO LONG to respond to treatment. The most perfect treatment cannot start to work any sooner than 3 months, and it may take more than a year. My message to women is this: Play the long game. Identify the underlying hormonal cause of your hair loss, and correct that. Stick with it. Stopping and starting many different treatments will get you nowhere.

Stay calm. Trust your body.

Update: Please read my Feb 2014 post on Spironolactone, and May 2014 post: Treatment for 4 Types of PCOS. Treat the Cause. 

206 thoughts on “The Pill, Thyroid and 4 other Types of Hormonal Hair Loss

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Chetan

    March 19, 2013 at 11:50am

    Hi Lara,

    Great that you brought up this subject. What about men with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis experiencing diffused thinning?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      March 19, 2013 at 12:21pm

      Autoimmune thyroid disease can cause hair loss in either gender. My experience with Hashimoto’s is correct the autoimmune by correcting the intestinal flora and reducing inflammation. It’s a slow process, unfortunately.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      jeunereveuse

      March 26, 2014 at 11:07am

      Hi Lara,

      Interesting to hear that damage done by the pill is cumulative. I was on the pill for 4 years, and my hair get gradually thinner during that time. I’m not sure if the pill definitely caused my thinning but I stopped taking it completely about 10 months ago. My hair has continued to get gradually thinner during that time. I have had thyriod and iron tests which have come back normal, and am awaiting results of hormone tests. Do you think it’s possible that the pill could still be affecting my hair?

      Secondly, my thyroid function test showed that my T4 level was normal but my TSH was just out of range at 0.28. Would this have an effect on hair loss? I am struggling to get a straight answer from my GP!

      Thanks
      JR

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      Jennifer Kellow

      July 28, 2014 at 3:27am

      I was on Ortho Novum 777 for 20 years. I stopped it for 3 years and no hair loss either on or going off. However, I was sick all the time due to undiagnosed Thyroid condition ( my readings were 6 but docs said it was sub clinical and ignored it) I got put back on the pill at age 40 after having been off for 3 years but this time on LoEstrine (one of the baddies for hair loss). I got put on Levothyroxine and my health issues stopped (painful slow digestion, pain all over during and after periods that was horrible-). I had lost some hair due to thyroid issues and when I was put on Levothyroxine my hair came back in beautifully in literally 2 weeks time and I never had a hair issue since. I finally got up the courage to go off the pill in January at age 44. I went through horrible body pain,migraine headaches for 2 weeks straight etc- then in May/June my hair started to fall out. Outside of some loss with the thyroid issue which was corrected and hair grew back in I have NEVER in MY LIFE had hair issues (even on Ortho Novum) and I had beautiful thick hair. Suddenly overnight its literally gone. I am not pulling hair out of my head and my hair seems strong but I’ve lost over half of it. You can feel my scalp and I have lots of short baby hairs everywhere. I know it’s not from thyroid as my thyroid has been watched by a specialist like a hawk since going off the pill. There is denial from Doctors that this is from the pill. The only bad thing about my last blood test was AC1 test hemoglobin jumped from 5.3 to 5.6 so the doc wanted to start me on Metformin saying this could be the reason for my hair loss. However 5.6 isn’t even quite borderline insulin resistance. I am afraid to put any other drugs in my system. I eat very well and work out 4 days a week plus teach a work out class. I am scared to death my hair is going to fall out worse. I’ve made an appointment with a dermatologist. I started taking Prenatals, Biotin, B2, Saw Palmeto and now drinking green tea.

      I have read almost NO comments about women ever getting their hair back after birth control induced shedding like this. In fact I have read many comments saying their hair continued and continued to fall out. How do you know if that’s going to keep happening? I am getting married in a few months, went back to school late in life and am looking for a job while competing with hot young 20 somethings.. I need my hair back! I can say with all honesty that even when I lost a bit of hair from thyroid ( it got better right away with thyroid meds) my loss was NOT like this.. not even close. This hair is thin and fine like newborn baby hair and I can feel my scalp!

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sue ganser

    March 20, 2013 at 4:39am

    Would it helped with the “excessive shedding” when going off the pill if one gradually went off the pill? Ie one month on one month off for a couple of months?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      March 20, 2013 at 8:04am

      Hi Sue, I don’t think that would work. (happy to hear from anybody who has tried it). The best thing is to make sure that the periods come back with normal estrogen and progesterone supply. This might mean correcting any issues that might be preventing periods – before stopping the Pill. (example iodine deficiency, low carb diet etc). A tiny bit of progesterone cream might be another way to buffer the hormonal shock of coming off the Pill.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc, ND

    March 23, 2013 at 12:26pm

    Excellent article! This is a great summary of the causes of hair loss! What are your thoughts about DHT and hair loss?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      March 23, 2013 at 4:25pm

      Thanks for bringing this up Pamela. Yes, the conversion of testosterone to DHT does play a role. Interestingly, there are many natural 5α-reductase inhibitors such as medium chain fatty acids (another benefit of coconut oil), zinc, tumeric, green tea. Many of my female patients have tried saw palmetto (another alpha-reductase enzyme inhibitor), but with mixed results. I still maintain that the best approach is to support ovulation – and therefore oestrogen and progesterone. (For readers: 5α-reductase is the enzyme that activates testosterone into its more active form dihydrotestosterone or DHT).
      (The other problem is that once the hair follicles have been exposed to DHT for a long time (years), they permanently miniaturize, and cannot go back to normal. This is what happens in men.)
      I would really love to hear from other doctors on this one. Not an easy condition to treat. I feel for my hair loss patients, I really do.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        tarn

        November 21, 2014 at 11:57am

        Hi Lara

        This post has me worried now. How would i know if i have been exposed to DHT for too long? I believe I have high testosterone levels for a couple of years (never actually tested). I have had my thyroid checked, all okay. I’m overweight and doc has prescribed spiro and Metformin. I suffer from acne and hair thinning and have done for going on 3 years. I ran my pill together for two years with no period. I stopped this a year ago and have ovulated normally since, but now I’m worried if my hair will ever grow back to its former self. How can I find out? I am currently taking zinc, magnesium, omega 3 and 6. thanks

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      March 23, 2013 at 4:32pm

      Progesterone is another inhibitor of alpha reductase. Quite a potent one, I think. That’s one of the ways it blocks testosterone, but as I mentioned in the article I believe that it also blocks the androgen receptor.

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Ruth Robison

    June 8, 2013 at 6:09am

    What do you think about alcohol consumption and hair loss? Any correlation?

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    cindy Mathiasen

    June 21, 2013 at 5:47pm

    What is the cause of and how can you alleviate the burning and irritation of the scalp that is association with excessive hair loss? And is there a problem with taking 100 mg progesterone along with a pharmaceutical grade saw palmetto supplement to alleviate possible effects of DHT for menopausal hair shedding?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      June 22, 2013 at 2:59pm

      I don’t exactly know why some people get a burning sensation. There is thought to be an inflammatory process happening at the hair follicles, and also the release of substance P, a pain neuropeptide. Some reports say that topical anti-inflammatories like capsaicin can be helpful. I suspect that general nutritional ways to reduce inflammation should also help (eliminate refined sugar and use herbal anti-inflammatories).
      Should be no problem to try micronised progesterone and saw palmetto under the guidance of your doctor.

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Ann

    July 8, 2013 at 11:25am

    Hi Lara,
    Thank you for this information. I am experiencing hair loss that I believe is caused by *stopping* use of Pro-Gest cream by Emerita. I have tried using this cream several times over the past few years, but each time I had side effects, the worst of which was mental confusion (very frightening!). So, I stopped use about 2 months ago (after using it for a few months). Do you know if the shedding/hair loss will eventually stop (it’s been shedding heavily for about two weeks now)? Will it grow back or is it permanent for the hairs that have fallen out? The only reason I ever tried Pro-Gest is because of a recommendation from a nurse practitioner friend of mine who believes all women over 40 years of age should be on progesterone cream. So I took the recommendation and tried it (my doctor never suggested it). I am 55 years old and had my last period 13 months ago. If you have any ideas/thoughts, I would SO appreciate it. It’s so distressing. I don’t know if I should wait it out or take action and try something else? It’s very difficult to find any information on hair loss caused BY progesterone cream – there’s lots of info recommending its use to grow hair. I found a few sites, but none of them offer any info on when/if the hair will grow back.
    Thank you!
    Ann

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      July 9, 2013 at 11:04am

      Hi Ann,
      The hair loss triggered by sudden hormonal changes (such as stopping the progesterone in your case) should be temporary. If you didn’t previously have hair loss, then it should resolve itself within a few months.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Ann

        July 9, 2013 at 1:49pm

        Thank you, Lara! That is encouraging to hear.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Carrot

    July 19, 2013 at 2:07am

    Hi Lara,
    What are your thoughts on the possible effects of DIM and calcium-d-glucurate on hair? I have been using these supplements to treat symtoms of ‘estrogen dominance’.
    Thank you,
    Carrot

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      July 21, 2013 at 1:32am

      Estrogen is very good for hair, so in theory, those at risk for hair loss might not want to do too much estrogen-clearing. However, I’ve never seen a problem with standard-dose DIM and calcium-d-glucorate. On the other side of the equation, it is also important to have enough progesterone, as progesterone blocks testosterone at the hair follicle, and is very good for hair.

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Carrot

    July 22, 2013 at 10:29pm

    Thanks Lara, that is what I was hoping, as it seems to reduce hair growth in unwanted places.

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    lailaday

    August 2, 2013 at 9:26am

    Hi, first of all thank you for being the one who speaks about birth controls causing hair loss as many many doctors deny it. I really would like to share my experience and ask for some help. I’ve been using Yasmin for about a year now for medical purposes basically. Even though I had regular periods before, I have menorrhagia (it runs in the family) and also I tend to get chalazions in my eye like every month before my period (crazy but blepharitis does that) and this drug actually lessened my overworking oil glands so chalazions stopped.
    This may seem like a dream scenario except it killed my hair. And I mean that really. I always had thin hair but with volume which people usually complemented. Maybe I was always prone to genetic hair loss as it did get thinner every year but slowly and because of menorrhagia, I always had iron deficiency so whenever I used iron, it became thicker again. Until yasmin. As soon as I started yasmin, I started to lose huge amounts of hair which lasted for about 4 months. I was going crazy as it was huge amounts of hair coming of everywhere. After that crazy four months, the shedding somewhat stabilized (it still sheds) however I was left with a limp thin lifeless hair that my scalp can easily be seen through. My eyebrows have thinned too (I use 4 to 5 hair daily on a single brow which isn’t normal and they got thinner too) and I used to have thick brows before (they’re diffuse now). My eyelashes lessened too. The doctors I’ve seen, they tested me on everything and they say that I’m very healthy. My thyroid levels are good and as I’m taking supplements and eating diversely my vitamin levels are perfect. Even my iron levels are really up. My hormone levels are also good (even my testosterone levels). So they cannot find anything wrong. And I keep telling them this started after Yasmin. Maybe I was prone to genetic hair loss and progesterone causes this I don’t know. I’m afraid to come off it as my wedding is approaching and I’m terrified of the massive hair loss I will probably experience like when I started the pill. However each month (and I’m not exaggerating) my hair gets balder. Genetic hair loss shouldn’t happen so quickly as far as I know. It usually spreads in years. Well I lost half of my hair in just one year probably. I’m only 28 years old. What do you suggest? I’m completely lost. Do you think Yasmin caused irreversible damage and is there any hope that I might get my hair and my eyebrows back? Thanks.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      missyparticle

      June 29, 2014 at 2:35pm

      Did the situation get any better. My hair is already of thin texture. very very thin. I use castor oil mustard and coconut oil and do a gentle head massage twice thrice a week. it helps a lot.
      I currently believe im going through hormonal changes since I turned 25

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Ann

    August 9, 2013 at 4:27pm

    I have mild PCOS and am now 40. I went on yasmeen to conquer acne which started when my periods returned after having a baby. 6 months of yasmeen and my skin looks clear but my hair has turned staw like and is now falling. My nails are also breaking. I’m now in a catch 22. Stop the yasmeen and get awfully bad acne (for a year or so till hormones calm) or continue with the yasmeen and have clear skin and much less hair. In the states I hear they use spironolactone to reduce hair loss but it seems unheard of in the UK to use it for hair/acne. Any thoughts much appreciated, it’s all beginning to really get to me.

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    sdbrougher

    August 31, 2013 at 10:34pm

    Lara, What are your thoughts on ablations and hair loss? I have a client who is experiencing extreme hair loss and we have gone back the 3-4 mths you talk about.
    The only change she has made, is her diet. Even though it is a Paleo diet, her carb intake is still really good.
    She had the ablation about a year ago, so not sure if that is a factor. I am sending her for blood work but at a complete loss.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      September 1, 2013 at 1:12pm

      do you mean endometrial ablation?

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        sdbrougher

        September 1, 2013 at 10:01pm

        Sorry, yes, that is what I meant. I also found yesterday that she had her tubes tided as well.
        Trying to go through all the different scenarios to figure out why she is losing so much hair suddenly.

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Steph

          September 2, 2013 at 5:45am

          I’m interested in knowing if endometrial ablation contributes to hair thinning, as well. In Oct. 2012, I had a myomectomy to remove a uterine fibroid, and an ablation was part of the procedure. I stopped taking oral contraceptives shortly afterward, so I can’t say whether it was the surgery or the hormonal changes that caused hair loss, but my hair started thinning pretty dramatically. When I would shampoo, I’d end up with handfuls of hair.

          It began to regrow after several months, but I can’t tell if the short, new hair is enough to fill in the thin older growth. I’ve had to switch to a shorter hairstyle to make the thinning less conspicuous.

          This is a very interesting, detailed post. I look forward to finding out more.

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Lara Briden

          September 3, 2013 at 2:00pm

          Ablation doesn’t affect female hormones directly, but it is a surgery, and therefore a stress. Stress affects cortisol-DHEA balance, and therefore female hormone balance, and also thyroid. It could take a few months (or more) to recover from this.

          Other factors to consider: 1) she may still be recovering from the heavy periods/blood loss/iron deficiency that she had leading up to the ablation (if that was her situation, as it so often is). 2) general anaesthesia has been shown to trigger hair loss. And 3) tubal ligation can result in a decreased progesterone level.

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    sdbrougher

    September 3, 2013 at 7:43pm

    Thank you. I have suggested that she go get her thyroid tested and also get a hormone panel done, specifically testing for estrogen and progesterone.

    So happy I found your site and blog.

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    marie aude

    September 5, 2013 at 10:49pm

    Dear Lara ,

    I’m a registred dietician who live in Belgium (and thanks to internet to share informations worldwide! ) I ‘m suffering from PCOS and in Europe the lack of informations and interest is sadly, so huge for this syndrom. (no single book in French for this condition on amazone !)
    I try to treat myself with alternative medicine and organic specific diet (of course.)
    Your webesite in such a miracle for helping.

    If I stop the pill,I desperatly loose my hair and suffer with typical hormonal acne (unlesse I’m a lean personn with no insulin resistant.) You talk about poeny and liquorice extracts in your article to help decrease the effect of excess testotesterone, but do you think we can find this supplement in Europe ? wich brand, do you have any clue?
    I made all the others changes that you mentionned , but never test this.
    I bought trought internet the natural progesterone cream and stop agnus castus on your advice, because my level of LH is high. I had no result taking saw palmetto during 6 months … Over there , they currently prescribe alchemilla vulgaris a special herb to promote progesteron during the menstrual cycle.
    It works during 3 months, but after it’s seems to be less effective for me and my cycle start to began so long, again (and hair loss and acne become wosrt). I desperatly look for a natural solution that could help me.Thank you.
    best regards from Europe,

    Marie Aude

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      September 15, 2013 at 9:15am

      Hi Marie, I am aware that Peony & Licorice combination is difficult to access outside of Australia, which is a shame because it works so well. Here is a study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8012442. The 2 herbs are Paeonia lactiflora and Glycyrrhiza glabra in a 1:1 ratio. Could you speak to a herbalist about a liquid extract mix? Also the company Mediherb makes a tablet formula called Polyfem. I know that they distribute in US and UK.
      But be careful because higher doses will cause elevated blood pressure. You should use under professional guidance.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        marie aude

        September 28, 2013 at 9:28pm

        thank you for your reply, yes it is such a shame, because regular physicians and medicines offer nothing really interesting for us… I’m going to try a formulation with a herbalist here, I will show her the study, of course.
        Best regards from Belgium (and thanks for the article on PMS, as well)

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Annie Moller

    September 7, 2013 at 2:59am

    Dear Lara- What are your thoughts about Mirena IUD and hair loss. I read this could be a side effect. I have had it for 3 years due to being full of uterine polyps. It has helped me so much with my heavy periods and keeping the polyps from growing back. About a year ago I noticed more hair loss than normal and it has gotten worse where I am thinning all over but no bald spots yet. I have had blood work for thyroid and iron and was told it was normal. My nails and leg hair grow like crazy as well as the hair on my head (see outgrowth from dye). These are full strands coming out and no breakage. Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!

    Annie

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      September 7, 2013 at 12:50pm

      Hi Annie, I’m surprised that no one has asked this before. The progestin in Mirena is levonorgestrel, which is androgenic. (As i discuss above, it is the androgenic – male hormone action – of progestins which cause Pill hair loss.) BUT, the dose from Mirena is far lower than from the Pill. Blood levels of levonorgestrel in Mirena users are about one-tenth of Pill users. Also, Mirena does not suppress ovulation, which is good because its allows the body’s own estrogen and progesterone to benefit hair. In theory, Mirena should not be as risky as the Pill for hair-loss, but there are reports that it is a problem for some women. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17900442

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Carisa

    September 10, 2013 at 4:49am

    How much magnesium do you need as a supplement?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      September 10, 2013 at 8:34pm

      300-400mg in form of magnesium glycinate gets the best results.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Tina

        June 2, 2014 at 4:01am

        Is a triple magnesium complex okay? It’s 400mg – magnesium oxide, magnesium aspartate and magnesium citrate.

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Annie

    September 12, 2013 at 4:16am

    Lara- Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my post! I love the articles and information I have found on your site. Anyhow, I have had the Mirena for 3 years and didn’t notice the hair loss starting until about a year ago. So I have been told by several doctors this isn’t the cause of the hair loss, since I have had it so long. I hesitate to remove it because it has helped me medically. Do you know of any natural supplements or anything that can help with the hair growth or loss?

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jessica

    September 14, 2013 at 5:35am

    Dear Lara, I have been suffering with hair loss for over a year now. I have recently discovered that I have some sort of autoimmune disorder, along with a lot of strange blood work results. My thyroid fluxuates, but not a lot 1.5 to 2.5 range – my hemaglobin is too high and my ferritin drops low if I stop supplementing. I have a burning scalp that comes and goes and frequent itching (no rash). My doctor wanted me to experiment with thyroid supplementation and bio-identical estrogen. My testosterone has always been low, as has DHEA and DHT. A derm. put me on 200mg. spironolactone a year ago. I did not notice a lot of shedding until I went off the spiro. and tried to supplement with natural thyroid and DHEA. I quit those and my hair loss came down, but then my Doc. gave me a shot of estrogen which started the shed again. I panicked and went back on spiro. The spiro. seems to help for a little while and then the hair loss escalates again. probiotics and antifungals make the burning and hair loss increase exponentially. I’ve had evidence of yeast problems, but can’t handle the hair loss that comes when I treat them. I tried natural progesterone cream, but was afraid that it was causing oily hair and acne….I seem to have tried it all and failed. I take biotin, zinc, D, turmeric, ginger, B complex, B12, magnesium, E , selenium, C, evening primrose, flax and borage oils. The only time my hair loss has stopped is the two times I’ve vacationed in Chicago. I’m at the end of the rope. Oh, I had an ablasion done about 6 months ago due to heavy periods and have not had a period since. Had one hormone test come back showing no progesterone and I do not believe that I ovulate….I also have chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, etc. Any suggestions?

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Diane

    September 27, 2013 at 12:20am

    My hair has been thinning since my late 20s, but the last few years it’s been dramatic (I’m 46). I did test positive for Hashimoto’s and have been on Naturethroid without much improvement, and now compounded T4/T3 with a little more success at gradually increased doses, but just recently realizing my iron has probably been bottomed out for years, and I’m working on getting those levels up to optimal. My saliva cortisol test showed low cortisol through most of the day, but one of my doctors says he’s seen worse. I’m on a very natural diet, grain-free, dairy free and soy free (basically Paleo) that has finally quieted long term gut imbalance issues, but it’s hard to say how much the terrain has recovered.

    I’ve been taking oral compounded progesterone for many years because it seemed to help initially with PMS type symptoms, particularly painful swollen breasts, but lately my periods occasionally go off schedule and it doesn’t always improve the situation. I switched from doing 50mg first half of the cycle and 100mg 2nd half to 150mg just in the second half of my cycle. My last 2 lab tests (blood) showed progesterone quite high, but my doctor thinks I may have hormone resistance where it’s showing up in the blood because of supplementation, but the hormone receptors in my body aren’t working correctly to utilize it, since I tend to have symptoms of estrogen dominance (though is possible too much progesterone causes those same symptoms?) She thinks it may be the same scenario with my thyroid, since I don’t notice much difference in how I feel when I run out or change the dose.

    I realize my hair loss could be caused by any number of things – the autoimmune thyroid issue, estrogen/progesterone balance, low iron, etc., but what do you recommend in the way of specific hormone testing (blood/saliva/time of month, etc.) and what ranges should we be looking for ? What are your thoughts on hormone resistance?

    Lately I’m thinking of going off the progesterone altogether to see if my dietary changes alone may help my hormone balance. I also think it’s possible that I’m on more thyroid hormone than I need, and concerned that could be contributing, too. Come to think of it, I didn’t have significant hair loss issues until I started “treating” the thyroid and increasing the dose.

    Thank you for any insights.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      October 15, 2013 at 11:48am

      yes, low-dose oestradiol can be helpful for hair loss for post-menopausal women.

  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jennifer

    October 15, 2013 at 11:00am

    Hi Lara,

    I was in close contact with someone who has been taking testosterone cream for the last year. At the end of July I had all my annual blood work done, including blood hormone tests as I am on BHRT. I am taking very little, it’s estrogen / progesterone. 0.05 am and 0.05 pm. So anyway, end of July, I wash my hair and lose two brush fulls of it. I was crushed. I have long blonde curly hair. Very thick and full. A “mop” my friends refer to it as.

    So then it just starts falling out. I notice my hair shaft has gone from thick and course to very thin. I get my blood test back and my T levels are at 78. I made an appointment with my ND, and she figured out it was the contact with my friend. I limited contact and 3 weeks later I got tested again, now I’m at 15 (testosterone, serum).

    My hair is still falling out. I call the compounding pharmacy and ask what to do, they said I should actually start taking T, that going from 78 to 15 in 3 weeks is a huge shock to the system. So they felt that when I hit 78, I started to lose hair, as it was too high. Then my T numbers dropped so fast and went so low that my adrenals went into shock , which is why I’m continuing to lose hair.

    If this continues much longer, I’m not going to have any hair left. I’m very concerned about taking testosterone. On the web you read “take more progesterone” or “take more estrogen” or take T with a supplement and they will stop the hair loss. My ND, said it could take up to 3 months to stop shedding, but she admits she is not an expert on testosterone. Is there anything I can do to try and stop the shedding and help repair my hair.

    Thank you so much for your time.

  20. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Paige

    October 16, 2013 at 7:49am

    I had the copper IUD for 5 years and my hair was falling out in clumps. I don’t understand what the issue is as I’m only 33 and shouldn’t be losing 75% of my hair.Plus the IUD was a non hormone IUD so I don’t understand what happened. I finally had enough and had the IUD removed and my primary do a full blood panel on me. I had extremely high estrogen so my doctor put my on 10MG of progesterone for the next 10 days as my periods were starting to come every 2 weeks. Not good… anyhow I just started this today and I’m praying maybe, just maybe my pretty hair will reappear. I’m going to go buy some magnesium as well tonight and start that with my daily supplements. Thank you for the above information.

    Paige

  21. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Anna O.

    October 17, 2013 at 4:27am

    Hi: I was on progesterone treatment for three months while pregnant with my now 17 year old daughter – about two years now her hair has fallen off and diagnosed with alopecia areata. She had all blood work done and this is what was found out as the cause of her hair loss. I’ve been tearing my brains trying to find out why and how she got this as no one else in my entire family has this. I have two other children and she was the only one I’ve had to take progesterone. Do you think as a pregnant mother taking progesterone could cause hair loss years later in her child she was carrying?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Donna

      October 23, 2013 at 7:08am

      There was a girl with this condition on A current affair or Today Tonight recently and she took some pills called Fusion Hair Tonic and all her hair grew back and looked beautiful. Go Vita also stocks this brand, my Mum had pneumonia and used their lung tonic and has had good results also. Good luck.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Anna O.

        October 23, 2013 at 7:22am

        Thanks, will look into it

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Mandi V.

      July 1, 2014 at 3:53pm

      I also have a question regarding alopecia areata. I was diagnosed with alopecia when I was 15, (possibly around the time I began birth control?). I am now 29 and have three children, ages 4, 3 and 6 mos. Each time I was pregnant, my hair grew back completely. Then at around 3 months post-partum, it falls out again. I have been told that hormone levels don’t have anything to do with alopecia areata, only androgenic alopecia, but I am pretty sure hormones have played a part in my hair re-growth during pregnancy. Any thoughts?

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Mandi V.

        July 1, 2014 at 3:59pm

        Also, I am weird when it comes to a lot of the birth control with hormones (Depo, Ortho Tricyclin). If I don’t use super-low hormone birth control (Nuvaring, Micronor), then I will menstruate until I discontinue use.

  22. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Paige

    October 17, 2013 at 5:21am

    Anna – when you’re pregnant your body uses the progesterone to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Its the only hormone that does that. Why were you on that did you have prior miscarriages?

    Paige

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Anna O.

      October 17, 2013 at 7:11am

      Yes, I had three prior miscarriages, with testing to find out why, I was told that I could try again but would have to notify my Dr as soon as I became pregnant which I did and was placed on the progesterone treatment. Thanks for your response, just ruling out possibilities of my daughter’s alopecia.

  23. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Paige

    October 17, 2013 at 7:18am

    Makes sense… I doubt the progesterone has anything to do with your daughters hair loss. Has she been to a dermatologist?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Anna O.

      October 17, 2013 at 10:36am

      She’s been to a dermatologist, did the medicated cream and injection treatments and stopped – too painful. She started the head cream again and we are seeing very thin follicles coming up. Hoping for the best as we’ve learned that most people’s hair grow back only to fall off again.

  24. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Katherine

    October 17, 2013 at 7:27am

    Hi Lara,
    I lost handfuls of hair in the first trimester of both my pregnancies. It stopped and went back to normal & I suffered no hair loss after the births.
    I had always been on the combination pill and never had any issues, about 2 months ago I had the contraceptive implant fitted in my arm. For the last 2 weeks I have again been losing handfuls of hair. I even did a pregnancy test as I was worried I might be pregnant again, thankfully it was negative. I can only assume the implant is causing the hair loss.
    Do you think this could be the case? Should I stick with it and hope it settles or have it removed?
    Thanks
    Katherine

  25. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jessica

    October 17, 2013 at 12:00pm

    Hi Lara,
    I’ve been on high levels of myo-inositol to help insulin resistance and to start ovulation again. I have very low progesterone levels. I’ve read on a few sites that low levels of progesterone aggravate estrogen dominence; that you need to take high levels. Some women are taking 800 to 1000 mg. of progesterone. I’m afraid to do that. I’m already having hair loss. Would excess progesterone be converted into testosterone or does the body just use what it needs and then expel the rest. I am 43 and am not sure if my body will start to ovulate regularly again. Any thoughts on that?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      October 17, 2013 at 1:09pm

      Hi Jessica, under no circumstances should anyone ever take 1000mg of progesterone. :-( That is far, far too much and would definitely be converted to testosterone and estrogens and other metabolites. No, the body would not just eliminate what it doesn’t need. That kind of dose is simply not safe, and is alarming to me. I rarely recommend more than 20 or 30mg progesterone as a cream or 50 or 100mg as a capsule. And even then, not for long term use, and not usually in the first half of the cycle. Progesterone can suppress ovulation. The goal is always to get ovulations going again, and that is a realistic goal for most 43 year olds.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Jessica

        October 18, 2013 at 5:12am

        Thanks Lara, Do you know how long it may take for myo-inositol to start ovulation? Also, how do I know where I am in my cycle if I’ve had an endometrial ablasion and do not have periods anymore. I’d like to try natural progesterone cream, but I don’t know when to start. Before the ablasion, my cycles were already messed up from spironolactone. I had two long periods a month with only a week between. I went off spiro. and am really suffering. I tried vitex to regulate hormones, but it made my hair loss much worse. I’m already on an extremely healthy diet and I take high quality supplements. I’ve thought about trying maca root. It seems like everything that I try makes my symptoms worse.
        The advice for using high levels of progesterone came from http://www.progesteronetherapy.com. There is a lot of research presented there. I would love to hear more of your take on that. There is such confusing information out there. I’m afraid to do anything and afraid to go on like this.

  26. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Laura

    October 17, 2013 at 2:11pm

    Hi Lara! I’m 25 years old and I lost half of my hair in 3.5 months. 5 months ago I remove the copper DUI without hormones. since then my periods are very irregular and really really light. I do not associate my hair loss with the DUI since it was the one without hormones . I started taking vitex 2 weeks ago to regulate my cycles and hoping the shedding would stop, but it was much worse. I do have dark facial hair, so the doctor suspect CPOS, She test my testosterone today and it comes 49 total, which she said is normal, prolactin 6.9 normal, I dont know if taking vitex did something with the results, because I noticed that since i start Vitex the dark facial slow the growth a little bit. I dont know what to do anymore this is really painful and the doctors dont really care I cried more than one time. Never in the past I had any problems with hair loss. The endro prescribe me some pills that are called ” Tirnolattone” that are for high pressure but she said help with testosterone sensitivity. I don’t even want to take them. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  27. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Laura

    October 17, 2013 at 2:16pm

    Should I stop taking Vitex and do my blood work again???

  28. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Paige

    October 18, 2013 at 1:08am

    Laura – I’m apart of a Copper IUD chat page where all of us women who have had that IUD and all of our aftermath of it. Please join us…

    http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/copperiuddetox/conversations/messages

    I had the IUD as well and lost 75% of my hair and after having it removed my periods are so out of whack. I’m not on 10mg of progesterone to try and help me get it together again. Way to young to be dealing with this crap.

    Paige

  29. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Laura

    October 18, 2013 at 2:54am

    Hi Paige! You feel my pain! So devastating for a young woman lost her hair in a couple months. At least you have a clear eye on what’s your problem. In my case I’m lost, I started with the Copper IUD in 2008 with no hair problems besides heavy periods and vaginal infections here and there. This year in June I started to shedding slowly, then it get worse at the end of july, I decided to remove the IUD thought that maybe was that the cause of my shedding. But it get worse I guess. My period come every 2 weeks and they are really really light. I’m very confused if the copper IUD has something to do with the shedding. My testosterone comes normal range the doctor said, so I don’t know what is the reason of the facial hair, I always used to have facial hair, since I start taking “Shen Min” a vitamins to re growth hair I noticed that I have more facial hair. So I stop taking them. I guess the key is trying to get back the normal period every month!

    Lara what do you think about copper IUD related with hair loss? How long that we have to expect till the shedding stop?
    Is there any possibility like you said and your article to have PCOS with testosterone level in a normal range? I never in the past had any problem with my period o infertility so I dont know if really PCOS can related with me. And if yes how can I treat that with out the pill. Thank you so much and sorry for any mistake English is not my first language but I hope you can understand this desperate woman. Any advice would be really appreciated!!

  30. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Paige

    October 18, 2013 at 6:35am

    Laura – I too had the copper IUD inserted in 2008 with no hair issues as well. I started shedding and it just would not stop. I had it removed in 11/2012 almost a year ago and my periods come every two weeks as well. This has caused me to be anemic and when i had my hormone panel done, my estrogen was extremely high so my doctor put me on progesterone. Have you had your hormone levels besides testosterone done? Look at this…
    Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency: Hot Flashes, Breast Tenderness Fibrocystic Breasts Anxiety, Hair Loss Bone Loss Low Libido Night Sweats Irregular Periods Vaginal Dryness Depression Insomnia Infertility Weight Gain Acne Bloating Mood Swings Memory Lapses Loss of Muscle Nervousnes Excess Facial/Body Hair Heavy or Painful Periods Urinary Incontinence Poor Concentration Irritability

  31. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jackie

    October 24, 2013 at 11:29am

    Hi Laura;
    My niece has hair loss, and is on Yasmin and Spironoctaline. She is very afraid to get off the pills and I am wondering is taking some natural progesterone cream (how much and which one could) could help with the hormones? She also started homeopathy, what do you suggest? Please advise. Thanks so much for your wonderful website and info!

  32. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Leanne

    October 26, 2013 at 8:08pm

    I was on the pill for many years and during this time was diagnosed with androgentic alopecia. I started to question whether the pill was good and seeing two different doctors i mentioned I would like to stop the pill. They responded the pill more than anything will reduce the hair loss. Luckily I have a very supportive boyfriend who made me get off them. I did experience a shedding of my hair, but it was falling out quicker when I was on the pill. I have been pill free for 2 years but have a long way to go in clearing my system after 10 years of pill use and an auto immune disease.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Candy

      November 17, 2013 at 9:04pm

      Hi, I have been using Depo Provera injections for over 10 years now. I am 42, and started to suffer night sweats. I have noticed my hair has started to look more limp than usual, and thinning in general. I’m wondering if depo inhibits oestrogens, causing thinning hair, or the depo progesterone is helping. I’m considering stopping the use of Depo, but concerned how it may affect my hair further. I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Lara Briden

        December 12, 2013 at 3:10pm

        The progestogen in Depo (medroxyprogesterone acetate) absolutely DOES cause hair loss. Also, the FDA recommends that Depo-Prover not used for more than 2 years because it causes irreversible bone loss. Such a horrible drug. :-(

  33. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Tracy Klatman

    November 21, 2013 at 10:30pm

    Hi Dr. Lara,
    I am 44, had my first child at 38 and my second at 42. My hair loss began after having my first, and has never really stopped. I had hoped after my second and final son was born my hair would start to come back, but its only getting worse. I also have an irregular menstrual cycle and break through bleeding. I have had normal tests for biopsies and paps so my dr has put me on a low dose of progesterone. I am concerned with taking this synthetic version due to the links of different cancer.
    Any alternative recommendations for hair loss? I read what you said about Magnesium and will try that. And I also take biotin, zinc, and my pre-natal vitamins from pregnancy. Thoughts on “Fusion Hair Tonic” with Chinese herbs? Anything else I can do?
    Thanks so much,
    Tracy

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      December 12, 2013 at 3:12pm

      Is it synthetic progestogen or bioidentical progesterone? There’s a big difference when it comes to hair (and everything else).

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Tracy

        December 12, 2013 at 3:40pm

        The Dr. prescribed 10mg. Tabs of Medroxyprogesterone. What are your thoughts? Thanks!!

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Lara Briden

          December 13, 2013 at 3:19am

          Medroxyprogesterone is not going to be any help for hair loss. The most important thing is to get your ovulating somewhat regularly. That should be possible as long as you are not yet menopausal. Regular ovulation will give you the estrogen and progesterone that your hair needs. You could also talk to your doctor about prescribing a natural progesterone.

  34. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sierra

    November 24, 2013 at 6:28am

    Hi, I have a simple question- can fairly intense exercise and strength training contribute to hair loss? Does lifting weights increase androgen levels in women? I am 27 w/ three kids, I’ve lost probably about half of my original hair since age 20 or so. I ovulate/menstruate normally but I have always tended to be leaner and more ‘boyish’ shaped (read: no hips, small chest). I really enjoy working out but I will stop if it is contributing to this awful hair loss. I think I may try a small amount of natural progesterone cream and see if that helps.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      November 25, 2013 at 4:37am

      It depends what you mean by “fairly intense”. Too much exercise is a stress, and hair loss can be the result of any kind of stress. But exercise does not elevate testosterone in women , if that’s what you mean. Studies show that testosterone rises only very briefly after exercise. For most women, exercise will lower testosterone because of the improved insulin sensitivity. (Opposite story for men: improved insulin sensitivity increases their testosterone). Excessive exercise can also interfere with ovulation, and stop periods, but you say that is not the case for you, so that is a good sign.
      More likely causes are thyroid or iron deficiency or history of Pill use. Ask your doctor to test thyroid, thyroid antibodies, iron, DHEAS, testosterone and SHBG. The other question in your case would be: “how was your hair during your pregnancies? and after?”

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Sierra

        November 25, 2013 at 5:31am

        Thanks so much for your reply. I’d say my exercise is very intense but I keep it to just 3-4 times a week. I’ve scaled back a lot since having my 3rd child. I do have a history of thyroid problems (P.P. thyroiditis after each child). I just had a physical and my thyroid function was in the ‘normal’ range. My first pregnancy my hair grew thick and then shed like crazy three months P.P.- like a normal woman. My last two my hair shed the entire pregnancy and never stopped. I also delivered both babies 3 weeks early. Also, I have struggled to make enough breastmilk for my last child (I was bound and determined to exclusively breastfeed). I suspect adrenal fatigue. The doctor I saw for my physical checked my cortisol levels- which were normal too. I wonder too if it is just female pattern hair loss. Though my own mother still has very thick, healthy hair. Should I wait until I wean my baby to test hormone levels? Thanks, Sierra …oh and I have also had to cut out gluten because I am intolerant (when I eat it, lets just say it makes life miserable!).

  35. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Danny

    November 29, 2013 at 9:36pm

    hormonal disorder more impact on hair may be people loss their hair forever i think people who are suffering from hair loss or hormonal disorder and balding problem they will try for bio hair treatment as this is very effective techniques

  36. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jackie

    November 29, 2013 at 10:55pm

    Hi Danny, can you explain more about these methods please?

  37. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Tina

    December 5, 2013 at 5:38am

    Hello Everyone – I’m hoping someone could help me here.

    I’m a 32 year old woman with PCOS. In October last year I went to my endocrynoligist who has been very successful in treating women with PCOS with the issue of hair loss. He started me on Reclipsin birth control and 50MG of Spironolactone, already on 2000MG of Metformin. After seeing no help from any of it in May this year I was bumped up to 200MG of Spironolactone along with the Reclipsen, and Metformin. My vitamin D was low so I take 2000IU of that, 2500MG of B12 and 320MG of Saw Palmetto, I use Nizroal 2% shampoo and Organix Biotin shampoo and conditioner. All along the way I have been following the Glycemic Index diet and exercising regularly. Today I hit my goal weight of 90 pounds lost and while I should be overjoyed, I’m not. My hair will not stop shedding. In February 2013 the intense scalp burning began and it’s still here, I cannot seem to figure out why it’s happening or how to stop it. I’m just at a loss and it seems like I’m going to have to start looking for wigs to cover up my thinning patches.

    My doctor tells me the Spironolactone will fix it with the assistance of the birth control and that I need to be patient but I just have a feeling that it won’t stop the hair loss or the burning considering I have been on it for so long. My testosterone and estrogen levels are normal last time I had my bloodwork done. Any thoughts??

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Jess

      December 5, 2013 at 3:16pm

      Hi, Tina – I had to respond to your predicament, because it is so similar to mine. I found out that I have PCOS about a four months ago, but started with the symptoms almost 2 years ago….I was very thin and did not fit the PCOS pattern right off – It took a really dedicated Naturopath to figure it out. Hairloss has been the worst part of this whole nightmare. I can completely relate to what you’re going through. I was prescribed birth control pills and refused them, but I did go on 200 mg. of spironolactone. The spiro. never did stop the shedding, but it did cause my scalp to burn and it did negatively affect my kidneys and liver. I finally had the courage to come off it and the burning stopped (unfortunately, the hair loss has not – yet). My Naturopath started treating my PCOS with myo-inositol 6,000 mg.(2,000 3X’s a day). I had a period after 6 weeks and then ovulated!! The first time in years. I also take 3,000 mg. vitamin C a day, selenium, E, B12, B5B6, magnesium, zinc, copper, and Vit. A (I have a malabsorption issue). I stay gluten/dairy/caffeine/sugar free and take barley grass and other ‘green’ drinks. I’m hoping that when my cycles have been regular for a while, that my hair loss will stop. I pray for all of us who are experiencing hair loss. It is the hardest thing that I’ve ever gone through (and that’s saying a lot!) Hang in there, you are not alone.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Laura

        December 20, 2013 at 4:08am

        Hi Jess your case is very similar to mine. I’m a NEW thin cysters. The hair loss is been so devasting. I’ve cried so many nights. I feel that I’m having the worst nightmare of my life. You should talk with your NP about the combination of Peony / licorice. What I read: is that’s a really powerful combo to lowering androgens, there are studies that prove it. You can read above. Lara talk about that. I’m about to start this combo. I would love to contact you and share experiences, treatments, succes etc. Talk with someone who is going through the same nightmare as you, make you not feel alone. I really feel that PCOS change my life completely. All I want for christmas is my hair and life back.

        Here is my email address: laura_ab_87@hotmail.com can’t wait to read from you

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sierra

      December 6, 2013 at 4:37am

      Hi, I just wanted to quick say I’ve been using the Murad system for thinning hair and that seems to be helping me. It really isn’t too expensive on Amazon.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      February 18, 2014 at 6:07pm

      Hi Tina and everyone. I just wrote a new 2014 blog post about Spironolactone.

  38. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    cindy Mathiasen

    December 6, 2013 at 11:42am

    Same issue here with years of PCOS, hormonal imbalance and burning scalp and hair loss. You may need to simplify and let your body get back to it’s baseline functions to evaluate what your best options are. In any case, please consider getting off the Reclipsin and Spiro and all that mess. Eat a plant-based, veggie diet with lots of cruciferous vegetables and fibrous protein packed grains like red quinoa. My NP put me on an estrogen patch and oral progesterone and that helped with most symptom issues. I tried saw palmetto but it had no effect. However, with my level of fibroids, adenomyosis and cervical polyps, I ended up having a total hysterectomy two months ago. Best thing I ever did. Feel great, calm scalp, new hair growth, lost 16 lbs and back into a size 6. Brain works again. No longer have to live my day from one sticky-note reminder to the next. If you are not looking towards a pregnancy, then consider just getting rid of those organs that just won’t “play well with others.” It’s not an answer for everyone, and it is definitely a decision that you and your doctor need to discuss in depth. I just wish I’d been able to do this six years ago.

  39. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Danny

    December 7, 2013 at 9:28pm

    hi @jackie bio hair treatment is very reliable treatment there are lots of bio hair product i am describe about only one product. the BioHair Treatment Cleanser and Restoration Formula together. Start with the Cleanser to remove impurities from the scalp, creating an ideal scalp environment for new hair growth. Next apply the emu oil infused Restoration Formula to stimulate the scalp and produce new hair growth. Emu oil has been proven to promote hair growth in studies conducted at Boston University. Together these products will jump start your path to a full, thick head of hair.

  40. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    priyanka

    December 8, 2013 at 8:12am

    i have been having a problem irregular periods and was taking treatment from past 11 months. Also i am having a huge amount of hair loss. Is my irregular periods a reason for my hair loss?? or the medicines i am taking are the reason for my hair loss? please suggest me what should i do regarding this problem?

  41. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Kristina

    December 11, 2013 at 1:54pm

    Hello,
    I have a hair loss due to the non classic adrenal hyperplasia. My endocrinologist tried me on 2 different Birth control pills that were also supposed to lower levels of DHEA and testosterone. I had terrible side effects from both and had to stop. The endocrinologist is trying to figure out what to try next. But my hair are still falling out and I was wondering if there is anything from herbal supplements that can help. Thank you.

  42. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jess

    December 13, 2013 at 6:30am

    Hi Lara,
    I quit spironolactone and started 6,000 mg. a day of myo-inositol about 3 months ago. Within 6 weeks I had a period and then ovulated about two weeks later. I had another period on schedule, but it was almost 10 days long! Now I’m afraid that I’m not going to ovulate this month. i was hoping that the myo-inositol would resume regular ovulation and that my hair would stop falling and would re-grow. Should I add something else like N-Acetyl Cysteine to my protocol? I’ve had a meticulously healthy diet, but every time I add a probiotic or a natural detox product like wheat grass, my hair loss explodes. Do you have any insight into this? Thank you.

  43. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    emma

    December 14, 2013 at 1:05am

    Hi Lara,
    I’m hoping you can help. Up until 3 months ago I had been taking dianette for about 13 years. (since I was 19). It was originally prescribed for my acne which it did really help with. I would regularly try to come off dianette (due to increased risk of clots) but my skin always went crazy again. Co-inciding with this my hair has gotten thinner and thinner to the point now where it is a big problem. It constantly sheds and if really affecting my self confidence. After having read all of your information I am staying off the pill (even though my skin has gone terrible again) in the hope that it will help my hair.
    I am a little confused however….Dianette is an anti-androgen. Androgens seem to be cited as the cause of female hair loss (testosterone converts to DHT and that damages the hair follicle). So if Dianette is an anti-androgen would it not be good for my hair?
    I do note however that Dianette means I haven’t ovulated properly in forever. I am assuming this means I have low levels of progesterone. Am I right in saying that when the ovaries are not producing progesterone they produce androgens instead? If so does that mean that dianette, claiming to be an anti-androgen, actually helps to increase the body’s production of them?
    Sorry for lots of questions but there are is so much information out there it can get quite confusing :)
    If you could point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. I am thinking of trying natural progesterone cream but wanted an informed opinion first!
    Many thanks
    emma.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      December 15, 2013 at 12:50pm

      hi Emma, Yes, the synthetic estrogens fix (mask) acne because they dry up sebum. Most women experience a worsening of skin when they stop the Pill because of a “pill-withdrawal” from those estrogens. Your skin should settle down after 3-4 months.
      You are correct that you haven’t ovulated properly while on Dianette. Actually, you haven’t ovulated at all, so your hair follicles have not had any of the body’s natural estrogen (estradiol) or natural progesterone at all for 13 years. Those two hormones (natural estradiol and natural progesterone) are the absolute best hormones for female hair. That’s why hair is so fantastic during pregnancy, for example. Those hormones are our own natural anti-androgen. There is no synthetic progestogen (fake progesterone) that can provide any benefit that even closely matches the benefit of or own hormones. Natural progesterone is an option, but you have to be careful to not use too much (that’s discussed in some other posts here). The best thing is to get your own natural estrogen and natural progesterone going by getting your ovulations going, and your periods regular. Be patient. It could take months, or longer for your hair to improve.

  44. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    emma

    December 16, 2013 at 8:34am

    thanks for your advice.

  45. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    HannahP

    December 18, 2013 at 6:36am

    Hi Lara, I too have been using Dianette for 3 months now in the hope my diffuse hair loss would improve. Prior to this I was on Microgynon for about 2 and half years and before that the injection Depo-Provera. I first noticed thinning hair in February this year, but I only started to research and freak out a little about it in July. I have become more accepting of what’s going on now. I have been tested for Thyroid and Iron levels and anemia all are fine according to my doctor. I have a combination of coarse thick hair and baby hair. Lots of the finer baby type hair has fallen out less of the coarse stuff. I am showing some signs of new growth, but still some loss too. Fluffy bit of regrowth getting longer at the front, but still a bit of thinning at the front too. From what you have written it looks like I need to just get off Dianette and re-balance my body. I already do lots of yoga and eat super-foods and exclude heavily processed food products and take Magnesium. I’ve started taking Perfectil skin hair nails supplement (don’t actualy have a skin or nail problem). Not an expensive one but rated quite high in the uk. I am scared of coming off the pill and going completely bald. Sounds like I need to come off it though….?

  46. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jackie

    December 20, 2013 at 7:24am

    Hi Lara;

    What do you think about Ashwaganhda as a herb for hair loss. The indian Dr. recommended this ayurvedic herb? Please share your opinion? Also can peony and licorcice be found in SE Europe? Thank you as always.

    Jackie

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      jeunereveuse

      March 26, 2014 at 11:37am

      Hi Hannah

      How are yo getting on with perfectil? i have just started taking it as i read the good reviews. i know they say it taskes 3 months to see an progress with your hair. i feel like it has made my hair grow faster (i’m about 7 weeks in), but haven’t noticed any new growth yet. i was on microgynon for 4 years and my hair gradually thinned during that time. i have been off all contraceptive pills for about 10 months now. i think my hair has got thinner but not noticed any dramatic shedding. i’m not even certain that the pill was the cause. have you noticed any improvement?

      JR

  47. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Erin

    January 9, 2014 at 6:31pm

    After 14 years on the pill to mediate symptoms of endometriosis I have begun rapidly losing my hair–75 percent in the last 2-3 months. I just decided to stop taking the pill to find out if it is the cause. (I was on loestrin 24 FE and switched to Minastrin 24 FE when that became the replacement.) My doctor refuses to check hormone levels, but is looking into thyroid this week. Can this hair loss start suddenly after
    so many years in the pill? It really gave me my life back as I couldn’t function normally off of it. Now that I have stopped, I am afraid of the disturbance that menstruating will cause my body again (missed work, stabbing pain, intense bleeding). What does someone like me who is dependent on it to regulate their periods do when
    they experience this extreme hair loss? Thank you in advance!

  48. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Amie

    January 10, 2014 at 11:40pm

    Hi Lara,

    Sorry, I know this thread is really old… but I stopped the pill in April 2013 and since then I have been losing my hair every day in clumps. I have broken out in acne but my periods have been regular and my blood tests came back ‘clear’… I take a probotic, avoid gluten and diary but it’s been 8 months and I’ve seen no improvement, any ideas?! Thanks :-(

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sierra

      January 11, 2014 at 1:49am

      Amie, I’m not an expert but I’ve been managing hair loss problems for years. My hair fell out through my pregnancies and while I nursed my babies. There are shampoos that really help. You need to buy a shampoo that blocks DHT production in your scalp. DHT is and androgen that causes the hair follicles to shrink. T-gel extra strength coal tar shampoo and the Murad system for thinning hair have both really helped me. You might just need to give your body a chance to get back to normal and make estrogen again.

  49. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Megster

    January 11, 2014 at 5:14am

    Trust your body? For some of us, that backfires. I trusted and trusted and trusted (along with proper self care, diet, exercise, behavior, etc), and not only did that not work, my hair loss got worse. Much, much, much worse. If you think something’s wrong, there probably is. That’s how you should really trust yourself.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Amie

      January 11, 2014 at 4:50pm

      Hi Sierra, thanks for your reply! Where abouts do you live? I’m in Australia, so I might have to try look online… I’ve tried a few hair loss shampoos but they made my scalp itchy and dry and red. How long do you think my body will take? I was on the pill for 8 years if that helps.. I eat super insanely healthy (no processed food, diary, gluten or sugar) and exercise daily (I’m a personal trainer) and take a women’s multivitamin, but I’m seeing no results! :(

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sierra

      January 12, 2014 at 1:08am

      I’m really sorry you have had that experience, Megster. I did point out that I am not an expert, just someone has been dealing with hair loss for a long time. Every body is different and will respond differently to treatments.

  50. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sierra

    January 12, 2014 at 1:16am

    Amie, I am in the U.S. I bought Murad system for thinning hair on Amazon. In my experience- it take almost a year to recover from a big hormonal change (stopping pill use, pregnancy, etc.). You may be losing your hair now because in the absence of the extra artificial estrogen your androgens or male hormones are acting up. I’ve seen this happen with friends too. The androgen D.H.T. causes your hair follicles to shrink so that the hair shaft shrinks until it is unable to grow. The murad will cause some redness and tingling in your scalp. Nothing to bad though! I am more than willing to do with it because it is really working for me. My hair is no longer falling out and I see some regrowth on my previously bald areas. I’ve been using Murad for 2-3 months and it did take a good 2-3 weeks for it too stop falling out. Also good for hair growth are bone broth soups (gelatin), fish oil, and biotin supplements. I also sometimes use lavender oil on my scalp before bed.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Amie

      January 12, 2014 at 4:14pm

      Sierra, thanks so much! I will pop into a drug store tomorrow (Sunday afternoon here, things are shut) and grab some and let you know how I go in about 3 weeks, not expecting it to grow back but hoping for less hair fall. Thank you so much. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone, doesn’t make it easier, but makes me ‘freak out’ less, in a sense. :-) Lavender sounds like a nice idea too, I love the smell. I’ll keep taking my fish oil and multivitamins as well. I had blood work done to check my thyroid etc and get the results tomorrow.. so maybe that will give me a better indication (or possibly come back normal and be no help at all) Thank you again!

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Sierra

        January 13, 2014 at 1:58am

        Amie, there might be a connection because I am gluten intolerant and have thyroid problems in the past too. You’re not alone, so many women deal with this. It sucks, but your hair does not define you. Also, I forgot to mention that women’s Rogaine really helped me grow back hair on my part and temples after the post partum shedding from baby #2. I might use it again at some point as well. I am seeing results that I am happy with from the Murad at the moment. Also, if you ever plan on having children that may help as well. Many women grow very thick hair during their pregnancy and it might help your hormones and hair follicles to ‘reset’. best wishes!

  51. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sarah

    January 13, 2014 at 12:45pm

    Do you have any suggestions on how to lower extremely high DHEA?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Amie

      January 13, 2014 at 4:32pm

      Sierra, just got my blood tests back and apparently my thyroid is “fine”. My doctor wanted to palm me off to a dermatologist but I know that they will just load me up with harsh creams and antibiotics so I am not comfortable with paying through my teeth for them to make me more sick or give me a “masking” treatment rather than treating the cause. My temples and part on my hair are EXACTLY where I am losing hair so I will try find the Rogaine online tonight. I’m not planning any children for a while (suffer anxiety so I don’t think I could handle a little bub right now) but I will keep it in mind. Thank you again, you’ve been an amazing help! :-) Big hugs from Australia!

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Sierra

        January 14, 2014 at 1:22am

        Amie- I didn’t get much help from the dermatologist either. Most of my tips I found myself, doing a lot of research online. It sounds like you may have a genetic predisposition to female pattern hair loss like me. (my sisters also lose hair under stress or hormonal changes) I am so glad I was able to hopefully offer helpful suggestions. I am praying all your hair comes back!!

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Amie

          January 14, 2014 at 3:05pm

          Sierra – Thank you, that’s very sweet of you. I forgot to ask… do you blow dry your hair at all or use a straighter on it? I’ve avoid using them because I’m scared it will make my hair worse, but sometimes I can’t avoid it, like going out for a dinner or a special event (otherwise my hair looks just terrible) and how often do you wash it a week? I find even though it’s fine and falling it gets super oily… thanks again! :-)

          • Sierra

            January 15, 2014 at 1:31am

            Amie- I do often blow dry and I use a flat iron on the low setting. I do wait till my hair is almost dry so I can use minimal heat. My hair looks pretty bad w/o extra help too. You can also do braids and leave them in overnight for crimpy hair and like 3 X’s the volume. I wash my hair every other day. To repair hair you can use coconut oil. I rub it into my ends and leave it in for like and hour before I wash my hair. or just rub a tiny dab into the ends before styling.

          • Sierra

            January 15, 2014 at 7:42am

            Amie- I also take a vitamin D3 supplement. I was very deficient at my last physical. I think it has helped a lot with my hair. You might want to take one if you don’t already! :)

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sierra

      January 14, 2014 at 1:24am

      Sarah- Saw Palmetto has been traditionally used as a natural route to combat excess D.H.T. I am using it myself in a topical application and it is definitely helping. You can also use shampoos that inhibit D.H.T. -I recommend Neutregena T-Gel Extra Strength or Murad for thinning hair.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Amie

        January 16, 2014 at 1:10pm

        Sierra – You seriously could open your own clinic and give out advice! You’re full of helpful tips. Picked up so vitamin D3 today at the chemist and will try doing the coconut oil trick from now on when washing my hair. :) Can’t say thanks enough! Fingers crossed that I stop shedding and regrow my hair and confidence. x

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Sierra

          January 17, 2014 at 1:52am

          No problem, Amie. :) I just hope it helps!

  52. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Diane

    February 3, 2014 at 6:39pm

    Sierra,
    I had major hair loss due to Hashimotos, and tried lots of things. I used Nioxin shampoo, conditioner and treatment. This product is commonly used by cancer patients that have loss hair from chemo and it is great. Helped me, but another tip I can give you is to take Biotin. This vitamin is for skin, hair and nails, and helped me most of all. This way you are attacking the problem from the inside and this initiates growth, shine and thickness giving you system things it often lackes from illness. I take Natrol brand, maximum strenght 10,000 mcg which I purchase online. Just type in best price Natrol biotin to bring up web sites selling this and it is about $13.00 for 100 tablets ( one a day). This is the best place to start because it will improve things from the inside and it really works. i am in Sydney.
    Good luck

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sierra

      February 4, 2014 at 12:18am

      Thanks for the tip Diane, I do have a hair, skin, and nails supplement with biotin but I hardly ever take it. I’ll start taking it every day. I noticed a big difference just cutting out gluten and taking vitamin D3, but I definitely want to see more regrowth! :)

  53. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    dawn

    February 4, 2014 at 5:38pm

    I used to have thick curly hair when I was 15. I then went on tri cyclon and by 17 noticed my hair was a lot thinner. I never thought much of it but now at 31 my hair is so thin and I get very depressed at times. I lived in a small town where they did no blood work and said “genitics” now that I’m in the city I have gotten blood work and everything seems normal. I have been off bcp for just over a month and have a horrible time around my cycle. So depressed, don’t want to get out of bed and find myself obsessing over my thin hair. My dr told me my thinking hair wis jot due to bcp but I swear it is. I am going to see a natropath this weekend in hopes i can reverse this thin hair :( wish me luck.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      emilyt25

      February 6, 2014 at 8:42am

      Dawn,
      I feel as if I am going through a very similar situation as you! I had a baby in December of 2013 and experienced telogen effluvium beginning 3 months postpartum. My hair shedding did eventually end and I noticed some regrowth. I began the depo provera shot around the time my daughter was 3 months old and noticed gradual thinning in the appearance of my hair the whole time I was on it but no major shedding when I showered or brushed my hair. When I missed y last dose in December my hair shedding picked up greatly and now I am shedding massive amounts, especially on the days I shower. I have been to dermatologists, an endocrinologist, and a hair loss specialist who have not been any help. All of my blood work too has been normal except for elevated ferritin levels. I noticed my eyebrows have been thinning drastically too and I even notice a burning/itching sensation on my scalp and eyebrows at times.My eyebrow hair have also seemed to stop growing. This has caused me to become very depressed and think about my hair loss from the time I wake up until I go to sleep at night. I am also going to see a naturopath tomorrow and am hoping she will be able to help in some way. If anyone has any advice I would really appreciate it. Dawn, please share what your naturpath says!

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        dawn

        February 7, 2014 at 4:38am

        I will for sure as I go on Saturday. Please let me know what yours says as well. I heard your ferritin level has to be above 70 to stop hair fall and mines at 61. My hair doesn’t shed like crazy only because I don’t have enough! I hate how its taking over my life and how its all I think about. I’m able to wear a hat at work and now I wear it st all times. I’ve never even been to a specialist. I just decided to jump right into the NP because of the fact they look to find the underlining issue. I know this sounds stupid but its making me putting off having children because I’m scared of loosing the rest of my hair due to pregnancy :(

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          emilyt25

          February 8, 2014 at 4:09am

          My ferritin was very elevated- in the 500 range. My naturopath wanted me to begin talking a multi-vitamin but the one she suggested to me has an extremely high amount of vitamin A which I read could contribute to hair loss. This is making me very hesitant to take this vitamin and I am waiting to hear back from her about this. She is having me get some more blood work done to check hormonal levels such as testosterone and said that if I have a hormonal imbalance then she would begin to treat it. This whole ordeal is so upsetting and I have barely been able to sleep or eat for the last 3 days :( Does your hair loss seem to be worse during your period? That is what I am experiencing now. I also understand you fear of having children due to more hair loss. I lost a lot of hair after having my daughter and it did not really have any time to recover before the massive shedding began this time around which is resulting in my hair being extremely thin.

          Are you on any medication for the

          • dawn

            February 8, 2014 at 4:56am

            You should try doing the baking soda wash instead of shampoo it gives my hair volume. I put 1 tsp of baking soda in a 2 cups of water and wash my hair like that and just condition the ends. Takes all the buildup of the scalp and its natural.

  54. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    emilyt25

    February 8, 2014 at 10:59am

    How do you wash your hair with it? Does it lather or would you just pour it over your head and work it into your scalp?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      dawn

      February 8, 2014 at 11:55am

      Yep. Just pour it over your head and work it in. Rinse it out really well. I replied to you msg earlier but don’t see it. Did you get it at all?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      dawn

      February 8, 2014 at 12:12pm

      I had wrote a long reply earlier today and it must not have worked. *sigh* but yes I do notice my hair has looked worse while on my period but I think its because I’m an emotional wreck since being off the pill. I’m on my 3rd month period this week and i am feeling a little more human this time around. Vitamin A can cause hair loss if u have to much or have a difficency. So maybe she saw you were very low? Can the NP fill the form to get blood work or do you have to go to your family doctor for that? Your msg cut out when asking if I take anything for…? I hear you with the no sleeping. I search all day about ways to fix it and I’m really hoping the NP sees something thats so obvious and tells me to wait and see the results. Thats my dream ;p. We just need to keep positive. We will find the underlining issue soon :)

  55. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    emilyt25

    February 8, 2014 at 11:35pm

    I’m not positive but I feel like I am noticing an increase in actual hair shedding when I have my period. As far as the vitamin A, I did not have any deficiencies that I knew of. I did not have a blood test to check this. She recommened I take metagenics phyto multivitamin which looks to have a very large amount of vitamin A. The naturopathic doctor did fill out a form for me to get some hormonal blood tests done which I did yesterday so I should get the results sometime next week.

    I apologize I did not mean to write the last part of that message-At first I thought your post was the one that said you had hashimotos but it was the post above yours. I had some additional blood work done from an endocrinologist to see if I might have a thyroid problem such as hashimotos so I was just curious.

    My naturopathic doctor did say that she has seen many patients with hair loss and that I should see some results. She said most people do recover from things like this so maybe there is hope! Let me know how your appointment goes! :)

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      dawn

      February 9, 2014 at 2:16pm

      So my apt when pretty good. She gave me prognostics and wants me taking 10drops of vitamin D. I also have to get more blood work done. Its for vitamin B12 because supposibly the pill can deplete B12. She’s also looking more into the thyroid because its a bit on the low side. My Dr told that as well but when I read up on sythroid it said side effects can be hair loss and not to worry unless its in handfuls so of course I didn’t bother with it because it scared the crap out of me. But the NP wants me to start if after my blood work. If you have a gnc store around you, you should pick up their hair skin and nail pills. Since taking them my hair sheds less and my husband noticed new hairs today when he looked at my scalp;) how long have you been having hair thinning? Mines been since mid teens and I’m 31 so it could take some time for me to reverse it :(

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        dawn

        February 9, 2014 at 2:27pm

        She gave me probiotics not prognostics lol

  56. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    emilyt25

    February 10, 2014 at 1:14am

    What probiotics did she give you? I have been taking the GNC ultanourish hair skin and nails vitamins as well as Dragon Herbs hair and nails vitamins for around 2 months now and have not noticed a decrease in the hair shedding. At this point I feel like my hair is going to fall out no matter what and my body has to adjust to all of the hormonal changes in the last year. My hair loss began around 3 months after I had my daughter a little over a year ago. I had massive post partum shedding and I feel as if my hair was thinning the whole time I was on the depo provera shot. It has been almost 2 months since I have missed my last shot and I think I am going through a telogen effluvium shed again as my bodys hormones are changing.

  57. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sis T

    February 27, 2014 at 2:20am

    I have had thinning/brittle hair for years, and was losing hair right in the front/top of my hairline by my bangs! I am 44 tried alot of stuff. Steriod shots on my scalp, different creams, not much worked. I went to Gnc about a month ago, and bought Primrose(take two in the morning, and two in the eving), Kelp(take 2-3 a day), progesterone cream (rub 1/4 a teaspoon on my hand morning and evening), B12 (take 2-3 a day), prenatal vits(take 2 a day), cold pressed flax oil( take 1 teaspoon 3x’s a day), and zinc(take 3 a day)
    I put Castrol oil mixed with cayenne pepper on my scalp to condtion, and stimulate my folicales. My hair is growing like crazy, and not brittle.I am seeing everyday new growth like crazy, even in the bald spot above my bangs, and I feel better than I have in years. I have had blood work done always came back normal, but was always fatigued, dry skin,bloated, and losing/shedding hair. When I wash it now, no more handfulls falling out, and all the sweeling inflamtion gone.Praise the Lord! May this bless each one of you my sisters! Our hair is our crown of glory, and beauty! Lets take care of it, and shine. GOD BLESS….

  58. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sis T

    February 27, 2014 at 4:25am

    Forgot to mention Primrose, and progesterone cream is a natual hormone from flowers, and yams! Kelp is a natural Thyroid from seaweed(natural iodine), what our body lacks, and regulates the Thyroid. GOD BLESS MY SISTERS…..

  59. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    LDW

    March 14, 2014 at 12:32pm

    What would be your suggestion on how to take natural progesterone cream? I’ve read about so many different ways on when to apply it. Some say take it on day 12 of your cycle. I’ve also seen day 14 or even day 7. Should you wait until you are supposed to ovulate to start using the cream? Is there a benefit to apply it starting on day 7?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      March 14, 2014 at 2:58pm

      Generally, I advise to not take it as early as day 7. Taken too early in the cycle, progesterone can inhibit ovulation, and thereby prevent your own progesterone production, which would defeat the purpose. Generally, I say to start it AFTER ovulation, so day 17 or 18 in a standard 28 day cycle. There are exceptions to any rule.. Which would be if there are symptoms at ovulation (like migraines) which need to be managed.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sis T

      April 7, 2014 at 12:06pm

      I use it the 7th day after my period. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon twice a day, with the regime I listed above.! I started this about 2 months ago, feel amazing, flat belly,and feel better than i have in years. I am getting new hair growth everyday, and my skin is glowing! No more fatigue, hot flashes, foggy brain. I also take zinc for inflamation. GOD BLESS SISTERS

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Sis T

        April 9, 2014 at 1:02pm

        I had my tubes tied, so how can I tell when I ovulate?

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Lara Briden

          April 9, 2014 at 1:13pm

          Signs of ovulation: fertile mucus, temperature rise is second half of cycle, mid-luteal (day 21) blood test for progesterone. These are the same if you’ve had tubal ligation or not.

  60. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jess

    March 15, 2014 at 1:11am

    Hi Lara,
    I wanted to follow up. I finally ovulated this month after 6 months on myo-inositol. I had my hormones tested and everything was good, including progesterone. I’m so thankful that I found you’re blog because I would have continued trying to add hormones instead of trying to get my own body to produce them. Thank you! Unfortunately, my hair loss continues with a vengeance. I’ve been found to have high mercury levels (from 4 fillings removed unwisely) and out of control high hemaglobin. The hormones are looking good, but the rest of me isn’t. Any thoughts on getting rid of mercury? Apparently, nearly impossible. Thanks again, Lara, for caring so much about strangers.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sis T

      April 10, 2014 at 12:40am

      So to claify, when do I start the cream, for how long, and when do I stop?

  61. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    CO gal

    March 17, 2014 at 11:07am

    Hi there,
    I am wondering if anyone has experienced loss of only eyebrows from hormonal issues, not loss of hair from the scalp. I was on the depo injection for a very long time, and finally decided to switch off to the pill, not really knowing I was only trading one evil for another. Very quickly after switching, my eyebrows and eyelashes started thinning, eventually resulting in complete loss of my eyebrows. My lashes sort of came back, although still a bit sparse. I stuck with the pill for about 7 months, but nothing changed. The only effect on hair on my scalp, was the loss of the fine baby hair right at my temples. Thinking I should reverse the change, I went back on the depo for about 6 months, before making the smart decision to go off ALL hormonal bc. I have had thyroid, iron/anemia, and some hormone tests done, and all are normal. None of the doctors I have seen, (GP, obgyn, derm, endocrinologist) believe the bc could have caused this. My cycle is just coming back to normal, but I am starting to wonder if I will ever get my eyebrows back. Has anyone experienced this, or had any luck with treatment?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sis T

      April 10, 2014 at 12:43am

      Why does my face itch so much? Is that a hormonal or cortisol issue? What can I do or use?

  62. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    jeunereveuse

    March 26, 2014 at 11:28am

    Hi Lara,

    Interesting to hear that damage done by the pill is cumulative. I was on the pill for 4 years, and my hair get gradually thinner during that time. I’m not sure if the pill definitely caused my thinning but I stopped taking it completely about 10 months ago. My hair has continued to get gradually thinner during that time. I have had thyriod and iron tests which have come back normal, and am awaiting results of hormone tests. Do you think it’s possible that the pill could still be affecting my hair?

    Secondly, my thyroid function test showed that my T4 level was normal but my TSH was just out of range at 0.28. Would this have an effect on hair loss? I am struggling to get a straight answer from my GP!

    Thanks
    JR

  63. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    CD

    April 4, 2014 at 7:48am

    Hi Lara,

    I have been losing hair for 5 years now. My period comes exactly between 26-28 days. During the 5 years of hair loss it has never been off. I had iron issues that are fixed now. I have thyroid and adernal issues. Horrible insomnia. Labs show I have low Pregnenolone, DHEA, testoterone and progesterone. I have 2% progesterone cream and 50mgs pills. Could you help me understand how much I should take and when? I don’t trust my doctors anymore. Also I have horrible PMS. At this point I wear a wig because the hair loss is so bad. It has never slowed in 5 years and that just seems so strange. There is also no pattern and biopsy of scalp showed no signs of a problem excet TE. I have never taken BC either. I do feel it is stress. Saliva test showed all lows.
    Thank you

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sierra

      April 4, 2014 at 10:56am

      Hi CD,
      I’ve had a lot of the same issues and I also have some food intolerances. Do you have any digestion issues? I know some people with celiac’s disease go undiagnosed because they may not having all the classic symptoms. You may want to play around with your diet. I try to eat a healthy, unprocessed, anti-inflammatory diet. I notice my insomnia/exhaustion gets worse when I eat things I shouldn’t- like sugar and grains. I think it all (stress, food intolerance, exhaustion, inflammation, etc) contribute to the hair loss.
      Best wishes,
      Sierra

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        careyy

        April 4, 2014 at 11:23am

        Thanks Sierra,
        I wish it was diet that was the issue. I eat clean. I also have done every diet regardless of the fact that I show no issues with any foods at this time. I had some tolerance issues and tested again and they were gone. On a food list of what I should eat gluten is on there. A long with corn gluten. Crazy ….right! I have had over $160,000 in medical testing and treatment. I don’t eat gluten, corn or soy. Some dairy here and there. I do believe I still have guy issues but I don’t know what more I can do. :(

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Sierra

          April 4, 2014 at 11:34pm

          Careyy- have you tried kombucha? It had been helpful with my gut issues. Also, the author of this article mentioned taking coconut oil and turmeric. They block the conversion of testosterone to D.H.T. And are also helpful with gut issues. I also use neutrogena T-gel coal tar shampoo and murad, which help show down thinning. I also think it had a hereditary component as well. My sisters have also dealt with some hair loss.

          • careyy

            April 5, 2014 at 1:38am

            Sierra,
            For about a year I made my own Kombucha and now I make Keifer water. I drink BioK plus as well. I was on Nyastain for 3 months a while back even though throughh testing I show no yeast issues. My issues are stress, insomnia and a compromised immune system. The LDN has helpe immune system and most of my pain. I still have flare ups. I sever pain each moth from scar tissue left by and ablation. Progesterone helps with that issue , not sure why. My pms is so bad I could die. Last month I just started to use my pills and cream and I felt amazing. No rage ,Crying , cramps and it even helped with energy and Fibro pain. Just want some good advice on taking progesterone. Also I did take it nonstop for 3 months and just took a break. I was at day 4 off and lost more hair than I have seen over the 5 years. I was at 50mgs pills 1-15 and 100mgs pills 14-28. Now my E is through the roof. So I’m taking 100 days 1-14 and 200 days 15-28. I can’t even function daily because I have so much anxiety and anger. The progesterone seems to be helping. I fought for years not to take it because I feared it would make hair loss worse. Now that I wear a wig I just need better quality of life. I’m a hair stylist and I have used all the hair loss products. By far Nizoral is amazing. It’s known for blocking androgens kn the scalp. I don’t know how I could have androgens since my T is almost 0 along with DHEA. :( sighhh
            Thank you.

          • careyy

            April 5, 2014 at 2:22am

            Sierra,
            I forgot to share that I have had genetic testing and I can’t take tumeric. It is a methyl doner and I can not properly methylate due COMT and MTHFR mutations. My whole body starts to hurt and my stomach really hurts. I try to take methyl products in very small doses so I can hopefully have some detoxing. I’m getting and infer red sauna soon the hopefully help with my inability to detox.
            My doctors says I’m the worst she has ever seen genetically. I also have MaOA which is why I also have rage issues. It’s all just a big giant mess that I exhausted dealing with. Trying to just focus on the one thing that brought some relief.
            CD

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        Jess

        April 4, 2014 at 2:26pm

        Hi CD,
        I have all of your symptoms as well as the normal to low hormone test results, although I have other symptoms such as heart palpitations, numb extremities, chronic fatigue, IBS, and brain fog to name a few. I also have a positive rheumatoid factor test and elevated hemaglobin and calcium. My doctors have finally determined that I have mercury poisoning. I had four old fillings removed around the time this all started. I’m starting chelation in a couple of weeks. I’m assuming that the hair loss will get worse, as it accelerates every time I use a natural chelator or detox. I’ve set up an appointment to try on wigs. Have you been tested for heavy metal toxicity? Hair and blood tests are usually negative as mercury settles deep in the tissues (including the brain). The only somewhat reliable test is a urine challenge test, which can be dangerous if you have a high load of mercury. It’s another direction to look in anyway. I know how horrible and frustrating this is. It’s consumed my life for the past two years. We’ve spent over $20,000 on my health so far, and it’s not over yet. I’ve had to quit my job and we are losing our home. You are not alone. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with all the ladies who are suffering with this hellish condition.
        Don’t give up – together we may be able to figure this all out yet.

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Sierra

          April 4, 2014 at 11:36pm

          Jess- your symptoms sound like they may be caused by candida overgrowth. Have you ever looked into that?

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          careyy

          April 5, 2014 at 1:24am

          Thanks Jess,
          I have appositive ANA but don’t hit on anything yet! I take LDN for chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I have had 2 urine heavy metal tests and both were negative. I have one filling that is metal. It would have been to long for me to write all that’s wrong with me. I take thyroid meds , Erfa and name brand T3. I believe very much in taking T3 to heal adrenals because I did it years ago and many things got better for me. I’m a naturally stressed out person. I really think if I could just be in a bubble for a year things would get better. I do detoxes all the time and they don’t seem to excelerate my hair loss since it is nonstop anyway. I do coffee enemas for my liver. Take bioplasam for minerals. Drink ph water. I have my tubes tied and I have had an ablation. I feel that I have lost tubal ligation syndrome. You should check into LDN for the arthritis.
          Take care. :)

          • Jess

            April 5, 2014 at 4:48am

            hi again Careyy,
            When you did the urine tests for heavy metal, did they give you a shot of DMSA first? Thats called a mercury urine challenge test – the shot pulls a lot of mercury out of the tissues into the blood and then it gets filtered out through the urine. That’s the only test that is somewhat accurate. I had negative regular urine tests at my Chiropracter’s office. Not to beat on the metal thing, but like you, I’ve exhausted every other avenue. I also had an endometrial ablasion due to extremely low ferritin levels from heavy periods. Ferritin was low, but hemaglobin was over the top. Any product that mobilizes mercury in me: cilantro, NAC, Kelp, ALA, causes severe burning in my head and bad neurological symptoms as well as the massive hair loss. I noticed above that you can’t handle turmeric, I can’t either. How did you find out that you can’t properly methylate? What can we do about that? also, where did you get your wig?
            I’m going to start low dose chelation with DMSA. If I get good results, I’ll let you know.

          • careyy

            April 5, 2014 at 5:19am

            Jess,
            No I have not had heavy metal testing done that way. I will ask my doctor. I juice fast a lot and use cilatro in almost everything. I’ve also taken cilantro in drops and never felt anything. Doc have me cheating type stuff and didn’t feel anything from that either. I generally don’t feel very good most of the time so maybe I did have a reaction and just chalked it up to just another day. I had gentic texting done but you can ask your doctor to just run MTHFR and COMT. My body is slow to metabolize drugs and toxins. Even coffee.
            My wigs are from Milano in L.A.
            I have seen a doctor who does IV chelation and he wanted to that to me early on in this journey. Thankfully I said no. I have read about people’s adrenals fully crashing from doing that. I did vitamin IVs for a while but that wasn’t fun at all. I can’t see your message as I type so I’m sorry if I forgot to answer anything. Please do let me know how things turn out. I know for things got bad when my tubes were tied. Thyroid. Sex hormones. Forgetful as all hell!!!! No sleep , no sex drive. No hair!!!! Thyroid meds relive a lot of things I wouldn’t have imagined like my feet hurting 24/7. My depression and OCD get so much better. Again there I am also a terrible converter from T4 to T3. That’s why I take T3. My body is so difficult. I will look into the proper heavy metal testing for sure.
            Thank you.

          • Jess

            April 5, 2014 at 5:39am

            Careyy, you sound exactly like me! I don’t know if I can put my email address on here, but if you could get it from Lara, I’d love to talk to you. IV chelation can be dangerous. I’m following the Andy Cutler protocol using low dose oral chelation. If you google it, you’ll come up with a wealth of info. I’m looking into a design by Flora wig – she’s a sheitel maker out of New Jersey. My thyroid levels are all normal, but I have hypothyroid symptoms. I’ve been told that I may not convert t4 to t3.

          • careyy

            April 5, 2014 at 5:56am

            How do I get your email from Lara? If you know how than get mine. I can add you to a wig review FB group. Those women know there stuff. Lots of Flora owners on there. The women are so sweet and kind. They always help and answer questions. It’s one of the best bunch of ladies I have found.

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    Sophie

    April 14, 2014 at 9:47pm

    Hi Lara, I realise this thread is relatively old but I’ve come across it and sounds like just what I need! I started on the pill (levlen ED) in March 2012 as I have incredibly bad cramps that make me pass out and have other associated symptoms. I never had issues with hair loss that year But In February 2013 I was suffering a lot of nausea and thought it was because of my pill so I asked my doctor to switch I a different one, she suggested Yaz. I took that for one month and then switched back to levlen ED. In about may I notice my hair was so mic thinner that what it used to be. I don’t have any bald spots or anything just a loss over the whole scalp, and it feels as if the texture of my hair has changed too! I have a gluten intolerance I discovered after so my switching was completely unnecessary unfortunately. My doctors don’t believe me that I’m losing hair just because I don’t have bald spots, so frustrating. I just want to know if you think the switch is what caused it and if it will ever go back to normal on its own without going off the pill? Please any advice you could give would be so greatly appreciated I’m so tired of people dismissing it as not caused by the pill! Thankyou :)

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      April 15, 2014 at 4:29pm

      Yes, I do think that a switch in Pill could be the cause of your hair loss.

  65. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Shannon Mc

    April 16, 2014 at 6:46am

    Hi Lara,

    Thank you for writing this article it has been helpful as I have been researching a lot about hair loss in association with hormones, specifically natural progesterone cream use. I have endometriosis, and I just had my second lapraoscopy this past November. I am 26 years old…I have never done well with birth control and rarely took them since I have severe side effects and reactions to them, they are horrible. I switched doctors a few times because I felt no one was trying to get to the root of my problem, I was in severe pain the last two years and not until my last doctor did they find my ovaries were fused to my uterus and lots of scar tissue was present. The doctor before had me on the Ortho Evra patch I was on from May of 2013 to October of 2013 before I met this doctor that found the real problem and told me to get off of it, I hated it anyway. Since then, I was found to have Hashimoto’s and low ferritin levels. Post surgery this past November my new doctor put me on progesterone natural cream to see if that would help without too harsh of a hormone like a pill or IUD.Ive been on since my December cycle, and since then I have lost half of the volume of my hair, my hair is receding and creating bald spots on my crown and sides of my hair, and I’ve lost half of my pony tail when I put my hair up. It’s so depressing, I can’t imagine why this is happening to me. I even take half of the recommneded dose of the cream they gave me. Do you believe it to be the hormone? I don’t know what to do at this point ,my hair is still falling out. Thank you for any help or advice you can give me, I can’t handle all this anymore.

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    Sarah

    April 17, 2014 at 2:05am

    What if you were diagnosed with “androgenetic alopecia”… aka female pattern hairloss. Is a person who was diagnosed with that exempt from all the other possible options?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      April 19, 2014 at 4:57pm

      Androgenetic or androgenic simply means that it is female hair loss presumed to be caused by testosterone (androgens) (as I discuss in section 2) or birth control Pills with what they call a ‘high androgen index’. High androgen index means that the progestin part of the Pill is one that causes hair loss (as I discuss in section 1.)
      If you have androgenic hair loss, but it is not caused by Pill or high testosterone on blood test, then you are not alone. Many women seem to have hair-follicles that over-react to a normal level of androgen. I am starting to understand that that is usually the result of chronic inflammation, problems with intestinal bacteria, zinc deficiency, and/or high-sugar diet.

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        Sierra

        April 19, 2014 at 9:42pm

        Thanks so much, Dr. Briden. I think I will go get my hormone levels checked. I was the oddball that actually lost a lot of hair through my last two pregnancies. Plus a slow thinning since puberty age. I now, at only 27, have very thin hair and balding temples. I also have gut issues (gluten intolerance) and have had thyroid issues. My mother is healthy and has very thick hair. I guess I got some unfortunate genes somewhere!

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Jess

          April 20, 2014 at 8:18am

          Hi Lara,
          In response to your comments about androgenic hair loss with normal testosterone and no Pill usage being possibly related to intestinal bacteria, inflammation, and sugar consumption; I just found out through a stool culture that I had 3 types of pathogenic bacteria in my intestines. I also have a high rheumatoid factor, and was insulin resistant. I’ve controlled the insulin resistance through diet and myo-inositol; my doctor put me on an antibiotic called Xifaxan for the bacteria, but my hair is still falling out worse than ever, and I don’t know what to do about inflammation. I take a good fish oil pill and have tried turmeric (which makes my scalp burn and my hair loss increase). I’ve also tried saw palmetto which also seemed to increase hair loss……Probiotics cause the burn to increase in my face and scalp as well, which is my precursor to a shed. Any ideas on what to do about inflammation? Also, would 10 days on Xifaxan have gotten rid of the bacteria?

  67. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    tracey

    April 20, 2014 at 7:54am

    Hi Lara,

    Such a fabulous blog! I’ve been experiencing overall hair loss for two years, especially at my temples and part. I’ve had beautiful long hair my whole life, but it literally started falling out 3 mo. after I really amped up my workouts, gained muscle and lost 10% of my body fat (measured at the gym). I felt great, toned and strong, but sadly cut back on workouts and still losing a lot of hair. I’m 64, post-menopausal, have taken low dose unopposed estradiol, .5 a day for 15 yrs., ie no progesterone which I couldn’t tolerate long term in any dose, 25mg pill or 2% cream. I get a yearly ultrasound to check for lining increase, no problems, as I think I’ve always had low estrogen. My thyroid, ferritin and DHEA are all low normal but my D is low and I might be low weight, 5’3″, 113 lbs. At my age my est/prog. are naturally low, probably made worse by the body fat loss, where estrogen is stored. I will try all the mentioned recommendations to lower DHT, more D, magnesium, saw palmetto, increase my E and even progesterone cream, which usually makes me very irritable, but is there also something topical to try on my scale? All suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  68. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sierra

    April 20, 2014 at 8:35am

    Hi, perhaps you aren’t digesting food properly? Have you ever heard of the hcl (stomach acid) supplement?

  69. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    tracey

    April 20, 2014 at 9:04am

    Hi Sierra,

    No, I hadn’t, but I looked up high or low stomach acid symptoms and I don’t have any of them. I’ve never had any stomach or digestive issues that i know of. I eat very healthy, organic, non-GMO, no gluten or dairy. But I do eat a lot of lemons though and often wondered if it affected stomach acid, but from what I can tell, it turns alkaline when it hits the stomach. But I always have, so I don’t think that’s what caused the drastic change.

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    Philicia 33

    April 20, 2014 at 2:41pm

    I had long frizzy and almost damaged hair, after I had my son I was constantly losing my hair! I was in tears and so upset! I couldn’t take any vitamins since I was breastfeeding so I wanted something natural. I only used the Shielo Volumizing Shampoo 3 times and my hair completely stopped falling! Feels and looks so healthy, shinny and strong! It was so strong that I decided it was ready for some color so I dyed it and it looks awesome! The good thing is the Shielo products are known for also protecting hair color, while not having any harmful chemicals. It will solve all your pregnancy hair problems!

  71. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sierra

    April 20, 2014 at 10:13pm

    Tracey, best wishes, it sounds like you are doing everything right. In addition, you may want to try a DHT-inhibiting shampoo. T-gel coal tar shampoo has helped me as well as mirad for thinning hair. I alternate using them so they don’t lose effectiveness. I also rub lavender oil into my scalp before bed.
    Congratulatons on your weight loss/getting into shape. I also workout pretty hard and frequently and am lean (5’5″ about 113 too) and I wonder if there is a correlation between low body fat and lowered estrogen. I have also been cutting back on workouts in the hopes I can thicken my hair.

  72. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    tracey

    April 21, 2014 at 1:01pm

    Sierra, you’re so helpful, thank you for taking the time! I considered trying the tar shampoo, but because I’m very sensitive to products, I didn’t like all the bad ingredients in them, especially the tar which is a known carcinogen, in higher quantities granted, but I just didn’t want to take the chance. I too am interested in the low body fat connection. I think I was always low in estrogen being athletic, so I hit rock bottom in menopause and had to take Estradiol to counteract foggy thinking, lethargy and depression, which helped tremendously. But my hair was fine until I started rigorously exercising (BTW, just to regain lost muscle tone and not to lose weight), which may have increased androgens, thus causing the hair loss. I hoped it was just a shock to my system and would bounce back, but it’s only getting worse. A UCLA hair doctor told me I had Male Pattern Baldness and there’s nothing I can do, but I’ve heard of some doctors prescribing a hair serum for women from a compounding pharmacy of natural low dose progesterone and saw palmetto to counter DHT buildup that you can apply topically and avoid taking it orally. I was hoping Dr. Briden has some insight into all this, as she is so forward thinking in all her hormone discussions.

  73. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sierra

    April 21, 2014 at 9:31pm

    Tracey, I agree about the risk of using it. I waited until I was done breastfeeding my last child before I used T-gel. I’m just getting a bit desperate because my temples are bald and my hair is getting so thin….Also, I’m finding I can’t really use women’s rogaine. I already have low b.p. and when I use it I get dizzy and have heart palpitations. I was actually considering making my own concoction to put on my scalp with Saw Palmetto w/o any of the harmful chemicals. I’ve tried taking a supplement with saw palmetto in it and it just messes with my blood sugar too much. Don’t give up, there has to be a way to reverse this. :) I think the relation to hormones might be more complex than we realize. I started ‘shedding’ during puberty when I’m sure my estrogen levels were fairly high. I also shed through my last two pregnancies (I’ve had three) and estrogen is sky-high through pregnancy. I also kept shedding during breastfeeding when estrogen levels are naturally low. I do think my shedding is hormonally related though, because it seems to be set off by any change in them. I believe my problem (like Dr. Lara said) is that my scalp is just TOO sensitive to androgens and DHT.
    It sounds like your hair loss was triggered by the stress/shock of the workout program. It may take time, but I think you should really bounce back. I talked to other women who experienced shedding after some stressing event, and it takes time, but the hair does grow back.

  74. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Tracey

    April 23, 2014 at 4:52am

    Hi Sierra, I also have low BP and had dizziness on rogaine and have the same temple, hairline desperation, although it is thinning all over as well. At first I thought it might be the shock of exercise that did, but in the two years since, it has not improved at all. So I think it has more to do with the exercise changing my hormones to be more sensitive to androgens. It’s just a theory, but I would like to try the topical blend of Progesterone and SP to see if that works, as I can’t tolerate P in a stronger form. I called the compounding pharmacy in Santa Monica and with a prescription, they sell a solution of 15 or 20mg P with 1% SP, so I will let you know if it works!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sierra

      April 25, 2014 at 12:27am

      Tracey, you are probably correct. Best wishes, can’t wait o hear if it works! :)

  75. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Debbie Adams

    April 24, 2014 at 10:02am

    I am a nurse and have many of the same problems and am also addressing my options. One of the diseases that came to mind while reading your co1mments was hemocromatosis. This is the disease that causes iron to be stored in organs where it shouldn’t be.It causes an abnormal ferritin level with normal iron blood levels.You may also display high hemoglobin as well as harmone problems causing hair loss according to how much iron has accumulated in the wrong places.All the treatments you have talked about,would not help this problem.It is very very hard to detect this disease and it is very important that you detect it as early as possible.A regular GP might not be the best option to detect this disease.You might want to consult a hemmatopigist. I am not a physician,but I believe in consulting the great physician.Hope this helps someone or just helps you be more informed.

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    Miri

    April 24, 2014 at 10:13pm

    Hi Lara,

    Thank you so much for this post! I appear to have male-pattern hair loss/baldness (despite being female) and was hoping for your suggestions…

    I was diagnosed with PCOS at 16 due to highly irregular periods and mild hirsutism. I subsequently started on Seasonique, a low-dose Pill, to regulate my periods, and spironolactone, to help somewhat with the hair growth. I stopped taking them last year, at 21, because of an insurance issue. I tried to wean myself off them, but went through a nasty period of spironolactone withdrawal in June (breast tenderness and discharge, etc) after which I thought the worst of it was behind me. My periods seem to have evened out to between 32 and 42 days apart. I’ve noticed the excess body hair returning, but I haven’t put any effort into managing that. Then, last fall, I started noticing a LOT of hair falling out, way more than normal or in past years of shedding (and I had very long hair, so it was extremely noticeable). But I assumed it was from stress combined with normal hair loss, because last fall was a highly stressful period for me. I also had acne flare-ups, including really painful acne patches on my scalp, of all places.

    However, this spring, not only has the acne continued (albeit more on my face and body, not so much on my scalp), but I noticed that I’m specifically still losing a *lot* of hair at my temples and the front of my hairline. My hair used to be the one part of my body that I liked, so you can imagine that this is really distressing for me. My total hair amount has decreased by at least half in terms of volume, and the hair at my temples and hairline is noticeably sparser and short/frizzy (moreso than ever resulted from flyaways/ponytail use in the past). It’s also much thinner in shaft diameter than even my normal fragile thin-shaft hair. I went to the doctor and they combed through my hair for bald patches and told me nothing was wrong with me, but I *know* that’s not true, because I’m not losing hair that has finished growing – instead, when I run my fingers through my hair, I consistently come away with 3-5 tiny baby-fine hairs that are between 1.5 cm to 4″ long, especially from my temples. That hair either has no bulb, or it has a relatively giant chunk of white dermal something-or-other attached to it (not a typical hair bulb, too large). I’m not pulling it out, it’s just coming out, and in all my life I’ve never seen this happen to my hair before. I’m really concerned that my hair is never going to grow back at this rate, but I really want to know *why* this is happening/what condition it is so I can stop it and perhaps (please cross your fingers) reverse it.

    Please help. I’ve done extensive Googling but can’t seem to get an answer for what exactly is happening or whether my hair will ever come back, nor how to manage it. But your page/article here is the most helpful page I’ve found so far. I never changed my (somewhat unhealthy) diet through all of this, so a diet change wouldn’t be the cause, and I don’t do anything to my hair (don’t blow dry, don’t flat-iron, don’t curl, don’t use products beyond shampoo and conditioner). I really hope to hear from you or one of your helpful readers.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sierra

      April 25, 2014 at 12:37am

      Hi Miri, it sounds like what you are going through is really tough :( I feel for you. You may want to look into natural estrogenic supplements (fennel, fenugreek, lavender, etc) they are inexpensive and relatively safe. Also supplements that block androgens, like saw palmetto, turmeric, green tea, and coconut oil. Lately, I have been applying saw palmetto oil right onto my scalp and so far I seem to be having good results. Also, you didn’t mention your weight but I’ve heard staying in the healthy range helps with P.C.O.s. You may want to limit meat and eat more fruit and veggies. Meat in the diet can elevate testosterone levels as well. Cardio exercise should help as well. I don’t know what your current situation is with your insurance but you may want to get your hormone levels checked. If you can get them back where they should be, hopefully all the hair will grow back.

  77. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jaimie

    April 25, 2014 at 1:24pm

    My daughter is 22 and her hair has been thinning for several years. She has been on birth control since 16 due to excess facial hair and irregular periods. She has never been diagnosed with PCOS although I have always suspected. She tried going off the birth control but her acne and facial hair came back so she got back on birth control last Fall. She is very upset about her hair loss and it is becoming noticable, although I don’t point it out to her. What should her next course of action be? More protein in her diet, bioten, hair growth products? I just don’t know where she should start. She had been taking Biotin but didn’t notice a difference. She is very depressed about it.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Jackie

      April 26, 2014 at 7:48am

      OMG Jaimie, it is so difficult especially for young girls! The worst that can happen to them, related to their appearance! My niece who is 26 has hair loss, facial hair growth, acne, and she did take the pills for a few months, but got off them, since her hair loss started once she got on them, These drugs are terrible and the doctors have no solution to offer:( We are all afraid about her mental well-being, because she is depressed, terribly stressed out and it affects all the family!! She is taking homeopathic remedies, seem to help somewhat.

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Jaimie

        April 26, 2014 at 10:12am

        Thank you for responding, Jackie. Do you mind me asking what homeopathic remedies are working for her? This forum is great but their are so many varying ideas. I don’t know which path for her to take. I am going to take her back to the Dr. to rule out a thyroid problem and PCOS although she was tested in her teens and both tests came back normal. I will keep your neice in my thoughts.

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Jackie

          April 26, 2014 at 10:21am

          Is your daughter overweight? My niece is not, but rather thin, and has also ruled out LOCAH, they were suspicious of that also. Don’t know exactly really what homeopathic remedies she is taking, but I know she stopped the pill, and while on it, also , her periods came, because it was very irregular, and now still has them, but still has these other symptoms. She needs to do all tests and then maybe try out natural herbs and alternatives, Laura has some suggestions on this site PCOS, if she is not overweight might be type 2, like my niece! Hoping for the best!

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Dawna

          April 26, 2014 at 10:37am

          You’re daughter sounds like me :( my hair started thining around 18 I am now 31. I have very thin hair all over and just started getting tests done this past year. You should make sure the doctor checks ferritin levels as well as iron. If iron comes back fine but ferritin is low she isn’t absorbing her iron. I’ve ruled out thyroid, food sensitivities, iron and ferritin also vitamin b deficiency. I’ve been taking biotin, calcium zinc hair skin and nail pills and have finally noticed new baby hairs on my hairline :) but what I honestly think is working is massaging my scalp with a mix of coconut oil and castor oil, I swear it’s making my hair thicker. Read reviews on it and give it a try. I blame birth control on mine I really do. I’m off of it now and plan on staying off it forever! Coming off of it after being on it for 10+ years was a horrible experience. Made me have depression and anxiety for a good month. I wear a lot of cute hats now but hope that I won’t have to soon. I feel for your daughter it’s a horrible thing. Constantly worrying and stressing about takes over. Try biotin and castor oil for a few months I think she might get the boost she needs.

  78. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Lou

    April 26, 2014 at 7:01pm

    Hi Lana,

    Thank you so much for trying to help us all.

    I started taking the pill in 2009 when I was 26, after I developed very bad acne almost overnight which seemed to get better after every period but then get worse again when my periods would approach (I think this may have been PCOS, though I am not sure). This was crippling my confidence so I went on the pill – Cilest. And it did clear my skin up quite well.

    I decided to come off the pill in 2012 though – and when I did, approximately 3-4 months after, ALOT of my hair started falling out. After 2 months of this, I panicked and went back on the pill.

    I really regret that decision – while my hair shedding became minimal after getting back on the pill, it never regained it’s ‘pre-hairloss’ or even it’s natural density before starting Cilest. My hair was always a big part of my identity so this was pretty upsetting.

    I want to come off the pill for good now. I feel it’s unhealthy and feel almost physically ill every time I have to take it. I’m just pretty terrified of the hairloss which might accompany it. I’ve kind of given up on the prospect of my natural hair thickness returning (is there any chance of this?) but I don’t want to lose any more.

    Is there anything I can do to ensure that there is no major shedding that you know of? I’m thinking about starting myo-inositol while still taking the pill for a couple of months, cutting down on carbs, taking a multi vitamin and then stopping the pill?

    Alternatively, I have been considering the prospect of weaning myself off the pill – having 2/3 of every pill for a month, then 1/2 of every pill, 1/4, then cold turkey but I worry this way may have adverse, long term effects on my body.

    I’m also very worried about the acne possibly coming back in full force.

    I’m sorry for the long post Lara. Any help you could give would be really appreciated.

    Many, many thanks,

    Lou

  79. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Angel

    May 8, 2014 at 2:19am

    Excellent review! There are always articles written on which vitamins and minerals to take but so few realize the important role of hormones. I also had no idea the pill could cause hair loss and do years of damage to the follicle, thank you for this really great and informative piece.

  80. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    How the Pill switches off Hormones and Why that Matters - Brenda Rogers

    June 16, 2014 at 10:23am

    […] clot, but rather the soul-crushing day-to-day side effects that I see in clinic: Pill-induced hair loss, depression, and loss of libido. I witness women enduring these side effects, but rarely […]

  81. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Ana

    June 25, 2014 at 5:04am

    Hello Lara!
    First I would like to apologize for my English since I am not a native speaker. I have been reading your posts on this topic with great interest since I am a long-run hair loss sufferer (I’m 35 and started losing my hair at 18 years old). My story goes as follows: my hair was always very dense and strong and when I turned 18 it suddenly started to fall out like crazy and returned very thin. From that point on it never recovered on its own. Since I don´t have any bald women in my family, It never occurred to me that this would be a permanent problem and attributed it to stress caused by the intense study period of exams to ingress in college. However, my hair changed so dramatically that I decided to consult an endocrinologist. Without asking for any exams, this doctor told me that my problem was probably due to an excess of androgens and put me on Diane35 + Androcur. I took the medication as told but after a year decided to stop with the Androcur and continue with Diane35. Truth be told, my hair got beautiful, healthy and long for about 2 years. However, in my last year of college (4 years after starting Diane35) my hair began to thin out once again. Again, I attributed it to ending college and hoped that it would resolve as soon as I was less anxious. At that point I took some vitamins for hair and they worked quite well. The only problem was that I couldn’t stop taking them and in the long run by body “got used” to it and the effect would cease. Since I didn’t know what to do anymore, and being taking Diane35 for 10 years already, I consulted a dermatologist. At this point I was already an obvious case of alopecia with parts of my scalp showing at the top of my head. The doctor examined me and told me I had androgenetic alopecia and the best he could do was try to stop further hair loss. He changed me from Diane35 to Valette, since Diane had many secondary effects and put me on Androcur again. I took this medication for another year but the result was close to zero. My shedding was insignificant but it was normal before the medication anyway and my hair didn’t even get a little thicker. At this point I was becoming very tired and hopeless with this problem and decided as a last resource to try a tricologist. During my appointment I was told to continue with the pill Valette and in addition take spironolactone 100 mg/day and apply minoxidil 5% once a day. I did as I was told for a full year and surprisingly my hair fully recovered! I was finally with the same hair that I always had until my problems started. However, 1 year later, spironolactone secondary effects started to really bother me, I was always tired and dizzy so I decided to stop taking it. Anyway, the minoxidil by itself was still doing a good enough job so I carried on just with it and the pill. Two years later I made the bad decision of trying another brand of minoxidil and had an allergy that never went away, even when I went back on the older brand. Having to stop minoxidil was one of the most traumatizing experiences of this entire story since it caused me the biggest and scariest shedding of my life and I was left with very little hair to cover the top of my head for almost year. Now, I have recovered to my basal levels of before starting minoxidil and take hair vitamins no give the illusion of a good enough density. The problem is, now I would like to stop the pill for two reasons: one, to recover from the multiple gynecological problems that I have been suffering from such as vaginal dryness and infections and two, to possibly get pregnant after my wedding, which will be in September of this year. I stopped the pill almost one month ago and am already feeling much better; the problem is that my hair is already falling more. The only thing that I’m doing to help at the moment is taking the Inneov Densilogy capsules in hopes that it will diminish the shedding. However, I would be very grateful to have your insight on what is the best approach to avoid a major shedding from stopping the pill and perhaps also a post-partum shedding.
    Thank you for listening and for caring!
    Ana

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    tina

    June 25, 2014 at 5:39am

    Hi everyone, I just wanted to share my experience because it might help some people. I started the pill when I was 17, took a few breaks here and there for a month or so, but stayed on it until I was 29. I started losing my hair midway through college and didn’t notice it much until I got older and realized my ponytail was very thin. I thought it was because of the pill so I got off of it this January, had a non-hormonal IUD inserted and was still losing a ton of hair. I went to my doctor, had all my hormone levels checked, and he said everything looked fine. He did say that my scalp looked very dry and referred me to a dermatologist. My scalp is very dry and itchy and I’ve tried hair/scalp masks, home remedies like coconut oil/rosemary oil treatments, and nothing worked. I went to my dermatologist about 2 weeks ago. She took one look at my scalp and told me I have seborrheic dermatitis, a scalp condition that leaves it very dry and itchy, similar to dandruff. It caused my hair to fall out because the dryness in my scalp couldn’t support the hair follicles. It’s a chronic, inherited condition, so it’ll never go away, and it usually develops in your 20s, which is exactly when my hair loss started happening. So now I need to use a prescription shampoo 3 times a week for 2 weeks, and a prescription scalp lotion twice a day for 2 weeks. My hair is already starting to grow back and I’ve noticed I lose a lot less of it in the shower. It probably won’t look the same as it did as a teenager, but I’m happy it’s going back to normal for the most part.

    I wish I had known about this sooner. I don’t know why I waited so long to see my doctor about it. I hope everyone here makes an appointment and gets tests done before trying to solve it yourself like I did. I spent a lot of my time researching and stressing and trying millions of different remedies and all of it was a waste of time. Your doctor may be able to help more than you think!

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    Jess

    July 1, 2014 at 2:08pm

    Hi Lara,

    Well, I started experiencing new symptoms along with an increase in my chronic hair loss. I’ve started putting on weight, even though I don’t eat much and only organic / gluten free / dairy free and lots of veggies. I also exercise aerobically for at least 30 minutes every day (often more on a bike ride). My face is swollen every morning, I’m tired all day but wake up at night, and then can’t sleep all night. I’m cold even when it’s warm and often get chills at night. So, I thought that I better get my thyroid tested. My free t3 was at 2.3 on a scale of 2.2-4.0. Free T4 was at the low end also, but not as low. TSH was very normal – 1.2. I’m on dmsa chelation therapy for mercury toxicity and figure that that has some play in it. My doctor wants me to take 1/4 grain of natural thyroid hormone. I’m afraid to because a year ago another doctor gave me a thyroid booster (Thyrostim by Biotics) and the result was massive hair loss sweating and days of no sleep. Would you recommend thyroid hormone when I’m still in range? I’ve been on selenium for over a year to try to up the conversion of T4 to T3 – it’s not working. The weight is steadily going up and my shedding has dramatically increased. I need to do something.

  84. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Shahid Munir

    July 3, 2014 at 5:08pm

    Dear,
    Really its informative for all thanks for sharing.

  85. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Kim

    July 9, 2014 at 8:12am

    Jessica – have you figured this out yet? I’m curious to know if you have any new information. Thank you.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Jess

      July 13, 2014 at 3:55am

      Hi Kim,
      Just as an update, I started taking a really low dose of Nature Throid, just 1/4 grain. It has helped. I’m sleeping better, I’m not as bloated or tired, and my hair loss dropped in half. I’m wondering if I may need a little higher dose. I’m waiting the 6 weeks between Dr. appointments to see how it goes. I dropped my peony / licorice dose to 5 drops once a day – I’m not sure if that’s helping or not. My scalp is much less greasy. I had tests run recently. I’m deficient in A, D, and Zinc, even after supplementing regularly for two years! My estradiol was 125 and progesterone 10.5 on day 17, this is different as I used to be progesterone deficient and high in estrogen. I’m almost sure that this is all related to mercury toxicity. This all started after having 4 old fillings removed without any precautions. The mercury affects the pituitary, adrenals, and thyroid – as I’m removing it with the dmsa, my body keeps changing. Like most of the ladies with hair loss, there is no genetic link with me. There has to be an answer. Our bodies should be able to heal with the correct treatment. I’m praying that it’s not too late for my hair. I’m so thankful for Lara’s advise. I keep needing to address the hormonal issues that are constantly changing and the advice found here has been sound.

  86. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Leena

    July 21, 2014 at 12:16am

    I thought the Pill was causing my hair thinning so I stopped taking it. 18 months later, and the rate of shedding was the same, if not worse. I took Vit D, Biotin, Zinc religiously and in high doses, I tried the various ‘hair/nail/skin’ supplements…nothing.

    Then one day, after deciding I could lose 8 kilos or so, I started supplementing breakfast (and sometimes lunch) with a high quality protein shake from the health food store. Within 1 month, my hair began shedding less. Within 2 months, barely at all. It then dawned on me. Hair needs protein. I was clearly not eating enough protein that entire time.

    Sometimes, the answer is much simpler than we thought. I’m a meat eater so I never thought I would be protein-deficient but there you have it.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      July 21, 2014 at 6:16am

      thank your for sharing Leena.
      Pill-induced hair loss can take a couple of years to reverse. And yes, hair nutrients like protein, zinc and iron are essential during recovery.

  87. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Christina

    July 21, 2014 at 11:54am

    Hello,
    I have a hair loss due to the non classic adrenal hyperplasia. My endocrinologist tried me on 2 different Birth control pills that were also supposed to lower levels of DHEA and testosterone. I had terrible side effects from both and had to stop. The endocrinologist is trying to figure out what to try next. But my hair are still falling out and I was wondering if there is anything from herbal supplements that can help. Thank you.

  88. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Colleen

    July 30, 2014 at 7:26am

    I’m a 44 year old woman and I’ve been on birth control for the better part of 22 years to help control a bleeding disorder that I have. About 3 months ago I was switched from the oral bc to the Mirena IUD and now I find that I am shedding quite a lot of hair. Is it possible that the switch and change in hormones could be responsible and how long could I expect to be dealing with this. I have to say its very distressing. Thanks for all the information you have provided so far.

  89. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Adriana

    August 6, 2014 at 6:42am

    What does of magnesium do you recommend? I have Mag glycinate but am wondering how much to take per day? Thank you!

  90. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Adriana

    August 7, 2014 at 5:57am

    what dose (correction to comment above)

  91. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jennifer

    August 15, 2014 at 11:55am

    Hi Lara,

    I am 42 years old and have been experiencing hair loss for over a year (since Spring 2013) after I stopped use of progesterone cream (Emerita pro-gest). I was using the cream because I had experienced relentless anxiety, sleeplessness and constipation after giving birth and breastfeeding my three children and was told that the cream could help with those symptoms. During the past year, I have been to every doctor imaginable and had countless blood tests to try remedy the problem without any luck. One doctor prescribed the cream again because my progesterone was low (4.7 ng). Since it did not help after 3-4 months, and I felt my hair loss was still high, I went off of it. I’ve been off since April and still experiencing the problem. I take mag. glycinate 200 mg, evening primrose oil, omega 3 fish oil 500 mg, country life maxi hair and biosil. I recently went back on Vitamin D and iron because I was desperate. The current derm wants a scalp biopsy. The ob will put me on birth control. The integrative dr would like me to be on progesterone cream and dhea supplements (b/d dhea was low) and the primary care tells me to relax it’s TE. My periods are much lighter since being on the progesterone cream. The magnesium glycinate cured my constipation. I could use some direction as I no longer know where to turn and would appreciate any words of wisdom you could impart.

    Jennifer

  92. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jennifer

    August 15, 2014 at 10:36pm

    I should add that the first time I was on progesterone, my hair got thicker and thicker. I went off of it because my primary care dr wanted me to stop taking all supplements/vitamins to try to deal with my stomach issues. When I went back on the progesterone when I was dealing with hair loss, I was also experiencing night sweats and my hormones felt off in a way they did not the first time. Hope this further information helps elucidate ….I appreciate any help you can offer!

    Jennifer

  93. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jennifer K

    September 4, 2014 at 4:22pm

    I commented once before here but didn’t receive a reply. I went off Loestrine and my beautiful hair that I have NEVER had one issue with has fallen out. It seems to be continuing to gradually diffuse. I went to see a dermatologist and he did a biopsy, leaving me the results in a message on my phone (!) with the horrible diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia. I have been taking all the supplements suggested here.. it’s been 2 months and the diffuse thinning continues. This diagnosis was like a death sentence. If I had been sobbing for a month I’ve cried twice as hard for the past 10 hours. I don’t see how this is genetic. If I had never taken this pill none of this would have happened to me. Yet I was bullied and bullied by doctors into taking it for problem periods. I do not have thinning at the crown as my diagnosis suggests but at the temples straight back. Now they are telling me that with this diagnosis I MUST start Rogaine or my hair will never have a hope to grow back. I don’t know what to do. My doctor walked out of the room saying “start Rogaine, vitamins will not help you.” I already ruined my hair with the pill. The feeling of violation and distrust with me and doctors right now is very high. I see no doctors that offer anything for Androgenetic Alopeica other than Spiro, Rogaine etc. If I take the Rogaine could I ruin my hair for life? If I don’t take the Rogaine and it never comes back will this also be my fault? How bad is Rogaine for your hair? I have to start this or not, soon. My family is stunned, at how someone with such beautiful hair (My father, uncle, brother and everyone on my moms side have stunning hair. only my fathers father was bald and I don’t know what that was from.) can suddenly look like this and be told they were genetically predisposed to this problem. Any helpful advice would be so greatly appreciated (PS I have hypothyroid but my levels have been perfect all though this.. my blood work otherwise is also very good.)

  94. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Alexi

    September 7, 2014 at 1:25pm

    Hi, Lara
    I just saw this blog about hair loss due to the pill! i wrote on your other blogg post.
    my hair has been falling ever since i got off the pill. Theres times that i have less hair shed and theres times that is a lot. i just went to the Doctor and she wants to get me back on birth control pills. i am really afraid of trying it and go through the same thing or cause my body to shed more hair due to my hormonal changes. but the only problem is that i still need a birth control method? i highly don’t want to do the pills! but at this point i am afraid of trying any method. I feel that whatever method i try is going to trigger my hair to fall out more? what do you recommend for someone in my situation to do? please help!

    P.S thank you so much for this blog post!
    reading peoples stories about the same problem i have
    makes me feel a little relieve i am not alone
    on this battle ;'(

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      September 17, 2014 at 8:59pm

      My experience with many patients is the best long-term strategy for regaining hair is to stay off the Pill or any hormonal contraception. The best birth control methods are condoms, fertility awareness and the non-hormonal copper IUD (intrauterine device).

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Alexi

        September 18, 2014 at 1:27pm

        thank you so much for replying back. after further thinking i decided i am going to try the IUD non- hormonal copper. i really hope you keep us updated with your blogs there so helpful to many women like myself.

        i recently read about your blog that you recommend many of your patients to take Magnesium? do you think for someone like me in my case would benefit if i start to take it? please let me know?

        and again thanks a lot for your suggestion :)

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Sharon Sweeney

        September 26, 2014 at 5:39am

        I went off of the pill about 2 months ago and I am loosing hair left and right. I have read that Minoxidil 2% can help with hair regrow but takes about 3 months to see improvement. Should I start using Minoxidil 2% right away or just try to rid this hair loss out? If I start on the Minoxiidil, how long would I need to keep using it? If I go off of the Mioxidil, does that new hair fall out? I also have very low blood pressure and as I understand it this drug was originally used to help lower blood pressure. Could this be a side effect? If so, it might be dangerous for me.

        • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

          Jennifer K

          September 26, 2014 at 6:09am

          I feel your pain. Mine too has fallen out over 55% in 2 months! I stopped taking loestrine and this was the result. Saw two dermatologists both of whom told me I have AGA. I have NEVER in my life had an issue with my hair, now they tell me I am going bald and it’s genetic triggered by the pill. I’ve spent 1,200 in a month between a hair scientist in two months. I have low iron (anemic but even if your ferritin levels are below 70 to re grow hair is very difficult.) I am choosing to work on getting Iron levels up along with D3 and B which are also low. I don’t know what Lara Briden thinks about having to use Rogaine. I can tell you that if you choose to use it, be ready for a big shed. Your hair will shed more before it stops and grows in. I would not use this until you get complete blood work done. Hormone levels, Testosterone, Progesterone, possibly DHT.. Thyroid, Iron and Ferritin levels. I had the last Dermatologist that i spent 600 on tell me that Iron had NOTHING to do with hair loss.. and that I seemed to believe the holistic person more than him! If you do have any deficiencies my point of view is that Rogain will shed your hair but you might have a hard time growing it back. I have seen success stories with Rogaine and I’ve seen many girls say they lost more hair than they ever grew back. Personally that terrifies me. I was told the pill was safe so my trust level is low. Once you start Rogaine you can’t stop. It’s for life. The hair you grow will fall out again. They also say that IF you do need rogaine you only have a certain window of time.. if the hair follicles get damaged enough the treatment wont work. However, I believe in my heart that I have to try balancing my body first. The natural way will be a much longer route.. My feeling is that when taking the Pill, due to lack of knowledge I traded my hair for this pill which really didn’t do much for me.. what will the Rogaine trade of be.. and will it be worth it? I saw my Endocrinologist yesterday and she seemed to ignore the AGA diagnosis saying that as my hormones settled down it would come back. Get your blood tested for the things I mentioned.. and go from there. I will tell you that any dermatologist is basically going to shove Rogaine and you and be angry if you don’t want to take it. Google hair loss and low iron, D3 etc. You will see that there are compelling studies.

  95. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    dy

    September 19, 2014 at 8:57am

    Dear Lara,
    My story is quite similar to people here, I prescribed diane 35 and adrocur when I was 20 years old for my acne. It treated my acne very well after using these pills for 3 years my mom started to see extreme shedding and thinning in myhair almost as my scalp is showing. Just at that time I have searched that pills especially diane was extremely dangerous for the body so I stopped.After 4 months my hair shedding got worse and i had acnes everywhere! even in places which i had no acne before.. Then after being tested, it was founded as I have biotin and iron deficiency and PCOS. I also knew that I had hypotiroidism and I was taking euthyrox for six months in the minimum dosage until the PCOS diognosis. Anyways the doctors prescribed me with aldcatone (you may know as spiro) and yasmin. They said that my hair shedding due to stopping birth control pill will stop and I will definitely 100 percent get my hair back. He said I would recover from it.I also have b12 deficiency and I get shots monthly. It has been two months since I am back on birth control pill, yasmin this time and aldactone. I have finished taking two bottles of biotin and ferritin. My hair is still shedding. Do you think my hair will really recover from this treatment and start to grow back? Cause my hair is shedding(less now) and I am seriously depressed about this issue. Please help me…I am going crazy. Is there any alternative like hair planting? Would that work on me??

  96. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    chelsea

    September 25, 2014 at 2:04am

    Hi I have been battling hairless for some time now. A few years ago my was falling out for months and then it stopped when my period returned to normal. About 6 months ago it started again I’m losing so much hair. My period were regular then each month they were coming earlier and earlier each month until last month I had 2 periods. My grandmother had thyroid disease. Could this be what is happening to me? ( My nails grow long but they peel constantly, I have bad problems with sleeping, and sometimes I just get all emotional for boo reason). I’m 22 years old and this is ruining my life. My hair was so beautiful now it’s thin and the whole texture of our had changed to feeling dry when I have not dyed my hair in years because I was letting my natural hair grow out.

  97. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Diane

    October 22, 2014 at 4:38am

    I was shedding horribly beginning in June 2014. It has slowed considerably over the last few weeks and my scalp pain/tingling stopped. It was determined that my Ferritin levels were at 12 and should be over 40. I have been taking supplements and injections. This is why I feel that the shedding was stopping. 7 days ago I started taking one pump full a day of Metabolic Maintenance Natural Progeste Cream. Last night I noticed that my scalp was beginning to feel strange again, my neck has started to break out horribly and I lost 15 hairs in the shower. For the last week or so I have lost no hairs or very little. I was losing 300 + at its peak. Could it be the Progesterone cream? I do not want to start heavy shedding again!! Please help.

  98. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Blair

    November 4, 2014 at 1:10pm

    Hi Dr. Lara,

    I would greatly appreciate you answering a question for me regarding post-pill hair loss. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was about 15 as I never got a natural period and had signs of excess testosterone (facial hair). I was put on the birth control pill and have been on it ever since (12 years!). Pills have included Alesse and, more recently, Diane 35. Just this past year I started developing migraines with aura and had to stop taking the pill.

    It has now been about 6 weeks since stopping the pill. I have yet to have a period (except the withdrawal bleed directly after stopping) but my main concern is the hair loss. I have noticed a drastic increase in shed in the last 3 weeks or so. I feel like I have lost 50% of my hair (and I have very thin hair to begin with). My question for you is- what do you think the cause of the hair loss is? Doesn’t it usually take 3 months for hair loss to begin? Why has mine happened so quickly? Is this due to the sudden drop in estrogen or is this an androgenic alopecia finally catching up to me now that I’ve stopped the Diane 35? Do you think it will be permanent???

    Thank you so much for your help!

    Blair

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      November 4, 2014 at 7:43pm

      Yes, the average lag time is three months, but some people have a shorter or longer telogen phase (so lag time can range anywhere from one to six months.)
      I would say that your recent hair loss is from stopping the Pill. Your priority is to get your periods going. (please see my PCOS treatment post and recent thyroid treatment post).

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Sierra

      November 5, 2014 at 12:13am

      Blair, have you heard of spearmint as a natural pcos treatment? It might help. -Sierra

  99. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Stephanie

    November 13, 2014 at 5:55am

    Dear Lara,
    I came off the pill (Diane 35) in January 2013. I was put on this pill to “treat” the acne that I developed when i was put on a previous pill. After quitting Diane, I had horrific cystic on my face, some in my back and my scalp. I went through hell for months, but it almost cleared up after I started drinking yarrow tea (progesterone like). Unfortunately, I have ups and downs, and i still have cystic acne around ovulation or my periods. I am not that “lucky” regarding my hair. It has been falling off ever since I came off the pill and now i am even loosing baby hairs…
    I had my ovaries checked: no PCOS
    I will do a trichogram next week.
    I had assumed that if the acne got better (at least partially) i would also see improvement with my hair, but I don’t…
    Do you think it is just a matter of time? I wonder if my body will ever be like it used to or if the pill changed it permanently….
    Thanks for your help!

  100. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    eeks78

    November 27, 2014 at 10:30am

    Hi Lara. I am a 36 year old woman with hair loss (doctors said it is androgenetic alopecia) that started 3 1/2 years ago. I used 100mg spironolactone + Rogaine for 9 months and it didn’t seem to be doing anything so I stopped. I went to a new dermatologist today who wants to put me on 200mg spironolactone, so I’m glad I found your site before restarting it.

    You say that the best strategy is to get natural estrogen and progesterone going. All my hormones including testosterone are “normal” on the blood test (that’s “normal” according to them, right). Estrogen has been on the lower end of normal on Day 1ish of my cycle…but I have always had a regular menstrual cycle, between 27-30 days (with the odd one maybe once a year being 31-33 days)

    I have had several dark hairs on my chest, chin and ‘side burns’ since age 20, but again, everybody keeps looking at my tests and telling me I’m “normal”.

    I had thought about going on the Pill, but you don’t recommend it, and the stories of women shedding when they start/stop/switch BCP is enough to make me hesitate.

    So, what I can do for hormonal balance if my menstrual cycle is regular? Or do you think this is the situation you describe earlier in the comments (inflammation, intestinal issues, zinc)

    Again, thanks for providing such detailed information.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lara Briden

      November 29, 2014 at 3:52pm

      Please make sure that your doctor has tested you for thyroid and insulin resistance. Your day 21 progesterone should be at least 8 ng/mL (25 nmol/L). Also, you should be checked for other male hormones, such as androstenedione.

      If your hormones all are normal, then yes, the problem could be inflammation, intestinal issues and/or zinc deficiency. All of those things make hormone receptors hyper-sensitive to testosterone. In other words, normal testosterone, but symptoms of high testosterone.

  101. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sierra

    December 16, 2014 at 9:14am

    Ladies, after going through months of heavy shedding, I have turned a corner. I’ve been drinking 1-2 cups of green tea (often with spearmint) and taking 1-2 capsules of turmeric a day. I also supplement with cod liver oil (capsules!!) and chlorella for detoxing. I’ve also been eating a LOT of protein and cutting back on sugar. It is definitely helping!!

I welcome your comment!