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 Pill is largely to blame. It damages the hair follicle in a way 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 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.

Please see my 2014 post on Spironolactone.

145 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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    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

      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.

  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.

  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

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    Laura

    October 17, 2013 at 2:16pm

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

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    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

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    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!

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    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.

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    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!

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    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

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        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.

  64. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    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.

  66. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    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?

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