Can Birth Control Cause Hair Loss? We Asked Medical Experts (2023)

Thanks to the beauty of science, you have plenty of choices when it comes to a birth control method —from a copper IUD to oral contraceptives. Unfortunately, sometimes birth-control users experience unwanted side effects, including hair thinning and hair loss.

To unravel the birth control/hair loss connection, VEGAMOUR consulted with doctors and dug into the facts. Read on to find out more, and discoverwhat products you should use to combat thinning hair.

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The Different Types of Contraception

To prevent unwanted pregnancy, most women have tried a birth control method at least once.Statistics showthat from 2015–2017, 64.9% ofthe 72.2 million women aged 15–49 in the United States were using contraception.

From pills taken on a schedule to low-maintenance implants, everyone experiences birth control differently, but each has common side effects. And some contraceptives have been found to worsen hair loss.

Hair restoration specialistDr. Jae Pakexplained, "In order to determine if your birth control is causing hair loss, it's important to know how birth control works."

Curious about hair loss (and other side effects) caused by birth control? Here's what you should know about the different methods.

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AnIUDis a small, copper and plastic T-shaped contraption inserted into the womb by a doctor or nurse. The good news? There's currently little evidence linking hair loss to hormonal IUDs. It's stated that less than 5% of women experience hair loss in IUD brand Mirena'sproduct information.

A 2007data review conducted by doctors in New Zealand found five reports of alopecia associated with levonorgestrel IUDs (representing 0.33% of the responder population). However, at present, the number of people stating that hair loss continues and increases with an IUD is small.

Birth Control Pills

Oral contraceptives are easy to take, and they often also promise clearer skin, a balanced menstrual cycle and an even mood. But the birth control pill can also come with a host of other side effects — hair loss being one of them.

"The combined contraceptive pill contains artificial versions of estrogen and progesterone," Dr. Mel Davis-Hall, in-house medical director and contraception expert atThe Lowdown, told VEGAMOUR. "The synthetic form of progesterone is called progestin. Progestin has the ability to be androgenic, meaning it can create an androgenic response, triggering symptoms such as hair loss, hirsutism (abnormal hair growth) and acne or oily skin.

"Androgens are what play a major role in the regulation of hair follicles. During puberty, they trigger pubic hair growth in both men and women. They can alter the length of time the hair is in the growth phase. The progestin in the pill, and its androgenic response, may have the potential to cause hair loss."

In short, an increase in androgens could lead to female pattern hair loss and female pattern baldness, which is similar to the androgenetic alopecia that some men experience.

Because combination pills are hormonal contraception, some women are more sensitive to the side effects than others. Hormonal fluctuations are commonandcan trigger hair loss.

Also: 5 Ways Hormones Affect Your Hair

Progestin-Only Pills

"Traditional birth control pills contain both progestin and synthetic estrogen, but the mini-pill only features progestin," Davis-Hall explained. "Progestin is the possible culprit, so the progestogen-only pill (aka the mini-pill) and the combined contraceptive pill have the potential to cause hair loss as a side effect. But it's not necessarily that simple.

"Hormonal contraceptives can often be talked about collectively, but they can still vary hugely in terms of their side effects due to their differing active ingredients, and in this case, their androgenic effects."

(Video) Curly Hair, Hair Loss, and Hormones - World-renowned hormone specialist Dr. C.W. Randolph interview

How your hair responds will often be linked to genetics and the integrity of your hair follicles, too.

Hair loss caused by an oral contraceptive isrelativelycommon, but other side effects someone might experience are:

  • Dizzy spells
  • Headaches
  • Fluid retention
  • Increased appetite
  • Melasma
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Spotting between periods
  • Acne

If you already have high androgen levels in the body, taking the right pill could actually help treat hair loss. It might even be something that stimulates hair growth by increasing estrogen. But it's a fine balance.

Learn: What You Can Actually Do About Hair Loss While on Birth Control


The contraceptive implant will help prevent pregnancy for up to three years by releasing the hormone progestogen directly into the bloodstream. It is a small, flexible plastic rod that's professionally placed under the skin in the upper arm. As with other progestin-only forms of birth control, hair thinning can occur.

A reviewof complications stemming from implants found users can struggle with menstrual disturbances, acne, hirsutism, hair loss and more. In one study, acne, hair loss and hirsutism were attributed to the androgenic effects of progestogens and weremore commonamong implant users.


A contraceptive skin patch is a thin, plastic patch that sticks to the lower abdomen, buttocks, outer arm or upper body and continually releases progestin and estrogen into the body. A new patch is applied every three weeks, and no patch is used during the fourth week to allow for menstruation. Very little research has taken place looking at whether hair growth stops because of the patch.


The birth control ring is a flexible, thin vaginal ring that's approximately 2 inches in diameter. It's inserted into the vagina and continually delivers a combination of progestin and ethinyl estradiol for three weeks. The wearer removes it on the fourth week and inserts a new ring seven days later.

It's believed that this type of contraception can have a similar effect on the body as birth control pills, but the research is limited on its impact on hair loss.

Products to Combat Thinning Hair Due to Birth Control

Many issues can contribute to hair shedding and hormone-related hair loss is just one of them. Lack of sleep, excess stress and illness are also culprits. To help, consider a 360° hair wellness routine to encourage thicker, fuller hair. VEGAMOUR's plant-based, multitaskingGRO Hair Serumuses a combination of clinically tested, vegan phyto-actives that help support a healthy and balanced follicular ecosystem, while soothing the scalp and revitalizing hair roots.

For more severe hair thinning, try GRO+ Advanced Hair Serum with hemp to encourage thicker, fuller hair with visible results in as soon as 90 days.

Pair the serum of your choicewith otherproducts designed to combat thinning hair that you can use as part of an ongoing routine that supports thicker hair, like , GRO Dry Shampoo and more products designed for thinning hair.

What Type of Hair Loss Can Birth Control Trigger?

Dr. Boyerof Farr Institute told VEGAMOUR, "Just like any other medical drug, hormonal birth control pills have side effects. They cause a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. Hair normally grows in cycles, and anagen is the active phase. At this stage, your hair grows from its follicles. This can last for up to two to seven years. Birth control pills can trigger the hair to shift from the growing phase to the resting phase too soon and for too long. As a result, some women who use birth control pills will sometimes experience more hair loss and thinning than others."

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The Birth Control Conundrum

In short, yes, some women who use birth control methods might experience more hair loss and thinning than others. But a lot depends on the integrity of your hair follicles and your genetics.

Dr. Boyer said, "Hair loss related to birth control is normally temporary and will stop as soon as your body gets used to the pill or after you have been off of the pills for a while." If you are thinking about stopping birth control as a hair loss treatment, it's important to talk to a doctor first to discuss your options.

Taking a considered approach to yourhair's wellnesswill help keep your mane in peak condition. Additionally, listening to your body, resting when needed and applying products from VEGAMOUR's range of products for thinning hair, which are clinically proven to promote fuller-looking, healthy feeling hair, can help take your locks to the next level.

(Video) What Works For Thinning Hair? Rating At Home and Specialist Treatments


  • 3 Signs Your Hair Shedding Is a Bigger Problem Than You Think
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Photocredit:Mathilde Langevin/Unsplash

Can Birth Control Cause Hair Loss? We Asked Medical Experts (10)


Sophie O'Kelly


Sophie O'Kelly

Sophie O’Kelly is a well-being writer with over a decade of experience working with international beauty and fashion brands. She recently qualified as a mental health therapist, teaches yoga in her spare time and writes about the psychological and physical importance of solid and ongoing self-care. She currently lives in London, England.

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Can Birth Control Cause Hair Loss? We Asked Medical Experts (11)

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(Video) Trichology students take on birth control & hair loss 🥲 #hairloss #hormones #birthcontrol #haircare

Disclaimer: Information in this article is intended for general informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician.


Will hair loss due to stopping birth control grow back? ›

Stopping birth control can be associated with hair shedding. For many individuals the shedding occurs with 4-8 weeks after stopping birth control and eventually shedding returns to normal within 9-12 months and hair density returns to normal as well.

Does estrogen cause hair loss? ›

Low progesterone and estrogen are also often to blame for thinning hair during menopause. Hair loss from menopausal hormone deficiencies can take many forms. Most women notice thinning throughout their scalps, which may be visible when you part your hair or you might notice a thinner pony tail.

Can birth control cause major hair loss? ›

Any hormonal form of birth control — including oral pills, skin patches, hormone injections, and implants — can potentially cause hair loss. The ingredient in these products that may cause hair loss is progestin . Progestin is a hormone that has androgenic activity, which means that it acts similarly to male hormones.

How do you fix hair loss from birth control? ›

The most common treatment to combat the hair fall is using minoxidil topically. Other popular treatments include mesotherapy and PRP,” says Dr Vishnani. Since pills with higher oestrogen and anti-androgenic properties can also promote hair growth, they are occasionally used to treat hair loss.

What hormone makes your hair fall out? ›

DHT, a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is the enemy of hair follicles on your head. Simply put, under certain conditions DHT wants those follicles dead. This simple action is at the root of many kinds of hair loss. Testosterone converts to DHT with the aid of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.

What hormone is responsible for hair loss? ›

DHT: The hormone behind hair loss

It can also be made from DHEA, a hormone more common in women. DHT is found in skin, hair follicles, and the prostate. The actions of DHT and the sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT is what causes hair loss. DHT also acts in the prostate.

Which hormone causes hair loss in females? ›

Estrogen and progesterone levels fall, meaning that the effects of the androgens, male hormones, are increased. During and after menopause, hair might become finer (thinner) because hair follicles shrink. Hair grows more slowly and falls out more easily in these cases.

What ingredient in birth control causes hair loss? ›

Hair Loss While On Birth Control

Nevertheless, when this happens, it's likely because your prescription contains a progestin that has androgens (male hormones), says Dr. Green. The increase in androgen receptors in these pills can contribute to hair loss.

Is hair loss from hormonal changes permanent? ›

These symptoms can also include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, and vaginal dryness. Many people want to know if hormonal hair loss can be reversed. The answer is yes! Fortunately, unlike genetic hair loss, most hair loss caused by hormonal imbalances is reversible.

Is hair loss due to hormonal imbalance permanent? ›

Hair loss may make you feel self-conscious about your physical appearance, but the condition isn't permanent. There are also steps you can take to treat hair loss and improve the quality of your hair. Follow these tips to keep your locks healthy and strong during menopause.

Which birth control stimulates hair growth? ›

Examples of birth control pills that can stimulate hair growth: Yasmin, Dianette, Valette, Cilest. These pills are sometimes prescribed solely to combat hair loss in women with androgenic thinning.

How to stimulate hair growth? ›

What can help your hair grow?
  1. Avoid restrictive dieting. ...
  2. Check your protein intake. ...
  3. Try caffeine-infused products. ...
  4. Explore essential oils. ...
  5. Boost your nutrient profile. ...
  6. Indulge in a scalp massage. ...
  7. Look into platelet-rich plasma treatment (PRP) ...
  8. Hold the heat.
Jun 18, 2020

How can I thicken my hair? ›

7 Ways to Get Thicker Hair, According to Hair Care Experts
  1. Pick a thickening shampoo and conditioner. ...
  2. Keep your hair and scalp healthy. ...
  3. Eat to benefit your hair. ...
  4. Add hair thickening products to your regimen. ...
  5. Use color to create the illusion of fullness.
  6. Get a strategic cut. ...
  7. Consider a dermatologist visit.
Mar 16, 2021

What is the main reason for hair loss in females? ›

Family history (heredity). The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition that happens with aging. This condition is called androgenic alopecia, male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness.

Why is my hair falling out like crazy all of a sudden? ›

Your sudden shedding could be caused by telogen effluvium, a form of hair loss that is typically temporary and happens after a stressful or traumatic event, physical or emotional stress, changes in weight, pregnancy, illness, medication, or dietary changes, explains New York City–based dermatologist Marisa Garshick, ...

Does estrogen or progesterone cause hair loss? ›

Hair loss can also be triggered by hormone changes that occur during menopause. During menopause women's estrogen and progesterone levels drop causing hair to grow more slowly and become thinner.

Can a dermatologist help with hair loss? ›

Dermatologists are the experts in diagnosing and treating hair loss. A dermatologist can tell you whether it's FPHR or something else that is causing your hair loss. Other causes of hair loss can look like FPHL, so it's important to rule out these causes.

Can a gynecologist help with hair loss? ›

As a key member of the woman's health care team, the obstetrician/gynecologist may be the first person to evaluate the complaint of hair loss. Common types of nonscarring hair loss, including female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium, may be diagnosed and managed by the obstetrician/gynecologist.

What lack of vitamin causes hair loss? ›

Only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss.

Is female hormonal hair loss reversible? ›

Is it reversible? While some forms of AFAB hair loss are temporary, female pattern baldness is permanent and irreversible without treatment. However, proper treatment can stop the hair loss and potentially help regrow some lost hair. You'll need to stay on this treatment long-term to prevent losing your hair again.

How long does telogen effluvium last? ›

Telogen effluvium usually resolves completely without any treatment over several months. The normal duration of telogen is approximately 100 days (3 to 6 months) after which period the hair starts growing again.

How do you balance hormones after stopping birth control? ›

6 Natural Ways to Balance Hormones Post Birth Control
  1. Nutrition. Maintaining a whole foods diet- high in fresh produce, macronutrients, and fiber is necessary for hormone production, stress response, and the return of ovulation. ...
  2. Herbs. ...
  3. Supplements. ...
  4. Stress Reduction. ...
  5. Sleep. ...
  6. Exercise.
Aug 19, 2022

What birth control is best for PCOS hair loss? ›

Progestin-only options

If you don't experience any of the androgenic symptoms (i.e. hair loss or increased body hair) the best birth control for your PCOS could be a progestin-only option like the Mirena IUD, the oral drug, Provera (medroxyprogesterone), or Depo-Provera which is administered as a shot every 3 months.

What vitamins treat telogen effluvium? ›

Take vitamins.

Certain vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C, D, E, zinc, biotin and iron, help maintain healthy hair, skin and muscle tissue. Ask your healthcare provider before adding any new supplements to your diet. Find ways to cope with stress. Stress is one of the leading causes of telogen effluvium.

How do I know if I have telogen effluvium? ›

  1. Scalp biopsy is the most useful test to confirm the diagnosis, but it is seldom necessary if gentle hair pull produces numerous telogen hair.
  2. Telogen hair can be identified by a white bulb and no gelatinous hair sheath.
  3. If a patient is unwilling to allow a scalp biopsy, serial hair collections can be obtained.

What shampoo is good for telogen effluvium? ›

The Telogen Effluvium treatment consists of the Neofollics Shampoo, Conditioner and Tablets. For optimal condition of your scalp and hair, we recommend that you use the Neofollics Shampoo in combination with the Neofollics Conditioner almost daily. This creates the perfect basis for healthy hair growth.

What are the benefits of getting off birth control? ›

What are the benefits of quitting birth control?
  • If your sex drive was diminished on birth control, going off it might help increase it. “Studies show that, for some people, birth control does decrease their sex drive,” Dr. ...
  • If birth control adversely impacted your mood, going off it might improve it.
May 25, 2022

What vitamins should I take coming off the pill? ›

Synthetic hormones deplete your body of vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins, vitamins C and E, and the minerals magnesium, selenium, and zinc. If you're considering coming off the pill, consider taking a high-quality supplements now to make the transition easier.

How long does it take to detox from birth control? ›

For most, the medication should be out of their system within 3 to 7 days. However, it can take a few months before a woman starts to see regular periods. This is due to hormone levels adjusting and ovulation beginning to occur on a predictable cycle.

Can PCOS hair thinning be reversed? ›

Can hair loss from PCOS be reversed? Yes, PCOS-related hair loss can be treated if the underlying cause (usually a hormonal imbalance) is remedied. If PCOS is the problem — clinical symptoms, ultrasound, and blood tests can diagnose PCOS — a health care provider can suggest PCOS treatment options.

Can hair grow back after thinning from PCOS? ›

Will it grow back? Any hair that you lose due to PCOS won't grow back on its own. But, with treatment, you may be able to stimulate the growth of new hair. Plus, there are several things you can do to mask PCOS-related hair loss.

Can hormonal birth control help with hair loss? ›

Not all birth control pills can serve as hair loss treatment. In fact, some can worsen the problem and actually cause hair loss. Birth control pills with a low “androgen index” are the only ones that should be used as hair loss treatment; high-androgen-index birth control pills may contribute to hair loss.

What can doctors prescribe for female hair loss? ›

Hair Loss in Women: Treatments
  • Minoxidil (Rogaine)
  • Androgen Receptor Inhibitors.
  • Estrogen and Progesterone.
  • Oral Contraceptives.
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar)
  • Dutasteride (Avodart)
  • Cyproterone Acetate with Ethinyloestradiol (Diane 35, Diane 50)

What is the best vitamin for thinning hair? ›

“Vitamins are essential for healthy hair growth and may help in preventing hair shedding and thinning,” says Michele Green, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist in New York. “The best vitamins for hair growth include B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, biotin and iron.

What blood test shows hair loss? ›

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Blood Test, LC/MS

The Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Blood Test measures DHT levels in the blood to help determine the cause of male pattern hair loss and prostate problems.


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