Oral contraceptives, otherwise known as “the pill”, are some of the most popular forms of birth control in the U.S. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25.9% of American women who use contraception choose oral birth control pills. But like any medication, birth control pills can have side effects. For some women, birth control side effects are positive (like fewer acne breakouts). But for others, the side effects of the pill can include hair loss.
If you think your birth control pill could be causing thinning hair, then keep reading to learn more about the link between birth control and hair loss. Plus, we’ll tell you what you can do about it.
Psst… Viviscal Hair Growth† Supplements can be a big help for women with hair loss caused by everyday factors like birth control pills and vitamin deficiencies.*
The Link Between Birth Control & Hair Loss
First, here’s a little background on how birth control pills work. The pill uses a combination of synthetic female hormones to prevent ovulation and greatly reduce the chances of conception. While oral contraceptives are very effective in preventing pregnancy, they do have some drawbacks.
According to the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA), birth control pills can cause hair loss, especially in women who are particularly sensitive to hormonal changes. Additionally, birth control pills can lead to hair loss in women who have a family history of hormone-related hair loss.
So how does birth control cause hair loss? The synthetic hormones in birth control pills can interrupt your hair growth cycle. These hormones move hair follicles from their growing phase (anagen phase) to their resting phase (telogen phase). As a result, the scalp sheds more hair than normal. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium.
Women who do have birth control hair loss may notice it at different times. Some women see hair loss when they first start taking birth control. Others may have it when they stop taking the pill. And others could see it when they switch between different types of birth control pills.
Most of the time, birth control-related hair loss is not too severe. But of course, as we all know, even a little hair loss can feel traumatizing when it happens to us! So keep reading to learn about your options for birth control hair loss recovery.
How to Minimize Birth Control Hair Loss
Luckily, hair loss from birth control pills is usually temporary. Your hair should stop falling out in a few months as your body gets used to the new levels of hormones.
If your hair loss continues to be an issue, ask your doctor about other contraceptive options. If you have a history — or a family history — of hormonal hair loss, consider asking your doctor about using a non-hormonal form of birth control.
If you don’t want to change your birth control, do not stress. There are simple tips and tricks you can follow to get thicker and healthier-looking hair (more on those below).
What About Low Androgen Birth Control?
If you’re still interested in using oral contraceptives, the American Hair Loss Association recommends using low androgen birth control pills. It’s thought that low androgen birth control produces less hormonal changes in the body, which means that it’s less likely to cause birth control hair loss.
Birth Control and Hair Loss: Is It Permanent?
No, birth control hair loss is not permanent.
As with most types of hormone-related hair loss in women, shedding as a result of starting, stopping, or switching your birth control can be delayed up to three months. Three months is the length of a normal hair growth cycle, so thinning hair actually reflects hormonal changes from several months earlier.
3 Ways to Make Hair Look Thicker After Birth Control Hair Loss
Birth control hair loss is temporary, and will usually resolve itself in three to six months. In the meantime, follow these tips to make your hair look thicker and fuller.
Nourish Your Hair
One way to maximize the growing phase of your hair growth cycle is to eat a diet rich in hair-healthy nutrients. Think lean proteins, healthy fats, citrus fruits, and leafy green vegetables.
Of course, life happens, and it’s not always easy to eat all the foods you need to support regular hair growth. That’s where Viviscal comes in. Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements can fill in the gaps in your diet. With biotin, zinc, vitamin C, horsetail plant extract, iron, and an exclusive AminoMar™ marine complex, Viviscal Supplements nourish hair follicles for healthier-looking hair from the inside out.*
And Viviscal is proven to be effective! In clinical studies, women saw 32% increase in the number of terminal hairs and a nearly 40% decrease in hair shedding in just 3 months+. Those are some pretty impressive results!
Style with Volume
How you style your hair can make a huge difference in how thick it looks. Follow this styling routine to boost your locks, making them look more volumized. That will help disguise any hair loss from birth control:
- Start by washing your hair with Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo, which gently cleanses hair.
- Next, apply a small amount of Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Conditioner from the ear level to the ends. Let the conditioner sit for several minutes while it works its magic. Then rinse with cool water. This will add moisture to your hair without weighing it down.
- Gently dry your hair with a cotton t-shirt.
- Apply a dime size amount of Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Elixir from roots to ends. This lightweight, body-boosting leave-in treatment leaves hair looking thicker. Use a wide-tooth comb to work the product evenly through the hair.
- Blow-dry hair upside down, paying special attention to the roots. Use a round brush to smooth flyaways and frizz. You’ll be amazed at your hair’s volume!
Switch Your Part
The easiest way to add the look of volume to your hair is free and takes just seconds. The secret? Just switch your part! Most of us part our hair in the same place day in and day out. But when you part your hair in a different location, the hair goes against the direction of your hair follicles, giving it some lift at the root.
Also, try styling your hair with a zig-zag part rather than a straight part to help hide any areas of hair loss.
Remember: if you’re experiencing hair loss, only a doctor can diagnose the true cause.
Have you ever experienced hair loss from birth control pills? Let us know in the comments!
+Ablon, G; Dermatol Res Pract 2015.