Can Birth Control Lead to Hair Loss - Risks and Treatments


Can Birth Control Lead to Hair Loss - Risks and Treatments

  • 18 April 2023
  • Hair Experts @ AHS
  • 4 min. read

Many people, especially those of reproductive age, notice a few extra hair strands slinking down the drain after a shower at some point. You might not think much of it at first. However, if you notice a lot of excess hair falling out when you brush or wash it, it’s natural to be concerned.

According to a study, excessive hair loss can be caused by various factors, including iron deficiency, a prevalent problem among menstruating women. However, birth control pills can also cause changes in your hair, including how much hair you lose.

Hair loss may occur due to adapting to the hormones in birth control pills. In reality, some people lose more hair while on oral contraceptives, while others report an increase in hair loss after stopping the pill. We’ll discuss why birth control pills can cause hair loss when you should be concerned and what you can do about it.

How Birth Control Works?

Many women of childbearing age use birth control to reduce their chances of becoming pregnant. However, many women use birth control tablets to control their menstrual cycles and aid with other medical issues, including managing painful or heavy periods or treating cystic acne.

Oral contraceptives, like the pill, thicken cervical mucus and stop the ovaries from releasing eggs throughout a menstrual cycle. The pill can be a helpful drug to prevent sperm from entering the cervix and coming into touch with eggs. It is thought to be approximately 99% effective when used appropriately.

The Connection Between Birth Control and Hair Loss

Birth control pills can cause extra hair loss. To understand why, it’s vital to know how hair grows.

Hair, composed of keratin, grows in stages, transitioning from growing to transitional to resting. The hair ultimately falls out during the resting phase. This process occurs cyclically, with each hair passing through the stages before shedding and continuing to grow.

Normally, there is hair growth in all of these stages simultaneously. However, because most of the surrounding hair is in the growth or transitional stages, you will notice a few falling out immediately. Fluctuations in hormones, such as the estrogen and progesterone in birth control pills, might disrupt this cycle, causing more hair to fall out instantly.

The reason that hair can fall out due to birth control is that the oral hormonal contraceptive can force hair to remain in the telogen (or resting) phase for an extended period. During the telogen phase, hair sheds anywhere from 25 to 100 strands per day and is not actively growing, implying that we lose hair for an extended period. When women experience hair loss with birth control pills, the body sometimes merely needs an opportunity to balance hormones to normal levels.

Birth Control Pill Risks and Side Effects

Birth Control Pill Risks and Side Effects

Female pattern baldness is not a prevalent side effect of birth control. However, it can induce hair loss in women highly susceptible to the medications. Some contraceptives contain progestin hormones that attach to your body’s androgen receptors and boost androgenetic activity. These contraceptives are frequently described as having a high androgen index.

Contraceptives with a high androgen index are more likely to cause or contribute to female hair loss. It could explain why some people who take particular medications experience increased hair loss. If female pattern baldness runs in your family, you may be slightly more at risk of hair thinning or balding while on the pill. If you’re worried, talk to a hair doctor about switching to low androgen-index contraception.

Most hormonal contraceptives, such as the pill, are considered safe. Some women, however, may encounter the following side effects:

  • Breast soreness or discomfort
  • Headaches
  • A reduction in libido
  • Moodiness
  • Nausea
  • Weight changes
  • In-between-period spotting
  • Irregularities in periods
  • A little hair loss

Treatments for Hair Loss Caused by Birth Control

Identifying the source of hair loss is critical to receive successful treatment. A hair doctor can help a person with this condition. A doctor may propose hair treatments or adjustments to a person’s hair care routine or hairdo.

When someone requires treatment, a hair specialist doctor may recommend the following procedures:

  • Hair Transplant
  • In a female hair transplant, hair follicles are surgically taken from the “donor site” on one section of the scalp and implanted on the “recipient site,” a bare or balding area.

  • Hair Extension
  • Using hair extensions is a non-surgical way to extend and volumise your hair. They come in synthetic and human hair and can be applied using various techniques, including clip-ins, tape-ins, sew-ins, and fusion bonding.

  • Laser Treatment
  • Laser hair therapy is a non-surgical, non-invasive hair loss treatment that stimulates hair follicles and promotes hair regrowth using low-level laser light. It’s a painless operation that you may get with the help of a handheld gadget. Laser hair therapy can be used alone or with other hair loss therapies to promote hair regrowth and density.

Tips for Preventing Hair Loss While Using Birth Control

Even while hair loss from birth control is usually not a cause for concern, seeing all those hairs in your brush or piling by the shower drain can be upsetting. You’re probably wondering how to treat it or, at the absolute least, how to keep it from worsening.

The goal is to focus on supportive care for your hair while it is stressed, which begins with paying attention to your entire body. We’ve compiled a list of hair-friendly steps you may take to ensure a rapid return to a thick, full mane.

  • Consume Vitamins
  • Take a multivitamin to avoid the effects of any vitamin or mineral shortages, which can exacerbate hair loss.

  • Maintain a Nutritious Diet.
  • Consume plenty of fresh, whole foods, such as vegetables and fruits. With no crash dieting, a well-balanced diet rich in protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals is ideal for hair development.

  • Reduce your Stress.
  • Attempt to unwind and eliminate tension or anxieties. Because stress can cause the end of the anagen or growth phase, learning stress management strategies can stimulate hair growth.

  • Reduce Styling.
  • Avoid using a blow dryer, straightening iron, or curling iron. Avoid using strong heat, chemical hair treatments, or other practices that can harm your hair.

  • Take Care of your Hair.
  • A hair care program that keeps the protective layer, or cuticle, intact as long as possible can reduce breakage and drying of the hair strands. So, maintain your hair moisturised with conditioners, creams, and oils to avoid dryness and, as a result, reduce the chance of damage and breakage.

When to See a Doctor?

Suppose you have hair loss as a result of birth control medication. In that case, you should seek medical help if the problem does not resolve within a few months of starting or stopping birth control medication. It is unusual and could indicate an underlying problem.

Hair loss may be an unpleasant and upsetting experience, especially caused by birth control. However, most hair loss caused by hormonal contraception is transitory. Consult a hair expert if you are concerned about probable hair loss from birth control medication.


Female patients taking birth control resulting in hair loss should talk to their doctor about switching to an alternative. Within six months of stopping the medicine, they can notice their hair growing again. Once a person quits taking medicine, hair typically grows back naturally. If there are no signs of hair regrowth after six months, you can visit your doctor about different treatment choices. To find out whether another underlying problem is causing your hair loss, you can consult a hair specialist doctor at the AHS hair clinic. If you are worried about hair loss, make an appointment right away!

Mr. Mones, Head- Hair expert @AHS India

Article by

Mr. Mones, Head- Hair expert @AHS India

An ardent believer in maintaining perfection when it comes to hair & beauty, Mr. Mones holds an electrical engineering degree and has followed his life-long love for hair through Advanced Hair Studio.

In 2002, he decided to follow his passion for hair and beauty as he took multiple courses in the field and established his name in the industry by 2004.

Mr. Mones took the opportunity to work with one of the top brands in Abu Dhabi - Yas Island, as a ‘Top Hairstylist’. He underwent training with Loreal Academy to be a color specialist and achieved the post of trainer and branch manager for the company. In 2015, he joined Advanced Hair Studio as a Hair Expert and received training from AHS headquarters in Australia Melbourne.

Quickly he became a regional trainer and technical head of Middles East and the Subcontinent. To keep up with the latest trends and upskill himself and his team, he attended multiple workshops and seminars. In 2017 he attended another training at AHS headquarters for quality control, after which he got promoted to QC Manager and Product Development head. He yearns to upskill and work towards keeping himself on top of his game in the hair replacement industry.

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