• over 2 years ago

    Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Mid May I was able to stop taking my birth control pills after my Husband was given the clear following his vasectomy. I was on different generic versions of tri pills (tri sprintec, tri previfem) for about 10 years with no health issues. Currently My periods are normal and I have had every one when I was supposed to. They last a few days, not heavy, mild cramping. About a week after my cycles I experience some cramping which I think is ovulation? Overall I would be considered healthy. 5'4"- 130lbs.
    Around Mid July I noticed after my showers and even very gently combing my hair it is coming out in massive amounts. Then even more as I'm gently trying to style my hair. (Warm blow dry, warm flat iron, gently gliding hair).
    I went to store and bought a hair skin and nails supplement and started it right away. Started doing online searches and found this has happened to many, many women. But haven't found clear answers just how much hair will I lose, will I go bald, when will it stop?
    At this point I'm at 3 months since stopping the pill and about 1 full month of shedding.
    My stress level is through the roof. This has consumed me, I'm scared to look in mirror, I hate going to work and out and I'm always looking at others hair and thinking why is this happening to me.
    I've bought several hair loss shampoos, and supplements.. not sure if they work.
    I purchased it works hair skin nails vitamins, vivascal, Maca, and biosil. Still trying to figure out how to safely take all 4 ??
    Aug 1 I saw my gynecologist. He was not too concerned. Just pretty much told me it happens. You'll lose it and it will grow back. Unless you have a genetic condition. Which I don't think I do.. no other female bald family members. A few days later I saw my family Dr. She seemed a little clueless. Sent me for bloodwork. My thyroid and iron levels are fine. Waiting on testosterone check. She told me if it continues I could see a dermatologist. I've read a dermatologist pretty much just gives you Rogaine and I'm not sure I want to start that as I've heard you will experience a shed on that as well and you can't stop the treatment. I've also read it's not for hormonal hair loss.
    I feel like I've lost half of my already thin hair. I felt like I had an ok few days with the hair loss.. it was a lot more than what I considered normal a few months ago but less than when this nightmare started. Then yesterday morning I had a huge amount I pulled off my comb then another pile from gentle styling.
    I'm sinking into depression, crying at any given moment. I still have hair, nothing what it used to be. I can hair spray my hair and clip it back so to someone meeting me they would never suspect I'm going through this massive shed. But it's very clear to me. And my husband has noticed the difference as well however he's being very sweet and gentle about it.
    Has anyone been through this?
    How bad will it get?
    Any suggestions on what to do?
    I'm a month into shedding, how much longer will it last? I've read 3-6 months?? Is that just shedding or from the time you stop the pill? I seriously don't even have another month of shed left on my head.
    Will I go bald?

    Thank you so much for any help, suggestions you can give me.


  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Hi Stephanie,

    I just wanted to say thank you for following up with your story! I can't tell you how many times I've tried finding out if other women saw a light at the end of the tunnel so this whole thread has given me new hope.

    I stopped my bc a little over a month ago after being on it for about 6 years. I've encountered a chronic illness that has taken me completely for a loop so I wanted to make some badly needed changes in my life, including getting off the hormones (I plan on switching to the non-hormonal IUD). Since then, my hair has been falling out nonstop and only getting worse. I keep looking up wig websites in preparation for going completely bald but hopefully I won't get to that point.

    I know most people can't notice it now but I can see where its thinning out the worst and it breaks my heart. I'm 24 and keep thinking how dating is hard enough as is, I won't meet anyone with a patchy head. My doctor suggested I stop the biotin since I was sort of over-doing it but suggested I try folic acid instead. I'll be meeting with a derm next week as well, hopefully they can give me more options other than Rogain.

    Anyways, I'm going off on a bit of a rant. But I'm happy to find other women who understand and know the pain of hair loss! I'll try to stay positive knowing people did find results and I'll try to give updates on my progress.
  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Hang in there! I felt exactly the same way as you. I also looked up wigs, extensions.. also thought about quitting my job because there was no way I would want to be seen. Make sure you get tests from your Dr to rule out any underlying conditions. Once you are given the clear rest assured this will end! I am now one year post shed starting. Things are still improving. This is a LONGGGGG battle. The shed stopped this past October. Boy does hair take a long time to grow. My ends are still really really fine and the top has hairs coming in all over that are now about 5-6 inches long. My hair is still pretty thin.. but I'm NOT BALD.
    I never met with a dermatologist because I was told they would just throw Rogaine at me.. and if you read up on rogaine when you stop it can cause another shed! So that was a big NO for me!
    You will be ok! Please try to relax. Destress your self. Drink some bamboo tea (you can get some on Amazon) take your supplements and let your body work itself through this!
    Take Care. rooting for you!! =)
  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Well, ladies, I can give you an advise, how to 100% effectively stop the shedding after quitting bc :) GET PREGNANT. So, after enormous shedding that I experienced, I got pregnant, and now not a hair falls from my head and hundreds of new baby hair are growing really fast..I know I will probably experience the same shedding after giving birth.. But anyway, that was a humorous advise, I hope someone will smile because of that :)
      • over 1 year ago
        Agne!! Congratulations!!! After birth you may, may not experience some shedding again. I read, I think on another thread, a woman kept taking prenatal vitamins even after birth and it helped reduce the shedding.
        I had my son when I was 20. I was not on birth control EVER prior to getting pregnant and I did NOT experience a shed after having him. I went on birth control a few years after having him. Then after my Husbands vasectomy and I came off the pill that's when I experienced this! Just always keep in mind this awful cycle is something that does eventually end!
        So happy for you <3
      • over 1 year ago
        And by the way, my gynecologist said that maybe bc pills helped me to get pregnant. Some time before she had a suspicion of POS, and said that bc maybe helped me to deal with that. I got pregnant from the first or he second try. So, despite that I lost my hair, maybe we can see some positive things of bc :)
  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    I have used birth control pill as a one time measure for 28 days as advised by my gynaecologist when my periods has not come in 2 months..I stopped it in September and shedding started in October..Do not know when it is going to end?I had a long cycle of 2yrs of hair loss due to ferritin n follic acid deficiency and it has stopped in April only.. new hairs started to appear on my head and all of a sudden it started again.i am depressed.
      • over 1 year ago
        I am so sorry. I am really not sure. Your case doesn't sound like what I and other commenters experienced. Make sure you follow up with your Dr and have a panel of blood tests performed to see what the underlying condition may be. Shed patterns will typically last for a few months.
  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    I thought I had to respond as the original poster says, no one ever updates on issues like this and it is so important to restore faith to people! I stopped the combined contraceptive pill in May of this year after developing a blood clot. Not fun! For four months after stopping, I experienced a surprising and disheartening amount of hair shedding from all over my head. I cut my hair short into a long bob last month as my hair was looking so stringy and limp. It is November and the hair shedding has returned to normal amounts this month. I have also noticed lots and lots of baby hair regrowth all over my scalp. I too was so down that the hair shedding would continue until I had no hair left but for those of you out there who fear the worst, please don't. My hair is still very thin but the amount of new hair growth I have on the crown of my head and at the hairline is hugely reassuring, even if it is a nightmare to try and style as it sticks up all over the place. I reckon I will have to keep my hair bobbed for a year to eighteen months to give my hair growth a chance to even out. So to all the ladies out there who are experiencing a similar hormonal shed, please eat well, don't panic and ride it out for a good few months before you assume your hair will will never grow back.
  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Hello stephaniem05,

    We're so sorry to hear about your experience and how your shedding has affected you. From reading the below thread, you appear to be coming out of the other side.

    I just wanted to introduce you to our new brand...Bambeautiful.

    Bambeautiful is a natural solution to fine and thinning hair and is everything women need for beautiful hair while combating different hair concerns. Carefully blended with naturally-derived ingredients, Bambeautiful is a complete regime of products to care, treat and style your hair with one brand. The hero product for the brand is the Intensive Scalp which has been tried and tested by 100 female consumers. 90% agreed that the treatment helped reduce hair loss and 95% agreed the scalp felt either after using the product. Available from: www.bambeautiful.com/

    We will be appearing on Ideal World Friday 29th March at 2pm with a special celebrity guest who has these kinds of issues.
  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Hi stephanie , I've been following you since october last year. Have been going through the same stuff. Got off birth control and hell leashed. I started shedding extremely in july and continued till January. Its a little better at present , I don't know what normal shedding is though? Reading above you said you returned to the normal shedding patterns. Could you elaborate as to how many hairs a day? And exactly how many months after you left birth control did you start to see regrowth?
  • over 1 year ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Dear Stephanie, hi girls,

    unfortunately, I joined the hair-shedding-club too. Got off my BC at the beginning of March (after almost 11 years on it). In April, I experienced mild acne which lasted about 5 weeks (so not so bad) so I started taking zinc supplements until now (maybe it helped?). My hair started to shed at the beginning of May and still on-going. So I am starting my third month and today was by far the worst shedding... Getting desperate and frustrated. I am sure you know what I mean.

    I have been treating my thyroid since I was 18 so the levels are ok. Although my estrogen levels are low. I went to the dermatologist to check my iron and zinc level but I guess everything will turn out to be normal too. The doctor diagnosed me with telogen effluvium and prescribed me with Rogaine. Took it for 12 days but after reading its side effects I decided to discontinue. Now I am just taking some hair supplements (including pills and hair-growth capsules) and also anti-hair loss shampoo called Sebamed (all these products I have been using for around 3 weeks). No progress so far...

    Oh, and forgot to mention that after I stopped the BC and after the first "period" I have been experiencing post-pill amenorrhea.

    It sucks big time...
      • 11 months ago
        You and my daughter are going through this together right now. Please keep us updated, as will I.
      • 10 months ago
        Hi debster76, I am sorry to hear about your daughter and what she is going through right now. It is a lot to take in and be able to cope with it physically and mentally. Did your daughter do blood tests for her thyroid and prolactin levels? Make sure she does. Also did you check with dermatologist about her hair condition? Is she losing hair in patches?

        It is crazy what doctors can do... I am also quite disappointed with my doctors both endocrinologist and gynaecologist as they both denied that the hair loss can be caused due to stopping BC. Instead they told me that I am probably stressed at work (which is not the case). Regarding the post-pill amenorrhea, still no change either. Both doctors just said that I need to wait a few more months and see if it comes naturally... So I am waiting and taking different kinds of supplement (Agnus Castus, Folicate - both for about 2 months now and just started Silybum). I am trying to stay positive and hopefully it will come soon!

        Regarding my hair, I think I reached the peak when I was writing my first post here about a month ago... Truly disheartening when I lost 500 + hair in one day! Right now, I am loosing on average about 150-200 (depends if I am washing or not). Still taking zinc and priorin supplements. I quit the Sebamed shampoo as I read that parabens, which is one of the ingredients of this shampoo, is not good for hair either way. So I am just using some natural anti-hair loss shampoo. My scalp feels much better to be honest. It also does not get too oily like it did before. Went to the dermatologist who thought I had lupus but turned to be negative (thank God). So he is sticking to his original diagnosis which is Telogen effluvium. However he said that it MIGHT be alopecia areata but we cannot be sure right now so I need to wait and see how it progresses...

        I am now 30 but when I started taking BC I was 18-19 years old only to regulate my period. Though only because I did not get my first period until I was 18-19 yrs old so I had to get the initial first Depo-Provera injection to start it. So obviously I already had issues before I went on BC but not with my hair.
      • 7 months ago
        Hi ladies, just a quick update, so my hair shedding is back to normal (finally after several months). I can also see a regrowth on the bald spots so it gives me hope that I do not have alopecia.
        All I can say is that the trigger was, for sure, stopping BC and hormonal shock afterwards.... unfortunately there is no way how to prevent it. You just need to be patient, do not stress about it and wait until it passes. You can of course use supplements and vitamins just to make you feel like you are doing something, but time is the only thing which can help (in case that you really have telogen effluvium).
        However, while my hair condition is slowly improving I am still not back to normal with my menstrual cycle... so one thing is hopefully back to normal but another one is still in a process of "fixing".
        Just wanted to say to the ones who are going through this hair-loss-process, that you are not alone and that IT WILL GET BETTER!
  • 11 months ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    My 18 year old daughter was put on the pill about 1 1/3 years ago to regulate her period because she bled every day.
    The first pill the GYN put her on was Blisovi Fe, which she took for about a year. This past January she was feeling generally not well, tired, and had a lot of stomach discomfort. I took her to the doctor expecting anemia, but instead her blood iron levels came back dangerously high, around 260. The doc switched her pill because the Blisovi wasn’t regulating her period, and put her on Levonorgestrel. Several subsequent blood tests showed her iron levels drop, and then normalize, leading me to believe the Blisovi Fe was the cause of the high iron. However, the new pill was not only still not regulating her cycle, but was causing her face to break out and be oily.

    Like the guinea pigs we all are, the doctor prescribed yet another different BCP, which my daughter decided not to take. She went off the pill in late April.
    Since then she has shed probably half of her hair. It falls out in handfuls every day. She has a bald spot at her part, and the hair on one side is quite thin. She was growing it out for her sister’s wedding next year, but instead she’s getting it cut short tomorrow.
    I would say the shed started almost immediately but has become progressively worse over the past month. I read rosemary oil can help, so she’s been rubbing a mixture of that plus olive oil on the worst parts every day. She’s using Mielle Rosemary Mint shampoo with Biotin and Nioxin conditioner. She’s taking a good, whole food multivitamin plus one biotin - making her biotin total 1600mcg/day. I saw the original poster suggested bamboo tea, so I got some for her, and she started drinking it yesterday. Been trying to get her to eat healthier and cut back on sugar - she’s a vegetarian, and I struggle to get her to eat enough protein.

    I wanted to add, it’s been 2 1/2 months since she stopped taking the pill, and she hasn’t had a period.

    I don’t recommend the pill for anyone unless your doctor knows you and takes the time to learn your family medical history and discuss likely side effects.
  • RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am experiencing all the same things as you and everyone here - hair shedding after stopping birth control Yasmin (on it for 12+ years) for a 1 year now. Blood work normal, doing all the right things to help it (vitamins, supplements, organic shampoos etc etc).

    But I was wondering how your hair is doing now?!?! It's been 2 years since your last post and I'd love to hear your progress since then?

  • 6 months ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    I know this post is old...but if the original poster sees this...how is she today? Please respond. I’m so worried about my daughter!
  • 4 months ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Hi stephaniem05
    When i read your post i totally recognised what is happening to me.
    I stopped my contraceptive pill 6 weeks ago. I was taking it for 5 months only when i realised i was starting a massive hair loss. It was a progesterone only pill . Before i was taking a combined pill but because of too many years of pain and migraines and mood change i begged for a chance. I noticed after 3 months that i was loosing more hair than usual but it didn t click. I didn’t understand. Then 2 months later i stopped it. I m in a nightmare. Like you , i read everything, i starting hair and nails supplements immediately ( already 2 months), i bought so many shampoos and sprays. My blood tests are fine. My gyne tells me to wait. I m falling into depression crying everyday. No more social activity. I can t straighten mY hair Or give them a style. Every wash is my deepest fear with easily 400 hair in the sink..... i try to find reassurance because i see me with a wig and no more hair rapidly. Please tell me and i hope you ll see this post. Please tell me what happened to you as it was 2 years ago. Many thanks. Or anyone who had to experience and go through that nightmare.
      • 3 months ago
        i was on biirth control pill for 12yrs. I stopped taking it 6 months ago. My hair has thinned out but not to the point to which i need a wig. I see short hairs sprouting out but honestly i know its going to take time. Taking the pill for 12yrs, the body is accustomed to that but now it's completely gone so the body has to readjust. Its been a horrible experience but just like everyone else. My doctor asked if i wanted to go back on the pill. Nope, no way. I'll ride it out and I believe it will get better. So my advise to all of you ladies, stay strong and be positive. It Will Get Better
      • 10 days ago
        Hi! I am in the same situation anc crying myself to sleep every night. Can you give me an update on how it has been for you since then? did it stop? If yes, what did you do? Thank you!
  • 13 days ago

    RE: Massive hair shedding after stopping birth control

    Hi Stephanie,

    First of all I just want to say THANK YOU. I am literally crying right now and for the first time in the past couple of months it is of happiness and hope and not because of fear.
    I turned 30 last December and decided to stop taking my birth control pill in late January after more than 5 years. Since May I am experiencing a terrible and shocking hair loss. I feel I am right now at the peak (mid June) and really hoping that it will pass fast.
    I am terrified of looking at myself in the mirror, and I can't even describe how terrifying it is when I have to wash my hair... Putting gentenly my fingers through my hair and seeing the clumps coming out is just dishearting. I am almost depressed, not wanting to see anyone cause I fear people will realize as it is very noticeable the amount of hair I have lost.
    Reading about your experience has been the best thing that has happened to me. To see that it is temporary and that I am not alone.
    I am taking some kind of vitamin complex that contains Biotin and Zinc (amongst other vitamins ) and just hoping that this together with patience would help. It is so scary and I really fearthat if I carry on at this pace I will be bald.
    If you have any advice or anything that could help please let me know. I think I will also give a try to the Biota Botanicals shampoo you sugegsted.
    Thank you for listening and for beign so kind sharing your experience. I know how difficult it is to face the problem and talk about it. Please know you are helping a lot of women out there and making the world a better place