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Home Blog Jen's Blog Hair shedding from change in hormones – my hair is falling out!

Hair shedding when stopping oral contraceptive (the pill)

Hair shedding from change in hormones – my hair is falling out!

Well, ladies, this one was a big surprise for me! Twice in the last 4 years I stopped taking oral contraceptive in my first stage of family planning. I had no idea that this could trigger hair thinning in women. Unfortunately, the first time I stopped oral contraceptive I had a health issue, which forced me back on the pill and delayed our plans to start a family. I had also recently highlighted my hair. Within 2 or 3 months, I noticed my hair was a lot thinner. I already have thin hair so I can’t afford to lose anymore! A couple of months later, I had lots of extremely short hairs sprouting from my head. This was particularly noticeable in my fringe. I assumed that due to the highlights, my hair had become brittle and was breaking close to the root. The short hair grew out over time and within a year my hair was back to normal. That’s the last time I go for highlights I thought! I was also back on the pill but at the time, but did not realize the two were linked.

Over the last 2 years, I have been seeing the same hairdresser and built up a good relationship with her. Months ago I was along for my regular cut and she stumped up the courage to ask me if I had changed my contraceptive. I had come off of my pill 2 months prior to the appointment and wondered why she’d asked. She said immediately (with relief that I wasn’t angry with her question!) that I was “shedding”. She could feel that the texture and thickness of my hair had changed and strands were coming out as she finger combed it through. I was intrigued as she helped me understand about hair shedding.

Why hair shedding happens as a result of hormonal changes.

Apparently when you have a hormonal change, your body starts to shed hair in preparation for new growth. Reduction in oestrogen and progesterone gives testosterone the upper hand, which can result in mild to acute hair loss. This can happen when you stop contraceptive, change your contraceptive and will also happen after you have given birth (once you’ve stopped breast feeding) and during the menopause.

I vaguely remembered hearing that women often cut their hair shortly after having a baby because it gets a lot thinner, but I didn’t give it much thought. Unfortunately for me, I’ve now had a dodgy fringe for 2 years out of the last 4 (not to mention the short spikes sticking up which are hugely embarrassing). Hair shedding is a real pain in the @ss.

What can I do about hormonal hair shedding?

Awkwardly, hair shedding often happens with hormonal changes. As I’ve had it twice now and am planning for kids, I can expect to go through it again! This time I am more prepared – I’m planning on growing my fringe out and letting my hair get a bit longer than I usually wear it (and therefore look thicker). Hopefully the change will be less dramatic. I’ve seen a few ads on vitamins for hair growth and supplements to stop hair shedding or reduce hair thinning in women, so I may also research those. Check back for any updates from me (or of course, please subscribe to the newsletter). If you have had the same problems and want to share any tactics to stop or hide hair shedding, I’d love to hear your comments.

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