Will My Hair Come 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.
One of the most misunderstood topics when it comes to hair loss and birth control, is the array of considerations when hair density and shedding do not return to normal as one would anticipate.
Situation “A” and “B” are common when birth control is stopped. In “A”, there is an initial shed followed by a cessation of shedding at month 7-10 and hair density returns to normal by month 12. In situation “B” there is no real perceived increased in shedding at all and the patient notices no real change in her hair at all. These situations typically occur in a patient with no underlying androgenetic alopecia and no strong predisposition to it as well.
Situation “C” and “D” are different. In situation “C” the patient starts out with good hair density but notices at 9-12 month later that her hair density has not returned and is a bit thinner. In situation “D” the patient notices the hair density is quite a bit thinner. In these two situations, the patient often has an underlying predisposition to androgenetic hair loss. In “C” there may have not been any degree of androgenetic hair loss to begin with but the shedding has accelerated the arrival of the patient’s genetic hair loss. In situation “D” there was some genetic hair loss to begin with but it was so mild it was unnoticed by the patient. The birth control pill in this situation was often helping as a treatment to stop the balding process even though the patient was not using it for this reason. By stopping the birth control pill, a helpful treatment actually gets stopped without the patient knowing and the patient’s hair loss is accelerated to a greater degree than in “C”
Patients and physicians should be aware of the array of different possibilities that exist when birth control is stopped.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887