Telogen effluvium/ hair loss post pregnancy/ quitting birth control

I quit birth control in June or July, I forget which since I'm not keeping track anymore. I went cg in late August, and in Sept. I started noticing a lot of hair in the shower drain. For a while I thought it was from not brushing twice a day anymore. Now I find out that with quitting the pill, much like post pregnancy, hair loss is common. I am a bit upset and a bit relieved that I (think I) know what's going on.

I have read varying reports; many say the hair will come back, but most of the posters that I've read complain about the hair NOT coming back. They may be complaining *because* it hasn't come back and that's why they are posting, but it still freaks me out. I did not expect this. I definitely see more scalp than I used to. It's not bad when dry, but I see the difference when wet/damp and it feels thinnner. I suspect that maybe the shedding is slowing down but I'm not sure if that's true or if it's just wishful thinking...since I don't wet or wash on a regular schedule it's hard to tell.

Going back on the pill is not an option. I was on it for 15 years, which is too long, plus it made me into a miserable, cranky (insert blocked word here). I am much happier now and I'll keep the thin hair vs. the miserable attitude, but I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced this type of hair loss, and what happened- how long it took to stop shedding, grow back, did it grow back? etc.

I may call my doc next week, but since I am not fond of the idea of using Rogaine, I'm not sure what else she could do for me.

Plus I guess I just want to whine about it but since it's Thanksgiving, I am VERY thankful that the emotional disturbance the pill caused me is GONE. If all else fails, the hair loss will be worth it.
No cones since 08/25/09. Occasional low poo.
Fine, normal to low porosity (still not sure which), ii, 3a/3b curls
Playing with products: HEBE Mousse, BRHG, AOMM, HESMU. Nothing blows my mind just yet.


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Mine didn't come back as thick after loss from postpartum & bc, but did recover quite a bit.

I was vain about it being very thick so this was difficult for me, but it is much easier to style now, curls better, and is still on the thick side. It sheds like crazy still but seems to maintain its thickness, grows pretty fast.

You should definitely ask the doctor because other things could be keeping it from coming back. Shedding is worse for me if I let iron get too low; also, women can have thyroid issues, especially after going off hormones, and if you treat whatever the underlying reason is you may get good-enough results. And would be healthier to boot, instead of doing the Rogaine but maybe leaving something easy to fix untreated.
2c / C / iii (FIA)
Med-Coarse, LowPorosity, NormalElast (LCLF)

Shoulder-Length now.

Wash: DevaCare Low Poo
Detangle & Rinseout: Walgreens or Sally's Conditioning Balm (always)
Leave-in: DevaCare OneC (budget choice is GFTN)
Style: ReCoil & DevaCare Arc Angel (budget choices are HESMU or Got2BSpikedUp)

Henna!
I understand how you feel, believe me. Though my hair loss just came from out of nowhere, I can't figure out what triggered it. I was sick with a stomach bug for a couple of days in Feb. and ended up passing out and hitting my head - the dermatologist said it could be a possibility that that's what triggered it, but I'm doubtful. I've had bloodwork after bloodwork done, only to find I have slightly low testosterone. SO, I went off the pill. So far no difference. I had maybe one week where it seemed to be slowing down, then it started back up again. My hair was so thick before, now I want to cry every time I get out of the shower. I honestly think I've lost about half of my hair. My gyn told me that it could take 6 months after stopping the pill to see a difference, but my God by then I could be bald, I swear! And I don't even know if that's what caused it (the hormone deal). I know my situation is not completely the same, but maybe if more people talk about it we can get more hints about what's going on!

Really even if I do find out what's causing it, from what I've read online it doesn't sound like there's any real promising solution to it anyway. Sorry to be a downer, but I'm stressed out about it as well!!
Type: 3a - type 1 on the underside. Thinning.

Currently using:
-Organix Tea Tree Mint Shampoo (occasionally)
-Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition conditioner
-Suave Waterfall Mist Conditioner or Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific as leave-in
-A mix of Shique Gel and HE Totally Twisted mousse
-FX Curls Up Mousse, on occasion


Trust me I've been working hard not to freak out. It's been about 5 months since quitting the pill for me and I noticed in the shower yesterday I only had to clean the drain once instead of 2 or 4 times, so hopefully this is stopping, so your gyno is hopefully right. I have also read that extreme stress, illness or injury, or being ON the pill can cause hair loss too. It just kills me anything can cause it.
You are right there doesn't seem to be any treatment but most female hairloss is temporary, so they say. I hope both yours and mine grows back. If I only KNEW for sure it was temporary I wouldn't mind so much.
No cones since 08/25/09. Occasional low poo.
Fine, normal to low porosity (still not sure which), ii, 3a/3b curls
Playing with products: HEBE Mousse, BRHG, AOMM, HESMU. Nothing blows my mind just yet.


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Hmmm, that's interesting about going on the pill causing it. I used to have TONS of very fine hair, but about three years ago I got divorced and went back on the pill after being off of it for two years. I lost SO MUCH HAIR!!! It was all over the condo. It finally evened out, but the hair never grew back as thick. Now I have thin, fine hair. You can't really tell when it's curly, but the difference in a ponytail when it's straight is shocking. I always thought it was just due to stress . . .
Same here, bergasaurus, if I knew it was temporary and would grow back, I'd feel a lot better about it.

And Stellar, I have the ponytail issue too. Before it used to be so thick I could barely put a band around it 3 times, now it's so thin it's no problem at all. It's heartbreaking. I feel silly sometimes feeling so upset about it - I mean, it's not as if it's a debilitating or deadly disease, but it still upsets me to no end!
Type: 3a - type 1 on the underside. Thinning.

Currently using:
-Organix Tea Tree Mint Shampoo (occasionally)
-Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition conditioner
-Suave Waterfall Mist Conditioner or Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific as leave-in
-A mix of Shique Gel and HE Totally Twisted mousse
-FX Curls Up Mousse, on occasion


It's not silly...true there is always something worse and it's very good to keep perspective, but neither of us are going to leap off a bridge over our hair. I am going to call my doc on Monday. I'll report back with what she says. I am glad to hear a couple people say it does come back- I don't care if it's not as thick, if I see less scalp in 6 months than I do right now I will be okay with it.

I have decided I am going to cut it off. Somewhere between chin and just above shoulder length. I wanted to grow it longer, but it seems pointless to try that right now, so it's probably a good time to go short for a while.
No cones since 08/25/09. Occasional low poo.
Fine, normal to low porosity (still not sure which), ii, 3a/3b curls
Playing with products: HEBE Mousse, BRHG, AOMM, HESMU. Nothing blows my mind just yet.


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Please do report back! I hope you'll gain some insight into what's going on.

I've been growing out my hair for almost 2 years - from a super-short inverted bob to right about the middle of my back. But it doesn't look good. I'd been waiting for so long to have it this length again and now it looks like crud. I have a hair appt. this upcoming week, and I'm thinking about going just below my shoulders with long layers (not too many!!) Maybe that'll help it look a bit fuller.
Type: 3a - type 1 on the underside. Thinning.

Currently using:
-Organix Tea Tree Mint Shampoo (occasionally)
-Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition conditioner
-Suave Waterfall Mist Conditioner or Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific as leave-in
-A mix of Shique Gel and HE Totally Twisted mousse
-FX Curls Up Mousse, on occasion


I just realized that my scalp doesn't itch as much as it used to. I googled scalp itch and hair loss, and apparently mass shedding can cause scalp itch. One more thing to make me think I might end up okay.

I should have called my doctor when I decided to quit, but in my infinite wisdom I didn't. Go me. She probably would have warned me. I'll call her later today.

I'm going back and forth on if I want to get a cut or not...I may wait, because my stylist is going to use me as a guinea pig to teach others how to do a dry cut. I am so indecisive.
No cones since 08/25/09. Occasional low poo.
Fine, normal to low porosity (still not sure which), ii, 3a/3b curls
Playing with products: HEBE Mousse, BRHG, AOMM, HESMU. Nothing blows my mind just yet.


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt
My appointment with the hair stylist is tomorrow. I'm going to have her cut it dry, whether she wants to or not! The last thing I need is a super-scrubbing there and have a ton more hair fall out!
Type: 3a - type 1 on the underside. Thinning.

Currently using:
-Organix Tea Tree Mint Shampoo (occasionally)
-Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition conditioner
-Suave Waterfall Mist Conditioner or Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific as leave-in
-A mix of Shique Gel and HE Totally Twisted mousse
-FX Curls Up Mousse, on occasion


Hi everyone! I'm new here, I hope I'm still accepted on a curly hair site even though my hair is stick straight lol! I found this forum when I googled telogen effluvium related to birth control. I thought I would share my story so maybe I can help somebody or someone can help me...
I'm 21 and have been on and off bc since I've been about 16 for my skin. During my "off" times I never noticed any problems. I last stopped taking the pill in july, and since late august I have been shedding like crazy, with the white root tip that signifies TE. My dr said it was related to going off bc, which confused me because I never experienced it when I have went off the pill before. Just last week I went to the dermatologist to get another opinion. He diagnosed me with seborrheic dermatitis. Although I don't have much visible dandruff, he said I have an extremely oily scalp that goes along with SD. I asked him if SD can cause TE and he said yes! The excess sebum can "plug" the hair follicles, inflaming them and making it a generally unpleasant place for the hair to live, so it goes into the telogen phase. He gave me a special shampoo I'm to use 3x a week and drops to apply every night. Apparently in about 3 wks I should notice that I'm shedding less and less...
Sorry it's so long but I wanted to share this because I know how scary it is to think you're going bald, maybe some of you have the same issue? And let me know if you have any info for me too!
Christina31, thank you for sharing that info! I'm thinking of calling my dermatologist and rescheduling my appointment because the shedding is so bad now - I can actually see thinning spots. I might mention this to her and see what she thinks. Please let us know how the shampoo & drops work out for you!
Type: 3a - type 1 on the underside. Thinning.

Currently using:
-Organix Tea Tree Mint Shampoo (occasionally)
-Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition conditioner
-Suave Waterfall Mist Conditioner or Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific as leave-in
-A mix of Shique Gel and HE Totally Twisted mousse
-FX Curls Up Mousse, on occasion


Hey everyone!
Can anyone update and maybe offer some success stories with TE? How did it stop? Slowly or quickly? Did it ever return? Any other details to share??
Hey ladies,
I just wanted to share my experience with you.

I was on ortho tricylen lo birth control for a little over a year; I noticed that my hair seemed a little thinner around my ears so I went off of it. About 2 weeks later, a lot of my hair began to fall out. Taking a shower was the worst and the constant feeling of hair on my back and clothes was psychologically draining. I knew that losing my hair wasnít the worst thing that could happen to me but I was still very upset. As a 20 year old, I tend to focus too much on looks.

Anyway, my OBGYN told me to take biotin everyday & that the hormones from the BC would take about three months to leave my body. She said there is not much that you can do besides wait it out. I began to do research online and found out about telogen effluvium which is temporary hair loss caused by a trigger (change in hormones). I know that you want to figure out what is going on with you & worry about it constantly, but the best thing to do is to try and forget about it. Constantly reasearching just made me more nervous because usually people with more severe cases comment on these websites, leaving little hope. Live your life as normally as possible and keep yourself busy to prevent yourself from thinking about it. No one probably notices a change in your hair anyway. I also got a blood test and found that I was slightly anemic so I started taking iron pills. Having your blood tested might be a good idea.

Anyway, it has been about 2 and a half months since I got off of BC & my hair loss has slowed down a lot. I am sure that it will stop soon. The thinning isnít really noticeable to anyone besides me & it should be back to full thickness in about a year. SO THERE IS HOPE!

I found out that it has happened to my mom twice and both times there was a trigger. So if I were you I would talk to your family members about it & ask. I think that it is probably genetic and is something that I will have to keep in mind if I ever want to get back on BC.

So, just try not to think about it and work on improving yourself. And just think about people going through chemotherapy who actually lose all of their hair. Youíll be fine and it will end soon. Good Luck!
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,073
I had that happen to me once many years ago, I was also under the stress of a separation from my husband. But I was taking supplements so the loss stopped soon and it wasn't too bad. You are very lucky to have a doctor that told you to take biotin, other doctors might not have much to say.

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