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-   -   Medications and Hair Changes (http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/health-related-hair-issues/34862-medications-hair-changes.html)

kendyll 12-16-2007 05:59 AM

Medications and Hair Changes
 
Before my question, here is the skinny on my hair history: When I was a very little girl, I had perfect banana curls. Then from ages 6 to 12 I had straight shiny, thick hair. Then I hit puberty, and POOF--I didn't know how to deal with curls, so I ended up with the triangle head. Then, after a couple of years of hair misery, I read Curly Girl, and totally changed my approach. For the past 8 years, I have LOVED my curly 3a/3b hair. I had perfect ringlets, it almost always did what I wanted it to, and sometimes people would even stop me on the street to tell me hoe nice it was.

Now the problem.

About 6 months ago, it changed. It is now sort of straight, sort of curly in places, very frizzy, doesn't have any shape--in short it IS HORRIBLE. Even though I lovvved my curls, I think I could deal if it was just plain straight, but it's not even that. It is just in this weird "can't make up it's mind" stage. I know that hair is supposed to have different sizes curls--but this is different. I just can't figure out what the problem is.

I have already read a lot of good curly advice and literature, so I wasn't really doing anything bad to begin with, but nevertheless, here is what I have tried:

Changing products
Getting a really good cut
Going to a no-poo shampoo (I only shampooed once a week before)
Letting it completely air dry (I used a diffuser before)

The only thing that I can think of that has changed is that I have added a medication for my Epilepsy that is called Neurontin. The hair change happened at the same time as the medicine, but it isn't supposed to be a side effect. I am also on the pill--maybe that could do something.

I DON'T KNOW! If anyone has any advice, PLEASE HELP ME!

Chelle547 12-20-2007 07:41 AM

The pill can and does change the hair. As you already know with your previous hair changes(the puberty change) hormones have a big impact on hair. So do medications. Everything that goes into your body comes out in your hair. Everything. Even though the med doesn't list hair changes as a side affect doesn't mean that it isn't. Most drug companies and/or Dr.s won't even pay any attention to hair changes since to them this is a minor thing and has no relevance or importance. I've been a hairdresser for 13 years and I've had clients that have been with me for that long and have seen all kinds of crazy hair changes. Which is what has led me to the above conclusions. Years of observation and experience. The part about everything ending up in your hair is a scientific fact. I would say it is likely due to the meds or the pill or the combo. Which means the only thing you can do is switch one or both of them. Some low dose pills have less affect on the hair. You could try that, although you'll have less protection against pregnancy. And I'm guessing that if your med is working for you, your doc is not going to switch it because of your hair. So I really don't know what to tell you to help you.

crimsonshedemon 12-20-2007 11:58 PM

Ugh. Not good! I have systemic lupus (and fibromyalgia, hypothyroid, etc, etc, etc) and take *alot* of medication. However, I've never had any major changes in my hair caused from medication, pregnancy, etc. My hair didn't get curly until I hit puberty. My dad's didn't curl until he was in his early 20s.
I was dx'd at 19 but didn't start a lot of meds until 22 or so. I have had times where my hair isn't has good as it should be but never to the extent of going straight.
I hope the Neurontin is working (it's used in fibromyalgia patients also) amd that your curls return to "normal"
Nicole
]

kendyll 12-21-2007 03:25 PM

Thanks!
 
Thanks for the replies!

It is really helpful just to know that someone else with experience has seen the same thing! Part of the difficulty is that I feel like nobody has any rock-solid answer for me, and I ultimately just want to know what to do to get my curly hair back. I know that at the end of the day it's "just hair" but it's a big self-esteem thing, and before it was something that I never worried about.

I am actually now switching to a non-hormonal form of contraception, and a different AED (anti epileptic drug) so I am really hoping that my hair will "bounce back." But honestly, I am a little worried that it has changed the shape of the follicle or something, or that now I am just stuck with this horrible 'in-between' hair forever. I really can't believe how difficult it has been to find any sort of information on this topic. I could find TONS on hair loss, but absolutely NOTHING on hair change. SO CONFUSING.

Anyway. Here's to better hair days!

GingerSummer 01-01-2008 09:43 AM

Medication changed my hair, it was the bc pill.
My hair changed into babysoft hair with severe breakage and a spot where the hair doesn't grow.
It's been longer than a year since i took my last pill
but my hair is still not the same.

I wish you all the best with your hair.

Caleilani 01-02-2008 02:41 PM

Medications stunted my hair growth until I got on the vitamin band wagon.I take ALOT of meds.,but the vitamins and supplements have helped my hair to grow longer,and castor oil helps too.

Cyan Eclipse 01-08-2008 01:30 PM

Hi, what kind of vitamins help with the hair situation? I'm on a boatload of meds for an autoimmune disease. I am simultaneously growing out a relaxer and have only noticed that my hair has changed from 3c prior to the relaxer 14 years ago to 3 a/b now. I want nice strong healthy hair and would like to avoid any medication effects. Thanks for the help!

kria 01-17-2008 11:27 PM

I have also had hair changes, from thick bouncy ringlets to a thin frizzies. I think it was due to either the birth control pill or Trenoitin, an acne med, or a combination of the two. I went off the pill about six months ago and only use the Trenoitin sparingly now when needed. I agree, there are no answers or warnings about this, and doctors are dismissive. As kendyll said, I would really like to know if the hormones will go back to normal eventually and if my hair is permanently damaged. I started using a no sulfate or parabens shampoo which seemed to help, but then made the mistake of using a semi-permanent color which made the ends break off.
Thanks for posting this thread and I hope more curls are in your future.

FeedYourHead 08-11-2008 12:36 AM

I'm wondering if my hair's extreme dryness could be because of a medication I take for bipolar disorder (lithium).

The drug seems to suck moisture from everywhere else on my body; frequent thirst is a side effect I've been experiencing, especially since the doctor upped my dose recently.

Allerian 08-11-2008 08:52 PM

I have lupus as well (dx at 19) and also take tons of medication. We're talking about 10-12 different medications. And this is odd, but I wonder if the prednisone I've taken has changed my hair. Although, my hair started getting curlier at puberty (my mom also has curl) but really has gotten much curlier since I've been on lot's of prednisone. It seems I can never get off of it. I'm a medical student and think what's happening to hair is important. Many systemic diseases can cause hair changes. My rheumatologist asks me every time how my hair is doing. When I'm really ill it will get very thin, brittle and fall out. On the other hand, when I've had too much prednisone I start getting hair in the wrong places. So diseases and nutrition can really affect your hair. I have a friend with crohns disease. She can't absorb a lot of nutrients and her hair is literally falling out because of it.

k33rstyn 08-12-2008 09:05 PM

Hey There!

Your story sounds vaguely familiar... okay a little more than vaguely! I was diagnosed with Lupus last year a month before my 19th birthday. I got put on a heavy regiment of prednisone (or should I say Satan's meds) and plaquinel. The plaquinel was fine, but the prednisone not only made me gain weight in weird places, it made my skin break out, caused depression and body dysmorphia, and made my hair fall out. For once I was happy that I had a lot of hair!! But yes, my hair pattern changed as well. Not dramatically, but my curls loosened a lot around my face and calmed down some. Now I am a VERY low dose of prednisone and I've lost all of the weight (with a HECK of a lot of effort) and my skin is starting the clear up. But my hair stayed the same. I actually like it better though! I think it's odd that it caused your curls to tighten and mine to loosen.

Not to sound weird, but it's comforting to know there's someone in the same scary boat as me... with Lupus at a young age. God bless you!

CurlyHairedFarmer 08-13-2008 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chelle547 (Post 446092)
The pill can and does change the hair. As you already know with your previous hair changes(the puberty change) hormones have a big impact on hair. So do medications. Everything that goes into your body comes out in your hair. Everything. Even though the med doesn't list hair changes as a side affect doesn't mean that it isn't. Most drug companies and/or Dr.s won't even pay any attention to hair changes since to them this is a minor thing and has no relevance or importance. I've been a hairdresser for 13 years and I've had clients that have been with me for that long and have seen all kinds of crazy hair changes. Which is what has led me to the above conclusions. Years of observation and experience. The part about everything ending up in your hair is a scientific fact. I would say it is likely due to the meds or the pill or the combo. Which means the only thing you can do is switch one or both of them. Some low dose pills have less affect on the hair. You could try that, although you'll have less protection against pregnancy. And I'm guessing that if your med is working for you, your doc is not going to switch it because of your hair. So I really don't know what to tell you to help you.


I agree with everything you said, except that. Low dose pills are NOT less effective than the higher doses.

sophiemol 08-29-2008 01:58 PM

I don't know about that...I'm on one of the mini-pills and even the insert says that it is not as effective as the combined horomone pills (unless you mean only those kind, which maybe you do!). I wish I could blame my current frizzies on my pill... but I think I have to blame it on my massive overuse of re:coil :(

rubestr3 08-29-2008 02:22 PM

I am not on any meds, but I know of one lady who hit menopause and got super curly ringlet hair when before she was poker straight. My mom is schitzophrenic, so I do know about Lithium. Believe it or not, lithium is derived from the lemon (I don't know if fruit or tree or leaves.) My herbalogist told me this. Being that lemon is acidic and acids are drying, then that could be where you are experiencing dry mouth, etc.

MissHidley 09-01-2008 04:55 AM

Me too :-(
 
Hey!
unfortunately I can relate all too well to this story. I had soft wavy hair as a child, but then when puberty started it went curly, so I went from having a 2a to a 3b or so in just a few years. I loved my curly hair and, once I learned to care for it, people used to stop me in the street and tell me how amazing it was. At 15 I was dx with epilepsy and put on Sodium valproate/Epilim, and then my hair started straightening out. I didn't realise it was the pills, so by 20 I had almost my childhood hair back- its like a 2b now. I tried quitting the pills a few years ago, but so far I haven't noticed any difference in my hair. I am hoping that proper products will fix it up again, because I am still depressed about losing my curls. I would definitely talk to your doctor about it, but do your own research too and see if you can find a pill that WON'T mess with your hair.
Good luck!!

MissHidley 09-01-2008 05:19 AM

PS
 
Just found this website that talks about side effects of medications based on patients actual experiences- check out paragraph 16 (right at the bottom)
http://www.crazymeds.us/anticonvulsantsSideEffects.shtml

Mountaincurl 08-07-2010 03:20 PM

I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease a year ago. Since then and with the zillions of medication i've been on my fairly long hair is limp, dry, and goes through bouts of falling out in large amounts. I'm trying to get down to a less potent medication but until then I have no idea what to do with my hair. I've tried switching products a bunch of times but I have a feeling at this point that it has a lot more to do with my health than what i'm putting on my hair.

I wonder if others on here have any experiences with Crohn's/UC/IBD and the medications along with them?

Auntie Bubbs 08-28-2010 12:32 AM

Medication-related hair loss
 
I posted this somewhere else, but thought I should post it here in the health forum.

I'm on an anti-seizure med (topomax) that causes hair loss as a side effect. Not alot of hair loss, but enough that it concerns me. Maybe because I'm vain, but every time I wash my hair (either cowash or shampoo) I am pulling out good-sized handfuls of hair. I detangle with my fingers as gently as I can. I follow my CG routine faithfully, and have been CG for more than 3 years. I rinse upside down, plop with a soft t-shirt, and air dry my hair about 70% of the time, to minimize heat damage. I don't use silicones, sulfates, etc. I ACV about once every 7-10 days. My hair loves ACV's. In fact, I think my hair looks pretty good most of the time (when I spend the time to make it look nice): nice clumpy curls, minimum frizz, soft and bouncy.

But I can pull out strands of hair even when its dry. I've been on the topomax for a year now, and will probably be on it indefinitely. I get chronic daily migraines, moderate to severe, and the topomax is a daily preventative. Without it I'd have severe migraines almost every day. I can't really take supplements because alot of them have the potential to trigger migraines. But, if there are supplements that might help with the hair loss, what I can do is ask my nuerologist if they are "safe" for me to try, and test them out.

So if anyone has any suggestions, Please let me know. I am really dying to know what I can do about this hair loss. I don't want to have bald patches, or thinning hair. I've always had nice, thick hair. I know I'm vain, but my hair has always been my best feature. I've sacrificed alot because of these darn migraines (I've lived with them for like 20 years now), I don't want to sacrifice my hair too.

Thank you!

Muzz 10-12-2010 10:07 PM

Wow!
 
I may finally have an answer to why my hair went, over a period of about 2 yrs,, from stick straight to very curly! I started on Lyrica for peripheral neuropathy. Nothing else changed and it's been a puzzle to me. Thanks!

cindy.farley 12-17-2012 05:12 PM

I started taking Cymbalta and tried Lyrica several years ago for depression, fibromayalgia, and neuropathy. . . Unfortunately, My hair went from shiny, thick, wavy hair to the most ugly curls I've ever seen, now my hair is brittle and so frizzy, it's not worth the time and products to try and straighten it. Odd thing is that my hair is still straight in one small row underneath by my neckline. I am still on Cymbalta and probably will be for life so I don't see this irritating problem going away anytime soon!!


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