curls and birth control pills

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Hello all,

I'm new to the forum, though I've been lurking around this website for quite some time. Long story short, I'm having a minor hair crisis. My hair went from stick straight to thick, coarse, curly (3a type) hair during puberty. I am now 21 years old and started on birth control pills a year ago, as I started having painful periods during college. Over the past year, I've noticed my that my curls have gotten looser and looser. Now I have no idea what kind of mood my hair will be in from day to day. It certainly has body/wave to it, but now I get simple loose waves, if I'm lucky. I miss my curls desperately. I recently switched to a low estrogen pill (Ortho tri cyclen Lo) from Yasmin, and I am hoping to see some some of my thick curls return.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Any advice? Will my doctor think I'm crazy for even bringing this to her attention? I know hormonal changes can have a big effect on hair texture, but I am really hoping to get my signature curls back.
Wow, it took for you to say this but I just realized what may explain my era of extreme straightness in my late teens and early 20s!

Sorry I don't have anything helpful, except once I was off the curls came back with a vengeance.

I don't think a decent doctor would think this is a silly thing to bring up. She may not have a solution if you want to stay on the pill, but she may be able to at least offer validation that it is something people mention. (This is pure speculation, IANAD and I do not know.)
Hmm. That is really interesting. I never thought about it until now, but my curls have loosened up a lot since going on the pill 4 years ago. I just thought my hair was changing with age/CG/different products and this site.

And your theory totally makes sense. My mom's always told me that her aunt's curls completely disappeared with all 3 of her pregnancies and very simply, the pill tricks your body into thinking its pregnant. Her hair just went stick straight, but as soon as she delivered, her curls came back. Personally, I like my curls looser, so the pill is a blessing for me I guess, in more ways than one.
3a on top and sides/3b underneath...lots of hair

My HG: Sabino Lok & Blok
Hi, first of all I LOVE this website. I discovered my curls after perming my hair from the age of 3-12. After my last perm had grown out I cut my hair and discovered that I had a head full of natural curls.

Through the years I have relaxed my hair straight twice...BIG mistake!! But through it all I've learned to embrace and love them. Now, to my dismay, my curls have slowly started to dissapear. I had considered it being my birth control (I recently switched to the NuvaRing due to my Endometriosis). Looking back now I realize that every time I go on birth control my curls fade. This last change has caused me quite the doozy. I miss my curls so much and have tried EVERYTHING to get them back.

I was so excited to see this posting cause I know for sure that it's not just me. I'm gonna take the brave step and go BC free as of today. If my Endo gets bad enough I'll have to go back on it but I desperately want my curls back :-\ I'm kinda excited to get my ringlets back......fingers crossed.
I've got my fingers crossed for you. If I go off the BC, I get debilitating periods that force me to stay in bed all day, so going off the pill now isn't an option for me. Keep me updated on how your hair changes after bc.
Ok so Im not going coockoo! I was on Yasmin for almost 3 yrs. I felt that my hair def thinned out, growth slowed down, and my strands were finer! This is my 2nd month on it. The only thing I notice is that hair growth is back to normal particularly on my legs and on my upper lips ..ugh! I hope this means hair on my scalp is growing faster too. lol

rockin' to the tune of her own beat...



Yasmin did it for me too! I'm on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo now, and I'm hoping this will regulate things again.
Have you considered (or tried) scheduled dosing of NSAIDs (e.g. motrin, possibly even prescription NSAIDs) to help with cramping? I'm just about finished with my OBGYN in school, and we are now being advised to prescribe scheduled doses of NSAIDs before prescribing OCP for very painful cramping.

Scheduled dosing would be taking the medicine before the onset of your period, and then following up every 6-8 hours as advised as prophylaxis to the pain, instead of trying to abort it. It's actually becoming more standard treatment now, and it works well (from what we are told).

Just something to keep in mind if you ever determine you no longer want to stay on OCPs.

But, speaking from personal experience, I have been on Yaz and did notice my hair would fall out in chunks. I have also been on ortho-low almost all of high school and I thought it was a much nicer combination of hormones in contrast to Yaz.

Keep us updated!
I've been off BC since January this year and I have noticed my waves are much looser, flatter than before and won't hold as well.
Thanks for the advice, dalitwil. I will ask my obgyn about this next time I go. For now, my hair seems to be curling and heading back toward a 3a again (for now), but it is also becoming greasy more easily. By the end of the day, it just feels heavy and oily, and I think this could be because of the BCP too.

The Ortho tri cyclen Lo seems much better than Yasmin, though.
I was on Yaz for almost a year & aside from the other miserable side effects, I endured a lot of hair loss!
I have suffered from endo for 12 years (and I'm only 27) so I've been on pretty much every kind of pill and shot out there and trust me when I say it DOES effect your hair!! Not to mention your skin, your nails and your waistline (yikes). Two and a half years ago my reproductive endocronologist put me on an amazing (but painfully strict) diet that helped me go from either in bed or in hospital w/ each period in so much pain that I would actually pass out and go into convulsions, to 90% pain-free. I know what you're thinking, I didn't think it would work either but it was more help then any of my three surgeries combined. Plus after over a year of trying to conceive we became pregnant a month after being on the diet.

So the point of all this blabbing is that yes, my hair definitely relaxed on the pill, but it was NOTHING compared to what I went through after I gave birth! During pregnancy it relaxed a tiny bit, but about 4 months after giving birth I went from 3c to 2a practically over night. It was devastating, but thankfully it began growing in 3b about two months later. I chopped the ends off a few months later and am now growing it back out.

Hormones are crazy! I hope you get your curls back!!
Fine, 3b, protein sensitive

What I like
LLL Green Tea shampoo
JC CCSS, Biotera gel, HETT mousse, GF curl shaping spray gel
For those of you who've suffered hair loss - does it eventually grow back or has your hair stayed thin?
I didn't get any hairloss or changes that I noticed with the Pill and I've tried nearly all the one's available, but the Depo injection mucked my hair up!
Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
Have you considered (or tried) scheduled dosing of NSAIDs (e.g. motrin, possibly even prescription NSAIDs) to help with cramping? I'm just about finished with my OBGYN in school, and we are now being advised to prescribe scheduled doses of NSAIDs before prescribing OCP for very painful cramping.

Scheduled dosing would be taking the medicine before the onset of your period, and then following up every 6-8 hours as advised as prophylaxis to the pain, instead of trying to abort it. It's actually becoming more standard treatment now, and it works well (from what we are told).

Just something to keep in mind if you ever determine you no longer want to stay on OCPs.

But, speaking from personal experience, I have been on Yaz and did notice my hair would fall out in chunks. I have also been on ortho-low almost all of high school and I thought it was a much nicer combination of hormones in contrast to Yaz.

Keep us updated!
Originally Posted by dalitwil

I tried that and it failed so miserably. If it works more power to ya! The pill was a lifesaver for me. And sometimes its trying different pills to find the one that does everything well. Ortho Tri-Cyclen was also miserable I put on a ton of weight, and then switched to Ortho 1/35 a 28 day pill. Ah the wonders of hormones.. My acne stayed clear, my camps went by the wayside, no weight gain and it actually did nice things for my hair. The curl on my head is by sybil, depends on the day on how late I'm running so I won't really go there.

I also take Lexapro 20mg daily for chronic depression, I've been through a bunch of this class of meds and this is my last stop since its the only one that doesn't tear up my stomach or make me gain a ton of weight, well it does but it is slower than the others so I can fight it. But it does make my hair almost fall out or shed way more that it does on its own. The pill put a stop to that for me too. Weird.

What I am trying to say is, don't be afraid to say "Can we try something else? Since this one is not working for me." You can always go back or try another if you don't like what its doing for you.
Not on the pill now but was years ago. To be honest, I never really felt like it loosened the curl. I wish it did because I have/had tight 3b curls. What did make my curls loosen is pregnancy and the post partum period. I think it varies--some of my friends with curly hair loved their hair before and after pregnancy but not me. The thing for you is it is hard to know if it is the pill or just your hair changing. I remember my hair changed in my early 20's. My stylist keeps telling me that hair changes every 7 years. I'm beginning to believe it!
From my own experience, I've found that BC pills definitely affect your hair & your curls. Unfortunately, most ob/gyns aren't familiar with it. Trust your gut & work with your ob/gyn if this current pill doesn't work for you.
Thanks to everyone for the advice. It's good to know that I'm not crazy for thinking the pill can change hair texture and curl pattern. Since my hair got curly during puberty (due to hormones), I figured that hormones caused my curl to loosen as well. I'm just not sure what to look for in a pill at this point. I've tried LoEstrin 24 (which didn't help with the periods at all), Yasmin (which was just downright awful and really loosened the curl), and now the Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo. I'll have to talk to my doctor again.
Hi Ladies,

I, too, have lost my beautiful curls due to messing around with BCPs. I've been on and off, and noticed (regardless of what the pill does to my hair) when I go off I get a MASSIVE shed that is completely devistating. So I end up going back on it to stop the fallout. I really want to get off it since I think it's really make my hair dry, thin, fragile, and straight (but not in a good way...just krinkly) - but I can't endure another shed. Any suggestions?!?

Thanks,
A.
safarigirl8 - I will tell you that the shed came to and end for me and the dryness is abating now (I have been off BC 8 weeks) - I did have to buy a more moisturizing cond. but that seems to have done the trick. As for advice while staying on the pill, I can't help you. I would talk to your doctor and try different formulas. There are many, many formulas if BC, a different one might not be so bad. I switch my pills around and I got some curl back, though I still had much less hair overall.

I am hoping my pre-pill hair comes back. Hormonal birth control does change your body. I actually posted an album showing the changes in my hair (in my sig, the one called hair diary). Talk to your doctor, and if he/she brushes you off, find a new one. I was brushed off many years ago when I brought this up and never followed up. I now wish I had.
http://public.fotki.com/jojo2454/hair/
http://public.fotki.com/jojo2454/hair-diary/
PW: redcurl

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