Hair loss after stopping the pill: what to do?

Florette & Maëlle
Publié le 11 June 2021
Mis à jour le 26 April 2024

Along withacne, hair loss is one of the main side effects of stopping taking the pill. In this article, we'll look at why hair loss can occur when we stop taking hormonal contraception. We'll also take a look at how you can take action at different levels to stem the tide! As always, there are solutions to post-pill syndrome. The post-pill hair loss effect is no exception to this rule, and we're going to prove it to you!

First and foremost, we would like to remind you that this article does not replace a diagnosis by a doctor, and the advice shared here is not a substitute for ongoing medical treatment.

The hair cycle

To understand what's going on in our heads, let's go back to the basics. Like many things in life, hair is also subject to a very precise cycle.

  • The anagen phase of hair growth can last from 3 to 7 years. Basically, during this phase, hair is "nourished" at the root and grows.
  • The next phase is the catagen phase, which lasts around 3 weeks and is a period of regression, with the hair gradually detaching from the hair follicle.
  • The telogen phase, the last phase of the cycle during which the "dead" hair is driven out by the new hair that arrives. This phase can last from 3 to 6 months.
hair cycle - hair loss after stopping the pill

The importance of understanding a minimum of the hair life cycle simply makes it possible tounderstand hair loss a little better. In fact, in the case of (significant) hair loss, it's not the moment of detection that's most important. It's what happened about 3 months before that counts most. This is the typical explanation for so-called reactional hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium. More on this below.

Identifying your type of hair loss

The best advice we can give you to identify your type of hair loss is to refer you to a healthcare professional (dermatologist). In this way, you'll be able to get a clear and precise diagnosis, without self-diagnosis, and you'll then have a clear idea of how to act. You can't act without knowing. Here, for your information, we present the main types of hair loss.

There are several types of hair loss, including two main ones:

  • Androgenetic alopecia, which is a gradual loss of hair due to sensitivity of the hair follicles. For more information on this subject, we recommend theAssociation La Tresse website.
  • Transient diffuse falls, which are characterized by a sharp, sudden drop, generally linked to a reaction to an event which always causes some form of physiological stress.

It's the transient diffuse fall (reactional fall) that we're going to talk about in more detail in this article, as it's the type of fall that is most widely noted after stopping the pill. We have over 2.5 billion hair follicles on our scalp. Most of the hair we find when we lose it is in the telogen phase (hair that has completed its growth cycle and is replaced by a new hair).

Stress and hair loss? What's the connection?

When stopping the pill causes hair loss...

At the organism's level, stopping the pill causes physiological stress; it's a big change. All of a sudden, the body is no longer exposed to the quantities of synthetic hormones it has known for many years.

The body finds itself in a (normal) hormonal imbalance before it can regain its equilibrium. It will try to compensate for this imbalance as best it can. Along the way, you may experience what are often referred to as post-pill side effects.

In fact, the physiological stress generated by this stop is more akin to a reactionary fall, as we saw earlier. In other words, a fall triggered by some form of stress, a particular event that has destabilized the body's homeostasis (the body's ability to maintain equilibrium).

Furthermore, when synthetic hormones are stopped, in addition to the imbalance of the main female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone), there is also testosterone, which has a major impact on hair loss. In both men and women, high testosterone levels tend to accentuate hair loss. It turns out that post-pill testosterone levels can undergo a "rebound effect". In other words, it will rise above its average level (in women). That said, high testosterone levels are generally also associated with excess estrogen (and therefore a more general hormonal imbalance). In our view, these imbalances should always be seen in the context of the overall hormonal imbalance caused by stopping.

When can hair loss occur after stopping the pill?

On our Instagram account, we took a poll in preparation for this article. We asked a number of questions:

  • Did you notice any hair loss when you stopped taking the pill: 45% said yes and 65% said no.
  • When did you notice the start of the fall: most people answered within 3 months of stopping.
  • How long did the fall last: the majority answered more than 3 months.

The question that most highlights what has been explained earlier in this article is when the fall occurred. For most people, it happened within 3 months of taking the pill. This is approximately the time it takes for hair to reach the telogen phase, i.e. to fall out.

Different solutions for hair loss

Important reminder

You can't stop/stop hair loss in progress.

Basically, hair loss after stopping the pill cannot be prevented or stopped once it has begun.
It makes sense when you explain it very simply: physiological stress will cause hair to go into the telogen phase, and then you can't put it back into the previous phase. Hair in the telogen phase is bound to fall out.
So all the advice we're going to share with you here is to be taken as advice which, in a general way, contributes to the good health of your hair and optimizes its cycle.

Restoring hormonal balance

When there is a hormonal imbalance, the first priority is to restore balance. We know we're just stating the obvious, but... we have to 🙂 . Because in fact it's all linked to the hormonal imbalance caused by stopping.


Diet is always an important lever that can be used to help the body regain a better post-pill balance. To combat hair loss, you can start by ensuring that your body has all the basic resources it needs on a daily basis, to make sure it doesn't lack anything.

The 3 foods not to be neglected to optimize the health of your nails and hair

As always with hormonal balance, it's crucial to provide the building blocks. In nutrition, the fundamental building blocks are the macronutrients. These are the basic structural elements that the body needs on a daily basis, in the right quantities! So it's important to focus on structure and volume.

Essential food categories

So in fact the 3 foods are rather, the 3 categories of essential foods, namely:

  • Proteins: they provide the essential amino acids that form the basis of the body. When we eat little protein, or when it is not adapted to our physiology (consumption of vegetable proteins not assimilated well enough by the body, for example), this can clearly tend to accentuate hair loss. Keratin is the protein that forms hair and nails, and is synthesized by amino acids, in particular sulphur amino acids (many of which are found in fish and meat). Consume the main components (eggs, red/white meat, offal, fish, dairy products, legumes), and supplement with other sources (sprouted seeds, pollen, etc.). If you're having trouble getting protein, you might consider supplementing. We recommend Nutripure brand proteins.
  • Carbohydrates: essential as the body's main fuel. It is therefore important to have them in the right quantities to promote balance. Carbohydrates include vegetables, fruit, tubers (sweet potatoes, potatoes...), chestnuts, cereals (wheat, spelt, buckwheat, rice)...
  • Lipids are also very important. In particular, they are involved in the synthesis of cholesterol, which is one of the precursors of some of our sex hormones. And remember, in the event of hair loss due to stopping the pill, it's in your best interest to encourage the return of hormonal balance :D! In particular, you need to reduce your intake of saturated fatty acids, found in eggs, meat and dairy products... If you can, choose good-quality products! (organic quality and short circuits, breeders and producers from your regions). The nutritional benefits of these products are 100% related to the quality of the products consumed. Nevertheless, if you can't afford it (or not all the time), don't deprive yourself of these elements - your body needs them! Even with a slightly lower quality, these products will still contain proteins and lipids, and that's very important!
Provide vitamins, antioxidants and minerals

The physiological stress caused by stopping taking the pill may be one of the factors pushing the body to draw on its mineral reserves. This is to "compensate" for this imbalance and try to find a balance as best we can.

The idea, therefore, is to rebuild the body's mineral reserves with certain key elements that can help, over and above the fundamental contributions we presented earlier. You can rely on :

  • Eat fresh fruit and vegetables, which provide vitamins, minerals and fibre. It can also be through the consumption of vegetable juices made with a quality extractor (less than 60 revolutions per minute, for example those from Kuvings).
  • A course of nettle powder:nettle is a highly remineralizing and nutritious plant. It's ideal, particularly when you stop taking the pill, to provide in-depth support for your body. It also contains silica, a molecule of particular interest for the health of skin and nails. It can be taken as a 3-month course of treatment, with one teaspoon diluted in a large glass of water on an empty stomach in the morning. Here's a nettle powder we can recommend: Nutripure nettle powder.
  • Marine plasma, which is seawater filtered using a very special process. Its rich mineral content is also highly beneficial to the body. It is easily assimilated by the body. It is best consumed in its isotonic version (pure marine plasma diluted in water), over a period of 3 to 4 months, for example when stopping the pill or in the event of hair loss. In general, you can consume 20 to 30cl of isotonic plasma per day. Here's the quality brand we can recommend: Odevie.
How do you integrate these tips?

The idea is not to integrate all these elements into your routine at the same time, as that won't be any more effective. In general, the best is the enemy of the good :). Rather, we're here to give you some pointers. Some elements may suit you better than others. Likewise, these are items that can be used more as a background treatment, several times a week. Or as a transitional treatment over 2 to 3 months, every day.

Intestinal health

The health of the intestinal tract is also important. In fact, even if you try to provide super resources through your diet or with certain key elements (nettle powder etc.), it's vital that your digestive mucosa is able to absorb all these elements. In fact, work on the digestive ecosystem may sometimes be necessary to achieve a real overall balance. Restoring, strengthening and protecting the digestive system can be part of a personalized dietary protocol.

oxygenation ++

To achieve optimal hair mass for your hair type, it's important to take care of the ground on which your hair grows: the scalp. The scalp is constantly oxygenated by a multitude of blood vessels. Micronutrients and oxygen circulate through these vessels.

A poorly "oxygenated" scalp, with poor blood circulation, won't be able to participate properly in the growth and overall "health" of the hair mass.

Good blood circulation is therefore essential, both up to the scalp and down to the extremities (e.g. feet, hands...). When we tend to have poor circulation, it's often the extremities that suffer. The aim is to oxygenate the body. There are several avenues to explore:

Get moving!

Move your body, set it in motion. Whether it's through physical activity of any kind that you enjoy, or on a daily basis, climbing stairs, carrying groceries, walking, dancing, pulling things, doing the housework... These are all activities that can wake up the body a little and encourage circulation. Basically, don't stay in the same position all day, or at least make sure you change position and take a few breaks to move around.

Breathe in!

By definition, breathing alsoincreases the body's oxygenation. Breathing correctly can also be learned. We often tend to breathe shallowly, which is not very regenerative for our bodies. In concrete terms, what we can try to do is, for example, take several moments during the day to pause for even 2 to 5 minutes and take the time to breathe consciously by practicing abdominal breathing. Or by practicing cardiac coherence, for example.

External solutions

In addition to internal advice, you can also take external action to care for your scalp. External solutions are interesting, but they are complementary to the rest, and won't solve the problem on their own. So don't hesitate to add them as a complement :). Once again, no external solution can stop hair loss. These may help to promote a "healthier" scalp.

Anti-hair loss mask recipe

Some powders are very interesting to take care of the scalp, here is a simple recipe, for which you will need :

  • Nettle powder (yes, it's also useful for external use!)
  • Amla powder
  • Aloe vera gel or agave syrup
  • Water at 80/85 degrees
  • Mix all the powders together in a container. You can do a half-and-half between nettle and amla, adapting the quantity to your needs. You don't have to cover your hair, just apply it to the roots. So normally you should be able to do your entire scalp with 40 to 50g of powders in total.
  • Wet the powders with a little water, until you obtain a homogeneous but not too liquid texture.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel or agave syrup, which will also facilitate application.
  • Apply the mixture to the roots, trying to apply it stroke by stroke.
  • Cover your hair with a charlotte, then with a towel over it.
  • Leave on for 15-20 minutes and then shampoo.

You can make this mixture 1 or 2 times a week in the attack phase. And then twice a month, for example.

Make sure this mixture doesn't dry out your scalp too much. If so, space them out and add more aloe vera gel.

Hair care products

There are a thousand and one hair care products on the market, both "natural" and "conventional", many of which boast of being anti-hair loss, but as we all know, you can't stop hair loss that's already started. So no, unfortunately you can't rely on marketing claims.
Quite simply, we encourage you to use the hair care products that are right for you. None is inherently better than others. You need to test and see what suits your hair/scalp. Organic and natural" products are no less harmful or better than "conventional" products. There's no barrier between the two.

To find out how to choose products that might be right for you, we recommend this website and these YouTube videos.

What about hair supplements?

In fact, what's in it?

Hair loss supplements often contain B vitamins. In some cases, components such as silica (from horsetail and/or nettle) are used, as well as certain plant extracts (notably rosemary). In short, these are all elements of a varied, well-structured diet.

As you may know, on Ma Vie Après we rarely recommend taking dietary supplements for problems such as acne or hair loss. Because often, as mentioned above, the key elements the body needs to regain its balance are found in the diet.

Isn't diet enough?

Elements such as B vitamins, minerals and certain enzymes are easily assimilated from the diet. Apart from proven deficiencies (in which case you should check with your doctor), there's no need to supplement with this type of supplement. In addition, as mentioned above, the health of the digestive tract and the absorption capacity of the digestive mucosa must be considered before adding any dietary supplements. Because if the intestinal mucosa is sensitized, the supplements you're trying to provide will, at best, be poorly assimilated and, at worst, most of them will end up in your stools.

Our advice

Concentrate first and foremost on having an optimal and truly balanced food intake, and don't hesitate to ask a dietician to accompany you if you need to work on your digestive system.

My hair greases faster since I stopped taking the pill.

What's the cause?

It's not the main subject of this article, but let's take a quick look at the issue of hair that greases up more quickly when you stop taking the pill.

This is generally due to the fact that when the pill is stopped, the liver can easily become overloaded (temporarily). When the liver is overloaded, it's usually the skin that quickly takes over. There are two ways out:

  • Sebaceous glands: these glands produce more sebum. This is why hair (and skin) can become greasy, more quickly.
  • Sweat glands: increased perspiration can also be noted.

Rest assured, this can be part of the process the body goes through. This will help you regain a certain balance, but it's not compulsory and, what's more, it's only temporary!

Our advice

In any case, the advice given above will be useful to you. You will also seek to gentlysupport the liver in its work of metabolization. Ensures that the organs of elimination can do their job properly (digestive health, once again :)). To limit the outflow through the skin and scal p and restore balance. Herbs such as rosemary, desmodium and nettle can also help.

Sources: VIDAL; La Tresse Association; MasterBlasterCurl

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