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How long does hair loss due to coming off the contraceptive pill last?

pill blister packName: Claire

Question: How long does hair loss due to coming off the contraceptive pill last?

Answer: This type of hair loss usually occurs two months after stopping the pill. The shedding is quite profuse and can last on average for three weeks. The shedding is temporary and it often corrects itself, although it usually takes around three to six months for hair growth to recover. Should the hair loss last longer than three months, then it is best to see a professional. There may be other factors that are perpetuating your condition such as female pattern hair loss. This type of hair loss in women will require treatment with minoxidil (the only proven hair loss medication available to women) and a hair loss specialist would be able to recommend your ideal formulation and the optimum daily dosage.

Do you have a question that you would like our senior hair loss specialist Leonora Doclis to answer? You can submit it here via our HairLossANSWERS form and we’ll get back to you.


31st October, 2017 at 5:41 pm


I suffer from pcos and I thought this was what was causing my hairloss but I have been on and off the pill for a long time and every time I switch pills or come off them I have hairloss and spots. This is really depressed me because my hair was so thick and now it’s so thin. I have just changed pills form dianette to mercilon and I think it maybe shedding again and I don’t know what to do and if it is the pill or pcos.

1st November, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Lisa, both PCOS and changing medications can cause hair loss so it may be one, the other, or a combination of both. If the PCOS is being properly managed then this should not result in an on-going hair loss issue. Switching medication can cause a period of shedding whilst the body adjusts to the new medication. This tends to last for no more than six months and can take three months to become noticeable. The condition is known as Telogen Effluvium and although the hair should regrow naturally, it is also possible to have treatment for this condition to proactively encourage hair growth. If you have an underlying genetic predisposition to Female Pattern Hair Loss, this can sometimes be triggered following Telogen Effluvium. Female Pattern Hair Loss affects the top of the scalp and hairline areas only, whereas Telogen Effluvium causes diffuse thinning from all over the scalp. If you would like a specialist to assess you and provide you with a diagnosis and personalised treatment recommendations all you need to do is contact us to arrange a free consultation at one of our Central London or City of London hair loss clinics. Alternatively, if you are not based in or near London, you can fill out our Online Consultation form which allows you to upload photos, and one of our specialists will be in touch. We hope this helps.

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