Are Meds Wrecking Your Hair?

by Sarah Jio, Glamour

I was looking at my hair in the mirror this morning and wondering why it was so dry and brittle looking, and then I did some reading about some common medications that can have not-so-good side effects for your hair...

1. Antidepressants: One side effect of certain antidepressants is hair loss. While most women don't experience significant hair loss, it is something doctors warn that can happen, and the drug Prozac is most commonly associated with hair-loss issues. If you're taking antidepressants and experiencing hair loss, ask your doctor about whether there's a better option for you. (For a full list of depression drugs that may mess with your locks, visit americanhairloss.org.) But, I think we can all agree that adequately treating depression is a lot more serious than how your hair looks!

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2. Birth control pills: According to Australian researchers, women who take hormonal birth control pills, in particular, those containing progesterone, including levonorgestrel, norgestrel and norethisterone, as well as tibolone, may experience some level of hair loss, say experts. And, some women may have no hair loss issues while taking the pill and only experience it after going off of it. Again, if you're worried about birth control-related hair loss, talk to your doc.

3. Beta blockers: For women who take beta blockers to quell anxiety before public speaking or other stressful events, bear in mind that these drugs have also been linked to hair thinning. The drugs, say experts, may cause hair to shed prematurely in the "resting phase."

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4. Ibuprofen: Got a headache? If it's not so severe, consider just drinking some hot tea and maybe lying down for a bit vs. popping a pill. A recent study from scientists in New Zealand found that frequent ibuprofen use could lead to thinning hair. While the study was a small one, it still is a reminder to only take pain pills when you really need them.

Do you have any hair/health concerns? Have you found that certain meds have affected your hair?

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