Spironolactone for Hair Loss: Does it Work? (Photo)

So, does Spironolactone for hair loss work in women? I got put on Spiro (a.k.a. Aldactone) about four months ago. My doctor was actually hesitant to put me on it because he felt:

1) Even though I complained of thinning hair, I hid it well so he couldn’t see it. “It doesn’t look that bad.”

2) The few darks hairs down the side of my face as well as at my jaw line didn’t warrant anything more than a tweeze-job. I showed him the almost-white, fine hairs that were now actually getting long enough to tug on (ew!) under my jaw, but he dismissed those.

3) Acne is something most women deal with every now and again.Needless to say, I was frustrated. But, he did decide to put me on 50 mg. of Spiro 2x/day to see if it would at least improve the hirsutism (excess hair).

Ugh! He did agree to try it, finally.

Spiro Results

Within just a few weeks I was noticing less dark hairs on my face and jawline; the fine, white-ish hair under my jaw all but disappeared (so, I guess from that standpoint, Spironolactone for hair loss DOES work, ha!). My acne was largely reduced (which is great, but I have the type of skin in which ANY acne–no matter how small–leaves a mark. While it’s easily covered with makeup, it’s annoying that my face never looks as good as it should. Oil production on my face and scalp also diminished.

That’s Great…But Does Spironolactone for Hair Loss Work??

Well, the jury’s still out on that one. I did get the “dread shed” a few weeks into Spiro–and I got it BAD. My hair had actually never looked so bad. I haven’t noticed any growth on the top part of my head (I always describe it as where sunglasses would hit) but, it also doesn’t look as bad as it did. My guess is that the hair that fell out during the Spiro “dread shed” came back. However, I don’t notice any additional growth in that area quite just yet.

Here’s what I do notice:

spironolactone for hair lossTemple Hair Regrowth! December, 2012

 

Do you see the little hairs (about 3/4 of an inch) on my temple? That’s regrowth from the Spironolactone. I’m unsure, however, if this is *new* growth, or hair that I lost during the shed. I didn’t notice this area thinning before, so I’m hoping it’s new.

This area was the first area that “came back” after I had postpartum shedding in 2011, so that’s why I’m leaning towards the fact that this is likely not new growth, but rather regrowth.

Bottom line: Right now, I’m unsure if Spironolactone for hair loss is the only answer…perhaps the Spiro combined with other things will help my hair even more. But, things are not worse and they look like they could be heading in the right direction. Keep your fingers crossed for me, will ya?

Comments

  1. Shelley Jo says

    Yes, Spiro has made a huge difference and yes OMG my hair in my balding area is filling thick and it is because of the drug Spiro. =)

  2. Andie says

    Your hair looks juuuuuuust like mine. So glad I’m not alone with this problem after being on BCP for 8 years I just came off them 4 months ago and experienced the dredful shed. I too notice baby hairs all over :) Kinda curious how the spiro drug is working for you and how your status is with hair/acne/hormonal issues. I’ve been researching and scared to put any more drugs into my body since I feel my hair is finally getting better but the ACNE!…… Holy shit I feel like I’m 13 all over again! I should have never gone on BCP in the first place, funny how the drs never tell you what happens to your body after you stop taking the drug.

    • Lauren says

      As you’ve probably read on the blog, I did experience changes with all of those things. For my periods, the Spiro caused me to get one every 2 weeks or so, which was highly annoying. This happens to alot of women, unfortunately. Many have their cycles even out after a few months; I went on birth control (Nuva Ring) to get them to regulate, which worked. Acne – this was the BEST side effect of the Spiro. My skin was pretty dang close to perfect, and it only took two or three weeks to get it that way. I was ecstatic with my skin! Hair – awful shed! But, I think if you’ve just gone through a shed you probably won’t get it “as bad” since you’ve already lost all of those “resting hairs”, that’s my guess anyways. There are definitely pros and cons to the Spiro. That being said, I’m now off Spiro since I’m pregnant, but I am 99% sure I am going to go back on it once I am done nursing!

  3. CG says

    I was on spiro initially for acne, but I became aware of the hair growth while on it. I also had thin hair. I wasn’t sure of the connection between spiro and hair growth until I ran out of the drug and my doc didn’t want to give me refill. My hair started to shed bad..I mean bad. I panicked and convinced my dr to prescribe spiro again, after that, my hair stopped shedding. So, the conclusion? I think Spiro helps to stop the shedding and perhaps allow new hair growth. I also think the spiro controls the oil in the face and the scalp. Whenever my hair is oily, I tend to shed more during that time.
    Congratulations on the pregnancy!!

  4. DG says

    Lauren,
    I have started to use Spiro too and am still experiencing the shed. It’s been more than 2 weeks now and it hasn’t stopped. What’s the dosage that you use? 100 mg ? Please let me know. Thanks.

    • Lauren says

      Hi there – my shed lasted 2-3 weeks and then tapered off, but from what I’ve heard it can take longer. I would at least give it a month-6 weeks to give your body time to normalize. I know, it stinks. I was on 50 mg., 2x/day. Hang in there.

  5. Sisterlocks1 says

    Hello,
    I started Spironolactone 50 mg tablets today. My Dermatologist prescribed this drug for some mild acne and topical gel. I have mixed feeling. I am a African American women, 43 yrs. and after reading the blogs, I need clarification. Do this drug grows the hair or shed the hair?, I realized that the drug is good for Acne and horomonal changes, and some say weight loss( being a water pill). Please clarify about “dread shed”?

    Thank you
    Newbie,

    • Lauren says

      Hi. So, here are my “non-doctor” thoughts on Spiro. I know many women who have been on it, those with hairloss and those without. In MY opinion, the dread shed seems to affect those that are already experiencing problems with their hair (like me). It seems to not affect (or affect very little) those with normal hair. Spiro is supposed to help slow or halt the shedding of the hair; some have reported regrowth, but I don’t believe that is the true intention of the drug when used for hairloss.

      Spiro did amazing things for my acne – it cleared up right away. I hope you find the same happens with you!

  6. JS says

    OMG. I’m so stupid. I don’t want my name posted here. Dear moderator, can you please change my name to JS? WTF. Sorry

    • Lauren says

      I don’t think I can change it, so I deleted it for you. At least there is some anonymity in a common last name! :) To your questions, I believe 200 mg/day is what is recommended for maximum effectiveness. I’m not sure if a derm would prescribe this – maybe she needs an extra credential to even order this type of blood work? Spiro can sometimes cause excess potassium so you’d likely need ongoing blood work (every few months) to make sure everything is ok, which is why a derm probably wouldn’t go down this route. I could be wrong, though!

  7. Ive says

    I just started to use Spiro 4 days ago, I’m 51 years old and I haven’t had a period in 5 years until last night. I’m very concern about it, my Dr. prescribe it for hair loss. Is Spiro the reason for my period?

    • Lauren says

      I’m surprised it would affect you that quickly, but I’d say with 98% certainty that the Spiro caused your period to return. I have never delved deeply into the medical cause of it, but in reading alot of people’s stories, Spiro can definitely affect your cycle. For me, it caused my period to come about every two weeks. I had to go on birth control to get my cycles to a normal timetable.

  8. lulu says

    thanks for ur sharing
    im21 y old u begin for 2 month androcor for fist 10 of period only and continue to yasmin(contracepticve)then left it and im on aldacton begin for 50 for 20 day and i’ll continue to month in 25mg all this to treat acne that begin suddenly and my hair loss decrease in about 85%-90% in these 4 month
    im thinking to contine to it until i finish my college its give me stress and i have thin hair mostly in the top whats u can called it androgenic alopacia cause i have hair loss for 8 year with low trasferrin treated it with iron its get better but not to much
    now did u know if i continue to use it ?it will be benifit to me?i think to use it with contaceptive to regulate the period and have more antiandeogen
    but fair if i stop the tx i’ll have sever hair loss .,><
    thank u for sharing ,,

    • Lauren says

      I don’t have any experience with taking iron, unfortunately, outside of a multi-vitamin. My levels were always in the normal range. If you have been experiencing a significant decrease in shedding, then I would continue to use your entire regimen. Unfortunately, when we are on so many things to try to help it’s hard to pinpoint what, if anything, might throw it off if we discontinue it.

  9. lulu says

    hmmm if u dont take iron ,try it orally specially ur pregnant always give them folic acid and iron supplementation, despite my normal hemoglobin and vitamins at normal level but i have low level of transferrtin that responsible for iron storge
    first i take fensteride was no befit but when correct my iron level its give better result
    and about my regimen my doctor told me to continue to 6 month and see the result on androcor for first 10 day of period and take with it yassmin contine to it till last week befor the period ,thats was the stopped my hair loss but cant tolerate yasmin make me more nervous so begin to take aldacotn
    try yasmin and androcor for 6 month then switch to aldacton cause its have less antiandrogen and see ur trasnferrin level.
    good luck

  10. A Kaur says

    Hi,

    I recently turned 20 years old, my facial hair is so bad that I have to shave it twice a day. My hair on my head is shedding to such an extent that I can’t control it anymore. Will Spiro help me? My doctor has referred me to a dermatologist I truly hope she prescribes this drug to me so that i can take it with other supplements. Also while taking spire were you taking any other medications as well? (p.s i can grow a beard like a man)

    • Lauren says

      Hi! I was on birth control (since Spiro messed with my cycles) as well as Rogaine to help with the hair on my head. I think it *should* help you. You sound like a textbook case of those who take it. My dermatologist does not prescribe those kinds of meds, though. I have to see an endocrinologist. Good luck!

  11. gelle says

    This is long, but please let me know if you or anyone else has any helpful input.

    I have been dealing with thyroid & low iron, still trying to get them under control. I always had thick, long hair, but noticed the temples seeming barer in pictures & then noticed smaller ponytails, dry, brittle hair and more scalp showing, especially near the front. My family and doctors think it still looks okay, but I’ve noticed a dramatic difference lately. I just turned 38. I have always had a high degree of anxiety, but the hair loss fears (which trigger childhood fears–in junior high I used to pluck my hair out and get bullied) have caused my anxiety to go off the charts. Sometimes the thought of suicide is all that comforts me, or maybe shaving my head and wearing wigs, but it seems like a lot of trouble/fear of people’s opinions and I would still hate myself when I had to look in the mirror.

    I’ve been seeing a naturopath for thyroid for about a year, but still haven’t gotten my levels ideal. I feel very sensitive to the medcine, like it’s causing hair loss, even though it’s a compounded T4/T3 mix. My dermatologist is rather aggressive and wants me to take Spiro. I worked up to 100mg and was on it for 2 months, then he wanted me to take 150mg, but my hair looks worse than ever, so I want to quit before I’m on it too long & it screws up my hormones/hair too much. I thought “dread sheds” were with Rogaine, but is it also with Spiro? Should I keep taking it?

    My natural doctors think it’s kind of a bad drug to be on. Do you have to be on it indefinitely to keep your hair? I recently discovered a lump in my breast and hard tissue I need to get checked out. I hope the Spiro didn’t cause it.

    I’ve never been on birth control. The more natural, less invasive I can be the better, because I seem sensitive to side affects and anxiety. The dermatologist also said he could prescribe Zoloft for anxiety, but I have heard so many anecdotes about Zoloft causing lots of shedding.

    I used Nizoral for a bout a month, but it burned my scalp and my parts seemed wider. Everything I try I don’t know if it’s helping or hurting. If it’s dangerous to stay on it or dangerous to stop.

    I have hair that grows to aroudn my elbow length. Lately when I shower I shed lots of hairs the same length (about 4-5 inches). I also shed long hairs too. The hair near the front of my head is more light weight and fuzzy, little curling tendrils. Am I experiencing miniaturization and losing all the new hairs near the front?

    I wonder if i should get another biopsy nearer the front of my head to confirm if I have AGA and not just thyroid and iron issues. The other biopsy was father back where I don’t have as much loss and it just showed scattered inflammation, not pattern issues.

    Sorry this is so long. I am taking tons of supplements (probiotics, B vitamins, biotin, folic acid, D, Collagen, Algae Oil, Evening Primrose Oil) every day and thinking of starting topical things like topical spiro, tricomin & rogaine. I don’t want to ruin my liver with so much internal medicine.

    I wear a knit hat to work every day (I work with kids and am afraid of them criticizing my hair.) I hope the hat isn’t worsening my dermatitis and inflammation.

    I’m suffering so much, but I have to hide it because my family is tired of me crying, obsessively taking pictures of my scalp and talking about wanting to die. My hair has been a big part of my identity and security blanket. Thanks for listening.

    • Lauren says

      I’m sorry you are feeling this way! It’s hard, especially with family, because no one gets that it’s NOT “just hair.” There isn’t too much I can respond to in terms of thyroid, etc. As for the Spiro, yes, you can experience a “dread shed”, unfortunately. For me, it lasted only a few weeks.

      I know what you mean about not knowing what is actually working and what you can get away with stopping. So, a thought. I know you mentioned that wearing a wig/supplemental hair opens up a whole other can of worms in terms of “do people notice?” and “will I still have my appearance?” BUT…those of us with thinning hair feel those things regardless (at least I do). In the beginning of my wearing a topper, I used to wonder if people knew it was a hairpiece, however, it was better than wondering if people could see my bald spots. I also can’t say that I love my appearance when I take the topper off and look in the mirror, however, I like myself a million times better when I look in the mirror and I have it on. I guess what I’m saying is, maybe give a piece a try? Unlike medicine, if you decide it’s not for you, you can take it right off. And you might have alot of self-confidence to gain because of it.

      Best of luck!

  12. Em says

    I’ve been taking 50mg’s daily for two months now and haven’t noticed a difference. I suffer from excess facial hair. I’m wondering does it still need more time to take effect.

    • Lauren says

      I would think two months would be enough time to start seeing a difference. If you aren’t having any adverse effects, I might see about increasing it to 100mgs. That’s the dose I was on and I saw improvement in that area, but I’ve heard with most PCOS symptoms the ideal dose is 200mg/day.

  13. Carrera 4 says

    I enjoyed reading the comments regarding spironolactone. I just started this med. about 4 days ago. I had seen my dermatologist for acne around my chin area. I was very surprised to have this problem as I had a complete hysterectomy in 1999 and my ovaries were later removed in 2009. I am 65 yrs. old and never thought about having acne. In any event my dermatologist told me that because I no longer had estrogen, my kidneys were secreting male hormones – thus the acne. I also complained about thinning hair. He told me this medication would take care of both problems. I am on 50 mg. and take it daily. He did not mention anything about shedding hair or hair loss. According to him, it would stop the hair loss plus help me with the acne. Is he correct? Any comments would be helpful. I don’t want to be bald with clear skin.

    • Lauren says

      He’s correct. Some (like me) do experience shedding when first starting this medication; it seems to happen to those who are already predisposed to problem hair, however. I would *think* once two to three weeks pass without an increase in shedding, you should probably be safe from it. I’m certainly not a doctor, I’m just thinking about my experience and others’ who have experienced the “dread shed” with Spiro. Good luck! It helped my acne tremendously!

  14. KP says

    I am 65 yrs old. I have been taking Spiro for hair loss for about 2-1/2 years now (50 mg twice a day). I can tell you that my hair loss stopped since I started taking Spiro. My hair dresser who initially noted significant hair loss tells me that my hair is now much thicker and healthier. Now..I was under quite a bit of stress when hair loss occurred—so it could just be that my life is more under control, but I’m not about to quit taking it now.

    • LDO says

      I am 63 years old with MALE pattern hair loss on the crown of my head, which I noticed and isn’t too noticeable to others yet. My Endocrinologist put me on Spirolactone, first 25mg 2x day to gauge my toleration (my blood pressure is a low normal and I sometimes get dizzy in the heat when I stand). I had no changes so just started taking 50mg 2x day last week. My doctor said it needs to be administered twice a day to work. She has had success with another patient with this, but I’m not sure if the balding pattern on the other patient was different, ie., in the front rather than in the back, than mine. I also have hypothyroidism and take meds for that for quite awhile, hence my portal to seeing the endocrinologist and presenting this secondary problem. I’m hoping it works!

  15. cheryl wilson says

    Just started using two days ago for thinning hair. I am 63 years old. I hope it works for me, I will let you all know how I do and how it works for me.

  16. MB says

    I just need to know if there are other people like me. I don’t even know where to start with this because it’s been a hectic few years.
    When I was 15, I started gaining weight, for no reason, and very quickly. I was diagnosed with PCOS, and by the time my 16th birthday came around, I was 80 pounds heavier.
    For PCOS and acne reasons, I was put on birth control. My gyno explained to me that it was a more potent pill. But, even with the PCOS “under control”, the weight kept coming and coming. My skin did benefit from the pill, beautifully. My skin was basically flawless. My hair nice and thick.
    I went to a naturopath and she tested everything that could ever be wrong with a person, and my test came back with a lot to address (lucky me). She explained to me that my testosterone levels were “high enough to be a boy”, my vitamin D levels were non-existent, my adrenals did nothing that they were supposed to do,that I am anemic due to low iron, and that my thyroid levels read fine but they probably weren’t (insert slap to the face). The doctor kept me on the pill and started me on 25mg spironolactone, floradix for the iron, seriphos for the adrenals, and nothing for the thyroid yet.
    About a month after I noticed little change from all points. The spiro helped a little bit with the decrease of unwanted body hair.
    Skip ahead two years. 18 years old. My hair has more than halved. My hair is brittle and wire-like. It’s not even recognizable. My scalp is showing and it’s not stopping. I was now on 50mg spiro, but on a lower dose BC. I feel that when I came off of the stronger BC for libido reasons, that’s when all hell broke loose.
    Now 19, I’m on 100mg of spironolactone, a low dose BC (Natazia), 2 floradix tabs for iron, and half a levothyroxin for hypothyroidism. I still have unwanted hair and acne, more than I had when I was on a lower dose of spiro and a higher dose BC. I’ve read up on these meds and heard that they can either cause or prevent hair loss, so which one is it? I apparently need all of these things, but right now all I can think about is my hair. Am I helping my hair, or digging my hair a grave? It’s thinned more in the past few months than I’ve ever seen it do. I think I jump started the shed when I got depressed and just stopped all of my medication, including the 50mg spironolactone. But now I’m back on it in a higher dosage and it’s not letting up. It’s been a couple months. Did I ruin my chances of ever growing my hair back by stopping all the meds, or will it come around?
    I’m thinking of talking to my current doctor to get on a higher birth control, because I feel like that’s what always did most of the work when it came to the hair.
    Sorry if this is confusing, there’s just so much.

    • Lauren says

      I’m fairly certain that birth control is what caused my hair loss. I feel in my gut that being on it caused something to lay dormant in me until my hormones went haywire during my last pregnancy. I already had thinning hair (hindsight is 20/20; I didn’t realize it at the time) prior to my pregnancy but the hormonal flux during pregnancy really sped things up. About a year into birth control (many years ago) is when I noticed I had to start wearing my hair behind my ear…this is when it started to thin. I know this doesn’t help you, just sharing my story.

      Question for you: you said the naturopath tested your hormones. Did s/he do so while you were on birth control? I ask because I don’t think you can get an accurate read on anything hormonal while your hormones are, in essence, being controlled on the b.c.

      • MB says

        Yes, when I first got tested for testosterone and all the other things I was on a stronger dose bc. I went to a new naturopath recently and she tested me again while I was off any and all medication and the results were still ridiculous, and now that’s why I’m back on everything. I’ve expressed my concern with her and she’s just telling me to be patient and let the meds kick in. She has PCOS as well and has been through it all, but I can’t help but feel that every deficiency/illness I’ve been told I have is contributing as well. I don’t even know what to think now because it could literally be a thousand things. She told me when I got back on 100mg Spiro that it would help with the hair. She is also the one who put me on a lower dose bc and that’s when it started falling more. Don’t know what to say or think. I don’t want to ruin the chances by changing meds, but what if a change of meds is whats needed?

          • MB says

            No, just tested on any day. It’s really all just exhausting. I’m probably going to get another test done soon to see if the meds are doing their thing, and then hopefully an explanation arises. I feel like no one knows anything anymore and I’m just a guinea pig.

          • Lauren says

            I’m surprised they didn’t test on day 3 – that’s the day you are supposed to get tested on, for whatever reason. So that makes me wonder if your results were accurate?? Who knows. I’m sorry you feel like a guinea pig; that’s really frustrating!

  17. natasha says

    Hi just wanting to know if ur hair is stabilized. .im kn rogaine 5% and saw palmetto but its been a month so hoping there will be progression

  18. Marta says

    Wow… I’m so glad to find this information out about spiro. I have low potassium, and very thin hair. My internist and my dematologist prescribed this medication on the same day!! They both said it was the coolest thing that ever happened. The internist said 25 MG, the derm said 100mg. I must preface this by saying that I fell into the corner of a brick building and had 74 stitches in the top of my head. I already had very thin hair genetically.
    I started with the 25.my hair fell out in buckets!! Then they switched me to the 100 mg, and I lost more hair. I have also gained considerable weight. I’m 62, 5,4, and weighed about 122 lbs… I’m now at 129 without changing my diet at ALL. I feel like I just keep getting bigger and bigger. I asked my intnist about it and she looked it up and said, “causes breast enlargement”. Really??? I’m falling over!
    I hate this medicine. I don’t see any hair growth, and my body has totally changed. I know, I’m almost 63, but it’s still very important to maintain a certain weight….especially to fit in my clothes. I can’t find anything positive to say about this medicine. Sorry!
    Congratulations on your baby!!

  19. Sony says

    Hello I am currently using spiro for acne and I do not have a problem with my hair shedding or being thing. I was wondering while im on this medication will it affect my hair I mean will I grow more of it? I also have some hair on my face and on my stomach will that hair go away?

    • Lauren says

      I don’t think it will grow more hair on your head at all, since your hair is already “normal”. It should help to take care of any excess hair, however!

  20. Jenny says

    Hi, I started taking Spiro about 2 months ago. I’m not seeing much of a difference in the thinning of my hair. I currently take 50mg twice daily. Should I ask my Doc to up the dosage to 100mg? Thanks for any advice.

    • Lauren says

      I’d probably ask for an increase if I was in your shoes – I think the “recommended” dose for hair loss is as high as 200 mg/day.

  21. Karre says

    Hi,
    I started metformin 1000mg 2x/day about 10 months ago for PCOS. I never had any problems with hairloss until about 4-5 months ago, so my physician put me on 25mg spirolactone 2x/day with rogaine 2% once a day. I have been doing this for the last 4 weeks without any results. My hair is still shedding like crazy. Is this normal? Do I need to be on more spiro? It will be hard for me to take a highndose because I have really low blood pressure to begin with. The docs are not even sure why I have the hairloss. I tend to wonder if it is a vit B12 deficiency from the metformin but they disagree.

    • Lauren says

      Well, Rogaine is typically taken 2x/day and the “recommended” dose for Spiro it up to 200mg/day so you might need to up one or both of those to see results. It’s definitely worth asking your doc if going higher will affect your blood pressure. Also, it can take awhile for the meds to kick in — not everyone sees results from the Spiro but if you’re going to be one of the lucky ones, then you probably need to give it at least another month or too. I know, it’s frustrating.

    • Monika says

      To KARRE:
      THE SAME HAPPENED to me! get off metformin and spiro! It’s a way to hell! In 2012 I was a healthy, happy woman with FANTASTIC HAIR (despite PCOS). I had ALWAYS had very thick, long, curly hair. No problems with hair loss. The only symptoms of PCOS throughout my life have been occasional breakouts on my chin, few hairs on my chin and 10 kg overweight. That 10 kg more of mine really bothered my stupid gyno, who was always trying to put me on metformin etc. Finally I relented and It was THE WORST DECISION in my life. ok, I quickly lost those 10 kg and MORE, but after approx. 5 months of taking metformin (GLUCOPHAGE 850 mg x 3 daily), I started losing hair. not so much, but enough to notice, because I NEVER LOST ALMOST ANY HAIR. Never had dandruff etc. INSTEAD of expalining that it is GLUCOPHAGE that causes my hair to shed, she gave me SPIRONOL (25 mg x 2 daily). Within 2 months I have SUDDELNY experienced horrible sebborhea and after short time – sebborheic dermatitis and horrible hair loss. since then I have lost 2/3 of my hair, my skin is oily, I used to have 5 hairs on my chin, now I have 55. I AM SO ANGRY AT THIS STUPID DOCTOR! Conlucion is obvious – I didn’t take any meds, I had great hair, great skin, very slight hisuitism. now I am depressed… I stopped taking SPIRO (that my derm told me to continue) after 8 months. I discontinued Glucophage after 1 year (before I went off SPIRO). now i am not taking anything, derm confirmed AGA. And to think that 1 year ago I had amazing hair, that everybody always complimented. and now I am not recognizing myself. GET OFF METFORMIN!!! AND SPIRO IS NOT GOOD FOR HAIR LOSS! read blog of a great naturopath : larabriden.com adn you will know why! it perpetuates problem of PCOS and hair loss!

  22. Nicole K says

    Help!
    I have been on 100 mg Spironolactone 2x/day for about 6 months now.
    The only improvement I see is there is less dark hair on my forearms and stomach. I still seem to be shedding hair right at my hairline @ the forehead more then ever!
    Any advice/suggestions?

    Should I not have seen an improvement by now?

    • Lauren says

      I would guess that the hair loss should’ve slowed by now, although some women report shedding for a long period of time. Have you tried pairing the Spiro with Rogaine, yet?

  23. Frustrated Florida Gal says

    Hi I am HIV posiitve and I just turned 50 last Dec. However, I have been on my meds for more than 18 yrs and bcuz Im on these meds.it has thinned by face and body dramatically and havng hair loss is distroying my looks…. I recently went thru a horrible facial rash reaction that I ended up in the ER – Needliess to say I had to be on steroids for about 2wks. It was real hard to clear so I had to go to a Dermo to get a higher dose of Steroids.for 4 mths.. I am highly sensitve to alot of stuff. I found out that my vitamin D levels caused the steriod problem.. So I had to be on a vitamin d liquid..Anyways, I been taking BIOTIN for about 2 wks. I been getting hair on my face yet losing it on my head.. R U kidding me.. . and just today I had a horrible cold sore.. I also had been taking WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR cause I had done research and found out its cleannesses the body and was using it on my hair. Im still shedding a bit less yet still shedding.. its frustating cus Ive been the one in my family with the thickest hair and Now am noticing due to menopause kicking in its not helping. Now Ive read your testimonials as well as your comments from others going thru similar problems. . Is Biotin the way to go or would it be best to stop and try this SPIRO ? please help me out.. I could use some good advice ..

    • Lauren says

      When did your shedding start? Have you gotten your hormone levels tested? I wonder how much is due to menopause versus anything else?

  24. Me in AZ says

    Hi guys-
    I’m in the same boat as many of you. I’m 48 and experienced significant hair loss. One thing that worked for me is cold laser therapy. I’ve experienced a ton of regrowth since I’ve started. You can buy the icomb from Amazon, but I think it’s much better to go to a business (IHS or National Hair center) that specializes in this. They have more powerful lasers with a supporting program (special shampoo, etc). It’s not cheap and not quick (it takes about 3 months before you’ll see a bunch of regrowth), but it made a huge difference for me.
    http://www.baumanmedical.com/Default.aspx?tabid=52

    While I’ve got alot of regrowth, I’m still loosing some, so I’ve got to figure that out. I think I might try the spironolactone. Thanks for posting your experience. It’s helpful to know I’m not the only one!

  25. mony says

    hi,im 29 yrs i just got back from my doctor .and told me to start on spironolact 100 mg for hair loss, after reading ur comments im very confused, will it shed my hair than start re growth or will the shedding start after I stop it. and will it make my hair hair dry and ugly or nicer, I have very dry and damaged hair and cant affored to make it any worse, should I be worried please let me know what u think I should do. thanks
    ps: will it cause breast enlargement and is that something to worry about

    • Lauren says

      It affects everyone differently, unfortunately. For me, I shed for a bit and then it stopped, and then it started to regrow. I wasn’t on it long enough to see if any ADDITIONAL hair started growing, however. Seems the results have been very, very mixed.

      I have never heard anything about it enlarging breasts.

  26. mony says

    thanx for answering back ,im just worried that its not safe,do u know anything about if it can make the new hair that should come out healthier or a nicer texture maybe cause my hair has gotten so damaged in the past year so that would actually be great
    thanks a lot

    • Lauren says

      If your hair has gotten frizzy/cotton candy-like due to the thinning, then I’d imagine the texture isn’t going to be *much* better on the Spiro. However, if your hair is truly damaged from heat-styling, etc., then the texture is independent of that. I hope that makes sense. From what I understand, Spiro is fairly safe – they all have risks, though, so definitely ask your physician about side effects.

  27. ny mom says

    I am 43 and have experienced thinning hair since high school….i have tried Rogaine, biotin, special shampoos…..pretty much every product that claims to regrow hair….nothing has helped and i cry almost everyday….for the past few months i have used Caboki hair concealer, and that has been helpful. I was at my dermatologist today and told i have skin cancer on my scalp due to the years of exposure to Sun, due to lack of hair coverage. The thought of now having Mohs surgery on my head, is just so upsetting. My dermatologist did recommend spiro and i went for blood work today. Looking up Spiro i stumbled ac ross your blog. So glad i did!! I got scared when i read about the Shed….the thought of my loss getting worse is scary, especially since i cannot use my hair concealer for a while after the removal of the basal cell on my scalp.

    Anyway, i am rambling with really not having a point lol. I am just sad, scared, and tired of the stress of my hair..questioning if Spiro is the right way to go. Sorry for the ramble

    • Lauren says

      I’m sorry for your diagnosis! If you tried parting your hair a slightly different way, might it help to disguise your surgical site? Or…maybe a topper that is placed strategically?

      • Ny Mom says

        I have been moving my hair around a bit, in hopes of not looking like a Donald Trump comb over, to cover the biopsy site. There is just not much “hair to spare” I have yet to schedule the procedure for the removal of the BCC since we have a wedding to go to in September, and the fear of what I may look like is overwhelming…..so I will put it off until after that. The spot is smack dab on the top of my head….perhaps I will wear a pretty headband ;)

        I must admit, I have a bit of a fear of toppers, due to fact that I have no idea how to use them or how they will look. How to I know how to buy one that is right for me? I have short blonde hair, with bangs so I have no idea how to integrate it in…even after watching your video. My hair is just different and I am afraid a topper would just be such a dramatic change.

        thank you for taking the time to read my post….I have felt so alone for so long with this. My husband always just says I “look fine” and just does not understand how upsetting it is….I hate water parks and the beach because of my hair….how I would LOVE to go in the water without a hat on or on water rides without a hat on and just enjoy myself, but my glaring scalp holds me back. It looks bad dry, but get it wet? fugettaboutit!

        • Lauren says

          It’s always scary at first with toppers, I think. What is your hair like? Is it styled like a celebrity or anyone that I could imagine to help offer a solution? Just remember – anything can be cut in!

          And yes, husbands NEVER get it. I also couldn’t tell you the last time I went swimming and went underwater. First it was acne in my teens/early 20s that I couldn’t risk being shown and now it’s the hair. Sheesh. Can’t win.

          • Ny Mom says

            Oh how I wish I COULD compare it to a celebrity….I have such celebrity “hair envy” it’s ridiculous. I refer to my cut as an “Old Lady cut”…..just short, a bit stacked in the back, with the bangs (I laughed at your recent post with your 80’s bangs, since I had bangs then, and bangs now) When I part my hair to the side without the bangs, I feel the “shine” it just blinding. I am sure I am fooling myself into thinking the bangs cover up more. Anyway, the texture is on the frizzy side..the front is kind of styled like Betty White lol, but the back is shorter. I try to push my bangs to the side, but they frizz and then if the wind blows and they fall in the wrong direction, I just want to curl in a ball and hide. I feel like the topper would be so noticeable

            the swimming things gets to me…even amusement parks, going on rides with my kids…I avoid it since if my hair blows in the wrong direction, I am afraid I will embarrass my children.

          • Lauren says

            I don’t brave a roller coaster either without a headband, but I’m convinced my kids won’t notice. Granted, they are young! I know what you mean about your bio hair potentially being hard to match, BUT, it can be done, particularly with human hair. Have you ever heard of Hair Direct? Check them out, maybe. They specialize in customized human hair. I know a few people who have some awesome pieces from there – one is a redhead (which is hard to find) and the other has curly hair.

    • Jen says

      NY Mom: I’m so sorry about what you’re going through. I have found that Spiro has helped with my thinning hair. I’m so glad I found this site too!

      • Ny Mom says

        Jen, I am glad to hear Spiro helped your thinning hair…I am so afraid of the “dread Shed” though…did you experience that? I have been on Rogaine in the past, which they also said could cause dread shed, but it never did for me….nor did it prove to grow any hair either, so I stopped it. I am hoping to keep what I have, not to shed more. As thin as it is, it has been stable and does not fall out much.

        I am hoping for the same success as you :)

        • Jen says

          I didn’t seem to have much of an issue with the dread shed (luckily). The Spiro does affect my menstrual cycle, but other than that I’m happy with it.

          • ny mom says

            Jen, it does make me feel a little better you did not get the dread shed….i guess its a crap shoot….i have such anxiety about this drug…my dr mentioned nothing of the Shed and made Spiro seem great and said women are so happy with it….i am waiting on blood work too see if the hormones are even the reason for my loss.

            Did you get any MORE growth, or thicker growth?

          • Jen says

            It seems as if my hair is in better condition and a little thicker. I also take Biotin, I think that’s helping too.

          • Jen says

            Hi NY Mom, I got a little thicker growth. It’s still much thinner than I’d like, but better than before

  28. Arizona Sue says

    I’ve been taking spironolactone for over 3 years. I am nearly 70 years old and have had cystic acne since age 30. This drug has worked wonders for my skin and it has never looked better. Wish I’d discovered this drug years ago! However, it seems that once a year I have “dread shed” of hair and it’s disconcerting. Also, the spiro seems to have altered growth of my underarm hair but does nothing for my chin hairs! I am now silver/blonde and haven’t dyed my hair in over 4 years. My hair is shiny and healthy looking and no split ends. But the “dread shed” is something I don’t like. Also, leg hair growth seems to be less and I don’t mind that at all.

  29. says

    Finding your blog has been both a blessing and heartbreaking. I just started taking spiro last weekend – no one warned me that there would be a big shed while using it. I’m on 100mg daily. I am petrified I am going to lose what’s left of my hair. Over the past 6 weeks I’ve lost a 1/3 of my current hair. I’ve had a couple episodes of TE over the past 15 years (again for reasons known only to itself) but this time my hair is really thinning out right across the scalp, particularly at the front. I am literally sitting here crying (again) because I’m frightened of going bald. I don’t have PCOS or funky hormones or anything, my hair is just thinning. Trying very, very hard to look on the positive side of things. I still have my health – I could be like a friend’s daughter who’s life goal is to get to her 30th birthday (not likely for her, sadly). Things could be worse but it’s hard. And now that I’ve rambled… is the “dread shed” a definite while on this medication?

    • Lauren says

      No, I don’t think it’s a definite, but it seems to affect those that are already predisposed to hormonal hair loss. I, too, have nothing flagged as abnormal when it comes to hormones, but I’ve learned that even though my levels are within a normal range, obviously something isn’t normal for ME. I hope you don’t get the dread shed! If you do, it shouldn’t last too long.

    • ny mom says

      Ren, I just started spiro a few weeks ago….but only on 25 mg….i am starting on 50 tomorrow…then more blood work, then to 100. I asked my dr about the dread shed and none of the ppl she has put on spiro has experienced it, which made me feel better. So far on the 25 i have not and i am hoping as the dosage increases and my body adjusts, i will not. I hope you have luck with it and it helps you.

  30. Kadee says

    I watch this blog with much interest and much admiration. Lauren, you are beautiful in your toppers and out living your life and such an inspiration. I cannot begin to tell you!

    For the past year I have been addressing low ferritin and RT3 issues just sure it would “fix” my hair but it hasn’t. I’ve tried and am still trying the natural remedies, saw palmetto, biotin, cysteine, collagen and on and on and on but I am coming to the realization that at some point it’s going to take trying spiro, fin or using minoxidil for the full course and not stopping. This summer I tried minoxidil on only my front hair line and within 3 weeks started shedding more than usual and I had already been shedding a lot so I got scared and stopped. Not the thing to do I know. So, my Dr. gave me spiro, 50 mgs to start but I have also been so afraid of a shed from that that it sat on my shelf for well over a month. I have just started to use it, but only at 25 mgs. every other day to try to let my body adapt slowly and avoid a shed. I don’t know if that will help or not. I am curious to see how NY Mom, Wren and the others who are starting or those who are on it are doing. It helps to feel not so alone and afraid. Jen, you said it helped your hair thicken some. What dose are you on? And, Lauren, thank you so much for sharing your journey and this blog with all of us.

  31. Fara says

    I’m starting spiroton today for female hair loss. I’ve been shedding hair for so many years, and the doctor has found no medical reason for the hairloss. They say it’s probably just genetics,however, they were able to find high DHT levels through a blood test. This stuff is supposed to regulate the horomones in my body by reducing the male horomones that could potentially be the cause for this hair loss. I’ve read a few of the comments on this blog, and it scares me that i may lose even more hair before the hair (eventually) stops shedding. scary! can’t afford to be more bald than i am already. The doctor has me starting on 100 mg once a day, I’m terrified of having irregular periods…any comments?

    • NY Mom says

      This is about my 3rd month on spiro….not much of a difference, but I am still on a low dose….I had a month of 25 mg and this is now my 2nd month of 50mg. I just had more blood work to monitor my DHT and potassium levels….my DHT came down a great deal and is now in normal range. I will see the dr again October 7th and will most likely go to 100. As far as shedding, I have definitely noticed more in my brush, but I don’t FEEL like I lost more on my head. I am not sure if that is because the hair growing in is now thicker? Not sure. I recently saw an old family friend, who knows of my struggles with hair loss and complimented me on how much thinker my hair looks….maybe she was just being nice? not sure. I don’t think it looks thicker, but it does not look worse….which is good. I hope the 100 does not cause too much more shedding, but I think it helps to gradually increase levels. I was also getting bad headaches when first starting on 50, but those are gone now. AS far as periods, I had an abdominal ablation done last year and have not had my period since, so I have had no issues with that.

  32. Maria says

    I am 23 years old female experiencing hair loss. I was on the Mirena IUD for 7 years without a menstrual cycle. First for a period of 5 years where I saw no hair loss then when I put in the second one 2 years ago I noticed my hair was thinning only on the left side of my scalp(where I part my hair). I have read that one of Mirena’s side effects is hair loss. Over the last year I have been experiencing more and more hair loss. Losing hand fulls of hair in the shower to the point that the drag got clogged. During the day I also lose a lot of hair and this is definitely over 200 hairs per day. I noticed I can only see my left scalp so there is a lot more shedding happening on one side in comparison to the other also my hair is much more brittle and snaps off easily. I got my IUD removed last week and hope that this will do something to stop the shedding. I am taking biotin bills, Nutricap and Fish Oils. My blood work came out normal(Iron as well) and my hormone levels are normal as well.

    I know I have to be patient and see if the cause to my hair loss is the IUD but I have also experienced a lot of stress within the last 3 years including death of a parent and living alone at a young age. Many factors that could be contributing to my hair loss but it definitely isn’t easy to deal with. I had thick beautiful hair and now I have to find a way to cover the scalp. I ALSO experience itching or burning at times. The hairs that do fall out have white tips the size of the actual hair not larger though. What does that mean?

    Sorry to be rambling on. I’m just very thankful that there is a forum here where we could talk about our struggle and try to find answers.

    My first visit with the dermatologist is in November.

    • Lauren says

      When did you have your blood work done? If you just got off birth control, your body could definitely still be feeling some residual affects from being on it. I would definitely see about getting you levels retested in a month or two, ideally on day 3 of your cycle. If you got blood work done while on birth control, then I would demand a retest, as levels are automatically controlled while on b.c.

  33. GF says

    My doctor prescribed 100mg a day of spiro. I am terrified to take due to the shedding and swelling of hands and ankles. I can not afford anymore shedding :( I am scared. I do have that course hair growing on my face you spoke of. I don’t have ance so I am asking did this cause temporary acne or continuesb ance

  34. Kadee says

    Hi NY Mom, Thank you for coming back and posting your experience with spironolactone so far. I hope others will come back too and let us know how they’re doing with it. I have been on 25 mgs, every other day for about 6 weeks now. I was getting ready to go to every day 25 mgs when I had the opposite of what I think most experience, my face and neck starting breaking out. I haven’t had any skin issues in quite some time so I was surprised and I have to say also a little nervous at the hormonal shift it’s causing. I mean you know it’s shifting hormones, that’s it’s purpose but I guess to see it so to speak really made me nervous if that makes sense. I am always so afraid of doing something to set off a big shed 2 – 3 months down the line, but I know everyone here knows that feeling unfortunately. I am also on it with no birth control and haven’t had an endometrial ablation yet so also a little worried what it might do there too. I’m a worrier! For some reason this drug has me very unsettled. I think partly because there seems to be a lot of negative stories out there but I think in general that’s true for most things. Most people tend to report the negative and not the good. I keep reminding myself of that. Please keep updating how you’re doing as you bump up your doses and anyone else on it, please let us know too! Thank you so much for this blog Lauren where we can all share our experiences.

  35. Smithers says

    Hi there. I have been on Spirolactone for over a year now, 2 tablets a day, plus an oral dose of minoxidil twice a week. I honestly cant see any difference to my androgenetic alopecia (thinning on top and crown) . Am worried about side effects of these meds, but equally afraid to quit taking them. I’m 43 haven’t been on the pill for over 10 years. Has anyone else had this experience, and what did you end up doing ?

    • Jenny says

      Hi there. I agree about it not working for thinning hair/hair loss. I was on it for 5-6 months and I saw no difference. I have the male pattern balding issue too

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