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?

Beauty has a lot to do with character.”
–Kevyn Aucoin

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. 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.

    • 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. 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. 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.

    • 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,

    • 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. 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

    • 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. 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?

    • 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. 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 ,,

    • 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. 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. 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)

    • 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. 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.

    • 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. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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. 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.

  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. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • It’s all such a crapshoot! Did the naturopath test you on day 3 of your cycle?

          • 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.

          • 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. 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. 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!!

Speak Your Mind

*

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: