Can progesterone cream cause hair loss?

hairHair loss is a common symptom associated with the post-menopausal years. It comes in various forms:

  1. hair becomes thinner and lighter coupled with difficulty in styling,
  2. alopecia where the hair actually comes out from the roots leaving bald patches and
  3. male pattern baldness where hair is lost at the temples and the crown of the head.

The low estrogen levels associated with menopause cause weakening of the connective tissues from breakdown of the collagen, protein and elastic fibers in it. These are what gives your skin, hair and nails their strength and suppleness.

Can progesterone cause hair loss if used to treat menopause symptoms? On the contrary, progesterone helps to your body’s normal hair pattern. It helps to normalize zinc and copper levels which are essential for healthy hair.

hair loss in womenThe average woman loses 50 to 100 strands of hair per day naturally. On days that you wash your hair, you lose on average 250 hairs per day. These hairs are replaced and you never notice a change in your hair. However, if you have abnormal hair loss, you are losing way more strands of hair per day and this is evident by the stray hairs you find on your pillow when you wake up, hair left in your comb, and what you see going down the drain in your bathtub. Not only that, but you can see the hair loss on your scalp when you look in the mirror. There is a variety of reasons for hair loss in women. These reasons vary from hereditary causes, medical and emotional problems, and self-inflicted damage to your hair.

Female Pattern Baldness

One of the main causes for hair loss is female pattern baldness. This hereditary condition affects nearly 20 million women in the US alone. Typically, hair loss caused by this does not start until you are in your fifties or sixties; however, it can occur at anytime. Hair loss in women is often different from hair loss in men. Generally, men notice receding hair lines, whereas women often notice the top third or half of their scalp is thinning or completely balding.

When hair is shed naturally, a hair of the equal size replaces it. In female patter hair loss, if the hair is replaced, it will be with a thinner and finer strand of hair. Your doctor can diagnose this type of hair loss by examining the scalp with a magnifier. If you have female pattern baldness, the doctor will see that your hair follicles vary in size from small to large. If you have a family history of this and are starting to notice thinning spots on your scalp and an excess of stray hairs, talk to your doctor. Early detection of this can help you slow down or stop continued loss of hair.

Medical Conditions that Cause Hair Loss in Women

The top three health conditions that could be causing your hair loss include pregnancy, thyroid disorder, and anemia. Autoimmune diseases, PCOS, and psoriasis could also be the cause of your thinning hair. If you are under a great deal of stress, you may notice you are losing more hair than you should as well. People who have drastically lost weight over a short period may also notice hair loss.

It has also been reported that if you take too much Vitamin A you are also susceptible to abnormal hair loss. In some situations, treating these problems can help to stop the loss of hair and potentially allow hair to grow back in the thinning or bald areas. However, this is not always the case. In some instances, treatment of the medical conditions may only slow down or stop the loss of hair.

Things you are Doing May Cause Hair Loss

As a woman, you are probably doing one or several things to your hair that could be causing damage and breakage of the hair. Having a hairstyle that pulls on your hair, such as cornrows or tight braids, could lead to breakage and thinning hair. Aggressively towel drying your hair can also cause your hair to break, as can blow drying it. The types of chemicals you put on your hair can also lead to hair loss. By reducing these bad habits, you may quickly see a regrowth of the lost hair over a short period.

Hair loss in women can be very embarrassing. In many cases there are interventions you can put into place to stop the loss of hair completely and your hair will grow back. In other cases there is nothing you can do, short of hair transplants, to have a full head of natural hair. One of the best ways to reduce the severity of hair loss and possibly regrow hair that has already been lost is to speak with your doctor if you feel you are losing an abnormal amount of hair. Simple blood tests and health screenings are generally all that your doctor needs in order to diagnose the reasons for your hair loss. Early detection is vital.

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  1. ,Hi everyone
    My hair started thinning some 3yrs ago,and continues to thin even now.It comes out from root .the areas effected are sides above the ears and top,also some thinning from the nape of the neck up,where I too have a red patch,would love to know what it is.
    My periods stopped about 5yrs ago,to help my hair situation I went on HRT,patches and progesterone per day,it has helped to strengthen my hair but thats all,I’m still loosing it.Now I have to hide certain areas of scalp when doing my hair,I have always been known for my hair so it’s very worrying and upsetting.
    I started to apply Minoxodil a year ago,this helped with the shedding to a degree but,it seems as bad as ever again.
    I then was told by the chemist I should take Finestride(DHT blocker)which I started a month ago but have stopped mainly because I have a blood test looming.
    I have a high white blood cell count and am wondering if this is doing the damage but the hemotologist says no, yet,no one seems to know or understand why my count is high as I seem to be in good health,this has been ongoing for a year now but,I was loosing my hair 3yrs ago so have accepted that it probably isn’t that.
    I am now left wondering if I am testosterone sensitve,even though my blood test for this was normal,the Endocrinologist said my hair loss is normal and gave no advice,basically said go live your life.
    On the 5th Oct.I am having lots more blood tests and I mean lots,so hoping to find some answers.
    One clinic for hairloss said I should take Medroxprogesterone but,I am already on a progesterone I feel so confused as to what to do.They said I have female pattern baldness and diffusion,just my luck I am suffering from 2 things.I hate the ageing process.
    Can anyone shine a light on this by sharing any info or personal experiences?

    • Hello thin hair please look into bioidentical cream hormones and goggle Dr Jonathan Wright who has been a specialist in bios for 30 years. good luck.

  2. Hi!
    I am taking the hormone replacement therapy too. My doctor gave me Femanest – it is a special Swedish HRT, and only has estrogen (estradiol 2mg), and no progesterone. My doctor said that progesterone causes more troubles than benefits. I was taking Yasmin before (until I got a lump in my breast, which was probably also caused by progesterone as my doc suggests). I am now taking Femanest and Perfectil for hair, nails, and skin (just a vitaming complex).
    Femanest also keeps you from sweating or feeling hot sudden flushes.
    Pardon my English – i am not a native speaker.
    Hope this helps 🙂

    • Hi olga just read your comment. you should never take any estrogens without progesterone as it causes cancers and lumps in your breasts. progesterone helps to keep the estrogens in check as it is non carcinogenic. Please goggle Dr John Lee called the father of progesterone and also Dr jonathan Wright who has been a specialist in biodentical hormone replacement for 30 years. Hope this helps

  3. Hi Joann,
    I also experienced hair loss shortly after starting a progesterone cream. Although it helped my other symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats, my hair was coming out at an alarming rate. My doctor then put me on an oral progesterone which left me with bloating and headache every day. I again began the cream, but soon found my hair coming out again. Have you found any answers to your problem? Can you offer any insight to our problem? Help!!!

    • Hi Joanne,
      So sorry about your hair–I know it’s horrible. You say your hair fell out with the cream but not the progesterone pill? My doc said our skin isn’t supposed to absorb stuff –it’s supposed to keep things out, so maybe this unnatural delivery is causing our hair loss?

  4. I am here to tell you that progesterone does definitely cause hair loss. I am on bio identical hrt and I thought this was going to be the answer to all my problems. Boy, was I wrong. I was losing my hair at an alarming rate once I reached menopause. So I was given estrogen and progeterone separtely to make yme have a period It is suppose to be safer than regular hrt. I take the progesterone for 11 days and at the end of that I get a period. While I am taking the progesterone my hair falls out even worse that before. My doctor has tried many things but so far nothing has worked. I’m at the end of my rope. I don’t know what to do.

  5. I have been going through menopause now for the last three years,Before starting a course of hrt I had not had a period in a year, my hot flushes were becoming worse and so were my mood swings and memory.I also found that as my hot flushes became worse i started to experience hair loss.I was told that hrt might help with these problems.I had blood tests taken and was given oestrogen and progesterone troches to take,they started me on a higher dose of oestrogen because my levels were really low.After about 6 weeks I started to bleed, and then every 10 to 13 days later I would get another period, this continued for the next 2 months. In this period of time my hair stopped falling out and had started to regrow, and my hot flushes had stopped. The only problem was my constant period’s.I was then told to double the amount of progesterone in order to stop my periods.Thats when my problem’s started, after just 2 weeks of taking the double dose of progesterone i started to experience severe hair shedding, and i developed a red rash that almost resembled sun burn on my neck,I was then advised to only take 3/4 strength progesterone,i continued with this for another 6 weeks , and in this time my hair loss continued and so did the rash on my neck.I finally decided to seek the help of a specialist who is also a firm believer in hrt.He put me on biest 0.2% pcca cream and told me to apply one mini spoon full a day,and also prescribed 120mg progesterone 1 tablet each night.My hot flushes continued , so he increased the oestrogen to 2 mini scoops , within a week my periods started again, after they had been absent for 68 days,they were back again.Now i was told to stop the periods I would need to increase the progesterone to double, I explained to the doctor what had occured when i took that amount before , but i was assured that if i took these amounts then my hair shedding would settle down and that within 6 months my hair would look great.So i did as he suggested and within the week the rash on my neck returned and my hair loss has now become so bad i am seriously considering buying a wig,I wish now that i had never tried hrt, I have experienced nothing but periods all over the place , severe hair loss and rashes. Maybe for a large number of women hrt is perfect , but i can assure you that for some like me it is nothing but a nightmare.

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