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hair loss in women

  • Women account for approximately 40 percent of all hair loss sufferers in the United States. There is an important link between a woman's hair and her identity. For many women, hair loss changes their self-image and is a difficult adjustment both mentally and emotionally.

    When I originally wrote The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook (Lexi-Comp, 1999) I was astounded to learn that oral contraceptives deplete more nutrients than any other commonly prescribed class of drugs. This prompted me to write The Pill Problem (2013) which instructs women on how to prevent the side effects from oral contraceptives.

    According to the American Hair Loss Association (yes, there really is such an organization), women who have a family history of hair loss are at a much greater risk of experiencing hair loss from taking oral contraceptives. In this article, I am going to address the nutrient depletions caused by oral contraceptive that could cause or contribute to women's hair loss.

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology, both oral contraceptives and low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) are common causes of hair loss in women.1 Many health professionals do not realize that there is a connection between these two causes.

    The amino acid tyrosine is one of the nutrient depletions caused by oral contraceptives.2 Tyrosine is an amino acid that is required for production of the thyroid hormones. Hence oral contraceptive induced tyrosine depletion can lead to under production of thyroid hormones. This can lead to hypothyroidism, which has hair loss as one of its symptoms.

    Selenium is also depleted by oral contraceptives.3 Selenium is a trace mineral that is required for enzymes that convert thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3).4 This means that selenium plays an important role in controlling thyroid metabolism. Thus, selenium deficiency can result in hypothyroidism, which has hair loss as one of its many symptoms.

    Zinc is another nutrient that is depleted by oral contraceptives. Zinc deficiency can contribute to female hair loss in two ways. First, zinc is required for the production of collagen and keratin which are proteins that play critical roles in the structure of hair follicles and in hair growth. Zinc is also involved in the synthesis and mode of action of thyroid hormones.5

    Every day hair is exposed to a wide variety of harmful agents that are damaging to human hair. Things like ultraviolet radiation from the sun and environmental toxins and pollutants can all generate free radicals that damage hair and can cause or contribute to hair loss. On the other hand, the role of antioxidant nutrients is to neutralize free radicals, thereby preventing or reducing damage to all parts of the body, including hair.6

    Oral contraceptives have been documented to deplete the following antioxidant nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc and coenzyme Q10. A deficiency of any one of these antioxidant nutrients will result in an increased production of free radicals, which can damage DNA and destroy cells, including hair follicles.

    Beyond hair loss, nutrient depletions caused by oral contraceptives can cause many additional health problems such as blood clots, birth defects, weakened immune system, heart attacks, depression, sleep problems, and various sexual side effects, to name a few. My book The Pill Problem discusses all of the side effects from oral contraceptives and offers women information on how to prevent and/or correct these problems. The Pill Problem is available in paperback or as an e-book at or on

    A Safe Alternative to Hormone-Based Birth Control

    Smart Women's Choice Birth Control

    In closing, I want to announce a relatively new form of contraception for women that is a vaginal cream which is all natural, safe and 100 percent effective. The product, which is named Smart Women's Choice (SWC), was developed by Francoise Farron, PhD. Dr. Farron, a Harvard biochemist (now retired), originally presented SWC to me in 2015. After examining the evidence at that time, I realized that Smart Women's Choice was a good contraception option for women and I wrote an article about it which I posted on my blog in October, 2015. At that time, the product did not gain much acceptance with health professionals due to a lack of scientific studies to document its safety and effectiveness.

    In July 2017, Dr. Farron contacted me with exciting new information regarding Smart Women's Choice. An independent lab has conducted a test and verified that Smart Women's Choice is indeed 100 percent effective at immobilizing sperm. SWC works by causing sperm to agglutinate, which means to clump or stick together.

    Also, Dr. Farron reported that to date, over 1,300 women have been using Smart Women's Choice without a single incidence of failure. This is impressive since all forms of contraception ranging from condoms to oral contraceptives and everything in between have a failure rate. Smart Women's Choice is a natural, hormone-free form of contraception for women that is safe and 100 percent effective. You can view the video of an independent lab test which demonstrates the efficacy of SWC as it immobilizes sperm on


    1. American Academy of Dermatology WEB site:
    2. Effect of oral contraceptives on tryptophan and tyrosine availability: evidence for a possible contribution to mental depression.
    3. Fallah S. et al. Effect of contraceptive pill on the selenium and zinc status of healthy subjects. Contraception 2009 July;80(1):40–3.
    4. Negro R. Selenium and thyroid autoimmunity. Biologics. 2008 june;2(2):265–73.
    5. Arthur JR., Beckett GJ. Thyroid function. British Medical Bulletin 1999; 55 (No. 3): 658– 68.
    6. Trueb RM. Oxidative Stress in Aging of Hair. Int J Trichology. 2009 Jan-Jun;1(1):6 –14.
  • Although it may seem like a small point when the illnesses that cause it can be so severe, the hair loss and thinning commonly seen from the physical and emotional stresses of modern life, or even severe illness, routinely add even more insult to the injury.

    Until now, all we could do was optimize nutritional support with the Energy Revitalization System Vitamin Powder, optimize thyroid function, and make sure that the ferritin blood test for iron was at least 100. Although these frequently help considerably, all too often it is not enough.

    Most often, hair loss is caused by a condition called Telogen Effluvium. This is where a severe stress or infection (such as fibromyalgia, any of a number of infections, or adverse changes in thyroid hormone levels) cause many of your hair follicles to all go into the resting (telogen) phase. Then two to three months into this resting phase, the hair falls out, making you want to cry when you look at your hairbrush!

    Most often, if one is healthy, the hair can then grow back. But all too often, the hair stays thin. The good news? Now there is something you can take to help, and people are loving it! It is called "Hair Renew," (by Terry Naturally) and contains a number of unique and key nutrients. But what makes it especially powerful is Millet Seed oil and the herb horsetail, combined with 5000 µg biotin and key amino acids.

    Horsetail Is a unique plant which has Immune supporting, remineralizing and regenerating effects. It is a rich source of flavonoids, potassium, and silicon. Put simply, large amounts of these three are needed for rapidly growing tissue such as healthy hair and skin.1 The level of silicon in the body decreases with age, which also results in nail and hair brittleness, along with decreased resistance to fungal and bacterial infections.

    But especially powerful for hair growth are the components found in Millet Seed Oil. In two studies, this was found to be very effective after three months of use. Not just in getting hair out of the telogen phase, but even in people with the most severe health problems!2,3

    People have also clinically found Biotin to be very helpful. All of these together not only seem to markedly decrease hair loss over three months, but improves hair thickness and shine. These, and more, are all combined in the Hair Renew.

    Iron also has presumed to be critical for hair growth, and dermatologists at the Cleveland Clinic will keep ferritin (the key test for iron levels) over 100, even though normal is anything over 12. But I generally will not give iron supplementation unless the person has had a blood test to make sure that iron levels are not too high.

    Got hair thinning? Combine the Energy Revitalization System and Hair Renew for three months. And watch your hair start coming back!


    1. Horsetail- Szponar L, Sto? K, O?tarzewski M. Suplementy diety - mo?liwo?ci ich wykorzystania w prewencji wybranych niedoborów ?ywieniowych [Polish] ?yw Cz?ow Metab. 2004;31(Suppl. I):441-6.
    2. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 May 28. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12998. [Epub ahead of print]
    3. "Miliacin encapsulated by polar lipids stimulates cell proliferation in hair bulb
    4. and improves telogen effluvium in women".Keophiphath M(1), Courbière C(2), Manzato L(1), Lamour I(3), Gaillard E(3).
    5. Gardani G, et al. A case-control study of Panicum Miliaceum in the treatment of cancer chemotherapy-induced alopecia. Minerva Medi. 2007 Dec;98(6):661-664.