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How Medications Affect Your Hair

June 11, 2019

 

Studies have shown that certain drug treatments and medications can alter the color, appearance, texture, and thickness of your hair.  Some of the side effects of these drugs include making your hair curlier, induce hair loss, or change your brown to red. Furthermore, these medicines may interfere with your hair's ability to accept color applied by your stylist. The drug interaction list includes both over-the-counter and prescribed. So, you may be wondering if you have any of these drugs in your medicine cabinet. Read on for more information about what medications affect your hair, plus, how and why and what you can do about it.  

 

Common Medications That Alter Your Hair
Medications ranging from skin care treatments to antidepressants or oral contraceptives and ibuprofen can influence the health of your hair. What are the most common drugs that elicit these side effects? 

  • Acne medications including those containing retinoids or vitamin A

  • Statins 

  • Blood Thinners/ Anti-Clotting medicines

  • Antibiotics 

  • Oral Anti-Fungal medication

  • Progesterone-Based  Contraceptives 

  • Immune System Drugs

  • Breast Cancer Treatments

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy

  • Mood Stabilizers/Antidepressants

  • Steroids

  • Thyroid Medication

  • Diuretics

  • ACE Inhibitors

  • Beta Blockers

  • Psoriasis Treatments

  • Epilepsy Medication

  • Parkinson's Medicine

This list is by no means comprehensive. However, they are some of the most widely used. 
 

The Cause of the Side Effects
We won't go into all of the biological science behind the effects of the medicine. But, we can break it down. So, your hair grows through many stages of growth lasting many years. The anagen, or growth, phase occurs over three to four years. Then there is the telogen phase or the resting period; during this time, hair stops growing. All of the hairs on your head are not in the same stages at the same times. Generally, the drugs that cause hair loss or color darkening or texture changes interfere with the growth cycles. Regarding hair loss, within a couple of months of taking some medications, it throws your hair into the telogen phase prematurely. 

 

Caring for Your Hair 
How do you take care of your locks while taking these medicines? If you are planning on getting your hair processed, make sure inform your stylist of any medication you are taking. He or she may be able to make some recommendations regarding the best styles and techniques for your volatile tresses.  Further, she may be able to introduce you to products that are gentle and extra conditioning. 

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