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Woman, 33, reveals how she lost 70 per cent of her hair after switching contraceptive pill

A 33-year-old woman from Brisbane has revealed how a simple switch of her contraceptive pill triggered the loss of 70 per cent of her hair.

Kellie Scott lives with androgenic alopecia – an incurable form of female pattern hair loss that causes extreme thinning mainly around the hair’s natural parting. 

Kellie revealed to FEMAIL how losing her hair felt as though she had ‘lost part of my identity’, before she ‘took control’ of her hair loss and started wearing hair pieces to help re-instill self-confidence.  

‘I found it really hard,’ Kellie told Daily Mail Australia. ‘As women, we’re told men prefer long hair. I am not only battling with hair loss, but the stigma of being a woman and losing my hair.’

A 33-year-old woman from Brisbane (picture with a clip-in extension in) revealed how a simple switch of her contraceptive pill triggered the loss of 70 per cent of her hair

Kellie Scott lives with androgenic alopecia - an incurable form of female pattern hair loss that causes extreme thinning mainly around the hair's natural parting (pictured before she lost her hair)

Kellie Scott lives with androgenic alopecia – an incurable form of female pattern hair loss that causes extreme thinning mainly around the hair’s natural parting (pictured before she lost her hair)

Kellie first noticed something was different with her hair after a routine visit to the GP, where she switched her contraceptive pill (pictured after losing her hair and with clip-in extensions)

Kellie first noticed something was different with her hair after a routine visit to the GP, where she switched her contraceptive pill (pictured after losing her hair and with clip-in extensions)

Kellie first noticed something was different with her hair after a routine visit to the GP, where she switched her contraceptive pill.

‘I had been using Diane-35 ED for 12 years, and I’d originally started as a teenager to help with my acne,’ Kellie said.

But after learning about potential health risks with Diane, Kellie agreed to go on a more common pill, Levlen.  

‘Within three months there was some degree of hair loss, but I didn’t notice it at first,’ she said.  

Kellie had been using Diane-35 ED for 12 years, and then switched to a more commonly-used pill, Levlen (pictured with various clip-in extensions)

Kellie had been using Diane-35 ED for 12 years, and then switched to a more commonly-used pill, Levlen (pictured with various clip-in extensions)

Within three months of changing pill, Kellie (pictured after losing some hair and now) noticed she was losing hair, but didn't think much of it - 12 months later, however, she was worried

Within three months of changing pill, Kellie (pictured after losing some hair and now) noticed she was losing hair, but didn’t think much of it – 12 months later, however, she was worried

What is androgenic alopecia?

* Androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition that can affect both men and women.

* Men with this condition, called male pattern baldness, can begin suffering hair loss as early as their teens or early 20s. It’s characterised by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp. 

* Women experience a general thinning over the entire scalp, with the most extensive hair loss at the crown.

Source: WebMD 

However, within 12 months, Kellie had lost a noticeable amount of her hair, and it wasn’t growing back.

‘I still didn’t think too much of it, but two years in I started doing my own research,’ she said.

Kellie recalled visiting dermatologists, trichologists and endocrinologists to find out what was wrong, all the while trying various different products to encourage hair growth.

‘I spent a lot of time feeling self-loathing and as though I was going to lose all of my hair,’ Kellie said.

‘It wasn’t until I kept digging online and thought about how the hair loss started when I switched pills that I began to put two and two together.’

Kellie recalled visiting dermatologists, trichologists and endocrinologists to find out what was wrong, all the while trying various different products to encourage hair growth (pictured without and with clip-in extensions)

Kellie recalled visiting dermatologists, trichologists and endocrinologists to find out what was wrong, all the while trying various different products to encourage hair growth (pictured without and with clip-in extensions)

In 2017, a dermatologist diagnosed the 33-year-old with androgenic alopecia, a genetic condition that can affect both men and women. 

‘I felt powerless, as though as I was losing my hair and had no control,’ Kellie said. 

‘It was nice to finally get the validation that something was wrong, as some women never get answers, but it took me a while to come to terms with my hair loss and come out of the rut.

‘I would watch endless videos on YouTube about miracle cures and shampoos that would give you your hair back. I would cry myself to sleep.’

Woman, 33, reveals how she lost 70 per cent of her hair after switching contraceptive pill

‘I would watch endless videos on YouTube about miracle cures and shampoos that would give you your hair back. I would cry myself to sleep,’ Kellie said (pictured after hair loss)

After an agonising struggle, Kellie (pictured with hair topper) eventually decided to order her first 'hair topper' in 2018 - a clip-in extension for the top of the head

After an agonising struggle, Kellie (pictured with hair topper) eventually decided to order her first ‘hair topper’ in 2018 – a clip-in extension for the top of the head

After an agonising struggle, Kellie eventually decided to order her first ‘hair topper’ in 2018 – a clip-in extension for the top of the head.

She also decided to start sharing her battle with androgenic alopecia publicly on her Instagram profile. 

‘I found social media such a goldmine when I was struggling,’ she said.

‘It made me realise I’m not alone and so many young women struggle with hair loss. I was nervous and excited to get a hair topper, but since I have experimented with them, I haven’t looked back.’

Kellie said that being honest online and with her friends about her hair loss has also been useful for getting over the fact that she is a young woman experiencing hair loss

Kellie said that being honest online and with her friends about her hair loss has also been useful for getting over the fact that she is a young woman experiencing hair loss

Kellie said that being honest online and with her friends about her hair loss has also been useful for getting over it.

‘By showing my friends the hair pieces I was going to get, I was taking control of the hair loss and able to process it more,’ she said. 

‘I went on a European holiday shortly after getting the hair topper and it was so nice to be away and not be embarrassed to have my picture taken.’

Speaking about her advice for other women suffering with hair loss, Kellie said it's a good idea to make a decision - whether it is one to embrace your baldness or get a clip-in extension (pictured with hair loss and clip-in extensions)

Speaking about her advice for other women suffering with hair loss, Kellie said it’s a good idea to make a decision – whether it is one to embrace your baldness or get a clip-in extension (pictured with hair loss and clip-in extensions)

Kellie has been off the contraceptive pill since the start of her hair loss journey and urged other young women to think carefully about their contraception (pictured with hair loss and clip-in extension)

Kellie has been off the contraceptive pill since the start of her hair loss journey and urged other young women to think carefully about their contraception (pictured with hair loss and clip-in extension)

What are the facts around oral contraceptives and hair loss? 

* Millions of women are prescribed the Pill each year, but very few are aware that oral contraceptives are a common trigger of hair loss.

* The Pill suppresses ovulation by the combined actions of the hormones estrogen and progestin, or in some cases progestin alone.

* Women who are predisposed to hormonal-related hair loss, or who are hypersensitive to the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies, can have hair loss to varying degrees while on the Pill or, more commonly, several weeks or months after stopping the Pill.

Source: WebMD 

Speaking about her advice for other women suffering with hair loss, Kellie said it’s a good idea to be honest with friends about how you’re feeling and make a decision – whether it is one to embrace your baldness or get a clip-in extension.

‘As soon as you make a decision about your hair loss, you’re going to feel empowered,’ she said.

‘You are definitely not the only one and you shouldn’t feel alone.’

Kellie has been off the contraceptive pill since the start of her hair loss journey and urged other young women to think carefully about their contraception:

‘The pill can be a great short-term solution, but I think more women need to view it as that,’ she said.

‘When women are given the pill, they need to make themselves aware of the side effects.’

Kellie Scott blogs about her experiences with hair loss at Hair Loss Boss. To find out more about her, please click here



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