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Old 12-25-2017, 08:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sobriety and hair loss


Hi guys.

I've changed a lot in my life in 2017, sobriety being the obvious front-runner. I have radically changed my diet and started a pretty intense exercise program. I've also gone back on my psych meds after being off them for years and have been playing around with dosage with my p-doc.

Following a pretty horrific 2 month bender of daily round-the-clock drinking, I entered rehab and got sober on 5/9. Went back on the psych meds starting with lexapro on around 6/9, adding lamictal (long titration up) and a slow start with increase of wellbutrin in mid-July.

Near the end of August I got a haircut. Sweet faux-hawk. The kids were asking me if I was turning 40 soon (I'm 56). All was good.

I went back for another haircut in early October. When I got home and combed it, I noticed that there was a lone soldier of hair in the front middle, with serious hair loss next to it, and the entire top was thinning. This was disturbing. I had a third haircut with a new barber about two weeks ago, and he casually informed me with my thin hair I really should consider a buzzcut.

My uncles and grandfather on my mom's side had full heads of hair until they died in their 90s (both sides of my family, actually). My hair has always been extremely thick, now it's coming out by the combful.

This may be a combination of stress from the bender, change in diet, exercise, and the medication additions. I'm particularly suspicious of the medication. All three meds have an "unusual" side effect of hair loss. I've dropped the Lexapro completely and went down on the dose on the Wellbutrin, the latter is what I think is doing it as I've been on Lamicatal for long periods of time before and never noticed any balding.

The good news is that unless I'm coincidentally experiencing male pattern baldness it's probably totally reversible. The bad news is that I won't really know for six months if the meds lowered and dropped were actually the ones causing it. I'm doing very well on the lamictal/lowered wellbutrin combo and would really rather not drop everything.

Has anyone else experienced hair loss in early sobriety? Did your hair growth return to normal after a time?
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Old 12-25-2017, 08:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No my hairs still pretty good - not as thick as it was but I still have a lot of it.
I do have baldness on 2 grandparents sides.

If recovery was going to have an effect it would have by now I think.

D
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's not affected me (four months in) in that regard to my knowledge, although I typically keep my hair cut *really* short (crew cut). I've not even heard of a correlation with early recovery; I'd think you've cleared the pattern baldness hurdle as well if you'd not experienced it yet and have immediate lineage with thick hair. I keep thinking it may be med-related? Keep us posted; I'm probably going to be back on the antidep wagon also and it would be interesting to hear what your doc says...
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Old 12-26-2017, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My hairline is slowwwwly receding and when it gets back to my ears I've sworn I'll start shaving my head bald. "Back in the day", I had long hair down to the middle of my back. Now at the age of 53 I really appreciate the buzzcut, it's just much easier to take care of. No muss, no fuss! And I really don't believe any of it has to do with my alcoholism.
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A bit of research shows that lamictal and wellbutrin have an unusual side effect of hypothyroidism...which can lead to hair thinning.

Must investigate.
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
A bit of research shows that lamictal and wellbutrin have an unusual side effect of hypothyroidism...which can lead to hair thinning.

Must investigate.
I'm taking wellbutrin along with my chantix,supposedly "helps with the side effects of the chantix"...I call BS on that! Anyways..I've been 'clipping' w/no guard my own hair for a few years now. I really wouldn't stress it. I get way more looks and numbers(now that i'm single) than I did by trying to hang on to whatever hairline I thought I had left(just like the booze..everyone else saw it before I did). I see pics of me from a few years ago, when I was in denial of my hair loss, and laugh now. Plus...No more $25+tip 'haircuts' that take 7minutes. I did do something to bring 'back' my hairline...kinda. I'll shoot you a PM with a video. Works for me.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks 'ude.

I'm hoping the hair loss is medication related....and it will grow back. I'm giving it some Rogaine as a head start. I'll know in six months if it's permanent. At which point I will shave my head if it doesn't!

Too bad, that last haircut got a TON of compliments.
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Old 04-26-2018, 04:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm going through the same and am on sertraline and buspar amingst ither meds. They both have potential to cause hair loss so not sure which one to drop first
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Old 04-26-2018, 04:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Definitely best to check with your Dr before dropping any meds Poncetta.

D
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Old 04-26-2018, 04:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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dude I went bald in my late twenties after having long hair for years.

now I do the bald skinhead type thing.

works a treat.

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Old 05-02-2018, 04:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My hair has turned largely gray, but, with the exception of some minor recession in the front (which has gotten my Beatles "mop top" bangs out of my face, a chronic problem), it's still quite thick.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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OK, so I threw everything at the hair loss.

Halved the lamictal. Started avodart (like propecia, only stronger), which also treats my BPH. Took a hit on my libido, but fortunately my libido has been like a 16 year old since i got sober. Rogaine.

Have regained some. Will keep taking the avodart if it gets thicker. At some point will stop, and if the hairline recedes again I'll just start shaving my hair short. I'd rather be horny than hairy.
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Old 11-26-2018, 06:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Avodart has bad side effects I wouldn't touch it.
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've been taking it for almost a year and have no side effects. "CAN" have bad side effects. YMMV.

I got nearly all of my hair back, then added a new psych med and increased another and it's falling out again.

At this point I'll trade hair for mood control!
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I like your positive attitude, and as they say....bald is beautiful!
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I've never heard of a documented connection between hair loss and sobriety. We should submit a professional paper to a scientific journal making this claim, and then wait to see how it gets ripped apart.
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