Some decisions can be very tough to make. I just made one! It wasn’t easy to select between proper sleep and my hair. To be more precise, between using Adderall and hair loss!
If I had left my sleep problem – I suffer from narcolepsy – untreated, my life would have been no less than a hell, but at least I could have managed to keep up with my natural beauty that largely comes from my long tresses.
The other option was to get rid of my sleep problem but it would have meant sacrificing my beauty that lays in my shiny hair.
Tough choice? Before I reveal my decision, let me first take you to a short flashback!
I was diagnosed with narcolepsy about an year back. It is a sleep disorder because of which I used to get sudden attacks of sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, loss of muscle tone, and even weird hallucinations.
Obviously, my life had become miserable. In one instance, I almost fell asleep while I was behind the wheels!!! That was a narrow escape!
Thankfully, I was assured it could be treated provided a took a medicine called Adderall. I was overjoyed!
But, this medicine came with terms and conditions, I mean some serious side effects and the most dreaded one among them was hair loss. At this juncture, I was stuck!
I had to make a choice. I decided to find more information and realized there are many others like me trying to select between the two.
So, I decided to share the information I had gathered, which helped me take my decision and I am sure this information will help you too.
To Begin With… What is Adderall?
Adderall in a brand name of a general medicine called amphetamine, which is a central nervous system stimulant. Besides narcolepsy, it is also used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and obesity.
It produces a performance-enhancing effect on the nervous system and thus, leads to cognitive behavior improvement, a higher alertness, and an increase in your concentration and memory.
Hence, it is undoubtedly a very good medicine for you if you are suffering from narcolepsy.
But, there’s a hitch! Its side effect: hair fall.
Why does Adderall Cause Hair Loss?
When Adderall acts on the nervous system, it changes the way the brain works by increasing the level of some hormones called cortisol in the body.
This higher level of cortisol is what is responsible for the hair fall that occurs as a side effect of this medicine
A high cortisol level results in damage to the hair follicles, making the hair weak and prone to breakages. The hair loss tends to be diffuse and spread out.
To put it straight, there wouldn’t be just a single bald spot on your scalp, but a shedding of hair from all over your head.
I wouldn’t even like to imagine such a state!
Is The Adderall-Linked Hair Fall Gender-Biased?
Adderall does believe in gender discrimination. So, its hair fall effect is more common in women than in men. In one study, it was found that most of the patients who had hair loss were females (61.5%).
So, if you are a woman, you need to be more careful and probably take more precautions to avoid this side effect.
Yes, you CAN avoid this side effect. I will let you know how to do it.
Which other Factors can Aggravate the Hair Loss?
The intensity of hair fall caused by Adderall is determined by several factors other than your gender such as the health of your scalp. A failure to maintain the hygiene of the scalp can worsen your hair fall.
Also, if your scalp is too dry, or if you are suffering from a skin condition like dermatitis, or eczema that has caused a lesion on the scalp, your chances of getting a severe hair fall are much higher.
Luckily, some of these factors are manageable.
Are there Any Other Side Effects of Adderall you Should be Aware of?
Yes, Adderall can cause a few other side effects as given below:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss (That is why; it is used for treating obesity)
- Itching and skin rash
Coming back to hair fall, will the hair you may lose grow back?
This was the question I asked my doctor. I needed assurance that I could put a stop to the hair fall in case all the measures I had planned to take to prevent hair loss failed.
And what a relief I got when the doctor said, YES.
He told as long as the health of the scalp and hair follicles were unaffected, it was possible to get back the lost hair once I stopped taking Adderall.
It may take some time for the hair to grow back as the body has to flush out the remains of the drug out from your system and get adjusted to the changed level of cortisol.
This information was valuable for me. It helped me take the decision!
Are you curious to know the choice I made? I took Adderall!
Yes, you read it right. In spite of knowing that taking this drug will mean sacrificing my hair, is still went ahead with taking Adderall.
There were two reasons for this decision:
The first one was I thought it would be impractical to let go of such an effective medicine for narcolepsy and endanger my own life again.
The second reason was I found out that I could minimize the hair loss that could occur due to Adderall.
So, it was a double whammy for me. I could get treated for narcolepsy and lead a safe and stress-free life while also keeping my hair intact.
Here’s the solution I found:
There was no single way to combat the dangerous side effect of Adderall. It had to be a combination of good hair care routine, some medications, and herbal therapy.
I will let out the secrets one by one: You can prevent the dryness of scalp by massaging it regularly with coconut oil, almond oil or any other vitamin E enriched oil
Herbal medicines are also effective and safe to use. They cause no side effects since they contain only natural ingredients. I tried using a few herbal hair tonics and the one I found to be most useful was Organic Ashwagandha Vegetarian Capsules
This herbal formula contains Ashwagandha, which can lower the cortisol hormones, which is the main culprit of the side effects of Adderall.
You must shampoo your hair at least twice a week to maintain the hygiene
If you have african american hair, spend some time to read this article: Best Shampoo for Gorgeous Natural African American Hair
Other treatment options to consider
In some cases, these measures may not work if the determining factors like your hormonal levels, the hygienic precautions taken, and your hereditary make-up are not favorable.
In that case, the best way would be to stop taking Adderall and to wait for the hair to grow back naturally.
However, if you opt to do so, you may have to switch to another medication for managing your condition, which may or may not be as effective as Adderall.
What If The Hair Does not Grow Back Naturally?
If the hair does not grow back even after 3 to 4 months of stopping the use of Adderall, you may consider using medications like Rogaine.
Rogaine is a brand name for Minoxidil, which is available in the form of Men’s ROGAINE Foam and Women’s ROGAINE Solution.
Men’s ROGAINE Foam can help regrow the lost hair. It contains 5% Minoxidil, which helps to regrow the hair when used every day for about four months. It is absorbed into the scalp quickly, and dries quickly. You can also start using it simultaneously once you begin the treatment with Adderall.
Women ROGAINE Solutioncontains 2% Minoxidil solution that is absorbed quickly into the scalp and reactivates the hair follicles.
It stimulates the regrowth of healthy and thick hair. You need to apply it twice a day as a part of your regular hair care regimen.
You can also consider hair transplant surgery depending on your current balding pattern after consulting a doctor.
I hope I was able to guide you through your dilemma of selecting between Adderall and hair loss.
YES, Adderall does cause hair fall
But there are ways to prevent it.
- Take good care of your hair and scalp
- Keep the scalp clean by shampooing twice a week
- Massage with coconut oil
- Use Organic Ashwagandha Vegetarian Capsules to keep your cortisol level in control
I hope this information was useful to you. If you liked this article, please share it and leave your comments.