Spironolactone for Hair Loss: Does it Work? (Photo)

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So, does Spironolactone for hair loss work in women? I got put on Spiro (a.k.a. Aldactone) about four months ago. My doctor was actually hesitant to put me on it because he felt:

1) Even though I complained of thinning hair, I hid it well he couldn’t see it. “It doesn’t look that bad.”

2) The few darks hairs down the side of my face as well as at my jaw line didn’t warrant anything more than a tweeze-job. I showed him the almost-white, fine hairs that were now actually getting long enough to tug on (ew!) under my jaw, but he dismissed those.

3) Acne is something most women deal with every now and again.Needless to say, I was frustrated. But, he did decide to put me on 50 mg. of Spiro 2x/day to see if it would at least improve the hirsutism (excess hair).

Ugh! He did agree to try it, finally.

Spiro Results

Within just a few weeks I was noticing less dark hairs on my face and jawline; the fine, white-ish hair under my jaw all but disappeared (so, I guess from that standpoint, Spironolactone for hair loss DOES work, ha!). My acne was largely reduced (which is great, but I have the type of skin in which ANY acne–no matter how small–leaves a mark. While it’s easily covered with makeup, it’s annoying that my face never looks as good as it should. Oil production on my face and scalp also diminished.

That’s Great…But Does Spironolactone for Hair Loss Work??

Well, the jury’s still out on that one. I did get the “dread shed” a few weeks into Spiro–and I got it BAD. My hair had actually never looked so bad. I haven’t noticed any growth on the top part of my head (I always describe it as where sunglasses would hit) but, it also doesn’t look as bad as it did. My guess is that the hair that fell out during the Spiro “dread shed” came back. However, I don’t notice any additional growth in that area quite just yet.

Here’s what I do notice:

Do you see the little hairs (about 3/4 of an inch) on my temple? That’s regrowth from the Spironolactone. I’m unsure, however, if this is *new* growth, or hair that I lost during the shed. I didn’t notice this area thinning before, so I’m hoping it’s new.

This area was the first area that “came back” after I had postpartum shedding in 2011, so that’s why I’m leaning towards the fact that this is likely not new growth, but rather regrowth.

Bottom line: Right now, I’m unsure if Spironolactone for hair loss is the only answer…perhaps the Spiro combined with other things will help my hair even more. But, things are not worse and they look like they could be heading in the right direction. Keep your fingers crossed for me, will ya?

177 thoughts on “Spironolactone for Hair Loss: Does it Work? (Photo)”

  1. I’m surprised more women don’t use cimetidine.

    It is an anti-androgen but the dosages used for hair growth had no effect on hirsutism scores.

    Whatever cimetidine does for women’s hair growth is likely not driven by being anti-androgenic.

    Search pubmed for this study : 3570585

    Largely I think both men’s and women’s hair growth or loss is primarily impacted by aldosterone.
    Aldosterone levels are elevated in both MPHL and FPHL.

    Spiro just happens to be an aldosterone antagonist. While the majority attribute any hair growth
    to spiro’s anti-androgenic properties that is unlikely IMHO.

    Anti-androgens __IF__ they were to be effective as a whole group of anti-androgens would have to regrow hair unfortunately that is not the case and spiro is about the only one that does much of anything.

    In males, castration and heavy anti-androgens do NOT regrow hair.

    Check out low dose oral minoxidil studies.

    Angiotensin is part of the RAAS is a vasoconstrictor and uses up local nitric oxide..Which I think
    is why oral minox works.

    The microvasculature is THEEE key as an overactive RAAS negatively impacts blood vessels.

    The scalp shininess(in balding) isn’t really due to sebum but because of scleroderma-like condition in the scalp caused by weakened microvasculature. (paper on that…not my idea)

  2. I have been on Spiro for over a year now. I started at 50mg and worked up to 200 mg. It took about a year before I noticed a difference. I also use Rogaine, take a hair, skin, nails, supplement, vitamin D, B12+folate, and fish oil. I got off the BCP and I have thyroid problems. I didn’t notice an increase in my shedding after starting a Spiro or getting of the pill. The Spiro made a huge difference in my skin! I have lost about 1/2 my hair. But after about a year, the shedding slowed down and I do have some regrowth. It still sheds but not as bad and I can style my hair so it looks ok. I am hoping that once my thyroid improves the shedding will lessen more.

  3. I just started taking Spironolactone about a week ago, and I definitely have noticed the dread shed. I am only taking 50 mg once daily. I have used Rogain for at least a decade, take biotin and a daily vitamin, and I shampoo and condition with Nioxin products. Thin hair is genetic for women in my family, so with already thin hair, this dread she’d is freaking me out! I am willing to give this a few months, should this not work, does the lost hair from the shed grow back? Any knowledge you have on this, I would really appreciate. Thanks!

  4. Hi, I hope you’re doing well. :]

    I am wondering if your doctor checked your DHT levels prior to prescribing you spiro. My levels are high and I have a spiro prescription but I am terrified that my hair loss could get worse. if I start the medication I am just trying to see if there is a connection between high DHT and how effective spiro is.

    Thank you in advance!


  5. I’ve been on it for 30 days for hormonal hair loss. About 2.5 weeks in I began experiencing burning scalp pain. It is debilitating. I can’t get into see my prescribing doctor in till Tuesday. I went to the emergency room last night and the doctor there told me to discontinue it immediately. He also admitted he didn’t know much about hair loss usage of this drug. I’m not sure whether I should start or stop. I don’t want to make the hair loss worse but I’m wondering if the medication is what is causing the burning scalp. I’m trying Benadryl now but it is not helping much. Any advice welcome.

  6. yes, it worked for me. I took it for 6 or 7 years, no biggie. Help shed a little water weight each day. Not other side effects. UNTIL…my potassium and calcium blood serums began to go haywire. My doctor discontinued it and wow, a massive change and hair loss. Terrible. Devastating. Word to wise, if you can get your doc to let you try it, watch out if you have to discontinue.

  7. Hi everyone. I am 31 years old and have had thinning hair since the age of 18. I have been on depo Provera on and off for many years(don’t get period on depo) anyways I started Spiro April 26, 2016 so it’s been about 8 months now. I haven’t really seen a difference in anything in regards to my hair, skin or weight. But I started in April with 25mgs once a day for 2 months. Then I was on 25mgs twice a day for 3 months, then upd the dose to 100 mgs a day up until today when I was prescribed 200 mgs a day. My doctor and I both agreed it was a good idea to slowly up the dose making it less of a risk to “dread shed” and I can honestly say I haven’t experienced any major shedding since being on Spiro. So now I will start my journey on 200 mgs a day (the apparent dose needed to see a difference in hair growth) I’m very excited and I hope to see change soon! Wish me luck 🙂

  8. PS: I was also thinking about using Minoxidil (never tried it because I was scared about the shedding and you have to be on it for life). I am taking folic acid, some cycles of iron, omega 3 every day, eating super healthy and I will buy biotin soon as I remember that it helped me a while ago, not with regrowth but it gave me shiny and healthy hair at least.

    I also have a topper but I never use it as it makes me look weird, too much hair and, being constantly in the water swimming (pool or the sea) is not a viable solution unless I’m very desperate.

  9. Disclaimer: Long post about my GREAT (almost miraculous) experience with antiandrogens, with a sad ending unfortunately) but I’m new to Spiro, so here I am and here is my story, hoping to help some of you!


    Glad I found this super useful post. I’m 39 (almost 40 years old) and I’ve been having issues with my hair since I started taking the OC at age 23. Before that, I had so much hair that I hated them and once when I was 18 I even tried the chemical straightener to keep them flatter. Little did I know that now I would give everything I have to get back to my old hair!

    I didn’t do anything for my hair for ages, until my aunt one day noticed that she could see my scalp (I had a ponytail). I started to become more self-conscious, hair thinning but since I started being a lioness I still looked “normal” despite my hair were probably 50% less.

    Then, at age 29, almost 30… out of nowhere, I had the worst cystic acne ever. I never suffered from acne, not even in my teens. It was so bad that my face was completely disfigured. Not exaggerating. I saw dermatologists, gynaecologists, endocrinologists… you name it. I got everything checked and they saw a deficiency in vitamin B12, folic acid but my hormones were fairly normal. Still, I had all the symptoms of an hormonal acne (more hair loss and thinning, facial and body hair).

    They all agreed on the same therapy (without knowing each other): contraceptive pill + Androcur 25mg (cyproterone acetate). I was DESPERATE. I started taking it and within 4 months, slowly my acne was getting better. After 6/7 months it was completely gone. I never had such a smooth skin in my life, and coming from being basically a monster, I was thrilled.

    Then I realised it: I was obviously so focused on my horrible face that the last of my concerns was my hair. Well… they were AMAZING! I was basically almost back to my old times, I could incredibly cut the front into a fringe (I wasn’t able to do that anymore) and they were super healthy and shiny.
    PS: I don’t remember perfectly but I don’t recall any shedding during these months.

    Everyone complimented me on my hair, I was seriously stunned and so happy! Too bad that a few years later, I realised that all this came with a very high price.

    The hormones (not sure whether it was the pill or the Androcur or both), gave me multiples liver angiomas, one of them is 6 cm big right now and I need to get checked regularly.

    My liver specialist says that she thinks is not related to the hormones but I think it definitely is, so for my health’s sake I stopped for good. The acne didn’t come back for 5 years, but my hair… back to square one or even worst. Getting thinner and thinner.

    I had another very bad acne episode in 2013 and, as scared as I was, I took the contraceptive pill for 6 months only and it cleared my skin again (this time no antiandrogens) but my hair benefited a bit from that cure.

    I stopped and here I am, back with my thin hair, I use Toppik on a daily basis to cover my scalp and I’m sick of being so insecure. My Hirsutism got worst than ever and I started to notice the first alarming signs of acne coming back.

    So today I bought Spiro (25mg per pill) as apparently, it should go lighter on my liver and see how it goes. I’ve been shedding very badly for the past 3-4 months for no apparent reason (more than 300 hair per day) but 2 days ago the shedding has suddenly stopped for no reason. It comes and goes randomly, so I guess my hormones are all over the place, even if from my blood tests a few months ago everything was normal.

    I’m super scared to take Spiro because of my liver issues (the functionality is perfect, I only have this benign formations that scare me none the less) and I’m also concerned about the shedding as it just stopped now.

    I also started using Nizoral shampoo the other day and my hair looked ticker after than, not sure if it is a coincidence or what, let’s see.

    I will keep you posted to tell you how it will go with the Spiro. I am planning on taking 50mg per day for the first month and then go to 100 mg if everything goes well.

    I SO WISH I COULD GO BACK TO THE PILL (banned forever because of the angiomas) AND THE ANDROCUR. What a miracle have been for my skin and for my hair. I still look the pictures and I am amazed on how I managed to get the best hair of my life. A Miracle… with side effects 🙁 It was too goog to be true.

    Good luck to all of you ladies, be patient, we have to deal with this somehow…

    • My hormones most definitely ebb and flow, too, causing a myriad of issues. There are times my skin is close to perfect for several months, and then other times where it’s as bad as a teen’s. Through it all I’m sure all of my levels would still show as “normal”, but clearly these swings are at abnormal levels for me. It’s very frustrating. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I am 47yo and starting Spiro, been prescribed by doctor yesterday. I did everything possible to save my hair: mesoroller, red light, Revalid, scalp massage and so on and so on. Very excited to try Spiro, but… couple questions:
    – do i have to take it for the rest of my life? should i take breaks in taking Spiro? if i stop to take it, would i lose result as with Minoxidil? I was using Minoxidil and had wonderful result, but it stopped helping me after 5 years of using
    – if i know im going to drink alcohol, should i stop taking Spiro day before, skip after alcohol, or how?

    • Hi Inna, hopefully some others can chime in. I’m not sure if you can take breaks, I think you have to be on it continually. I haven’t heard about stopping alcohol.

  11. Hi. I am an Indian 44 years old. I had a relaxant ( hair straightener ) done. After that my hair fell off in thick lines to the point that you can see my scalp. I also have severe breakage. Will Spiro help me. I have severe anxiety since this hairloss. I can’t function. I am so depressed
    Prior to this I had thinning hair. Dermatologist said was due to make hair baldness pattern

  12. OH, and I forgot…in 2014 I stupidly thought I could come off spiro while still had IUD copper. Wanted to do things “naturally.” Tried ripoff pyramid vitamins, saw palmetto, bad idea. Because about 3-4 months after stopped spiro, I had a MASSIVE shed and lost about 20% of my hair. It has not regrown since. My acne came right back so bad that people at work were commenting. I scrambled and got back on that spiro as soon as I could get in to the doctor! So yeah, I think it helps may be prevent head hairloss or acne. No regrowth for me – only thing that did that so far was pregnancy and lactation. I have never done rogaine, but have done other topicals plus laser therapy.

  13. I began head hairloss after depo-provera and a subsequent IUD copper. I’m not sure looking back which if not both caused me to get PCOS and hair shedding. No family history PCOS and none prior to those two birth control choices. Stupid, stupid. After 2 years of being passed around doc to doc, I started spiro 50-100 with the copper IUD still in. I have since learned that spiro helps the body to get rid of copper. At the time, I lost 8 dress sizes without any effort or diet, and my acne-riddled skin became like a photoshopped cosmetics ad. My hair didn’t grow thicker but it grew FAST – like almost 10 inches in a year! I went off to TTC . Began it again, about 6 years later, after sure no more pregnancies to come, and after acne had long since came back and failed every soap, gel known to man. The 50-100 mg did not work this time. It didn’t help skin or weight. I bumped up to 150 mg and it now keeps acne away – mostly. I had to use it before and after a total hysterectomy, so it didn’t matter if I had estrogen or not. On another note, at 150 mg I began to lose armpit and leg hair. That was ok though! I have also been treated for thyroid, finally, since 2012. Eyebrows are ok but not as dense as when I was teen – and I do NOT pluck/wax them out, never have.
    Now I’m also on dutasteride 0.5 mg….no extra regrowth yet but only 2 months into that one. Finasteride x 4 months, made me depressed, unsure of hair effect- nothing fantastic. I’ll keep everyone posted!

  14. I was prescribed SPORATALACTONE for my blood pressure and during this time I noticed some “good” changes to other problems I was having. I too had thinning hair, facial hirsutism, and acne. I just started the sporatlactone about 3 weeks ago and I started noticing my acne was clearing up, the hair on my face is disappearing …also the hair on my arms and legs..virtually gone! My thinning hair has stopped shedding and not dry and brittle and grew in length as well. The bald spots on my scalp has filled in and I am so happy!!
    I am also on water pills and potassium pills and have been drinking much more and water. I know this helps my hair, but I believe the sporatalactone is helping my hirsutisum, thinning hair and acne problems.

  15. Hi Lauren,

    Did you every get back on Spiro? If so, is it helping? If not, are you doing something else that is working. I have been prescribed Spiro but am nervous to take it.

  16. Lauren – Did you ever go back on spiro? If not, are you doing any other treatments? Did your hair improve? I am 48 years old and just been prescribed spiro. I haven’t started it yet because I am worried about the side effects.

  17. Hi!!
    I am 23 years old and have been battling hair loss and acne since I was a teen. When I was 15, my doctor prescribed me Diane 35 to stop my hormonal acne. I cannot remember if the birth control helped, but I did notice my hair starting to shed. I completely stopped the pill when I turned 18, and ever since then my hair shedding has increased dramatically to the point that you can see my frontal scalp.
    I don’t know what to do. My doctor said all of my blood work came back fine…I believe that I have PCOS as a lot of the symptoms that are associated with the syndrome, I am currently experiencing. Do you think that this Spiro will work? I am really nervous about the “dreaded shed” as I am already experiencing quite severe hair loss already.
    What would you suggest?

    • It may work…or may not. I know it’s not helpful, but it’s truly a crapshoot. A better question to ask is, “Can I live with not knowing if I don’t try?”

  18. My Docotor, yesterday, put me on Aldactone 100 MG for thinning hair, but after reading all the above comments about the medicine causing extra shedding and more thinning, I am worried. Will my hair come out in clumps, or will it shed my hair than start re growth, I do not need to loss more hair? I am wondering if I need to take the Aldactone?

    • It shouldn’t come out in clumps. And extra loss doesn’t happen to everyone…but it seems to happen most often with those already predisposed to hair loss.

  19. Thank you, Lauren, for this labor of love. This blog/website has given me hope and guidance.
    I am a 59 year old post menopausal woman with a 48 year history of acne. I had been.to numerous dermatologists over the years and used topical ache products. Two years ago, I started losing a lot of hair. Dermatologist told me to use Rogaine and that there were no other options for me. Two months ago I went to a new dermatologist for treatment of intensely itchy scalp, alopecia, and increased acne. I looked like I had the skin (very oily with pustules) of an adolescent. Diagnosis: ache, seborheic dermatitis, folliculitis, and androgenetic alopecia. The new dermatologist prescribed Nizoral shampoo, steroid liquid for scalp, Rogaine, spironolactone (100 mg 2x/day), and low dose oral estrogen. Within a day the itching stopped. Within a few weeks, I was no longer losing large amounts of hair. I have no acne now and my skin is normal. I am noticing new growth at my temples!
    I wish that I had gone on spironolactone years ago. I have suffered with acne and then hair loss with great loss of self esteem and confidence. I have a topper and a wig for leaving the house now. I went to a party recently and saw old friends whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. I have lost 48 lbs during this emotionally draining ordeal (alopecia) , so they saw the slimmer me with thicker, sexy hair (due to the topper). I received many compliments and admiring glances (this is new to me at this age and I like it!). I haven’t had that happen in 20 years!
    Yes, there are size effects to spironolactone, but I will tolerate them to have an improved quality of life.
    I hope that this helps someone considering their options regarding medication.
    In Gratitude,

  20. Hi,
    I started losing hair when I was 20 and was diagnosed AGA and was put on a certain type of birth control pill (Diane) to address this. It worked fairly well, I stopped losing hair and regained enough of it back for it to look normal, although it never returned to being as thick and healthy as it once was. It also gave me clear skin and stopped hirsutism on my face. I’m now 29 and still on the pill, but I’m thinking about going off it as I’m worried about the long term side effects of the pill such as blood clots. This is such a hard decision, I feel like I’m deciding between having hair and dying. But I’ve been researching spiro and am wondering if that will work for me the same way the pill does. Have read some scary stories here about it causing further hair loss but I’m hoping that since my body responded well to a hormonal treatment before, it will respond just as well to a different one. What do you think?

  21. I was on birth control pills when my hair loss started. In fact, a side effect listed in the papers that came with the pill was loss of scalp hair, which I showed to my gyno When I was in his office crying like a baby. I also feel in my gut that my hair loss is from the pill but nobody believes me. I always had nice hair and now I don’t. I am so glad I found you. Thank you for being so brave!

  22. I started taking this for AGA and I’ve been on it for more than a year. I did get some weight gain for some odd reason (I read it was supposed to cause weight loss) even though I was peeing alot. When I run out, I swell up and weigh even more that makes no sense whatsoever. Anyway, my hair is a thousand percent better. It got even better when I stopped birth control (nuva ring)
    Now my doctor won’t refill it for the next 3 weeks and I’m scared as hell I don’t know what is going to happen, if I will swell up like a balloon or lose my hair again. I don’t know. Do you know what happens if you abruptly stop taking it?

    • Hi MP. I was wondering if you have a further update with regards to your hair, weight gain and spiro? Are you still on it? If so, is it still working?

  23. Lauren, any recent update with respect to your feelings about Spiro? Are you still taking it? I had a biopsy that revealed AA and TE. I also discovered I have low Ferritin and Hashimoto’s. I’m not sure what to do. Also, do you have an opinion about laser therapies for hair regrowth?

    Thank you.


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