Many types of medications can cause hair loss, but do stimulants – like Ritalin or Adderall – count as one of them?
As I did my digging for Mental Illness Awareness Week, looking for common questions those with mental illnesses have regarding beauty topics, one that kept popping up was whether or not Adderall causes hair loss.
I take Ritalin for my ADHD (yep, I have ADHD too, surprise!), and I have never noticed hair loss from the stimulant. However, many wonder whether Adderall is the reason they’re losing hair faster than they switch sentence topics in the same convo.
Curious as ever, I’ve done the research to find the truth on Adderall and hair loss. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Can Adderall Cause Hair Loss?
Long story short: it’s complicated.
Yes, Adderall can, on occasion, cause hair loss in those who take it for ADHD and/or narcolepsy. There isn’t clinical research on the topic – just reports of it by those who take it. Some report that they stopped losing hair once they switched from Adderall to a different medication – indicating that, yep, hair loss is a real thing.
But it may not be the medication’s chemistry itself: it can also stem from the behaviors caused by the stimulant. For example, some people may start pulling out their hair – a disorder called trichotillomania – due to the side effects of Adderall. The med can lead to compulsive behaviors as coping mechanisms for side effects, like anxiety and even overstimulation from a high dose of Adderall.
Another cause for hair loss may be a lack of nutrients, caused by Adderall’s decrease in appetite. By lacking the nutrients necessary to continue growing luscious locks, like vitamins B and E, as well as biotin and zinc, hair may begin falling out.
Is Adderall Hair Loss Reversible?
Good news: if you go off Adderall – under your doctor’s supervision, ofc – you’ll most likely end up growing that hair back. Be it due to the side effects of the medication’s chemistry or the side effects it causes – like compulsive hair pulling – you have the chance of re-growing your strands after switching medications.
But like with acne and Lithium, it’s important to do a real check-in: is the medication working? Is it making life easier? Is the efficacy of Adderall worth the hair loss? Think this over, talk your thoughts through with a therapist, and then decide whether or not you’re ready to make a major switch. Plus, talking to a therapist when you’re compulsively pulling your hair out is beneficial as well!
@dr.morea Reply to @lottie..amber hair pulling? #trichotillomania #anxietytok #socialanxietycheck #therapistsontiktok #therapistoftictok #hairpulling #hairpulling101 ♬ Forever – Labrinth
If you do decide to stay on Adderall, there are products that can help strengthen hair that isn’t falling out (claims that there are products to regrow your hair are controversial and not scientifically-proven, yet). We love these!
Hair Serums & Oils
Have you experienced hair loss with any medications, similar to Adderall? What hair products do you recommend to keep hair strong? Share advice in the comments!