The side effects of birth control pills are highly subjective; what works to strengthen one woman's scalp and hair may work to the detriment of another woman. The same can be said for the skin: some pills may clear one woman's skin, but not another's. Yasmin, one of the most popularly prescribed birth control pills in the world, has been known to alleviate hair loss and scalp problems in some women.
According to many Internet forums of birth control users, Yasmin often causes hair loss in women with normal hair volume. However, women with conditions that cause hair loss -- such as alopecia -- can grow that hair back with Yasmin. A testimonial posted by a woman named Jessica on the Women's Hair Loss Project chronicles her journey with alopecia and Yasmin. She claims that Yasmin was the only thing that made her hair grow back to normal volume and that it fell out in large amounts when she went off the pill to have and nurse her daughter.
Oily Hair and Scalp
Birth control pills such as Yasmin can also help to alleviate oily hair and scalp. According to Geoffrey Redmond of the Hormone Help Center in New York, Yasmin contains drospirenone, which is related to progesterone. This can help to block testosterone, an androgen that causes overproduction of oil in some women's' skin. Any treatment such as Yasmin, which can decrease the oil production in skin, also decreases the oil production in the scalp. This helps some women to have less oily hair and less oily skin on the head.
Some women have excessive growth of hair on parts of their body other than the head. One condition, called hirsuitism, causes dark, coarse hair to grow on other parts of the body -- especially male-pattern hair growth. A lot of women who have hirsutism have a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is characterised by high levels of androgens that cause hair growth in abnormal places. The drospirenone in Yasmin often works well on women with PCOS-related hirsutism. The lowered levels of androgens caused by the synthetic female hormones in the pill can cause a decrease in male-pattern hair growth.
Potential Negative Effects
Not all birth control pills work for every woman. According to many sites where women swap information on birth control pills, including Yasmin, that particular pill has led to dry scalp and thinning hair. Other women have reported itching or burning scalp problems as well.