How to Stop Hair Loss After Accutane? Post-Medication Hair Care Tips

WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Accutane (isotretinoin) is a medication used to treat severe acne. However, hair thinning or loss is a potential side effect as it can interfere with the hair growth cycle. If you experience shedding after Accutane use, there are things you can do to help halt hair loss and spur regrowth.

How to Stop Hair Loss After Accutane

To stop post-Accutane hair shedding, be sure to maintain adequate protein intake, use gentle hair care practices, take hair-healthy supplements like biotin and saw palmetto, apply minoxidil, and avoid additional drying medications that may exacerbate loss.

Eat Plenty of Protein

Shoot for around 50 grams of protein daily to provide amino acids for hair formation.

Use Gentle, Hydrating Products

Coconut oil, masks and leave-in conditioners offset dryness and brittleness.

Take Supportive Supplements

Biotin, iron, zinc and vitamin D combat shedding and optimize growth.

Try Minoxidil

Applying over-the-counter minoxidil solution directly to the scalp can stimulate regrowth.

Avoid Drying Medications

Hold off on other drying drugs like diuretics while post-Accutane shedding resolves.

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Why Accutane Causes Hair Loss

Here are some of the ways Accutane may trigger hair shedding:

Shrinks Oil Glands

It reduces sebum production including scalp oils that nourish hair.

Induces Telogen Effluvium

Pushes hairs into the rest/shed phase prematurely.

Causes Inflammation

Raises inflammatory cytokines that can impair hair growth.

Creates Nutrient Deficiencies

Isotretinoin use depletes key hair nutrients like zinc.

Dries Hair and Skin

Leads to brittle, breakage-prone strands.

Tips to Minimize Hair Loss from Accutane

Follow these tips while on Accutane therapy and after:

Address Nutrient Deficiencies

Ensure you're getting enough zinc, protein, iron and essential fatty acids.

Use a Moisturizing Shampoo

Choose a vitamin-enriched, sulfate-free formula.

Avoid Heat Styling

Let hair air dry to prevent damage to fragile strands.

Take a Multi-Vitamin

A supplement helps cover nutritional gaps associated with hair loss.

Ask About Lower Dosage

See if a lower isotretinoin dose still treats your acne.

When to Follow Up with Your Doctor

Consult your dermatologist if you have:

No Improvement After 3 Months

Shedding, thinning and dryness continues.

Noticeable Bald Spots

Discrete circular areas of total loss appear.

Hair Breaking Off

Hair doesn't grow past a certain length before breaking.

Scalp Irritation or Itching

These could indicate infection or inflammation.

The Bottom Line

For many, Accutane-related hair shedding is temporary. But taking active measures to stimulate regrowth and using treatments to offset dryness can help halt excessive ongoing loss resulting from isotretinoin therapy.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.