Epidural Steroid Injection and Hair Loss?

Can epidural steroid injection in the lumbar spine cause hair loss?


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I would not think that this would happen. The systemic dose of a single shot of steroid in the epidural space should not be high enough to impact your hair.

Tags: steroid, epidural, hairloss, hair loss

85 thoughts on “Epidural Steroid Injection and Hair Loss?

  1. It definitely can! A year and a half ago I had 3 intramuscular steroid injections in my lower back and a couple months later my hair started falling out by the handfulls. It quit just as fast as it started but it did last several months. New hair did come back in when it stopped falling out. Then in January my second doctor told me he wanted to try a series of 3 epidurals. I told him I was concerned about hair loss. He thought it would not affect it since the steroid would be staying in the spinal canal. Well, guess what?? Here it is June and my hair has been falling out starting the end of April and is continuing to fall out by the handfulls now. Hopefully it will stop soon and start regrowth. My dermatologist told me this is definitely a side effect to steroid injections and about the time you start freaking out about it because your hair is getting so thin, it seems to suddenly stop. Keep your fingers crossed!! I know I will never have another steroid injection again!

  2. I thought I was molting!! I had a series of 3 epidural steroid injections into my neck within a period of 2 months. Shortly after I noticed my hair falling out by the hand fulls. I can’t imagine after seeing all that has come out that I could still have hair left!! I have hair down to the middle of my back. So much has fallen out that I am going to have it cut above the shoulders so it doesn’t look so thin!! Steroid injections definably can cause your hair to fall out…. and most likely it will!!! Hmmm blinding migraine headaches or no hair… decisions, decisions…

  3. I’ve been so worried the past couple of weeks because my hair is falling out. I had 3 epidural steriod shots 4 months ago and it seemed as though I didnt lose any hair for several months. I had noticed this because I do (or did) have thick curly hair and it got thicker. But all of a sudden it started falling out and now everywhere I look I see my hair, in my purse, on my coat, my hands get tangled in it when I wash my hair, now it’s thinner than I’ve ever seen it. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow.
    Does anyone know what can be done about this?

  4. I had shots twice in my neck one in March, one in April, at the end of July my hair started falling out in frightening amounts. It is still falling out. The shots didn’t even help me at all but I think I got every side effect in the book. My menstrual was all out of wack and now my hair if falling out.

  5. I had spinal surgery about 4 months ago, prior to that i also had 3 Epidural shots, my hair started falling out about 1 1/2 months ago. now I’ m undergoing another series of 3 shots and I’ m afraid i won’t have any hair left. i was always proud of my long healthy hair and now it diminished to probably half of what it was before. Unfortunately the pain is too intense to be able to stop the shots. From what i am reading it will eventually grow back.

  6. I get epidural injections all the time-they save my life, I couldnt live with the pain I have all the time and yes I started to lose my hair also, it is everywhere in my house and when I am in the shower I pull it out in clumps. very sad.but i guess when we are in pain and dont want to be all drugged up on pain meds this is what i have to do. best of luck to you all

  7. I’ve always been blessed with a full head of thick hair. This past September 29th and October 20th, I had transforminal epidural steroid injections in my lower back to alleviate pains in my left leg caused by two bulging discs. After the first set of two shots, I noticed my hair was falling out in globs everytime I washed/conditioned it. Strands of my hair were all over my home, car, clothes, purse, workplace. I went to my primary care doctor then to a dermatologist. Both doctors requested blood work, checking for different diagnoses. All tests came back normal. The dermatologist determined I have telogen effluvium. I firmly believe the steroid shots caused my extreme hair loss. It is especially thin on top of my head. I’m now using Rogaine and pray my hair will come back to the way it always has been. I never thought I’d be experiencing this being my hair has always been so thick. The texture feels completely different; very dry and unruly. I’d much rather suffer w/leg pain than to get those shots again.

  8. I have been gettting the ESI’s since May of last year and I can not stop due to pain. To continue the proof. Yes my hair falls out by the handfulls. Especially when I wash it. Guess I will have to deal with it because I can not take the pain. I have also lost almost 40 pounds since then? Has anyone else lost weight like that?

  9. I experienced the exact same thing as others after cortisone shot in my low back. It didn’t happen with the first few shots, just the last time – flushing of my skin (like hot flashes), hair falling out by the handful, and menstrual cycle went seriously out of whack with several weeks of heavy bleeding followed by erratic spotting and bleeding heavy or light for several months. Your hair does grow back though. In spite of worsening back problems I will not have another cortisone injection no matter what – it is not as bad as the side effects.

  10. It’s been nearly a year since my first steriod shots in my lower back. My hair continues to fall out, although not as badly. My dermatologist and hairdresser say what I’m experiencing is normal (I get the “losing 100 to 200 strands a day is normal” line from both). I hate washing and conditioning it cause of all the hair that comes out and only do so once a week (luckily, my hair is dry and not oily). Only used Rogaine for about 3 weeks. It made the top of my head feel weird. I don’t know why this happened, perhaps stress or it’s part of getting older, but I do know I will never get those steriod shots again! During a follow-up visit w/my ortho doc, he said hair loss IS a side effect after steriod shots! Good luck ladies, I feel your angst!

    1. I had my first injection 3 days ago. I was elated at the initial relief, but last night I was up calling the doctor. I had absolutely no heat tolerance, I was dizzy and nauseous. My sciatica before the injection was intolerable. My only relief was to lay down. Well after the injection, I now have pain when I lay down and the most annoying numbness. The doctor on call advised me to call my primary because I may be having low thyroid which can happen because the synthetic steroid competes with the natural cortisone in the body. I’m so distressed,I feel every step I take to get well results in me getting sicker. I feel hopeless.

  11. I had four shots for bulging discs at L3,4,5,S1 in a period of 4 months. My pain lessened and I felt pretty good. Then, as the pain began to creep back, my hair started to fall out… particularly when i washed my hair. My scalp was pink, itchy and spotted with red bumps. I was diagnosed with a variety of issues. Hormonal balding ( I am 53, going through menopause and have terrible hot flashes that make my scalp sweat,) low iron or ferritin levels and a systemic reaction to four epidural steroid injections. I not only have chronic sciatica pain going down my right buttock to toes, I’m losing my hair and feeling like a sad sack. I am taking iron sulfate with vitamin C. I am taking doxycycline as an anti-inflammatory and to fight possible staff from the folliculitis in my scalp. I wash my hair occasionally with a prescribed steroid shampoo but use Selsun Blue and Head and Shoulders conditioner with zinc most days. It’s a very strange phase of life. I can take a lot of the symptoms to a point but being an agin bald female in chronic pain is no fun. I try to do things that make me happy but it’s an everyday effort. I am lucky that my injury only left me in pain and not paralyzed or dead. So, I’m just taking each day as it comes. Get your blood tested, try alternative medicine if the steroid injections don’t work, stretch everyday, and remain optimistic. I know it’s hard. But, my dermatologist assured me that I wasn’t going to go bald. My regular doctor told me that I would lose my hair for a while and it would come back. Yet, it would take three or four months to self regulate. Good luck everyone!

  12. After returning today from my doctor who had given me the 2nd series of epidural steroid injections to the neck and shoulders, I noticed my hair had suddenlty become much thinner, but only on top of my scull…i was not pulling out hair in clumps. Also, just prior to these neck injections, i had also received 3 epidural steriod injections in the spine’s lumber region for arthritis. Today, I was frieked out and then came to this chat blog for possible answers/solutions and to also share my experiences. By the way, I am a 59 yr. old male in fairly good health. Becasue I take no other medications for any health condition (i.e in the recent past, i even played contact ice hockey and football), I believe steroid injections have caused my hair loss.

    Many thanks to all who provided me with emotional relief by suggesting your original hair eventually grows back adn this is good for me to know…i’m a vain person and the cost for my hair replacement is estimated at $15,000,000. Also, many thanks for the Rogaine recommedations. Is it sold in Toronto, Ontario, Canada…if so, where? Or perhaps nearby? Marc

  13. Hi everyone and Happy New Year! My hair finally stopped coming out in droves! Sure, I still lose some stands when washing/conditioning it, but not as much now. It took me a little over a year to get my hair back on track. It’s not as thick as it used to be, but the thinness on top is filling in. I can finally resume looking at the back of my hair with a mirror again. I wouldn’t do it when it was so thin on my crown! Please don’t give up hope, your hair will come back.

    Earlier this year, my dermatologist put me on Spironolactone 50 mg tablets (twice daily, but I only take one a day), which may be helping, I dunno. I didn’t care for Rogaine for Women cause it made my scalp feel weird and you haveta continue using it the rest of your life. If you stop using it after doing so for a long time, I was told your hair will come out again.

    I know how disheartened you feel, but hang in there and try your best to overcome stress in your life. Stress causes hair loss – and losing your hair stresses you out; it’s a vicious cycle – as well as menopause (for us ladies) and especially those dang transforminal epidural steriod injections, which cost me so much $$$ out of pocket and only made me pain-free for about a month! Never again! I find stretching eases my leg pain now. Good luck and happy and healthy 2012 to all!

  14. Back in August I received facet joint injections. Things appeared to be going well. They seemed to take the pain away and I did not notice any side effects until one day while car shopping with a friend. During our visit with the salesman she quietly let me know that my hair was falling different than usual. I paid little attention to it at the time. However, after a few weeks it was becoming evident that my hair was thinning. Then but I didn’t put it together with the steriod shot yet. So in 3 months I had another. This time the hair loss was much worse and it seemed to get worse as the pain came back about one month later. Now I am taking saw palmetto and applying Rogaine daily hoping my hair will hurry up and return. Right now it’s thin on top. So I do not plan to take anymore shots as a result unless of course I can not tolerate the pain but I will be seeking alternative methods such as anti-inflammatory supplements.

  15. Well I had A 4 Wheeler to wreck my back i had the left siatic nerve pain so severe i opted for epidural shots i had two sets of 5 injections in august& sept 2011 i had a full head of silver hair and was always getting comments on my hair it was natural style,, i started loosing it by the hand fulls arouned by the last of dec 2011 it is now the 28th of Jan 2012 and it did not all come out but its 35% thinner it still has a tiny bit on each mornings comb or wash to fall out, i now hope it stops i feel like i was blessed to have such a head full of hair to start with but i personally will say this what ever you do that can help you be less pain free try any alternative other than Epidural shots they might provide temp relief but the hair loss is bad news i was told it will grow back i hope so but now im having to undergo neck and all the way down invasive surgery, i will never have any shots again its a waste of time& Money Plus the Pain Comes Back And the hair loss on top of that is to much to handle,, i recommend seek out a spine and joint center and go from there save the agony, of hair loss and wasted time.. Tom

  16. I had a series of three injections at the end of Oct. My hair started falling out about Dec. and continues to do so. I can’t believe all the hair that I have lost. I also had contisone shots in my foot. The doctor that did the shots said hair loss isn’t a result of the shots. I sure think it is. How long does it take to stop?

  17. I had 3 facet steroid injections in my neck for severe pain from herniated bulging discs, stenosis and I couldnt turn my head to the right without pain. Within 2 days I was on fire. My face and chest looked like I had a severe sun burn. My heart was pounding so hard in my chest I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I experienced such severe anxiety and just a feeling of being sick. I called my DR and told her these symptoms. She said, she never heard of this before! Can you imagine? I go on the internet and sure enough, thousands of people are having these symptoms. Now my hair is falling out!!! When I went to see her for a follow up visit, she then said I was very sensitive to cortisone and cannot take it anymore. I wouldnt take even if they paid me! I am on pain medication and I go to physical theraphy. The shots did take away the pain, but only temporarily. A month later, the pain was back. The side effects were horrible and now the hair loss is worse than ever. When will this stop? I will never take another cortisone steroid injection again. The DR’s will not always be truthful because they want you to keep coming back. When the DR said she never heard of my side effects, I knew she had to be playing dumb. Then she said, oh yes, you are sensitive and are not a good candidate for cortisone. All doctors should know every side effect. I have to see her tomorrow again and I will report the hair loss, which she will probably say, “Ive never heard of this before”. I should let her read this thread to see how many people are loosing their hair.

  18. I had steroid shots in my lower back 3 times. 2/10/12, 2/24/12 and 5/17/12. The next week I noticed my hair texture changed and about 2 weeks later it started to fall out. Before this I had really thick hair (thank God!) so I always had a little shedding. The shedding seemed to get worse and now I would say that i’ve lost almost half. I keep trying to be optimistic but I may have to start wig shopping soon. I wish I knew when this was going to stop and if I will have any hair left. My doctor put me on spironolactone also. I pray this helps. Thank you to all of you that have shared your stories or should I say nightmares, haha. Good Luck!

  19. I had several injections in a serious of 3 visits. Lower lumber, facet, and cervical. End of January, end of February, and beginning of April. 2 weeks into Aril, I noticed how thin my hair had gotten. Here it is the end of July, and my hair is still coming out like crazy. As many of you mentioned, it is everywhere. Sink, floor, car, purse, etc. I too had beautiful long thick brown hair down my back. I too have had to cut it up to my shoulders so that it doesn’t look so thin. Some days I’m alright, and other days I’m an emotional wreck. I had two comprehensive blood tests to rule out any deficiencies or hormonal imbalances. Everything came back normal. Can anyone comment on how long the hair loss lasted and if it in deed did grow back without the use of rogain. I really need some encouragement and optimism. Thanks

  20. I started having Cortisone injections in April 2012. I had 4 shots during the first 3 months and then they set me up for 6 shots over the next 2 months. I didn’t finish the second set of shots because I noticed the excessive hair loss. The doctor’s didn’t seem overly concerned with this yet they understood why I refused additional treatments. I was then put on pain meds instead. I have always been a firm believer in letting the body heal itself and wouldn’t even take over the counter meds unless I was absolutely necessary. Obviously I’ve had to adjust my way of thinking and I am discouraged by this. I wonder if doing a 30 cleansing program will flush the steriods out of my system quicker. I really don’t want to be losing hair for the next several months. Has anyone tried this? How about vitamin’s specific for healthy hair, would that help? Has anyone tried the treatment called TrichoZed?

  21. I must agree with everyone. I had a Cervical epidual injection in August of this year. I currently have experienced difficulty with chemical damage to my hair already. I guess since my hair is already compromised that it did not take much. After only the one injection I suffered from thinning hair. I will not get another injection. I will have to try something else. :-(

  22. I went through a series of 3 Lumbar Epidural injections in August. They worked somewhat, not as well as I had hoped for.
    Almost a month after the last injection I started losing my hair and I am still losing it. I am very nervous about this and hope that it will stop soon. I had no hairloss concerns before I had the shots.

  23. I too, had 4 epidurals for back pain. I am losing a lot of hair when I brush it. I have e lsot a lot of hair on the curly thick hair. I have noticed that the vrown of my head is very thin and found some bald areas. Should I be using rogain, using a special shampoo or taking special vitamins. Is is safe to color my hair. I look like a skunk.

  24. I had two steroid shots in my neck last November and December. I started noticing hair loss in February. I called the doctor who gave me the shots and he said he had never heard of that. If anything, he said my hair should be thicker than ever. I went to my doctor and she ran some blood tests but everything came back fine. I went to a dermatologist and was told I had telogen effluvium. I tried vitamins but they didn’t help. Finallly after about four months the hair loss started to slow down. A couple months after that I started noticing some new hair growth. Now my hair seems to be getting back to normal. It is not as thick as it once was, and I don’t know if it ever will be, but it is definitely getting better. I just wanted to reassure people that you will not lose all your hair and it will come back. I was comforted when I was going through all this to find this blog and hear other people had the same issue and I wasn’t alone. Three doctors wouldn’t believe me that it was the shot that caused this. But I know it was. I will never get those shots again.

  25. I have had 2 epidural steroid injections. My last shot was in February. In Sept I noticed the top of my hair was thinning. It has been 2 months now and it is still thinning on the very top front of my head. I am trying Biotin vitamins for hair growth and I am getting very nervous that it will get worse. Can anyone tell me how long they lost hair and when this will stop?

  26. Well, it has been very interesting finding this site. I too have had a couple of epidural injections and have had two years of hair loss going from having a full head of hair to hair that has no bounce and is flat.
    Fortunately, it has stopped falling out in clumps, but I am reluctant to have any more injections although I probably could do with the relief from the back and sciatica I have.
    I think it would be nice to know that it will eventually grow back and would like to hear from anyone who gave give me some hope that it will grow back…..

  27. I had neck steriod injections last February and May. So far has helped pain but in June, hair which was beautiful and down to waist started shedding, wierd texture, like fabric rolls with little bulbs on tangled strands. Now almost a year later and hair is up to shoulders, very thin, and while a little better, still has constant severe split ends I keep cutting off. Dermotologist seemed to think it was from too much anesthesia, but from this website I’m now convinced it was from steriods. I now need shots for sciatica. But I am an older woman who has lost hair and gained 30 lbs. from steriods – DEVASTATION! Want my hair and figure back, lose the stress. Prefer pain pills, stretching exercises and hopefully seeing my friends again.

  28. I had 4 shots in 2012..hair started falling out a month after the first one. I too had thick, long hair, but sadly my scalp is now visible and the texture is like wax. It breaks off in pieces and falls out in droves. Dr. administering the injections says it could be a side affect of the anesthesia. I decided to continue shots without sedation and my hair is still falling out. Dermatologist says its more likely from the steroids. No definite word as to whether it will grow back. These doctors should be required to disclose this side effect, but not likely as patients would opt not to have the injections. Hope to see posts from people stating that their hair has grown back!! Good luck to all!

  29. Can any of yall tell me how long it will take for the hair loss to stop once I stop having the injections. I have been having them off any on for 5 yrs now. The last 3 to 4 yrs I get the about every 3 months. I like a lot of yall had a head full of hair and became very frighted when it started wrapping around my fingers so bad in the shower that I would have to rinse my hand to get it off so I could continue with conditioner. Any time I run my finger through it while its wet it is scary at how much comes out. It’s every where. I know this is gross, but i have to be very careful when I cook because my family started finding so much in the food. My hair is so this now I almost cry every time I blow dry it. Back in 2011 I went to the Dr looking for answers in blood work..NOTHING..I rack my brain trying to figure out what in the world could be causing this.. The light bulb went off last night when I went back in my mind to the yr I first noticed it and when it started getting worse and how frequent I am now getting the injections for my neck. I have a appt to get one for Feb 15, needless to say I WILL be canceling it. So please if you can tell me when the hair loss might stop you can email me at yomom253@yahoo.com

  30. This is my second post. My hair has finally stopped falling out. It started in May 2012, slowed down around Nov/Dec and finally stopped in Jan. I lost about half to 2/3 of my hair. I can’t tell if the shorter pieces are regrowth or breakage. Here is what I found out: These shots cause trauma to your hair folicles and they shut down for a time. If you absolutely have to get these shots, then you can try taking a DHT blocker(like Spironolactone, Saw Palmeto, Nettle Root, etc.) From what I understand, steroids can cause an increase in testosterone and that causes your DHT levels to go up. People that take steroids for body building, etc take DHT blockers to minimize hairloss. Your hair will grow back. I know of someone that didn’t figure this out and kept getting the shots. She went completely bald but her hair did grow back. It doesn’t help to do a cleanse, the damage is already done to your hair. I took collagen, biotin, used expensive hair products and took spironolactone. I honestly dont feel like any of it helped. Your hair folicles have shut down and all you can do is wait. I got my hair colored and cut as usual. I also tried to wait as long as possible between shampoos because for some reason it would come out in handfulls when I washed it. My doctor told me that he does know that this can happen, but I was his first patient to experience it that he is aware of. I can’t help but wonder if there is something we all have in common that caused this side effect because I know of many other people that have had multiple shots and didn’t lose any hair. I hope this answers some questions for those of you searching. I will post again when I feel like my hair is back.

  31. I too have been getting cortisone shots for years in my shoulders. It has taken me until recently to realize this is the cause of my hairloss. My last shots were in July and I just got two more. My hair had stopped falling out about 3 months ago, so I would say that the hair falling out lasted about 5 months. You could see the difference in my hair. I do take 2,000 of vitamine D and Biotin daily now. (I think this does help.) I also noticed that using Agadir oil and protienizer spray that I get from my hairdresser does help from having any hair breakage. I have decided that if my hair starts this crazy falling out again within a month from now, I will not get any more cortizone shots and go for surgery that I have been avoiding. I feel for you all and know how devistating this can be. At least you can rest assured that it is not permanent. Also, anything you can do to help like taking vitamines etc is good for your self esteem to feel you are helping. ( I think it helps.) Good luck to all or you!!

  32. Hi all—I had 2 steroid shots in November 2012 for allergic reactions. They made me so sick within 10 minutes of receiving the shots—it hit me hard and fast and made me so physically ill, but after it passed I assumed that was the end of side effects from steroid shots. I was very wrong.
    Late January, all of February and the very beginning of March 2013 I noticed I was losing more hair—in the drain, in my brush, on the floor, everywhere. At first I wasn’t concerned, but then one day I gathered up my hair to tie it in a ponytail (I have long hair, to my mid-back) and freaked out at how thin it is. I’d lost maybe 1/3 of my hair and since I’m 20, I didn’t have a clue what was causing this until my Mom suggested those stupid shots and I found multiple sites with experiences just like mine.
    It DOES stop—like others have said on here, it does self-regulate and now I’m not losing any more than what was normal for me to lose before the steroid shots. I’ve found several things that I believe have helped me:

    -5,000 mg of biotin a day
    -eating a lot of fish/taking fish oil
    -using a wide tooth comb to brush out hair, not a hairbrush
    -Biolage full lift volumizing spray
    -Peter Lamas Chinese Herbs Shampoo and Conditioner

    I hope that this information helps; that’s what worked for me. I’ve noticed that my hair is growing back now and the volumizer, shampoo and conditioner thicken it up nicely until it gets back to where it was before. I thought I’d share this since I was in a panic a couple of months ago trying to figure out what would help me and if my hair would ever stop falling out. It’s a horrible feeling but just know that you will NOT lose all your hair and it will stop. Good luck to everyone!

  33. I am so glad to have come across this blog. I had 3 cortisone shots in Oct-Nov 2012 and 2 steroid shots in Jan 2013 in my neck|spine. My thick, coarse hair started falling out when wet within 2 weeks of the first injections and has become very fine. I would never have let the doc give me the 2nd set of injections if I had known the side effects. It is April and my neck hurts more than ever. The relief only lasted 1-2 months. I have cancelled my appt for May. There is nothing he can say that I would trust. I have been taking Biotin and a multi-vitamin for 2 months but no signs of new hair yet. My internist said it will come back. My hairstylist said to not expect much regrowth and it will never be coarse again. I’m seriously praying about this.

  34. Hello
    I too had steroid shot back in March 13, 2013 for left shoulder pain due to a car accident. I had six injections. End of April up to this day i’ve noticed the texture of my hair changed and my hair has been falling out like crazy. I have been so emotional, and i have been crying because of this excessive hair loss. I had regular hair loss, but never like this :…( Had i known i would have never gotten these stupid shots. This shot also caused me to have irregular periods. If anyone ever wants an advise i will say “DONT TAKE THE SHOTS!!”i had long beautiful hair down to my bra line and now its so short, im considering shaving my head. :….(

  35. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who’s hair has started falling out after steroid injections in my spine.

  36. YOUR HAIR WILL COME BACK after those shots! It’s been nearly three years since my initial transforminal epidoral steroid injections in my lower back. I haven’t had them since October 2010, never will have them again.

    Turns out, the ortho doc I went to back in 2010 diagnosed me with bulging discs and ordered two sets of injections for me (Sept and Oct 2010). But my real, underlining problem was and continues to be my left bone on bone hip, which was discovered via an MRI last July (2012). My worn out hip causes extreme leg pains – the same pain I’ve had all along (since February 2007). I will eventually need hip replacement surgery, but I’m putting it off as long as I can.

    My left upper leg still hurts, but my hair has come back …and yours will too. That darn steriod just hasta completely get outta your system and it takes time and patience. Use the volumizing shampoos and conditioners (I still use L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate Free volume shampoo and conditioner).

    I am no longer taking Spirolactone or any medications for hair loss, they didn’t help. I no longer go to the dermatologist. I continue to take vitamins daily, including B-complex.

    I know exactly what you’re going through, and how helpless and distraught you feel. My hair still isn’t as thick as it useta be, due to those shots and the aging process too I guess, but it’s 100% better than it was after those shots. Good luck everyone and hang in there!

  37. Hi,

    I have been having epidural shots for close to 4 years in my SI joints and cervical spine. I have been through this cycle repeatedly, yet every time I hit the hair loss stage, I freak out. For people who have never experienced this kind of hair loss, even the people who live with you (and pull your hair out of their dinner, Barbara), they can never understand the magnitude of the loss. It is devastating. Even though I have repeated the cycle, when it’s falling out, I’m afraid I end up bald.

    The upside of having been through it so many times is that I have learned a few things that have not been previously mentioned, which is why I wanted to post. These are my personal observations of what my body goes through during each cycle and I want to let you know that I have not done research into the the “mechanics” of the medication and the body’s response to it.

    That being said…the first side effect I experience is a fuzzy, furry, Muppet-like layer of hair on my face, neck, shoulders and upper back. Sexy, right! To lighten the subject, a little story…one summer when I was furry, I used spray sunscreen before a trip to the pool. After I sprayed my face, my daughter said “Mom, you’ve got sunscreen in your hair”. So I proceeded to smooth the hair above my ears and forehead. She then looked at me with a awkward look and said “No, in your HAIR!” and smoothed my Muppet hair on my cheeks down. There was so much hair on my face that the droplets of sunscreen gathered on them. I used to joke about it with my friends and we would have a good long laugh about it, but I also did that because then I could make fun of it before they had a chance too. However, most of this hair was very light even though I’m brunette. The one exception to this rule (cuz being a light haired Muppet wasn’t bad enough) was my “mustache” which came in dark enough that I hated it and had to bleach it.

    So my theory is first it makes your hair grow in thicker and then as it wears off and stops helping with the pain, that’s when your hair starts falling out. So for those of us who have periodic injections the cycles layer on top of each other. I am currently in the losing hair phase and it is nearly as difficult as the first time. I have thin fine hair and can’t really afford to lose any. Right now, I can see my scalp through my hair on the crown of my head, and like many of you whose posts I related to, between the pain that precipitated the cycle, the fact that the pain relief didn’t last and the weight gain, losing my hair too (not for the first time) literally adds insult to injury!

    Unfortunately, one of the challenges I have faced in my battle with chronic pain is dependence on prescription painkillers and for the purposes of this forum the takeaway is that my memory of the time frame of the hair loss cycle is missing. What I do know is that it does stop and that my hair has come back in the past and that is what is getting me through my current hair loss. I do realize that it will take time and I’m just gonna have to be patient. But I can also tell you that I have had hair regrowth with no medical intervention and have only taken hair and nail vitamins sporadically. So, hang in there and don’t spend all your money.

    Lastly, I wanted to mention an alternative to steroid injections that I will be discussing with my doctor. When I have received injections in my SI joints in the past, my doctor injected Lidocaine first then a steroid and also something called Phenol or Benzyl Alcohol.

    “Phenol is an anesthetic drug given by injection (a shot). This drug is used in patients with spasticity where the muscle(s) involved are overactive. Phenol acts as a chemical neurolytic (neuh-ro-LIT-ick) agent. This means that it works as a nerve block. It temporarily destroys a portion of the nerve to prevent the overactivity.” For more information visit:

    My experience with Phenol has been very positive. For example, when I have had injections of only steroids I have never had a quantitative or lasting effect. When I have had injections that included Phenol I have had a significant reduction in the level of my pain that have lasted for MONTHS!! Up to 10 months.

    The question I will be posing to my doctor is whether I can omit the steroid from my injections from now on and just receive Lidocaine and Phenol. I am hopeful that this solution will work for me and that my doctor will be willing to agree to it.

    A warning, if a Phenol injection is not given precisely in the nerve bundle it can cause problems. So many doctors are shying away from using this option. Doctors who are not well trained and meticulous in giving these injections WILL cause more harm than good. My doctor is VERY good at what he does and I have received significant relief from Phenol, but he uses it only upon request now and orders it in specifically for me. Do your research, find a doctor who has been doing injections for a long time, who is a GOOD doctor and then ask about Phenol.

    I hope this can help at least one of you. I appreciate each of you for your bravery in posting your story here and I thank you, because even though I have been through it before your support has really helped me. Feel free to email me if you want to “talk”!) nvanorden@yahoo.com

  38. Hi all. I wanted to post to share some info and also ask a few questions. I recieved a 80 mg shot of kenalog into my left shoulder in june. By august my hair began falling out like crazy, like most of you it happens the most when im in the shower. Its still falling out by the handful and my once thick curly hair is about half of what it was. Doctors will tell you it cant be the cortisone blah blah but it most certainly is. In 2012 the fda issued a warning that cortisone shot not be injected epidurally and i encourage all of you who have had those type of injections to seek legal advice bc all of you deserve to be compensated. Now, what we all have suffered from is telogen effluivum. It happens when any major hormonal shock happens to our bodies…like say a stress hormone being injected into you. I have experienced every side effect other than death from this damn poison. My question for you guys is did any one else recieve a intra muscular injection and how long did the hair loss last? Im going on 4 months and there sem

  39. I\’m so glad I found this website because I knew something was just not right and thanks to this website it confirms it. I have degenerative disc disease and a bum hip, I\’m 42yr old female. I\’m super active, healthy, healthy diet, etc etc. But without these epidurals in my back I\’m living in misery. I\’ve also had two surgeries on my hip due to torn labrum and other issues, next step is hip replacement this year. So in between these surgeries I am always in pain and still am so of course they were giving me steroid injections.

    I think all along I was having strange side effects and never noticed, menstrual cycle all messed up all the time, crazy hormone issues, hair was breaking off, just little things here and there but it took the last 6 months to really notice something is seriously wrong. I had another hip injection and facet injection in August of 2013 and within 3 weeks my hair was falling out in piles, also when I would get these injections I would look like I was sun burnt for days, night sweats like crazy, raging hormones, all of a sudden onset of heavy menstrual cycle. All of a sudden I was having major issues with my iron, my ferritin was depleting rapidly. I went to every single dr you name it, they could find nothing.

    Then I had another hip injection just recently in January 2014, now mind you my hair was JUST starting to slow down from falling out for 4 months, at this point half of my uber thick beautiful hair has fallin out, it\’s life-less thin as can be, can\’t tell you how many tears were shed. Within one week of getting this recent injection my hair started falling out in piles, had unreal night sweats, menstrual cycle out of nowhere very heavy. Then it clicked it\’s the shots. Then I came across this website and read about Kenalog and how awful it is for you. I asked my dr straight up and said are you using Kenalog and he said yes. I told him what is happening and he said that we could never use it on me again.

    Guess I will just live in pain unless they can come up with something other than Kenalog.

    Also if anybody has had issues with their iron and steroids please respond back, my dr\’s can\’t find why this is happening, I\’m going to the gastro next week and tell him about Kenalog maybe that is why, I hope I can solve the last puzzle to this unreal nightmare of steroids!

    Anybody losing their hair it is very important to make sure your getting plenty of Folic Acid every single day, I do have lots of new growth but it is a painful slow process.

  40. i had an ESI (epidural steroid injection)for a severely herniated disc in early November 2013.. starting almost a month later my hair started dropping out at an alarming rate. I have always had VERY thick hair and now you can see my scalp through it very easily. My wife has always told me she dislikes baldness from a aesthetic view point and I am so worried I will go completely bald and things will never be the same again. Stress breeds stress. I have been crippled my medical expenses so haven’t had enough money to go to an epidemiologist and have been trying to self diagnose from the internet.

    Do any of the males on here have the male pattern baldness or norwood loss or is TE an all over condition? There is so much terrible information on the internet its hard to know whats a website asking for money and what is real information. The hairs that are falling out are noticeably thinner but do have the small white bulb on the end of them (although only very small).

    I am hesitant to get on propecia as I have read horror stories about the side effects of sexual dysfunction.

    Although I am male have noticed there are a lot of women on this page… I know that men are ‘supposed’ to bald but ladies I feel you pain… hang in there!

  41. It is so refreshing to know that I’m not insane and this problem does exist. i have been losing hair for months and had no idea why.

    Last August, I had 8 steriod cervical injections. I have had many side affects from a 22lb weight gain, moon face, skin irritated/hot, and the past couple of months a new one popped up, my hair has been falling out. My usually oily and fairly health hair has turned dry and brittle. Most of my hair loss is when I’m combing my hair after washing/conditioning. It’s crazy the amount of hair that is left behind in my brush/comb or at the bottom of the shower. I have been trying a shampoo that supposed to stop the fall-out, but I’m allergic to something in the product, so had to stop. My hair has never been extremly thick, but in the last few of months, I believe that I have lost about half the hair I used to have. It’s scary and frustrating. I’m glad to hear that it will stop eventually and will try all the suggestions to help speed up the hair growth process.

  42. So exactly how long does the hair loss continue after steroid injections? I had two rounds (two injections each round) of epidural steroid injections in a bulged disc for sciatica and two injections in each hip. I was blessed with extremely thick long hair. Now, I swear, it is half as thick as it was! I can sit and run my fingers through it and pull out strand after strand until I have a pile of 50 or so hairs, then go brush it and get 50-75 more! Whenever I brush it I will always get that many. It seems like it will never end! I NEVER brushed more than 5-10 strands out before and NEVER washed a single one out showering. Now, I wash out at least 10 strands with each shampoo/condition. I would only have to clean out my brush about once a month, now it’s every. day. I have even began using rogaine for women with no avail. HELP! Any answer for how long will help with my anxiety over this. No more injections for me. I would rather be drugged up than bald!

  43. Reading these comments Im so sympathetic I have had hair loss in previous years.I was young and inexperienced in asking the correct questions.
    Steroids will cause hair loss. Not everyones body reacts the same, our bodys react differently. There are so many variables to hair loss including stress.
    The pharmacutical companys do publish information for rare and common reactions.
    I think the question is how long before the hair returns to us.
    After the cycling of the medication is elimaniated,it may take some time.
    We have to decide whow we are willing to suffer. Most would chose to have pain reduced.
    Im depressed,so hair loss was just another unpleasant side affect that makes us feel marked by our physical pain enuring these shots for relief.

  44. I got two sets of epidural injections, 2 shots each time, in January and February for herniated discs. In June my hair began coming out like crazy. In July I went to my doctor and she ran a bunch of blood tests that all came back norm. In august I went to a dermatologist that specializes in hair. Her name is doctor susan Taylor and she’s actually on doctor oz sometimes. She told me it was telogen effluvium caused by the shots. She said the hair loss could last 5-6 months. It is now October (4 months) and the hair loss has seemed to have stopped. I am also seeing regrowth. I don’t have bald spots just a general thinning that seems to mostly be by my hair line and in the top front of my hair. I have thick hair and people say it doesn’t look any thinner but I know it is. I hope the regrowth continues. I feel like I can’t pull my hair back because my hairline looks weird. My hairdresser said that the hair at your hairline is the most fragile and she recommended that I come back often to get my bangs trimmed so they are not pulling so much on my scalp. Btw I’m 26 years old. Good luck to everyone going through this horrible process. I’m definitely not getting the shots again although they really helped my back pain.

  45. Well, I can’t believe I found this website. As I sit here and tears run down my face it makes me angry that dr’s administer this crap and have no idea the mental stress this caused which is way more than any relief from the shots. These shots never gave me ANY relief at all.
    Back in May and June I received 1 shot in my back and in June 2 in my neck, well the dr never informed me of these side effects, and when I had the second shot in my neck I had this weird sensation through my whole body. I knew right then and there this was not right. One month later I went for a hair cut and the stylist saw my first bald spot. I was out of town and as soon as I returned home I went to see a dermatologist (and drove an hr just to get an appointment right away). Well, he said it was alopecia and that it should only be a couple of spots and sent me on my way till my next appointment in 2 months. 2 months later he still said it was alopecia, took pictures and sent me on my way for another 2 months. Since the last appointment my hair has fallen out so much that I have to wear a wig all the time. Not a happy camper here. I have lost just about all my hair and it is still falling out. I am blessed to have a boy friend that is so positive and reminds me that it is temporary and will come back.
    I went to the drs again last week and when I took my wig off he finally said it isn’t alopecia, that it was telogen effluvium and that it is a temporary condition due to the injections. WTF drs, do you not care enough to inform your patients these side effects??? Well, not sure if anyone else has thought of this, but I am seeking an attorney. The mental stress this has caused, and I’m still not sure if mine is going to come back. Not only have I lost my hair but I have had very sensitive teeth, my nails are ridged and are discoloring, my blood sugar is up, not to mention I STILL HAVE PAIN. I was suppose to have another shot…I have cancelled all my appointments ( do you think the drs office would call and find out why I haven’t gotten the next shot…NO), anyway I try to stay positive and knowing that many have gone through this and still are, including me, I’m hopeful that my hair will come back….Peace and God’s blessings to all!!!

  46. My story starts with a visit to the podiatrist in March for Morton’s neuroma in both my feet. From mid march to to early June I received 6 cortisone injections into my feet. Second injection was 4 weeks after first one and almost immediately I started having periods that did not stop for almost 3 months. Every Dr said it wasn’t related to injections. Period became normal again in August and then at the end if August I started to lose hair. Excessive amounts of hair. I Have been to 2 dorms and they both said its Telogen Effluvium but I didn’t put 2 and 2 together about the injections until I came across this site.

    I wash my hair Every 3 days, I am on 100 mg of spironolactone and I literally shove so man vitamins down my throat daily.

    Does anyone have redness on their scalp? Itching? I hear its inflammation from the hair loss but didn’t see anyone mention it. I see a little regrowth but wish I could brush my hair without worrying I would lose it all.

  47. Bless you all for sharing your story. Tears are streaming down my face as I read each and every story.
    Back in late August I had two cortisone shots in my shoulder to help the pain of frozen shoulder.
    About 6 weeks ago the texture of my hair got very weird dry thin full of static. I thought it was because we turned the heat on. Today I remembered the the two cortisone shots I got for my shoulder. I found my vacum was full of my hair. My husband suggested that I search for cortisone shot and hair loss and here I am….with all of you. Now I get it. I hope it stops soon or I am going to be bald. I wonder what else I can blame on these darn shots.
    Thank you all so much for sharing. I can’t tell you what it means to me to find all of you here. I thought I must be very sick to lose a handful of hair every time I showered,

    Thank you Dee

  48. Thanks to this site. Yes it does cause hair loss, I have had kenalog injections in the butt, and trigger point injections and it was actually the trigger point injections in my neck and back that I actually saw a lot of hair thinning. Wish they would have told me this was a side effect. I even called and the nurse said she would have to ask the doc, and of course they said no it was not a side effect. Then the nurse said we did have another women call asking the same thing. But again she it was not from the injections. I just went to my family doctor and he yes it was from the steroids! Geez!!!

  49. Investigating my recent hair loss, I find this site and it comforts me to know that after the loss of hair it does grow back. Thank goodness! I’ve been getting these steroid injections on my lower back for several years since a failed back surgery but never have I lost any hair so I’m shocked with this development. It’s only been in the last six months that I’ve been getting trigger point Injections about every 6 weeks., then In December 2014, my hair started coming out In clumps
    And can see my scalp, needless to say I feel desperate about it but finding this site it does give me some hope . Thank you everyone for all your posts, it helps to know others have experienced.
    I plan on not getting anymore trigger points which did help me for pain at least never that close together.
    Because of never having this happen before with all the previous injections I’m a a loss as to wgat to do
    I know I never want to go through this again.. My hair hasn’t started growing back yet but it’s only been
    5 weeks since my last one… I’m scared for sure, like someone said ,
    It’s bad enough to be in chronic pain but being old and bald doesn’t set well with me.
    Thanks once again

  50. Michelle, you asked if anyone had it itching. Yes, I too have expierenced
    Itching but I didn’t attribute it to hair loss, in fact until I found this site I thought it was from a shampoo.
    I too am hopeful that my hair will thicken up but being in pain and not getting the injections for it is scary..
    Don’t know what I am gong to do year about that.. Good luck to both of us

  51. I wanted to come back to say that one time years ago I had to take cortisone pills for a bad case of pneumonia. About a month later I got very depressed. Then the doctor tells me that this is normal….normal?!
    Why doesn’t anyone warn us? I guess they don’t want us to be afraid of taking this stuff.
    I would prefer a warning myself so I can be prepared. I thought I had some awful disease as my hair is breaking off and coming out at the root. Hair loss is bad enough but the texture has completely changed. I hate that I am the kind of person who depends on hair for my sense of worth. I wish I could just cut it short and forget about it. I started using Nioxin about a month ago. The hair loss has decreased a bit but that might be coincidence. I wonder how long it lasts?
    Thank you all again for sharing. I was feeling really alone

  52. Thank you Betty for coming back to say that it will grow back. I believe that too. I would just be happy if it would stop falling out. I am so tired of people telling me that hair loss is normal. I have bald spots all over my head that I am trying to cover.
    I think this is called telogen effluvium, I had it once before after an operation.
    Take Care every one

  53. I also had steroid injections in my lower spine.one in march 2014 the other in april. In late august my hair started shedding way more than normal and i couldnt figure out why…what was different? I began searching and found this site and it really helped me through a very tough time. My hair texture changed to very dry and i just couldnt do anything with it.I was comforted to see that this was temporary and many times i have come back to read these when i was feeling really low. I wanted to share my story and to say that finally after close to 5 months my hair has returned to its normal texture and is shedding way less than what it was. When i got my hair cut this past weekend i came home and actually felt like my old self again! The shots didnt help me either and i still have the leg pain caused by herniated discs and am going to see a spinal surgeon Feb 25 to see if its a good idea for me. But i wanted to share my hairloss story and to give others hope..like they gave me!!! Truly grateful to everyone who has shared their story also!

  54. Jojo, thank you for sharing. I found this site also after having trigger point injections. And like you it gave me some comfort in regards to the hair loss thing. Glad to know it does grows back.

  55. Go ahead and get the spinal surgery to repair the discs. I had it after 3 injections that didn’t do anything but cause my hair to fall out. The surgery relieved my pain almost immediately.

  56. Thank you for the advice. I am scheduled for surgery the end of April. Its scary but hearing positive outcomes of others really helps!

  57. I had 4 injections over 6 months for arthritis in my thumb joints, with the last one in August 2014. Hair started falling out in November, 2014. Started growing back in February. I lost about 1/3 of my hair. Doctors seem perplexed! Dermatologist did say cortisone injections can cause hair loss, but it is very rare. It looks like my hair is going to go back to normal and I am taking very good care of it! Will never take having nice hair for granted again, and will never have another cortisone injection!

  58. 40 year old female…I had L4/L5 epidural steroid injections in May and June 2014. Facet joint injections (4 injection sites) in August 2014. I have always had really thick hair and have always shed hair while in the shower. It’s so long that ten hairs look like a huge clump. Around October my head starting itching around the hairline and in the back- just in the center. Then I was noticing an alarming amount of loss in the shower and when styling. Not a very big deal to me because it was still so thick. Over the past three months I am seeing hair in my workspace, in my car… hair everywhere. It has just now become really obvious to me that my hair is thinning. Probably 60% of what I had this time last year. I finally reached panic/anxiety mode. I have had blood work done and all is normal. I am using Bosley Revive shampoo twice a week and Nizoral once a week and it seems to be helping with the loss. Now just hoping the growth starts back.

  59. I notice a lot of females on the site and I truly feel for you. I’m a 37 year old male. Over the past 2years I’ve had 10 injections to the spine lower and upper. I’m a mess. Thanks to Some drunk asshole that hit me at about 60 mph while I was standing still. Anyway. Last injection they went through the front of my neck to get to the spine that one was fun. So over the past year I’ve been worried my hair was thinning. And now after this last bout of 3 injections in June I’ve been really freaking the F out. That for sure I see my scalp, my hair is thin, flat and it sucks. Trying to have my wife convince me for the past year that my hair is
    Normal when tonight it was very clear its not. My hair was super full and yes you really do take it for granted when something like this happens. Im super glad I found this site. I’m done injecting. I’d rather have hair and be in pain. It is comforting to hear all the stories and sympathize . I hope this is the case. I guess I’ll go see the doc and see what’s he has to say about it. Good luck to all. I’m for sure gunna give updates on progress.

  60. It has been so relieving to read about others experiences with cortisone injections. After many years of pain in my lower back and hip, it was discovered that I had a herniated disc (L5). It was suggested to me that I try two cortisone shots to relieve the pain and inflammation (you could see it on the MRI – facets). So, trusting the professionals, I went ahead and received two cortisone injections back in February 2015. Three hours after receiving the shot, I began bleeding…off schedule. My cycle was so screwed up until May, I would get headaches (not normal for me) that would last a few days, I would get hot flashes and the strangest side effect was weight loss. I am not sure if I lost the weight because of inflammation decreasing, but I lost 10 pounds. I am in really good shape and work out pretty much every day, so a 10 pound lost was definitely not fat. This had me really concerned. Thankfully the end of May came and most of the cortisone had worn off. I could tell because all of the pain was back. My many symptoms were resolving. And then…July came and all of a sudden, my normally thick hair was coming out everywhere! At first I thought that perhaps it was the cortisone but that it wouldn’t be that bad. I know that cortisone disrupts your hormones. So I have concluded that this is much like what happens after you have a baby. Once I thought back, I did realize that I had not been losing much hair while the cortisone was in my system. However, now, it does come out everywhere. I am hoping that this phase ends quickly but understand that my body is just balancing it’s way back. Thank you to everyone who posted their story. We need to speak out together and help other individuals understand more fully the side effects to what doctors say is ‘normal’. There must be other options out there. Please post your updates as I and others are interested to hear how you are doing. Thanks everyone.

  61. It amazes me to read everyones stories. I was injured in a car accident on Jan 1, 2014, hit by a drunk driver who totaled my car after t-boning it from behind. I had severe whiplash and spinal cord injuries. I started receiving trigger point injections in my scalp and neck, every 3 weeks for 7 months. I also had an injection in my sacral joint. The injections help the pain for a very short period of time. I gained 40#, lost so much hair that when I cleaned my shower drain recently, there was so much hair in the drain it looked like a mouse at first! I have always had a lot of hair, but now the hair on the top of my head is so sparse, I’m considering buying a wig!
    My pain management dr. told me the cortisone not only caused my hair loss, the red flushing on my skin and the weight gain. My face looked swollen. It’s known as “moon face” from steroids. I stopped the injections in January and my hair is still very thin and sparse. I was told by my doctor that my hair will NOT grow back. I’m 64 years old and have dark hair, which really shows the contrast of bare scalp.
    The good news is I was able to stop the cortisone injections because my daughter worked for a Cleveland Clinic MD who was having incredible results from a new product that is all natural, award winning and patented. I was very reluctant to take the product because I did not believe it could help with my neck, because I had nerve damage.

    My doctor who was giving me steroid injections told me I would need them for the rest of my life AND as I got older, arthritis would settle wherever I had injuries. He said they cannot repair nerve damage. To make a long story short, my daughter was unrelenting. I finally started taking the product on January 28, 2015. Within 3 months there was a drastic difference in my neck. I couldn’t work because I’m a graphic designer and needed to be on my computer. After being confined to a chair for nearly 18 months after my car accident, I am no longer using a cane and have started to take walks again. I know people on the product have noticed their hair thickening, my sister being one of them, but I’ve not had that experience yet. I’m hoping it’s coming the longer I’m on it. I can tell you I am no longer on any pain medications for my neck and back.

    I have also suffered for 8 years with severe fibromyalgia and the car accident only made it worse. I had been put on Methadone in 2008 as a last result, because none of the typical meds given for it helped me. I was warned the withdrawal would be horrible, but my doctor believed I would be on it the rest of my life.

    I took myself off Methadone because I had read Acupuncture could help nerve damage and I was in horrible pain. (the Cleveland Clinic Spine Institute doctor told me acupuncture would not work because I was on a narcotic and it blocks the brains natural production of Serotonin and Dopamine). After suffering through withdrawal, my insurance would not cover acupuncture!

    If you want to know more about the product I’m on you can check it out at http://www.liquidbiocell.com. I am in no way here to advertise a product, but if it can help someone like it has helped me, I am happy to share it.

  62. On Sept. 17, 2015 I had an epidural steroid injection in my T11. Before that over a period of four months I had two cortisone injections in my right hip..The epidural was a miracle to me..no more pain. But my hair is falling out now, has totally lost shine, and the texture is awful. I know I will probably need another epidural in the future, but I dont want the hair loss.

  63. I noticed my hair falling out!! Getting thin I have stopped taking Wellbutrin Topamax and It has been 8 weeks now..My hair is still coming out it is sooooo thin…I get cortisone injections in my lower back the last one was in April 2015 it has not wore off yet…My scalp itches and burns and is red…I have tried everything to get my hair to stop falling out!!! I am sick over this!! Please if anyone has any suggestions please help!! I just had blood work done too it was fine!!! I have done an apple cider vinegar rinse taken vitamins I have done everything I can nothing is stopping this..I thought it was the medication I was on but now all that is left is the cortisone injection that has not wore off!!! I do have thyroid issues but my numbers have stayed the same and I go to an endocrinologist for that!! I have been to a dermatologist Neurologist and every doctor I can think of and NO answer I am beside myself as my hair keeps coming out HELP!!!!

  64. I had 3 epidural steroid injections in January 2014 for a bulging disc and my hair started falling out in August. I was told it was unlikely to be the result of the injections and I was tested for low ferritin level. My ferritin was down to 40 so I was put on ferrous sulphate. I was also given spironolactone (prescription) just in case my hormones were to blame as I’m 51. I was told to use Rogaine for men 5% once a day and nanogen serum and nourkrin hair supplement tablets. All worked well. After 3.5 months it finally stopped falling out. I don’t think people realise how awful it is to lose your hair. Luckily I have really thick hair but my self esteem was at a really low ebb. Then stupidly due to a fall and terrible back pain I took a chance and has three sets of injections into my back in Jan, Feb and March 2015. Spurred on by my back consultant saying that steroid injections don’t cause hair loss. REALLY! My hair has been shedding since August, great long clumps. I am so fed up. The hair consultant was confident it would finally stop – it’s now nearing the end of November – fingers crossed. Still rubbing in Rogaine etc and was told to use a dermaroller and laser comb (cheap on Amazon). Nanogen hair fibres ( comes in diff colours) was also recommended to cover any bare scalp showing. It has been really helpful reading everyone’s experiences so I hope this helps. Nizoral and Eucarin shampoo for itching scalp and Synalar gel (prescription).

  65. I had a cortisone injection in my knee in early June. Within a month and a half my hair was shedding like crazy, I had insomnia, felt anxious and my cycle was wacky. The problem has been progessively getting worse to the point where I literally do not sleep at all and half of my hair is gone, all within 5 months. However, don’t tell the Drs this!!!! It has nothing to do with it they say. 6 months ago I was a healthy, active, confident 43 year-old. Now I am a depressed, anxious inactive mess who is a former shell of herself. I cannot stand the way I feel and look and sometimes I wish I could just disappear. I believe the injection threw my hormones so far out of whack and I’m not sure they’ll ever be right again. I began seeing a naturopath (sorry, but MDs are a joke with hormone related problems) and she seems to think she can help. I hope she can cause I do not have any other options.

  66. I had 3 sets of steroid injections (both kenalog and decadron) in Dec 2014 and Jan 2015. I had numerous side effects like weight loss (-10 lb), seborrheic dermatitis all over my head including eyebrows and eyelids, limbs pain, vitamin D deficiency, severe depression, neck and shoulder pain, burning scalp, menstrual bleeding for 75 days and many others. Hair loss started in April/May 2015. It was most severe in June-August when I was losing more than 600 hairs after wash (by the way I had to wash my hair every other day). I lost more than 50% of my hair. But I can say my hair loss has almost stopped now. I would like to support all of you who are suffering from hair loss now! I feel your pain! Be strong and you’ll get over this!

  67. December 29-2015

    Well I am so sorry to hear of everyone’s pain, I know that sickening feeling as you feel your shiny smooth scalp under your thinning now frizzy hair. My hair was always fine but smooth and shiny long and straight. I thought my hair dresser had burned up my hair and was I so angry and depressed. I work in retail and wanted to hide when my favorite customers would come in,could feel them staring at my hair or lack of. Several remarks from coworkers like, oh Sally has such nice hair, blah blah.My teeth would grind. Any way , same story,
    shots and a couple of month later hair was coming out in hand fulls.
    It has started coming back in but is wild and frizzy. NO MORE SHOTS!!

  68. Last September, I had Kenalog injected into my sacroillium joints. The horrible, chronic pain I’ve lived with for 20 years went away instantly and for five glorious weeks I was pain free. I rushed back as soon as possible (December) for another set of shots. This time there was no relief whatsoever. I was deeply disappointed, thinking I had found something that could give me at least temporary relief every three months. In late January, my beautiful, thick hair, that I had always been so proud of, began to thin. By February, it was falling out like crazy. It was on my clothes, in my shower drain, in the food I cooked, on my furniture. If I ran my fingers gently through it, I would have my fingers full of hairs with large, well-developed roots at the ends. I knew it was the shots. They were the only thing different. My GP discounted it: “You’re just getting older and you haven’t lost that much.” The doctor who gave me the shots: “They couldn’t possibly cause hair loss.” My dermatologist: The shots couldn’t be the cause. Never heard of such a thing. But if it is…your hair will start to grow back in 4-6 months.” (Interesting that he had never heard of it happening, but knew the time frame for regrowth.) So, I sit here now, five months after the last shot, hair still falling. I’m down to about half of what I had. I’ve already bought a wig, though haven’t used it yet. I’ve had a zillion blood tests done and nothing but some minor anemia and low folic. Treating both of those. I feel the medical community as a whole has let me down. First by not informing me, then by denying, denying in order to cover their butt and their colleague’s, too. Like many of the people on here, I’m heartbroken. I used to be a pretty woman. I know it sounds vain, but that was important to me. Now that’s gone, and I don’t know when or if I’ll ever get it back. I appreciate your encouragement that it will regrow. I hope, not only for my own sake, but for everyone who has posted here, that we’ll have the same results. Meanwhile, tell everyone you know to avoid steroid shots if at ALL possible!

  69. I have had only one shot, got it in February. The pain in my neck got better, still have some pain but not as bad. May came around and I started to notice my hair falling out.. Not the normal amount but strands everywhere!! It’s now JULY tomorrow so im scared by the end of the month I’ll be bald!!! I have hope reading all the above that my hair will in fact grow back, but in the mean time what’s a girl to do!?!?! One thing’s for sure… No more shots for me!!!!!!

  70. Sharon,

    I feel the same way; that the medical community has let me down on this issue. No one tells you of the side effects of epidural injections, but there they are. The dermatologist tried to tell me I had female pattern balding (!!) and that if he looked at my family photos, he’d be able to show me other female relatives with the same thing (what??!!) even though I told him no one had ever had the hair loss I have. (won’t be seeing him again!) The loss is so profound it makes you look like a cancer patient. I took 3 injections last year and by the time I had regrowth and had figured out it was the injections, I had taken 2 more this year. My hair is now starting to fall out again plus this time, I had a syncope episode after the last injection!! I will never take them again; the side effects are too devastating and too scary. I’m again working with what I can OTC for my hair AND my back. As an aside, my GP has told me yes, the steroids can cause hair loss. He also said it takes about 6 months to START to see regrowth. It’s truly devastating to have to deal with horrible pain on a daily basis and then, lose your hair on top of it. It will grow back but it does take time; a lot of time.. Thankfully I have a loving husband who stands by me no matter what, and a lot of baseball hats! I make sure I eat very nutritious foods every day plus this time I’m going to take Biotin, as everyone said it does help. It would be helpful if the dermatologists et al would actually listen to All the women telling them that cause and effect would suggest their profound hair loss was the result of the steroid injections. Until or IF that happens,hang in there and trust that it can’t be your imagination if everyone else has experienced the same thing.

  71. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! Can I just say DITTO DITTO DITTO to all of these blogs!? I am APPAULED that this morning I got a quadrupal steroid injection and THEN I find this site. Seriously NEVER having another injection. I have had on going hair loss since October 2015. I was told it was telogen effluvium and it would last up to 9 months. BUT I was not told that it had anything to do with me getting 4 injections every 3 months. I even asked my pain dr and he said NO it couldn’t be the injections. Freaking LIARS!!! And this whole time (9 months now) I’ve had tons of blood tests, I’ve seen a rheumatologist, and allergist, my GP, and a chiropractor. No one could find anything wrong with me besides low iron. My GP even sent me out of her office saying it was probably just a hormonal issue since I was 45 at the time (early menopause even though I’ve had a complete hysterectomy. And my GP didn’t even tell me to go see a dermatologist!!!! I had to do online research on my own to find out information that could help me. I’ve had two back surgeries and I have to get injections into my SI joints to help with pain. The pain relief is only for one month. All of this is causing me to lose all of my hair. It has been growing back, but recently I’ve noticed that even short hairs are falling out! Total MADNESS! I am ready to sue over this! I have had soooooooo much emotional stress for 9 freaking months. And if I wouldn’t been told that this was a side effect, I wouldn’t have done it!!! OMG I am so pissed right now. Pissed but thankful I finally found out WHY my hair has been falling out! Seriously, just my luck that after I get another round of injections, I find this out. I swear, I just don’t understand why my life is filled with so many trials. I feel for all of you on this thread. DO NOT GET STEROID INJECTIONS!!!!!!

  72. Thank goodness for this page I’ve had steroid injections into my back before due to disc disease facet joint problems etc suffered for 26 yrs never had no side effects before but this time I had them in April this year had the injections again and I’m no suffering my long thick blonde healthy hair has fallen out in droves to the point I’ve had to have it cut to my shoulders to make it look better and the hair dresser has said to take vitamin B as that sometimes help my blood sugars have been horrendous along with headaches thought it was just me over reacting but after reading these post no more injections for me Id rather be in pain than hairless and grumpy…..

  73. Wow so glad I found this.

    My story mirrors most people on this thread and I’m really hoping it provides the answer to what the hell has been going on with my hair. I had a severe disc herniation which resulted in very bad sciatic pain in June this year. I had two steroid injections. One into my thigh and one Epidural into the spine in June / July. I found the injections were pointless – didn’t do anything for the pain and actually made it worse.

    Fast forward to September my back injury has recovered but suddenly I noticed the texture of my hair changed. Hard to really explain – it became super dry and coarse like straw and seemed to be sitting funny. I’ve always had very very thick hair so I didn’t immediately notice the thinning – but over the coming weeks I notice dramatic thinning to the point I now have a bald spot on one part of my head and thinning all over.

    I’m really hoping this stops and the hair comes back. I’ve gone from a completely full thick head of hair 2 months ago to looking like I’m in the late stages of balding. I was warned off steroid injections by my Osteopath – I really should have listened.

  74. I too am excited to find this site. Inhave suffered tremendous from a kenalog steriod injection. My Dr didn’t tell me it was a steriod injection:^( i lost about 50 percent of my hair a month into the shot. I bleed for 3 months straight and hae been a emotional depressed maniac since the shot. I will absolutely never ever ever commit to this crap again! The only good thing is my daughter will never gonthrough this because i did and will never allow it!

  75. Please ,Please tell me if you stop these infection my hair will stop falling out and grow back I really need to hear something positive

  76. I’m so relieved to find this site, and to read that my hair will grow back! Thank you to everyone who has posted. I was just about to call my dermatologist about my thinning hair. I took doxycycline for rosacea for awhile and googled that, but hair loss doesn’t seem to be a side effect. I was dreading the tests I knew the doctor would order. Then it hit me! LOTS of injections! And I found this site.

    I have severe lumbar spinal stenosis and had injections in May and September…two shots at each of two levels, which didn’t help. I think I noticed thinning in the late summer and fall. I remember asking my hairdresser not to use thinning shears on my short thick wavy silver hair anymore because I could see my scalp. I thought that’s what caused it. Ha! By early December, I started using Rogaine for women on my crown, but only lasted two months with that regimen. In mid-December, I had an injection for shoulder impingement syndrome. I also get injections in my thumb joints once or twice a year for arthritis, but I haven’t had them in a year. However, now that I think of it, the texture of my coarse hair changed over the past couple of years and seemed more fine.

    By now, my beautiful hair that hairdressers love is thinning all over with pink scalp showing here and there. It’s so depressing. But after reading here, I will patiently await the return of my hair. And no more shots!! I will save this page and try to remember to report back to encourage others. Thanks again.

  77. Three injections in my neck and Two in my rear end when she came in with the last one I asked her if there was more in it than the last time she said yes but I didn’t stop her that was at my orthopedic doctor I went and talked to my pain specialist and told him what was going on he agreed that I should stop taking the injections and I will now wait for my three months for my hair to grow back. I’m taking biotin, drinking protein shakes, and drinking a lot of water to flush my system of the poison that was injected into my body What bothers me the most is that there was no mention of side effects to this drug and shame on me for not checking it out before I let someone inject that into my body My hope and prayer is that other people read this before they go to this measure even for men losing their hair is a challenge for a woman I could put you in a state of depression I pray for all of you that your hair grows back and that your pain be manageable without going to these measures I too like all of the people above can say, no more shots for me. God bless you all and good luck

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