Updated: November 27th, 2019
Hair loss is one of those topics that people go ballistic over. But, I don’t blame anyone for wanting to protect the softest, sexiest and most luscious feature of the human body. So, today’s topic is an important one, because I’ll be answering the critical question – does Vyvanse cause hair loss?
To provide you with accurate, research-based answers, this article focuses on the 5 biggest truths of Vyvanse and hair loss.
Make sure to read all the way through this article.
Because towards the very end, I list some tricks that I personally use to help prevent hair loss or thinning while taking Vyvanse.
Okay, lets get started with the 5 truths about Vyvanse hair loss and thinning:
Truth 1. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence associating Vyvanse with hair loss
The internet is full of stories about how people started to use Vyvanse, and then noticed that their hair began to fall out, started to thin, etc.
This is called anecdotal evidence. The stories on the internet about people’s experiences with Vyvanse and hair loss are based on personal testimonies for the most part.
I don’t like to dismiss what people are trying their best to communicate to me. Because, plenty of people on the internet genuinely believe that Vyvanse has played a role in their hair loss in one way or another (either directly or indirectly). I do think these opinions should be respected.
But at the same time, you also have to be extremely careful about considering people’s first-hand testimonies.
Any psychologist (or trial attorney) will tell you that people struggle immensely with many cognitive biases that make it difficult to interpret reality.
For example, most online testimonies about Vyvanse and hair loss are a prime example of survivorship bias, which means that you’re only bombarded with one side of the argument.
In other words, you normally don’t hear about all of the people who take Vyvanse and have perfectly healthy hair. Those people generally aren’t writing about their positive experiences on the internet.
(The same rule applies to restaurant reviews, movie reviews, and product reviews. You see mostly negative reviews online).
So, if you want to consider the anecdotal evidence about Vyvanse and hair loss on the internet, then that’s totally fine. But, keep in mind that there are probably thousands of people who take Vyvanse and have perfectly healthy hair, too. You just aren’t going to hear their side of the argument.
Truth 2. Hair loss is an extremely rare side effect of using Vyvanse
Stimulant medications generally aren’t known to cause hair loss.
Vyvanse’s official list of side effects doesn’t even list hair loss as a potential side effect at all.
However, there seems to be one official case where alopecia (hair loss) occured in a child who used lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse).
So, it’s safe to say that hair loss is an extremely rare side effect of using Vyvanse or similar stimulant medications for ADHD.
Again – most reports on the internet that refer to Vyvanse causing hair loss are most likely speculative.
There is very little hard evidence to suggest that you will experience any amount of hair loss or thinning because of stimulant ADHD medications like Vyvanse.
But of course, there’s still an extremely rare chance that you could experience this side effect (there is only one verifiable report of this happening, as far as I know).
I’d take those odds.
Truth 3. Chronic stress is likely a major cause of hair loss or thinning
Life is extremely stressful for 99% of people with ADHD. This is a fact of life that isn’t talked about nearly enough.
Between having to deal with work, finances, kids, relationships and so many other things – people with ADHD tend to live a life of chronic stress.
And, as you might have guessed, it’s generally accepted that there’s a connection between high levels of stress and hair loss.
So, here’s the real question that you’re probably wondering:
Does Vyvanse increase your level of stress, and indirectly contribute to hair loss or thinning?
Well, unfortunately, this is still a difficult question to answer.
But, here’s what I believe:
I think that Vyvanse can potentially heighten or decrease the amount of stress that you face in life. It’s totally up to how you use the medication, where you are in life, how stressful your lifestyle currently is, what your diet is like, relationships, and so many other factors.
I personally feel less stressed when I use Vyvanse, because the medication helps me stay on top of work, finances, relationships, diet and practically all aspects of life. But, I make sure to use a relatively low Vyvanse dosage (usually 20mg), meditate, eat a healthy diet, and use high-quality health supplements.
On the other hand, Vyvanse and similar stimulant ADHD medications can potentially increase cortisol, which is a hormone that regulates stress. So, if you feel more stressed while taking Vyvanse, then you should obviously stop taking Vyvanse for a while, reevaluate the health of your hair, and see how you feel.
Stress is ultimately known as a killer disease. So, it’s important that you understand just how destructive stress can be in regards to hair loss, disease, and so many other aspects of life.
If you value your hair (and your quality of life), then you have to take control of your stress as soon as possible.
Don’t worry, I show you some ways to decrease stress further down in the article.
Truth 4. Obsessive hair touching, hormonal problems and genetics can all play a role in the quality of your hair
If you touch your hair a lot, have underlying problems related to hormones, or are genetically predisposed to hair loss – keep in mind that all of these circumstances can contribute to hair loss or thinning.
So, let’s briefly go over each of these topics one by one:
Obsessive hair touching
When I was taking a relatively high dose of Vyvanse, I would run my fingers through my hair a lot, without even consciously thinking about what I was doing. Surprisingly, this can cause real damage your hair.
But, the kicker is that twirling your hair or obsessively touching your hair is usually a problem related to anxiety, stress or even OCD (not necessarily as a result of using Vyvanse).
So, if you’re obsessively playing with your hair while taking Vyvanse, you can usually stop doing this by simply becoming more mindful of your actions.
I literally had to force myself to stop playing with my hair while taking Vyvanse, because I knew that it was a really bad habit.
Pro tip: One thing that contributed the most to my obsessive hair touching was issues with my scalp (not related to using Vyvanse). I’ve always had problems with dandruff, so I found myself itching my hair a lot more than usual in recent years. If you touch your hair obsessively because you have issues with your scalp, then you might want to try using Organix Scalp Therape Shampoo (Amazon) and Organix Scalp Therapy Conditioner (Amazon). This shampoo and conditioner is tremendous because it contains organic neem oil, which is the most soothing ingredient that I’ve ever used for my scalp. It also contains various other organic ingredients that will most likely help you stop itching your scalp as much.
Many people who take Vyvanse don’t realize that they may have underlying hormonal imbalances that can contribute to hair loss.
In fact, studies show that about 80% of women suffer from some form of hormonal imbalance.
So, it may be worth having your Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels checked to verify that your thyroid is functioning properly.
You can also choose to speak with an endocrinologist, who can perform additional tests for you.
This will help you pinpoint if hormones are the underlying cause of any issues related to hair loss or thinning – rather than Vyvanse itself.
Pro tip: If you think your hormones might be out of whack, I highly recommend that you start supplementing with chlorella. Chlorella is a life-changing form of freshwater algae that can help you detoxify your body and balance your hormones. I like Healthworks Raw Organic Chlorella Powder (Amazon) because you can mix a tablespoon of this chlorella with 8 oz of water or a smoothie, and get on with your day. Chlorella contains a range of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, protein and more. It’s truly amazing stuff.
Male Patern Baldness is the most common type of hair loss that men experience. Female patern baldness is another possibility, as it’s surprisingly common as well.
So, your genetics can play a massive role in how much hair loss you experience.
There are people who are genetically predisposed to enjoy an amazing head full of hair. And, no medication will be able to get in the way of that.
On the other hand, many people are genetically predisposed to lose their hair regardless of the medications that they use.
Truth 5. Nutrition is extremely important when it comes to Vyvanse and hair loss
I love my hair.
So, I know that maintaining great nutrition is one of the most important preventative measures that you can take to potentially stop your hair from falling out or thinning while taking Vyvanse.
Let’s just go ahead and address the obvious:
Plenty of people who take Vyvanse become so focused on work, school and family that they forget to eat a good diet and drink plenty of water.
This is a huge mistake, because maintaining good nutrition is so extremely important while you’re using Vyvanse.
To keep your nutrition in check while using Vyvanse, you should check out my ultimate ADHD diet plan. That will cover 99% of your dietary needs.
But, to give you a quick breakdown of how to maintain a good diet while using ADHD medication, here’s what you need to do:
- Eat lots of fatty seafood, fruits, vegetables, quinoa, brown rice, eggs, lean meat, and similar healthy foods
- Drink green smoothies every day (use kale, spinach, ginger, blueberries and apples)
- Supplement with a good multivitamin, fish oil, magnesium and a few other ingredients
To specifically help you prevent hair loss or thinning while taking Vyvanse – I recommend that you use Organic Ashwagandha (Amazon).
Using Organic Ashwagandha can help you lower your cortisol.
Because, remember how cortisol leads to stress? And, remember how stress is probably one of the biggest factors that contributes to hair loss?
Yeah, so using ashwagandha can potentially lower your cortisol, decrease your stress, and maybe even prevent your hair from falling out.
Focus on foods and supplements that lower your stress. This is the most important tip that I can give you today. Ashwagandha is a real game-changer in this regard. When you use ashwagandha, you’ll genuinely feel the difference in the amount of stress that you experience.
Additionally, I recommend supplementing with a high-quality form of food-grade biotin (no cheap stuff).
Biotin is simply vitamin B7. But, using biotin can help you keep your hair healthy. I like Vitamin Code Raw B Complex (Amazon), because it contains a number of great whole food-based B vitamins, including biotin.
There are obviously many other supplements that you can use to help prevent hair problems while you use Vyvanse.
But, just going off of personal experience – both ashwagandha and biotin have been amazing for my hair. If you’d like to take a few other supplements to help keep your hair healthy, I recommend using turmeric and zinc as well.
Overall, I hope that this article helps you understand the truth about a question that most people with ADHD (including myself) have wondered endlessly about:
Does Vyvanse cause hair loss?
In case you haven’t gotten the gist of this article yet, I’d have to say that the answer to this question is no.
Vyvanse almost certainly doesn’t cause hair loss or thinning.
Stress, genetics, and nutrition all likely play a much larger role in hair loss or thinning than most people would like to imagine.
However, I’m always open to seeing new evidence that suggests otherwise.
So, make sure to leave me any comments that you have in the comments section below.
Please also make sure to help me spread the truth about Vyvanse and hair loss by sharing this article on social media.
Did u get paid to write this to dismiss claims that vyvanse can indeed cause hairloss ? My 6 year old daughter was prescribed vyvanse fir adhd. The meds worked perfectly however within 2 months little Sophie was noticeably losing hair around her entire perimeter. Doc switched her to a different med. But it did not work for her adhd. Switched back to vyvanse and now she has smooth balding completely around her head..this bothered her pediatrician as the balding became smooth skin..no folicles regrowing…and she has been switched little Sophie to something else. Now she needs a dermatologist ad well to try and get my six year olds hair to grow back
No I’ve never been compensated by a pharmaceutical company. I’m an independent blogger. Sorry to hear that your daughter is dealing with that kind of pain. For the vast majority of people, Vyvanse doesn’t cause hair loss (based on research and my interviews with people). It’s definitely true that your daughter may have been one of the rare people who suffered that side effect.
I have been taking Vyvanse for almost a month now. I found this article very helpful. I have noticed more hair coming out in the shower when I wash it BUT I have a very stressful lifestyle. I just started my own company, have 3 children, husband is gone on business most of the time and our house is just a bundle of crazy! I was diagnosed with ADHD and binge eating disorder and was prescribed this to help. I am extremely active and have never been over weight but my late night binging is starting to catch up with me. This medication has helped so much! Not only with my concentration but with controlling the eating addiction. I was so worried it was making my hair fall out but I am wondering if I need to start re evaluating other areas of my life.
Thank you for leaving your thoughts on here Kiersten. Really glad to hear your medication has helped you out! It tends to do that for most people.
Hmmm.. this is all interesting. Research I have done clearly states that ANY new med can cause these effects in the first (upto) 4 months. And while on vyvanse your appetite is GREATLY decreased causing you to take in way less nutrients. I have noticed the same as a lot of people, that I’m losing handfuls of hair every day. And I dont play with my hair at all. So I really appreciate this article for all the suggestions you have put in to increase our nutrition. I will be adding a few more supplements for sure! And doing everything I can to lower my cortisol, as I know it was high before, but never thought about the vyvanse increasing it!
This is a great comment Tiffany. Very true about how decreased appetite can lead to less nutritional intake. I really appreciate your valuable insights. I’m sure people will learn a lot from this.
Thanks so much.
Been on vyvanse for 3 months hair is definitely falling out.
I have been taking Vyvanse for nine months. In the beginning it was wonderful but now… I lost most of my eyelashes, my hair is so brittle that it has broken off 2 inches and my hair is extremely thin.I have huge sores in the top and the back of my head. My fingernails are thin and the cuticles are always cracked and bleeding no matter what I out on then. I have been taking large doses of biotin and a multi vitamin. I cut the dose in half a few days ago, if that doesn’t help I will stop all together.
I found taking adderall life changing. I focused, thought clearly, understood and communicated very well with people I previously thought were simply dull before. I was able to pay attention to sporting events that had seemed overwhelmingly boring prior to the medicine. I understood how to act like all the simple seeming people. I fit in with the masses. However, I was no longer creative or imaginative-I would not be inventing anything or thinking visually.
The side effects were the reason I stopped. My hair was falling out, my mouth was very, very dry, my nails became brittle and weak & worst of all the nightmares were so terrifying!!
I went off the med and my clothes and space around me stopped being littered with my hair, my mouth was moist again, my nails returned to normal & the nightly horror show stopped-yeeha! But, I no longer fit in with the run of the mill people in my community.
About a year later, I attempted it again. I read articles like yours that disregard people describing their experience with hair loss as not reality. I thought it might have been in my head. Espevially when I went to a psychiatrist that expressed the same thing. I told him my experience with my side effects. He looked away from me, went to his computer screen and returned his gaze to me while telling me hair loss associated with adderall is extremely rare so I must be mistaken. Ok-I will give it another go as I must have imagined the ridiculous amount of hairs all over my yoga mat at the end of class, the mass of hair on my jackets and pillow. But guess what? About a week after returning to the med, my hair was falling out. I reached out to the internet and found so many people sharing my exact experience.
I stopped the pills and the hair loss stopped.
Why professionals disregard this information boggles my mind.
To me it makes as much sense as a group of Drs insisting sex does not cause pregnancy. While testimonials of pregnant women/new Moms say they had sex & that resulted in pregnancy for them. How crazy would Dr’s sound telling these women their pregnancy was in their head?
Hi Michelle. Really appreciate your comment. I think it’s important for people like you to share their real experiences about this. People are VERY different in regards to how people respond to medication. If you experience hair loss from ADHD meds, I believe you.
The reason why I mostly dismiss hair loss from Vyvanse is because 1. most people still don’t experience it and 2. psychosomatic illnesses are a real thing. If people convince themselves that hair loss is a real possibility, well, now there’s a chance it’s going to happen, because the human mind is a powerful thing.
So in my opinion, it’s a lot better for people with ADHD to reap the potential benefits of ADHD medication and know that hair loss isn’t a problem for most people who take ADHD meds.
Vyvanse definitely DOES cause hair loss in fact MOST PEOPLE DO experience hair loss including myself than not. I don’t know where you’re doing your research or if you’re really doing it at all. I see more bald headed or going bald- Vyvanse taking people I know personally that contributes their hair loss to Vyvanse. Y’all need to stop being in denial about this meaning people like you and the doctors. We the patients know what we’re experiencing so take heed to what we’re saying and try improving the meds versus trying to convince people that what they’re experiencing isn’t true. We ain’t all crazy now!
Michelle, I believe you and I think that pharmaceutical companies don’t identify hair loss as a side effect because who would want to take something that makes their hair fall out?! In addition, many trial periods are limited in time and the hair loss may take some time to become noticeable. My son has also been losing his hair while taking ADHD medication and I have no doubt it’s the medication. His pediatrician said that there is no science to back up our claim and that everything is anecdotal. I believe there is science to it but it’s not published or reported by the pharmaceutical companies that develop these medications because to do so would be corporate suicide.
Mr. Taylor, you saying that you mostly dismiss hair loss from Vyvanse because most people don’t experience it and that psychosomatic illnesses are a real thing is very condescending to Michelle. What studies have you done to make the claim that most people don’t experience hair loss from Vyvanse? The hair loss my son is experiencing isn’t from a psychosomatic illness. His hair loss started with the ADHD medication. That’s not a coincidence. There is nothing different in his life that would explain the hair loss. His diet is good, he gets plenty of exercise, and he takes supplements. His dermatologist can’t explain it. From a genetic standpoint, I suppose it’s possible, but if you look at the men in our family from several generations back to now, we do not have baldness in our family on either the paternal or maternal side.
Although Mr. Taylor does provide some very good information about hair loss and supplements which may help, the post is not at all from a scientific standpoint. I think it’s disingenuous to make assumptions that hair loss for someone taking an ADHD medication isn’t caused by the ADHD medication. The one common factor that all these people have concerning their hair loss is their stimulant ADHD medication. I think that deserves some scientific study from someone, don’t you?
My wife while taking Vyvanse grew a full beautiful head of healthy hair she has since for 2 year stopped taking it and lost that full head of long beautiful hair, I take Ritalin and have to get my hair cut more often and my nails grow faster as well. I’ve been on and off the drug since the early 60’s I’m 58 now and take the fast release small pieces, it’s just according to my work schedule and if I need to concentrate like sitting and doing work on a computer. I’m one of those people that never grew out of it unfortunately. Hope this helps. I wish I knew a way to post the pics of before and after on my wife.
Very insightful comment Kyle and I agree I’d love to see a before and after pic.
Vyvanse and all stimulants are vasoconstrictors. They construct blood flow to extremities, and force blood to internal organs. It is my educated opinion that this is what causes hair loss because less blood flow is going to the skin, making hair follicles weaker with less blood flow. I take this medication and for me, it causes tingling in toes, restless legs at night, and hair loss. The good news is that since I understand how the body works, I have been able to manage taking it for 4 years and it has drastically improved my life. I am considering what the long term implications of this medication will be, and I feel that they will force me to quit taking it at some point, but what I do know is that every person needs to be their own advocate and listen to their bodies.
Totally agree Katelynn thanks for sharing your thoughts!
This is interesting, I’ve taken Vyvanse for 9 months and haven’t noticed my hair falling out like is described here. In fact I think my hair has grown longer – but I can’t be sure it’s from the medication either. Something I will pay more attention to. Thank you for posting!