Doctors warn against ineffective birth control trend on TikTok

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

If there is one thing we have learned from TikTok it’s that anything and everything can be made into a trend.

Whether it’s a Halloween dance, a nasty habit of trolling or a way of celebrating NAIDOC week, the video platform is overflowing with content of all shapes and sizes.

Image of TikTok where birth control shampoo trend started
A new TikTok trend has come under fire from medical experts. Photo: Getty Images

One new trend, however, may just be the strangest we’ve yet seen, and it’s even had doctors come out in opposition to it.

The trend encourages users to crush up birth control pills and apply the powder to their hair instead of taking them orally for hormonal reasons or as a form of birth control.

TikTok trend encourages users to crush up birth control pills shampoo
One user encouraged followers to crush up the pills and add them to shampoo to boost hair growth. Photo: TikTok

Rest assured, they are not trying to use the pills for birth control through their hair follicles, rather they think the estrogen in the pills will stimulate hair growth and strength.

TikTok user @uwubrat started the trend back in July, sharing a video of her grinding the pills into dust and adding them to her shampoo.

The video racked up a jaw-dropping 8.7 million views and sparked plenty of copycats, though doctors have now come out to warn that there is little to no evidence the trick works.

Image of TikTok birth control hair growth trend before and after
The woman who kicked off the trend uploaded a before and after snap showing her hair growth in one month. Photo: TikTok

She did upload a follow-up video one month later, claiming her hair had grown and shared a before and after, however it appears the hair growth is just the normal amount for a one month period.

Expert says trend ‘won’t work’

Image of woman holding birth control pills
Experts have warned birth control pills won't be absorbed through the hair or scalp. Photo: Getty Images

One expert told The Daily Mail it simply ‘won’t work’.

"The viral trend for adding hormonal contraceptives to shampoo in a bid to make hair grow longer won’t work," Dr. Shirin Lakhani explained. “Hormonal contraceptives are not designed to be absorbed transdermally and the skin is an otherwise impermeable barrier.”

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In other words, the pill isn’t designed to be absorbed through the skin and won’t work that way.

That hasn’t stopped plenty of people from giving the trend a go themselves however, some even agreeing that in their experience it showed results.

“This is ridiculous,” one user wrote. “I'll be trying it immediately.”

“Done this in the past and I highly recommend,” another said.

Others argued it was a waste of the contraceptives, which are not subsidised or free in the US.

“Don’t you need to like, take those?’ one wondered.

“My $85 pill said nooo,” someone else joked.

“Me panicking bc that’s $200 in my world,” another wrote.

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