HOW ARE HORMONES AND HAIR LOSS RELATED?

Losing hair is a common phenomenon we all go through. But it becomes a major issue when it doesn’t grow back at the same speed that we are losing them. Also, hair thinning and hair loss can affect one’s confidence and severely affect the lifestyle. If you’re experiencing hair loss, you may be wondering what’s causing it. And whether hormones and hair loss are connected by any means?

Alopecia, the medical term for hair loss, can be caused by many genetic and lifestyle factors, but hormonal imbalances also play a vital role. Let’s go through a few reasons about how hormones impact hair growth.

Hormonal Changes in Men:

Men, like women, have daily or monthly hormonal fluctuations that affect their mood, emotions, and biological processes. When an ageing male body produces more testosterone, it results in hair loss on the scalp and hair growth in areas such as the ears and nose.

 

Hormonal Changes in Women:

  • Thyroid Hormones
    Thyroid hormones are also important in hair development and hair loss. The metabolism decreases when the thyroid isn’t active enough, called Hypothyroidism. The body shuts down less important functions, such as hair growth, to strike the correct balance.
  • Menopause
    Hot flashes, night sweats, and hair loss indicate hormonal imbalance when estradiol and progesterone levels fall throughout menopause. Estrogen extends the duration that hair spends in the growth phase; thus, hair loses these protective properties when estrogen levels fall. Additionally, testosterone’s androgenic effects can be increased, where testosterone’s metabolite dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can produce increasingly weaker hair due to the follicle’s failure to grow.
  • PCOS
    This is a common female endocrine condition marked by several other symptoms, the most prominent of which is hyperandrogenism. Women with PCOS lose scalp hair while gaining hair in places where males typically grow it — the face, chest, and back.
  • Pregnancy
    Pregnancy increases hair follicles in the anagen (massive growth) phase. In addition, the enhanced supply of estradiol and progesterone in pregnancy is exceptionally nurturing to hair, expanding the growth phase and preventing shedding. Some women experience hair loss during the postpartum time; nonetheless, most women recover completely, though the process may be delayed.

 

Hormones are chemical messengers that instruct tissues and organs on how to operate. However, too much or too little of a specific type of hormone can cause unpleasant side effects that disturb the daily living.

It is important to be aware of your body and recognize any strange changes. We might be oblivious to tiny symptoms at times, but paying attention to even minor changes can help doctors detect and treat hormone abnormalities correctly.

Female Pattern Baldness: All You Need To Know

Major hair related problems like hair fall, hair loss, and dandruff have pertained for a long time now. The root cause of such problems varies from person to person. For some, it can be heredity, and for others, it can be the after (ill) effect of hormonal imbalance- like menopause.

What is female pattern baldness and how to identify it?

Losing 50 to 100 hair strands every day is considered to be normal. But during female pattern baldness, a woman tends to lose more hair, which is not regarded as normal. The condition observes slow-down in hair growing phase and shrinking of hair follicles, thus leading to breakage and thinner hair.

Unlike men, women start to lose their hair from the part line, and with time can gradually recede to the temples. Although women don’t go completely bald, having gone through major hair loss shows a lot of thinning on your head.

Doctors and Trichologists classify three types of baldness pattern-

Type I – In this pattern, thinning starts around your part in smaller amounts.

Type II – This pattern observes widening of the part. The thinning around it also increases.

Type III – This pattern observes a lot of thinning, a bald area or patch can be observed from the top.

What causes it?

In women, female-pattern baldness is the main type of hair loss. It usually happens after menopause or can start after- as early as puberty. Also referred to as ‘Androgenetic Alopecia,’ the development of female-pattern hair loss increases with age and nearly affects 40% of women that age 50 and 55% of women that age 80. Considering the heredity factor, a female also inherits the genes from her parents (mother or father).

What other factors cause this condition?

Apart from genetic inheritance and hormonal imbalance, female pattern baldness is caused by an underlying endocrine condition or a hormone-secreting tumour. The other health-related symptoms include irregular menstrual cycle, severe acne, or increase of unwanted hair. Leaving aside the medical conditions, the other factor include excessive blow-drying of hair.

Diagnosis and treatment:

No matter how much we consider hair loss as ‘normal,’ one should not overlook the conditions that are associated with thinning around the part or overall thinning. After noticing this condition, take immediate action and consult a trichologist or dermatologist. The doctor hereafter will examine your scalp and look for the pattern of hair loss you’ve had.

If the doctor suspects different type of hair loss, then he/she can ask you to get your blood test done. The doctors will mostly ask you to check the levels of thyroid hormone, androgens, iron, or other substances that are associated with hair growth.

The bottom line

Ignoring thinning of hair can worsen the condition of your hair. The sooner you opt for the treatment, the faster you’ll cease the hair loss. With this, the treatment can also help in hair regrowth.