Estrogen And Hair Loss In Women Explained
Theres no doubt that , but there are certain factors that determine how much of an effect estrogen levels have on your hair. As one of the main visible measures of your health, hair growth is often one of the first areas affected when hormones are off-balance. Lets take a look at the links between .
The Link Between Hrt And Hair Growth
Estrogen is linked with hair growth. Thats why many pregnant women experience thicker, faster-growing hair their high estrogen levels are sending their hair follicles into overdrive.
So, can hormonal hair loss be reversed with HRT? In some cases, yes. By taking more estrogen hormones, some menopausal women may be able to stop and even reverse hormonal hair loss.
HRT hair regrowth is also possible for trans women with androgenetic alopecia . This is because androgenetic alopecia is caused by a male hormone called DHT, which is a derivative of testosterone. By undergoing male-to-female HRT, trans women begin to produce less DHT and in some cases regrow their hair.
Can Hormonal Hair Loss Be Reversed
Hormonal hair loss can be difficult to detect, but once diagnosed, you can work towards ways that can help in reversing this condition.
Hormonal hair loss is reversible, but, you need to ensure that you closely work with your dermatologist, so as to understand the root cause well and to take necessary steps to balance-out your hormonal levels. Along with the cosmetic treatments, suggested by the doctor.
Localized Estrogen Receptor Activation
On paper, it is easy to extrapolate the potential benefit of being able to topically apply Estradiol or Estriol and get some sort of localized binding with a relative lack of systemic estrogenic activity.
However, it just doesn’t seem to work like that in practical application.
I noticed absolutely no difference on my hair growth or hair loss prevention, whatsoever.
It’s also not very predictable in terms of pharmacokinetics in the body going through the scalp.
F Estrogen Target Tissues
ER and ER are found in many organs and cell types. Besides the skin and hair follicle , ERs have been detected in a wide variety of tissues and cells, such as mammary gland, prostate, testis, placenta, brain pituitary, cartilage, adipocytes, osteoblasts, skin, keratinocytes, and fibroblasts . ERs are also found in the classical steroid hormone-susceptible and -producing organs, e.g., ovarian granulosa cells and testis . During a study of stromal and epithelial tumors of the ovary, ER and ER isoforms were detected by RT-PCR and Southern blot analysis . A wide expression in malignant and normal ovary has been described. ER was often found, with low intensity but with high incidence in granulosa cell tumors. A C-terminally shortened variant of ER, ERcx, was widely expressed in all tumors studied. This variant is a ligand-independent ER isoform with antagonistic activity to ER .
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What Causes Hair Loss In Women
When most people hear the words hair loss, they think of balding men. However, hair loss can also be a significant problem for women. Female hair loss can occur for several reasons, from a genetic sensitivity to certain androgenic hormones to reactive factors.
Weve listed the most common causes of female hair loss below, as well as the specific ways in which each cause can affect your hairline.
G Relevant Signaling Cross Talks In The Hair Follicle
1. ER target genes
An exhaustive list of factors responding to estrogen and/or ER signaling is readily available in the comprehensive ERGDB database . shows a small selection from this database. Below, we discuss some of these factors that are already recognized as hair growth-modulatory agents.
The association of ER and growth factor receptors including their second messengers has been widely accepted. Just a few important genes regulated by ERs, which also are recognized for their involvement in hair growth control, are listed here as examples: progesterone receptor, EGFR, several growth factors like IGF-I, TGF- and TGF-, cathepsin D, and several protooncogenes , as well as an array of heat shock proteins . Some of these factors are capable of nonclassical ER activation through modifications such as phosphorylation . In cell culture, for example, the growth factors IGF-I, EGF, and TGF- increase the transcription of ER target genes . In the following, we list a few E2 targets to illustrate the rather stunning complexity of E2-induced signaling, without offering exhaustive coverage of all pathways that might be relevant for E2-induced effects on the hair follicle.
2. ER and EGF
3. ER and MAPK pathway
4. ER and the Wnt pathway
5. ER and the TGF/BMP family
6. ER and homeobox proteins
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A Estrogen Synthesis And Metabolism
It helps to recall a few basic facts in estrogen biology to understand the mechanisms by which estrogens may affect hair follicle growth and cycling. E2 de novo synthesis starts from cholesterol precursors. The final step essentially requires androgens as substrates. For the conversion of testosterone to E2, testosterone is converted to 19-hydroxytestosterone by a monooxygenase , then to 19-oxotestosterone, which is then converted to E2 by an oxidoreductase .
An alternative route is via 4-androstene-3,17-dione, which is converted to estrone by a monooxygenase , and then by an oxidoreductase to E2 . Estrone can be metabolized to E2 by 3 -hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase or estradiol 17-dehydrogenase . The only known pathway connecting testosterone to E2 is the cytochrome P-450 enzyme aromatase pathway . The CYP19 gene is localized on chromosome 15. It spans nine coding exons and a few untranslated exons, upstream of exon II, namely exon I1I5.
In the current context, it should be kept in mind, however, that the pilosebaceous unit itself, which displays very substantial aromatase activity, especially in its sebaceous compartment , is a significant source of estrogen synthesis, both in men and women. However, it is still far from clear which percentage of circulating estrogens is provided by peripheral estrogen synthesis in human skin under physiological and pathological conditions, and how much of this intracutaneous estrogen synthesis arises from the pilosebaceous unit.
D Estrogen Receptor Signaling Pathways
The basis of differential expression of target genes is binding of transcription factors like nuclear receptors to specific DNA sequences residing within regulatory promoters . Alternative ways of transcriptional activation by ERs are shown in . Tissue-specific coregulators are believed to be important factors in tissue specific effects of nuclear receptor ligands , which may explain, e.g., why breast cancer cells are inhibited by tamoxifen, whereas this ligand is growth promoting in the uterus . These cofactor proteins are part of a transient ER-multiprotein complex , of which several have been identified .
Alternative ways of transcriptional activation of ERs. ER activation of target genes can take place through distinct intracellular pathways. Classical receptor activation is believed to happen through ligand diffusion through cell cytoplasm into the nucleus, where the ligand induces conformational change of the cognate ER protein to exhibit a conformation that has high affinity to the ERE residing in promoters of various cellular target genes. Alternatively, estrogen phosphorylation events can activate the receptor without ligand after activation by cellular kinases through growth factor receptor at the cell surface. Besides the typical ERE sequence, alternative binding at, e.g., AP-1 sites can take place as the ER complexes with other proteins to initiate transcription.
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Try A Few Key Supplements
If youre wondering what vitamins are good for hair loss during menopause, there are a few key nutrients you need. Biotin and Viviscal, for example, come up again and again in perimenopausal hair loss research. Deficiencies in biotin are rare, but many women take supplements because it seems to improve the condition of their hair and nails.
Viviscal has Biotin in it and calcium. And vitamin C. It also contains shark cartilage, oyster extract, and a marine complex which is apparently the secret elixir that gives the ingredient its power. The U.S. National Library of Medicine published an article with a double-blind placebo controlled study that showed the efficacy of this product significantly more women who took Viviscal than the placebo noticed hair growth after 90 days, and even more after 180 days.
Now its true that the funding for the study was provided by the makers of Viviscal, but double-blind is double-blind. Furthermore, in an entirely separate article, Beauty Editor writer Katrina Persad tried Viviscal for six months and documented her results in a quite convincing photo essay and article that showed fairly dramatic results and Viviscal did not pay her for her trouble.
Check out this list of nutrients for hair loss, and where you can find them.
Solutions For Estrogen Hair Loss
There are a variety of natural and medicated solutions to combat hair loss caused by estrogen. If you think youre losing hair due to a hormonal imbalance, first have your levels tested to find out if you have too little or too much estrogen.
If you have a case of estrogen dominance, you can help bring your levels down to normal by keeping your gut healthy and avoiding refined carbohydrates like white bread and white rice. Also, avoid eating any meat that has been treated with hormones. If you have low levels of estrogen, solutions include , practicing a , and exercising regularly.
Whether youre experiencing low or high estrogen levels, it would be wise to tackle the problem as soon as you notice it. With normalizing hormone levels and your doctors advice, your hair growth can return to normal in no time.
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Talk To Your Doctor About Cortisone Shots Or Acupuncture For Perimenopause Hair Loss
The data is inconclusive as to whether or not cortisone shots actually work at re-growing hair, but I do know one woman who gets them frequently and says they have really helped her. Cortisone shots are given at the scalp, and the Mayo Clinic suggests they should not be given more often than every six weeks.
While I know of some women who have had luck with acupuncture for hair loss, the British Acupuncture Society states that there is no evidence that acupuncture can treat hair loss as a specific symptom however, it might help with the underlying problem.
Does Low Estrogen Cause Hair Loss
Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Its normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day, many of which end up on your pillowcase or stuck inside your hairbrush.
However, if youre losing a lot of hair every day, theres a chance that its linked to an underlying health issue.
One potential cause of hair loss is a change in your levels of certain hormones, particularly the female sex hormone estrogen.
Your estrogen levels may drop in response to a health issue, the use of certain medications or during menopause.
Below, weve discussed how low estrogen can contribute to hair loss, as well as the treatment options that are available if youre experiencing hair loss and think that low estrogen levels are the cause.
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What Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a term used to describe the use of hormones that, on a molecular level, are identical to endogenous hormones. The specific hormones that are used in bioidentical hormone therapy vary, but can include estrone, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone , and estriol.
BHRT is almost solely practiced in the U.S. and is considered a form of alternative medicine. Not only are bioidentical hormones promoted to fight menopausal symptoms, but also as a treatment that can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Testosterone And Hair Loss
Before we get to estrogen and hair loss, we need to talk about another hormone, testosterone.
While both men and women have testosterone in their bodies, men have much more testosterone than women, and they experience the effects of testosterone more than women.
Unfortunately for men, testosterone is responsible for the majority of non-traumatic hair loss.
To be more specific, something called DHT is the cause of hair loss. DHT is produced from testosterone and causes alopecia androgenica, more commonly known as male pattern baldness.
In men, this results in loosing hair near the forehead first, and slowing loosing hair toward the back of the head until they are bald.
In women, alopecia androgenica results not in going bald, but in an overall thinning of hair.
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What Is The Impact Of Bioidentical Hormones On Hair Loss
Hair loss is a known side effect of menopause, and many women find it to be one of the most frustrating and annoying. Women grow used to having thick hair, and when it begins thinning or falling out altogether it can be tough to cope with. Many women search high and low for products and treatments that will keep their hair loss to a minimum. One treatment menopausal women turn to is bioidentical hormone therapy. But what is bioidentical hormone therapy, and how does it help fight hair loss? Continue reading to find out what bioidentical hormones could do for you, how they combat hair loss and most importantly, whether they are safe.
Side Effects And Risks Of Hormone Therapy
Choosing to get hormone therapy is not a decision that you should make by yourself. You need to consult with a healthcare provider to know the pros and cons of the treatment. It will help to discuss in detail your medical history and disclose if there are any health conditions that run in the family. You should also be aware of the potential health risks that can come with getting hormone therapy.
Some of the common side effects of taking HRT are breast tenderness, headaches, bloating, nausea, and vaginal bleeding. Long-term use of HRT has also been associated with blood clot diseases and increased risks for breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and endometrial cancer.
Estrogen Increases The Amount Of Time That Hair Spends In The Growing Phase So When Estrogen Declines Hair Loses These Protective Effects
Estrogen increases the amount of time that hair spends in the growing phase, so when estrogen declines, hair loses these protective effects. Additionally, androgenic effects of testosterone can also be intensified where testosterones metabolite dihydrotestosterone can produce progressively weaker hair due to the follicles failure to thrive . When menopausal symptoms are present, a simple-to-collect saliva test can assess the levels of estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, and help both patient and practitioner decide on the best therapeutic strategy.
PCOS: This is a common female endocrine disorder based on a cluster of symptoms, with hyperandrogenism taking center stage . In PCOS, the Alice in Wonderland equivalent reality of elevated androgens, women lose scalp hair, while simultaneously growing hair in places where men usually get it and where women certainly dont want it face, chest and back. Although there is no cure for PCOS, treatment is usually focused on managing symptoms. A laboratory workup is typically performed for saliva steroids and blood levels of HbA1c and fasting insulin.
What Are The Hormones That Cause Hair Loss
Hormones are the chemical messengers in our body which are a part of endocrine system that control our body systems. In a way, hormones help our body to sustain and thus any imbalance in their constitution results into a number of problems. There are certain hormones which affect our hair nourishment and health, thus causing hair loss
Testosterone This is a male hormone and excess production of it can cause androgenetic alopecia in both men and women. With excess of testosterone being produced in the body, it gets highly reactive to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which are by-products of testosterone in the body. With the rise of testosterone in the body, the DHT levels rise as well and this causes an increase in the rate of hair loss.
Thyroxin Thyroid gland releases thyroxin hormone, a component that regulates the metabolism of the body and maintains its energy in order to support smooth functioning. But, if there is an imbalance in the amount of thyroxin produced, then it results in conditions known as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism , which in turn is capable of causing many irregularities, including weight gain and hair loss.
Insulin This is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas and it helps the body in regulating the blood sugar levels. Insulin is capable of affecting several body processes like fat storage and hair loss. Studies indicate that people with insulin resistance are probable candidates for androgenic alopecia , or female pattern baldness.
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Why Would Estrogen Levels In Men Go Up
There are number of reasons or external circumstances that could cause a mans estrogen levels to go up. Some of these include medications and food sources, but elevated estrogen levels can also be caused by genetics as well as various medical conditions.
The most common reason for elevated estrogen in adult males in the US today is hormone replacement therapy . As low-T became a common condition advertised on TV and social media, the number of men on HRT increased drastically. HRT for men usually involves taking prescription testosterone through injections, gels, or pills but sometimes it comes in the form of testosterone boosting medications like Growth Hormone or Clomiphene . Though the goal is to increase ones testosterone levels, because of the feedback loop with your hypothalamus and pituitary gland, the body may recognize that the balance of testosterone to estrogen is off and decide to convert some of that testosterone to estrogen. A common side effect of elevated estrogen is unwanted breast growth in a man using any form of HRT. So if youre on HRT, be sure that your doctor is measuring levels of your hormones regularly to ensure that they are balanced.
Less commonly, if youre taking certain medications like antibiotics or phenothiazines , these can also lead to higher estrogen levels.