Which Profile Best Describes Your Hair Loss
- Thyroid imbalance. Thyroid hormones help keep hair follicles in a healthy cycle of growing or resting. When the thyroid is imbalanced, more hair follicles stay in the resting phase as opposed to the active growing phase. This leads to more strands falling out and can also cause hair to become brittle, dry, and prematurely gray.
- Hormonal imbalance. Hair loss during menopause and perimenopause is common due to declining estrogen levels. As estrogen levels fall, the resulting imbalance between estrogen and testosterone can cause thinning hair on certain areas of the head that are sensitive to androgens, commonly referred to as male pattern baldness. The same imbalance can also contribute to unwanted hair growth on the chin and face.
- Nutritional deficiencies. Hair loss can also be a sign of certain nutritional deficiencies, including deficiencies of vitamins A and D, iron and protein. It should come as no surprise that one of the first recommendations we make to women concerned with accelerated hair loss is to check their diet and add a medical-grade multivitamin to fill any gaps.
- Stress. Elevated stress hormones can shock hair follicles into their resting phase, causing hair to fall out at the slightest tug. Many women experience unremitting stress that doesnt give the hair follicles the chance to switch back into their active growth phase, leading to thinning hair on the scalp.
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Patterns Of Female Hair Loss
Clinicians use the Ludwig Classification to describe female pattern hair loss. Type I is minimal thinning that can be camouflaged with hair styling techniques. Type II is characterized by decreased volume and noticeable widening of the mid-line part. Type III describes diffuse thinning, with a see-through appearance on the top of the scalp.
Get The Facts About Low Testosterone In Women
All that said, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of low testosterone in women. Its not something many women think of when they see physical changes or are not feeling well.
Low testosterone in women, while quite possibly a factor in female hair loss, causes a lot of other symptoms you would probably prefer to live without click the button below to find out more.
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Hormones And Hair Loss: Menopause Pcos And Male Pattern Baldness
If you develop dramatic, localized hair thinning or even noticeable bald spots, youre probably experiencing male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia . Its the most common form of hair loss in both men and women and almost always happens on the top and sides of the head and above the forehead. It may also involve excessive hair growth on the face and other areas on the body.
Though hair loss in women is different from that in men, there are some similarities in how hormones affect hair growth. Androgens testosterone and DHEA are naturally converted into DHT . DHT is a substance that stimulates blood flow to the hair follicle, promoting hair growth.
When the follicles receptors become oversensitive to androgens, they shut down. Causes include genetics, abnormally high levels of free testosterone, or a change in sensitivity to normal levels of circulating androgens. Available testosterone-blocking drugs like flutamide are generally intended for men, and are mostly ineffective in women. They dont restore hormonal balance either.
You may have a genetic predisposition to male pattern baldness, though the same process happens in every woman to some degree as she ages and estrogen levels fall. Decreasing estrogen may allow the body to convert more available testosterone. Sometimes male pattern baldness can be resolved or limited when internal hormonal balance is restored.
Living With Alopecia Areata
Apart from drug treatments, there are various cosmetic and protective techniques that people with alopecia can try. These include:
- Use makeup to hide or minimize hair loss.
- Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from the sun and the environment .
- Wear coverings to protect the head from the elements.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Hair growth is a vitamin- and mineral-dependent process. People on fad diets often have problems with hair loss
- Reduce stress. Although never proven through large trials and investigations, many people with new onset alopecia areata have had recent stresses in life, such as work, family, deaths, surgeries, accidents, etc.
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Improved Guide For Better Treatment Of Hair Loss In Women
A team of eight esteemed experts in polycystic ovary syndrome form the research review task force who examined the data.1 Their goal was to assess the various diagnoses and possible treatments for problematic hair thinning in women, according to first author, Enrico Carmina, MD, executive director and chief executive officer of the committee, and professor and chairman of endocrinology at the University of Palermo Medical School in Italy.
This is a carefully developed update of knowledge about hair loss in women with a special focus on androgen-depending forms to provide clinicians with clear guidance in female pattern baldness drawing on the latest evidence, Dr. Carmina tells EndocrineWeb.
Others causes of hair loss:
There have been basic studies done showing that an androgen excess in premenopausal women induces hair loss that requires different diagnostic and treatment approaches than those effective in men,2 he says. For one thing, inflammation may play a larger role in this condition in women than for men.
When a woman has excess androgen levels , a variety of signs may arise such as acne, weight gain, excessive facial and chest hair , irregular menstruation, and excessive loss of hair at the scalp. However, the physical presentation of hair loss is notably different between the sexes.
High Stress Can Cause Hair Loss
Extreme stress can be a problem and cause hair loss, says Faubion. The condition is called telogen effluvium, and fortunately, the hair loss it causes is temporary, she says.
All hair follicles are on a cycle, and significant physical or emotional stress can push more follicles than usual into a resting phase, which can lead to a significant amount of hair loss at one time, says Faubion. It can take a while after that stress for the cycle to go back to normal, she says.
The pandemic seems to have increased stress levels and subsequent hair loss for a lot of women, says Ablon. I saw a lot of patients about hair loss pre-pandemic, and I probably see about three times that many compared to a year ago, she says.
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Is Your Hair Loss Hormonal
There are many people who dont know whether or not their hair loss is hormonal. You can get an idea of this by looking at your scalp. If theres a hair loss pattern thats found in patients with androgenetic alopecia, youll have your hormones to blame. As mentioned above, it forms a Christmas tree. The middle of the part-line widens significantly and extends from the hairline to the crown.
In other cases, it may be more difficult to detect since the hair loss can be diffuse due to telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia, so you cannot differentiate between the two on your own. In addition, if its indirectly causing non-hormonal alopecia areata then too you wouldnt come to an accurate conclusion on your own. For getting a diagnosis, its important that you reach out to your dermatologist. You may need physical exams, blood tests, even a biopsy for that. However, without it, you cannot start the treatment.
Midlife Hormonal Changes May Contribute To Thinning Hair
Hair loss might also be related to a shift in hormones, says Faubion. Androgens, a group of hormones that include testosterone and androstenedione, dont increase during the menopause transition, but the ratio between estrogen and androgen changes, so you have less estrogen and relatively more androgen, she explains.
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Hormones And Hair Loss
Hair is a large part of how both men and women express themselves, and no one wants to lose their beautiful hair too early on. Hair is a big part of who we are and how we express ourselves as individuals there are so many different things we can do with our hair. Sometimes we can do something to prevent this from happening, and other times it is out of our hands. Losing our hair can be extremely frustrating, especially when it is hard to find a quick solution to the problem itself. There are many different types of hormonal hair loss that any of us can experience, so it is essential to identify which type you are experiencing.
I am sure we have all heard about pregnancy hair and how beautiful and luscious the hair gets during this time, but what is talked about less happens after the baby is born. During and after pregnancy, there are so many changes to the hormones running through our bodies, affecting our hair in different ways. Pregnancy can increase the number of hair follicles, creating thicker, more luscious hair.
What Is Androgenetic Alopecia
Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause, when hair loss typically increases. The risk rises with age, and it’s higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family.
As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it’s important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.
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Can Hair Regrow After Hormonal Loss
There is a question that is sometimes asked about hormonal hair loss in women. Many women what to know is hair can regrow after this type of loss. While we believe that hair loss should always be reversible that isnt the case. With most hormonal hair loss it is not easy to regrow the hair.
Regrowing the hair after hormonal loss is not impossible and it has happened but it really depends on the person and the level of hair loss. Because the hormones shrink the hair follicles, regrowing hair might be difficult. But everyone is different.
Just remember to consult a doctor when it comes to hormones or hormone replacement.
When To Seek Help
This fact sheet has been prepared by Womens Health Concern and reviewed by the medical advisory council of the British Menopause Society. It is for your information and advice and should be used in consultation with your own medical practitioner.
You should consult your doctor if:
- You are losing hair in an unusual pattern.
- You are losing hair rapidly or at an early age .
- You have any pain or itching with the hair loss.
- The skin on your scalp under the involved area is red, scaly, or otherwise abnormal.
- You have acne, facial hair, or an abnormal menstrual cycle.
- You have additional symptoms which concern you.
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Intense Emotional Or Physical Stress
When you’re experiencing something stressful or traumaticnot your average day-to-day stress, but something big and life-altering like a divorce, a death in the family, a significant job change, or a big moveyou may experience a temporary halt in hair growth as your body puts its resources toward getting you through said big event.
“Hairs dont all grow at the same rate,” Dr. Schlosser explains. “Some are growing, some are resting, and some are actively being shed. When you have these conditions, your body halts hair growth, and then things get restarted and all these hairs that have been halted start to get pushed out at the same time.” The same thing can happen with physical stress and trauma, like having a big operation, being hospitalized, or even losing a significant amount of weight very quickly.
Usually this type of hair shedding is temporary. But if it bothers you, check in with a dermatologist to learn more about styling changes and products you can use to make your hair look and feel fuller.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
Talk with your provider if you continue to lose hair for more than six months. You might have another condition that causes hair loss, such as iron deficiency or thyroid disease.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Adjusting to having a new baby can be stressful. Postpartum hair loss can cause additional stress and anxiety. But hair loss after childbirth is normal and very common. And while you cant prevent it, the right hair products and hairstyle can help while youre waiting for your hair to grow back. By your babys first birthday, your hair should be full again.
Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Hair Loss
A2020 studypublished in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences reveals thatboth the hair cycle and hair follicle structure are highly affected by hormone levels.
Can hormone imbalance cause hair loss?
In fact, an imbalance of hormones is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women.
And in both sexes, the incidence of hair loss increases with age.
If you are concerned about current or future hair loss,Nutrition Response Testingat HealthierU can identify any hormonal imbalance you may have and determine the exact lifestyle and dietary changes you need to make to restore your hair growth.
How To Hide Thinning Hair After Menopause
If hair continues to thin after menopause and natural treatments have been ineffective, there are things that can help camouflage this issue. Some hair stylists will suggest shortening the length of hair. This adds volume and reduces the weight of hair. It can also help hide problem spots.
Some more permanent but also costly options include topical hair growth products, hair extensions, wigs, surgical hair transplants, and low-level laser scalp treatments.
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What Is A Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones are chemicals produced by different glands and tissues, forming a part of the endocrine system.
Hormones travel to all of the bodys tissues and organs through the bloodstream. They give messages to these organs, letting them know what function to perform and when to do it.
Hormones help regulate a lot of processes in the body. Hormones manage appetite and metabolism, sleep cycles, heart rate, sexual function, general mood and stress levels, and body temperature. Because they affect so many functions, imbalances in certain hormones can lead to uncomfortable symptoms.
A hormonal imbalance occurs when a person has too much or too little of a certain hormone, such as insulin, cortisol, thyroxine, androgens, estrogen, or progesterone. Even slight changes can have a significant effect on your body.
What Side Effects May I Notice From Receiving This Medicine
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- chest pain or palpitations
- skin rash, blisters, or itching
- sudden weight gain
- swelling of the hands or feet
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention :
- redness, irritation and itching at the site of application
- unusual hair growth, on the face, arm, and back
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Promise Of Recognition That Hair Loss Is Often A Sign Of A Medical Condition
This report provides a commonsense approach that is very useful, and because it helps to distinguish hair loss due to androgen overproduction from other causes, women can better understand what medications might be useful and what benefit to expect or hope for, Dr. Anawalt says.
One bit of advice that Dr. Anawalt was especially happy to see:
A recommendation that women worried about hair loss try the hair pull test. Try to pull gently on the end of a group of 50 hairs in multiple areas of the scalp, he says. It is normal to have 0-2 hairs come out per pull. More than that suggests telogen effluvium, which does not respond to anti-testosterone therapy but may reflect altered thyroid hormone or estrogen levels or a nutritional deficiency.
There are also some caveats that women must understand about hair loss, Dr. Anawalt notes.
Hair loss due to aging isnt reversable.
Treatment with minoxidil results in only modest improvement of hair growth.
Anti-androgen treatment offers benefits only to women with either high levels of circulating blood testosterone or evidence of excess testosterone production.
The guidelines nicely describe emerging evidence of the important growth factors for hair, and we might see effective treatments for hair loss for women and men based on further investigation and development of treatments related to these growth factors, says Dr. Anawalt.
Neither doctor has any financial conflicts with regard to this article.