Structure Of The Hair Follicle
Hair is a filament consisting mainly of dead, keratinized cells. The hair structure consists of two parts: the hair follicle and the hair shaft .
Structure of the hair: hair follicle and hair shaft .
The structure of the hair follicle can be divided into the upper and the lower parts. The upper part includes the infundibulum and isthmus, and the lower part is referred to as the bulb and suprabulbar region. The hair bulb is built by the dermal papilla and the hair matrix . The follicles of scalp hair are anchored in the subcutis, and they undergo repetitive growth cycles .
The hair shaft is divided into three layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. The medulla is the outermost part of the hair which is visible above the skin. It is surrounded by a protective layer called the root sheath. The root sheath consists of two strata: the inner and the outer.
Hair Follicles Cycle Between Rest And Growth
Before we jump into endocrine logistics, lets review some anatomical considerations. Hair changes can occur due to alterations of the hair fiber itself, the hair cycle, and/or the hair follicle the portion of hair beneath the surface of the skin. This human hair follicle is an intriguing structure! Hair follicles are incredibly productive, constantly undergoing cyclical rounds of rest , regeneration and degeneration , and they are unique in this ability to dynamically alternate between rest and active growth.
Female Hair Loss Causes Can Include Thyroid Disorders
Lets not forget the possible role of thyroid disorders.
According to the British Thyroid Foundation, severe and prolonged thyroid conditions can lead to an overall thinning of the hair over the entire scalp, rather than in patches or localized to a specific area.
It would be highly unusual for a mild, subclinical thyroid imbalance to cause this type of diffuse hair loss.
Luckily, hair loss due to thyroid conditions often reverses itself over time if healthy hormone levels are both restored and maintained.
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Hormonal Imbalance Hair Loss: 4 Common Causes
Hormonal imbalance hair loss can occur for a wide variety of reasons.
Sometimes it is triggered by hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause.
In other cases, factors such as stress or irregular thyroid levels may be affecting your hairline.
Lets take a look at the 4 most common causes of hair loss with hormone imbalance.
What Are The Cycles Of Hair Growth
Hair goes through three cycles:
- The anagen phase can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
- The catagen phase is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.
Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.
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Hormones And Hair Loss
Hormones cause hair loss, among various other symptoms. Heres a list of hormones that may lead to hair fall.
Women have DHT in trace amounts. It causes DHT hair loss like it contributes to male pattern baldness. Lets check how DHT hormone is responsible for hair loss in females:
- Testosterone converts to DHT with the enzyme 5 alpha reductase.
- The level of DHT binding to receptors in scalp follicles is mainly in the crown area.
- DHT shrinks hair follicles, making it difficult for healthy hair to survive.
- The hormonal process of testosterone converting to DHT, which harms hair follicles, happens in both men and women.
- Under normal conditions, women have a minute fraction of the level of testosterone than men, but even level can cause DHT. This triggers hair loss in women.
You can also watch this video to learn more about how DHT causes hair loss:
Hair loss in females can also be caused by an imbalance of thyroid hormones. Hormonal hair loss or fall is also one of the main symptoms of hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones affect every part of the body, including the cells of the hair follicle. Thyroid hormone prolongs the growth phase of the hair cycle and inhibits spontaneous rest phase of the hair growth cycle. So, low levels or very high levels of thyroid hormone cause the sudden onset of the rest phase, leading to hair loss.
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Female Hair Loss Causes Hormonal Changes Due To Age
All women go through monthly hormone fluctuation during their normal menstrual cycle, and then they experience more drastic fluctuations as perimenopause sets in .
As women continue to age, they enter full menopause. The ovaries cease ovulation, and estrogen production drastically slows.
There are plenty of opportunities during all this change for hormones to become unbalanced hair loss can be one of the symptoms.
The good news is, there are hormone replacement therapies, like estrogen replacement, that we often recommend to return your hormones to more regular levels and help keep you looking and feeling like yourself.
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How To Prevent Hair Loss During Menopause
During perimenopause and menopause, the natural but extreme declines in estrogen levels can cause hair loss for many women between the ages of 40 and 55. Perimenopause is the transitional period prior to menopause when the first natural reduction in estrogen levels occurs. On average, menopause begins at age 51. During menopause, womens bodies produce even less estrogen, which can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and yes, even hair loss.
What Hormone Causes Hair Loss In Females
Hair loss isnt exactly the best thing in the world,especially if youre not expecting it to happen. Although there are plenty ofcauses, its important to know that this isnt always a reason to worry! Youmight be surprised at some of the causes behind your hair loss, but once youfigure out whats going on, it will be much easier to determine how to startregrowing your hair again.
To help with this, weve compiled some of the most commoncauses of hair loss in women and how you can fix them!
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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.
Type Of Hair Loss In Women
There are many extraordinary sorts of hair loss that mayhave an effect on women. The most common type of hair loss is calledandrogenetic alopecia, or female pattern baldness. This type of hair loss iscaused by a combination of hormones and genetics.
Androgenetic alopecia typically starts with thinning at thetemples and crown of the head. Then, the hair gradually becomes finer andshorter until it eventually disappears. Other types of hair loss includealopecia areata, telogen effluvium, and anagen effluvium. Alopecia areata is anautoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss on the scalp, face, and body.
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How To Use Treatments
Although there are many possible causes of hair loss, one ofthe most common is an imbalance of hormones. When levels of testosterone andother androgens increase, they can cause the follicles to miniaturize,resulting in thinner, weaker hair.
In order to combat this, it’s important to use treatmentsthat can help regulate hormone levels. Some options include birth controlpills, anti-androgens, and estrogen replacement therapy. Talk to your doctorabout which option is right for you. Anti-androgens work by blocking theeffects of male sex hormones, so if your problem stems from high levels ofthese substances then this may be a good option.
It’s also a good idea to stay away from products containingcaffeine or alcohol because these substances have been shown to make hormonalimbalances worse.
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Functional Pathology Testing For Female Hair Loss
Beyond this initial basic list there are a whole host of functional pathology tests that can be done in order to help identify whats most likely causing your hair loss including:
The DUTCH hormone test This is a comprehensive hormone test that is very useful if androgenic or stress related hair loss is suspected.
Hair tissue mineral analysis Key for helping to identify potential heavy metal toxicity or issues with sub-optimal mineral levels.
Cortisol profile- Assessing your cortisol response throughout the day to see if this is a significant contributing factor. Many clients claim theyre not stressed however when weve looked at their bodies stress response we get a very different answer.
IgG & IgA- Sensitivity testing, this is particularly useful for women who may have a long standing allergy or sensitivity which may be contributing to the hair loss.
Amino Acid profile- to check for nutritional protein deficiencies which may be contributing.
Gene testing- This can be conducted to confirm presence of genes which may be contributing to the hair thinning.
As tempting as it is to rush out and have all the testing known to man, its important to work with a health practitioner who is experienced on this topic and can help guide you.
You can think of your hair as a little barometer if thats not healthy and well its possible there is a host of other symptoms or health issues just beneath the surface.
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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 Does Dht Cause Hair Loss
To understand how DHT causes hair loss, it helps to understand the hair growth cycle. The cycle includes four phases: growing , transitional , resting and shedding . DHT builds up in the hair follicles over time, disrupting the growth cycle. In a process called miniaturization, DHT shrinks hair follicles causing strands to reproduce at a slower rate by either shortening the growing phase or lengthening the resting phase. As androgenetic alopecia progresses and DHT continues to adversely affect the follicles, hairs become thinner, more fragile and often lighter in color with each subsequent life cycle. Eventually, the follicles shut down and will no longer produce hair.
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What Are The Types Of Hair Loss
There are three: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.
- Anagen effluvium: This is caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle .
- Telogen effluvium: This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.
- Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern alopecia/female pattern hair loss /baldness: This type is the most common. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.
What Are The Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
What causes hair loss?
- Hair style: Your style of hair can cause hair loss when your hair is arranged in ways that pull on your roots, like tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. If hair follicles are damaged, the loss can be permanent.
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Over processed scalp hair .
What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?
- Toxic substances, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some medications. These cause sudden hair loss that can occur anywhere on your body. It happens to hair in the growth stage. Sometimes, this type of hair loss can be permanent if your hair follicles are damaged.
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?
- Extreme physical stress or shock to your body: This causes temporary hair loss. This category includes events like losing a lot of weight, surgery, anemia, illness and having a baby.
- Extreme emotional stress: mental illness, the death of a loved one, etc.
- An abnormal thyroid.
- Medications and supplements: blood pressure medicines, gout medicines and high doses of Vitamin A.
- Hormone changes caused by pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills.
What causes FPHL ?
- Genes: Your familys genes can cause thinning of hair along the top of your head.
- Aging: Hormone changes as you age can cause balding.
- Menopause: This type of hair loss often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.
There are also some conditions that affect hair loss:
Hormone Hair Loss: Everything You Need To Know
Our hormones act as messengers in our body, informing our muscles and organs how they need to work and when they need to take action. Finding the right balance can be difficult a slight imbalance can cause issues with insulin production, cell growth, heart rate, general metabolism, etc. It can also cause hormonal hair loss.
Hormone imbalances that affect the scalp and hair growth can come as a result of several concerns, including thyroid conditions, inadequate levels of estrogen, menopause, weight changes and androgenetic alopecia. Each cause can have different effects, some of which are permanent and some that are temporary.
How Does Dimethicone Affect Your Hair
Dimethicone is often seen as a problematic ingredient in hair products. It creates a silicone coating to glue the cuticles to make your hair look and feel sleek, smooth, and silky. It can also minimize frizz, make detangling hair easier, prevent water loss, and make your hair look conditioned and healthy.
It sounds like a dream, but this silicone-based ingredient also has its fair share of drawbacks.
It creates a physical barrier on your strands and prevents water from penetrating your hair cuticles. This can leave your hair dry and damaged. It can also be difficult to remove from hair strands, causing product build-up.
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Which Hormones Influence The Health Of Your Hair
For starters, there are five types of hormones that can affect your hair. Dr Bijlani dives into the details of each.
Known as the male hormones , these are present in large quantities in men and smaller quantities in women. The diffused hair thinning in women, and thinning pattern in men is related to DHT , which could be due to high levels of or an increased sensitivity to the hormone. Along with causing hair thinning in men and women, these high levels of DHT also lead to excessive facial hair growth.
Estrogen and progesterone
These female hormones are abundantly present in women and found in smaller quantities in men. High estrogen and progesterone levels, typically seen during pregnancy, help women grow thick and fuller hair, and also balance and reduce the production of DHT. As these hormones reduce during menopause, that is primarily when hair thinning issues start to occur for women.
Another hormone that affects hair is the thyroid hormone. People with an underactive or overactive thyroid can have issues like hair thinning, hair fall, brittle hair, dry hair, etc.
Stress hormones like cortisol disrupt the hair cycle and cause sudden bouts of hair loss and hair thinning. The best steps in this case are lifestyle modification.
Insulin and IGF-1
These are also hormones that affect hair. Many women with PCOD are facing insulin resistance, which often affects their quality of hair.
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Hairiness Is Not The Same As Hirsutism
Tolerance to body hair is a cultural issue. A woman with more body hair than she would like should not assume she that has hirsutism.
Genetics play an important role in hair colour, thickness and distribution. For example, dark body hair and facial hair is common in women from many areas of the world including the Mediterranean, Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Familial hirsutism is perfectly normal and is not associated with any underlying medical condition.
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Dht Blockers And Beard Growth
The question as to whether or not using beard products formulated with known DHT blockers can impact your beards growth has become more prevalent. Unfortunately, most hair growth research has focussed on head hair, and there are far fewer studies on facial hair, so its hard to say with certainty at this point.
That said, Beard Oil does work its way into the pores on the face, and hair follicles underneath. If the Beard Oil is formulated with carrier oils like Argan, Grapeseed, and Emuall known DHT inhibitorsits possible that it could be blocking some of your DHT from attaching to the AR-5 receptors in the beard hair follicles.
Our product ethos at Beardbrand is to formulate class-leading, healthy products that work with the bodys natural chemistry. Were meticulous about the ingredients that we use, and strive to never be complacent with the products that we make.
Even though we felt strongly that Beardbrand Beard Oil was the best in the world, as we learned about DHT we saw an opportunity to reformulate it, and develop a Beard Oil that was like nothing else on the market.
We developed the new Beardbrand Beard Oil using only ingredients that have not been shown to block or inhibit the bodys natural production and impact of DHT. The result is all-day softness from a Beard Oil that is incredibly lightweight and long-lasting, without being greasy.
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