Hair loss is a natural occurrence. We lose about 50-100 strands every day but when we lose more, it means there is a problem somewhere. Having thinning hair or pattern baldness can be caused by many things. And they could be as simply diagnosed as traction alopecia or complicated as hormonal hair loss.
When we women lose hair, it can be deeply disconcerting but the reality is many women go through this. It has been revealed that about one-third of us experience alopecia at some time in our lives. That’s a lot of women. When we do lose hair severely, it could affect our social and emotional well-being because we know there is something wrong somewhere.
For instance, when suffering from hair loss due to hormones, you know there is an imbalance in your hormone production. The body produces over 200 different hormones which regulate everything in our body, from moods to hair growth to food appetite, fluid balance, sex drive, and fertility. This is why having regulated hormones in our body also gives us a healthy hair growth cycle.
Whenever there is a hormonal imbalance, the first sign is our thinning hair, whether it is under-active thyroid or menopause, or pregnancy. When the hormones are going through changes, the hair tells, that is why some of us lose hair at higher rates because we at the changing hormone stages in our lives.
Hormonal hair loss
The hormones in the body go through change at the different stages in a woman’s life. Hormones linked to the hair are the androgens, estrogens; sex hormones like DHT (dihydrotestosterone), progesterone, estradiol, prolactin, thyroid gland, melatonin, cortisol, and gelatin. These hormones at one point influence the cycle of our hair when they are going through changes in the body.
When there is an imbalance, these hormones can influence our bodies in the following certain ways.
This is one of the common ways hormones affect hair loss. During pregnancy, the hair is normally characterized as luxurious due to the high growth factors of hormones and increased blood circulation. This is because high levels of estrogen increase hair growth. But after giving birth, it goes back to place and we lose a significant amount of hair because the hair goes back to its resting phase (telogen).
The hair shedding after pregnancy continues for about three months and the hair is fully restored by six months. When you experience this, you should not be afraid because the hair fall is temporary and might not need to be treated. Rather you can welcome the change and treat the emotional effects like covering the hair loss by styling your hair or deep conditioning your hair and treat your scalp to be stronger.
You can treat your hair to avoid excess shedding of your strands by taking your prenatal vitamins, avoiding tight hairdos, most especially ponytail and braids, eating a rich fruit and vegetable diet, and reducing the exposure of your hair to heat styling.
Every woman has to go through this phase in life. This act is understood by all women. The changes during this stage are irrational and rapid like mood swings and hot flashes. When experiencing menopause, it is best to let the effects kick in and not exacerbate it.
When a woman is experiencing menopause, her estrogen level is decreasing and stress easily increases. It is common for women to experience androgenetic alopecia because the ovaries stop producing estradiol but continue to produce androgens, a hormone that influences hair to thin.
To treat this, women experiencing hormonal hair loss can carry out hormone therapy like taking estrogens with cyproterone acetate. This helps to suppress the androgen level in the body. Also, drugs like Aldactone can be prescribed by doctors or you can get topical treatment like Rogaine.
3. Thyroid Issues
The thyroid hormones also regulate the metabolic rate and speed at which the cells in our bodywork. The cells in the hair follicles are also influenced by this hormone. When there is an imbalance in the thyroid function – hypothyroidism when it is under-active and hyperthyroidism when it is overactive – hair growth can also be triggered.
Thyroids help in the development of new hair strands at the follicles and keep maintaining a consistent supply, so when it isn’t working, we lose hair without replacement. Thyroid issues also cause the hair to become weak, brittle, and dry. They also cause a mixed hair loss across the hair scalp and not in a pattern or localized hair loss.
Hyper and hypothyroidism are usually treated with medication like prescribing levothyroxine or a combination of methimazole, propylthiouracil, or beta-blockers. The hair will grow with the right treatment and hair loss is contained.
Yes, hormonal imbalance and stress go hand-in-hand. The body is going through several changes with stress. Stress is categorized by fear, doubt, worry, anxiety, and trauma in the body. The body begins to lack nutrients or sleep and also hair loss.
Stress increases the level of production of five hormones – growth hormone, thyroxin, adrenaline, glucocorticoids, and glucagon. When the body has been stressed for too long, these hormones decrease taking the body into a hypoglycemia state also known as low blood sugar. This state can lead to the diffusion of hair loss because the blood circulation is cut low which forces the hair follicles back to the resting phase.
Treating hormonal hair loss
Hormonal hair loss can happen for varying reasons whether it is temporary or permanent. There are also options for treatments to consider. When experiencing hormone hair loss, your doctor should be your first stop for treatment and recommendations.
For hair loss caused by hormonal changes like pregnancy, menopause, or stress, there is no need for medical treatments. The hair loss will stop as the body changes become normal. But to help the process there are some treatments that are available.
- Rogaine: this is an over the counterdrug that helps the hair increase its growth, thicken and also reduce the patchiness or a wide hair parting. It comes in 2% solution and 5% solution.
- Light therapy: this is the use of low-level light to amplify hair growth. This treatment is best aired with other types of treatment like Rogaine for example.
- Platelet-rich plasma: this is a new treatment that involves a doctor drawing out blood, separating the platelet-rich plasma, and injecting the affected scalps. This is to help tissue repair and blood circulation in the follicles.
- Hormone therapy: this is the use of birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy for either progesterone or estrogen.
- Hair loss shampoos: using medicated hair shampoos to unclog the pores of the scalp may rejuvenate the hair follicles and clear them of dead skin. They may help with minor hair loss.
- Nutritious diet: keeping your body healthy by eating a nutritious diet will help the hair loss phase. A healthy meal contains lots of nutrients that will provide essential compounds needed to help heal the scalp and maintain balanced hormones.
Hair loss is natural if you are shedding the normal amount. You might be suffering from different reasons and one of such is hormonal imbalance. When experiencing hormonal hair loss you have to treat it if needed and recommended by your doctor but you can otherwise treat them on your own. Whatever the cause, hormonal hair loss is not permanent and will get back to normal.
Liked this article? you will find more like this in the category here.