Untangling the Relationship Between Hormones and Female Hair Loss
You’ve had beautiful, full and lush hair your whole life. So, why all of a sudden is your part widening every day? Few health issues may be more frustrating to understand than the underlying cause of hair loss. And if you complicate matters by attempting to identify the connection between hormone levels and hair loss, you may find yourself even more overwhelmed by the complexity of it all.
To see how hormone levels and imbalances actually affect hair loss, it is essential to begin by thinking of the word “balance.”
We all recognize that balance is important in life — a balanced diet, work-life balance, and even a balanced checkbook! Hormones are no different.
That fine balance that a healthy body strikes when hormone levels are exactly where they should be means that all systems are working as intended. But when an imbalance occurs, everything can seem to go haywire. From mood swings to weight gain to hair loss, it seems that hormones are often targeted as the culprit.
Why are hormones so important?
Hormones are secreted by endocrine glands and are passed through the bloodstream to tissues and organs where they regulate the way the body functions. A minimal shift or imbalance of hormones can lead to significant changes in the body, and can be the cause of both female and male hair loss.
For women, fluctuations in hormones linked to stages in life like menopause, perimenopause or pregnancy can affect hair growth and loss. That delicate balance of estrogen and progesterone is responsible for periods of both hair loss and growth.
Exacerbating the problem of hormonal imbalance is stress. Chronic stress can lead to hair loss as stress moves the hair out of the growth or resting stage and into the shedding stage of the hair cycle prematurely.
Sometimes hormonal changes and resulting issues are a response to, or a sign of, other health issues occurring in the body. A couple of all-too-common health conditions that create wide swings in hormone levels are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
According to the American Thyroid Association, approximately 20 million Americans have thyroid disease and up to 60 percent don’t even know they have it.
Specific tests need to be done by an endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system) in order to determine the exact type of thyroid disorder you may have. This is essential so the correct drugs or combination of drugs can be prescribed to precisely treat it.
In addition to seeking help from your doctor or endocrinologist, what can you do about hormonal hair loss?
1) Make lifestyle changes.
It may be easier said than done, but this is the least risky and most non-invasive approach. It’s a good place to start.
Some lifestyle changes include:
- Diet: Avoid crazy diet fads that may throw hormones into a tizzy! Remember that hair is protein, so consuming protein-rich foods, along with essential fatty acids, iron, and vitamins D and E, are all healthy hair options.
- Exercise: Making exercise a habit yields multiple health benefits, including hormone balance.
- Stress reduction: Many people find yoga to be a great stress-reduction technique that also promotes mindfulness. If you find that your life is getting too hectic and your to-dos never seem to go away, then take some time to get organized. Even just a little bit of structure can help reduce stress and ensure that your day-to-day habits don’t fall behind.
- In addition, make sure that you are getting a sufficient amount of sleep each night. Poor sleep habits can worsen stress and make it more difficult to cope with. National Sleep Foundation recommends at least 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night for adults 18 and older.
2) Stimulate the growth of new hair.
Go ahead and pamper your scalp. Don’t be afraid to gently brush your hair or get scalp massages, knowing it’s good for your scalp and your hair.
3) Try hair regrowth systems.
HairMedica is one hair loss option that eliminates DHT and nourishes hair roots to support hair restoration and renovation. To learn more, visit: https://www.neograft.com/products/.
Since the body produces over 50 different hormones, it can be tough for the average person to easily understand all the implications of imbalance.
But it helps to have a basic understanding of the importance of hormonal function and to be able to determine how fluctuating levels impact hair loss. You may gain some welcome clarity in discovering the cause of your hair loss in order to address it.