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.
“The enhanced supply of estradiol and progesterone in pregnancy is particularly nurturing to hair, expanding the growth phase and preventing shedding” (ZRT Laboratory). The pregnancy glow affects not only the skin but also the hair. After the baby is born, the mom is now in the postpartum phase, making her hormones go crazy. During this phase, the hormones are trying to go back to their state before pregnancy, and they can make the hair fall out, sometimes even in clumps. This is a temporary type of hair loss, it will take some time, but the hair will grow back and be good as new.
Another hormonal reason for hair loss in women would be menopause; during this time, the levels of estrogen and progestin begin to decline. It is common for women to notice hair loss during this time. Estrogen is the hormone that can increase the amount of time the hair spends in the growing phase, so when estrogen falls in a women’s body, so does the amount of growth happening in the hair. During menopause, testosterone can also increase, which can cause weaker hair.
There is also a disorder called PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). This is a condition where the ovaries produce an unusual number of androgens (the male sex hormones), and it causes many small cysts on the ovaries. When women lose hair because of this disorder, it is known as androgenic alopecia. When women see hair loss because of this disorder, it is shown differently than when most women start losing their hair. It is more similar to how a man would lose hair, otherwise known as male pattern hair loss, which is shown differently than typical female pattern hair loss. For this disorder, many women are prescribed birth control to help even out their hormones.
Although birth control can help in some situations of hormone-related hair loss, it can also be the cause of hair loss for some women. This is especially true if you or your family members have a history of hormone-related hair loss. Specifically, the Depo-Provera shot, skin patches, implants, and vaginal rings are tied to hair loss. In addition, any sudden changes in hormones can cause our hair to react differently, especially by hair loss and thinning.
Another popular issue with women is having problems with their thyroid, like hypothyroidism, which is when the thyroid becomes underactive. Unfortunately, the hair and the skin usually take the brunt of this problem; it usually causes the hair to become dry and weak, and even thinner. This can be a temporary problem if you treat the abnormalities with the thyroid.
There are certain things that you can do to help fix hair loss problems caused by different hormone issues. Keeping a constant and healthy exercise routine is essential because too much exercise can cause even more hair loss. It is just so important in general to maintain healthy habits if you’re trying to sustain the health of your hair. Keeping a nutrient-rich diet that contains vitamins and vegetables can help as well. Doctors can also prescribe hormone-regulating medications, such as birth control, to help stabilize your hormones and hopefully help the hair grow back and become healthy again. Supplements like minoxidil can significantly lessen the amount of shedding that is happening.
For any reason that your hair is thinning or falling out, it is essential to lessen stress in your life. If you are already experiencing hair loss from hormonal causes, it is vital to keep an eye on your stress level to avoid losing any more hair. To reduce stress, you can practice meditation, yoga, and healthy levels of exercise. It is also important to remember to continue doing things you love on top of your work or school life, spend time with friends, read books, and do what you can to help reduce stress.
Two takeaways from this, there are multiple reasons for hormone-related hair loss, from certain medications to conditions. The most crucial step is to figure out the underlying cause of this issue; you can do this by going to your doctor to ask questions and get to the bottom of it. This can be fixed with a change in diet, routine, or a new medication. Getting to the leading cause of these issues is essential because it can help you address the problem. As soon as you see any signs of hair loss, it is vital to find the cause right away, to nip it in the bud. If you think it may not be hormonal related, check out thehairsociety.org for more articles about hair loss.
“Understanding the Connection between Hormones and Hair Loss.” ZRT Laboratory, https://www.zrtlab.com/blog/archive/hormones-and-hair-loss/.
Watson, Stephanie. “Birth Control and Hair Loss: Understanding the Link, Treatment & More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 12 Dec. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control/birth-control-and-hair-loss#effect-on-hair-loss.