It is normal to lose some of your hair every day, and a loss between around 50-100 hairs every day is completely normal. If your hair loss exceeds that, it could be for any number of factors, including hormonal hair loss or genetic predisposition. If you have concerns, you will want to learn as much about these possibilities as possible.
This article will discuss what we know about hormonal hair loss, including its causes and treatments. As you continue reading, you should become an expert on what it is and why it occurs. So read on, and find out how it might affect you.
Causes of Hormonal Hair Loss
There are several ways in which your body can start losing hair through changes in hormones. Both men and women have shared ways their bodies shed hair, as well as some that are unique to each sex.
Losing hair in males is a common and stereotyped result of getting older. Studies even show that around 85% of men in the U.S. alone are losing their hair by the time they reach the age of 50.
Most of these men are losing their hair because of androgenetic alopecia. In men, this is a genetic condition where people lose their hair in a very noticeable pattern. This starts over the two temples, and slowly the hairline recedes, leading to partial or complete baldness.
The hormones that affect hair loss the most in men are testosterone, triiodothyronine, and thyroxine. As these regulate a lot of what happens in your body, it is not much of a surprise that they can affect a man’s hair too.
There are also environmental factors at play that could affect how fast this form of alopecia affects a person. Although, genetics is the strongest way to tell whether someone is susceptible to this condition. This is because differences in this gene can cause you to be more or less susceptible to the hormones that affect hair loss.
While androgenetic alopecia is also possible in women, it presents differently. It is an all-over thinning of the hair instead of how it presents in “male-pattern baldness”.
Women have the potential for several periods in their life where their bodies will undergo a hormonal upheaval. During these periods, they will experience imbalanced hormones that can lead to a loss of hair growth.
During the process of pregnancy, a woman’s body will go through an upheaval in its hormones. As estrogen affects how long a hair follicle will be in the “growing” phase as opposed to a resting state, this will affect the person’s hair.
To start with, increased supplies of progesterone and estradiol will cause your hair to grow faster and appear stronger. This is partly where the reported “glow” of pregnancy can come from. Many people think this will continue, but after around three months the body switches once more.
During the second trimester, estrogen levels try to reach a level of equilibrium. Because of this, the body feels the effects of these hormonal changes, and hair follicles will start to shed.
Menopause will have an effect on the body’s supply of estrogens such as progesterone and estradiol. They will start to fall. As they fall, hair follicles and many other parts of the body will lose the protective effects these hormones once provided.
On top of this, a woman’s body will begin to produce more testosterone. As this occurs, metabolites will start to appear as the testosterone breaks down. This can then create weaker hair as the metabolites affect the follicles.
There are many ways that stress can affect the body, as well as many kinds of stress. This could include mental effort expenditure, mental health issues, or even physical trauma. All these can lead to more hormonal changes that cause hair loss.
Three types of hair loss have links to higher stress, and someone could find themselves suffering from one or even all three at once:
This is when a person’s body starts to attack itself. Some of the most vulnerable areas of the body include those that expose themselves to the outside world, such as hair follicles. As the follicles undergo such an attack, they will start to shed in an effort to survive.
As the body undergoes high levels of stress, the mental load causes hormonal changes in the body. This is much like other physically stressful times. When this happens, it can push hair follicles into a period of rest, causing them to shed.
This is a disorder that results in people pulling out their hair. While not a direct hormonal change, such disorders can appear because of a hormonal imbalance.
Do Any Studies Show This to Be True?
The International Journal of Molecular Sciences spoke about this issue in 2020. It mentioned that “The hair cycle and hair follicle structure are highly affected by various hormones.”
As the study continues, it names the following hormones that are likely to affect the continued growth of hair:
- Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate
Each of these affects hair growth in specific ways. The study also mentions that other hormones could also have effects but that these would need more study.
Sometimes hair loss is not always unavoidable, even in the case of male-pattern baldness due to genetics. There are ways to cover up hair loss, such as hair transplant surgery, although these are not effective at stopping the core issue. Then there are other therapies that can help retain what you have.
During some periods of life, such as menopause, people may experience extreme swings in hormone levels. As described above, these can speed up hair loss to noticeable levels.
It is rarely proposed to prevent hair loss on its own. Although, hormone-replacement therapy can have a major effect on the ability of hair follicles to hold on to hair.
The Right Medication
There are medications available that can help you keep or even regrow your hair. These include Finasteride or Minoxidil and come in many different forms such as topical liquids or pills.
You should discuss with a doctor whether any medication is appropriate for your condition before taking it.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
During this treatment, a dermatologist begins by removing a small amount of your blood. They then separate this blood into its constituent parts to find the blood’s plasma on its own.
The doctor will remove the plasma from the rest of the blood and then inject it into parts of your scalp where you have lost hair. This plasma will then rejuvenate the injected area as the blood-platelet-rich liquid causes the area to repair itself.
This treatment creates visible changes in the body’s aging process. Most people have between one and three treatments, each around three months apart.
The best part of this treatment besides the repair is that there are no recovery periods. It only enhances your own body’s repair processes, and you can continue with your day as soon as you complete your treatment
There are some things you can do to stop hormone-related hair loss from affecting you in the future. Not all of these directly affect hormones, and as such are generally in keeping with healthy lifestyles.
Eating healthily will always have a direct effect on your body in several ways. Although the following are known to help your body’s natural methods of balancing its hormones:
- Sweet Potatoes
The above either contain oils that the body needs to build hormones or have ingredients that help in other ways.
Increase Your Iron Intake
By increasing the iron in your diet, you can make sure that you avoid becoming anemic. As anemia can put a toll on the body, avoiding it prevents any physical harm that can come to your hair follicles.
When the human body has a lot of stress, the body stimulates its adrenal glands. This can end up causing cortisol to surge through the body. While usually useful, too much can push the hair follicles to a shedding phase, causing hair loss.
Try reducing stress in some of the following ways:
- Practicing mindfulness
- Receiving therapy
- Breathing exercises
Over time, these may reduce the cortisol in your bloodstream and help your body recover.
It is said that a reduction in the body’s levels of vitamin D can cause the growth of new hair to slow or even stop. This is because vitamin D stimulates both old and new hair follicles.
More Solutions for Hormonal Hair Loss
After the above, you should have a much better idea of how hormonal hair loss affects an individual. It can take a toll on a body. Lucky for you, we have a lot of great naturopathic medicine services that can help keep your body in its best state.
Talk to our physicians and book a free 15-minute consultation to discuss what we can offer. We would love to answer your questions and get you on the right path. So, give us a ring today.