Hair loss is a universal problem that is faced by women all over the world. Hair loss can be triggered by a number of causes such as stress, pollution, results of medications used for diseases like cancer etc. One of the common causes of hair loss among women is a hormonal imbalance. Let’s look at the causes of hormonal hair loss and tips to deal with it.
Causes Of Hormonal Hair Loss
The two main sex hormones found in females are oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen, which is produced in the ovaries, is responsible for your feminine features by shadowing the effects of the testosterone (that is also present in the female body in traces). This hormone is a woman’s best friend as it promotes hair growth on head while reducing it on the other parts of the body. The relation between hair loss and oestrogen is seen in two distinct stages of life:
- Post child birth: During pregnancy, women have higher levels of oestrogen. These levels are maintained till about six months after child birth. As oestrogen promotes hair growth and slows down the last of the three phases of hair growth – the shedding (telogen) phase, pregnant women tend to enjoy robust hair growth. But as these levels of super-charged oestrogen start to phase out, new mothers face a bout of hair fall. This is also called postpartum hair loss.
- Menopause: Unlike during pregnancy, when oestrogen level shoots up, menopause witnesses a drastic drop in the level of this feminine hormone. This can have a terrible impact on your lovely tresses. The reduction of oestrogen level can trigger hair fall at a drastic rate.
Other instances where oestrogen plays foul and causes hormonal hair loss is if you suddenly stop taking birth control pills. Apart from being used for preventing pregnancy, birth control pills are also a common medication prescribed for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). These medicines contain oestrogen, and if the supply of oestrogen stops it leads to hormonal hair loss. Women who undergo cancer treatment could also have similar effects as the function of their ovaries could get disrupted. Similarly, those who undergo hysterectomy (removal of the ovaries surgically) can see a huge drop in their levels of oestrogen.
Tips To Deal With It
- Have food rich in phytoestrogens like berries, flaxseeds, grains, nuts, and legumes.
- De-stressing is extremely important as stress brings down your oestrogen level significantly. Try to meditate and relax to deal with stress.
- Quit smoking. The ill effects of this habit are endless. Keeping away from cigarettes shall help you boost your oestrogen level while also improving your overall health.
Excess Male Sex Hormones
One of the most common problems faced by young women today is PCOS. This condition is on a rise due to unhealthy lifestyles, improper dietary habits and lots of stress. PCOS affects the body in a number of ways and one of them is hormonal hair loss.
The relation between PCOS and hormonal hair loss is linked to hyperandrogenism, an unnatural increase of androgen (male sex hormone) that happens during PCOS. Because of this, the type of hair fall in women looks similar to that seen among men where you lose more hair around the frontal part of your head.
PCOS also triggers a rise in the testosterone levels in the female body that get converted to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT.) DHT could block the hair follicle and alter the process of normal hair growth.
Tips To Deal With It
- The best way to deal with PCOS and its related hormonal hair loss is to eat right. You must include green vegetables, healthy fats and a balanced quantity of proteins and carbohydrates in your everyday meal.
- Exercising should be incorporated into your daily routine. The cycle of PCOS and weight gain needs to be broken, and this can be done primarily through weight loss.
- It is essential for you to relieve stress as your condition can worsen with increasing stress. Meditate daily to cope better with your daily life and relax as much as possible. Listening to soothing music can also be beneficial.
- Getting adequate sleep is extremely important. It is essential to sleep at least for 7 hours each day to balance your bodily functions. Research has shown that improper sleeping habits trigger hormonal imbalances that could further worsen your hormonal hair loss.
- Take it easy on your hair. Tying your hair tightly and using lots of synthetic products is not good for hormonal hair loss. Give your hair some relief. Avoid products that contain sulphates and alcohols. Choose natural options for your hair care routine.
Diabetes is a disease that is caused due to the body’s incapability to either manufacture or respond to insulin. Depending on how insulin is unable to act, diabetes can be of two types: Type 1 (where the body does not produce insulin) and type 2 (where the insulin produced is not utilized properly.) Diabetes is a common cause of hormonal hair loss. High levels of blood sugar in your body can interfere with the mechanism of hair growth that happens in three phases – active growing phase, resting phase and the shedding phase.
Improper insulin function can also cause Alopecia Areata (when hair loss happens in certain spots.) This is a condition caused by the immune system attacking the hair follicles. In this case, usually there are very less chances of growing hair back or even if they grow back, it is unlikely that they would last for long.
Tips To Deal With It:
- Include biotin-rich food products like peanuts, almonds, sweet potatoes, oats, onion and eggs in your daily diet as those suffering from diabetes have been seen to have a low level of this vitamin. Biotin or vitamin B7 helps in hair growth.
- Indulge in some scalp massages as it can increase blood flow to your hair roots and keep them nourished. This avoids hormonal hair loss in the first place.
- It is extremely important to keep your blood sugar level in check. High as well as low blood sugar levels hamper the process of circulation of blood in the body. This results in hair becoming weak, thin, and brittle as they remain undernourished.