What is Hormonal Hair Loss? Causes, symptoms, and ways to treat or prevent Hair Loss

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Hair loss is a completely natural and natural phenomenon. So there is no reason to panic at the sight of hairs on a comb. But if you frankly began to go bald, then there is no time for thought: an urgent need to treat alopecia. But in order to cure, it is necessary to establish the cause of hair loss. And there may be several of them.

Hormonal hair loss in women and men is  a pathological condition resulting from the excessive content of active forms of male sex hormones in the blood. There are 2 reasons for this disorder: excessive production of androgens by the adrenal cortex or ovaries, as well as a deficiency of enzymes involved in the synthesis of steroids.

Risk factors that can provoke the development of hormonal disruption in reproductive age, leading to  hair loss , include the presence of hormonally active tumors and pituitary neoplasms, polycystic ovary disease, and the uncontrolled use of anabolic steroids.

In the fairer sex, hormonal alopecia is often accompanied by acne and the appearance of secondary male sexual characteristics (hair growth around the nipples, in the area of ​​the nasolabial triangle and chin, male pubic hair growth, excessive hair growth of the trunk and limbs).

In men, overproduction of androgens is most often seen in the presence of prostate and pituitary tumors. The “hormonal” cause of hair loss is an increased sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT. It is this hormone that affects hair loss that leads to the atrophy of a large number of hair follicles.

In women, such a violation is accompanied by malfunctions of the menstrual cycle and signs of hirsutism (excessive growth of terminal hair, or male-pattern hair growth). This condition is directly related to hormones affecting scalp hair loss. This paradoxical response to the action of androgens is explained by the difference in enzymatic processes in different areas of hair growth. Part of the follicles at the first contact with male sex hormones receives a signal for degradation, part – for excess hair growth. Rapidly progressive hirsutism is often associated with tumors. For women suffering from hormonal baldness, the level of sex hormones is determined first. Treatment, based on the collaboration of related specialists (dermatologists, gynecologists and endocrinologists), includes the use of antiandrogenic drugs.

Hormonals Fluctuations

Probably the most difficult case is a change in the normal hormonal background. This most often happens in women during puberty, during pregnancy, before and during menstruation, during menopause, while taking hormonal contraceptives and other drugs. There may be other reasons.

Regarding pregnancy, it often happens the other way around: the hair becomes thicker and more beautiful. Not least because of the increase in the level of female hormones. But at the end of pregnancy, this “effect” often disappears, and the dead hairs that did not fall out before (which were retained in the skin thanks to estrogen) all immediately begin to leave your head. This is not baldness, soon (when all the dead hairs fall out) the process will end and everything will fall into place.

In all other cases, increased hair loss is caused by an increase in the male hormone testosterone. Often this is indicated by irregular menstruation, acne, seborrhea, galactorrhea, infertility. This situation requires correction, so you can’t do without an experienced endocrinologist.

Also, the cause of baldness can be a violation of the thyroid gland. Again, it is necessary to solve the problem with an endocrinologist.

Causes of Hormonal Hair Loss

Deficiency of vitamins and minerals

Only the regular intake of all the necessary substances into the body can ensure you well-being and a harmonious appearance. If vitamins and minerals are lacking, problems begin. Including hair loss.

Iron is especially important for normal hair growth. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to regulate its level in the body.

Vitamin deficiency can be the result of chaotic improper or insufficient nutrition, the consumption of poor quality foods, the result of prolonged fasting or strict unbalanced diets.

Impact of stress

The body reacts in a certain way to any stress or experience. Hair loss is one of the consequences of the experience: anxiety, failure, overwork, worries, nervous breakdowns … If this is an isolated case, then soon after restoration, hair growth is getting better naturally. But if depression and stress have become your companions in life, then you can hardly do without qualified treatment.

Internal diseases

Physical stress is also not reflected in the hair condition in the best way. Exhaustion, past illness, radiation, chemotherapy. Often, hair can fall out heavily due to the development of a severe allergic reaction, for example.

And many diseases can also be reflected in the condition of the hair. Among them are diabetes, anemia, chronic constipation, enlarged adrenal glands, cervical osteochondrosis, pneumonia, polycystic ovary disease, venereal, dermatological and other diseases.

closeup Asian woman back with problem hair loss falling on neck behide and shoulder

Taking certain medications

Not only diseases can lead to hair loss, but also treatment. In addition to hormonal contraceptives, a number of other medications can affect hair growth. Many of them aggravate or provoke alopecia: always read the annotation to medications, pay attention to contraindications and side effects, consult your doctor.

Often these “bad” drugs are diuretics, antifungals, antidepressants, steroids, pills for high blood pressure and hepatitis … Of the most popular is Aspirin.

Improper hair care

Well, let’s not forget about the most elementary – daily hair care. Remember that all chemical (curling, dyeing) and thermal (blow drying, styling with thermal devices, the same curling) procedures greatly weaken and damage the hair, as a result of which it can begin to fall out.

Also, try not to overuse styling products for your hair. Or choose quality products that do not harm your hair.

In addition, tight braids and tails, regular wearing of wigs and hairpieces, attaching hair in the same place, and parting hair in a permanent place can lead to hair loss.

Violation of blood circulation in the vessels

If the blood vessels do not circulate well, the nutrition of the hair follicles is immediately disrupted. This naturally affects hair growth and condition. There can be various reasons for the violation of the blood supply to the vessels. But the most common are large amounts of coffee and alcohol.

Genetics

Genetic predisposition may also lie at the root of the problem. Most often, such alopecia (called androgenic) occurs after forty and is manifested by a noticeable thinning in the crown area.

The established cause of hair loss in women is half the battle. Therefore, try to find and eliminate it all the same. And our qualified specialist – a trichologist-endocrinologist will help you with this.

HOW ANDROGENS AFFECT HORMONAL HAIR LOSS?

By their effect on hair follicles, androgens (testosterone and its derivatives) and estrogens have a multidirectional effect. Female sex hormones have a positive effect on hair growth, while male sex hormones tend to inhibit the normal functioning of the hair follicle. Fortunately, in a healthy person, be it a man or a woman, both types of hormones are present in the body. Problems arise, as a rule, in cases where their quantitative imbalance is observed, namely, an overabundance of dihydrotestosterone (a testosterone derivative).

Women, who are especially concerned about the thickness of their hair, need to keep in mind that any hormonal deviations, regardless of their cause, can lead to hair loss.

Which hormone is responsible for hair loss in females?

Among the most common are the following:

  1. Hair loss in the postpartum period and during menopause. In the first case, the following situation takes place: during pregnancy, the body produces an increased amount of estrogen necessary to maintain it. Hair at this time becomes stronger and thicker, and after childbirth, the level of hormones returns to the previous level, which can lead to hair loss. As a rule, this condition is temporary and disappears as the body returns to its normal state. During menopause, the amount of estrogen in the body also decreases, and therefore hair loss may occur.
  2. Hormone-dependent diseases can also trigger hair problems. This applies to diseases of the ovaries (polycystic, etc.), thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands. If the functions of these organs are disturbed for one reason or another, a bias in the concentration of hormones and, as a result, baldness is possible.
  3. Stress and the use of hormonal drugs. Stressful situations signal the body to defend itself, and it releases more male sex hormones into the blood (this applies to both men and women). Therefore, hair loss due to stress is not uncommon. Taking testosterone drugs is also a risk factor. Often this can be observed in female athletes using anabolic steroid drugs, as well as in those who are undergoing a course of treatment prescribed by a doctor.

How do you treat hormonal hair loss?

TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF HORMONAL HAIR LOSS

In the overwhelming majority of cases, you need to start treatment with a comprehensive examination, because the fact that your hair has become less frequent can be only one of the symptoms of much more serious diseases. Therefore, all kinds of tests are prescribed (regular and biochemical blood tests, blood is donated to determine hormonal levels, both for sex hormones and for thyroid hormones) and other examinations that are prescribed by a doctor depending on the history.

If we talk about the treatment of hormonal hair loss, then most often it consists (after establishing the true cause) in the normalization of hormonal balance. This can be done with medication, or the problem is solved by itself as it recovers, if we are talking about a hormone-dependent disease.

And yet in some cases, this is not enough. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to restore hair follicles naturally. This is especially true of hormonal hereditary baldness. Then you have to resort to radical methods, in particular, hair transplantation using the HFE method… The bottom line is to transplant the grafts from the intact area into the problem area. The HFE procedure is one of the most gentle minimally invasive techniques today. The transplant takes place with the help of miniature instruments that hardly injure the scalp, so the manipulation takes place most often without anesthesia.

After the HFE procedure, if there is any redness of the skin, then it is minimal, but most often everything goes well, painlessly, and with an excellent aesthetic and actual result. All this, of course, is possible only if the patient turns to certified specialists. Nobody can vouch for a transplant carried out by a random person. So, be careful when deciding where to go.

And, of course, one cannot but say about prevention, which is necessary, even if there is even the slightest risk of hormonal hair loss. In this case, it is simple and coincides with the traditional recommendations for maintaining healthy hair. But to it is also added regular health monitoring in general, which includes taking tests, and medical examinations, and avoiding stressful and other situations that could provoke a problem.