What Causes Hair Loss
Hair loss can be caused by a number of different factors there is not one defined cause. However, the four main factors for hair loss are hormone levels, genes, age, and stress. Your lifestyleincluding your diet, where you live, alcohol intake, and how much you sleepcan also play a part in hair loss.
Sometimes it can be hard to determine why exactly you are experiencing hair loss, so its important to understand just exactly what hair loss is in order to address it.
Male pattern baldness is often genetic. Its called androgenic alopecia or androgenetic alopecia.
Another cause of hair loss is alopecia areata, an autoimmune skin disease causing hair loss on the scalp, face, and sometimes other areas of the body.
Hair loss can be one of the signs of andropause, the male equivalent of menopause. Like women, mens hormones fluctuate on a monthly and even daily basis. They also affect biological processes, moods, and emotions in many of the same ways they do in women.
As they age, men also experience a drop in hormone production, especially testosterone, which in some cases can lead to hair loss and the growth of hair in places where you dont necessarily want it, such as your ears.
DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a derivative or by-product of testosterone. While the entire genetic process of male pattern baldness is not completely understood, scientists do know that hormones such as DHT shrink hair follicles, and when DHT levels are suppressed, follicles continue to thrive.
Hair Loss During Menopause
Menopause wreaks enough havoc in a womans life. Along with hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats and other menopause-related symptoms, many women must deal with significant hair loss at this time. Huge amounts of hair in the shower, sink or brush can trigger depression and other negative emotions.
While different styling or wigs can help hide evidence of hair loss, there is another alternative. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can slow or prevent hair loss, allowing you to keep more of your crowning glory. If you want to know more about what causes hair loss during menopause, or how bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can help, consult an experienced doctor who can help.
Does Low Estrogen Cause Hair Loss
Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Its normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day, many of which end up on your pillowcase or stuck inside your hairbrush.
However, if youre losing a lot of hair every day, theres a chance that its linked to an underlying health issue.
One potential cause of hair loss is a change in your levels of certain hormones, particularly the female sex hormone estrogen.
Your estrogen levels may drop in response to a health issue, the use of certain medications or during menopause.
Below, weve discussed how low estrogen can contribute to hair loss, as well as the treatment options that are available if youre experiencing hair loss and think that low estrogen levels are the cause.
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Estrogen Monotherapy For Hair Growth
Since I originally wrote this post, I have become increasingly fascinated by estrogens hair growth properties. In my 2021 updated post on Male-to-Female transgender persons, some of the before and after transformations are astounding.
Most transgender females take estrogen as well as Finasteride or Dutasteride. Many also add anti-androgens such as spironolactone or cyproterone acetate into the mix. This is known as hormone replacement therapy .
What I am most curious about is non-transgender men who only use topical estrogen to regrow their hair. I would have never though that this would be a very effective solo hair loss treatment. Moreover, some amount of topical medication always gets absorbed into the bloodstream. So the feminizing side effects are likely to be significant, even if perhaps less so than with injected or oral estrogen supplementation.
Reddit to the Rescue
What encouraged me to re-examine subject matter is Reddit. In recent months, I have seen a number of threads by people focused on using estrogen monotherapy to treat hair loss. In many cases, the monotherapy is ultimately supplemented with Minoxidil or Finasteride, but this is still okay by me.
Localized Estrogen Receptor Activation
On paper, it is easy to extrapolate the potential benefit of being able to topically apply Estradiol or Estriol and get some sort of localized binding with a relative lack of systemic estrogenic activity.
However, it just doesn’t seem to work like that in practical application.
I noticed absolutely no difference on my hair growth or hair loss prevention, whatsoever.
It’s also not very predictable in terms of pharmacokinetics in the body going through the scalp.
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How Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy helps retain a full head of hair. These hormones, derived from plant sources, are biologically identical to the hormones your body created prior to menopause. Not only will your hair become thicker and normal, but bioidentical hormone replacement therapy relieves other menopausal symptoms, including:
- Loss of libido
- Mood swings
Therapy is custom-tailored to each patient. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy involves a holistic approach, so the doctor will also recommend a diet and exercise regimen and possible nutritional supplements to improve overall health. Hair health always reflects your bodys general health.
Does Topical Estrogen Cream Promote Hair Growth
I can confirm that topical Estrogen cream on the scalp is very poorly absorbed and has minimal impact on hair growth, or the progression of androgenic alopecia.
If your goal is to try and maintain physiologic amount of systemic estrogen fulfilled via transdermal administration of topical Estrogen cream, you will likely be unsuccessful.
The absorption through the scalp is extremely poor.
I was drenching my head in this stuff to really test it out.
Even when I had several milligrams of Estradiol cream on my head per day, my E2 levels were low.
The hypothesized topical localized effect on Estrogen receptors also doesn’t seem to play out as we thought it may.
I noticed no additional growth out of it, and feel that it is an overhyped growth agonist that may just do more harm than good.
The most notable biomarker that changes with topical Estrogen cream on the scalp is Estrone, which goes through the roof.
To date, I have never seen anyone actually get good results from topical E2 to begin with, and any cases of regrowth with its use were in cases where other therapies were used in conjunction with it.
Anybody who deploys this as a form of monotherapy to prevent hair loss will be disappointed with their lack of results in my opinion.
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Will Hrt Help Prevent My Hair Loss
Today, were going to look into HRT and the benefits the treatment can have. Many women are hopeful that the treatment can help in preventing hair loss.
Dramatic Or Sudden Weight Loss
A crash diet or even weight loss surgery can trigger hair loss. Many fad diets are so restrictive that your body doesnt get the nutrients it needs which leads to a vitamin deficiency. Not getting enough zinc, iron or protein in your diet can cause hair loss especially if you are a vegetarian or if you have heavier than normal periods you may experience low iron. Your body needs these nutrients to sustain itself and will send these nutrients to body areas that need them the most with your hair not considered necessary for survival. A change in diet or taking supplements can help with hair loss but you should consult your doctor with the best approach regarding supplements.
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Cyproterone Acetate With Ethinyloestradiol
Sold under the brand names Diane 35 and Diane 50, these contraceptive tablets are prescribed in Europe for women’s androgenetic alopecia. Currently, both versions of this contraceptive are not available in the U.S.
The drug is a combination of cyproterone and estradiol, an estrogen. Both Diane 35 and Diane 50 contain 2 mg of cyproterone. Diane 35 contains 0.035 mg of estradiol, while Diane 50 contains 0.050 mg.
They work by blocking some of the actions of male hormones commonly present in women. Although it’s possible for the drug to stop further hair loss and trigger regrowth of hair within about a year, it needs to be used on an ongoing basis to maintain regrowth and eliminate hair loss.
What Is The Connection Between Estrogen Levels And Hair Loss
Our hair grows in three different stages.
- The Anagen phase or the Growing stage which lasts for several years
- The Catagen phase or the Resting phase which lasts for a few weeks
- The Telogen phase or Shedding stage which lasts for a few months
There are some evidences that estrogen hormone actually slows the rate of growth extending from the growth phase so more hair is at this stage at any moment in time. This is the reason why womens hair is more abundant than mens hair.
It must be noted that estrogen hormone works in opposition to the testosterone hormone in the female body, and thus prevents the hair loss caused due to testosterone. Studies suggest that estrogen hormone not only protect against hair loss but also stimulates the growth of new hair.
The relationship between estrogen and hair loss can be particularly noticed during pregnancy, when the higher concentration give women hair that is thicker, healthier and more plentiful than usual. This must also be noted that the extra hair tends to fall out within several months of the childbirth.
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C Nuclear Receptor Superfamily
ERs are members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily . Nuclear hormone receptors exhibit a sequential organization into consecutive domains enumerated A to F. These have highly specific functions: domains A and B are required for ligand-independent transactivation domain C, with its two zinc-fingers, for DNA-binding and domain E for ligand-dependent transactivation, dimerization, and interaction with other proteins . The sequence of the ER gene is conserved in all species studied except fish . In fish, only the C and E domains have high homology to ERs of other species. The DNA-binding domain has the highest homology between species. The function of the F domain of ER and ER is not fully understood.
Thus, it remains a particularly intriguing challenge to explore the functional importance of the three orphan receptors related to ERs that have been identified . Murine ERR1 is found in adipocytes, muscle, brain, and testis as well as in skin. It is highly expressed in the ossification zone of mice. Compared with ER, it shows a relatively higher level of expression in osteoblast-like cells. ERR2 reportedly is restricted to embryological stages and only very few adult tissues .
How To Deal With Hormonal Hair Loss
While HRT can help with hair regrowth, it does come with some pretty serious side effects. The good news? There is a simple way that you can disguise hormonal hair loss without turning to HRT. ToppikTM Hair Building Fibers!
ToppikTM Hair Building Fibers are premium, naturally-derived keratin fibers that are almost identical to human hair. These fibers have a natural electromagnetic charge that allows them to cling to your existing hair, instantly creating the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. They work for both women and men, and all hair types and textures.
The best part? Fibers are resistant to wind, rain, and perspiration, so you dont need to skip workouts or worry about getting caught in the rain. Thats why theyre the #1 selling solution* for women and men to instantly transform fine or thinning hair!
And theyre so easy to use! Just follow these simple steps:
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The Hair Follicle Cycle
The hair follicle cycle is divided into three main distinct phases: the anagen, the catagen, and the telogen . Some authors also identify one additional phase: the exogen.
Hair growth phases: anagen , catagen , telogen , exogen .
The most prolonged phase is the anagen, which lasts 27 years. It is also called the growing phase. During this phase, cells divide rapidly at the lower part of the hair, while matrix cells migrate outward.
The catagen phase is a short transition period, which is defined as involution or regression. This phase lasts around three weeks. During this phase, the hair shaft loses the connections from the papillae and contracts.
The telogen phase can also be referred to as the resting stage. This phase can last about three months and is described as the regression of the matrix and retraction of the papilla to a location near the bulge. There is no significant proliferation or apoptosis during this phase.
The exogen phase is an additional distinct phase where the active hair shaft and new hair continue to grow.
At any given time, up to 8590% of the hair on the scalp remains in the anagen phase, whereas the remaining follicles are either in the catagen phase for 2% of the time or in the telogen phase for the remaining 1015% of the time . However, this percentage of telogen hair can be overestimated, with novel data indicating that only 3.6% remain in the telogen phase .
Which Hormone Increases Hair Growth
Androgens, which include a reasonable amount of testosterone, are responsible for stimulating hair growth on the face, body, and head. Women also have adrenal glands, but the androgen produced is of a very small amount. It is important to understand that moth male and female hormones are responsible for hair growth.
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Ways Hormonal Hair Loss Differs From Other Forms Of Alopecia
If your hairline is receding or your hair is thinning, there may be hormonal reasons for your hair loss, according to Harvard Health Publishing. This means that hormonal hair loss symptoms may differ from other forms of hair loss.
The following are ways that hormonal hair loss causes, symptoms, and treatments differ from other types of hair loss.