Female Hair Loss : Why It Happens And How To Treat It
Noticed your hair falling out? Whether youve spotted more hairs than normal on your pillow, in the shower drain catch or on your clothing, its easy to panic when you notice your hair thinning at a faster pace than normal.
Female pattern hair loss is the most common type of hair loss women experience.
Hair loss in women can occur for a variety of hair types and reasons. Sometimes, its triggered by changes in your hormone levels and a genetic sensitivity to certain hormones. In other cases, factors such as stress, thyroid issues , weight loss and even environmental factors can all have an effect on your hairline.
As a woman, dealing with hair loss can be difficult. Luckily, its almost always treatable using a range of safe, effective medications. Weve covered these treatment options, as well as the key reasons for female hair loss, below.
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Can hormone imbalance cause hair loss?
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Hair Loss As A Menopausal Symptom
Estrogen and progesterone are two of the essential female hormones that can prolong the anagen or hair growth phase. They act as nourishment so that the hair will stay on your scalp longer and may even stimulate faster hair regrowth. Once a woman begins menopause, theres a hormonal imbalance due to low oestrogen levels and possibly high androgens.
One of the early signs of menopausal hair loss is when you see more loose hair falling out when running your comb or brush through your locks. While bald spots are not as common during menopause, it is possible to see thinning hair along the hair line. New hair growth will also be significantly slow during menopause.
Other menopausal symptoms due to fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels are vaginal dryness, metabolism changes, weight gain, hot flashes, irregular or heavy periods, bloating, mood swings, night sweats, insomnia or sleep problems, and muscle aches and joint pain due to loss of bone tissue.
Hormonal hair loss may also be triggered by other factors like stress, lack of essential nutrients, and underlying illnesses. Severe cases of hair loss may prompt the need to see a doctor to check your blood count, thyroid tests, and hormone levels to identify its cause.
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Why You Lose Your Hair
Androgenic alopecia is most likely the kind of hair loss youre experiencing if youre an adult male.
Its onset can actually begin in your twenties, though it may take years or decades for the progress to be noticeable.
Androgenic alopecia manifests with telltale patterns of hair loss: Your crown may begin to thin and eventually be exposed to the sun, and your front hairline may begin to recede.
Its caused by a combination of factors, including your age, genetics, and the hormones you are producing.
Find The Right Hrt Plan For You At Revitalize You Md
For hair loss problems that are caused by changes to the hormones, getting hormone replacement therapy can help improve its symptoms and encourage new hair growth. If youre interested in HRT, the first thing you need to do is to find a trusted provider who will help create the right treatment plan for you.
Here at Revitalize You MD, we provide safe and effective hormone replacement therapies for the changes that you experience in your body. Whether it is testosterone replacement therapy or estrogen hormone therapy, our trained staff will ensure that each plan is customized to your needs. Contact us now and schedule your appointment.
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Can Women Experience Hair Loss From Hormone Replacement Therapy With Testosterone
Q: Dr. Bernstein, a lot of older women are taking testosterone to restore libido, but are they going to experience hair loss as a consequence?
A: They can. In women there is a delicate balance between the androgens, i.e. testosterone and estrogens. Estrogen is protective to some degree against hair loss in women, which is why most women dont experience such severe hair loss as do men.
When a woman takes testosterone supplements it upsets that balance and can cause hair loss. However, hair loss in post-menopausal women is usually due to age related changes. Typically, the hair decreases in size in a genetically determined progression that seems not to be directly related to changes in the levels of hormones.
For more information, please see the Causes of Hair Loss in Women page on the Bernstein Medical Center for Hair Restoration website.
What Is Androgenetic Alopecia
To understand the issue of transgender hormone replacement therapy and hair loss, it helps to start at the beginning. Androgenetic alopecia is a common cause for thinning hair in both men and women. The hair loss follows a pattern. For women, its a general, overall thinning that rarely leads to total hair loss, and womens hairlines are also not usually affected. For men, androgenetic alopecia hair loss starts in an M pattern that gradually fills in, generally leaving a semi-circle of hair on sides and back.
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Ferritin Not That Kind Of Store
If you think of iron as the merchandise in the front of the store, ferritin is the storage warehouse in the back. Serum ferritin is a powerful screening tool for iron deficiency. Low serum ferritin gives rise to a condition called anemia.
For those of us whove been anemic at one point or another , we are all too familiar with the symptoms of being really tired and pale. While hair loss is not the most common symptom of iron-deficiency anemia, it does affect approximately half of those with low ferritin stores . Hair follicles actually hang on to ferritin. When the body is low in iron, it can pull ferritin from places like hair follicles, deemed not as important as, lets say, red blood cell production. The resulting effect is diffuse hair loss.
If hair loss is related to insufficient iron in the body, correcting anemia should allow for hair to grow back. But first, screening for low serum ferritin levels is very important, because supplementing with iron when iron levels are normal or high can result in iron overload and toxicity .
Sex Hormones Not Just For Reproduction
PREGNANCY: Remember all that hair that you didnt lose when you were pregnant? I loved my luxurious pregnancy hair so strong, thick and shiny. It wasnt me who had the pregnancy glow, it was my hair! Pregnancy increases the number of hair follicles in the anagen phase. The enhanced supply of estradiol and progesterone in pregnancy are particularly nurturing to hair, expanding the growth phase and preventing shedding. Little did I know that at about 3 months postpartum, when my hormones were trying to re-equilibrate themselves and adjust to a new normal, my hair would all come out in clumps, washing down the drain, falling out so fast it was a seeming miracle any of it actually remained attached to my head.
Hair changes in pregnancy are common however, every woman is different and therefore hair changes are all individual. If hair loss is experienced in the postpartum period, most women will experience a full recovery, although the process may be slow.
MENOPAUSE: Along those lines, when the levels of estradiol and progesterone fall in menopause, hot flashes and night sweats are not the only symptoms that seemingly appear out of nowhere. What many women are unaware of and unprepared for is the fact that they may also find themselves facing hair thinning. And just like the postpartum hair loss, it has everything to do with hormones. However, unlike the postpartum period, hair loss in menopause is irreversible, unless hormone replacement therapy is introduced.
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Compounding Hrt Creams And Dermal Treatments Can Be A Solution For Women Who Are Losing Hair While On Hrt Pellets
Commercially-available pharmaceuticals arent always the best medication solution for everyone. Thats why the compounding industry, of which we are a part, exists. We help patients on the Northshore and Metro New Orleans find compounding solutions for their pharmaceutical needs that are custom-made to their doctors unique prescription.
If youre a local woman who has experienced hair loss while on HRT pellets, we may be able to help. We create compounds of custom-made HRT creams and dermal treatments, which replace HRT pellets and which will contain the exact amount of testosterone your doctor knows that you need to best manage your hormones during menopause. By doing this, were able to help many Northshore and Metro New Orleans women find the pharmaceutical solutions they need without the unwanted side effects of mass-produced solutions, such as hair loss from HRT pellets. And most importantly, these alternative HRT creams and dermal treatments may be safer to use and could reduce the risk of unwanted female hair loss.
Should You Get Hair Transplant Or Hormone Therapy
The problem with hormone replacement therapy is that it has its risks. It can have serious health consequences. Moreover, we dont know for sure that it will work. Research on it is still ongoing, but there is a definitive answer to this question. So, it might not be worth it to get hormone replacement therapy. Moreover, hormone replacement therapy works because it increases the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in the body. Your hair will not grow without the effects of those hormones. This isnt the case with hair transplant surgery. Once you have it done, your hair will continue to grow.
Hair transplant is surgery, while hormone replacement therapy essentially balances the hormones in the body, restores them to their previous levels. A specialist in hair and scalp, known as a trichologist, will recommend hair transplant surgery. On the other hand, since hormone replacement therapy deals with hormones, an endocrinologist will guide you about it.
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When To Seek Help
You should consult your doctor if:
- You are losing hair in an unusual pattern
- You are losing hair rapidly or at an early age
- You have any pain or itching with the hair loss
- The skin on your scalp under the involved area is red, scaly, or otherwise abnormal
- You have acne, facial hair, or an abnormal menstrual cycle
- You have additional symptoms which concern you.
Estrogen Increases The Amount Of Time That Hair Spends In The Growing Phase So When Estrogen Declines Hair Loses These Protective Effects
Estrogen increases the amount of time that hair spends in the growing phase, so when estrogen declines, hair loses these protective effects. Additionally, androgenic effects of testosterone can also be intensified where testosterones metabolite dihydrotestosterone can produce progressively weaker hair due to the follicles failure to thrive . When menopausal symptoms are present, a simple-to-collect saliva test can assess the levels of estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, and help both patient and practitioner decide on the best therapeutic strategy.
PCOS: This is a common female endocrine disorder based on a cluster of symptoms, with hyperandrogenism taking center stage . In PCOS, the Alice in Wonderland equivalent reality of elevated androgens, women lose scalp hair, while simultaneously growing hair in places where men usually get it and where women certainly dont want it face, chest and back. Although there is no cure for PCOS, treatment is usually focused on managing symptoms. A laboratory workup is typically performed for saliva steroids and blood levels of HbA1c and fasting insulin.
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Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Always Work For Hair Loss
Research on the link between hormone therapy and hair loss is still ongoing. Getting HRT to treat hair loss while being in the unknown about its effectiveness can cost you in the end. You might get an expensive procedure only to learn that it is not working for you. Moreover, hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of uterine and breast cancer.
Initially, it can also cause vaginal bleeding, tenderness in the breasts, stomach pain, headache, and indigestion. Before getting hormone replacement therapy, you need to consult with your doctor about other treatment options. Is treating hair loss with hormone replacement therapy the only available option?
Can Hrt Prevent Hair Loss
Hormone replacement therapy can be taken in many forms tablets, skin patches, gels and implants that work to relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing oestrogen.
Although it is generally only prescribed as a last resort for menopausal symptoms, HRT is a common and effective hair loss treatment for some women as long as they are menopausal or post-menopausal and are not at higher risk for adverse effects from HRT.
If you would like more information on female hair loss you can take a look at this informative page, here.
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What Causes Hair Loss In Women
When most people hear the words hair loss, they think of balding men. However, hair loss can also be a significant problem for women. Female hair loss can occur for several reasons, from a genetic sensitivity to certain androgenic hormones to reactive factors.
Weve listed the most common causes of female hair loss below, as well as the specific ways in which each cause can affect your hairline.
Hormone Replacement Therapy For Menopausal Hair Loss
Hormone replacement therapy, sometimes called menopausal hormone therapy, is a popular treatment among menopausal and postmenopausal women who wants to supplement the estrogen that the body loses upon reaching menopause age.
HRT can improve the effects of menopause and provide relief from its discomforting symptoms. Likewise, it can offer benefits for serious health complications that older and postmenopausal women may be at risk for such as osteoporosis and colon cancer. There are two main types of hormone therapy:
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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.