What Are The Cycles Of Hair Growth
Hair goes through three cycles:
- The anagen phase can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
- The catagen phase is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.
Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.
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.
Why Dht Affects People Differently
Your proclivity to hair loss is genetic, meaning that its passed down in your family.
For example, if youre male and your father experiences male pattern balding, its likely that youll show a similar balding pattern as you age. If youre already inclined to male pattern baldness, the follicle-shrinking effect of DHT tends to be more pronounced.
The size and shape of your head may also contribute to how quickly DHT shrinks your follicles.
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What Are The Hormones That Cause Hair Loss
Hormones are the chemical messengers in our body which are a part of endocrine system that control our body systems. In a way, hormones help our body to sustain and thus any imbalance in their constitution results into a number of problems. There are certain hormones which affect our hair nourishment and health, thus causing hair loss
Testosterone This is a male hormone and excess production of it can cause androgenetic alopecia in both men and women. With excess of testosterone being produced in the body, it gets highly reactive to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which are by-products of testosterone in the body. With the rise of testosterone in the body, the DHT levels rise as well and this causes an increase in the rate of hair loss.
Thyroxin Thyroid gland releases thyroxin hormone, a component that regulates the metabolism of the body and maintains its energy in order to support smooth functioning. But, if there is an imbalance in the amount of thyroxin produced, then it results in conditions known as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism , which in turn is capable of causing many irregularities, including weight gain and hair loss.
Insulin This is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas and it helps the body in regulating the blood sugar levels. Insulin is capable of affecting several body processes like fat storage and hair loss. Studies indicate that people with insulin resistance are probable candidates for androgenic alopecia , or female pattern baldness.
Can Menopause Cause Hair Loss
Menopause is an inevitable part of life for women. Women naturally produce a large amount of the estrogen hormone as well as a small amount of testosterone hormone. However, as their estrogen levels decrease during and after menopause, their testosterone increases. As a result, the testosterone within their hair follicles is converted into a strong hormone dihydrotestosterone which can inactivate hair follicles, thus leading to hair loss.
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What Is The Pattern Of Hair Loss
- Patchy? You may have a cortisol imbalance, a deficiency in B vitamins or zinc or heavy metal exposure.
- Thinning? You may have a hormonal imbalance, such as thyroid.
- Top of the head only? Testosterone, progesterone, cortisol or estrogen may be out of balance.
- Total body hair loss? DHEA, blood sugar regulation or circulation may be at play.
- Balding all over? You may be experiencing poor circulation or a deficiency in protein, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, silicon or zinc.
How Is A Hormonal Imbalance Diagnosed
First, make an appointment with a health care provider for a physical exam. The health care provider will ask about your symptoms. Then, depending on your symptoms, they will suggest which hormone imbalance tests to do. These could be evaluations like:
- Blood test: Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroxine, TTH, insulin, and cortisol levels can be detected in the blood.
- Pelvic exam: A health care provider will search for any lumps or cysts.
- Ultrasound: Images of your uterus, ovaries, thyroid, and pituitary gland can be obtained.
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Hormone Hair Loss: Everything You Need To Know
Our hormones act as messengers in our body, informing our muscles and organs how they need to work and when they need to take action. Finding the right balance can be difficult a slight imbalance can cause issues with insulin production, cell growth, heart rate, general metabolism, etc. It can also cause hormonal hair loss.
Hormone imbalances that affect the scalp and hair growth can come as a result of several concerns, including thyroid conditions, inadequate levels of estrogen, menopause, weight changes and androgenetic alopecia. Each cause can have different effects, some of which are permanent and some that are temporary.
How Common Is It
Female hair loss is a common condition, especially in the years surrounding menopause. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it is estimated that over 50% of women experience hair loss. Age, diet, ethnicity, and genetic factors all influence your chances of experiencing hair loss throughout your life, including during and after menopause.
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Can Hormones Cause Hair Loss
Medically reviewed on February 15, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
While hair loss is more common among men, women can also lose their hair for various reasons. About 50 percent of women experience some form of noticeable hair loss . The most prominent is female pattern hair loss, affecting approximately one-third of women in the U.S. Like male pattern baldness, female pattern hair loss is typically caused by a hormonal imbalance. Learn more about what causes hair loss in women and try our available hormone test to see where your hormone levels are.
Thyroxine & Triiodothyronine T4 & T3 From Thyroid
The overproduction or underproduction of hormones thyroxine & triiodothyronine can result in:
These conditions can result in thyroid hair loss in females. According to Office on Womens Health , women are at a greater risk of developing thyroid disease. The risk is higher after they get pregnant or after menopause. This may indicate that theres some link between the female hormones and thyroid diseases which makes them more susceptible to them.
As part of the endocrine system, the thyroid produces hormones designed to regulate the regeneration and growth of cells and cellular energy. For this reason, hair depends on the thyroid to grow.
If you have thyroid disease, you can lose hair either due to the shock to the body due to the hormonal imbalance itself. However, another reason may be autoimmune conditions, which can result in thyroid diseases. This kind of immune response by the body can result in alopecia areata, which is the most common non-hormonal hair loss.
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Clinical Evaluation Talk To Your Doctor
A laboratory workup for hair loss is commonly performed. Additional questions that you may be asked to help narrow down differential diagnosis are :
- When did the hair loss start? A sudden onset of hair loss may be suggestive of a disruption of the hair cycle.
- Where is the hair loss most prominent? Hair loss can be patchy, diffuse or patterned. Diffuse shedding may indicate disruption of the hair cycle, while patterned thinning could be attributed to hormonal dysregulation.
- What is the normal hair care routine? Certain hair care practices can have a tremendous impact on the loss of hair health.
With proper evaluation and appropriate testing for hormonal imbalances or nutritional deficiencies, help is on the way!
Myths: Virility And Hair Loss
There are a lot of myths out there about balding men. One of them is that men with MPB are more virile and have higher levels of testosterone. This isnt necessarily the case. Men with MPB may actually have lower circulating levels of testosterone but higher levels of the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. Alternately, you may simply have genes that give you hair follicles that are highly sensitive to testosterone or DHT.
Women may also experience hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia. Although women have much lower levels of testosterone than men do, there is enough to potentially cause androgenetic hair loss.
Women experience a different pattern of hair loss. Thinning occurs over the top of the scalp in a Christmas tree pattern, but the front hairline doesnt recede. Female pattern hair loss is also due to the actions of DHT on hair follicles.
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Everything You Need To Know About Hair Loss In Menopause And Perimenopause And How To Turn It Around
If the sight of hair in your shower drain or on your hair brush is causing you anxiety . you are not alone.
For most women, hair is an expression of our style, our personality, and our image. When our hair looks good, we feel good. Midlife hair loss is more than just a never ending bad hair day and can be very distressing. If we lose a lot of hair, we may feel less attractive, less feminine, less in control, and that can affect our self-esteem.
I get asked all the time if hormonal hair loss can be reversed. The answer is yes! Fortunately, unlike genetic hair loss, most hair loss caused by hormonal imbalances is reversible.
In fact, back in my 20s when I was diagnosed with primary ovarian failure I had all the classic symptoms of menopause, including hair loss I would often clog shower drains at my apartment since so much hair was going down it. My dad had to buy me a special drain cover because he was getting tired of coming over all of the time to deal with my plugged up drain! I went through a phase where I would dread washing my hair, because I didnt want any more to fall out. It was hard for me, especially at such a young age. The good news is that once I restored my hormones to healthy levels, my hair grew back and thicker and fuller than ever. So, there is hope!
Medications And Health Changes
Sometimes the unexpected happens. Introducing a new medication, rapidly losing or gaining weight, or simply adjusting to a new routine can all cause extreme hormonal fluctuations. These changes inevitably affect hair loss when it comes to maintaining your beautiful curls.
Check in with your doctor regularly if you find yourself experiencing unexplained hair loss and be prepared to adjust or supplement medications as recommended. Many beauty lovers find it helpful to keep a diary or note sheet of changes to discuss with their doctor in terms of skincare woes and hair hassles. Oftentimes these concerns get pushed aside or minimized for fear of sounding silly. Rest assured, any small changes are worth bringing up, even if youre merely looking to find fewer hair clumps in the shower drain!
When introducing new habits like a fresh workout routine or a significant dietary change, do so slowly. Remember to be kind to your body. Rapid and sudden shifts wont give your hormones time to adjust and get on board with the new routine. This can lead to a spike or drop in blood sugar which contributes to diffuse hair loss and often undermines any fitness goals you may be aspiring to.
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Hair loss is often caused by an imbalance in hormone levels. One of the hormones most closely associated with hair loss is cortisol. Understanding how hormones and hair loss are connected, and how to regulate the effects of it, can help lead to healthier hair.
What is cortisol?
Cortisol is a hormone made by the adrenal glands in response to both good and bad stress. While it gets a lot of negative press, Cortisol actually does several good things for the body. It helps the body efficiently turning fat and sugar into energy, and it helps manage stress.
Cortisol and the Flight-or-Fight Response
One of the main triggers that tells the body to release cortisol is stress. This is known as the flight-or-fight response. Historically this happened when, for example, a tiger was chasing our ancestors. Today it can happen when you are already late for work and get stuck in traffic, when you fight with your spouse about chores, or when your in-laws are visiting. However, the difference is that when the cortisol levels were raised in our ancestors it led to physical action. The stress of today is normally not followed by flight or fight, which makes Cortisol levels build up in our bodies, and that can be damaging.
How Hormones and Hair Loss are Connected Through Stress
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Cortisol Boosts Hair Regrowth
Do you find yourself tearing your hair out and sawing-off your nails when tensed? Well, it is our good-guy Cortisol helping you deal with it, so that you do not end up cutting your veins altogether! . Well, I am trying to translate that, when under a threat or a stressful situation, our body produces a hormone named Cortisol, which in turn convert the body Proteins into energy and releases Glycogen.
This finally helps counteract inflammations, which means you are now ready for flight or fight situation in order to deal with the problem in hand. While our little hero-hormone Cortisol is saving you from danger, however on a repeated scenario your body finally wears-down, thus the hair fall. So, in order to boost hair regrowth, be sure to keep your Cortisol calm as well.
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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.
Hormones That Affect Hair Growth And Hair Loss
The female cycle, in Biological terms, or her entire life in the common-mans term, is hugely effected by the hormones alone. Be it her puberty, the delay or onset of it her pregnancy, the frequency or lack of it her Menopause, its late or early arrival is all controlled and monitored by the good old hormones. Good locks of healthy hair are as important to a woman as her heritage jewels. However, sometimes, despite the very best of care and treatments, you find yourself suffering from hair fall and hair loss. Well, blame the female hormone imbalance. So, which of these little invisible demons-of-hormones are we talking about? Lets locate them and catch them to help your hair growth, shall we?
A womans overall health is a play of hormones maybe that is why they are often known to be rather unpredictable. It is the hormones that are responsible for the fire and ice likeness of a female mood sometimes credited to the lack of judgment that she can be a victim to or the mysterious sensuality that she can exude. However, the striking part is that, aside from just her psych, it is also a womans physical attributes that often fall on the not-so-friendly-side of the hormonal imbalance. One such physical aspect is her precious head of hair .
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How Hormone Replacement Treatment Affects Your Hair
Most of us have heard about hot flashes and mood changes during menopause, but what about hair thinning? Many women experience hair loss during menopause, but hormone replacement treatment may be able to help. Thinning hair during menopause can seriously affect your sense of well-being and your self-esteem. However, youre not alone with menopausal hair loss. An estimated 21 million women in the U. S. will experience hair loss at some point in their lives, many of them during and after menopause. Our providers can help you determine underlying causes of hair thinning during menopause and help you find personalized treatment plans to help you feel better.
Hormone replacement treatment can help improve your quality of life during menopause.