High Stress Can Cause Hair Loss
Extreme stress can be a problem and cause hair loss, says Faubion. The condition is called telogen effluvium, and fortunately, the hair loss it causes is temporary, she says.
All hair follicles are on a cycle, and significant physical or emotional stress can push more follicles than usual into a resting phase, which can lead to a significant amount of hair loss at one time, says Faubion. It can take a while after that stress for the cycle to go back to normal, she says.
RELATED: Coping With Hot Flashes and Other Menopausal Symptoms: What 10 Celebrities Said
The pandemic seems to have increased stress levels and subsequent hair loss for a lot of women, says Ablon. I saw a lot of patients about hair loss pre-pandemic, and I probably see about three times that many compared to a year ago, she says.
Side Effects And Risks Of Hormone Therapy
Choosing to get hormone therapy is not a decision that you should make by yourself. You need to consult with a healthcare provider to know the pros and cons of the treatment. It will help to discuss in detail your medical history and disclose if there are any health conditions that run in the family. You should also be aware of the potential health risks that can come with getting hormone therapy.
Some of the common side effects of taking HRT are breast tenderness, headaches, bloating, nausea, and vaginal bleeding. Long-term use of HRT has also been associated with blood clot diseases and increased risks for breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and endometrial cancer.
The Relationship Between Thyroid Problems Estrogen And Hair Loss
Interestingly, estrogen dominance can lead to the symptoms of thyroid problems, one of which is hair loss!
What happens is that the liver creates too much thyroid binding globulin when estrogen levels are high.
TBG binds the thyroid hormones in the blood, meaning that they cant be absorbed as needed by the cells in the body that use them to support the bodys metabolism.
The difficulty is that standard blood tests for thyroid conditions dont show up the problem.
The AMOUNT of thyroid hormone in the blood is just as it should be but the hormone is being bound by the TBG.
The result is that the symptoms of thyroid problems start to appear.
TBG can, however, be detected with a blood test, so its important to bear this in mind and ask to be tested if you feel this may be the problem youre experiencing.
Recommended Reading: What Supplements To Take For Hair Loss
Midlife Hormonal Changes May Contribute To Thinning Hair
Hair loss might also be related to a shift in hormones, says Faubion. Androgens, a group of hormones that include testosterone and androstenedione, dont increase during the menopause transition, but the ratio between estrogen and androgen changes, so you have less estrogen and relatively more androgen, she explains.
DHT, a metabolite of testosterone, has been linked to male baldness in research. Theres a theory that changing ratios may be related to hair loss in women, says Faubion.
Solutions For Low Estrogen And Hair Loss
If your doctor suspects that your hair loss is caused by a lack of estrogen then he may offer you supplementary estrogen known as Hormone Replacement Therapy either taken orally or applied topically as a gel or patch.
Some women are given the birth control pill to boost their estrogen levels.
That being said, estrogen supplementation is still somewhat controversial, with some sources pointing out that there are no controlled medical studies supporting its effectiveness, whilst others stating that
estrogen deficiency as a cause of hair loss has not found its way into medical textbooks, but this does not stop it from happening.
Some women report seeing a big improvement in their hair loss once their estrogen levels are supplemented, others not so much.
But its worth bearing in mind that different people react in different ways to supplementation based on all sorts of factors.
Its best not to decide upon YOUR plan of action by comparing yourself to others rather, we recommend discussing the situation with your doctor or even better endocrinologist.
We also recommend ensuring that it really IS low estrogen thats causing your hair loss.
Later in this article well look at other ways in which estrogen and hair loss are connected ways that may explain why supplementary estrogen doesnt work for everyone and may even make hair loss worse.
Also Check: Can High Blood Pressure Cause Hair Loss
Breast Cancer And Hrt
Women over 50 years of age who use combined oestrogen and progestogen replacement for less than five years have little or no increased risk of breast cancer. Women who use combined HRT for more than five years have a slightly increased risk. Women on oestrogen alone have no increased risk up to 15 years of usage.
There is no evidence to suggest that a woman with a family history of breast cancer will have an added increased risk of developing breast cancer if she uses HRT. The risk with combined oestrogen and progestogen is greater than with oestrogen alone, or with newer HRT agents such as tibolone , and may also depend on the type of progestogen used. Studies suggest that medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethisterone have higher risks than dydrogesterone and progesterone.
Kiierr Biotin Gummies For Hair Growth
These best-selling biotin gummies have coconut oil and elderberry, which promote strong, healthy hair growth. Biotin, also known as vitamin H, improves keratin infrastructure, essential in your hair follicle health and strength. These gummies are so good that you won’t think that you’re taking it as a part of your hair strengthening regime.
Biotin is not only meant for hair growth but can also help strengthen your skin and nails as well. A natural way of ingesting biotin is by eating organ meats such as kidneys or livers, but this isn’t as appealing as merely eating gummies. The FDA recommends that you get 30 to 100mg biotin per day while pregnant may need more.
Don’t Miss: Which Is The Best Shampoo For Thin Hair
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.
Cardiovascular Disease And Hrt
Women over 60 have a small increased risk of developing heart disease or stroke on combined oral HRT. Although the increase in risk is small, it needs to be considered when starting HRT, as the risk occurs early in treatment and persists with time.
Oestrogen used on its own increases the risk of stroke further if taken in tablet form, but not if using a skin patch. Similarly, tibolone increases the risk of stroke in women from their mid-60s.
Women who commence HRT around the typical time of menopause have lower risks of cardiovascular disease than women aged 60 or more.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Flaky Scalp And Hair Loss
The Link Between Hrt And Hair Growth
Estrogen is linked with hair growth. Thats why many pregnant women experience thicker, faster-growing hair their high estrogen levels are sending their hair follicles into overdrive.
So, can hormonal hair loss be reversed with HRT? In some cases, yes. By taking more estrogen hormones, some menopausal women may be able to stop and even reverse hormonal hair loss.
HRT hair regrowth is also possible for trans women with androgenetic alopecia . This is because androgenetic alopecia is caused by a male hormone called DHT, which is a derivative of testosterone. By undergoing male-to-female HRT, trans women begin to produce less DHT and in some cases regrow their hair.
Did Hrt Improve Your Hair Or Make It Worse
I was recently prescribed Elleste Duet 1 mg by my GP as I have been suffering from some very unpleasant peri menopausal symptoms including hair loss. I have been taking these for 12 days and so far feel fantastic! However, having done some research on HRT and hair loss I am concerned to learn that some progesterone-based pills, including those containing levonorgestrel, norgestrel and norethisterone, as well as tibolone, may induce or worsen hair loss and as the Elleste Duet progesterone tablets contain norethisterone I have decided that I don’t want to risk taking them. I have just phoned my GP and am waiting for her to call me back. I hope that she might be offer me Femoston as an alternative as it contains dygesterone which is the least testosterone derived.So as someone who has been suffering from from hair loss even before taking HRT I am hoping that HRT is going to improve it. I would be interested to hear about your experiences. Did HRT improve your hair? Did you see an improvement in texture and volume or did it fall out? if so which HRT were you taking?Some progesterone is testosterone derived which I understand has an androgenic effect which can lead to or exacerbate hair loss.Progestogens which can be used cyclically are of 3 main types: Testosterone derived – Norgestrel, Norethisterone acetate and Levonorgestrel.Less testosterone related – Medroxyprogesterone acetate.Least testosterone related – Dydrogesterone and Micronised progesterone .
Read Also: Why Is My Hair Thinning At 17
What Can I Do
If you experience hair loss during menopause, then you can talk to your Certified Menopause Practitioner about your options for treatment.
Quick Aesthetic Fixes
If you want a quick fix to camouflage thinning hair while looking at treatment options, there are several things you can try. Hairstylists often recommend that women with thinning hair try a shorter haircut because long hair can make fine hair more obvious. Shorter cuts like a bob or a pixie are popular, as are layers that add volume and bangs to add texture. Some women wear hats when theyre feeling especially self-conscious.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Because hormones play a part in hair loss during menopause, hormone treatments can be beneficial. Perimenopausal and menopausal women who are undergoing hormone replacement therapy with bioidentical hormone pellets may notice an improvement in hair growth during treatment. However, the HRT should be used to treat multiple symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. It is not recommended to use hormone replacement therapy to treat only hair loss.
Minoxidil, commonly known by the brand name Rogaine, is often prescribed for both men and women with hair loss. This medication is a vasodilator that widens the blood vessels to increase blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles. It is available over the counter or in prescription strength and comes in a spray, liquid solution, and foam form. Minoxidil must be used continuously to maintain hair growth.
Side Effects Associated With Hrt
As with any drug, there are known short-term and usually mild side effects from HRT which may trouble some women, especially in the first few months of use. These may include breast tenderness, leg cramps, nausea, bloatedness, irritability and depression. These side effects are related to oestrogen or progestogen, and may be overcome by a change of dosage, ingredients or route in the HRT prescribed.
Irregular bleeding or spotting can occur during the first 4-6 months of taking continuous combined HRT or Tibolone, and is not a cause for alarm. However, you should consult your doctor if you get heavy bleeding, if it lasts for more than six months, or if bleeding starts suddenly after some time without bleeding. Irregular bleeding may sometimes be improved by changing the type or route of HRT.
Treating local symptoms without raising hormone levels throughout the body
Some women do not wish to use, or cannot take, systemic HRT in any form which raises hormone levels throughout the body, but they still appreciate the relief of symptoms such as dry vagina and urinary problems. In this case, oestrogens can be given locally to the vagina in the form of a low dose cream, tablet or ring. These preparations raise local hormone levels but do not affect the whole body. Progestogen is not needed, since these local doses of oestrogen do not affect the endometrium. Local treatments often need to be taken on a long-term basis as symptoms often return when treatment is stopped.
Recommended Reading: Does Brilinta Cause Hair Loss
How Can Thinning Hair Affect Me
While thinning hair itself doesnt usually affect your physical health directly, there are many ways hair loss can negatively impact your well-being. One study showed that 55% of women who were experiencing some form of hair loss also experienced symptoms of depression. In this same study, about 89% of those women noticed improvements in their depressive symptoms after receiving treatment for hair loss. Many women notice they have lower self-esteem, confidence, and negative body image after experiencing hair loss.
The problem with hair loss during menopause is that it doesnt just signal hormone imbalances or extra stress, it can also cause negative consequences for your mental, emotional, and social health. Many women notice that theyre less likely to engage in social activities if they experience menopausal hair loss. They may also feel anxiety and stress about their hair. Over time, this can also affect your overall well-being and quality of life. Therefore, if youre experiencing thinning hair, its important to talk to your doctor. If youre experiencing other symptoms as well, our provider may recommend hormone replacement treatment.
Effects Of Hormone Replacement Therapy On Hair Loss
Hormone replacement therapy and hair loss are still being studied. HRT for trans women involves decreasing the amount of hormones, like testosterone and DHT, associated with secondary male characteristics and increasing the amount of hormones, such as estrogen, associated with secondary female characteristics. While trans women who were suffering from androgenetic alopecia prior to starting HRT may see a reversal of their hair loss, the results have not been universal.
More interestingly, blocking DHT in men tends to only slow hair loss. It doesnt reverse it so why do many trans women experience a reversal of their prior hair loss once they begin HRT? Its believed that the addition of estrogen for trans women may make the difference when used in combination with DHT blockers.
Some doctors also believe that the combination of increased estrogen and decreased DHT leads to slight changes in bone and muscle structure around the head. Those changes could ease chronic tension that might cause scalp inflammation, which in turn could trigger increased DHT production, kicking off the cycle of hair loss.
Don’t Miss: How To Prevent Hair From Thinning Male
Robotic Hair Restoration For Trans Women
For trans women whose hair does not grow back after using hormone replacement therapy, a robotic hair transplant can be an ideal solution. As with any surgical treatment, the same criteria apply as usual. So long as the trans woman has good donor hair the FUE option can be viable.
The combination of transgender hormone replacement therapy and hair loss still requires study, but the number of trans women whose hair grows back after hormone replacement therapy is encouraging. For those who dont experience improved hair quality after starting HRT, a robotic hair transplant with ARTAS® is a viable option.
Dr. Baiju Gohil is a board-certified surgeon and expert in hair restoration using the ARTAS® system. His commitment to patient care and quality has become known as the RHRLI Edge, which also includes a personal consultation for each patient by Dr. Gohil himself. To learn more as to why RHRLI is Long Islands hair restoration leader, contact us today.