Hair Fall and Hormonal Imbalance: How Hair Fall Changes with Changing Hormones
22 August, 2020
Hair fall is such a common problem among men and women these days. Many people tend to change their shampoo, serums, etc. Yet see no effect. Well, this is because the problem of losing hair is not related to cosmetics, but is 90 percent caused by one's internal and overall health. It is about how one body is working, decides the hair fall cycles. One of the biggest reasons among them all is; hormones.
Hormones and hormonal imbalance
Hormones are chemical secretions from the endocrine glands in the body. These hormones are ones that control the messaging mechanism of the body and controls the functioning of the body functions. The hormones flow through the blood and reach the organs and give the message to work properly. But, when the hormonal balance gets disrupted due to bad eating habits, stress, diseases, etc. it can cause a whole lot many health issues. One such popular issue is; hair fall.
Hair and hormone
The entire growth cycle of the hair starts from anagen (growing) to catagen (transition) to telogen (hair fall). This cycle is controlled by hormones, and the hair follicles act as a signal catcher to get the hormonal message from the bloodstream in the head. It is also seen that testosterone and estrogen play a very crucial role in regulating the hair growth cycle. This is the reason why when one hits puberty to up to when they start aging, the hair quality and growth changes.
Shifts in hormones impacting hair
A simple and minute increase of decrease in the hormones can lead to a plethora of changes in the body, and one of the biggest ones is hair loss as shows up quickly. Below are some hormonal imbalances that affect hair.
- Adrenal gland (androgen): increase in androgen means more masculine hair patterns on women like thinning hair top and front hairline.
- Thyroid gland (T3 and T4): lower levels of both T3 and T4 mean hypothyroidism and it causes brittle hair and thinning hair on the scalp. Along with this gain of weight, brittle nails, lethargy, dry skin are common symptoms. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is excessive T3 and T4. This can cause, oily skin, diffusing hair loss, weight loss, sweating, increased appetite, etc.
- Pancreas: pancreas secretes insulin, which controls glucose levels in the blood. Excessive insulin and lack of insulin causes hyper-glycemia and hypo-glycemia respectively. And, in both these conditions, hair lacks in quality, hair loss and sensitive scalp become predominant symptoms.
Hair growth and life stages
As life moves on, hair quality and growth quality changes in women. Let’s see how each and every stage of life affects their hair.
- Puberty: maximum increase of female and male hormones is found during puberty. During this phase, a lot many hormone-related issues can emerge like thyroid problem, PCOS, etc. dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the hormone regulates the growth and fall of hair. It is very common for boys to have more DHT which can cause hair to fall. Also, during this phase, there is hair growth throughout the body.
- Pregnancy: during this phase in a woman’s life the hormones tend to fluctuate and surge drastically. Estrogen and progesterone levels tend to go up and that affects the hair growth cycle. During this time, the anagen stage of hair gets longer, which means the hair grows for a longer time, and the sheds less. This is the reason why women tend to have thicker and better hair during pregnancy. Also, in case if one notices major hair loss during pregnancy, then they should get doctors to help immediately, as it may be a sign of hormonal imbalance.
- Postpartum: this is the phase that can seem scary, as there is a major hair fall during this time. As the increased hormones tend to comes back to its original levels, the hair tends to go into a falling stage called telogen. Also, is the women had more hair growth during this phase, and then the hair loss will more too. This phase continues for up to 3 three months after delivery. Also, the texture of the hair tends to get rough and brittle during this time. However, women tend to get their normal hair back within 6 to 7 months.
- Menopause: This is the last phase in which any drastic hormonal change is seen in women. During this phase, women's ages and hormones like progesterone and estrogen tend to decrease. Due to this changing hormonal level hair growth gets affected. Hair loss is caused and that is because of decreasing levels of estrogen and the testosterone levels going up comparatively.
Causes of hormonal imbalance
Some of the common reasons behind the hormonal imbalance that lead to hair loss are:
- PCOD: this causes increased male hormone testosterone which mimics as DHT. This in turn causes female hair loss and bald patches.
- Stress: Any kind of stress can cause hormonal imbalance and leads to more hair fall and hair thinning. Also, hair tends to go grey due to a lack of vitamin B absorption.
- Blood sugar levels: when the insulin balance is disturbed in the body, it can cause fat storage. Fat storage can lead to an imbalance of estrogen levels, which can cause hair loss.
Symptoms of hair loss
- Thinning of hair
- Brittle hai
- Premature greying
- Oily scalp
- Decreased volume of hair
- Hair loss
- Discoloration of hair