Thinning hair and hair loss are common problems but that doesn’t mean you should sit back and watch your appearance change. In some cases, hair thinning is caused by a reversible hormone imbalance. And even if the hormone changes aren’t reversible, we can still restore hair loss.
Theresa Durchhalter, DO, FAAD, at Allure Dermatology, understands that hair loss takes a toll on your self-confidence. She helps restore your appearance with customized medical and regenerative treatments that overcome hormone issues. Here, she explains the ways hormones contribute to hair loss.
Hormones affect hair loss because they control the hair growth cycle. As your hair grows, it cycles through stages. During the growth phase, hair actively grows for 2-7 years or longer.
The next stage, called the transition phase, occurs when the follicles shrink and hair growth slows down. The transition phase lasts about two weeks before the resting phase begins. During this stage, the follicle rests and the hairs in the follicle stop growing and fall out.
On any given day, 10%-15% of the follicles in your scalp are resting. That’s why it’s natural to constantly shed hair. After resting for several months, the follicle kicks into gear and starts another growth phase.
Several hormones lead to hair loss as a result of their role in the hair growth cycle:
When your thyroid hormone levels go above or below the normal range, they disrupt the hair growth cycle. In most cases, you experience diffuse hair loss (thinning) over the entire scalp. Treating the thyroid disorder should restore normal hair growth, but it could take several months to see the difference, depending on where each follicle was in the growth cycle.
Cortisol levels rise when you feel stressed, worried, fearful, or anxious. When you’re under chronic stress or face a sudden, extreme distress like the death of a loved one, the spike in cortisol stops hair growth.
Estrogen is directly associated with hair growth and loss, as the hormone binds to receptors on hair follicles and boosts the growth phase.
Many women notice they have thicker, better-looking hair during pregnancy. That’s thanks to the high estrogen levels. During menopause, estrogen drops, leading to gradual hair thinning.
Some birth controls pills make the follicles leave the growth phase earlier than usual and keep it in the resting phase too long. This change causes noticeably large amounts of hair to fall out.
Women normally produce a small amount of testosterone. When this hormone gets out of balance, they have two hair problems: They lose hair on their scalp and grow dark, coarse body hair in places where they don’t want it, like their face and chest.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is the top cause of high testosterone in women. However, testosterone has another significant role in inherited hair loss, a condition called androgenetic alopecia.
Testosterone converts into a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Androgenetic alopecia occurs when you inherit genetic changes that make your hair follicles overly sensitive to DHT. As a result, the follicles shrink, growing thinner hair for a time before they completely stop growing new hairs.
You may know androgenetic alopecia by its common names, male- and female-pattern baldness.
Male-pattern baldness leads to the classic pattern of a receding hairline and hair loss on the top of the scalp. Female-pattern baldness is different. Women who inherit this condition experience thinning over the entire scalp. However, women may notice more visible and extensive thinning where their hair parts.
Allure Dermatology uses several treatments to restore hair loss, including one of today’s most advanced therapies, platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP promotes healing in the hair follicles. As a result, you experience new hair growth and better hair thickness.
If you’re ready to fight hair loss, call Allure Dermatology or book online today.