Hormonal Hair Loss: Take a Closer Look

Amisha Jain
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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hormonal hair loss

Hormones are chemicals responsible for coordinating various body functions.

They carry signals through the blood to different body parts and tell them what to do and when to do it.

An imbalance in these hormones might lead to many issues, including hair loss.

According to global Google statistics, around 60% of women and 77% of men suffer from hair loss.

Further in this article, we discuss one of the causes of hair loss- hormones.

Read along to learn about hormonal hair loss and what triggers an imbalance in these hormones.

Hormones that cause hormonal hair loss

Genetics and medications alone are not the only causes of hair loss.

Hormonal imbalance in the body can also lead to hair loss in many people.

Given here are some hormones responsible for this condition:

hormonal hair lossSource: Sohel_Parvez_Haque_from_Getty_Images
Hormones that cause hormonal hair loss

Testosterone

Testosterone is a male hormone.

When produced in excess, it can cause androgenetic Alopecia in people.

However, Testosterone directly isn’t responsible for hair loss.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a sex hormone derived from Testosterone.

Fact
About 10% of testosterone gets converted into DHT.

High levels of DHT can shrink the hair follicles and shorten your hair growth cycle.

This results in hair loss.

Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4)

Thyroid conditions are triggered by:

  • Underactive or inactive thyroid gland (Hypothyroidism)
  • Overactive one (Hyperthyroidism).

T3 and T4 are types of thyroid hormones. An inadequate or abnormally high amount of these hormones could be a sign of thyroid disease.

These hormones are responsible for regulating bodily processes, including hair growth.

In addition to this, Levothyroxine, the primary treatment for an underactive thyroid gland, is also associated with hair loss.

Estrogen

One of the many functions of Estrogen is to increase the amount of time the hair spends in the growth phase.

Hence, when there is a decline in the levels of Estrogen, hair growth slows down the hair becomes thinner.

A decrease in Estrogen also triggers an increase in androgen production.

Androgens shrink the hair follicles leading to hair loss. 

Insulin

When your body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it effectively, or both, you have Diabetes.

This impacts the hair growth cycle and causes you to lose more hair than usual.

Also, this is hair loss not limited to the scalp. It also involves your arms, legs, and other body parts.

A 2016 research also showed that prolonged usage of Metformin to treat Diabetes might lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a probable cause of hair loss. 

Cortisol

Cortisol is one of the hormones which is often associated with hair loss.

The adrenal glands of the body produce it in response to stress.

Stress for an extended period leads to high levels of cortisol.

While the adrenal glands are engaged in producing cortisol, they produce fewer hormones that support hair growth.

Causes of hormonal hair loss

An imbalance in the hormones produced by the body is the primary cause of hormonal hair loss in people.

Certain triggers might speed up the production of certain hormones, which lead to hair thinning, shedding, and hair loss.

Some such causes that trigger hair loss are discussed below.

Pregnancy & Childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth cause many disturbances in the body’s hormonal levels.

One of the repercussions of these hormonal changes includes the shedding of hair.

But, most women see that their hair returns to their normal thickness within the first year of childbirth.

Menopause

Menopause happens when your body ceases to produce hormones that cause a period.

In addition to it, you must have gone a full twelve months without having a menstrual period.

These hormones include Estrogen and progesterone.

During menopause, the hair might get finer due to the shrinkage of hair follicles.

In these cases, the hair grows slower and falls out easier.

Thyroid

Hair loss might develop slowly in the case of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

An imbalance of thyroid hormones is observed in both cases and might lead to Alopecia.

But, the hair loss is usually reversed once these thyroid hormone levels return to normal.

Stress

Yes, your stress could be causing hair loss due to the excessive production of cortisol.

High levels of stress might be associated with three types of hair loss.

But this hair loss need not be permanent. Once you get your stress under control, you might notice your hair growing back.

Medications

Certain medications can potentially disrupt the body’s hormonal levels and affect the hair growth cycle.

The American Hair Loss Association confirms the safety and effectiveness of birth control pills for the most part.

But it also recommends that users be aware of these pills’ potential side effects on hair growth.

Apart from this, some of the medications that might cause hormonal hair loss include medicines for thyroid, Diabetes, stress, etc. 

Warning
In case of hormonal hair loss induced by medications, consult your doctor immediately.
They might need to alter the dose or change the medication to fit your needs.

Lupus

Lupus is a disease that occurs when the body’s immune system starts to attack its own tissues and organs.

The National Resource Center on Lupus suggests that Estrogen (female hormone) somehow regulates the severity of this condition.

Many people who have lupus suffer from skin problems, including sores on the scalp.

These sores can cause hair loss.

Treatment for hormonal hair loss

Hairloss TreatmentSource: pixelshot
Hairloss Treatment

Various treatment options are available to control hormonal hair loss.

Medical therapy includes using Minoxidil or Finasteride (only for males).

Medicines containing MinoxidilPrice
Tugain 5%$20.54
Hair 4u 2%$19.80
Hair 4u 5%$21.61

Other treatment options include

  • Platelet-rich plasma
  • Mesotherapy
  • Micrograft hair treatment
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy

Apart from this, certain lifestyle changes can also help restore the hormonal balance in your body.

Takeaway

Hormones carry signals to different body parts through the blood and help coordinate various body functions.

But an imbalance in these hormones can lead to many problems, including hormonal hair loss.

Some of the hormones responsible for the same include Testosterone, Estrogen, cortisol, insulin, etc.

But, this hair loss is reversible once you find out the underlying cause of the hormonal imbalance and treat it.

Consult your doctor if you have been experiencing an abnormal amount of hair fall for the best advice.

Recommended Article:
To know about ways to stop hormonal hair loss, read How to Stop Hormonal Hair Loss? on WowRxPharmacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hormonal hair loss be reversed?

Yes, hormonal hair loss can be reversed by restoring hormonal balance. Your doctor would assess the underlying cause of the hormonal imbalance and suggest a proper course of treatment to reduce your hair fall.

Which hormone causes hair loss?

A number of hormones can cause hair loss. These include Estrogen, insulin, Testosterone, cortisol, and thyroid hormones T3 and T4. With proper treatment, the imbalance of these hormones can be controlled. This might also lead to control in the amount of hair loss experienced.

Why am I suddenly losing so much hair?

It is common to lose up to 100 strands of hair every day. But if you are losing more hair than that, then you might be suffering from hair loss. Hair loss could result from genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or normal aging. 

Is female hormonal hair loss reversible?

Yes, fortunately, hair loss in females due to hormonal changes is reversible in most cases. Consult your doctor to know the exact reason that might be causing your hair to fall and ways to treat the same.

Citations:
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