Can Estrogen Help With Hair Loss?
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Estrogen and Hair Loss
Although the link between Estrogen and hair loss is well-documented, its effect on the follicles varies depending on certain factors.
While hair is the primary physical measure of health, hormonal imbalances can negatively impact hair growth.
Whether the problem is hormonal imbalance or an underlying cause, there are ways to deal with the situation. Listed below are a few methods for dealing with hormonal imbalances.
This article covers the following points:
- Low estrogen levels
- Birth control pills
- Thyroid disorders
- Increased androgens
Although the relationship between estrogen and hair loss is not completely understood, some researchers believe that low levels of estrogen may be a factor in female pattern baldness.
If you suspect that your estrogen level may be the problem, it is best to talk to your healthcare provider. Then, your doctor will decide what to do next.
High levels of estrogen are normal during pregnancy. This hormone leads to thicker, longer, and healthier hair.
But when you've given birth, your body will naturally shed the excess hair that you've grown throughout pregnancy.
Your body will then shift into a telogen stage so that new hair growth can take place. This process, known as telogen effluvium, is often triggered by your body's hormone levels returning to normal.
The hormone estrogen is an essential sex hormone that plays a key role in puberty. It maintains healthy cholesterol levels, keeps your bones strong, and controls certain aspects of the brain.
While the connection between estrogen and hair loss is not entirely understood, experts believe that excess estrogen may promote breast cancer, gall bladder problems, and heart disease.
For these reasons, it is important to consult a doctor if you suspect that you are suffering from a condition that is affecting your hair.
Progesterone and hair loss are linked by their respective roles in the reproductive system.
It is a female steroid hormone secreted primarily by the ovaries in the second two weeks of the menstrual cycle.
While this hormone is important for everyone, its main function is regulating the female menstrual cycle and correcting the physiological changes involved in menstruation.
When the hormone is present in sufficient amounts, it prevents the conversion of testosterone to DHT, which is known to cause hair loss.
Progesterone also helps balance estrogen in women and neutralize its effects in men.
It boosts the immune system, stimulates libido and mood, and normalizes blood clotting. It also has calming effects.
When a woman lacks progesterone, she may experience painful breasts, mood swings, and heavy menstruation. If this hormone is deficient, a woman may experience increased hair loss, heavy menstrual bleeding, and decreased libido.
Low estrogen levels
Low estrogen can also result from eating disorders or an autoimmune disease, which prevents the ovaries from producing enough of this hormone.
Fortunately, treatment is available, and there are some simple steps that you can take to start feeling and looking better.
A low estrogen level can cause thinning hair. However, thinning hair is generally not the result of a medical problem.
Some women simply experience a change in their hair's texture and strength, which can be an indication of low estrogen. In such cases, hair loss treatments can help.
In addition, science-based hair care products can help you achieve a healthy hair growth cycle and reduce shedding.
Regardless of the underlying cause of your low estrogen level, it's crucial to take good care of your hair.
One of the most important things you can do to improve your health is to reduce your stress levels.
Stress is detrimental to our health, and it is a major cause of hair loss during menopause.
It can also lead to depression and mood swings. Fortunately, stress-reduction techniques like yoga and tai chi can help you reduce your stress levels. You should also eat a balanced diet to promote healthier hair.
Birth control pills
Aside from the risk of serious side effects like high blood pressure, slightly increased risk of cancer, and blood clots, birth control pills can also cause hair loss.
Hair grows in cycles. The active phase, or anger, lasts between two to seven years. The hair loss caused by birth control pills is temporary, but some women may experience thinning or large clumps of hair during the first couple of months.
In order to prevent pregnancy, birth control pills contain hormones called progestin and estrogen.
These hormones block the sperm from reaching the egg, preventing pregnancy. There are two types of birth control pills: combined pills and progestin-only pills.
Taking both may lead to side effects, but only the combination pills are associated with hair loss.
In addition, combined pills contain estrogen, while progestin-only pills contain progestin-only hormones.
Combination oral contraceptives are another option. Both types of pills are effective for treating hair loss and acne, but can be expensive.
Consult your doctor before deciding which type is right for you. Often, birth control pills are covered by insurance or your national healthcare provider.
However, you should still discuss this issue with your insurer to find out if you are covered under your plan. This way, your insurance company will know what to do.
Thyroid disorders can be quite debilitating. This butterfly-shaped gland produces hormones that control a variety of essential bodily functions, including metabolism, involuntary muscle contractions, and the production of cellular energy.
When there is an abnormality in the way the thyroid produces these hormones, it results in many health issues, including hair loss.
Thankfully, thyroid disorders are treatable. If you're experiencing unexplained weight gain or hair loss, this disorder could be the cause.
Thyroid issues can be triggered by extreme stress, rapid weight loss, or a severe illness.
However, if you suspect that you are suffering from an underactive thyroid, consult a doctor to determine the root cause.
There are many treatments for thyroid disorders, including medication, diet, and lifestyle changes.
Proper diet and exercise can help to balance hormone levels and promote healthy hair growth.
Taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement is an excellent way to avoid further hair loss caused by thyroid disorders.
If you suspect that you have a thyroid disorder, a blood test can help determine the exact cause.
If you have an underactive thyroid, you may also have symptoms such as trembling, increased sweating, and depression.
Hair loss may also be a symptom of a more severe thyroid problem, such as hyperthyroidism, which causes overproduction of serotonin in the brain.
Androgens and hair follicles
The mechanism behind the increased androgen action on hair follicular activity is complex and is likely to differ between different follicle types.
It is thought that androgens act on epithelial hair follicles via the mesenchyme-derived dermal papilla. This structure and function provide a useful model to study androgen-dependent hair disorders.
However, their presence was not observed in the nearby keratinocytes of the hair bulb. Keratinocytes are the cells that divide to produce hair. Melanocytes are responsible for pigmentation in hair follicles.
Androgens are believed to act on hair follicles by activating androgen receptors on dermal papilla cells.
These receptors act as gene switches by enabling cell-specific transcription. Additionally, they alter the production of short-distance paracrine signals in other follicular cells. This mechanism is similar to the way in which androgens act on the developing prostate.
In organ culture experiments, female facial intermediate follicles respond to androgens by enhancing growth.
In contrast, the antiandrogen cyproterone acetate is used to treat hirsutism. These experiments suggest that the receptors play an important role in the regulation of hair growth.
Therefore, a link between increased androgen action on hair follicles and hair loss may have been overlooked.
There's a link between estrogen and androgens regarding hair loss and growth.
Low estrogen and levels are associated with hair loss in women. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy hormone balance to help promote hair growth.