Treatment for hair loss dates back 2500 years. An individual has, on an average, 100,000 hairs on the head alone. But you need only be worried if you are losing more than 150 hairs per day. Increasingly, scientific evidence suggests that hair loss and hormonal imbalance are connected....
How does Hair Loss Occur?
Androgens are a class of hormones produced by the adrenal gland in both sexes, in the ovaries in women, and the testes in men. Testosterone is an androgen. Hair growth is controlled by an enzyme which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Elevated androgens, as well as the hair follicle`s response to the androgens, can disrupt the hair cycle and cause hair to fall out.
Hair loss in most cases is temporary and can be reversed. Once the underlying cause is addressed, hair growth returns to normal within a few months.
Reasons for Hair Loss
- In women, iron deficiency and low B-12 levels are prominent reasons for hair loss. Older women who do not get enough animal protein in their diet can suffer from hair loss.
- Physical and emotional stress or traumatic events can cause hair loss. In most cases of such hair loss, the shut down of hair production is seen after a period of about three months.
- Hair loss is known to be a side effect of certain medications, particularly drugs derived from vitamin A, beta blockers, birth control pills, anti-depressants and anti-thyroid agents.
- Some medical conditions including anaemia, diabetes, and thyroid imbalances can cause hair loss.
- During pregnancy, when hormone levels are high, many women enjoy thicker and shinier hair. But, after childbirth, women suffer from prolonged hair loss.
- During the transition from perimenopause to menopause, many women notice that their hair is dull, dry or thinning. This is associated with the fluctuation, decline, and consequent imbalances between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
- Androgenetic alopecia, also known, is a hormone-linked condition affecting a large number of men and women. Men tend to lose hair from the hairline and over the crown of the head; women tend to lose hair over the entire scalp.
Solutions to Hair Loss
- Animal protein contains all of the amino acids necessary for cell life, including the cells in hair follicles. Women in their forties must attempt to get the essential amino acids from vegetarian foods or nutritional supplements.
- Stress management can help restore hair growth. Any form of stress management adopted must be sustained and consistent to show results.
- If you suspect that one of your medications is causing your hair to fall, check with your doctor and find a suitable substitute, immediately.
- Shedding of hair after pregnancy can last as long as ten months. After this period however, hormone levels are balanced again and hair loss resolves itself.
- To regularise imbalance of hormones and to supplement the deficiencies, hormones can be introduced into the system through pills or injections. Many commercial hair restoration products, block the formation of DHT. This enables hair follicles that are inactive to become active again and make new hairs. However this must be done under a doctors constant supervision to monitor harmful side effects.
- Hair loss because of genetic hormone linked conditions is generally not temporary. However, greater understanding of the link between hormones and hair loss is leading to new techniques for preventing and managing this condition.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help restore balance to your hormone levels and help eliminate excess hair loss. If you are worried about hair loss talk to your doctor about having your hormone levels measured. Measuring your hormone levels can tell you if you need hormone supplementation. But remember HRT should only be taken under the guidance of an experienced doctor.