The Link Between Hormonal Imbalance and Hair Loss
Androgenic alopecia is a hormonal condition that’s the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. An estimated 50 million men and 30 million women experience hormonal hair loss at a given time, and risk increases with age and family history. If you’ve noticed a gradual thinning of your hair, a dermatologist can determine if the problem is hormonal, and provide solutions.
At Associated Dermatologists, with locations in West Bloomfield, Commerce, Novi, and Berkley, Michigan, our team of expert providers can determine if your hair loss has a hormonal cause and help encourage hair growth for a younger, more pleasing appearance.
The role of hormones in the human body
People often associate hormones with well-known phases of bodily change, including puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. However, the endocrine system keeps your body stable as much as it encourages change. Hormones are responsible for managing many different aspects of your health, including your:
Fertility and libido
Endocrine disorders like diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and thyroid issues can lead to countless unpleasant symptoms, from poor mood and sleep to brittle bones and insulin resistance. Another common side effect of hormonal imbalance is hair loss, specifically androgenic alopecia.
When hormonal imbalance leads to hair loss
There are many different types of alopecia. Diagnosing the exact cause of your hair loss is the first step to treating it. Androgenic alopecia, also known as pattern baldness, is often attributed to aging and genetics, but hormonal imbalance can cause you to begin losing hair at a much younger age than you normally would.
Unlike hair loss caused by chemotherapy or autoimmune disorders, hormonal hair loss is gradual. You might not notice it until your hairline has visibly receded, your ponytail has grown thinner, or your scalp has become visible.
Generally, androgenic alopecia is caused by an imbalance of one or more of the following hormones:
Testosterone, specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
Cortisol, which is associated with stress, is one of the most notable hormones responsible for hair loss in women. Stress can cause your hairs to go into a resting and shedding phase, leading to hair loss. If you’ve recently delivered a baby, lost weight, undergone surgery, or experienced a period of high stress, be sure to bring it up with your dermatologist.
Treating hormonal hair loss
If your hair loss is caused by an imbalance, you might need to talk to an endocrinologist to begin rebalancing your hormones. This will not only treat your alopecia, but also other symptoms that you might have overlooked or grown used to.
For hair loss, the doctor will likely prescribe minoxidil, or Rogaine®, to use at home. This medication has been approved by the FDA to treat pattern baldness in both men and women, though it can take some time to work.
In the meantime, the specialists at Associated Dermatologists can help prevent further hair loss and encourage regrowth using in-house treatments. These include:
Microneedling, which creates micro-injuries to encourage collagen production
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which uses your own blood to re-activate the growth cycle
To learn more and begin finding solutions for your hair loss, schedule a consultation by calling the location closest to you, or request an appointment online.