More than 50% of women experience hair loss at some point in their lives. And while it may be comforting knowing you’re not alone, hair loss can still be devastating. The WORST part? It can be due to several reasons including GENETICS, DIET, STRESS, DEFICIENCIES, and HORMONES – making it harder to diagnose and treat! Today, I’m going to focus on the effect hormones have on your hair. The best way to determine if one of these hormones is the culprit is to speak with your doctor about doing a blood test.
The most common cause of hair loss is due to ANDROGENIC ALOPECIA (more commonly known as male/female pattern hair loss). You’d think TESTOSTERONE is to blame- but the real enemy is DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE (DHT) ! DHT is a derivative of testosterone and is known to SHRINK HAIR FOLLICLES, making it impossible for healthy hair to survive! .
The THYROID GLAND makes the hormones T3 and T4 which are responsible for maintaining your body’s METABOLISM. Having low thyroid hormones (known as HYPOTHYROIDISM) can lead to weight gain, feeling cold, fatigue, and also hair loss. Though the direct relationship between thyroid hormones and hair loss is unknown, rebalancing thyroid hormones has been proven to reverse hair loss.
Women often experience hair loss after GIVING BIRTH or while going through MENOPAUSE – this is because of LOW ESTROGEN levels. Similarly, HIGH ESTROGEN levels are also linked to hair loss. Though the direct link in unclear, one thing is for sure – in order to have healthy hair, your estrogen levels need to be in balance.
Excess amounts of INSULIN has been shown to increase the amount of circulating DHT and increase INFLAMMATION in the body – both of which lead to hair loss. Women suffering from PCOS, INSULIN RESISTANCE or DIABETES are more prone to insulin related hair loss.
If you are experiencing hair loss, be sure to see your doctor to rule out the above hormonal causes. Even if you do identify the root of the issue, it can take up to 6-12 months to see your hair go back to normal. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to minimize hair loss and damage:
- Don’t over wash your hair, this will strip your scalp of healthy oils and dry out your hair, leading to breakage.
- Use a natural dry shampoo like the #takesumidetox overnight dry shampoo to help extend your wash cycle by 1 day.
- AVOID synthetic, aerosol based dry shampoos as these can have synthetic ingredients and fragrances that can increase the amount of scalp irritation and hair damage. Read about how dry shampoo can cause hair loss if not used correctly HERE.
- Use a natural clarifying shampoo and conditioner that is free of parabens and sulfates.
- Avoid tight hairstyles like braids and ponytails.
- Avoid over heat-styling your hair.
- Eat a diet rich with biotin, omega 3, zinc, iron, and b12.
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