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What is the Connection Between Hormones and Hair Loss?

Article Details
  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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According to the medical community, there is a clear connection between hormones and hair loss in both men and women. While hair loss can be caused by a variety of physical, mental, and environmental factors, hormonal issues can wreak havoc on an otherwise robust head of hair. Research indicates that hormonal imbalances and changes in hormonal levels can cause hair thinning, male pattern baldness, and complete hair loss.

Hormones and hair loss may be linked by hormone fluctuations that occur at certain stages of life for both men and women. For example, women most often experience hair loss immediately following pregnancy and during menopause, when hormone levels change. Men often experience hair loss as they age and their bodies stop producing certain hormones.

It is also common for women and men to experience hormones and hair loss issues when faced with stress or health problems, which can be hereditary or caused by external factors. People who discover more than normal hair loss may find it wise to get checked by a physician for illness such as thyroid imbalances, lupus, or diabetes. The underlying health condition that affects hormone levels may also lead to long-term hair loss if left unchecked.

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Hormone levels naturally change as people age. For example dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can cause androgen levels to increase, which affects the growth of hair at the root. An increase in DHT causes the hair shaft to thin out, reduces the amount of new hair growth, makes hair fall out, and can gradually stop hair growth completely over time.

Hair loss in women is commonly linked to hormonal imbalances and can be the first sign that a problem exists. Women, who are prone to thyroid issues, may experience serious changes in their hair when the body starts to produce too much testosterone, which leads to DHT binding in hair follicles. Often, problems with hormones and hair loss are caused by hereditary factors, which can also manifest in other health problems such as menstrual problems, weight gain, and depression. Hair loss should not be ignored because it can signal these other serious health issues need immediate treatment.

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