Insulin regulation is also a big factor in hair health, as an imbalance can lead to various hormonal effects. Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which effects fat storage and hormone balance. Fat storage and hormone balance play a role in hair growth because fat storages will secrete excess estrogen in the body, and can desensitize hormone signals.
Your doctor might also suggest the prescription pill finasteride, sold under the brand name Propecia and also in generic versions. Although the drug is not federally approved for use in female patients, some doctors have observed good results in postmenopausal women. But women who are planning to have children should not take this drug because it can cause birth defects.
There are numerous nonsurgical treatments that when combined, can offer significant hair improvements. Dr. Yaker’s TCHR Volumizing Glycolic Acid Shampoo and Conditioner help restore vitality to the hair by deep cleaning the scalp and reestablishing lost moisture content and physiological pH to the scalp and hair. Dr. Yaker has also formulated his own oral supplement, which is a blend of Aminoplex hair repair vitamins. This is made up of amino acids (building blocks of protein) that produce keratin, which makes up close to 97% of our hair. In addition, Dr. Yaker’s specially compounded FDA approved topical medication, Minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine®), is clinically proven to help slow down, stop and even reverse hair loss in women. Other nonsurgical therapies offered are Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) using the advanced LaserCap®, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with placenta-derived extracellular matrix therapy to help restore thinning hair. Lastly, Dr. Yaker offers scalp and facial micropigmentation where permanent ink is applied to the skin, creating micro dots that replicate the natural appearance of hair. This is used for the scalp and eyebrows.
Cyproterone acetate works in several ways. It not only competitively blocks DHT from binding to its receptors at target tissue (Gilman et al., 1990), but it is also a progestogen that lowers testosterone levels by decreasing the release of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones through pituitary-mediated supression (Gilman et al., 1990, Varothai and Bergfeld, 2014). An open intervention study of 80 women who received treatment with spironolactone (200 mg daily) or cyproterone acetate (50 mg daily or 100 mg for 10 days per month if premenopausal) showed that three of four patients demonstrated an improvement or stabilization of their disease with no difference of effect between the therapies received (Sinclair et al., 2005).
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive, non-surgical scientific approach to fighting hair loss. It is effective against multiple levels and types of hair loss including thinning hair, receding hair line, male and female pattern baldness and various scalp issues. LLLT has been rigorously tested for both safety and effectiveness for well over 30 years and has been in use in many countries throughout the world for over 30 years.
Yes. Hyperandrogenism, a medical condition characterized by excessive production of male hormones called androgens, can cause hair loss in affected women. The most common cause of hyperandrogenism in women is functional ovarian hyperandrogenism, also known as polycystic ovary syndrome. In addition to hair loss, other signs include obesity, acne, and irregular menstruation, and it is one of the most common causes of infertility.
In this section, our Houston Hair Transplant Team discusses current trends in hair loss and restoration research with published experts. We choose our interviewees based on those who have had NIH or Medline indexed published medical research that is peer-reviewed. The list will be organized by country and then alphabetically by physician last name. Click on the name to read about the latest research in thinning hair and hair restoration from around world. We thank our specialists below for giving us the valuable time and sharing of insight. We are deeply grateful and honored to have had the privilege to get the insight provided by these world renown specialists
Women using oestrogen supplementation or taking birth control pills will also experience hair loss when they cease supplying their body with extra oestrogen. These forms of hair loss may be temporary but this, however, does not mean that there is no link between oestrogen and permanent hair loss. Scientists have noted up to 30 hormones that could play a role in female pattern hair loss – the genetic kind of hair loss – and oestrogen, whilst poorly explored, may be one of them. It’s alright if the excess hairs are the ones that are lost but when normal hair falls out, there’s a problem.
The most common type of hair loss seen in women is androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern alopecia or baldness. This is seen as hair thinning predominantly over the top and sides of the head. It affects approximately one-third of all susceptible women, but is most commonly seen after menopause, although it may begin as early as puberty. Normal hair fall is approximately 100-125 hairs per day. Fortunately, these hairs are replaced. True hair loss occurs when lost hairs are not regrown or when the daily hair shed exceeds 125 hairs. Genetically, hair loss can come from either parents side of the family.
Hair loss on the eyebrows can be partial where the hair falls off in patches or the eyebrow thins and shortens abnormally. It may occur on one side or both sides. It can also be complete where all the hair on one or both eyebrows are lost. These patterns of eyebrow hair loss can give some indication of the underlying cause even when there are no other symptoms. Some of these conditions may be specific to the eyebrows (the hair follicles and skin in that region) or can be an extension of problems affecting surrounding skin like the face, forehead or scalp.
Androstenedione, which is mostly produced in the ovary and adrenal glands, is converted to testosterone by 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Testosterone then circulates throughout the body to reach its target tissues. Androgen-metabolizing enzymes have been found in many parts of the hair follicle (Table 1; Bolognia et al., 2012). The presence of those enzymes makes the pilosebaceous unit a site of androgen metabolism and synthesis (Fazekas and Sandor, 1973). Circulating free testosterone either binds to intracellular androgen receptors in the hair bulb and dermal papilla, which facilitates miniaturization of the follicle, or is metabolized into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. DHT then binds the same receptor but with much greater affinity (Kaufman, 2002, Levy and Emer, 2013). Of the androgens depicted in Figure 1, only DHT and testosterone bind to androgen receptors (Burger, 2002).
Estrogen dominance is an extremely common imbalance and it can fuel thinning hair as well as an arms-length list of annoying symptoms, from bloating and PMS to irregular periods and infertility. Your first, best step in clearing excess estrogen from the body is doing a liver supportive detox. My 4-Day Hormone Detox has you eating fresh, nourishing foods for three meals a day, plus snacks. You won’t feel hungry or deprived and, most importantly, you will help kickstart hormonal healing. A hormone detox is one of the best first steps you can take to reverse thinning hair.
Postpartum hair loss is related to the drop in estrogen experienced after giving birth. During pregnancy, the body has higher levels of estrogen (and progesterone) and estrogen increases hair’s “resting phase,” or the time hair stays on your head before naturally falling out (which is what accounts for the 100 or so hairs that healthy heads shed every day). When estrogen drops after pregnancy, all the hair that had been “resting” starts to shed. Post-pregnancy hair loss is usually temporary, lasting for several months.
SOURCES: George Cotsarelis, MD, director, Hair and Scalp Clinic, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. Andrew Kaufman, MD, assistant professor, department of dermatology, University of California, Los Angeles; medical director, Center for Dermatology Care, Thousand Oaks, Calif. Tom Barrows, PhD, director of product development, Aderans Research Institute Inc., Atlanta. Cotsarelis, G. and Millar, S.E. Trends in Molecular Medicine, July 2001; vol 7: pp 293-301. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery web site. American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery web site. American Hair Loss Council web site. Springer, K. American Family Physician, July 1, 2003; vol 68: pp 93-102. Hair Loss Help web site, "Interview with Dr. Ken Washenik from Bosley." Fuchs, E. Developmental Cell, July 2001: vol 1: pp 13-25.
Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic that functions as a competitive aldosterone antagonist and inhibits the interaction of testosterone and DHT with intracellular androgen receptors in target tissues (van Zuuren et al., 2012, Yazdabadi and Sinclair, 2011). Spironolactone also weakly inhibits androgen synthesis (Price, 2003). The anti-androgen effect is more commonly used in hirsutism and acne but has been used successfully at 100- to 200-mg daily doses to treat FPHL (Sinclair et al., 2005). One retrospective study of survey data showed that nearly 75% of women reported stabilization or improvement of their hair loss after treatment with spironolactone (Famenini et al., 2015). Similar results were obtained in an open intervention study from 2005 (Sinclair et al., 2005). While the vast majority of published data discusses adult patients, one case report described the visible improvement of FPHL in a 9-year-old patient after 6 months of therapy (Yazdabadi et al., 2009).
Changing the shape, thickness and length of the eyebrow is a commonly practiced beauty technique. Some people even remove the eyebrow entirely only to replace it with a pencil-drawn mark (eyebrow pencil). As with any part of the body, repeated irritation can eventually lead to hair loss. Sometimes this is due to manual trauma, chemicals from cosmetics or even infections that arise when breaks in the skin occur. While eyebrow modification will not stop as a commonly practised beauty technique, it should at least be minimized.
Infestation with the mite D. folliculorum which inhabits the eyelashes is well known. Two species are known to inhabit human beings—D. folliculorum and Demodex brevis. It might either be asymptomatic or may cause symptoms of blepharitis. Kemal et al. report an overall prevalence of 27.4% in their study group. Gao et al. have reported a 100% prevalence of the mite when there is cylindrical dandruff. Patients with demodicosis can develop madarosis.
See a dermatologist for itchy skin or rashes around your brows. These patches may indicate a skin infection or interaction with a new beauty product or environmental trigger. You could also have inflammation from dermatitis or psoriasis. These conditions don’t actually cause hair loss, but they can lead to it if you rub and scratch the affected areas.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic solution, pill or product that will correct hair loss entirely. But if you think of your hormones as a cast of characters, knowing which ones are leading the show and which ones are only playing a supporting role can help you get to the bottom of the issue. If you haven’t already, take my free hormone quiz – it can help you determine what tests you may want to request from your doctor and which lifestyle or dietary changes may benefit you most. In the meantime, manage your stress levels and get enough sleep. This will help with general hormone balance and can protect your precious locks from any further damage.