mhn news & blog

May 01, 2014

Hormones and Female Hair Loss

The latest research shows the problem that causes hair loss or alopecia is not how much testosterone is circulating through your system, but the amount of DHT clinging to the receptors on your hair follicles. Ironically, the enzyme that changes testosterone to DHT is also found in the follicles' oil glands.

mhnhairexte5 for-siteThis gets interesting because it is the enzyme, Type II 5-alpha reductase that translates testosterone to DHT in both women and men. Although men carry 40 to 50 times more testosterone than women do, women are more sensitive to it. If you have hair loss, it's possible your system is sensitive even to normal levels of DHT. Hair loss in women may also begin when female hormone levels drop, and the male ones (including testosterone) start having a negative effect.

Hormonally Driven Hair Loss

Most women with the hormonally driven hair loss, androgenic alopecia, experience hair thinning across all parts of the scalp. A few women have hair loss on part of their scalp (pattern baldness), as do men.

Though DHT shrinks hair follicles this happens over time by shrinking the hair's anagen (growing) and stretching out the telogen (resting) phases. With each passing cycle the hair shafts become smaller, narrowing at the tip. Eventually, follicles stop producing hair.

DHT is not the only culprit in alopecia. Anything that disturbs the body's delicate hormonal balance may contribute to the problem. Stress, menopause, androgen-rich birth control pills, ovarian cysts, hysterectomy, and pregnancy, are all possible perpetrators of female hair loss.

Hormone therapy is always an option but also fraught with side-effects. Using testosterone blockers, or other hormone treatments, are best discussed with your physician.

Balance is the key

Life is a balancing act. From the molecules of the body, to the cells, organs, and systems, so much depends on being balanced. We all want to do the best we can do. A nutritious diet, staying active, and getting enough sleep help keep the body in balance, but socializing, laughter, and relaxation also assist our body with its chemical juggling act.

Check out your options

Thankfully you have options today. MHN's state of the art hair restoration for women can help you deal with hormonally driven hair loss and make you look like you never lost your hair.