At some point in your life, you have or will experience hair fall to some degree. While the symptoms may be similar for many, there could be various causes behind it. One of those causes are hormonal fluctuations or dysfunctionality which can result in balding. So how can hormones affect your hair? Here are some facts about androgenetic alopecia, also called ‘patterned baldness’:
- It is a genetically determined condition that causes a change from regular thick hair to thinner and shorter hair. This results in bald patches on the scalp. In this condition, a positive family history is usually common while a family history on the maternal side holds a worse prognosis.
- The hair loss that occurs in this condition has a distinctive pattern. For males, hair starts to thin at the temples and the hairline starts to recede. It can continue to the vertex in severe cases and result in complete baldness. Females on the other hand do not lose their hairline nor do they go bald – their hair starts to thin at the crown and their partition appears wider due to hair loss.
- Patterned balding has a definite correlation with male hormones. Testosterone and weaker androgens are converted to stronger androgens like DHT (dihydrotestosterone) at the level of the skin. An increase in levels of DHT can make you more vulnerable to the thinning of scalp hair and balding.
- Young women that have been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or hormonal imbalances can experience hair thinning due to increased androgen levels. Correcting the imbalance of hormones is as crucial as using hair lotions and procedures to stimulate hair growth. Symptoms such as change in the texture of hair from normal to frizzy despite the use of good products and conditioning and an oily scalp can point to DHT overactivity.
- Although increased levels of DHT is an internal hormonal issue, lifestyle changes can impact its effects positively or negatively. This in turn can indirectly affect hair when it comes to thinning or regrowth. A diet that consists of junk food and saturated (bad) fats such as red meat, butter, and fried foods cause increased levels of testosterone to be released into the bloodstream. A diet that consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids (good fats) such as omega 3, 6 and 9 in foods such as fish, nuts and avocados and low glycemic index carbohydrates in grains and lentils are much more beneficial. Carbohydrates in bread and other bakery products, and refined and sugar filled foods are considered to be high on the glycemic index. They cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate, causing insulin levels to fluctuate rapidly as well resulting in the tampering of your body’s metabolism. This is the reason why longer intervals between meals should be avoided and multiple smaller meals should be routine – they regulate the insulin levels in your body.
Treatment options would include topical medications, lotions and oral medications. Apart from those, there are also procedures that can induce hair regrowth:
- Hair mesotherapy involves rolling an apparatus with needles on the scalp to create channels through which hair growth solutions can be applied for better penetration.
- Platelet rich plasma therapy uses the individuals own blood, where the plasma is extracted and injected into the scalp. The growth factors present in the plasma help improve hair growth and density.
All treatment options should be discussed with a dermatologist during a consultation. Only a certified dermatologist will be able to recommend the right treatment options for you.
For more information about how to look after your skin and hair, or if you’d like to get a treatment plan from a certified dermatologist all from your phone, for a 30% discount especially for FITMAG readers & SQUATS members, then check out www.remedicohealth.com/squats30
About the Author:
Dr. Sonam Vimadalal (MBBS, DDVL) is a dermatologist based in Mumbai, and Co-Chief Medical Officer at Remedico.
For any skin or hair issue, getting a professional guidance is always the best bet!
Medical professionals and certified dermatologists would be the best people to guide you and in fact, these days you do not even have to visit the clinic as you can get your personal doctor online. (Who would have thought that diet and fitness would go online? SQUATS changed the game altogether!)
One such clinic is ‘Remedico’ which provides online skin and hair consultation. You just need to send your pictures and communicate with your doctor online to share your problems. They send you a personal treatment plan and support you throughout.