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How Hormones Can Affect Your Hair

 

You probably don’t give a lot of thought to the hormones in your body unless they begin causing problems. Just as a good balance of hormones causes your tresses to grow, an imbalance can cause hair loss. Sometimes, you have little to no control over your hormonal balance. In these cases, medical intervention may help.

Pregnancy and Menopause

For many women, this period in their lives may be the first time they become aware of the effect of hormones.

During pregnancy, higher estrogen levels cause less shedding; hair spends more time in its active growth phase, so it may seem your tresses are thicker than ever. In the months following birth, when estrogen levels fall back to normal levels, your regular shedding resumes. Sometimes, it seems excess shedding is happening because hair can thin along the hairline, although you’re probably doing nothing to stress it. Post-partum shedding is normal and should regulate itself within a few months.

Estrogen is also a hormone that affects hair during and after menopause. Because these hormone levels fall after this time in a woman’s life, some women experience hair thinning; plus, it may seem your hair grows more slowly than it did before.

Testosterone

Men aren’t the only ones who have testosterone. Women have this hormone, too, but usually only in very small amounts. It’s when testosterone converts to DHT and the hair follicles become damaged that men and women experience hair loss. Because men are more prone to baldness, it can be especially upsetting for a woman to lose her hair.

Other Hormonal Causes

Birth control pills and some medical conditions (thyroid problems, for instance) cause hormonal changes that can have positive or negative effects. Since some conditions and effects are only temporary, as in pregnancy, changing tresses aren’t cause for concern. However, if you’re suffering a great deal of hair loss due to hormonal changes, consult with your doctor to see what can be done.

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