Are you embarrassed by the way your hair looks? Read on and learn more about the causes of hair loss, and what you can do about it!
Hair has a significant impact on our appearance. Besides making you even more beautiful when it is healthy and shiny, it is a big part of who we are and reflects in our personalities. Hair loss, therefore, represents an irritating problem for those who suffer from it. For many years, the underlying causes of hair loss remained unknown, but scientists have recently discovered a strong link between hair growth and certain hormones in our bodies. Hair loss caused by hormonal imbalance accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men and nearly 40% of hair loss in women.
So, what are the hormones contributing to hair loss, and how do they work?
Estrogen, the female friend that maintains your glowing skin, can become your enemy when it is disrupted. Excessive levels of estrogen, as a result of being overweight, eating estrogen-containing products (such as GM soy or most oral contraceptive pills) and stress can suppress hair growth. A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2013 found that when there is too much estrogen in your body, it can bind to receptors in the hair follicles and slow down hair growth in women. This is not the case in men however, where, surprisingly, estrogen was found to stimulate hair growth!
The male hormone testosterone is vital for giving men muscle tone and strength. However, an article published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology in 2013 highlighted an association between testosterone and hair loss. Testosterone can be converted by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase into an active form known as dihydrotestosterone. This form of testosterone binds to hair follicles and triggers hair thinning.
It is common knowledge that insulin plays an important role in regulating our blood sugar levels, but did you know this hormone also affects hair growth? A study published in the Dermatology and Therapy Journal in 2017 indicates that insulin resistance can lead to hair loss in an indirect way. Insulin resistance, a condition characterized by a low tissue sensitivity to insulin, results in an increase of blood insulin levels. These high levels of insulin activate Insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which, in turn, stimulates the production of testosterone, which, as we’ve seen, can lead to hair thinning.
Thyroid hormones are little known and very complex! Their role in hair growth is not very well understood, but the increase or decrease in these hormones can disturb the natural process of hair growth, resulting in hair loss. In 2003, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology reported that the increase of thyroid hormones over their normal levels can cause the hair follicles to become weak and brittle. On the other hand, the decrease in thyroid hormones can quickly make your hair fall out.
What Can You Do About Hair Loss?
Without a doubt, hair loss is really frustrating whether you are a man or a woman. People with hair loss suffer from low self-esteem which in severe cases can lead to social isolation. But there are things you can do to help your hair and your health.
1. Have a medical test
A hormonal imbalance can cause problems with hair growth. So, it is important to know which hormonal issue may be causing you to lose your hair. Visit your doctor and ask for a medical test that can reveal where the problem lies. A comprehensive test will make it easier for your doctor to know the reason behind your hair loss, and prescribe you the suitable treatment.
2. Be healthy
Clear your table from processed foods, refined carbohydrates and trans-fat! Fill up on fresh organic vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins: these will help balance your estrogen levels and minimize insulin resistance.
Unfortunately, there is no such a thing as a magic pill or product that can treat hair loss completely. The best thing to do is to speak to your doctor about the underlying health issues that may be causing you to lose your hair. A healthy diet, plenty of sleep and minimum stress will help you to balance your hormones and improve your overall wellbeing.References