The PCOS-Hair Loss Link
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that affect women’s ovaries. Some of its common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain and increased facial hair. However, some women with PCOS also tend to suffer from extreme hair thinning and shedding. We’ll take a look at why PCOS can cause hair loss, and talk about some things you can do to fight it.
Why PCOS Causes Hair Loss
Although all women have androgens, too much of it in the body can affect the menstrual cycle and the hair growth cycle. Women whose follicles have sensitivities to androgen tend to experience a decrease in hair on the scalp, while hair continues to grow in other parts of the body.
This follicle sensitivity doesn’t happen by chance. It’s a genetic predisposition, which means that if you do have it, you’ve had it since birth. But if your follicles aren’t that sensitive, or if it’s mildly sensitive, the hair on your scalp may not be affected by the presence of too much androgens. Unfortunately, for women with follicle sensitivities, even minute amounts of androgen can result in hair loss.
The body also produces more of a hormone known as DHT or Dihydrotestosterone, which binds to your hair follicles and causes it to go into the resting phase. As a result, each time your hair is in its growth phase, it only gets thinner each time. (Read more about DHT here: What is DHT?)
How To Treat Hair Loss Due To PCOS
PCOS treatment can be challenging because there are many symptoms to address other than hair loss. Depending on how severe your condition is, your doctor may recommend a combination of oral and topical anti-androgens. Again, this type of treatment is best left up to a doctor.
You can also help speed up your recovery by using shampoo and conditioners which are formulated to stimulate hair growth. Use these in place of your regular shampoos and you’ll very much likely see an improvement quicker. They can help block DHT to support growth naturally.
A well-balanced diet is crucial for improving PCOS-related hair loss, as well as its overall symptoms.
Many women also find that taking hair growth support vitamins helps boost hair growth even with PCOS, because it provides your hair the nutrients that it needs from within. The right kind of supplements (Read More: 10 Best Vitamins for Hair Growth)can help you fill in the nutritional gaps to give your body the support it needs to grow healthy hair.
Exercise has proven to improve the metabolic symptoms of PCOS, and this includes addressing abnormal androgen levels. Plus, we know that stress can cause hair loss, and movement is a great stress reliever!