Estrogen and Hair Loss: Can Low Estrogen Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss is one of the most irritating and worrisome issues anyone would ever have to meet with. It is obvious that there are various reasons which may cause hair loss in individuals. One of the causes of hair loss can be a low level of estrogen hormone. There is a connection between estrogen and hair loss. In this current article, we will talk about if low estrogen can cause hair loss and also know of ways to prevent it. Hope this would be a beneficial read for you.
Estrogen and Hair Loss
Estrogen is the dominant female sex hormone which is essential for the development of female characteristics. It can however be also found in men as well, but in lower quantities. Likewise there are also few quantities of the male sex hormones Testosterone, in female body. Estrogen is not a single hormone but actually a group of female sex hormones which include estradiol, estriol and estrone hormones. Estrogen is made in the ovaries and to a lesser extent in other bodily tissues.
It is known that estrogen plays a great role in reducing bodily hair, in promoting the growth of the hair on your head, controlling height, reducing the muscle mass, promoting the breast growth, keeping the skin smooth, keeping away from wrinkles, regulating menstrual cycle in women, preventing fatigue, keeping away depression etc. From all these it can be known that estrogen hormone is important for the overall health of an individual.
However, we are here concerned with the link between estrogen and hair loss. So, in the following section we will know about our concerned topic.
What is the Connection Between Estrogen Levels and Hair Loss?
Our hair grows in three different stages.
- The Anagen phase or the Growing stage which lasts for several years
- The Catagen phase or the Resting phase which lasts for a few weeks
- The Telogen phase or Shedding stage which lasts for a few months
There are some evidences that estrogen hormone actually slows the rate of growth extending from the growth phase so more hair is at this stage at any moment in time. This is the reason why women’s hair is more abundant than men’s hair.
It must be noted that estrogen hormone works in opposition to the testosterone hormone in the female body, and thus prevents the hair loss caused due to testosterone. Studies suggest that estrogen hormone not only protect against hair loss but also stimulates the growth of new hair.
The relationship between estrogen and hair loss can be particularly noticed during pregnancy, when the higher concentration give women hair that is thicker, healthier and more plentiful than usual. This must also be noted that the extra hair tends to fall out within several months of the childbirth.
Can Low Estrogen Cause Hair Loss?
It is known that during pregnancy, because of an increased level of estrogen, there is a tremendous growth of new hair. However, during menopause it is noticeable that the reduced level of estrogen hormone tends to cause hair loss. When the estrogen hormone levels tend to drop, the hair follicles fall under the influence of the male sex hormone or the testosterone, which cause the shortening of the growth phase of hair. Subsequently there is a noticeable hair loss. This hair loss caused due to the drop down of estrogen levels may cause patchy hair loss or complete baldness.
The link between low estrogen and hair loss can also be noticed in women who are being treated for cancer, when their ovarian function is destroyed and when their ovaries are removed. With the removal of ovaries, there is a drop down in the level of estrogen hormone which significantly causes the hair loss.
Women taking estrogen supplements or birth control pills may also experience a temporary hair loss.
Ways To Prevent Hair Loss Due To Low Estrogen?
There are some ways to prevent hair loss caused due to low estrogen levels. Below are some of them.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy: You may be advised to go for hormone replacement therapy or may take supplementary estrogen in case your doctor suspects that the hair loss is caused because of low or lack of estrogen hormone. These supplements may either be taken orally or may be applied topically to the skin as a gel. However it must be mentioned that not all women are benefited with this type of treatment for low estrogen levels causing hair loss.
- Right Foods: There are specific foods which are considered to be good sources of phytoestrogens which includes berries, seeds, grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, soy beans, soy products etc. One can prevent hair loss but adding these foods in your daily diet.
- Reduce Stress: It must be noted that higher stress levels may cause your estrogen level to drop down. So, it is essential for you to reduce stress as much as possible in order to prevent hair loss caused due to low estrogen levels.
Apart from all these, if you are in to smoking, kindly quit smoking which can help you boosting the estrogen levels and thus help you get rid of hair loss.
Now that we know low levels of estrogen may cause hair loss. It is thus important for you to keep in mind all the necessary ways to boost your estrogen level and prevent hair loss wherever possible. Kindly talk to your doctor in case you have serious issues of low estrogen level or meeting with severe symptoms of hair loss.