Hormonal Imbalance and Hair loss

  • Posted 13 Mar 2006
Hormonal Imbalance and Hair loss

Androgens (male hormones) and oestrogen (female hormones) are secreted by bodies of both sexes, but obviously in different proportions. It is normal that oestrogen secretion will be more predominant in women while testosterone will exist in larger quantity in men. The body is healthy, when there is a right balance between these two hormones.

How hormones affect hair growth

In fact, there is a close relationship between hormones and hair growth. While oestrogen stimulates hair growth on the whole scalp, androgens are responsible for beard growth, hairs growth on arms, legs, pubic region and underarms.

Androgen is the main cause of hair loss in men. Women do not normally experience severe hair loss before menopause. Though men are more prone to hair loss, this does not mean that every man will experience it. Men who are healthy, with no hormonal imbalance, will benefit from oestrogen to stimulate the growth of their hair.

Hormonal Imbalance and Hair loss

Hair loss arises when balance between the two hormones is disturbed and androgen level is higher than usual. When testosterone (one of the male hormones) gets in contact with an enzyme which is usually found in the skin and scalp, called 5-Alpha Reductase, it is converted to DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). When this process occurs, DHT leads to a shorter hair growth cycle, miniaturization of the follicles, producing progressively finer hair till they become invisible and shrinking of the scalp coverage.

Why men and some parts of the scalp are more affected

The information below explains why men are more prone to hair loss and baldness and also why some parts of scalp are more affected.

Androgen receptors and 5-alpha Reductase are more concentrated in the frontal area of the scalp and their levels are 3 times higher in men than in women.

Hormonal Imbalance and Hair loss

There is also the presence of another enzyme called P450 aromatase found in outer root sheath of follicles. It is more concentrated in the occipital area compared to the frontal area. Levels of this type of enzyme is higher in women’s scalp by 2 to 5 times compared to men’s scalp and it converts DHT to oestrogen and may therefore be responsible for less severe hair loss in women.

Relieving from stress, regular exercise, balanced diet and enough time for rest and enough sleep are factors which may help to regulate hormonal secretion and prevent likelihood of hormonal imbalance.

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