Table of Contents

Hair Loss Hormone: The Role of Hormones for Healthy Hair

Hair loss hormones affect hair cycle phases and the structure of hair follicles. Hormones play a significant role in hair growth. Multiple hormones regulate hair growth, cycle, and density. Hormonal imbalances can lead to medical conditions such as alopecia areata, hypertrichosis, or hirsutism.

More than 50% of men over the age of 50 have some degree of hair loss because of the DHT hormone.

About 50% of women experience noticeable hair loss, and it is most likely after menopause.

Here are some key points from the article:

  • HORMONES THAT AFFECT HAIR LOSS INCLUDE DHT, ANDROGENS, ESTROGENS, AND THYROID HORMONES.
  • YOU CAN IDENTIFY HORMONE-RELATED HAIR LOSS BY A HAIR LOSS PATTERN, YOUR AGE, HORMONAL CHANGES, AND YOUR FAMILY HISTORY.
  • THERE ARE SEVERAL TREATMENTS FOR HAIR LOSS, INCLUDING BOTH HOME REMEDIES AND MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS

How Do Hormones Affect Hair Growth?

Here’s how 4 hormones play a significant role in hair growth:

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of testosterone, can bind to hair follicles and cause them to shrink.

Estrogens are the primary female sex hormones. Estradiol is a type of estrogen that affects hair growth and health.

Thyroid hormones, such as thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), play a crucial role in regulating metabolism and, consequently, hair growth. Thyroxine medication and hair loss are related, in addition to other side effects of the drug.

Androgens are the hormones present in both men and women. In men, they are responsible for the development of facial and body hair during puberty.

What Hormone Causes Hair Loss?

Here are some of the hair loss hormones that can play a major role in your hair shedding:

  • DHT HORMONE HAIR LOSS
  • LOW ESTROGEN AND HAIR LOSS
  • THYROID HORMONE HAIR LOSS
  • ANDROGEN AND HAIR LOSS

 

Specific hormonal factors contributing to hair loss can of course vary. If you are concerned about your hair loss, consult a doctor who can help determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Dht Hormone Hair Loss

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone that plays a major role in balding, especially in a type of hair loss called male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia.

DHT is a byproduct of testosterone. 5-Alpha reductase is an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. It shortens the growth phase (anagen) of the hair follicle’s cycle. Affected hair follicles become smaller, which leads to thinner and shorter hair. This is a process called hair follicle miniaturization.

Your hair follicles may have high scalp androgen sensitivity to the effects of DHT. In this case, even normal levels of DHT can lead to hair loss. If you have a family history of male pattern baldness, you are more likely to experience it yourself.

Estrogen and Hair Loss

Changes in estrogen levels can have negative effects on your hair health. Estrogens are one of the most prominent causes of hair loss in women. Hormonal fluctuations that may affect your hair growth cycle can be listed as:

  • MENSTRUAL CYCLE IRREGULARITIES
  • BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
  • PREGNANCY
  • POSTPARTUM HAIR LOSS
  • MENOPAUSE

In most cases, during pregnancy or after childbirth, it is only a temporary hair loss. The hair regrows once hormone levels stabilize. In others, such as menopause, your doctor may prescribe hormone therapy to decrease the symptoms. Also, changes in regular medication may impact hair growth positively.

Thyroid Hormone Hair Loss

Imbalances in thyroid hormone levels can result in hair shedding too. In hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones (T3 and T4). It can slow down your body’s metabolism, including supporting hair growth. This type of hair loss is usually diffuse. It means your hair thins evenly across the scalp.

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a disease that can cause hair loss, although it’s less common. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces an excess of thyroid hormones, which can lead to a speed-up metabolism. Hair loss in hyperthyroidism can be more localized. What’s more, it can also affect the texture and quality of your hair.

Androgen and Hair Loss

Androgens hair loss is influenced by hormones. This is particularly relevant in a condition known as male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) and, to a lesser extent, female pattern baldness.

Hyperandrogenism is an excess of androgens in the body and can lead to hair loss.

Androgens are a group of hormones that includes testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). They are primarily responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics, but they are also present in females. 

How to Identify Hormone-Related Hair Loss?

There are several symptoms that can be a sign of hormone-related male and female pattern hair loss:

FACTOR

MEN

WOMEN

HAIR LOSS PATTERN

Male pattern hair loss starts with a receding hairline and thinning at the crown

Female pattern hair loss is the diffuse thinning of hair on the crown of the scalp

AGE

Often starts in the late teens to early 20s and progresses over time

Most common after menopause but can occur earlier

HORMONAL CHANGES

Changes in dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

Changes during pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or birth control pills

FAMILY HISTORY

Genetics increase the possibility of experiencing balding.

Will Hormone Replacement Help with Hair Loss?

Yes, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help with hair loss, depending on the causes of your hair shedding.

That kind of treatment is generally used to focus on hormonal imbalances. Hormone modulation can be beneficial for specific types of hair loss that are related to hormonal changes.

  • ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA: HRT REDUCES THE LEVELS OF ANDROGENS (e.g DHT)
  • MENOPAUSAL HAIR LOSS: FOCUSES ON ESTROGEN REPLACEMENT THERAPY AND HAIR LOSS
  • THYROID DISORDERS: FOCUSES ON BALANCING THYROID HORMONES
  • POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME (PCOS): BALANCING LOW LEVELS OF ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE HAIR LOSS

 

⚠️ Hormone replacement therapy comes with its side effects. You need to discuss it with your doctor, who will evaluate your medical history, conduct necessary tests, and give recommendations.

Can Hair Transplant Help With Genetic Hair Loss?

In case of a family history of male or female pattern baldness, hair transplant procedure may be a solution. Yet, remember it is not a cure for baldness. The transplants will cover your bald scalp areas, but it will not protect you from further hair loss.

Other Treatments You May Consider

Hair loss has many different roots, and the choice of treatment depends on the underlying cause.

Here is a list of the most common treatments for hair loss, regardless of the cause:

  • HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, INCLUDING DIET, EXERCISE AND SLEEP
  • GENTLE HAIR CARE
  • HAIR GROWTH SHAMPOOS AND TOPICALS
  • WIGS AND HAIRPIECES TO COVER BALD AREAS
  • OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS SUCH AS MINOXIDIL (ROGAINE)
  • PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS SUCH AS FINASTERIDE (PROPECIA)
  • MEDICATIONS FOR SPECIFIC CAUSES, LIKE THYROID DYSFUNCTIONS
  • PLATELET-RICH PLASMA (PRP) THERAPY
  • LOW-LEVEL LASER THERAPY
  • MICRONEEDLING
  • HAIR TRANSPLANTATION

Hasan R, Juma H, Eid FA, Alaswad HA, Ali WM, Aladraj FJ. Effects of Hormones and Endocrine Disorders on Hair Growth. Cureus. 2022 Dec 20;14(12):e32726. doi: 10.7759/cureus.32726. PMID: 36578854; PMCID: PMC9788837.

Grymowicz M, Rudnicka E, Podfigurna A, Napierala P, Smolarczyk R, Smolarczyk K, Meczekalski B. Hormonal Effects on Hair Follicles. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jul 28;21(15):5342. doi: 10.3390/ijms21155342. PMID: 32731328; PMCID: PMC7432488.

Ramos PM, Miot HA. Female Pattern Hair Loss: a clinical and pathophysiological review. An Bras Dermatol. 2015 Jul-Aug;90(4):529-43. doi: 10.1590/abd1806-4841.20153370. PMID: 26375223; PMCID: PMC4560543.

Desai K, Almeida B, Miteva M. Understanding Hormonal Therapies: Overview for the Dermatologist Focused on Hair. Dermatology. 2021;237(5):786-791. doi: 10.1159/000512888. Epub 2021 Jan 19. PMID: 33465769.

Nestor MS, Ablon G, Gade A, Han H, Fischer DL. Treatment options for androgenetic alopecia: Efficacy, side effects, compliance, financial considerations, and ethics. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Dec;20(12):3759-3781. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14537. Epub 2021 Nov 6. PMID: 34741573; PMCID: PMC9298335.