Hormonal Imbalance and Hair Loss: The Role of testosterone
Hormonal Imbalance and Hair Loss: The Role of Testosterone
Hair loss can affect men and women of all ages and has various underlying causes. One of the most common causes of hair loss is hormonal imbalances, particularly those related to testosterone.
Testosterone is a hormone mainly associated with male physiology and is responsible for the development of male characteristics such as muscle mass, voice deepening, and sexual function. However, it is also present in females in lower concentrations and plays a vital role in their reproductive health.
When the levels of testosterone become imbalanced for any reason, it can lead to adverse effects on hair growth and cause hair loss. Here is how hormonal imbalances relating to testosterone can cause hair loss.
DHT and Hair Loss
Testosterone can convert to a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) with the help of an enzyme 5α-reductase. DHT is a potent hormone that has a strong affinity for hair follicles, particularly those on the scalp. DHT causes hair follicles to miniaturize and, over time, leads to the shrinkage of hair follicles. This shrinking leads to thinner, shorter, and less pigmented hair and eventually leads to hair loss.
Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), also known as male pattern baldness, is the most common type of hair loss related to hormonal imbalances. AGA occurs when the levels of DHT increase and start attacking hair follicles. This type of hair loss primarily affects men, but women can also develop AGA, particularly after menopause, when the levels of testosterone and estrogen become imbalanced.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Another hormonal imbalance that can lead to hair loss is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), primarily affecting women. PCOS is a hormone disorder that can cause an increase in androgens, including testosterone. It affects the normal functions of the ovaries, leading to the production of cysts and hormonal imbalances that can cause significant hair loss.
The thyroid gland secretes various hormones to regulate body functions, including the growth of hair. When the thyroid gland becomes imbalanced and produces too little hormone (hypothyroidism) or too much hormone (hyperthyroidism), it can lead to hair loss as well. Hypothyroidism can also cause hair to become dry, brittle, and dull, leading to hair breakage and hair loss.
If you suspect a hormonal imbalance is causing your hair loss, it is essential to consult a doctor. The doctor may conduct a series of blood tests to determine the levels of testosterone, DHT, and other hormones in your body. Based on the results, they can prescribe appropriate medication or recommend lifestyle changes to control hormonal imbalances.
Hormonal imbalances are a common cause of hair loss, and testosterone plays a vital role in this process. Testosterone can convert to DHT, which attacks hair follicles in Androgenetic Alopecia, and imbalances in testosterone can lead to hair loss in women with PCOS as well. It is essential to consult a doctor if you suspect hormonal imbalances is causing your hair loss to get the best possible treatment.