Avacor® Hair Regrowth Blog

Women’s Hair Loss and Hormones

A woman's body is an orchestration of hormones. Women have Estrogen and Progesterone from their ovaries. Cortisol, Testosterone, and DHEA from adrenal glands. All of these hormones and their balance play an essential role in women's health, body and hair.

Before we dive too deep into the hormone itself, it is a good idea to look at how stress affects women. Stress can come from everyday life, work, kids, marriage etc. Surgeries, severe illnesses, dramatic weight loss, or other emotional traumas can take a toll on the body. Stress can cause a person to lose hair regardless of hormones or if they are predestined to do so or not. In situations when it is hereditary, this can accelerate the process. In most cases these situations can be helped if not reversed over a period of time.

High Stress Leads to Hair Loss

There are three different types of hair loss that can be associated with high stress. Alopecia Areata can be caused by high levels of stress, but also illnesses such as anemia and thyroid abnormalities. With this condition, white blood cells attack the hair follicle, stop hair growth and will make the hair fall out. Telogen Effluvium is another type and can also be caused by stress forcing large numbers of hairs into a resting phase. Within a few months the hairs will eventually begin to fall out. The last type is Trichotillomania. This is a severe case where stress causes a person an irresistible urge to pull out their hair. When an individual experiences intense stress it can affect the stress hormones within the body. The body will take these signals and transmit them to the hair follicles. Sometimes it will be affected immediately, other times the condition will become worse after the period of time has ended.

Now that we know how stress affects women and what it can do to the body and hair, it is important to learn why. When everything is right, the body sends signals to create the perfect amount of DHEA and Progesterone. This helps with immunity, cancer prevention, and reproduction. When conditions are not right, or when "stress" comes into play, the body senses that and sends signals to the building blocks to create more of the hormone Cortisol. Cortisol is a short term, deal with things later, kind of hormone. If the body is producing the maximum amount of Cortisol possible, then it steals from the other hormones. Estrogen and Progesterone cannot be there at the same time and are therefore diminish. The more stressed the body becomes, the more Cortisol released.

So what exactly is Cortisol?

It is a hormone that helps convert fats and proteins into energy. It keeps you awake and helps prevent lack of fatigue. It balances electrolytes, heartbeat, and blood pressure. It also aids in the reduction of inflammation. If a woman has the perfect amount of Cortisol it is protective and restorative. If there is a high level in a woman’s body it can destroy muscles and bones. It slows down regeneration, growth, metabolism, endocrine function, and weakens the immune system.

Reduce Stress and Regrow Hair

It is very important for your health, body, and hair to try and find a way to decrease the stress in your life. Whether it be changing your lifestyle, yoga, talking to a psychiatrist, going for a walk, everyone needs to find their own way. A Cortisol test can also be done to test the level of the hormone in your blood. Cortisol is made by the adrenal glands and tests can find problems with this or the pituitary gland.

Once you find a problem, there is always a solution. The effects that have been caused by high levels of stress hormones can be temporary and fixed. Know that hair loss caused by increased Cortisol is short term and can be reversed.

Photo from Drmommyonline.com

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