Articles Tagged with: androgens

What is Menopausal Hair Loss?

menopausal hair lossHot flashes, mood swings, irregular menstruation – menopause is a stressful time in any woman’s life. One of the lesser-known side effects during the change of life is menopausal hair loss. As the body adjusts to fluctuating hormone levels, women may notice general thinning and shedding across the scalp. Unlike male-pattern baldness, which typically materializes on the hairline and crown, menopausal hair loss is diffuse.

When menopause hits, women produce lower levels of estrogen and progesterone – two hormones responsible for hair growth and follicle health. As these hormones dip, hair growth slows while strands become thin and brittle. After estrogen and progesterone levels fall, androgens (male hormones) increase. Androgens trigger follicle miniaturization on the scalp. Sometimes, androgens cause an increase in facial hair, which is why women suffering from menopausal hair loss may concurrently experience fine fuzz around the chin and upper lip.

Aside from hormonal fluctuations, consider additional factors contributing to menopausal hair loss:

  • Stress
  • Emotional decline due to diminished self-confidence
  • Lack of exercise
  • Imbalanced nutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Damaging hairstyles
  • Medication

Menopausal Hair Loss Treatment

Fortunately, menopausal hair loss is treatable. The Hair Transplant Institute of Miami understands how draining the change of life can be, particularly when hair loss appears as a side effect. We work with female patients to proactively restore their self-esteem through early detection, professional diagnosis and optimal treatment methods.

Our physicians, Dr. Bernard Nusbaum and Dr. Paul Rose, are two recognized leaders in the field of hair restoration. We thoughtfully listen to patients’ concerns and objectives while providing hair loss treatment suggestions that best suit your diagnosis, lifestyle, expectations and goals. At our state-of-the-art facility, we are proud to offer natural-looking hair transplants backed by the latest technologies, professional-grade laser therapy caps for at-home use and stem cell hair growth treatments, among other innovative medical hair therapies. To book your appointment for menopausal hair loss treatment, call our office at 305-925-0222 today.

Hair Loss During Menopause: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

hair loss and menopauseHair loss is a lesser-known side effect of menopause. Most commonly, women and physicians associate menopause with other side effects like hot flashes, emotional swings, and significant menstrual cycle changes. Unfortunately, hair loss during menopause is a common occurrence that presents a very real threat to mental and emotional health.

Androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness, occurs differently in women than it does in men. Simply compare the Ludwig Classification (for female hair loss) with the Norwood Classification (for males), and the difference is quite clear. For men, pattern baldness typically begins with a receding hairline and progresses toward loss of hair at the crown of the head. For women, however, hair loss can be much more difficult to detect.

When a woman begins to lose hair, it usually happens in a more spread-out and diffuse manner along the top portion of the head. For this reason, many women do not recognize the [signs of female hair] loss until long after it has already begun.

With this in mind, here are 4 things to know and understand about hair loss during menopause.

Menopausal Hair Loss: 4 Things to Know

Hair Loss During Menopause is Hormonal

Hormonal fluctuations are known to cause hair loss in both men and women. For men, increased DHT production is usually the culprit responsible for the development of pattern baldness after age 40. Pregnant women sometimes experience the opposite, as pregnancy causes a surge in healthy hormones that can cause hair to become thick, rich, and vibrant.

During menopause, the body’s production of estrogen and other female hormones begins to decline. This causes a relative rise in androgens, or male hormones, which ultimate puts women at risk for developing hormonally induced hair loss.

Stress During Menopause Might Also Cause Thin Hair

Of course, hormones are not the only factor to consider. Certain elements of lifestyle might also contribute to hair loss during menopause. Most common is stress, which can lead to a specific type of hair loss referred to as telogen effluvium.

Telogen effluvium appears to occur when stress “shocks” the hair follicles into a dormant state in which hair no longer grows, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Taking proactive steps to reduce daily stress can help. Yoga, meditation, journaling, and quiet time alone are all activities that numerous studies associate with low levels of stress.

Psychological Effects of Hair Loss

Hair loss can cause serious mental and emotional health issues for both men and women. It’s vital to understand that such side effects are normal; the hair, face, and teeth are among the first characteristics one individual will notice about another. Together, they help to establish a first impression and, in some cases, a certain level of attraction. Not surprisingly, men and women can feel anxious, embarrassed, and depressed when the health and aesthetics of the face and hair are compromised.

There are two very important things to remember, however. First, stress has a way of exacerbating hair loss (see above). For this reason, women who notice symptoms of thinning, shedding, or balding during menopause are smart to remain calm and consult a physician. Second, women must remember that hair loss during menopause is treatable.

Menopausal Hair Loss is Treatable

There are a variety of treatment protocols available for women who notice thinning, shedding, or balding during menopause. When it comes to non-surgical hair restoration methods, Minoxidil (available by brand name Rogaine®) has been shown successful in halting hair loss for women. Minoxidil is a topical foam that must be applied to the scalp daily, however, which becomes tedious for some women.

Low level laser therapy for hair is a second non-surgical restoration method that has demonstrated an ability to reduce hair loss and, in some cases, stimulate new hair growth. LLLT exposes the scalp to safe, FDA-approved lasers that are designed to stimulate blood flow and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. Women are particularly found of these “laser therapies for hair loss” because they are quick, convenient, safe, and effective.

Finally, women may elect to have a surgical hair restoration procedure to permanently reverse signs of hair loss. Surgical hair restoration is most commonly performed as a hair transplant, a procedure during which the patient’s own hair follicles are extracted from areas of healthy scalp and relocated to areas of thinning or balding. Surgeons transplant each follicular cluster (sometimes as small as 1-3 units) by hand, effectively camouflaging bald scalp with real hair that looks, feels, and grows naturally.

Early Detection, Successful Treatment

Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring hair to its naturally full, resilient, and beautiful state. To move forward with a hair loss evaluation, schedule an appointment with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Our team represents South Florida’s finest surgeons, registered nurses, and technicians, each of whom hold your pursuit of a fuller head of hair in the highest regard.

Readers may also call our Institute at 305.925.0222 to speak directly with a member of our team.

Adrenal Glands, Stress Hormones, and Hair Loss

Adrenal Glands, Stress Hormones, and Hair LossThe adrenal glands are a very important piece of the human endocrine system. Located just above the kidneys, the adrenal glands are responsible for the production of several hormones that are designed to help mammals, like human beings, thrive in a world that is naturally plagued with mental, physical, and emotional challenges.

Stress management is key, however. Failure to properly manage stress may inhibit the long-term ability of the adrenal glands to produce a natural balance of hormones. This adrenal gland dysfunction may trigger a variety of serious side effects, including fatigue, weight loss, dizziness, nausea, and hair loss.

The Positive Side of Stress

Believe it or not, stress can be a very good thing. Eustress, or positive stress, can play a fundamental role in motivating individuals to engage in positive behaviors like learning, socializing, and physical exercise. Stress may even help individuals escape threatening situations by triggering a rapid increase in metabolism, energy, and mental clarity. This reaction is facilitated, in part, by the production of stress hormones.

The best known of all stress hormones is cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal cortex in the adrenal glands, and its production increases in response to environmental stress. Higher levels of cortisol drive blood pressure upward while simultaneously increasing blood sugar levels. Without this simple biological reaction, mammals would be unable to make swift and decisive action in the face of immediate danger. The adrenal glands are not built to sustain long-term stress hormone production and regulation, however.

How Stress Hormones May Cause Hair Loss

Though beneficial in the immediate sense, the ongoing production of stress hormones may lead to adrenal fatigue. This condition is characterized by the ongoing production of cortisol in response to lingering environmental stress. With only so much production capacity, the adrenal glands begin to produce cortisol at the expense of other important hormones, like aldosterone and other androgens.

For men, the sudden drop in testosterone may not necessarily cause immediate side effects. Male reproductive organs, like the testes, can often make up the difference in the production of testosterone and other powerful androgens. For women, however, adrenal fatigue can be a more serious problem. Sudden decreases in the production of testosterone and DHEA (a precursor that facilitates natural testosterone production) can be lasting, particularly in women who are experiencing menopause (i).

Finding a Balance: How to Proactively Manage Stress

The most effective way to prevent stress-related hair loss is to proactively manage the people, events, and thoughts that are most likely to elevate your perception of stress each day. Most helpful are the following activities:

Physical Exercise

Running, weight lifting, and other physical activities are a great way to reduce stress. Additionally, physical exercise promotes healthy hormonal production. In this way, exercise can help to manage stress levels while also working to maintain a healthy balance between cortisol, testosterone, and other important androgens.

Breathing and Stretching

Breathing and stretching are the easiest way to relieve the body of tension and stress. Yoga has become popular in recent years for this very reason. Best of all, simple breathing and stretching exercises can be done in places that are notorious for causing stress. Try this technique at work, in traffic jams, and at home.

Meditation and Focus

Stress and tension can be stored in the mind, too. Just as stretching and breathing can relieve the body of stress, meditation can similarly relieve the mind of negative thoughts, perceptions, and cognitions. Daily meditation is also associated with greater levels of concentration and focus, two key ingredients to staying caught-up and stress-free in both personal and professional life.

Checking for Hair Loss

Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring hair to its naturally full, resilient, and beautiful state. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we are pleased to offer the most comprehensive and technologically advanced methodology for diagnosing and treating hair loss in both men and women. Our team represents the finest hair transplant surgeons, registered nurses, microscopists, and clinical staff in South Florida, and we hold your pursuit of a fuller head of natural hair in the highest regard.

To move forward with a hair loss evaluation, schedule an appointment with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Readers may also call our Institute at 305.925.0222 to speak directly with a member of our team.

Sources:

(i) “Hair Loss and Adrenal Function.” Livestrong. Accessed 1 April 2013.

 

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