Articles Tagged with: estrogen

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.

Hereditary Hair Loss, Demystified

Hereditary Hair Loss, DemystifiedAsapSCIENCE is making a big splash on YouTube. With over 500,000 subscribers, the science-based YouTube channel promises to deliver a weekly dose of science and fun through a series of animated videos that attack and demystify some of life’s most thought provoking questions. From describing the science of aging to learning why the chicken really crossed the road, the producers at AsapSCIENCE seem committed to helping Internet users better understand life, one 2 minute video at a time.

Earlier this month, AsapSCIENCE produced an excellent video on the science behind the most common instance of hereditary hair loss. We’re excited to share this video with our readers and encourage everyone to take a look:

An Important Note: As mentioned at the conclusion of the video, the presence (or absence) of a hair loss gene on the X chromosome is just one of the contributors to hair loss. And while it is the most common, it is important to remember that researchers are continually finding new hair loss genes. The hair loss gene APCDD1, for example, was just recently identified by collaborative research conducted at Columbia, Rockefeller, and Stanford Universities.

Hair Loss: A Polygenic Trait

The myth that “hair loss is inherited from the mother’s side” is derived from hair loss research of the early 1900s. Though well intentioned and progressive at the time, researchers were limited in their ability to analyze all possible contributing factors exhibited by their subjects. In the past, researchers have taken a single gene approach to hair loss research, choosing only 1 gene to track, analyze, and compare across different groups of subjects (i). This eventually led to the belief that hair loss was caused by a single gene on the X chromosome (as described in the video above).

While it’s true that certain genes on the X chromosome may cause hereditary hair loss, we now know that there’s a much bigger picture to consider. Modern medical research has identified hair loss is a very complex condition that is actually polygenic, meaning that a number of genes can play a causal role in its development and progression. Moreover, such genes can be inherited from either parent.

Genes and Appearance: What Determines Expression?

To complicate matters further, genetics are not the only thing to impact the way in which hair loss becomes visible, or expressed. A number of other factors may contribute as well, including:

Age. As a man or women continues to age, the likelihood that a hair loss gene may begin to express itself may increase.

Hormones. The relative balance of certain hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and DHT may have a profound impact on the health of hair follicles. DHT, in particular, is known to cause hair miniaturization by impairing healthy follicular function. For women, birth control pills may cause hair loss by similarly disrupting the relative balance of estrogen to testosterone.

Stress. According to the American Hair Loss Association, there is an apparent link between stress and hair loss (ii). Stress seems to affect hair follicle biochemistry, which may cause the hair to enter into a “resting” phase prematurely. This can lead to Telogen Effluvium, specific type of stress-induced hair loss.

Seek a Professional Hair Loss Evaluation, Today

When it comes to reversing the signs of hair loss, early detection is ctritical. Patients trust the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami because we are home to South Florida’s most talented transplant surgeons and clinical team. We are proud to offer the most comprehensive approach for evaluating and treating hair loss—an approach that has produced countless success stories.

Hair Loss Evaluation & Treatment. Readers are invited to learn more by visiting our hair loss evaluation page online. For direct assistance, readers are invited to contact our clinic directly at (305) 925-0222.

Sources:

(i) “Hair Loss Genes.” Bernstein Medical. Accessed 25 March 2013.

(ii) “Effluviums.” American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 March 2013.

PCOS and Hair Loss

PCOS and Hair LossPolycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal condition that physicians attribute to both genetic and environmental factors. It is fairly common, affecting an estimated 10% of women worldwide (i). Primarily, PCOS is known to cause hormonal variations that may make it difficult to get pregnant. However, PCOS may cause additional side effects including weight gain, acne, and hair loss. Over time, studies indicate women with untreated PCOS may be at high risk for developing other serious health conditions like type II diabetes and heart disease.

Diagnosing PCOS

PCOS is perhaps the most common of all endocrine (hormonal) disorders experienced by females of reproductive age, and it is believed to be the leading cause of infertility among women. An estimated 50% of women with PCOS do not know they have the condition. In light of this alarming statistic, it is important to spread awareness for the symptoms of PCOS so proactive measures can be taken to reduce its impact on overall physical and emotional health.

Common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Acne
  • Uncontrollable fluctuations in weight (gain or loss)
  • Increased growth of facial and/or body hair
  • Irregular menstruation cycles
  • Infertility / difficulty conceiving
  • Emotional distress, including depression
  • Thinning, shedding, or balding of the scalp

PCOS and Hormonally Induced Female Hair Loss

The defining physical characteristic of PCOS is ovarian cysts, tiny growths that appear throughout the ovaries. While the cysts themselves are not harmful, they do impair the production of an essential ovarian enzyme that may significantly reduce estrogen production. Relative androgen levels rise as a consequence, leading to an increased abundance of hormones like testosterone.

Sudden influxes in testosterone may lead to androgenetic alopecia, a specific type of hair loss caused by hormonal changes in the scalp. Increases in testosterone may fuel the production of DHT, a chemical known to adversely affect the hair follicle’s ability to sustain normal hair growth. Most commonly, DHT causes hair miniaturization; a phenomenon in which hair becomes thinner and finer over time. Eventually, miniaturization turns in to all-out hair loss as DHT shuts down the follicle completely.

In a guest blog on the Women’s Hair Loss Project, holistic nutritionist and certified health coach Ms. Amy Medling offers the following tips for overcoming PCOS naturally (ii):

1. Sizzle in the kitchen. According to Ms. Medling, one of the best ways to get back-on-track is to pay close attention to diet. By cooking your own food, you can be sure to use high quality sources that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that promote healthy hair.

2. Have discriminating tastes. “Only clean foods allowed in your temple,” Ms. Medling explains. Again, emphasis is placed on seizing control of the quality and nutritional content of each meal.

3. Move it. Not only does physical exercise promote healthy hormonal balance, but it also makes you feel well. Daily exercise and sun exposure can do wonders for reducing stress, which may also decrease the incidence of Telogen Effluvium (stress induced hair loss).

Treatment Options: Restoring Hair Loss Caused by PCOS

Today, a number of procedures are available to women who experience hair loss from PCOS. In addition to improving diet and exercise regimens, women may explore the following options under the guidance of a qualified hair transplant surgeon and clinic:

1. Hair Loss Evaluation. An expert evaluation is essential in diagnosing the root cause of hair loss as well as identifying the most effective course of treatment.

2. Prescription Hair Loss Medications. For women, prescription hair loss treatments like Rogaine® (Minoxidil) may be effective in slowing hormone-induced hair loss.

3. Surgical Hair Restoration. Today, highly refined methods of surgical hair restoration are available to reverse the signs of baldness in a beautiful and all-natural way. Follicular unit extraction procedures are among the most effective, transplanting patients’ real hair to thin or bald areas to produce an authentic end-result with minimal discomfort.

4. ARTAS® System Hair Transplant. Our Institute is proud to be 1 of just 17 clinics in the United States to offer the revolutionary new ARTAS® System by Restoration™ Robotics. A physician-guided robot system, the ARTAS empowers our surgeons to conduct FUE transplants with unparalleled accuracy, consistency, and precision.

Exclusive Interview: Watch as Dr. Rose presents the ARTAS System to CBS Miami.

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we hold our patients’ desire for a full and natural head of hair in the highest regard. Our team works diligently to ensure each patient feels comfortable and confident during each visit, from evaluation to procedure and post-procedure follow-up.

We invite you to learn more about hair loss evaluations at our Institute, or contact our friendly front desk at 305.925.0222.

Sources:

(i) “Amy Medling, the PCOS Diva.” Women’s Hair Loss Project. Accessed 3 March 2013.

(ii) See above.

Birth Control Pills and Hair Loss

Birth Control Pills and Hair LossDoes ‘the pill’ cause hair loss? The topic of birth control and hair loss is as old as the medication itself, dating back to the 1960s when oral contraceptives were first introduced to American women. Unfortunately, women are often surprised to learn that common side effects of birth control may include hair loss. Those who consider taking birth control must also realize that contraceptives may cause a variety of additional side effects, and they do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Learn More. To learn more about birth control and specific side effects, please consult your physician. Always seek the guidance of a licensed medical professional before making any changes to diet, exercise, or prescription medication regimens. The following article is meant to provide a basic overview on oral contraceptives, hormones, and hair loss. It is not a substitute for the expert opinion of a licensed professional.

Which Birth Control Pills Are Most Likely to Cause Hair Loss?

To understand which birth control pills are most likely to cause hair loss, it is first helpful to learn the make-up and basic function of each option. Birth control prevents pregnancy by using different combinations of hormones to suppress ovulation and/or prevent conception. Generally, an oral contraceptive can be characterized by the number of hormones it contains. Combination birth control, for example, contains both estrogen and progestin. The Minipill, by contrast, contains only progestin.

Combination Birth Control vs. Minipill: Which Is Best?

In general, hair loss caused by ‘the pill’ is most often a side effect of hormonal fluctuations. In most cases, birth control causes a relative increase in androgen levels. This may cause a corresponding increase in DHT production, which researchers believe shrinks the hair follicle and causes hair miniaturization. Once this happens, the hair becomes thinner and finer over time. Eventually, it may cease to grow altogether.

Since combination birth control pills contain both progestin and estrogen, they may help to keep androgen levels in check. For this reason, physicians may recommend combination birth control medications to women whose genetics or family history makes them predisposed to hormonally induced hair loss. The minipill, on the other hand, contains no estrogen and may cause a greater relative rise in androgen. With greater fluctuation comes increased sensitivity to hormones (like androgen), which may ultimately contribute to hair loss both during and after birth control use.      

The Androgen Index: Identifying Which Pills Are Least Likely to Cause Hair Loss

The Androgen Index is a way of describing the impact a birth control medication may have on relative androgen levels. By choosing a medication with a low Androgen Index, you may limit your chance of experiencing hair loss (i).

According to the American Hair Loss Association, the following list orders birth control from lowest Androgen Index (1) to highest (20):

  1. Desogen
  2. Ortho-Cept
  3. Ortho-Cyclen
  4. Ortho Tri-Cyclen
  5. Micronor
  6. Nor-Q D
  7. Ovcon-35
  8. Brevicon/Modicon
  9. Ortho Norvum 7/7/7
  10. Ortho Novum 10-11
  11. Tri-Norinyl
  12. Norinyl and Ortho 1/35
  13. Demulen 1/35
  14. Triphasil/Tri-Levien
  15. Nordette
  16. Lo/Ovral
  17. Ovrette
  18. Ovral
  19. Loestrin1/20
  20. Loestrin 1.5/30

High Risk Contraceptives. According to the American Hair Loss Association, the following contraceptives have significant potential for “causing or exacerbating hair loss” (ii):

  1. Progestin Implants, like Norplant.
  2. Hormone Injections, like Depo-Provera.
  3. Skin Patch, like Ortho Evra.
  4. Vaginal Ring, like NuvaRing.

Hair Loss Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment

If you are suffering with hair loss, you are not alone. Nearly 2/3rds of all males experience symptoms of balding, and an estimated 20 million American women experience symptoms of thinning by adulthood.

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we hold our patients’ desire for a full and natural head of hair in the highest regard. We are home of South Florida’s most talented transplant surgeons, microscopists, nurses, and staff. Our team works diligently to ensure each patient feels comfortable and confident during each visit, from evaluation to procedure and post-procedure follow-up.

Early diagnosis is key to full, effective, and natural hair restoration. We invite you to learn more about hair loss evaluations at our Institute, or contact our friendly front desk at 305.925.0222.

Sources:

(i) Birth Control and Hair Loss. American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 February 2013.

(ii) Oral Contraceptives. American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 February 2013.

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