Articles Tagged with: testosterone

4 Hair Loss Myths Everyone Should Ignore

hair loss mythsHair loss myths seem to circulate around social media, no matter how much concrete and credible information is readily available. Unfortunately, the popularity and sheer temptation of self-diagnosis is difficult to overcome. Once you notice those few extra strands on your pillow or in your shower drain, placing blame on genetics, stress, diet, haircare or an underlying illness can be your initial (and often accurate) reaction. While these are the most common hair loss causes, outlying and unrelated factors are frequently accused of initiating excessive thinning or shedding.

Here are four hair loss myths that you should never believe:

  1. Women Don’t Have Genetic Hair Loss

Not only is female pattern hair loss (FPHL) a result of genetics, it’s one of the most common causes of women’s hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, women account for nearly 40 percent of all hair loss victims. Keep in mind, androgenic alopecia – the clinical terminology for hereditary hair loss – does not affect men the same way it does women. Male-pattern baldness is more targeted with noticeable balding around the hairline, temples or crown. FPHL is more diffuse, causing a general thinning across the scalp. One of the first signs of FPHL is a widening part, though individual cases vary.  

  1. Tanning Causes Hair Loss

Contrary to popular notion, UV radiation is not linked to hair loss. This myth is rooted in the misconception that sunshine damages hair follicles to the point where they shut down and fail to cycle through the hair growth stages as usual. While excessive sun exposure could lead to damage, breakage and skin cancer, you don’t have to worry about it affecting the volume of your hair.

  1. Balding is Linked to High Testosterone

At the pinnacle of all hair loss myths is the belief that balding men have more testosterone running through their systems. Although inaccurate, it’s easy to see where this fallacy lies. Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a derivative of testosterone that is scientifically linked to hair loss. Researchers say that the amount of testosterone isn’t the issue, but rather the level of DHT fastening to hair follicle receptors in the scalp. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes them to stop growing new hairs.

  1. Hair Loss is Inherited from Your Mother’s Side

If you tell a friend you’re worried about going bald, they’ll probably tell you to check your maternal grandfather’s locks first. However, your mother’s side of the family isn’t the only piece of your genetic makeup that puts you at a greater predisposition of developing androgenic alopecia. You’re just as likely to inherit hair loss from your father’s side, so consider all relatives before you stress about the future.

Only qualified hair loss specialists and dedicated physicians can formally diagnose a hair loss condition. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we invite those concerned about thinning or shedding to undergo a comprehensive hair loss evaluation at our South Florida clinic. To schedule an appointment, call 305-925-0222 today.

Does TRT Cause Hair Loss?

Does TRT Cause Hair Loss?Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a new option for aging men who suffer with low testosterone. With just a few treatments, many men report big gains across some of the most significant dimensions of lifestyle and fitness. More energy, increased libido, and better mood are just a few of the positive effects reported by men who undergo TRT under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. TRT is not without potential risks, however.

Not all men are healthy candidates for TRT. Of those who are candidates, some TRT patients may experience side effects. Hair loss is one example of such side effects, causing great distress among the men who are often shocked that “extra testosterone” may cause hair to fall.

TRT Causing Hair Loss?

So, will TRT cause hair loss? The answer may vary from person to person. The biggest variables to consider are testosterone, DHT, and personal predisposition to hair loss.

Testosterone

Low testosterone, or Low T, is one of the biggest reasons patients elect to go on TRT. To assess the impact TRT may have on your hair, it’s important to know what your testosterone levels are at the start. As TRT is more heavily relied upon, the risk for hair loss may increase in some individuals.

DHT

Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a unique and synthesized version of your body’s natural testosterone. It’s important to note that the conversion of testosterone to DHT happens naturally and at a unique level for every individual. Many studies cite DHT as a primary driver behind hair follicle miniaturization, which often leads to shedding and male pattern baldness.

Hair Loss

One of the biggest factors determining risk of hair loss is genetics. Looking at family history, do thin hairlines and balding crowns characterize any of your relatives? Cast aside the myth that male pattern baldness is determined by the mother’s side only. In fact, baldness throughout both the maternal and paternal lineage can increase the likelihood of experiencing hair loss in the future.

Putting it All Together: Does TRT Cause Hair Loss?

While the exact reason for hair loss may vary across each TRT patient, there seems to be a correlation between increased testosterone and the synthesis of DHT. The following hypothetical may help to illustrate how TRT may cause hair loss among some men:

  1. TRT increases available testosterone;
  2. Higher levels of testosterone may lead to a higher rate of DHT synthesis;
  3. As testosterone levels and DHT synthesis increase, DHT may begin to shut-down hair follicle activity.

Reverse TRT Hair Loss

Schedule a hair loss evaluation with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami if your hair appears to be getting thinner or finer while undergoing TRT. Our team is comprised of South Florida’s finest hair transplant surgeons, nurses, microscopists, and technicians. We understand the challenges that hair loss presents to personal, social, and professional life, and we are here to help make a difference.

Learn more about hair loss evaluations online, or call our Institute directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Baldness in Men

Baldness in middle aged men is more common than you might think. For instance, it’s estimated that roughly 2/3rds of all adult men experience baldness at some point in their life. Take a moment to review the following statistics to learn more about how baldness occurs, and what men of all ages can do about it.

Things to Know About Male Pattern Baldness:

1. Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss among men. Recent numbers estimate male pattern baldness to constitute roughly 90-95% of all cases.

2. More than 3 out of every 4 men has thinning hair by age 50.

3. Of those men who suffer with male pattern baldness, about 25% will see signs by age 25.

The last statistic is very important. Though it’s alarming to think that 25 year-old men suffer with hair loss, it’s also important to remember that early diagnosis is the key to effective treatment.

Classifying Baldness in Men

If you spend time evaluating your hairline and crown for potential areas of baldness, you can rest assured you are not alone. Most men worry about losing their hair. Moreover, the statistics above illustrate a sobering point: Most men do lose their hair.

It’s not all bad news, however. Physicians say the best way to prevent baldness in men is to learn to recognize the signs of a receding hairline, thinning hair, and balding crown. The sooner the signs are recognized, the more quickly and effectively baldness can be treated with either surgical or non-surgical hair restoration.

To help classify and ultimately treat male pattern baldness, physicians rely on a chart known as the Norwood Classification. The Norwood Classification illustrates the usual progression of baldness in men. Using the scale, physicians can diagnose baldness and help men of all ages plan to treat it before it worsens. Take a moment to review the chart below. For more information, visit our blog article on the Norwood Classification.

Norwood-Classification-for-baldness-in-men

Causes of Male Pattern Baldness

What causes baldness in men? Worldwide, there are countless institutions, researchers, and physicians dedicated to discovering more about this illusive and devastating condition. Below are a few things that researchers have been able to associate with thinning and balding. Though there is still much to learn, the following should provide insight on how baldness develops and progresses.

Genetics. Some men can be genetically predisposed to losing hair at a specific point in life. For example, researchers have identified a specific gene for hair loss on the X chromosome. If a man inherits a dominant form of that chromosome from his mother, the trait will be expressed.

Hormones. Baldness does not have to be hardwired into your genetic makeup, however. Hormonal fluctuations may also cause baldness in men. Specifically, an overabundance of a testosterone derivative called DHT may cause the phenomenon of hair follicle miniaturization. Over time, follicles shrink and become unable to sustain a healthy hair growth cycle. Hair eventually stops growing, the follicle becomes dormant, and to the naked eye, the scalp appears to be bald.

Stress. Another form of baldness might occur after a particularly stressful event shocks the hair follicles into dormancy. This condition is known as telogen effluvium. Baldness has been known to set in after things like surgery, car accidents, and other traumatic events. As the stress is managed, however, hair follicles can regain their ability to grow normal and healthy hair. At that point, the signs of baldness slowly fade away.

Medications. Sometimes, medications may cause baldness in men. Important Note: Never discontinue the use of medications without first speaking with your physician. If you suspect medication might be causing baldness, schedule a consultation with a hair loss specialist or your primary care physician. A hair loss specialist can help diagnose the cause of baldness, and your primary care physician can assist in finding alternative medications for which baldness is not have known side effect.

Treating Male Baldness

Fortunately, men have several options for treating baldness. The major options are detailed below:

Rogaine®. This non-surgical treatment for male hair loss is known to stop the progression of baldness. Rogaine is a topical foam that is applied to the scalp as directed by your hair loss professional. Though it has demonstrated effectiveness as a treatment for baldness in men, it should be noted that discontinuation of Rogaine often results in further hair loss.

Propecia®. Many men find Propecia effective in treating baldness. The prescription medication is a pill that men take daily, as prescribed by a hair loss professional. Like Rogaine, this hair loss drug only prevents future hair loss. In most cases, baldness progresses following discontinued use.

Low Level Laser Therapy. LLLT is a new technology with a wide variety of medical applications. This year, LLLT LaserComb™ was proven effective in stimulating new hair growth in both women and men who suffer with baldness.

Strip-donor Hair Transplant. Strip-donor transplant involves harvesting a micrograft of donor hair from a healthy area of scalp to transplant to the balding area. Learn more about strip-donor hair transplant.

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT). FUT is a highly refined hair transplant procedure that uses a small punch-like instrument to isolate and harvest individual clusters of hair follicles to transplant to areas of bald scalp. Because the procedure harvests donor hair via punch instrument instead of micrograft, patients can wear their hair shorter with virtually no visible sign that a procedure has been performed. Learn more about FUT hair transplant.

Robotic FUE Transplant. Robotic FUE is the newest and most advanced hair transplant option available to balding men. The procedure is similar to the FUT procedure described above, but uses advanced robotics and digital imaging to select only the healthiest donor hairs for harvest. Learn more about robotic FUE transplant with the ARTAS® in Miami.

Learn More About Male Pattern Baldness

Learn more about male pattern baldness using the resources below:

American Hair Loss Association

International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery

Children’s Alopecia Project

The Bald Truth

Learn More About Treating Male Pattern Baldness

To learn more about treatment options for male pattern baldness, contact our institute online or call or clinic directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Creatine Linked with Hair Loss

Creatine-Linked-with-Hair-LossMen and women who take creatine monohydrate might soon see signs of hair loss. According to a study published by the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, creatine use has been linked with hair loss among individuals taking the popular exercise supplement. The primary mechanism of hair loss is increased production of DHT among creatine users, a well-documented precursor to pattern baldness.

What is Creatine?

Contrary to popular belief, creatine is naturally produced by the human body. It is formed primarily by the kidney and liver, though not in the doses available via popular weight training supplements. In the body, creatine is a non-essential nutrient produced by L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine that helps muscles form ATP to produce energy.

Because it serves a vital role in the production of energy, creatine has become a popular weight lifting supplement that men and women use to enhance strength and endurance while exercising. A large body of research has positively correlated creatine supplementation and strength gain since the late 1970s, making the supplement wildly popular among male and female athletes looking for a relatively “safe” edge in the gym.

But does creatine cause hair loss? According to new studies, there is reason to think it might.

Creatine and Hair Loss

The link between creatine and hair loss is still being studied. In one of the most talked-about studies, creatine supplementation was correlated with a 56% increase in DHT production (i). The conversion of testosterone to DHT has been strongly correlated with hair miniaturization, a phenomenon that causes hair follicles to slowly become incapable of supporting natural hair growth. Hair miniaturization is thought to be one of the main causes of pattern baldness in both men and women.

The Rugby Institute of South Africa served as the backdrop for this creatine and hair loss study. Additional information on this study:

Study: Double-blind, placebo-controlled.

Subjects: Rugby players volunteered for the study. All participants were of college age.

Dosage: Creatine dosage consisted of a loading phase and maintenance phase, which is commonly recommended by manufacturers of recreational creatine supplements. Loading phase lasted 7 days and consisted of 25 grams/day along with 25 grams of sugar (glucose). Maintenance phase consisted of 14 consecutive days immediately following loading phase, with participants receiving 5 grams/day with 25 grams sugar (glucose).

Placebo: Control group given just sugar.

Results: Testosterone levels remained constant throughout both loading and maintenance phases. Among participants given creatine, DHT levels increased about 57% after loading phase. During maintenance phase, participants taking creatine exhibited DHT levels about 40% above baseline.

Followup Reading: Visit the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine in the sources section below to read the original study.

Hair Loss Consultation in Miami

Don’t let hair loss cause social, professional, or personal anxiety. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we hold your pursuit of a new and full head of hair in the highest regard. We proudly offer South Florida residents with the most advanced and comprehensive hair loss treatments available.

To learn more about hair loss evaluations and treatments, contact our Institute online or call directly 305-925-0222.

Sources:

(i) Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. Issue: Volume 19(5), September 2009, pg. 399-404.

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.

 

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.

Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss

Hypothyroidism and Hair LossThe length, thickness, and color of your hair is often a good indication of the health of the rest of your body. This is particularly true in the case of hormones, as the quality of your hair may be representative of overall hormonal balance.  By the same token, hair loss might be an indication that a hormonal imbalance exists. Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and thyroid are a few of the hormones that may have a profound impact on the appearance of your hair. Of these three hormones, thyroid is a common cause for hair loss among individuals who have either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. To better understand why, we must first examine how these three major hormones interact with one another during the hair growth cycle.

Understanding Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, & Thyroid

Testosterone: Testosterone is widely recognized as the male hormone, however it is present in females as well. The hormone is primarily produced by the reproductive organs of both men and women—in the testes and ovaries, respectfully. Smaller amounts of testosterone are also produced in the adrenal glands of both sexes. In males, the primary role of testosterone is to fuel the development of reproductive tissues. In both sexes, testosterone also plays a critical role in the development of bones, muscle mass, and of course, hair.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): DHT is formed when testosterone is synthesized by a very unique enzyme, 5α-reductase. DHT also influences the development of sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics, like physical appearance. Unlike testosterone, DHT may cause the hair follicle to shrink (and in some causes disappear). This leads to thinning, shedding, or loss of hair.

Thyroid: Thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland, one of the body’s largest endocrine glands. Thyroid hormone serves as a “regulator” of sorts, controlling a number of vital body functions. These include metabolism, involuntary muscle contractions, and the production of cellular energy. When a thyroid condition exists, the body has a difficult time producing the correct amount of thyroid hormone. As a result, the body becomes unable to effectively regulate other body functions, including hair growth.

Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss: 4 Things to Know

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Common causes of hypothyroidism include iodine deficiency, lack of proper gland function, or even stress.

When it comes to hypothyroidism and hair loss, there are 4 important things to know and understand:

1. Overactive Thyroid May Increase Synthesis of DHT

As noted above, DHT is a synthesized version of the hormone testosterone. Unlike testosterone, however, DHT disrupts the natural growth cycle of hair and may eventually cause total loss of the hair follicle. For some individuals, a thyroid disorder may perpetuate hair loss by exacerbating the conversion of testosterone into DHT.

2. Thyroid Medication May Cause Hair Loss

Thyroid disorders come in two main varieties: Hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. A common treatment for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine sodium, a prescription medication that is available under many brand names including Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid. Prolonged hair loss is a side effect of this medication for many individuals, specifically for patients taking Synthroid.

3. Additional Thyroid Medications Might Be Necessary to Prevent Hair Loss

If you take thyroid medication and exhibit signs of hair loss, you may need additional prescription medications to effectively treat both conditions. Patients must understand that any prescription drug may cause short term or long term side effects however, and they must always consult a physician prior to starting, switching, or ending a prescription medication regimen.

4. Drug-Free Hair Loss Treatments Are an Effective Option

If you suffer with hair loss that is the result of a thyroid condition, or is the side effect of the thyroid medication you take to treat your condition, you may want to explore other drug-free hair loss treatments. These may include:

  • Hair Transplant Surgery: Hair transplant procedures are now conducted with greater precision and effectiveness than ever before. The Hair Transplant Institute’s very own is co-creator of Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT), a new transplant process by which individual follicular units are extracted from the donor area and transplanted with minimal scarring. More traditional Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) procedures are also available.
  • Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LLLT treatment for thinning hair uses state-of-the-art lasers to stimulate hair growth at the follicle. Click here to watch Dr. Nusbaum explain this exciting new technology in this introductory video segment to laser hair therapy with the LaserCap™ device.

Schedule an Evaluation with the Hair Transplant Institute

Our friendly staff includes South Florida’s finest hair transplant surgeons, microscopists, technicians, and registered nurses.  We understand the agony and frustration that accompanies hair loss, and we are committed to helping you develop a customized plan that will create natural results.

To learn more about Miami hair transplant procedures at the Hair Transplant Institute, please contact us online or call us directly at 1.877.443.9070.

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