Do hormones impact hair strength and growth?
Our hair is not just an accessory; it is a reflection of our overall health. Various factors influence the strength, growth, and appearance of our hair, and one significant factor (unfortunately) is hormones.
Hormones play a vital role in regulating many bodily functions, including the health and vitality of our hair. In this blog post, we will delve into the relationship between hormones and hair, exploring how they can affect hair strength and growth, as well as other symptoms you may experience.
Hormones and hair growth
Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate different processes in the body, including hair growth. The most influential hormones in this context are oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid hormones.
- Oestrogen: Oestrogen is predominantly found in women but is also present in men in smaller amounts. It helps to keep hair in the growth phase for a longer time, leading to fuller and healthier-looking hair. However, a decline in oestrogen levels during menopause can result in hair thinning and reduced hair growth.
- Progesterone: Progesterone levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle in women. Higher levels of progesterone can lead to hair loss or shedding due to its androgenic properties. This can occur during pregnancy or when using certain hormonal contraceptives.
- Testosterone: Testosterone is a male hormone, but it is also present in women in smaller quantities. Elevated levels of testosterone, or an increased sensitivity to it, can cause hair loss or male-pattern baldness in both men and women.
- Thyroid Hormones: Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating metabolism and growth. An underactive or overactive thyroid can disrupt the hair growth cycle, leading to hair thinning or hair loss.
Hormones and hair strength
Hormones not only impact hair growth but also influence hair strength and texture.
Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Excessive or chronic stress can increase cortisol levels, leading to a condition called telogen effluvium. This condition causes hair follicles to enter a resting phase prematurely, resulting in increased hair shedding and weakened hair strands.
Symptoms of hormonal hair imbalance
When hormones are imbalanced, it can manifest in various hair-related symptoms these are a just a few to look out for:
- Hair Loss: Excessive hair shedding, thinning hair, or bald patches can be signs of hormonal imbalances, such as androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness), alopecia areata, or telogen effluvium.
- Changes in Hair Texture: Hormonal changes may cause alterations in hair texture, resulting in dry, brittle, or overly oily hair.
- Hair Growth Irregularities: Hormonal imbalances can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, leading to irregular or slowed hair growth.
- Scalp Issues: Hormonal fluctuations may contribute to scalp conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, or scalp psoriasis.
Hormones play a significant role in regulating hair strength, growth, and overall hair health. Understanding the relationship between hormones and hair can help us identify potential imbalances so we may seek appropriate treatments or lifestyle adjustments.
If you are experiencing persistent hair concerns, it is advisable to use mild haircare formulas on your hair and scalp whilst you seek the support of a healthcare professional who can help you locate the cause and take the appropriate course of action. If they do happen to be underlying hormonal factors, usually steps to adjust the balance will result in a return of healthy hair growth and strength.
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