PCOS hair loss
Excessive hair loss has become a significant concern in most women today. While losing a few strands every day is typical, too much hair loss or thinning of hair is often related to PCOS. PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder that is related to excessive hair loss. Some other characteristics of this condition are weight gain, excessive facial and body hair growth.
When suffering from PCOS hair loss, some women experience hair loss and thinning, also referred to as female pattern hair loss. In this pattern of hair loss, the front of the scalp is usually seen thinning. Some again may experience the loss of hair at the top of the head. This pattern of baldness is often seen in women with excess male hormone or congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
Hair loss due to PCOS can be depressing, and finding an effective solution for the condition is paramount. But before you look out for any solution, you need to know the symptoms of excessive hair loss. The following section discusses exactly that. Read on.
Symptoms of PCOS hair loss
Losing of hair due to PCOS can be detected a lot before diagnosing other related issues like weight gain or irregular menstrual cycle. By closer observation and research of people suffering from PCOS hair thinning, these are some of the symptoms detected-
- The crown part of your hair is visible as your hair is thinning.
- Lackluster hair that is damaged and breaks easily
- The hairline begins to recede near the temples
- Excessive hair shedding, especially when you comb your hair to detangle
- Lumps of hair come out on your palms every time you shampoo your hair
- The upper part of your hair is more visible as the frontline of your forehead has been thinning.
- You are experiencing dry and itchy scalp due to dandruff buildup
While these symptoms are related to your scalp or hair, you may also notice some other symptoms, such as
- Unusual weight gain or obesity
- Anxiety and depression
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Increased risk of thyroid and diabetes
To treat or begin with your PCOS hair loss treatment, you must know the cause behind this condition.
Causes of PCOS hair loss
Now that we know the symptoms, we must understand the reason behind this condition. PCOS and hair loss are interrelated, but then why do some women face it in the first place? What is the reason behind PCOS hair thinning or losing hair due to PCOS?
Well, the female body also produces male hormones, called androgens. These androgens are responsible for triggering puberty and stimulating hair growth in underarms or pubic areas. Now, for a woman who is not suffering from this condition, the female sex hormone or progesterone normally binds to the receptors of the hair follicles, which prevents hair fall.
On the contrary, in a woman suffering from PCOS hair loss, the progesterone levels go down, and the ovaries produce excess male hormones or androgens. This condition is also called hyperandrogenism.
Now when the progesterone is missing, the dihydrotestosterone or DHT binds the hair follicles receptors. DHT weakens the hair follicles, making it impossible for the healthy hair to survive, and the person experiences hair thinning.
Although it is associated with excess hair loss, the female pattern baldness is associated with excess hair loss, but there is no complete baldness. Even though the female baldness pattern is somewhat similar to the male pattern baldness, there is one big difference between both types - the hair follicles in women remain alive, unlike in men.
If you are experiencing unusual hair loss when combing or washing your hair, you could possibly be facing the first sign of PCOS hair loss.
How to treat hair loss due to PCOS?
PCOS treatment for hair loss helps in managing your obesity problems, acne, hirsutism, or infertility. Such treatment may include lifestyle changes or medication.
- Lifestyle changes
Weight loss and low-calorie food. Reducing at least 5 percent of your body weight is essential to bring this issue under control.
- Be active
If you are struggling with excessive hair loss, exercising regularly may treat or even prevent insulin resistance in your body.
- Limit carbs
Your intake of high carbs and low-fat food might increase the level of insulin in your body. You can ask your doctor for a low-carb diet to control extreme hair loss.
Can PCOS hair loss be reversed?
Yes, it can be reversed. Once you identify the hormonal imbalance and get the required medications, you will notice a significant improvement in issue.
However, if your hair is already damaged, you will have to take care of your diet and hair care regime. Be mindful of how to wash your hair and what you eat. A good diet is essential for a healthy life and beautiful hair.
PCOS hair loss Treatment
Although losing hair due to PCOS is not easy to deal with, luckily, we have several treatments to deal with this issue.
- Oral medicines
One of the foremost PCOS hair fall treatment is oral medications. Your doctor will give you a combination of oral contraceptive pills and anti-androgen drugs combined with other medications to control hair loss.
Sulfate-free shampoos are one of the best things to have in your hair care regime. It will help treat damaged hair and extreme hair loss.
- Topical treatments
Besides oral contraceptive pills, your doctor might also prescribe minoxidil for PCOS hair loss. This medicine comes in the form of foam or liquid that you need to massage your scalp with.
- Hair transplant
Hair transplant is a common PCOS hair loss treatment. In this process, hair follicles and hair is taken from one area of the scalp and planted into the area where the PCOS hair is thinning is prominent.
Besides this medical help to fight extreme hair loss, there are also some PCOS hair loss home remedies available that you can try to treat the problem-
- Aloe vera
Aloe vera needs no introduction, and we all know how effective it is to treat hair and scalp-related problems. By consuming aloe vera, it fights back hair loss problems from your body. It also helps to get rid of oily scalp.
Amalaki or Amla has a detoxifying agent that helps separate DHT from the hair follicle hair receptors. It is rich in carotene, antioxidants, and iron that prevents bald patches and adds impressive volume to the hair.
- Herbal homemade shampoo
If you want to go all-natural, you can make a homemade herbal shampoo on your own. Take reetha powder, amla powder, and shikakai powder in equal amounts and add warm water into a runny consistency shampoo. You can use this shampoo to cleanse your hair whenever you feel the need to. On regular use, you will see a drastic change in your hair condition.
- Ayurvedic head massage
Ayurvedic head massage is one of the best remedies for PCOS hair loss. Therapeutic essential oils help fight the signs of excess hair loss.
Diet and foods to avoid PCOS hair loss
- Add anti-inflammatory food
Include anti-inflammatory food in your diet that helps manage the PCOS hair loss symptoms. Foods such as fatty fish, leafy greens, starchy veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and extra virgin olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties.
- The DASH diet
Doctors often recommend the DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet to reduce hypertension and heart-related issues. It may also help in extreme hair loss issues. A DASH diet will include poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, etc.
- Vitamin D
An essential nutrient, vitamin D, is important for overall health. Vitamin D deficiency hair loss problem can be solved with proper supplements for PCOS hair loss. Ask your doctor to prescribe you some vitamins for PCOS hair loss and biotin for PCOS hair loss.
PCOS hair loss is no longer a rare condition. If you are struggling with this issue or have early symptoms like we discussed today, you should see your doctor and get yourself diagnosed. Besides, take special care of your pcos hair loss diet and hair care regime. If you have been struggling with PCOS hair loss, you can try natural hair remedies and hair shampoos from trusted natural brands.
Traya is a natural hair care brand that offers a wide range of gut health supplements that is effective in treating underlying symptoms of PCOS, thyroid, or hormonal imbalances. The brand also offers natural hair loss kits and other natural products that can help you fight hair loss.
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Dr. Jaspreet Sarna, M.D
Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) with a decade-long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.