Oestrogen and Hair Loss

Ally or Enemy?

Pregnancy, the contraceptive pill and menopause, do they usually cause hair loss? In a nutshell, the answer to this question is yes and no. So it’s hard to say if oestrogen is an ally or an enemy of a woman when it comes to hair loss. To justify my answer, let us understand what oestrogen does for the hair and why female hair loss may happen.

What is Oestrogen?

Oestrogen is the main sex hormone of women. Oestrogen is essential in the menstrual cycle. It is the opposite of testosterone, which is the male hormone. Men have oestrogen as well, however, because it is a female hormone, men usually have oestrogen only in small quantities. The same is true of testosterone, women have the male hormone in small quantities as well.

What does oestrogen have to do with hair loss?

During pregnancy, oestrogen is in high concentration in women, which increases the length of hair growth. Thus, women develop thick and healthy hair during pregnancy. They have more oestrogen than they usually do and, by the same token, they have more hair than they usually have. Following pregnancy, oestrogen levels will return to normal. The excess hair will therefore go into telogen, the resting phase.

Once hair goes into the resting phase, it will fall out over a period of three to four months. You may think that you are experiencing hair loss but you are not. You are only shedding the excess hair that the excess oestrogen created.

The same goes for menopausal women using oestrogen supplementation and for women taking birth control pills. They will experience hair loss when they cease supplying their body with extra oestrogen.

This, however, does not mean that there is no link between oestrogen and permanent hair loss. On the contrary, there are cases where women, or even men, experience oestrogen related hair loss and do not regrow their hair. It is all right if the excess hairs are the ones that are lost, but, if the hair that falls out is normal hair, there is a problem and the hair loss will definitely show.

Please note that problematic hair loss is hair loss involving more than 100 strands of hair a day. If this is what is happening to you immediately seek the help of a hair loss professional.

Oestrogen and hair loss may not be problematic but there is still the chance that your hair follicles may become damaged in the process. You therefore need professional help to ensure that you will keep your head of hair full, healthy, and strong.

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