Most women accept that hormonal fluctuations are a part of life, and they become accustomed to many of the unpleasant effects, such as the mood swings and water retention of their monthly cycle. Women are also well aware that menopause causes a drastic change in the levels of reproductive hormones, which in turn causes changes associated with this time of life, which usually happens about age 50 years.

Such changes include night sweats, hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, and weight gain. However, many women do not realize that hormonal changes also impact their hair. In fact, menopause can mean increased hair loss. This is because the two hormones, progesterone and estrogen help hair to grow, and at menopause, these same hormones decrease in concentration. 

Estrogen and progesterone and hair

Estrogen and progesterone also help in that these chemicals help the hair to remain on your head longer and allow hair follicles to grow at a faster pace. The decrease in these reproductive hormones leads to increased thinning of the hair and development of bald spots on the scalp. The hair loss pattern due to this is different from the classic pattern seen with male pattern baldness. Nevertheless, women can still benefit from hair loss treatments including a FUE hair transplant procedure.

Woman experience major hormonal changes if they become pregnant. During the first trimester, the levels of estrogen spike to higher than usual levels. This can be helpful as it helps prevent hair loss. However, not everybody is so lucky and in some cases, the stress of the pregnancy can increase the number of hairs that are shed. It is very important, therefore, to take vitamins and follow the advice of your gynecologist/obstetrician to help keep yourself and your developing baby healthy. This will also help decrease the chances of hair loss.

PCOS and hair

Some women have the condition polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which results in too many androgen hormones being produced. This causes an imbalance in the women’s hormones and has consequences for the hair on the body and the head.

The increased androgen hormones in a woman with PCOS often leads to hair loss on the scalp, but can simultaneously cause thick, coarse hair to develop elsewhere on the body. It is important for women to understand that although PCOS can cause hair loss, it also causes other problems such as obesity and problems with the ovaries, and thus, medical treatment is essential since the condition has many negative effects on the body.

The link between thyroid hormones and hair

Other hormones that can impact hair growth include the thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is responsible for secreting hormones that help with metabolism in the body. Unfortunately, some people develop problems with their thyroid gland and either produce too many hormones or too few. Thyroid imbalances can cause hair to become brittle and dry but can also lead to hair thinning and loss. Thyroid dysfunction can also impact men as well as women, and, in all cases, it requires treatment by a medical doctor.