As it is the case with androgenetic alopecia, a condition where hair keeps falling out due to the effects of male hormones (androgens), the main cause of PCOS hair loss is an excess of male hormones in a woman’s body. This leads to hair loss around the frontal region of the scalp.
In this article, I am going to explain the link between hair loss and PCOS as well as introduce you to some effective methods to grow your hair back.
Hair Loss Due To PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can cause hyperandrogenism, which means your body produces too many male hormones (androgens). Androgens can sometimes decrease hair growth on your scalp and increase hair growth on other parts of your body if your hair follicles are sensitive to androgens.
Being overly sensitive to androgens is usually genetically inherited. Women with PCOS have excess amounts of testosterone, which is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is also made from a hormone called DHEA, which is a female hormone.
Having an excess of DHT is what negatively affects the normal hair growth process.
Medical Treatments For PCOS Hair Loss
There are a few drugs that can be prescribed for PCOS hair loss in order to treat the overproduction of male hormones.
1. Minoxidil: By widening the blood vessels, Minoxidil helps transport essential nutrients to the hair follicles. This promotes hair growth.
2. Metformin: This insuline-sensitizing drug can be used in combination with other drugs in order to promote a more effective hair growth.
3. Contraceptives (e.g. birth control): Can be used in combination with spironolactone.
4. Finasteride: This drug can be used to block the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
5. BCP combined with 5-alpha reductase inhibitors: 5-alpha reductase inhibitors have anti-androgenic properties.
6. BCP combined with Flutamide: Flutamide is an anti-androgen that is non-steroidal.
How To Change Your Diet And Lifestyle To Reverse PCOS Hair Loss
One thing that doctors advise their patients who are dealing with PCOS hair loss is to change their diet and lifestyle. Our diet and daily habits are more closely linked with our health and well being than we give it credit for. Eating healthy can stop and reverse PCOS hair loss.
The same goes for your sleeping habits, which might seem like a no-brainer at first and can affect your hair health as well. A lack of sleep leads to an imbalance of the hormones serotonin and melatonin, which in fact affects the balance of other hormones.
Are you a smoker? If yes, you will have to kick this habit for good – if you really want to stop your PCOS related hair loss, because smoking is known for increasing male hormone levels.
Supplements That Promote Hair Growth
- Rosemary essential oil: Rosemary essential oil helps improve blood circulation in the scalp. It also helps rejuvenate hair follicles.
- Biotin: Biotin is essential for hair and scalp.
- Metylsulfonylmethane (MSM): This chemical is essential in producing keratin, the protein that makes up hair and nails, strengthens hair follicles and controls hair loss.
- Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil improves the quality of hair, prevents hair loss and makes your hair grow back.
- Spearmint tea: This refreshing tea reduces testosterone levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
- Apple cider vinegar and baking soda: Apple cider vinegar mixed with baking soda can help stop PCOS hair loss. You can either drink it or apply it directly onto your scalp.
- Fish oil: The omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in fish oil help reduce male hormone levels.
- Saw palmetto: Saw palmetto is a testosterone suppressant that helps in reversing PCOS hair loss.
- N-acetyl cysteine: This supplement reduces your testosterone levels and also improves insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS hair loss.
Tips For Dealing With PCOS Hair Loss
- Try to avoid tying up your hair too tightly.
- Use a good quality conditioner to remove tangles.
- Remove hair clips before going to bed.
- When blow-drying your hair, try to reduce the heat to prevent damage.
- Make sure to shampoo your hair every day and rinse your hair thoroughly afterwards.
- Use a smooth comb to brush your hair.
Before you follow any of the above-mentioned tips, make sure to talk to your physician and endocrinologist to exclude side effects and causes that may worsen the symptoms. If you have tried all the above tips and are still losing hair, you should get your thyroid tested because a hypothyroidism can cause hair loss as well.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out!
Founder of The Hairy Solution