Women suffering from thinning hair often ask about the relationship between low androgens and hair loss. While most people think of pattern baldness as a strictly male affliction, in truth, as many as 40% of women will experience hair loss in their lifetimes. When considering treatment, in most of these cases, there is compelling evidence that low androgens and female hair re-growth go hand in hand.
However, before we discuss the treatment options for female hair loss, let's discuss the basics of the disorder.
Androgenetic alopecia, or pattern hair loss, is due to a hormonal imbalance. The main culprit is DHT, or dihydrotestosterone. This "male" hormone is present in women in small amounts; however, through the course of life and its cycles, just a fractional shift in the complex balance of hormones can cause hair loss due to excess DHT. This explains why most women experience hair loss during times of hormonal fluctuation, such as pregnancy and menopause, which cause levels of "female" hormones to skyrocket; this is also why low androgens and hair loss do not usually co-exist.
What is the link between low androgens and female hair?
Low androgens and female hair growth have a close-knit relationship. Since female pattern hair loss is caused by an excess of androgens, it only makes sense that a viable treatment option is to lower the levels of these "male" hormones. The case for low androgens and hair loss treatments is supported by the success of several different medications in causing hair re-growth, which we will list below.
If androgenetic alopecia is suspected, a plastic surgeon or dermatologist will do a scalp biopsy to determine if DHT at the site of the hair follicles is to blame; if so, then the link between low androgens and hair loss could provide the answer for successful treatment.
What if androgen levels are not to blame?
Because there are many other reasons for women to lose their hair, the relationship between low androgens and hair loss does not always provide the answer. Other hair loss culprits include:
There is no prevention for androgenetic alopecia. However, many hair-care specialists will recommend that patients strive in their daily regimen to take care of the hair they do have. Some tips include:
Creating an environment where low androgens and female hair re-growth can take place is the best strategy for most patients.
There are many treatment options available to provide a hair-growing environment of low androgens and female hair follicle stimulation. Many of these options rely on prescription medications; only one of these medications (Minoxidil) is approved for the treatment of hair loss - the others are all prescribed "off label." Success is often limited by the occurrence of drawbacks, which we have listed below.
Since there are risks and side effects associated with low androgen and hair loss medications, many patients are turning to all-natural treatments as a hair loss solution.
If you are suffering from hair loss, you should see your doctor. It is possible that an illness is causing your hair loss. Be sure to ask about the link between low androgens and female hair.
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