Hair loss has become a very hot topic and the number of requests seems to have already outpaced dandruff and caries. And there were a lot of myths – from the wrong position of the moon during the haircut to the worms. Let’s not take into account all the “grandmother’s” assumptions, but let’s understand the real reasons.
In the last article, I have already mentioned the main reasons for hair loss and described the mechanism of their action. Among the reasons were also the hormonal factor. But this topic is wide and ambiguous. Therefore, the influence of hormones on hair loss should be discussed separately.
Causes of hormonal failure and hair loss
Pregnancy and childbirth
During pregnancy, a woman’s body dramatically increases the amount of estrogen, which has a beneficial effect on hair growth. In addition, the placenta produces a large amount of progesterone hormone, which blocks the activity of male hormones (in particular, dihydrotestosterone). Under the influence of estrogen and progesterone, the hair growth phase lasts.
Even the hair that should have fallen out continues to grow. After childbirth, the hormonal background changes dramatically. And it turns out that because of artificially created favourable conditions hair that should have fallen out in 9 months of pregnancy, begin to fall out at once.
Hormonal contraceptive use and withdrawal
Very often contraceptives contain estrogen. They slightly reduce the activity of male hormones, which often cause acne, excessive salinity and unwanted facial hair. Oestrogens also block the negative effects of male hormones on hair follicles. Accordingly, the abolition of such drugs will return everything to its place.
There are also contraceptives containing another female hormone, progesterone. Often such contraceptives have a pronounced androgenic effect. It manifests itself in the suppression of growth and maturation of the follicle in the ovary, thereby preventing unwanted pregnancy.
But at the same time, it also has a number of negative consequences, in particular, alopecia (especially in those women who are genetically responsible for it). This does not mean that contraception should not be used. But they should be chosen carefully, individually and only upon the recommendation of a doctor.
Thyroid problems can cause hair loss. She is responsible for the normal metabolism process. It produces proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as energy production in the body. But for various reasons, sometimes the thyroid gland can not produce the necessary amount of hormones.
A condition in which there is a decrease in thyroid function is called hypothyroidism. A person with this disease may increase body weight, irritability, fatigue and dryness of the skin. Hair loss is added to this bonus.
With poor thyroid function, metabolism is disturbed, which leads to a lack of proteins and vitamins in the hair. This makes the hair dry, brittle and begins to fall out. In addition, no hormones are formed, which are necessary for normal metabolism in the hair follicles, which leads to a resting phase. Hair stays at this stage for longer than usual and gradually decreases.
But this is easier to diagnose compared to other causes of deposition. Because thyroid problems not only cause hair to fall out on the head, but also affect the eyebrows, armpits, and genital area.
Genetic factor (heredity)
Hair loss may also be due to genetic predisposition. This type of hair loss is called androgenic alopecia (or androgenetic, abbreviated as AHA). In other words, it is alopecia of the male type.
What does it mean, where does it come from?
Inside the hair follicle, testosterone (a male sex hormone that women produce from the adrenal cortex) under the influence of a certain enzyme turns into dihydrotestosterone. The latter launches a chain of biochemical reactions that prevent the normal division of cells within the follicle. Follicles, therefore, do not reach their normal size.
Such defective follicles begin to produce weak and fine hair. The life phase of the hair is shortened. Thus, the cycle after cycle of hair thinner, broken pigmentation and hair gradually becomes cannon hair.
The mechanism of baldness is the same for men and women. The difference is only in external manifestations. In men, it is manifested as baldheads on the forehead and on the back of the head, in women – thinning the hair on the sampling, “melting hair”.
Until recently, it was believed that the reason for the development of AHA was the increased amount of testosterone in the blood. However, it has now been confirmed that AHA is NOT dependent on androgens. In most cases, people with AHA have hormonal status close to ideal. It is all about the sensitivity of the hair follicle receptors to dihydrotestosterone.
Up to 75% of cases of AHA are transmitted through the maternal line, 20% through the paternal line, and 5% through predisposition is the first in the genus. That is, if your grandfather is bald, you have a high probability that this gene is also present. Another question is whether or not this will happen. Even if a person has this gene, they may not show up for a long time. The starting point may be stress, infectious diseases, injuries, surgery… In other words, any factors that can take the immune system out of balance. Normally, any person has 10-15% of androgen-dependent hair.