Hair Loss in Women

It is a proven fact that men tend to have higher testosterone levels than women and testosterone is not the primary sexual/reproductive hormone in women since other hormones like estrogen and progesterone tend to dominate. Yes, testosterone is also responsible for defining and sustaining many masculine features that also includes the body hair growth patterns. Thus, when testosterone levels begin to drop, the hair growth is also affected. This is common to both the genders. This is why when low testosterone levels are indicated in women, apart from the fear of hormonal problems, increased susceptibility to hair-loss is also noticed. While low testosterone male baldness in the form of androgenic alopecia is more common, low testosterone women hair loss has also been established.

The follicles of the scalp contain a particular compound called DHT. Free Testosterone is acted upon by certain enzymes that convert it into Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. The enzyme involved here is called 5-alpha reductase that is synthesized in the prostate gland, i.e. a group of smaller adrenal glands. Both excess of DHT and deficiency is bad for the health of the hair follicle. In the absence of sufficient amount of DHT, the hair follicles begin to shrink and eventually degrade. This means that the effective, active growth phase of hair follicles is compromised. This makes the follicle weaker and more prone to either losing the ability to develop new strands of hair or causes severe dip in the overall quality of hair. This is referred to as progressive thinning of hair that can eventually lead to the onset of baldness in women.

While the hair follicle weakens in the absence of sufficient testosterone, sebaceous glands of the scalp continue to remain active and secrete sebum in sufficient quantity. This makes the problem even more severe for the hair follicles that need to deal with excessive oil or sebum. This means the hair shaft getting being suffocated by the oily secretions, making their structure more vulnerable. As a result, the growth cycle of hair follicles is arrested and they keep getting shorter every passing week. The weakened hair-shafts can no longer bear the wear and tear and eventually begin to fall-off at a faster rate. This is why balding hair is sometimes found to be thick and coarse. Some of the hair-strands might even become pigmented that is due to the nutritional deficiency being caused by the gradual suffocation of the hair follicles.

Lower-than-normal testosterone levels in women also mean that the levels of estrogen are disturbed. The progressive loss of hair along the forehead or the temple area along with increased thinning is typically suggestive of hair loss caused by disturbed testosterone levels. It should be noted that progesterone is hostile to the presence of DHT. When the levels of testosterone fall below the minimum requirement, levels of progesterone also dip inducing a case of estrogenic dominance. In this state of excessive estrogen and reduced amount to DHT, the health of the hair follicles is severely affected.

The easiest way to diagnose if a case of low testosterone women hair loss actually prevails is conducting a blood test, i.e. to measure the amount of testosterone. The diagnosed problem can be then rectified through the use of testosterone supplementation.

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