How hormones affect your hair
Posted 26 April 2016 12:00 AM by nurture team
We’ve all seen the power of hormones, but we don’t often consider the way they are affecting our hair. Dry or thinning hair? Read on…
Despite being regarded as the ‘male’ hormone, testosterone is present throughout a woman’s life. However, as oestrogen levels decline during the menopause, the effects of testosterone are no longer masked and we begin to see its effects, including changes to our hair, such as thinning, or perhaps hair growth in other areas (such as on our chin). The decrease in oestrogen also reduces the skin and hair’s natural oils, so hair can become dry. Unlike any other range, nurture replenish uses phytoestrogens to help restore volume, hydration and shine to the hair.
Hormone Replacement Therapy works by introducing oestrogen into your body to a pre-menopause level and is an effective way of controlling menopausal symptoms. Many studies have been conducted looking into its safety and efficacy, including the increased and decreased risks of different sorts of cancer, so if your changing hormones are causing you to experience significant symptoms, discuss HRT with your doctor. A natural alternative to replace the body’s waning oestrogen is to use plant hormones called phytoestrogens, which mimic the body’s oestrogen. But don’t assume it is always about the menopause - there are lots of other age-related changes to our hormone levels which can also affect your hair.
A decline in oestrogen also affects the rate of hair growth. The amount of time hair spends in the anagen (growth) phase decreases, whilst the length of the telogen phase (the resting phase, in which hair falls out) increases.
Your doctor might want to test your thyroid, which is responsible for regulating metabolism. If you have an overactive thyroid one of the symptoms is dry, coarse, thinning hair, which may also start to fall out. Your doctor can prescribe medication if necessary, and the condition of your hair will improve relatively quickly.
Insulin can be another major influence on our hair. Produced in the pancreas, insulin controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Over- and underproduction of glucose can change hair’s look and texture and potentially also cause hair loss.
Iodine is important for the maintenance and strengthening of hair so make sure you’re getting enough. Increase your consumption of leafy green vegetables, seafood, strawberries, cheese and eggs.