Hormones and Other Contributing Factors of Hair LossThe relationship we have with our hair may often be ambivalent in nature; one day may yield the best hair day to date or possible contemplation of hacking it all off to start anew. Despite how often we may express frustration with our hair, if suddenly you began to notice your hair diminishing, then understandably, that would cause something far worse than just disappointment over a bad hair day. While some feel hair is just hair, it's something many of us put a lot of value into. That's understandable given how hair helps uniquely create and define oneself; it's one of the few physical attributes we possess that we can directly impact and change to allow for our self-expression and sense of identity.
But what happens when one of our defining characteristics is no longer within our control? When all of a sudden, that luxurious mane or head of curls begins to diminish in volume or appearance? How do we cope and manage the gradual loss of not only hair but identity? For many people, hair loss is something to be avoided at all costs. Below are five contributions towards hair loss that by better understanding and recognizing will help spare you from the fears or realities of a thinning scalp or receding hairline:
When the thyroid fails to regulate its specific hormones properly, T3 and T4, not only are essential homeostatic conditions and metabolic processes affected but so is hair growth. Thyroid hormones contribute to the life cycle of hair growth by binding important proteins and triggering key events during hair follicle growth. The failure of proper thyroid hormone regulation stems from chronic and untreated thyroid diseases like hyper and hypothyroidism. With either untreated illness, hair loss manifests as slow, gradual thinning instead of patchiness. This thinning is in large part due to the body's inability to churn out new hair to displace shedding hair.
MenopauseAs physiological changes occur, signaling the end of reproductive ability, a multitude of other physical changes accompany this biological benchmark. Symptoms that are associated with menopause, such as insomnia, hot flashes, mood swings, etc., have, at their foundation, the same factor responsible for menopausal related hair loss: fluctuating hormone levels. With lowered estrogen and progesterone known to stimulate hair growth and longevity of hair follicles, hair becomes slow-growing and thinner.
Iron DeficiencyWhen a person has low iron levels, they're diagnosed as anemic. Anemia describes those whose red blood cells have decreased levels of hemoglobin; hemoglobin is the protein in blood that's tasked with carrying oxygen. Oxygen-rich blood is transported throughout the body to nourish tissues. However, those with anemia have less available oxygen-rich blood for nourishment. As a result, the body prioritizes vital functions and channels the oxygen to places that are not the scalp. Without a steady supply of oxygen, the scalp suffers as hair follicles miss out on important nourishment for growth.
Low Protein-dietProtein is a macronutrient similar to carbs and fats. Macronutrients are essential as they supply the body with its primary source of nutrients and energy for vital functions. Protein has a significant impact on optimizing health as its critical building block for healthy muscles, skin, enzymes, and, last but not least, hormones. Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin. It's this protein that gives hair its shape and strength. If the body isn't taking in the necessary amount of protein through diet, then available levels of protein are rationed off by the body for other tissues by cutting off the supply to hair follicles. Without protein, cells cannot undergo construction or repair of hair follicles leading towards weaker and thinner hair.
Dramatic Weight LossAs described by the previous two conditions contributing to weight loss, the body is a complex balancing act that relies on proper intake of nutrients and minerals through diet. The body does it's best to adjust to low or inadequate levels of needed nutrients by prioritizing and depriving tissues. With dramatic weight loss through crash diets, people are not pursuing long-lasting and sustainable lifestyles. Often, such fad diets yield surface-level results while causing insidious effects on one's health. Telogen effluvium is a condition associated with hair loss following dramatic weight loss; as the body experiences dramatic physical stress through deprivation of vital dietary needs, hair follicles receive signals to switch to inactive states i.e., thinning hair.
Across these five contributions towards hair loss, the common themes connecting one to another is the body's ability to mitigate harm by prioritizing the most fundamental and crucial biological needs. Whether that's because the body has too few hormones or key dietary needs, hair is often deemed insignificant by the body in the grand scheme of things. While this may be true at a biological level, on a personal one, it isn't necessarily correct. Vitality Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine recognizes the importance people place on their appearance. As healthy confidence with one's outer appearance augments internal wellbeing. Vitality Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine is a resource available to those who find they need help in establishing their hormone levels or dietary health to restore what they've lost. Contact Us today 727-771-3915