Hormonal hair loss: What to do about itA woman’s hair is linked to her identity, so when hormonal hair loss strikes and it starts to thin and fall out, it can cause substantial psychological distress.

While hair loss used to be associated as a male-only issue, now it’s known to affect both sexes almost equally. However, the causes of hair loss between sexes can differ dramatically. For many women, the problem starts due to hormonal changes.

So, what is hormonal hair loss and what can you do about it?

Understanding hormonal hair loss

Hormone related hair loss is a type of telogen effluvium. It can be triggered either by a traumatic event, such as extreme weight loss or surgery, or due to medical hormonal imbalances.

In both cases, the hormonal changes result in an increase in hormones which promote hair loss and a decrease in the hormones which cause hair growth. The dramatic shift causes more of the hair to enter the resting (telogen) phase, for a maximum of around seven months.

During this period, the hair will neither grow nor fall out. After the resting phase, all of the hair will start to shed at the same time, leading to thinning and potentially bald patches of hair loss.

Some of the most common medical hormonal issues which can lead to hair loss include thyroid issues, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), and the menopause.

What can be done about it?

There are a number of different treatments available to help with hair loss in women. However, before you can establish which one is right for you, it’s important to get the condition accurately diagnosed.

If it turns out to be caused by a medical issue such as PCOS or thyroid problems, medication will need to be prescribed. It could be that you need to be placed onto a hormone regulating medication.

Minoxidil is a great treatment option to consider too. Sold in 2% strengths over the counter, this topical medication is clinically proven and does provide fantastic results. It’s especially great for the treatment of trauma related hormonal hair loss, as this is more of a temporary issue where the hair will eventually grow back. With medically related hormonal hair loss, the underlying condition does need to be treated before the hair can start to be restored.

Overall, if you’re suffering from hair thinning or hair loss, it’s important to see your GP. They will be able to determine whether it’s a hormonal issue and set you on an appropriate course of treatment.