PCOS Hair Loss Causes and Treatments
Hair loss or hair thinning is a common symptom of PCOS. Many of the symptoms associated with PCOS can be difficult to live with, and hair loss is one of them. Hair loss for anyone can be difficult, it leads to feelings of distress, low self-confidence and fear. In this post find out what causes PCOS hair loss and what you can do to manage it.
The cause for the thinning of hair and hair loss for women with PCOS is due to a hormone imbalance. Women with PCOS have high levels of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). An excess of testosterone creates DHT. DHT, more specifically, causes hair loss. Women are supposed to have small amounts of testosterone, however, women with PCOS have an excess of this hormone, especially DHT. An excess of DHT means that it will attach itself onto the hair follicles and begin to affect the hair, eventually to the point of hair loss, it also leads to the follicle to stop producing new hair, essentially creating a clogged follicle.
Diet & Lifestyle
Diet and lifestyle are key factors in managing this problem. It is important to ensure you are getting all the right vitamins and minerals from your diet, to aid in the balancing of your hormones.
Vitamins and Supplementation
- Foods high in phytosterols such as fermented soy, wheat germ, brussel sprouts, olive oil and rye
- Vitamin B (B12), is a key vitamin aiding in hair growth, a deficiency in B12 results in hair growth slowing down or stopping and existing hair begins to fall out.
- Magnesium- being deficient in magnesium can cause hormonal imbalances, contributing to symptoms of excess testosterone such as facial hair and scalp hair loss.
- Zinc-It is suggested that a zinc deficiency causes the protein structure of hair follicles to deteriorate and as a result, their structural integrity begins to weaken. Therefore causing new hairs falling off sooner than they should.
- Biotin or Vitamin B7 is suggested to contribute to the strengthening of the hair, 7-9 mg daily is recommended.
- Due to Omega 3 fatty acids anti-inflammatory properties, it can encourage hair regrowth by helping to open the hair follicles. Sources of omega 3, egg yolks and salmon.
- Evening primrose oil can aid in stimulating hair growth. This oil contains omega-6 fatty acid, however, it is the Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) that does the wonders. GLA has the properties to help prevent hair loss.
Natural Herbal Treatment
- N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC) reduces testosterone and studies have shown it can improve insulin resistance in women with PCOS.
- Stinging nettle in the form of nettle leaf tea is another option
- Spearmint tea reduces testosterone and balances other hormones. 16 oz daily is the recommended daily dosage.
- Saw palmetto is a natural herbal cure for hair loss and hirsutism as it prevents testosterone from being converted to DHT. The recommended daily dosage is 320 mg daily for at least 6 weeks. It should NOT be taken during pregnancy, nursing or while trying to conceive.
- Shampoo which has keratin protein can improve the thickness and volume of the hair.
- Coconut Oil
- Studies have proven that peppermint oil aids in hair growth
- Jojoba oil is a great nourishment to improve hair quality, stop hair loss and even regrow hair. Simply warm about 1 tbsp of oil and massage into scalp before washing as normal.
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