Management of Hair Loss in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Male pattern baldness in women... seems like something you'd never have to worry about. However for some women it is a symptom caused by PCOS. Its official name is Androgenic Alopecia which refers to hair loss caused by male hormones (androgens). Several disorders of male hormone excess have been linked to this pattern of hair loss, including congenital adrenal hyperplasia and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
What does Alopecia (male pattern baldness) look like? Alopecia typically begins at the scalp midline and progresses to the vertex and sides of the head, it may start as a triangular thinning, which has been called the "triangle sign." The frontal hairline remains intact in most women with androgenic alopecia.
Why does PCOS cause hair loss?
A woman's body produces androgens, which are male hormones. Among the androgens is testosterone. The androgen hormones trigger puberty and stimulates hair growth in the pubic and underarm areas. As well as these functions, they perform other important ones in a woman's body.
Though the excess androgen produced by PCOS results in virilization (which is the development of male physical characteristics). Excess hair grows in places where it normally does not grow, such as:
A lack of androgen can also lead to thinning hair on your head, particularly near the scalp's front. Women who experience this type of hair loss are said to have Androgenic Alopecia.
Symptoms of PCOS-related hair loss
A person with PCOS can shed more hair every day as a result of hair loss. It is common for hair to collect on the pillowcase overnight, as well as more hair on clothes or furniture than usual. Showering may also result in clumps of hair falling out.
Often, PCOS hair loss causes hair loss at the roots, resulting in the loss of the entire hair, as well as more breakage. A more visible scalp, particularly around the crown and hairline, or more frizz may result from hair breakage as a result of hair loss.
Also, the scalp may be itchier and drier. There are some people with PCOS who also complain of dandruff and buildup. If you use too much product to increase your body and fullness, your hair may appear finer than usual and harder to style.
The frontal-parietal region of the scalp is normally bald, while the middle of the scalp is considerably thinner due to PCOS.
Hair loss in women can be classified into three stages according to the Ludwig scale:
- Hair loss is present in small areas, and healthy hair is usually thin and fragile.
- Many thin hairs and bald patches are present.
- There is almost no hair, and it is fuzzy.
How To Stop PCOS Hair Loss?
Here are some PCOS hair loss treatment options and ways to stop PCOS-specific hair loss.
Supplementing with zinc may have some benefits. In one study, zinc dosages of 50 milligrams (mg) helped boost hair growth. Antibiotics and blood pressure medications can interact with zinc, however. Consult your healthcare provider before taking zinc supplements. S'moo Ovary Good also contains your daily dose of zinc as well as other PCOS supporting supplements. Women have reported increased hair growth using S'moo.
Hair health and growth are often promoted as benefits of biotin supplements. Not many studies have been done to associate the benefits of biotin for PCOS hair loss, so this is one method you can try and track on your own to see if it helps your personal situation.
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight may also help improve many PCOS-related symptoms and may help lower androgen levels. It is necessary to conduct more research on the effects of weight loss on hair growth. If you do have PCOS weight you are struggling to loose check out our founders story here, on her struggle.
What medical treatments can help?
Hormone regulation is an important part of treatment for PCOS hair loss, which is caused by hormonal imbalance. Various medications can be used to achieve this.
You may need to try several medications before finding one that works for you. Most people get the best results when they take a combination of medications.
The following are some common hair loss treatments for PCOS.
Oral contraceptive pills
Birth control pills may lower androgen levels, slowing hair loss and reducing excess hair growth. Besides helping with irregular periods and acne caused by PCOS, it also helps with other symptoms of the condition. It is common for PCOS-related hair loss to be treated with anti-androgen drugs along with oral contraceptives. However it is also important to remember that using birth control pills to reduce PCOS symptoms does not fix PCOS, it only hides PCOS symptoms. The only way to truly reduce PCOS symptoms is through lifestyle choices, food and supplements.
An aldosterone receptor antagonist, spinolactone is an oral medication that blocks androgen's effects on the skin. Currently, it's approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a diuretic for the treatment of fluid retention. However, it can also be used to treat androgenetic alopecia.
FDA-approved minoxidil is another treatment for female pattern baldness. You apply it daily to your scalp. Moreover, it can make the hair appear thicker and promote hair growth if used consistently.
Finasteride (Propecia) and dutasteride (Avodart)
The FDA approves finasteride and dutasteride as treatments for male pattern baldness. PCOS patients still receive these medications even though they aren't approved for female pattern hair loss.
The drugs have some evidence that they can help with female pattern hair loss, but many experts do not believe they are a good option due to their mixed results in other studies and known side effects in women.
Hair transplants are surgical procedures used to implant hair on the scalp. An area of thick hair is transplanted into an area of thinning or baldness with the transplanted hair and hair follicles. In most cases, a few procedures are required.
Natural Supplements for Hair Loss in PCOS
Ovary Good by S'moo has 7 vitamins, minerals and herbs that are highly recommended and studied for PCOS including Inositol, Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin D3, Chromium Picolinate, NAC and Ashwagandha. All of these ingredients have been shown to reduce androgen levels, and help manage PCOS naturally. Ovary Good has 5000+ 5 Star Reviews from women worldwide. Learn more about S'moo Hormone Balance Supplements here.
It is important to speak to your healthcare provider if hair loss significantly affects your daily activities, hobbies, or relationships.
The first step in addressing hair loss or PCOS concerns is to have hormone levels tested. A healthcare provider can suggest a possible supplement for PCOS hair regrowth if a hormonal imbalance is a cause.
Please remember that you are not alone in this and if you would like extra support from women going through similar situations you can connect on SmooBabes.com
*The content in this article is provided for informational purposes only. This is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any health conditions. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice or consultation. Talk to your doctor before making changes to your healthcare regimen.