How Hormones Affect Hair
Maybe you’ve noticed during very particular times of the month your hair texture changes, or maybe you haven’t noticed and now you’re about to have that ‘Aha!’ lightbulb moment. You’ve probably noticed how your skin changes right before your period, so now it’s time to understand why and how our hair texture changes due to hormones. For the gents out there reading this article, your hormones are also having an effect on your hair texture, but of a different sort.
There are various hormones in your body that will affect your hair texture, growth, loss and curls. So, in case you’ve been frustrated with the dryness of your hair, or have noticed slow growth or loss, it might be time to consider your hormone levels and how to naturally fix your hormonal scale.
When estrogen levels go down, which is most notably during menopause, but not exclusively, then there are extreme changes in the body, but especially in our locs. Many women, but not all, whose estrogen levels begin to drop will notice hair thinning and loss. When estrogen levels are ‘stable,’ and we use that word relatively, because obviously women’s hormone levels are never hanging around at one level but fluctuate during menstruation cycles, any experience of loss will immediately be replaced by new regenerative growth. So, even though our bodies go through major hormonal fluxes on the regular, on the grand scheme of the hormonal scale there is a balance out there (even though it may not always feel like it.)
On the flip side, when women are pregnant the endocrine system is usually working in overdrive, pumping high levels of estrogen through the body. Everyone experiences different hormonal fluxes, some women only experience this increase during the first trimester, where their skin glows and their new hair growth is lusciously abundant, but then after a few months the positive symptoms fade, but to each her own right?
As a side note, to counterbalance symptoms of menopause, many recommend a diet rich in plant based phytoestrogen. Foods like (organic) tofu, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, berries, and beer (!) can help smooth over the discomfort of hormonal changes.
Testosterone in Men and Women
Testosterone hormones are generated in both men and women, though men tend to have much higher levels of testosterone than women, which explains the facial and chest hair. When women’s testosterone levels increase, during menopause for instance, then the body will send out the signals. One of the most obvious ways of knowing if you have high testosterone levels is by looking at your hair. Facial and chin hair are the first and most obvious ways your body lets you know your testosterone levels are spiking. Fortunately or not, this happens to many women, and of course men. High levels of testosterone, most notable DHT, can also be an explanation for thinning hair, which is the reason why men tend to lose hair more frequently than women.
Women begin producing higher than average levels of testosterone in the body when their estrogen levels are not in proper proportion to progesterone levels. When estrogen levels are much higher than progesterone the estrogen is then converted into testosterone, which may be a cause for hair loss.
Let’s not forget about Thyroid levels
When thyroid levels are out of whack hair will feel more coarse, dry, and thin. Often, when thyroid levels are high the first, and most obvious symptoms are present in the body’s metabolism. If your thyroid levels are high then it is extremely difficult to gain weight since the metabolism is working overtime and burning more fat than you want it to.
The Endocrine System
As many systems go, the endocrine system is a complex one. The most important aspect to keep in mind is, to keep your body working in healthy harmony. What we do has long lasting effects on the health and wellness of our bodies. There are many things we can do to create positive changes in our lifestyle. With a healthy diet, calm and stress free approach and attitude, clean hair care and beauty products, we can help sustain a harmonious body inside and out! It’s a great feeling of empowerment to remind ourselves that we are in control of our own happiness and wellbeing, now let’s keep up the good work!