Dermatologist and skin specialist
MBBS with 15+ Years of Experience in Dermatology
Hairfall is a challenge that a lot of us face at different phases in our lives. But sometimes it can be caused due to a specific medical condition? That’s right! We are talking about PCOS induced hair loss here!
PCOS, short for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a condition that affects a large number of women. It creates hormonal imbalance and presents as different signs like acne, hair fall, irregular cycles and hirsutism commonly. A recent survey conducted by a prominent scientific gynecology journal reflected that the condition has a prevalence ranging from 2.2% to 26% in India. Hair fall due to PCOS is one of the most common problems. And that is where the question of ‘how to control hair fall’ comes in.
If you know someone who is affected by this condition, or if it is you who is affected by it, the first thing you need to know is that it is not your fault. The causes for this condition are many, including genetics and lifestyle. If your hair is what you’re worried about, top healthy hair tips suggest that leading a healthy lifestyle can make this condition much more manageable! Think a little more information can help you understand this condition better? Read on!
As mentioned above, PCOS is the abbreviation of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Before we understand how PCOS works, let’s talk about how your body usually works, shall we?
At the base of your brain, there is a pea-sized organ known as the pituitary gland. You might remember it from your science textbooks. What this gland does is, it drops the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Every month, there is a sudden spike in LH, which leads your ovaries to release an egg. Once the egg is released, it settles in your Fallopian Tubes where it’s either fertilized by a sperm or is excreted out in the form of periods. But when you have PCOS, your hormones are all over the place. Your LH level is high all the time. So, there is no chance for the spike to happen. Hence, your ovaries don’t receive the signal to release any egg. This causes irregular periods, and in some case, no periods. This high level of LH also causes your insulin level to rise. A lot of girls even experience dark patches on the back of their neck, underarms, and the groin area, medically known as acanthosis nigracans. As mentioned above, the Pituitary Gland also releases FSH. In PCOS, the LH: FSH ratio becomes high, thereby weakening your follicles and causing hairfall. With insulin levels raised, Testosterone, the male hormone, is released. Now, ovaries do make some amount of Testosterone, but in PCOS, they make it in much higher quantities. The excess testosterone causes Hirsutism or more hair growth on the face and body, along with hairfall. While a compatible hair fall shampoo can go a long way, paying attention to one’s health is among top healthy hair tips. To conclude, PCOS causes hormonal imbalance to an extent that it affects the regular functioning of your body.
Hair fall due to PCOS happens because of the male hormone present in the female body. It leads to increased hair growth at unusual places like the face, abdomen, chest, and neck but leads to thinning hair. This thinning of hair is due to testosterone which ultimately leads to hair fall due to PCOS and is called PCOS hair loss.
One important thing to notice here is unlike males, females’ hair follicles survive for a long time. And therefore, the possibility of increased hair growth rises upon the hair thinning treatment.
Have you been worrying too much about your PCOS hair fall? Well, Hair fall due to PCOS is quite common in the early stages of PCOS. Women often experience a small amount of hair fall daily, which is considered normal and usual. When you start losing around 20-25% of total scalp hair is when an alarming situation arises. It is also the pattern and distribution of hair fall which needs to be considered. There can be bi-frontal recession on a generalised hair thinning from the crown which manifests as widnening of the parting line. Having a significant amount of hair fall is one of the initial signs of PCOS.
You should also keep an eye on other signs like facial hair growth, acne, menstrual cycles, sudden weight gain, fatigue, etc., and should seek medication based on the seriousness of your symptoms.
Monitoring your PCOS symptoms and maintaining a good lifestyle will help you stay fit and minimize the symptoms. PCOS is a lifestyle condition, and upon maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it can be treated quickly and efficiently. And about your PCOS hair loss? We have got you covered!
Here are some ways to deal with PCOS hair fall that can be followed conveniently -
If the situation seems out of control and you have a tremendous amount of hair fall due to PCOS, then taking a doctor’s opinion can always help you treat it. Routine check-ups can help you understand your body and the condition better, always. Medical investigations like thyrois, hormonal tests and ultrasound will help to understand the problem better. Along with this routine nutritional parameters like vitamin B12, D3 and ferritin are also performed to rule out other causes that coukd be contributing to hair loss.
Taking oral contraceptive pills after getting them prescribed by your doctor can help you reduce PCOS hair fall. These pills help to regulate the hormonal imbalance and reduce the amount of male hormones present in your body, which ultimately stops the thinning of hair and boosts hair growth!
Along with medicines, using lotions (again after consulting the doctor) can also be a way to deal with hair fall due to PCOS. Lotions that come as liquid or foam that can be used to massage your hair can help you efficiently with your PCOS hair loss. Oral biotion supplements can also be taken to enhance results. Medical therapy takes at least 2-3 months for visible results.
You can always resort to a hair transplant where the doctors take out the hair follicles and graft them on your scalp wherever the thinning is significant. After a period of time, the change is prominently seen. But you would like to consult your doctor before going with this solution as it varies from female to female and hair to hair type.
As already mentioned, consuming a healthy and nutritious diet and working out can help you reduce your weight. Weight reduction helps in improving the hormone disturbance and improves insulin sensitivity which leads to reducted production of male hormone that ultimately controls the thinning of hair. Now that the production of thin hair has stopped, you get back your natural and healthier hair growth! Having good and healthy food can put you in a good mood, and a good mood always means lesser hair fall!
Using a good shampoo and conditioner can help you fasten the process of PCOS hair loss treatment. The Advanced hair fall solution shampoo plus conditioner is one such product made with Pantene’s signature Pro-Vitamin B5 formula and Fermented Rice Water which helps strengthen hair from within thereby reducing hair fall! It can be followed by Pantene Open Hair Miracle ( aka Pantene Oil Replacement), a revolutionary oil replacement product that gives your hair the shine that it deserves.
Wish you happy hair with Pantene!
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