A person’s hair can be a great indicator of their health as hair loss can be caused by illness, malnutrition, major stress events or hormonal imbalances. As with any significant physical changes, one needs to understand the issues driving their thinning hair, hair loss or baldness.
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss and describes both telogen effluvium and alopecia areata as the two main types of hair loss. Telogen effluvium is the less severe and more common version where the hair follicles have stopped growing and become dormant at which point the hair will fall out. Hair can grow back under this scenario within 6 to 9 months. Alopecia areata happens when the hair follicles fight your white blood cells. This version causes a gradual thinning of the hair follicles and an eventual falling out in patches. Hair will typically not grow back on it’s own once it is in battle with your white blood cells.
Hair loss in men and women are both strongly linked with hormonal issues during menopause or andropause (male menopause). Male hormones are converted by some tissues to the molecule DHT. DHT is responsible for male pattern baldness by causing a shortening of the growth cycle or regression and death of hair follicles. Hereditary genes will make certain people more receptive to this hormone in the front and crown of their heads and this is exacerbated by DHT. It appears that male hormones applied to the hair follicles in one’s arm pits will more quickly be transferred directly to DHT causing further hair loss issues. DHT can also contribute to issues with acne and prostate enlargement.
Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. This is why cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Stress will often cause a spike in cortisol which will counteract helpful chemicals, reduce your collagen, lower bone density and can cause hair loss. Consistent stress will over work your adrenal glands which required by the increased cortisol production. Stress encourages the fight or flight syndrome in men producing extra adrenaline and male hormones which means additional DHT that can accelerate hair loss.
An improperly functioning thyroid gland will create a hormonal imbalance and can lead to hair loss. Thyroid issues can make the hair dry and coarse while slowing the development of facial and body hair. An underactive thyroid gland is hypothyroidism and can cause the thinning of the outer edge of the eye brows.
If you suffer from hair loss and any of the symptoms below, you could be a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy: