Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that can cause a number of symptoms, including hirsutism, which is excess facial and body hair.
While many with PCOS grow thicker hair on their face and body, some experience hair loss, which is known as female pattern hair loss.
Why does PCOS cause hair loss?
The female body produces male hormones, also called androgens. This includes testosterone. Androgens play a role in triggering puberty and hair growth in the armpits and pubic areas. They have other important functions as well.
PCOS causes extra androgen production, resulting in virilization. This refers to the development of more masculine characteristics, including excess hair in places where it does not usually grow, such as:
These extra androgens can also cause the hair on your head to start thinning, especially near the front of your scalp. This is known as androgenic alopecia or female pattern hair loss.
Will it grow again?
Any hair you lose due to PCOS will not grow back on its own. But with the treatment, you can stimulate the growth of new hair. In addition, there are several things you can do to mask PCOS-related hair loss.
What medical treatments can help in PCOS?
PCOS hair loss is caused by a hormonal imbalance, so hormonal regulation is an important part of treatment. This can be done with a variety of medications.
Remember that you may need to try some medications before you find one that works for you. And most people have the best results with a combination of drugs.
Here are some common treatment options for PCOS-related hair loss.
Oral contraceptive pills
Birth control pills can lower androgen levels, which can help to reduce excess hair and decrease hair loss. It also helps with other symptoms of PCOS, such as irregular periods and acne. An anti-androgenic medication is often prescribed in combination with oral contraceptives for PCOS-related hair loss.
Spironolactone is an oral medication known as an aldosterone receptor antagonist. It is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a diuretic to treat fluid retention. However, it is also effective in the treatment of androgenic alopecia. This is known as off-label use.
It blocks the effects of androgen on the skin and is usually prescribed together with an oral contraceptive.
Minoxidil is the only drug approved by the FDA to treat female pattern baldness. It is a topical treatment that you apply to your scalp daily. It promotes hair growth and can even give a thicker appearance.
Finasteride (Propecia) and dutasteride (Avodart)
Both finasteride and dutasteride are approved by the FDA for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. Although they have not been approved for female-patterned hair loss, some doctors still prescribe them for people with PCOS.
Although there are some evidence that these medications can help with female pattern hair loss, many experts do not consider them a good option based on mixed results from other studies and known side effects in women.
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure used to implant hair into the scalp. Hair and hair follicles are removed from an area with a lot of hair and transplanted to the area of hair loss or baldness. It usually requires some procedures.
A hair transplant can cost up to $ 15,000. It is not covered by insurance providers because it is considered a cosmetic procedure. There is also no guarantee that it will work.
What about home remedies for PCOS?
If you want to follow the most natural path, there are some home remedies that can help to reduce androgen levels, decreasing the effect on hair.
Taking a zinc supplement can help with PCOS-related hair loss, according to 2016 Study. The study looked at the effects of zinc supplementation on PCOS and found that daily use of 50 mg of elemental zinc for 8 weeks had beneficial effects on hair loss. It has also been found to help hirsutism.
There is significant evidence that weight loss can lower androgen levels and reduce the effects of excess androgens in women with PCOS. This can lead to less hair loss, in addition to a reduction in other symptoms of PCOS.
Losing only 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can significantly reduce the symptoms of PCOS. Start with 13 tips for losing weight with PCOS.
Biotin is a popular supplement that is often used for health and hair growth. There is not much evidence that this specifically helps PCOS-related hair loss, but it may be worth a try.
A 2015 study found that taking a marine protein supplement containing biotin for 90 days resulted in significant hair growth.
You can buy biotin supplements on Amazon.
How can I make hair loss less noticeable during PCOS?
There is certainly no medical need to treat PCOS-related hair loss. And in many cases, you can minimize the appearance of PCOS-related hair loss with a few changes to the way you style your hair.
For expanding part, try:
Experimenting with separating hair into other areas
Getting bangs that starts even more over your head
Apply a root covering powder to the scalp, like this one, which is waterproof and available in different shades
For hair loss, try:
Wearing a partial wig, sometimes called a wig drop, to cover sparse hair without glue or damaged hairpins
Using volumizing hair products to increase volume and make hair fuller
Getting shorter, layered hairstyle to add volume and fullness
For bald patches, try:
A hairstyle that will keep the hair over the bald area, like a top knot or low ponytail
A hair band or scarf wide enough to cover the area
A partial wig or wig drop
Other tips you can follow for PCOS hair loss
To resolve these imbalances in the hair and PCOS relationship and restore your hair to health, there are several tips you can follow:
Adopt healthy lifestyle habits.
In the blog, we recommend that you maintain some habits of life adapted to the needs of your organism. For example, paying attention to your diet, exercising daily or saying goodbye to tobacco are some of the precious tips – which can also help your hair regain its vitality.
Take control of your body.
With PCOS, your body lives in a constant small hormonal revolution, but you can help to naturally stabilize decompensated hormone levels. By taking a natural supplement based on DCI, such as PCOS, you are able to regulate the hormonal imbalances that your body suffers. In this way, you will be able to alleviate most symptoms of PCOS, such as irregular periods.
Give a scalp massage
Do you want to fight the hair problems associated with PCOS? Hair massages help to dilate blood vessels and stimulate hair growth. In addition, they provide a feeling of relaxation and tranquility, favoring good mood!
You can go to an aesthetic center or do it yourself at home. For example, when applying a nourishing mask it is a good time to do this relaxing massage as well. But beware! Make sure you massage the scalp well, without forgetting the temple, the neck and the ears.
Watch the heat!
Temperature contrasts do not favor the health of your hair. So it is essential that you do not subject it to extremely high temperatures. For this reason, you should not abuse the dryer, irons or combs.
This does not mean that you cannot make a more elaborate hairstyle to go to a party or for an important appointment. What we recommend is that you do it sporadically and that, before working your hair, apply a thermal protector to prevent your hair strands from drying out and losing their vitality.
Reserve time for yourself
An accelerated pace of life negatively affects your body and your mood, leaving you more tired and irritated and worsening the condition of your hair – as stress increases the fragility of the hair and can cause it to fall even further. Furthermore, anxiety and worry aggravate the symptoms of PCOS.
As strange as it may seem, your hair reacts to the fast pace of your routine, to tiredness and irritability. So put a brake on the hustle and bustle of everyday life and devote a little time every day to taking care of yourself and doing what you love most. In addition to feeling happier, you will regain the strength and shine of your hair!
Always choose natural products
Many hair products, dyes, shampoos and moisturizers include aggressive chemical ingredients that make them harmful to your hair’s health.
Therefore, you should choose natural products, without silicone or parabens, which in addition to not damaging your hair, make it radiant and strong.
Watch your food
Food is one of the fundamental pillars in the lives of all of us, but if you have PCOS, it is even more important. As you know, there are certain foods that can aggravate the symptoms of this disorder and further unbalance your hormones.
But calm down! Obviously, not everything you eat is harmful and not everything will have negative consequences in relation to PCOS. Just adopt healthy habits in your diet, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, and you will notice a significant improvement in the health and appearance of your hair.
Adopts a short (and sophisticated) cut
If your hair fell out due to PCOS, using short hair can be an alternative to hide the lack of hair. So, if you like to see you with short hair, take advantage and make that radical cut that you’ve been postponing for some time.
In addition, the haircut will reduce the weight at the root and the hair will be visibly stronger and healthier.
On the other hand, if you have long hair and you don’t want to give it up, consider cutting it as a brief change in style, while improving your body’s hormone levels.