Love them or hate them  Hormones play a pivotal role in the health of your hair. In addition to controlling your emotions hormones also dictate your body’s rhythm. The growth, rest and shedding pattern are all controlled by your hormones.

In Fact hormones are one of the primary drivers of cell production in the body. As they change, your hair stages also change; directly affecting your hair’s  growth and appearance. 

 There isn’t a lot of information on how it is affected from our monthly hormonal changes, but some of the drastic changes that some women experience, that are very obvious, are avoiding pregnancy,  pregnancy and the end of your fertile lifespan aka menopause.

  • First let’s talk about no babies: 

    Ending the use of oral contraceptives after being on it for some time or starting the use of oral contraceptives for the first time or after taking a break can cause a hormonal shift that can affect your shedding rate. 

Next: Baby in the belly

One of the most dramatic hormonal experiences anyone could go through occurs during and after pregnancy. During the 9 months increased amounts of Estrogen and progesterone locks about 95-98% of the hair in the active growth phase but after having a baby hormone levels gradually regulate back to the original rhythm and all the strands that were locked in the active growth stage almost in a synchronized way go into the rest and shedding stage. 

 

This is referred to as post partum shedding or another way of saying after delivery shedding. The normal hundred strands a day doubles, triples and even quadruples for a substantial amount of time. To add to this, hair naturally sheds late summer, early autumn so all the winter babies cause even more hair loss. Suddenly stopping hormonal birth control triggers the same reaction. 

 

And if to make matters even more exciting- during menopause, when estrogen levels drop, the shedding phase starts up again and doesn’t recover as quickly as before- resulting in premature hair thinning and hair loss. 

 

Being a woman really rocks: because one more curveball that your body throws is if you have irregular menstrual cycle, or infertility issues your hair could be similarly affected.

Even though weight loss is good for you, sudden weight loss can also be a form of physical trauma and can temporarily alter your hormonal balance resulting in hair thinning. 

In general, any stressful experience your body goes through will throw it off its natural rhythm. When your body is going through something stressful, all your resources have to focus on that and heal your body. Your hair skin and nails receive nutrients from your bloodstream last so when your body is going through something traumatic like a fever, flu, infection or recovering from a surgical procedure a lot of your hair strands go into the rest stage at the same time. You start noticing a lot of shedding 2-3 months after you’ve gone through a traumatic experience.

All of these instances where your hormones alter the hair growth cycle aren’t the end of the road – as long as there is still blood flowing to your hair sharf; the growth cycles still continue – albeit slower or more different than before.In the case of menopause where the blood flow is slowing down due to aging,or for menstrual irregularities   Hormone replacements are available and can be prescribed by a dr or registered medical professional. 

 

All these beautifully shot images are courtesy of  Retha Ferguson from Pexels 

The science images are from https://www.sciencephoto.com/