Why a hormone imbalance could be the cause of your unruly hair

There are two main types of HRT: bio-identical hormones, which replace the exact molecular structure of the hormones we produce naturally, and synthetic ones. “If you use bio-identical HRT, especially estrogen, this will improve hair growth and stimulate it to support blood vessels, so good blood supply gets to the scalp, and the result is much healthier hair,” says Adib. “Estrogen also supports hair growth cycles, while natural progesterone is an anti-androgen, which stops testosterone levels getting too high.”

By contrast, synthetic HRTs with testosterone derivatives can cause further problems. “Many of the women we speak to come because of hormone imbalances in midlife,” says Kingsley. “I never suggest they stop HRT because a lot of women benefit from testosterone – and what might be bad for hair can be very good for the overall quality of life. Instead, I always advise weighing up pros and cons if you find testosterone is benefiting your energy and sex drive.”

In this sort of situation, Kingsley recommends taking steps to protect individual follicles through topical hormone drops that prolong the growth phase of hair growth follicle – which she describes as hair-friendly HRT. As the drops are not absorbed systemically, they have no other impact other than on hair. Adib adds that women can use blockers, such as finasteride, which are commonly used by men experiencing balding issues, but that staying away from synthetic hormones in general would be more beneficial.

As for me, in the years since I stopped taking the Pill, I have bought better products and improved my hairdryer skills and as a result bird’s nest 2.0 is easier to tame. Trends change and so do tastes and I’m much happier now I’ve let my hair fall into its natural wave rather than struggle to get it straight. Equally, the Pill was far from perfect and one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that I’d rather have predictable emotions and unpredictable hair than the opposite…

How to fight hormonal-related hair loss

On your plate

It may sound obvious, but your hair is a reflection of your diet. Spinach, for example, is packed with nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamins A and C, all of which are important for hair growth. Other vegetables like broccoli and kale are also recommended to nourish the hair follicle and stimulate collagen, and in turn, strengthen your strands and curb fall-out.

On your hair

Although hormones can wreak havoc from the inside, what you use on the outside can help counter the impact. A targeted hair-care regime, such as the Density Kit by Philip Kingsley, £111, is designed to preserve the hair you have while slowing down the rate of shedding. The kit includes a protein spray, scalp drops and supplement pack to be used simultaneously.

With your supplements

Viviscal’s hair growth program is popular because it improves hair shine and density. In 2015, 32 of the 40 patients tested noticed a significant increase in hair growth over a six-month period when they used the product consistently. Viviscal Hair Growth Programme, from £29, Holland and Barrett.

By Emilie Hill

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