Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a commonly faced issue, with one in every 10 women suffering from it. The condition is related to the enlargement of the ovaries and the formation of follicular cysts. Though there are numerous repercussions of PCOS, hair loss is one of the most dreadful concerns faced by women all over the world. If you are also experiencing PCOS hair loss, get to know if it is reversible and learn about the hair regrowth success in this informative post.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS) & Hair Loss
While the exact cause of PCOS might not be known, research is able to establish a relationship between PCOS and hair loss. If you have PCOS, then your body will start resisting insulin at first. In order to compensate for this and balance your sugar levels, your body will produce more insulin (the blood sugar-regulating hormone). This, in turn, results in a rapid increase in testosterone in your system. If the testosterone level is too much, it gets converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT results in the thinning of hair follicles and diminishes the growth of new hair as well. This leads to the development of patterned baldness in females due to PCOS.
Common Symptoms Of PCOS Hair Loss
Before we learn how to control PCOS hair loss, let’s have a quick look at some of its common symptoms –
- Thinning Hair: This is the first symptom observed in PCOS hair loss. Your follicles would shrink leading to hair thinning.
- Widening At Hair Partitions: Although we all lose almost 100-120 hair a day, PCOS can lead to excessive hair loss in less time. This causes the widening of hair partitions thus resulting in partial balding.
- Patchy Hair Loss: Since PCOS is caused by the excess of testosterone, it leads to pattern baldness.
- Balding At The Crown: The crown region suffers from an abundant amount of hair loss leading to balding of the region.
- Partial Balding: Gradually, it leads to partial baldness, which becomes quite visible for others as well.
Is PCOS Hair Loss Reversible?
Yes, in a way PCOS hair loss is reversible if you follow your doctor’s prescriptions. PCOS hair loss regrowth success can happen if you follow an ideal course of treatment. This is done with the right combination of hair loss treatment and following a healthy lifestyle. It includes a strict diet, a regular exercise, and regular follow-ups with the doctor, which diminish the level of androgens in the body.
Also Read: Get Expert Help For PCOS Hair Loss
How Does A Dermatologist Approach Cases With PCOS?
Let’s know more about the overall approach that experts follow to treat hair loss due to PCOS:
(I) Diagnosis: There is no ideal diagnosis of PCOS hair loss. Therefore, your doctor might need to run a few tests to check if you are suffering from PCOS and hair loss. To start with, the BMI (Body Mass Index) is calculated. This is followed by blood tests, hormone tests and an ultrasound examination. Since thyroid deficiency and PCOS can sometimes have the same impact, dermatologists look for symptoms that are distinctively related to PCOS. This includes the formation of dry skin areas, morning headaches, depression, cold hands, and most importantly elevated testosterone levels.
(II) Treatment: The overall PCOS hair loss treatment consists of two stages. Firstly, the lost hairline is regained with the best course of treatment (mostly PRP). In addition to that, certain medications are given to regulate the formation of androgen in the body.
- PRP Treatment For PCOS Hair Loss: The Platelet Rich Plasma treatment is highly recommended by dermatologists and can lead to regrowth of hair successfully. In this procedure blood from the patients own arms is first extracted and is put to centrifuge machine. This machine separates the plasma from blood and double spins for efficiency. This plasma is activated and platelets in it are enriched. This concoction of platelet-rich plasma is injected into our scalp with the help of microneedles. This stimulates the dormant hair follicles and bringing about hair regeneration. This drastically boosts the growth of healthy cells and helps in regaining the lost hair by covering the bald patches.
Does PRP Hair Treatment Work for PCOS Hair Loss?
PRP treatment is considered as one of the best approaches for PCOS hair loss as it is a non-aggressive and therapeutic treatment that is minimally invasive. Since it doesn’t have any side effects, it is recommended by leading hair expert’s world over. Most of the other treatments can change our hormone levels, which might backfire in the long run. Therefore, to resolve hair loss due to PCOS, PRP treatment is the most effective one.
(III) Medications: Doctors further prescribe some medicines for hormonal imbalance
- Minoxidil: This antihypertensive medicine approved by USFDA, which can widen the blood vessels in our scalp by channelling an adequate amount of potassium. Since the supply of nutrients to hair follicles is improved, it results in healthier and thicker hair.
- Metformin: Metformin is mostly consumed in addition to other drugs. It is used to treat PCOS caused by type-2 diabetes. As the level of insulin in the body is regulated, it helps in the overall PCOS hair loss treatment.
- Oral Contraceptive Pills: These pills control and regulate androgen levels (that are elevated in PCOS) in the female body. Thus the help in treating hair loss due to PCOS
Also Read: Top Myths And Facts About PRP Hair Treatment
How To Stop Hair Fall Due To PCOS?
Besides the above-mentioned clinical approaches, you can also follow these suggestions to control PCOS hair loss by making healthy lifestyle choices.
- Diet: Try to stay hydrated and consume more fruits and vegetables. Avoid the intake of preservatives and artificial sweetening agents
- Exercise: It has been observed that being overweight can lead to PCOS at times. Therefore, you should try to exercise more often and make sure your BMI index is ideal
- Reducing Stress: Stress can be a direct cause of hair loss in men and women. It is also associated with PCOS. Meditate more often and avoid over-thinking to reduce stress
- Enough Sleep: Insomnia and lack of sleep can cause hormonal imbalance in your body as well. Try to attain a healthy sleeping pattern of 6-8 hours a day
- Develop A Routine To Care For Your Hair: Make sure that you take proper care of your hair by using the right products. Apply blow dryer only from a distance and use a soft comb
- Don’t Smoke: Excessive smoking can further elevate the level of androgen in your body. Besides PCOS, smoking can lead to 50 other kinds of diseases as well
- Comfortable Hairstyles: Have a comfortable hairstyle and don’t tighten your hair too much. This can weaken your hair and might cause traction alopecia in the long run
- Choose The Right Shampoo: Pick a shampoo and conditioner that is meant for your hair and scalp type to avoid unnecessary hair fall due to unsuitable contents in these products
- Condition Your Hair Regularly: Do not stuff conditioner on your scalp but condition the hair strands well, and use a dermatologist recommended and suitable conditioner
- Avoid Blow Dryers: Extreme heat like in case of blow dryers and hair straighteners, the hair becomes weak and sheds off too easily. This must be prevented as already PCOS has caused the hair to become weak, now immense heat will damage the hair further.
- Do Not Touch or Pull Your Hair: Trichotillomania is a condition when you are compelled to touch or pull your hair that causes increased hair loss. Remember to not touch your hair too often and take therapy if you feel you have the signs for trichotillomania.
Also Read: How To Prevent Hair Loss In Women?
- Is hair loss a symptom of PCOS?
Hair loss may be a symptom of PCOS but it is not an indicative one. There are other signs you must also look out for and visit your gynaecologist for a detailed health examination, that will determine the condition.
- Can PCOS be reversed with weight loss?
No, weight loss when suffering from PCOS will not completely reverse the condition completely but it will help in regulating your condition. Reducing moderate amounts of weight will help in reducing the hormonal surges.
- Does metformin cause hair loss from PCOS?
There are no suggestive studies or evidence that can support the claim. But some researchers believe metformin may cause hair loss from PCOS
- Is hair loss due to PCOS permanent?
No, if you follow a holistic treatment pattern covering the hormonal and medical side along with aesthetic treatments, it is not a permanent condition.