Five Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women, Part 1: Androgenic Alopecia
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on February 6, 2013 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Androgenic/Androgenetiic Alopecia (also known as Hereditary Hair Loss or Female Pattern Hair Loss)
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, androgenic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss in women. It typically occurs as women near or enter menopause, though it can begin much earlier. Both genetic and environmental factors, including declining hormone levels, play a role in the build up of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the hair follicles. Genes that signal for production of the hormone DHT may become more active due to changes in the hormonal environment; as well, receptors for DHT in the follicles may become more sensitive to it.
DHT causes the growth stage of hair to shorten and the resting (dormant) stage to extend, so there are less follicles actively growing hair. It also causes the hair follicle to shrink, producing progressively finer and thinner hair. Additionally, progesterone is a natural inhibitor of the enzyme (5-alpha reductase) that converts testosterone to DHT, so declining progesterone levels allow more conversion to occur.
In subsequent posts we’ll take a look at other common causes of hair loss in women. The good news? Hair Essentials can help with all of them! To learn more about how Hair Essentials helps combat hair loss and nourish healthy new hair growth, visit: http://www.hairessentials.com/
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan