PCOS Hair Loss: What Can You Do About It?
Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. One of the most distressing symptoms for many women with PCOS is hair loss or thinning. In this blog post, we aim to provide you with practical tips and strategies to help manage PCOS-related hair loss, empowering you to take control of your health and well-being.
Understanding PCOS hair loss
PCOS-related hair loss is primarily caused by hormonal imbalances, specifically high levels of androgens. These imbalances can disrupt the natural hair growth cycle, leading to hair thinning and shedding (American Academy of Dermatology Association, 2021). Additionally, insulin resistance, a common characteristic of PCOS, can contribute to hair loss (Quinn et al., 2015). The good news is that there are steps you can take to address this symptom and promote hair regrowth.
Seek support from healthcare professionals
Consulting with a healthcare professional who specialises in PCOS is crucial. They can assess your individual situation, conduct necessary tests, and provide personalised advice and treatment options. Building a strong partnership with your healthcare provider will ensure you receive the most effective and tailored approach to managing PCOS-related hair loss.
Optimise your lifestyle
Lifestyle modifications play a significant role in managing PCOS and hair loss. Focus on maintaining a balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich foods, regular exercise, stress management techniques and quality sleep. These lifestyle choices can help promote hormonal balance and overall well-being, which in turn may support hair regrowth.
Hair care tips
When it comes to hair care, it's essential to treat your hair with extra care and gentleness. Opt for gentle hair care products suitable for your specific hair type. Avoid using hot styling tools and harsh chemical treatments that can further damage your hair. Instead, consider incorporating nourishing leave-in conditioners or serums into your routine. Additionally, using a wide-tooth comb or a brush with soft bristles can help prevent breakage.
While a well-rounded diet is crucial, certain supplements such as Hair, Skin & Nails support hair growth in women with PCOS. Biotin, zinc, iron, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids are some examples of supplements that may be beneficial. However, it's important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements to ensure they are appropriate for your specific needs.
Medications for hair regrowth
In some cases, healthcare professionals may suggest medications such as minoxidil or spironolactone to promote hair regrowth. It's important to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about these medications, as they may have potential side effects or interactions with other medications you may be taking.
Support groups and self-care
We understand that hair loss can have a significant emotional impact, and seeking support from others who are going through a similar experience is essential. Online forums, support groups, or therapy can provide a safe space to share your feelings and receive emotional support. Additionally, practicing self-care, engaging in hobbies you enjoy, and incorporating positive affirmations into your daily routine can help boost your overall well-being and confidence. The UK based PCOS charity Verity runs a number of online support groups.
Managing PCOS-related hair loss is not an insurmountable challenge. With the right approach, support from healthcare professionals, and making positive lifestyle choices, you can find solutions that work for you.
Remember, everyone's journey with PCOS is unique, and by taking proactive steps to address hair loss, you're already on the path to reclaiming your confidence and well-being.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2021). Hair loss: How to reduce it when you have PCOS. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/skinconditions/hair-loss/pcos
Quinn, M., Shinkai, K., & Pasch, L. (2015). Polycystic ovary syndrome: Prevalence and effects on the skin. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 82(11), 729-736.