Why Am I Losing My Hair?
The lifecycle of a strand of hair goes through 3 phases.
- Growth–this phase lasts from 2-6 years. The longer the phase lasts, the longer the hair grows. Approximately 85% of the hair on your head is in this phase at any given time.
- Transition–during this phase, the follicle shrinks. This phase lasts about 2 weeks. Approximately 15% of the hair on your head is in this phase at any given time.
- Rest–during this phase, the follicle is dormant and ‘rests.’ Generally, the hair remains anchored to the scalp during this time. At the end of the phase, when the follicle begins to open back up, the hair falls out. Once the follicle opens up all the way, the growth phase begins again.
We have approximately 100,000 hair follicles on our heads. On any given day, we lose about 100 hairs, which is normal. The problem is when the follicles fail to reenter the growth phase after a rest phase.
How Does PCOS Figure into My Hair Loss?
Research studies show that 67% of women that experience hair loss have PCOS. This hair loss is due to the effects of male hormones (androgens) and is called androgenic alopecia. The main hormone responsible for the hair loss is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The high levels of testosterone in a woman’s body who has PCOS are converted to DHT, which can then lead to hair loss.
What Can I do to Help or Prevent Hair Loss?
The number one thing to do to help hair loss with PCOS is to get your hormones balanced so that your body stops producing too much testosterone. To do that, lifestyle changes will be necessary. You will need to follow a PCOS friendly diet such as Whole30. You will also need to exercise regularly. Yoga has been found to be very good for helping women with PCOS manage their symptoms. Finally, you will need high quality supplements and essential oils such as the ones I use to give your body the support it needs to manage your PCOS effectively.