How Your Hormones Affect Your Hair Texture and Growth
We all know that our hormones can wreak havoc with our bodies and our mood, but did you know just how much your hormones can affect the texture of your hair? In this post, we explore the facts to provide you with the right information about how your hormone levels and changes in your hormone levels can alter and affect the texture of your hair, along with the growth and loss of hair as well.
What Hormones Can Affect Hair Growth?
Both female and male hormones can impact the general hair growth in a person. Androgens are a group of “male” hormones, one of which is called testosterone, and which can serve to stimulate hair growth in a person. For women, the adrenal glands and the ovaries are responsible for the production of androgen, but only in limited amounts.
When there is an imbalance in the androgen levels of a person, it can lead to problems with excess hair growth, and cause a condition known as Hirsutism to occur.
What Can Cause Changes to the Texture of a Person’s Hair?
Regardless of the type of hair you have or whether you regularly use chemicals on your hair or not, nobody is completely free from the risk of having a bad hair day. Irrespective of how your hair performs on a daily basis, your hair will change texture over time. According to research, a person’s hair will take on a major shift approximately seven times in their life. While there are some changes to the texture of hair which are self-caused, there are also other biological triggers that are outside of your control, but which can significantly impact the texture of the hair.
1. Hormones and Hormonal Changes
As we have already alluded to in this post, your hormones are most likely going to be the number one cause of any hair concerns you might have, specifically when it comes to hair loss, hair growth, or changes to the texture of your hair. When a woman’s body goes through a pregnancy, people often experience hair that is shinier, healthier, thicker, and of a better condition overall. While there is a range of reasons for this improvement to the hair, such as the fact that people improve their diets and start taking pregnancy vitamins, the actual underlying factor behind these noticeable changes are hormones; specifically, the boost of estrogen a woman will get while she is pregnant. Essentially, estrogen will cause the natural shedding on the hair to cease, which in turn gives an illusion of thicker hair.
While hormones can often play a positive role in the texture and condition of the hair, there are other hormones challenges that can result in somewhat lesser than desirable effects. One such example of this is when there is a thyroid imbalance. This is a major factor when looking at why hormones can affect the texture of the hair. With a thyroid imbalance, the hair can feel dryer, it can become weaker and more brittle, and it can appear coarser.
Aside from this, there are other hormone-related factors that can impact the hair on your head. These include androgen, insulin, and triiodothyronine / thyroxin. All of these can result in dryer hair, thinning hair, and hair loss when the levels are not correctly balanced or kept in check.
2. The Aging Process
While this one might not come as a surprise, just as with our skin, the aging process can also take its toll on our hair. Because the oil glands on our scalp will naturally produce less and less sebum as we age, this can present in hair that looks and feels coarser. For many women who enter into their forties, the hair will almost automatically become less voluminous and thinner. While the hair follicles will still grow hair, the diameter of each hair will be thinner than before, and over every growth cycle, it will get a little bit smaller each time.
3. Diet and Wellbeing
If you thought a poor diet would only affect your weight and your gut health, then think again! Both your skin and your hair are impacted significantly by what you eat. In order to be at its strongest, your hair requires a healthy amount of Biotin, Zinc, Iron, Omega Fatty Acids, and Vitamin E. Some really good examples of foods that are great for your hair include Spinach, Eggs, Kale, Leafy Greens, Avocados, Salmon, and Oysters. If you are concerned, you can schedule a quick nutrition check with a dietitian to ensure that your nutrient levels are in check!
4. Chemical Treatments
This is one factor which is greatly in a person’s control. Even the mildest of home hair coloring products or bleaches can result in side-effects that impact both the texture and condition of the hair. When you use a chemical coloring product on your hair, it can change the structure of the hair as it opens up the cuticle without resealing it. When you get a chemical treatment that comes with either a gloss or a glaze to use after the main color product, it is important to use this as it can provide the resealing effect that your hair will vitally need.
Whatever you put into your body, be that food, drink, supplements or medication; it will have an impact on how your system performs. In the case of medication, this is even more prominent. Even the common painkiller can have an effect, along with other typical medications, such as beta blockers, treatments for acne, blood pressure tablets, and medication for depression. While the actual impact can be considered to be mild, in some cases it can change the texture of your hair or even result in hair loss. Any effects will usually be reversed once the medication is no longer being taken. In the case of Chemotherapy, there is a renowned side-effect of this treatment that can result in a total loss of hair. This is because the treatment will aggressively target the fastest growing cells in a person’s body.