• Kourtney

What Causes Hair Loss + What You Can Do

So often, women don't understand the gravity of their health situation until something very noticeable begins to show physically, like weight gain, acne, or hair loss. I often have to break the news to women that the body views hair growth and longevity as a luxury, and if you are not internally healthy, your hair will most likely not be either. I know what it's like to be brushing my hair in the shower, only to see an alarming amount of hair in my hands. Moderate hair loss happened early on in my health journey, and I know that it can be disappointing, frustrating, and even anxiety-inducing. Loss of shine, hair that grows slowly, dry hair, and hair that won't grow are also other common struggles that so many deal with when struggling with their health.

Hair Loss from Stress

A common cause of hair loss is stress, which can lead to high cortisol. When the body is stressed consistently when it does not have an abundance of nutrients, cortisol can majorly contribute to hair loss. When under stress, the adrenal glands are focused on making cortisol and not creating hormones that promote hair growth. Blood sugar dysregulation and low thyroid function play a huge role in increasing cortisol, so those are two great areas to look into. For those experiencing hair loss due to high cortisol and stress, high-intensity workouts, like HITT, might not be the best option, along with fasting, coffee on an empty stomach. Gentle workouts, like pilates and short weighted workouts, holy basil tea, adequate sleep, and calories are great antidotes to this type of hair loss.

Loss from Estrogen Fluctuations

Dramatic dips in estrogen can also contribute to hair loss. This can happen postpartum, especially if there was no pre-pregnancy prep before conception. While some postpartum hair loss is normal, it should not be an extreme situation. If you're experiencing severe hair loss after giving birth, it would be beneficial to work with a practitioner (me, or someone like me) to understand more about your mineral status and thyroid health. Hair loss from excess estrogen lowering can also be seen as women overcome excess estrogen. Typically this will resolve on its own, but working with a practitioner in this situation would be ideal. Sometimes, intensive measures like DIM can contribute to this loss, which is just one example that shows the importance of working with a professional to determine what supplements you should be taking.

Loss from Excess Androgens

Androgens are male hormones, and DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is the androgen responsible for hair loss, as it is the cause of male patterned baldness. Women who have PCOS or hypothyroidism can tend to struggle more with hair loss due to elevated androgens. This kind of hair loss will typically be reflected on the hairline, right in line with where men typically start noticing hair loss as they age. Although it's going to be very important to look into testing to understand if and why you are experiencing this kind of hair loss, there are some gentle options you can incorporate in the meantime if you already know that high androgens are a struggle of yours. Spearmint tea, blood sugar-stabilizing, and d-chiro inositol can be great options, but you should understand where your hormones are before making any changes.

Loss from Inadequate Thyroid Hormone

Another type of hair loss can come from inadequate thyroid hormone. Hair loss is a classic hypothyroid symptom, and if you are experiencing loss, it can be helpful to look into your current thyroid levels. I will be offering testing soon (I already do in 1:1), but you can ask your doctor to check your TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies.

Loss from Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity can be another less thought of driver behind hair loss. Of course, alopecia is a condition where the immune system triggers hair loss, but conditions such as Lyme, Lupus, Hashimoto's, and Graves can trigger loss. Looking into ANA testing is a great first step, and beyond this, it will be necessary to explore possible mold exposure, pathogens, and excess iron to identify why you are experiencing this in the first place.

Loss from Undernourishment

All growth and repair requires energy, and if you are undernourished, your body will not be prioritizing hair growth. If you are either (1) under-eating, or (2) having nutrient absorption issues (or a combination of both), you will not be getting all of the nutrients that your body needs in order to thrive. Nutrient testing, and micronutrient awareness will be valuable here. Click here to learn more about micronutrient awareness.

I know that hair loss is not a fun situation to experience at all, but I am here to support in any way that I can. Please feel welcome to submit a question for this week's Q&A coaching if any questions come to mind. I will be sharing more details soon regarding the course I will be launching at some point in 2022. For now, apply to work with me if you need testing!

Worthy Womanhood

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