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When I was in my early 20s, I noticed that my hair was thinning. I was shocked and devastated. I couldn't understand why this was happening to me. It was a difficult and emotional time for me, but I eventually learned that my hair loss was caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
In this post, I will share my personal experience with PCOS hair loss, and what I've learned about the condition and how to manage it.
What is PCOS?
If you already know what PCOS is then just skip this section. I have to include it to make sure others know what it is we're talking about.
PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterized by the presence of cysts on the ovaries, and it can cause a wide range of symptoms, including irregular periods, acne, weight gain, facial hair growth, and hair loss.
What Causes PCOS Hairloss?
One of the main causes of PCOS hair loss is an imbalance of hormones. Specifically, women with PCOS often have high levels of androgens or male hormones. These hormones can cause the hair on the scalp to thin and fall out.
That's mainly what this site is about. Here at MyPCOSKitchen, we're all about balancing your hormones by eating the right diet for PCOS and making healthy lifestyle choices.
One other possible cause of hair loss due to PCOS is inflammation in the scalp, which can lead to hair loss. This is less common but it does happen.
One thing I made a major mistake of doing when I was younger was coloring my hair while I was losing it.
How to Diagnose PCOS Hairloss?
If you think you have PCOS, it is important to see your doctor for a diagnosis. Your doctor may perform a physical exam, blood tests, and an ultrasound to check for cysts on your ovaries. They may also check your hormone levels to determine if you have an imbalance.
Symptoms of PCOS Hairloss
Some of the most common symptoms of PCOS hairloss include thinning hair on the scalp, hair falling out in clumps, and increased hair growth on other parts of the body. Some women may also experience hair loss on the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic area.
My Personal Experience with PCOS Hairloss
When I was first diagnosed with PCOS, I was confused and scared. I didn't know anything about the condition, and I didn't understand why my hair was falling out. I felt like I had lost a part of myself, and it was a difficult and emotional time for me. This was very similar to having facial hair pop up.
I remember feeling self-conscious about my hair loss and trying to hide it with different hairstyles and hats. I even considered getting a wig. But as I learned more about PCOS and hair loss, I began to understand that it was a common symptom of the condition and that there were ways to manage it.
I figured out that balancing hormones was the most important thing to do. Once I started reversing my hormones naturally I started this website to help others.
Tips on How to Manage PCOS Hair Loss
I used a lot of different things to help manage my PCOS hair loss. I've actually reversed it for the most part. I'm not embarrassed to go in public anymore. Remember, talk to your doctor (or multiple doctors). Here are some of the things I've used and what others recommend for PCOS hair loss.
Eating a Balanced Diet for PCOS
This is the most important thing to change first. You want to balance your hormones to stop hair loss. The reason this works is that PCOS is caused by out-of-wack hormones and you can eat to reverse it. I recommend eating the keto diet but with a few small exceptions. You can check out my 7-day PCOS Diet plan here. This plan will help you get started and it has more resources if you like it and want to continue it.
Hormonal Birth Control
Birth control pills can help regulate hormone levels and reduce symptoms of PCOS. You have to make sure you get the right kind of pills though. The best kind of birth control pills to use for hair loss are the ones that have a low amount of something called androgen. Pills that have a lot of androgens might make your hair loss worse.
Hair Growth Supplements
Certain supplements, such as biotin, and collagen, can help promote hair growth. These work and usually don't have too many side effects. Of course, check with your doctor first.
Hair Growth Shampoo
There are shampoos on the market that can help prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. It's important to make sure you get the right shampoo for this. It can be very discouraging if you get a bad shampoo and don't see results after using it for months.
Massaging the scalp can increase blood flow to the hair follicles, which can help promote hair growth.
Avoiding Certain Hair Products: Certain hair products can damage the hair, so it's best to avoid them or use them sparingly.
Stress can cause hair loss, so it's important to find ways to reduce stress in your life. Exercise can help with this a lot along with another one of my recommendations, which is yoga and meditation.
In severe cases, hormone therapy may be recommended by a doctor to help regulate hormone levels and reduce symptoms of PCOS. You can use some at-home hormone therapy like Ovasitol Inositol along with following a strict diet and getting the correct vitamins.
There are topical treatments, such as minoxidil, that can be applied directly to the scalp to help promote hair growth. These can sometimes have some side effects but they're usually very minor.
In some cases, hair transplants may be an option for those dealing with severe hair loss. This can be expensive but you can do it in a country like Turkey for example, and it will be much cheaper than in some other countries. It's VERY important that you stop hair loss by balancing your hormones before you do this.
Making changes to your lifestyle, such as incorporating regular exercise and reducing your intake of processed foods, can help improve overall health and reduce symptoms of PCOS.
Embracing Your Hair Loss
It's important to remember that hair loss is a common symptom of PCOS and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Embracing your hair loss and finding hairstyles that work for you can help boost your confidence and self-esteem. I had trouble with this but ended up making it work.
Finding a support group or talking to a counselor can be helpful in dealing with the emotional aspects of hair loss. We offer PCOS coaching with a registered dietician. She offers support.
Hair growth takes time, so it's important to be patient and not get discouraged if you don't see results right away. You have to make changes and stick with it for a long time. It will eventually reverse and come back if you unlock the code for your own body.
Talk to a Dermatologist
A dermatologist can help you determine the cause of your hair loss and develop a treatment plan that's right for you. This is especially true if the issue is more due to your scalp but dermatologists can still help you with your hormones.
Consult a Trichologist
Trichologist is a hair and scalp specialist who can help you with your hair loss. This can be expensive but if you have the finances and want to stop it as quickly as possible, I'd recommend doing this while getting your diet and lifestyle in check.
Be Careful with Chemicals
Avoid chemical treatments like perms and relaxers, as they can cause hair damage and hair loss. Of course, we want to look our best and may want to use these chemicals. But, what if it just accelerates your hair loss? Just avoid these until you get the hair loss under control. I made the mistake of using hair color but I didn't use anything too harsh.
Watch your Iron and Vitamin D levels
Iron and Vitamin D are essential for healthy hair. If you have PCOS, it is common to be low in these nutrients, so make sure you are getting enough. You can take supplements for this which you can find on Amazon for cheap.
Acupuncture may help improve blood flow to the scalp and stimulate hair growth. One of the causes of hair loss with PCOS can be inflammation. While acupuncture can cause some inflammation right after, it will actually reduce inflammation overall after a few days. It relieves some of the pressure and can actually help with hair loss. I've never tried this one but I know people who have and they swear by it.
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation can help reduce stress and improve overall health, which can help reduce symptoms of PCOS.
Don't give up
PCOS hair loss can be challenging, but it's important to remember that there are ways to manage it. Keep looking for solutions that work for you.
In conclusion, PCOS hair loss can be a difficult and emotional experience, but it's important to remember that it's a common symptom of the condition and there are ways to manage it. From hormonal birth control to lifestyle changes, there are a variety of treatment options available. It's important to talk to a healthcare professional, try different solutions, and be patient. And most importantly, don’t give up hope, there is a solution for everyone, and you are not alone.