Estrogen and hormones linked to the thyroid gland play an important role in the health and vitality of hair for both men and women. While many people believe that testosterone levels also play a significant role in hair loss linked to aging, it is usually the changing relationship between testosterone and estrogen that plays a much greater role.
New research has shown a strong link between low thyroid levels and excessive hair loss. Especially the effect the T3 and T4 hormones have on the growth phase of hair follicles found on the scalp. T4 was found to increase the creation of cells which controlled hair growth. T3 reduced the overall rate of follicle death. Combined, the two worked to create thicker hair in individuals who had experienced hair loss linked to aging and low thyroid levels.
Low thyroid levels also slow your metabolism. This causes weight gain that is so often related to thyroid problems. The metabolic rate also affects the hair follicles in the scalp and can cause them to release the root too early, and then delay the production of new hair. This leads to hair that appears thinner.
There are several types of supplements and natural remedies that can help support thyroid function. L-Carnitine, iodine, and glucomannan have all been put forth as natural options for poor thyroid function.
What people refer to as estrogen are several hormones that are grouped together under the single label. Estrogen does several things for women such as reducing bodily hair while promoting hair growth on the scalp. It does this by lengthening the growing phase of hair, by preventing the loss of hair, and by stimulating new growth. This is why women’s hair tends to become thicker and fuller during pregnancy when estrogen levels are higher.
Estrogen production often begins to decrease as women age and enter menopause. The decrease can lead to weight gain, depression, fatigue, and hair loss. As the estrogen levels drop, hair follicles become more influenced by testosterone which reduces the growth phase of hair. While this results in a gradual loss of hair, the overall effect is still quite noticeable.
There are several natural ways to boost estrogen levels in the body through diet and supplements. Typically, this is done by eating foods high in phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are compounds found in plants that act much like the estrogen found in the body. Plants with high phytoestrogen content include; soy, berries, flaxseeds, nuts, grains, fruits, and legumes.
As we age many things about our bodies change. This is simply part of the aging process, and there is nothing to be done but gracefully accept the change and learn to live with the new reality. With hormonal imbalances, however, there are natural and medicinal solutons that can be used. By making sure that you have the correct balance of these hormone levels can lead to thicker healthier hair.