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Hormones & Hair Thinning: Your Top Qs, Answered

The Experts

8 Min Read

By Dr. Kali Olsen, ND2020-08-06

Medically Reviewed by


August is Hair Loss Awareness Month, and our team of hair scientists and naturopathic doctors are here to help you understand the root causes of hair thinning. One of the most common root causes for both men and women? Hormonal imbalance. Below, we answer your most-asked questions about hormones and hair thinning. 

How do I know if I have a hormonal imbalance?

Your doctor can check hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, thyroid hormones, and more through blood, salivary, or urine testing. For women, some signs you might notice and should bring up to your doctor are changes to your menstrual cycle, which can be indicative of hormonal imbalances, as well as very heavy or very light menstruation, excessive cramping, or mood swings around your period. Hormonal imbalances are also likely if a woman begins experiencing sleep issues, hot flashes, or night sweats. Men and women may suffer from hormonal acne and changes to sexual interest or function, both of which can indicate a hormonal imbalance. 

Does testosterone cause hormonal hair thinning? 

We run into trouble when a surplus of testosterone is turned into dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a hormone that has a much stronger influence on our hair follicles than testosterone. DHT binds to receptors near hair follicles, sending signals to inhibit hair growth, shorten how much time hair follicles spend in their growth phase, and, over time, miniaturize their size. Some people (both men and women) have excess amounts of DHT, while others have more receptors available for DHT to attach to. Whatever the case may be, a higher presence of DHT in your body may lead to hormonal hair thinning.

Is hormonal hair thinning reversible?

As long as your hair follicles are intact and unscarred, there’s hope! Research has shown that hormonal hair thinning doesn’t have to be a downhill battle; various treatments and ingredients have been shown to halt the progression of hair thinning. Medical-grade botanicals have shown real results, and research is uncovering more star support options every day. For example, studies have shown the effectiveness of herbs such as saw palmetto in addressing hormones as a root cause of hair thinning. 

Does menopause cause hair thinning?

Levels of estrogen, which naturally prolong and support your hair growth phase, significantly decrease during menopause. This alone could contribute to stunted hair growth, but a significant shift in estrogen levels can also impact the presence of testosterone and DHT, which compounds the problem for hair follicles. On top of this, experts suspect that hair thinning around the time of menopause can also be thanks to other age-related changes, like a long-time accumulation of inflammation and environmental stressors, a decreased ability to defend against oxidative damage, declining mitochondrial function to fuel the energy our hair follicles need, and secondary issues adding obstacles like blood sugar dysregulation and thyroid issues.

Does hair thinning from menopause grow back?

It can! When it comes to coaxing back hair growth, properly identifying and addressing the root causes of the original problem is key. While the main cause of your hair thinning may be hormones, most people have more than one root cause. From stress to environment to nutrition and metabolism, you need a range of support to grow healthy hair. That’s why Nutrafol is formulated with 21 medical-grade ingredients to target multiple causes of thinning hair. In a clinical study, 100% of women taking Nutrafol Women’s Balance showed visible improvement in hair growth, while 80% saw less hair shedding after nine months.  

What ingredients help balance hormones for men?

The most common imbalance in men comes from an abnormally strong presence of the hormone DHT, which, as noted above, can impact the hair growth cycle and lead to miniaturization of the hair follicles. One way to address this is with medical-grade botanicals like saw palmetto, which has been shown to support natural DHT inhibition. Other nutrients shown to support male hormones include zinc, which is crucial for proper testosterone production, and selenium, which is important for the creation of thyroid hormones. The best approach for men is a supplement that supports hormones from multiple different angles. Nutrafol Core For Men is formulated with saw palmetto, zinc, selenium, and a variety of other ingredients shown to help support healthy hair.

What ingredients help balance hormones for women?​

Experts have narrowed down some impressive ingredients to help support common female hormonal imbalances. Maca, found in Nutrafol Womens Balance, has demonstrated a fantastic ability to help to support healthy sex hormone production. Researchers attribute this to its ability to help strengthen hormone production by reinforcing the communication between the brain and our hormone-producing organs like the ovaries and adrenal glands. Maca has also been shown to improve feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as lowered hot flashes and night sweats, which commonly stem from unhealthy hormone levels.


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