While hair loss is largely considered a male-related condition, women also can experience this worrisome occurrence. One of the chief causes of hair loss is lowered levels of testosterone, which is found in both the male and female body. Understanding how and why this imbalance occurs can help to find solutions to hair loss.
While men are subject to baldness due to genetic predisposition and follicle sensitivity, women’s hair loss chiefly is caused by hormone imbalances, according to Caring Medical, a medical group specializing in hair loss. Hormones that can affect hair loss in women include progesterone, thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones and testosterone. Testosterone, the focus of this article, is manufactured in the ovaries and adrenal glands and used to produce estrogen in the body, according to Monash University.
A number of factors can affect a woman’s hormone levels, including testosterone, that can result in hair loss. This includes stress, poor nutrition, high levels of estrogen, lack of ovulation and medications taken that may affect testosterone levels, according to Caring Medical.
While hair loss is not always due to low testosterone levels, there are some physical identification methods physicians use to determine if testosterone could be causing hair loss, according to Caring Medical. Your physician will examine the pattern of your hair loss. If it is similar to a man’s — loss at the foreheads or temples or thinning at the hairline and crown — testosterone levels may be to blame.
Scientists have found a proportional link between the amount of testosterone present in the body and the amount of hair on the body, according to Lab Tests Online. The hair follicles can respond in different manners, however. For example, a woman may experience hair loss on her head, yet experience leg and underarm hair growth at a normal rate.
If your physician suspects your hair loss may be due to low testosterone levels, she may order a blood test that can measure the amount of testosterone in your body, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Your physician will then make treatment recommendations based on the hormone balance assessed in the testing, according to The Hormone Help Center. Because too-high levels of testosterone also cause hair loss, striking the right balance through topical and oral medications can help you to find relief.