PCOS Awareness Month: How this female health condition can cause hair loss
Did you know that the month of September is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month? Scientists have proven that PCOS can cause hair loss in women, and it is one of the reasons why our founder, Imane Belle, experienced hair loss herself.
PCOS affects between six and 10% of women worldwide, which makes it one of the most common disorders in women of childbearing age. This medical condition can lead to infertility, diabetes, and (you guessed it) hair loss.
PCOS is essentially a hormonal imbalance that is caused by the ovaries creating excess male hormones, also called androgens. These extra androgens in the body can cause hair loss.
Usually, someone with PCOS will develop small cysts, which are fluid-filled sacks - also known as follicles. If you’re not having a regular period, these sacks form in excess.
Let’s take a closer look at PCOS, how it affects our hair, and what you can do if you’re experiencing hair loss due to this disorder.
What are the main features of PCOS?
There are three main features of this disorder, and if you have at least two of these features, it’s quite possible you have PCOS.
The first feature is irregular periods. This means that the ovaries don’t release eggs as often as they should, which can cause the sacks we spoke about earlier.
The second thing to consider is excess levels of androgens in the body, which can lead to physical symptoms like excess hair on the body and even hair loss.
Lastly, when ovaries become polycystic, it means that they become enlarged and contain several sacks that surround the eggs. It’s worth noting that you don’t have these sacks to have PCOS.
What do polycystic ovaries mean?
If the ovaries are polycystic, this means that they contain a significant number of hair follicles (sacks) that are around eight millimetres in size.
The sacks are often unable to release an egg, which means the process of ovulation doesn’t take place.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
If you read any of these symptoms and you feel you can relate, don’t panic. These can also be symptoms of other health issues, and it’s best to discuss these with your healthcare provider.
The most common symptoms of PCOS will usually become apparent in women in their late teens or early 20s. These symptoms include:
- Erratic periods or not having a period at all.
- Difficulty falling pregnant.
- Excessive hair growth on the face and body.
- Unexplained weight gain.
- Hair thinning or hair loss.
- Unusual acne or particularly oily skin.
What causes PCOS?
Although this is a pretty common health issue, the exact cause is unknown. However, PCOS is known to be genetic, meaning if someone in your family has it, you may get it too.
What we do know is that PCOS is related to having high levels of insulin in the body. Insulin is the hormone that’s responsible for regulating blood sugar levels in our bodies.
Increased insulin contributes to the production of those androgens we mentioned before, leading to PCOS.
Can PCOS be cured?
Right now, there’s no cure for PCOS, but doctors can treat your symptoms. It’s a good idea to visit your doctor regularly to monitor your condition.
What can I do about hair loss related to PCOS?
This is the part we’re excited to tell you about. There is something you can do to treat hair loss caused by the hormonal imbalance related to PCOS.
Using a hair oil to nourish your hair and scalp can work wonders when it comes to growing new healthy hair. The bia Super Roots Hair Growth Elixir is packed with scientifically backed ingredients that have been proven to treat hair loss. It’s also a completely natural and vegan formula, so it’s totally safe to use and has no side effects.
In addition to using hair oil, you might want to look into adding dermarolling to your hair care regime. Dermarolling is safe and gives your scalp and hair a serious collagen boost. It also stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which is key to growing hair. This can help reverse hair loss and encourage new, thick hair to grow. Check out our stainless steel 1.5mm dermaroller if you’re interested in giving this technique a try.
You can also block a hair loss-causing hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that develops in the body when you have PCOS by taking Red Reishi and Saw Palmetto supplements. A medication called Inositol can also help balance your hormones.
The truth is that PCOS affects many women, and it isn’t easy to deal with – especially when it comes to losing your hair. But, if anyone understands, it’s us. That’s why we’re focused on building an empowered community (aka the bia tribe) of women who support one another through these difficult parts of life. If you’d like to join our tribe, follow us on Instagram or sign up for our newsletter.
Haircare for the soul, charged with positivity.