Hormone Replacement Therapy and Hair Loss: A Primer
If you're worried about what you've heard about HRT and hair loss, you're in good company. Unfortunately, most of the noise we're hearing about HRT and hair loss is coming from users who don't understand the science, assuming that it's a simple proposition: take HRT, lose hair.
However, it's not as simple as that. There are many reasons why you might be suffering from hair loss. Pregnant women and women undergoing menopause often suffer hair loss due to the hormonal changes in their system. Men, too, have male pattern baldness to worry about, not to mention the genetic lottery we all play (and more than a few of us lose). But that's not an issue with HRT so much as it is an issue with your physical makeup.
Hair Loss In Men
News flash: men worry about their hair. Now, you might be saying "well, yeah, that's a no-brainer—Rogaine exists for a reason." But, it also keeps them from using HRT as a substitute for their lost testosterone because they hear that it causes them to lose their hair.
That isn't quite the case. HRT replaces the hormones in the body that are lost to age or to injury. It's meant to be a therapy to maintain youth and vigor, as testosterone is a major component of youthfulness. This is a good thing. However, HRT can activate the genetic components of your makeup that cause you to lose hair.
This isn't because of the HRT, however—you'd be losing that hair either way due to your genetic makeup. Instead of HRT causing hair loss, it can (at most) trigger the genes that are going to trigger anyway. In most cases, the testosterone decline causes you to lose more hair than replacing it does.
Ask yourself this question: would you rather lose your hair and feel like you're 20 again or keep all your hair and feel like you're 60? It seems like a no-brainer to us, and we hope that it seems the same to you as well. In most circumstances, this isn't a choice you'll need to face, but it's worth asking just in case.
Hair Loss In Women
This is the more difficult one. Most people are unaware that there is a counterpart to male pattern baldness in women known as female pattern baldness. This can happen as a part of stress, hormonal issues (usually too little testosterone), and just as a part of life. There have been reports of women losing their hair due to HRT, but those reports are greatly exaggerated. Hormones do play a role in hair loss, but generally it's because of lowered hormones and lowered hormone production by the thyroid.
This means that HRT isn't responsible, and that HRT can help in some instances. (There are just as many reports of women keeping their hair through HRT as there are women reporting hair loss.)
As we said, oftentimes hair loss that seems related to HRT is actually related to your genetic makeup, and that should be a little reassuring: if it's unrelated to HRT, then you can use traditional methods to help stop the hair loss. Rogaine, Propecia, and other methods both surgical and topical. Be sure to use them in conjunction with HRT if you're experiencing hair loss—remember, it's not the HRT that's doing it!
Call Us For More Information
As always, we're here to help if you need more information or a consultation. We've been doing this for a while and we know how to ensure that your HRT regiment is safe, effective, and healthy. Contact us today for more information!