Hair loss and hormones

Helping us understand how hormones can be an underlying factor that affects our hair health, we speak with former Style & Beauty Editor, Fatima Truscott @the_ft_times to discuss her personal experience with hormones and hair thinning.

When it comes to having a bad hair day, generally for us women, we’re talking about the result of overly-processed hair that would probably benefit from a heated-appliances break plus a decent trim and regular conditioning treatments.
However, what happens when the reason your hair seems to have changed in texture and volume is due to something more than simply over-styling or using incorrect products for your hair type?

Hair loss in women 

Hair thinning and hair loss in women is alarmingly on the rise. Yet many understandably, find it extremely difficult to talk about. Typically seen as a male issue, for women, common culprits can include nutrition, stress levels, medication – and hormones.

My first experience with hair loss was after both my pregnancies – huge, tangled clumps would fall out in the shower – and while it eventually grew back in time, it was never quite the same lustrous head of hair I had pre-kids. Post-partum hair loss is an all too common concern but understanding the science behind hair growth is the first step in identifying where the issues may lie.

The Hair Cycle

Hair growth is made up of three main cycles - anagen, catagen and telogen.

The anagen phase is the growth phase. Hair grows around half an inch a month and lasts on average around 3-5 years. When you’re pregnant, your body has higher levels of oestrogen – the hair fairy hormone – so when levels drop after you’ve given birth, hair shedding can occur. The catagen phase is the second and shortest part of the cycle usually lasting around 10 days, then lastly, the telogen phase - the resting phase – is when hair is released and falls out.  Many factors including diet, trauma, illness, age and hormonal changes can interrupt this growth cycle, weakening its efficiency, causing shedding, thinning and hair loss.

Perimenopause and me

Now that I’ve started to hit the heady heights of perimenopause, I can see my hair starting to react, yet again, to another huge hormonal shift. Tell-tale signs include a thinner ponytail and breakage; not being to grow it beyond a certain length and noticeably, the overall texture is more unruly and weak.  With perimenopause and menopause, oestrogen levels become less stable and decrease respectively, leaving testosterone in charge (which has links to baldness in men). Factor in the challenges that the last year have contributed to our levels of stress (increasing our androgen hormonal levels, another hormone that can affect hair growth) it’s really no wonder, visible signs are becoming more apparent in our hair health.

The Right Treatment

Truth be told, there usually isn’t just one single thing alone that will help as hair thinning can be down to several contributing reasons. As well as visiting your GP and maintaining a healthy diet - taking time out daily to meditate and destress - ensure that you’re regularly massaging your scalp, too. While in the shower, massaging gets rid of follicle-clogging product build and helps to improve circulation - important for hair growth as it stimulates the metabolic activity of the hair bulb cells, encouraging hair growth. Get regular cuts 6-8 weeks to keep hair healthy and create styles with your hairdresser that give the illusion of more volume to give you your confidence back and regularly use hair products geared towards coaxing your hair back to its optimum health.

For a topical pick-me-up in the growth department, try the Umberto Giannini Grow Long range. Bottling up the most powerful natural ingredients that help your scalp to grow new hair, slow down the loss of hair and hydrate from within to make it stronger, longer and healthier looking faster. For longer, stronger hair, faster – try our top picks below:

Umberto Giannini Grow Long Vegan Exfoliating Scalp Scrub, £9.75

Grow Scrub removes dead skin and product build-up without stripping the hair, leaving your scalp fresh, clean, stimulated and ready to grow, grow, grow. This scrub contains our unique Umberto Giannini Caffeine gro-complex:

  • Caffeine & Black Coffee Seed Extract to stimulate circulation
  • Organic Pea Sprout Extract to accelerate hair growth and prolong hair lifecycle 
  • Seaweed, Marine Nutrients for general hair health

Use once a week to unblock hair follicles and remove build-up. Massage gently into the scalp and rinse. Use instead of shampoo - it contains cleansing agents to gently detox your hair. 

Umberto Giannini Grow Long Vegan Transformative Treatment, £10.75

If you've reached your limit on the length of your hair or have noticed more hair loss than usual, you need this incredible bio-active hair growth tonic. Specially formulated with natural ingredients proven to get the best length possible for your hair – including Umberto’s unique Caffeine gro-complex. Focus on areas where hair feels thinner, weakened or you have noticed hair loss. To use, section hair and apply Grow Tonic evenly all over your scalp. Gently massage into your roots.

*Study results show that the active ingredient in the Grow Tonic formulation, when used for 14 days, initiates new hair follicle growth cycle.

Written by Fatima Truscott (@the_FT_times)

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