Not too long ago, hair loss was considered strictly a man’s issue and the industry ignored the many women who were also suffering. When experts finally examined the issue, they realized it was not only complex, but possibly more complex than men’s hair loss.
The complexity comes from the fact that there are literally dozens of reasons why a woman loses hair and it can be difficult to identify your exact problem. Fortunately, there are some easy clues to recognize when you are a victim of DHT and runaway hormones.
As you read in The Hair Loss Black Book and in my previous blog posts, a healthy woman should never have DHT in her body. DHT, the super concentrated version of testosterone, is a man’s hormone.
Although women do produce testosterone and technically have the ability to convert it to DHT, a healthy woman normally has an ample supply of estrogen to prevent that from ever happening.
However, DHT is what causes hair loss in women who have become unhealthy and hormonally unbalanced.
For some reason (and you can read about all the possible reasons in the book) your body is overproducing testosterone and not producing enough estrogen to counteract it and prevent the DHT conversion.
Unfortunately, it takes quite a lot of blood work and expensive skin samples to give a 100% sure scientific diagnosis of DHT. This is why more women rely on their body’s own telltale signs to determine if DHT is the “root” of their problem.
Ah acne, if you didn’t like it when you were a teenager you are probably really ecstatic about having it as a thirty-something woman.
When you were a teenager, your body produced acne because you were filled with the testosterone (and even DHT) your body needed to grow strong and healthy.
Between growth spurts, extra testosterone and DHT would be stored in the skin. Skin is a very sensitive organ and it quickly responded to excess hormones in the form of acne.
Now that you’re all grown up, you don’t need that testosterone. You need estrogen to keep you fertile and feminine. Healthy, mature woman are supposed to have beautiful skin. How has your skin looked recently?
Chances are if you are suffering from DHT, you’ve been dealing with increasingly frequent acne outbreaks.
A DHT problem is signaled by the type of acne you have. Hair loss related acne is not the simple blackheads you get when you haven’t cleaned your makeup off before exercising. It is not the occasional whitehead that randomly pops up when the seasons change.
It is full breakouts which include deep cystic spots, some of which are so deep beneath the skin they never come to the surface. These breakouts frequently include the neck and shoulders as well as the face.
Unfortunately, these cysts are also accompanied by hundreds of severe blackheads. This is because DHT inflames your body hair follicles and accelerates skin oil production.
When it comes down to it, oily skin and acne in a mature woman are a clear warning sign. Any DHT in a woman is too much and if you are suffering from acne, you have too much.
Facial Hair And Darkened Body Hair
Of all the female hair loss causes, none causes more skin problems than DHT. Acne and oily skin is a first clue, but chances are the next clue has already popped up.
Men’s bodies use DHT to grow beards; women don’t grow beards because they lack DHT. If you’ve been sprouting rogue hairs on your chin, this is another red flag.
Although DHT on your scalp makes your very delicate head of hair fall out, body hair follicles are quite different. They require a different hormone balance to grow hair.
When a woman is full of estrogen, very fine, pale, and almost invisible hairs grow all over her body to add to the appearance of her soft skin. When a woman is full of DHT, these hairs get thicker, stiffer, and darker.
The hair on your legs and arms is may be slowly thickening. You may have not noticed this change because you shave regularly. However, if you examine your leg follicles more closely you may see they are more pronounced.
The area where the change is more obvious is on your chin and neck area. Right next to those large cystic acne spots, the occasional dark hair may have begun to sprout.
The skin on your head area is the thinnest and the follicles are the most susceptible to internal problems. Of course, this head skin sensitivity is also why hormone imbalance is the most likely of all the causes of hair loss in women.
You are probably handling the issue with tweezers, razors, or wax. But have you noticed you are plucking or waxing more frequently? If so, it is time you start dealing with your DHT issues before you have a prickly chin and hardly any hair on top.
Nothing says hormones in a woman like her reproductive cycle. Nothing says hormone imbalance like a reproductive cycle gone wrong.
DHT is not only one of the main causes of female hair loss but it can also really wreck havoc with a woman’s reproductive system.
This is a risky subject and women usually try to avoid it. Unless she is trying to get pregnant, a woman normally doesn’t notice when there are a few extra days in between cycles.
If she starts to miss a cycle, she may ask her doctor about it but probably will not actively pursue the topic if there aren’t any clear health risks she can see.
If your hair is falling out and you think DHT is to blame, it is time to whip out the calendar and start counting.
How long has it been since your last cycle? Are your cycles happening every 28 days or is it longer? Are you having cycles at all and don’t think you are in menopause?
If you are on the pill, you may have regularly scheduled cycles, but do they seem as healthy as they were when you were younger and had a full head of hair?
If you answered no to any of those questions and you are losing your hair, you have a runaway hormone problem.
As I explained in The Hair Loss Black Book¸ DHT in a woman’s body is like a time bomb.
It can lead to a loss of fertility. It can lead to diabetes. It can lead to breast or ovarian cancer. It can lead to excess cholesterol and heart attack, which is quickly becoming the biggest killer of women over 40.
Losing your hair from DHT is the tip of the iceberg. As devastated as you are about losing your hair, you will be even more devastated when you look in the mirror and see how DHT is ruining your body.
But remember, DHT doesn’t control your body- you do. The sooner you regain control over your runaway hormones, the sooner you will stop your hair loss, clear up your skin, and restore your health.