The hard part about losing your hair permanently is that it ends up making you feel dejected. It can make you feel like you have no control over what you can and cannot do with your body. Sometimes the circumstances are beyond our control. This is what happens when people lose their hair as a result of hormones. And that’s why some people consider getting hormone replacement therapy.
Hair loss has many causes and it can also be hormonal. Women also experience hair loss as a result of hormonal changes that they naturally go through as they age. On approaching menopause, the levels of the hormone oestrogen and progesterone drop. This process also increases androgen activity. This essentially results in women experiencing female pattern hair loss. However, to not deal with the many unpleasant effects of menopause, some women consider hormone replacement therapy. Since menopause can cause hair loss, does hormone replacement therapy offer an effective solution? That’s what we’re going to find out here.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
The idea behind hormone replacement therapy is simple. Since the levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones are dropping, replace them. This will help relieve the symptoms that come with it.
Low levels of oestrogen can increase the risk of stroke and cause high cholesterol, so your doctor might recommend this treatment to you. However, not everyone is suitable for it. If a person’s blood pressure is not normal, they cannot undergo HRT. It can increase the risk of breast cancer. Moreover, it is not suitable for those who have a history of cancer or blood clots. Women who are pregnant can also not have hormone replacement therapy. If a person has liver disease, they cannot have this therapy.
Why Women Get Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Women stop having periods as a result of ageing. Their reproductive system will slowly stop working while they are getting older. The hormones their body produces will decrease. This process can cause some changes in their body, such as hot flashes, excessive sweating, and red skin. Also, many women may experience a degree of female pattern hair loss. If there’s a genetic predisposition to hair loss, they’ll notice more pronounced hair loss. The anagen phase of the hair growth cycle will continue to decrease. Follicular miniaturization starts occurring where thin, terminal hair is replaced by short, thin vellus hair.
Other than hair loss, many women also experience drastic mood swings, anxiety, and depression during this time. They may also experience trouble sleeping. It can also cause urinary incontinence. The drop in oestrogen levels increases bone loss, so bone and muscle weakness are also common. Post-menopausal women might also have to deal with high cholesterol levels and an increased risk of heart diseases. That’s why in some cases, women consider getting hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as it can offset the unpleasant effects of ageing on their bodies.
What is the Link Between Hormone Replacement Therapy and Hair Loss?
A decrease in the production of oestrogen and progesterone is what happens before menopause. But there’s also androgens in the mix, the sex hormones that are responsible for sexual development and regulating the growth of the hair. Androgens are also responsible for causing pattern baldness in the first place. Their activity increases while women age, which is why many women notice their hair falling. Usually, women have diffuse hair loss where the hair loss is spread throughout the scalp. Unlike in males, hair loss is not happening in just one or two areas of the scalp. The thinning and shedding is happening all over.
The hormones oestrogen and progesterone both play a role in the development of hair in women. Many women notice that their hair gets thicker and stronger during pregnancy. This occurs due to an increase in the levels of these hormones. Their low levels will make the hair fall out more often. The fallen hair won’t get quickly replaced by new hair. The growth of new hair also slows down. Therefore, in theory, increasing the level of progesterone and oestrogen should work. Women should start noticing hair growth as a result of it.
Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Always Work for Hair Loss?
Research on the link between hormone therapy and hair loss is still ongoing. Getting HRT to treat hair loss while being in the unknown about its effectiveness can cost you in the end. You might get an expensive procedure only to learn that it is not working for you. Moreover, hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of uterine and breast cancer.
Initially, it can also cause vaginal bleeding, tenderness in the breasts, stomach pain, headache, and indigestion. Before getting hormone replacement therapy, you need to consult with your doctor about other treatment options. Is treating hair loss with hormone replacement therapy the only available option?
HRT for Transgender Hair Growth
One case study showed that as a transgender woman was on “hormone therapy with oral estradiol and spironolactone,” her hair growth increased. The reason is that the levels of testosterone and resulting DHT decrease. DHT is directly responsible for causing pattern baldness in males. People who are transitioning from males to females might notice that their hair growth has gotten better. They might notice an increase in the overall hair density and thickness. This hormone therapy is given to those who are transitioning from one gender to another.
Should You Get Hair Transplant or Hormone Therapy?
The problem with hormone replacement therapy is that it has its risks. It can have serious health consequences. Moreover, we don’t know for sure that it will work. Research on it is still ongoing, but there is a definitive answer to this question. So, it might not be worth it to get hormone replacement therapy. Moreover, hormone replacement therapy works because it increases the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in the body. Your hair will not grow without the effects of those hormones. This isn’t the case with hair transplant surgery. Once you have it done, your hair will continue to grow.
Hair transplant is surgery, while hormone replacement therapy essentially balances the hormones in the body, restores them to their previous levels. A specialist in hair and scalp, known as a trichologist, will recommend hair transplant surgery. On the other hand, since hormone replacement therapy deals with hormones, an endocrinologist will guide you about it.
Is Hair Growth from Hormone Replacement Therapy Permanent?
Once you get a hair transplant, it comes with a guarantee that your hair won’t fall again. The surgeon transplants those hair follicles in the regions that are resistant to the effects of DHT. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about losing your hair again. Women rarely completely lose their hair, but they can also get hair transplants if they’ve experienced extensive balding.
In the case of hormone replacement therapy, once therapy stops, your hair loss will resume. This is presuming that the hair loss is occurring because of low levels of oestrogen and progesterone. For continued hair growth from HRT, you will have to continue the therapy. This is risky, considering it can cause cancer. Therefore, getting hormone replacement therapy solely for hair growth is not a good idea. This is especially so when you can achieve similar and better results with a hair transplant. A hair transplant doesn’t have serious health consequences for the patient undergoing surgery. It simply involves the relocation and redistribution of hair follicles. This makes hair transplant surgery a far better hair loss solution than hormone replacement therapy.
In A Nutshell
If you’re dealing with permanent hair loss, it’s better to get hair transplant surgery than have hormone replacement therapy. Of course, before anything, you should consult a doctor to determine the cause of your hair loss. HRT is used for dealing with many unpleasant symptoms that come with menopause, one of which is hair loss. But you have to continue the therapy for continuous hair growth. For booking your hair transplant treatment, contact us right now. Longevita’s expert surgeons have years of experience in performing hair transplant surgeries. We’ll be there at every step of your journey.