Cortisol: One of the Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
Your hair brush is full with hairs after combing your hair? You spot hairs all around your home, from the bath tube and sink in the bathroom, to the bed sheets and your clothes? You already know that failing hair is a normal thing for women, but you are now asking: How much is too much? Well, straight to the point, the answer you are looking is: It is normal to lose up to one hundred hairs in a day; anything else that seems to outreach this number is a sign of hair loss.
Although it’s not that common as male hair loss, women’s hair loss is a real struggle many women face. In fact, studies have shown that there are many extrinsic and intrinsic factors that are associated with hair loss in women.
In general, the most common causes of hair loss in women include heredity, anemia, hypothyroidism, aging, excessive styling, significant weight loss, protein and B vitamin deficiency and lupus.
Also, hormonal changes are proven to be one of the main causes of hair loss women. Pregnancy is the period during which women go through many hormonal changes. However, pregnancy is not the only state during which hormonal levels are disrupted, here’s the stress we all deal with on a daily basis. And it is the so-called cortisol hormone that is directly linked to stress and consequently with hair loss in women.
Cortisol is an important hormone that has an indispensable role in human’s body. It is mainly secreted as a response to stress. Simply said, when you are stressed or anxious adrenal glands secrete cortisol in your body with the purpose of regulating: the tone and contraction of your heart and blood vessels; blood sugar levels; blood pressure; immune system responses; activation of the central nervous system, etc.
It is normal for the cortisol levels to fluctuate throughout the day. Normally, cortisol levels are the highest in at about 8 AM and drop significantly until 4 AM. Also, the levels of this vital hormone are increased significantly as a response of a stressful situation, after the stress is released. But, when you are constantly exposed to stress at work or home the cortisol levels in your body stay high for much longer period than it’s normal. It is under such circumstances when the constantly high cortisol level sabotages your health. In another word that state causes an array of health problems in your body.
Increased Cortisol Levels As a Cause of Hair Loss in Women
Stress is one of the most common and most serious proven causes of hair loss in women. It is linked with three types of hair loss:
- Telogen Effluvium
This is a state that occurs as a response to significant stress. During this state, your part of the hair follicles on your scalp are put into a state of resting. What happens is, their normal function is affected and hairs coming from them stop growing. After a certain period of time, these hairs fall out as you wash and comb your hair.
- Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is a common type of hair loss that doesn’t only affect men but women as well. It is an autoimmune condition as a result of which the immune system starts “attacking” the hair follicles. This also leads to disrupting the function of the follicles which ends in hair loss.
People who are affected by this condition caused by an extreme increase of cortisol, tend to deal with stress, frustration and tension through pulling out their own hair from different parts of the body, including the scalp, eyebrows and so on.