Hair loss in PCOs is real
5 things you can do to get your flowing locks back…
Many women with PCOs complain of hair loss and it can have a few different causes. First of all too many androgens or male hormones such as testosterone can give the female equivalent of male pattern baldness. But most episodes of hair loss are due to hair falling out in larger numbers than it should be.
It can be quite alarming to see clumps of hair lying in the bottom of the shower tray. Normally you lose about 100 hairs per day. Head hair also goes through cycles when it seems to want to let go of old hair followed by a period of new hair growth which replaces old hair that has fallen out. But in PCOs, hair can fall out in bigger numbers due to hormone imbalance and a shortage of some key nutrients. Here’s 5 tips to keep your hair looking thick and full of lustre.
- Boost your zinc and silicon with nuts and seeds. When your hair starts to fall out, it can be a sign you are low in zinc and other nutrients like silicon. Start eating more nuts and seeds especially pepitas or pumpkin seeds. These have the highest level of zinc of all the plant foods. Zinc is a very important mineral which is used in over 300 processes in the body, including making brain hormones and neurotransmitters. It’s also vital to make female hormones like oestrogen and progesterone and help reduce testosterone. Research shows that taking silicon results in a lower rate of hair loss and increased brightness. Choose supplements which include both these important nutrients.
- Your testosterone is too high. This is one of the main features of PCOs. Losing weight can help with lowering testosterone and reduce insulin resistance. Think about starting a weight loss program, like a ketosis plan which will lower insulin.
- Take probiotics and pre-biotics. A poor gut biome is stopping you absorbing vitamins and minerals. We know that gut health is so important to many processes in the body.
- Eating too much gluten can result in leaky gut. The commonest deficiencies we see in leaky gut are low zinc and B12. So try giving bread and pasta a miss. You can get tested for leaky gut and zinc levels with your practitioner.
- Make sure you take your fish oil. So many of my patients say ‘ Oh yes, I’ve got some in the cupboard’. Healthy oils deteriorate over time. Buy them fresh and take them every day. Your hair and skin will look smoother and fresher. Make sure you buy good quality oils which have been tested for mercury and BPS plastic contamination. PCOs produces a lot of inflammation in the body, and Omega 3 is great at quenching those inflammatory chemicals, so make it a daily habit.
So those are 5 simple tips to helping your hair grow back. Prof Dr Shirley Mcilvenny MD is an integrative doctor working with women to get their hormones back on track.