Two in the bush is worth one in the hand? What the heck does that mean anyway? I don’t know, but what I do know is we want our hair below our hairline to be ladylike and we want the hair on our head to be lioness-like. The issue is that your hormones can make this situation can be more scary-hairy than lady godiva-esque. As a former sufferer of PCOS, I know what it’s like to feel like you’re always getting waxed and always brushing out too much hair. I want to share my secrets for maintaining my locks over the years and why I’m not freaking out about the post-partum hair fall.
Whether you’re dealing with hair loss from your head or overgrowth of unwanted hair on your face and body, I’m going to explain why this is happening and how to fix it, without using strong side effect-laden prescription medications.
At a time when we are bombarded with pop stars hairy armpits on one side plus pressure to stay entirely hairless from head to toe on the other, it can be hard to maintain a good perspective when it comes to our own naturally hair-covered bodies. The occasional stray hair somewhere unexpected or a day or two of more hair in your hair brush than normal is no reason to freak out. However, it can be very distressing to experience rapid hair loss from the head or unwanted hair growth on your face. This is not to be taken lightly, as I know it can cause anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
The good news is the root cause of both of these issues is the same and so is the natural treatment protocol – so wherever you are on the hair loss to hirsutism spectrum I have the answer for you.
The roots of hair loss and hirsutism
The root cause of overgrowth of unwanted hair or hair loss from the head is your sensitivity to testosterone plus the amount of testosterone your body is producing. Usually these are not stand-alone problems and you will also find you are simultaneously dealing with problematic menstrual periods.
How: Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a derivative of testosterone. Testosterone converts to DHT with the help of the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase, which is held in your hair follicle’s oil glands. Hair loss from the head is triggered by the level of DHT binding to receptors in scalp follicles. DHT shrinks your hair follicles, making it more difficult for healthy hair to survive. High levels of DHT can be provoked by estrogen dominance and high cortisol levels from the adrenal glands.
Why: This hormonal imbalance in the body can be brought on by use of the birth control pill and other hormonal contraceptives like the Mirena IUD, hormonal shifts in pregnancy, the post-partum period, perimenopause or as a part of poor thyroid function.
How: You don’t have to have PCOS to be suffering with hirsutism, but it is one of the common consequences of that hormonal health problem. Excessive growth of coarse hairs is also caused by testosterone overproduction and conversion. It is one of the most common endocrine health issues with approximately 10% of women experiencing this at some time in their lives. The kind of hair produced is called “terminal” and is different in thickness and feel. Growth is caused by the level and duration of exposure to dihydrotestosterone, the alpha-reductase enzyme activity on the hormone, and the sensitivity of your hair follicles to dihydrotestosterone, which determines whether regular fine body hair (or vellus hair) becomes terminal hair.
Why: PCOS is certainly a common root cause, but also behind this issue can be Cushing’s syndrome, genetic conditions that cause overproduction of cortisol and testosterone, some medications such as those used to treat endometriosis, and obesity.
Natural treatment protocol
In the short term – it’s better to go with frequent waxing or laser hair removal than using chemical products like Nair on your excessive hair growth as sensitive areas tend to be the most open to absorbing nasty chemicals. Castor oil treatments are highly praised for encouraging thick, strong, glossy head hair regrowth.
In the long term – Using a combination of these foods and supplements on a daily basis should show improvement of your hair loss or hirsutism in a matter of months. Stick with this protocol for at least six months before looking for another solution.
- Stinging nettle in the form of nettle leaf tea
- Omega 3 fatty acids from egg yolks and salmon
- Saw palmetto herbal supplements
- Evening primrose oil
- Foods high in phytosterols such as fermented soy, wheat germ, brussel sprouts, olive oil and rye
My Secret to Lasting Hair Health
Remember that you have two moments during the cycle where you produce peak levels of testosterone – ovulation and the beginning of the luteal phase. You might have already noticed that you have unwanted hair growth and loss patterns on a monthly cycle, and now you know why – that’s when your testosterone and this issue is most active. This is why beyond the herbs mentioned above, eating for your FLO is a must – if you haven’t learned about my Cycle Syncing technique, sign-up here for my Secrets of Cycle Syncing webinar this Thursday! – you definitely want to get your foods rotating along with the hormonal changes in your cycle to mitigate any negative effects from excess levels of those hormones. This is what I do to take care of my hair, minimize the effects of testosterone, and why I’m not worrying about the post-partum hair fall. I’m just eating for my FLO as I have for the past 17 years and my body will take care of the rest. It’s so easy to do and it works!
Making these changes with a foundation of eating for your FLO will make getting results so much better. At the base, hair loss or hair overgrowth is about hormonal imbalance, so you want to aim for regular, healthy, ovulatory cycles while also using these natural treatments to support your body’s specific needs.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you
First, do you suffer with hair loss or unwanted hair growth?
Second, have you tried other treatments?
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Need more Hormone Help?
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