Yes, PCOS can cause hair loss, and it's actually one of the most commonly reported symptoms of PCOS. This is principally due to the excess androgenic hormones that women with PCOS often have, which can lead to acne, thinning hair, and hair loss, as well as limp, lackluster hair that breaks easily and is dry and damaged.
Medically, this hair loss is referred to as female pattern baldness, and treatment can be tricky. Hair is often very much a part of a person’s identity and self-expression, and hair loss can be difficult to deal with on an emotional level.
If you are experiencing PCOS hair loss, you may start to notice that you're shedding more hair on a daily basis. You might find hair on your clothes or furniture more often than you used to, and it's also common for hair to collect on your pillowcase overnight. You may also notice hair coming out in clumps when you shampoo and/or a receding hairline.
If you are experiencing PCOS hair loss, you may start to notice that you're shedding more hair on a daily basis. You might find hair on your clothes or furniture more often than you used to, and it's also common for hair to collect on your pillowcase overnight.
Hair loss with PCOS can come in the form of loss at the root, where the entire hair including the follicle comes out, but it can also occur as breakage since the hair is drier and more prone to damage from heat and brushing. This means that you may notice your scalp is more visible, particularly at the crown and hairline, or you may be dealing with more frizz, which is actually the result of hair breakage.
You may also notice that your scalp is drier and itchier. Some people with PCOS also report buildup and dandruff. Your hair may also seem finer than usual and be harder to style without using a lot of product to increase body and fullness.
If you find yourself asking, "can hair loss from PCOS be reversed," the answer is yes. PCOS-related hair loss can be eliminated if the underlying cause (usually a hormonal imbalance) is remedied. Once you're sure that PCOS is the problem — a simple blood test can confirm if you have excess androgenic hormones — you can start pursuing PCOS treatment options.
Keep in mind that it can take time for your hair to become healthy and start growing back, and if you’ve had a lot of breakage and damage, you may need to get a short haircut to give your hair a healthier appearance.
If you're struggling with your hair health, PCOS hair loss treatments are available. Traditional OTC remedies like specialized shampoos, hair treatments, and vitamins aimed at skin, hair, and nail health are all good places to start, but sometimes you may need a little extra help. If standard strategies aren't working, talk to your hairstylist or doctor to explore other options.
Medical treatments are available for PCOS and hair loss related to the condition. Your doctor may prescribe oral contraceptives, antiandrogens, and a prescription-strength medicated shampoo to help control hair loss and scalp conditions like dryness and dandruff. Metformin can also be prescribed to women with PCOS to help regulate insulin levels, and the subsequent weight loss from taking this medication can have a positive effect on hormonal balance and hair loss.
There are also home remedies for PCOS hair loss. Using moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for damaged and color-treated hair can help keep your hair healthy, and shampoos designed for thinning hair may encourage new hair growth and protect your hair.
Other home remedies include using natural bristle brushes that are softer and gentler on your hair than traditional synthetic bristles and using a pick on your hair before brushing to avoid pulling on the hair too much and causing breakage. It's also a good idea to avoid tight hairstyles like high ponytails or buns that can put extra pressure on the hair.
Using moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for damaged and color-treated hair can help keep your hair healthy, and shampoos designed for thinning hair may encourage new hair growth and protect your hair.
Many people also get good results from adding supplements like biotin and keratin to their vitamin regimen, but it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your PCOS treatment plan. Even if a supplement is sold over the counter, concentrations vary widely, and it is possible to ingest too much, which can lead to other health issues. The quality of vitamins also varies from brand to brand, and you'll want to be sure that you're getting high-quality supplements that don't have a lot of filler ingredients.
While hair loss is not a serious medical problem, it can have a very real effect on self-esteem and confidence. Any time a symptom or issue is affecting your daily activities or keeping you away from hobbies or relationships you enjoy, it's a good idea to talk to your care provider.
If you find that you're losing more hair than you used to and are concerned that PCOS might be the cause, undergoing tests to see what your hormone levels are is a good first step. Once you know if a hormonal imbalance is to blame, you and your doctor can discuss options for controlling your PCOS and possible treatments for hair loss.
If you find that you're losing more hair than you used to and are concerned that PCOS might be the cause, undergoing tests to see what your hormone levels are is a good first step.
If you're experiencing PCOS hair loss, talking to a health care provider can help you better understand how your PCOS is playing a role and what treatment options may be available. Effectively managing PCOS can take time and some trial and error to find what works for your body, but it's entirely possible to get results.