MANAGING PCOS HAIR LOSS: Causes, Treatments and Prevention

PCOS hair loss
Image credit: Flo Health

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a widespread hormonal condition that can cause a set of symptoms, such as hirsutism, which is an excess of body and facial hair. While many people with PCOS have thicker hair on their faces and bodies, some have hair thinning and loss, which is known as female pattern hair loss. The female body produces male hormones, androgens. And testosterone. Androgens stimulate underarm and pubic hair growth and puberty. They have other uses too. Excess androgen production from PCOS causes virilization. This refers to the development of more masculine characteristics, such as excess hair in areas where it does not normally grow, such as the face, neck, chest, and abdomen. Hence, this article will explain all you need to know about PCOS hair loss regrowth success, foods, and supplements for PCOS hair loss.

How to Reverse PCOS Hair Loss

PCOS hair loss can sometimes be reversed, but it is not always possible. This is because PCOS hair loss treatments focus on preventing further hair loss rather than regrowing any hair that has been lost. However, both self-care and medical treatments can be beneficial. We will explain the different ways you can reverse your PCOS hair loss.

#1. Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a moisturizer you apply to your scalp, which could be used for female pattern hair loss caused by PCOS. It can reverse your PCOS hair loss, particularly if it’s used in the early stages of hair loss. However, it takes 3 to 6 months to work and only works for as long as you use it, so if you stop using it, your hair loss may return.

More so, minoxidil can be used in conjunction with medical treatments for PCOS hair loss. According to a 2017 study, combining minoxidil with spironolactone (see below) could be effective, with the majority of women experiencing an increase in hair thickness after 6 months of use.

#2. Dietary Modifications

Eating a well-balanced diet is essential for getting all of the nutrients your body requires for healthy hair. While there isn’t much evidence linking specific nutrients to PCOS hair loss or regrowth, here’s what you should know:

A healthy diet can help with PCOS symptoms such as hair loss caused by high testosterone levels. Many PCOS symptoms are thought to be caused by your body becoming insulin resistant. This can cause your body to produce more insulin than usual, and high insulin levels can cause your ovaries to produce more testosterone, exacerbating your PCOS symptoms.

Losing excess weight can also help with PCOS symptoms such as hair loss. Insulin resistance can cause weight gain and make it more difficult to lose weight. However, losing weight can help lower your insulin and testosterone levels. Losing just 5-10% of your bodyweight has been shown to significantly improve PCOS symptoms.

#3. Zinc

According to some research, increasing your zinc intake may help reverse your PCOS hair loss. In a small study, women with PCOS who took 50mg of zinc daily for 8 weeks saw a reduction in hair loss. Because meat is a good source of zinc, you may be more likely to experience hair loss as a PCOS symptom if you don’t eat much (or any) meat. Learn what to eat to get more zinc.

Also see: 20 Best Hair Loss Treatment and Hair Growth Oil that is Highly Effective

Can You Regrow Hair if You Have PCOS?

Any hair you lose as a result of PCOS will not regrow on its own. However, with treatment, you may be able to stimulate new hair growth.

Pcos Hair Loss Regrowth Success

Here are some Pcos hair loss regrowth success stories:

#1. Brandy

When Brandy Pope of the YouTube channel The Glam Belle washed her hair, she noticed that it was falling out more than usual. Her doctor finally diagnosed her with PCOS after years of dealing with gradually thinning hair and other symptoms. Brandy explained in a YouTube testimonial video that she had several periods where her hair loss would get better and worse-even after being prescribed PCOS medication.

However, in a subsequent video, Brandy claimed to have experienced positive results from using Rogaine for women, in addition to biotin, vitamin B12, and iron supplements. She also discovered that getting frequent trims was beneficial for managing the overall appearance of her hair.

#2. Clarissa 

Clarissa, from the YouTube channel Clarissa Explains it all, also shared her experience with PCOS hair loss. She first noticed her hair thinning around her part and on the crown of her head. This was followed by the formation of bald spots around her crown.

Furthermore, she discovered that a combination of products and techniques helped her manage her hair loss. She began by taking inositol supplements, which helped to thicken her hair while also preventing unwanted hair growth in other areas. Clarissa also used The Ordinary Brand’s multi-peptide serum to increase the thickness of her hair.

#3. RaShon Kie

Kie RaShon, another YouTuber, recently opened up about her PCOS journey. She discovered sulfate-free shampoo and castor oil to be the best products for helping her hair stay healthy and protected after years of struggling with dramatic hair loss and experimenting with various products.

RaShon Kie also limited shampoos to once every two months in order to avoid overloading her hair with too many products. She discovered that doing so helped to prevent unnecessary hair loss and allowed her hair to “rest.” Kie Rashon, like Brandy, took biotin supplements to help with hair growth.

How to Stop PCOS Hair Loss Naturally

If you are looking for ways to stop PCOS hair loss naturally, there are a variety of home treatments that may help to reduce androgen levels, thereby minimizing their effect on your hair.

#1. Zinc

A study published in 2016 found that zinc supplementation can help treat PCOS-related hair loss. The study found that taking 50 mg of elemental zinc daily for 8 weeks improved hair loss. A zinc supplement can also help with hirsutism.

#2. Biotin (vitamin B2)

Many experts recommend biotin as a popular supplement for hair health and growth. A 2015 study found that taking a marine protein supplement (containing biotin) for 90 days improved astonishing hair growth.

#3. Aloe Vera Gel

Consume aloe vera juice daily to remove toxins, restore hormonal balance, and boost insulin sensitivity. Aloe vera improves ovarian steroidogenic activity. Aloe vera, when applied topically, repairs and soothes damaged hair. Several studies have also shown that aloe vera treats PCOS hair loss from within the body.

#4. Seeds of Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds have a high protein and nicotine content. They can help with hair loss, dryness, thinning, and dandruff. The lecithin content of fenugreek seed hydrates your hair strands and strengthens your hair follicle.

#5. Shatavari

Shatavari preserves LH and FSH hormone levels. This herb also regulates estrogen and progesterone levels. These two hormones both prevent and promote hair growth. This herb prevents new cysts from forming. It can also help dissolve existing cysts when combined with other medicinal herbs like Kanchnaar. Shatavari promotes follicular development and growth. This herb regulates menstruation and improves ovarian and uterine health.

You may want to see: Why is my Hair Splitting?

Foods for PCOS Hair Growth

According to research, what people eat has a significant impact on PCOS. However, there is no standard diet for PCOS at the moment. There is widespread agreement, however, on which foods are beneficial and appear to help people manage their conditions and which foods to avoid. The following are foods for PCOS hair growth:

  • A low glycemic index (GI) diet: Foods with a low GI are digested more slowly by the body, which means they do not cause insulin levels to rise as much or as quickly as other foods, such as some carbohydrates. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables, and other unprocessed, low-carbohydrate foods are included in a low GI diet.
  • Anti-inflammatory food: Such as berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, and extra virgin olive oil, may help reduce inflammation-related symptoms like fatigue.
  • The DASH diet entails: To reduce the risk or impact of heart disease, doctors frequently recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. It may also aid in the management of PCOS symptoms. A DASH diet includes plenty of fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. The diet discourages the consumption of foods high in saturated fat and sugar.

A PCOS diet that is healthy can also include the following foods:

  • Unprocessed natural foods
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel, are high in fiber.
  • Spinach, kale, and other dark, leafy greens
  • Red grapes, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries are examples of dark red fruits.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower dried beans, lentils, and other legumes 
  • Heart-healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and coconuts nuts like pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios
  • Spices such as turmeric and cinnamon 

PCOS Hair Loss Supplements

While supplements will not stop hair loss, they will help to protect and strengthen new growth. It is critical to stimulate and protect new growth from damage so that it appears healthy and thick. Your hair is constantly in a cycle of growth and rest.

Supplements will require time and consistency, but they can improve your locks. To see results, it is recommended that you use supplements for at least 6 months (consistently, every day). You should concentrate on iron, zinc, biotin, and vitamins D, A, and C.

#1. Iron

If you have an iron deficiency or are anemic, you should consider taking an iron supplement or a multivitamin that contains iron. Anemia can result in hair loss

#2. Zinc 

Studies have shown that taking zinc supplements can help with PCOS hair loss. Women with PCOS who took 50mg of zinc for 8 weeks saw an improvement in hair loss and hirsutism.

#3. Biotin

Biotin is a b-vitamin that is commonly found in supplements for hair, skin, and nails. The research on its effectiveness is limited, but this one study appeared to show its benefits in restoring hair growth.

#4. Vitamin D,A and C

These vitamins support immune health and provide the body with antioxidants required for healthy hair. While there are no direct studies linking these supplements to hair growth, they do improve your overall health, which in turn improves the health of your hair.

Does PCOS Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, one of the reported symptoms of PCOS is hair loss. This is primarily due to the excess androgenic hormones that are common in people with PCOS, which can cause acne, thinning hair, and hair loss, as well as limp, lackluster hair that breaks easily and is dry and damaged. Other factors that can cause hair loss include:

  • Extreme temperature exposure
  • Infections and diseases that are chronic
  • Taking specific medications
  • Anemia (iron deficiency)
  • Vitamin and trace element deficiency
  • Stress

PCOS hair loss can cause you to lose more hair on a daily basis. There may be more hair on clothes or furniture than usual, and hair may collect on the pillowcase overnight. In the shower, hair may also come out in clumps.

Hair loss due to PCOS can occur as root loss, where the entire hair including the follicle falls out, or as breakage because the hair is drier and more prone to damage from heat and chemicals. This means that the scalp is more visible, especially at the crown and hairline, or there is more frizz as a result of hair breakage.

The scalp may be drier and itchier as well. Some PCOS patients experience buildup and dandruff. Hair may appear finer than usual and be more difficult to style without a lot of product to add body and fullness. Hair loss is a common symptom of PCOS, with hair falling out primarily in the frontal-parietal region and becoming noticeably thinner in the middle.

What Is the Best Shampoo for PCOS?

So, we’ve compiled a list of the best shampoos for PCOS hair loss.

  • Sensi Balance Soothing Shampoo by L’Oreal Professionnel.
  • Shampoo BBlunt Intense Moisture.
  • BC Repair Rescue Nourishing Shampoo by Schwarzkopf.
  • Damage Therapy Hair Fall Rescue Shampoo by Dove.
  • Shampoo L’Oreal Professional Mythic Oil.

Bottom Line

Hair loss can occur as a result of PCOS. There are several treatment options available to help you regrow the hair you’ve lost. Medication, scalp massages, and other natural remedies may be included. It’s also important to know that you’re not alone if you’re experiencing PCOS-related hair loss. Talking it out with a group of people who are going through the same thing can be emotionally beneficial and may lead you to look into treatment options you hadn’t considered before. 

PCOS Hair Loss FAQs

Is it safe to take biotin if I have PCOS?

Yes, it is safe and effective.

What role does zinc play in PCOS?

Zinc supplementation improves many parameters in PCOS women, particularly those related to insulin resistance and lipid balance. Zinc supplementation before and during each menstrual cycle appears to be an important factor in reducing the intensity of menstrual pain in primary dysmenorrhea.

What hormone causes female hair loss?

The specific hormone responsible for hair loss in both sexes is the same: dihydrotestosterone (also known as “DHT”), a hormone produced by your body as a byproduct of testosterone.


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