How to Stop Hair from Falling due to PCOS?

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What is PCOS?
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal disorder in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens or male sex hormones.

There are numerous small cysts formed in the ovaries.

What happens in PCOS?
The extra male hormones in PCOS act on the female body and cause hirsutism and virilization.

Hirsutism means excessive growth of hair on the face, neck, chest, or abdominal areas. Virilization refers to hirsutism along with the development of other masculine characters like increased muscle mass, deepening of the voice, breast atrophy, etc.

This also causes female pattern balding as that seen in androgenetic alopecia.

So to summarize, PCOS causes hair growth in areas where it is not needed and hair loss from where it is most needed.

What will your hair look like in PCOS?
Hair strands become thinner in diameter with a reduced hair density, volume, and thickness.

Hair loss begins at the vertex and the temples. Triangular bald patches may be seen.

Hair lacks luster and the color becomes dull and faded.

Hair looks weak, dry, damaged, and frizzy.

How to stop Hair loss in PCOS?
As PCOS is a medical condition, it can be treated with medications.

Some medications that might help the PCOS-related hair loss are:
  • Oral Contraceptive Pills
  • Antiandrogens
  • Minoxidil
  • Spironolactone
  • Finasteride

OCP and Antiandrogens
They are often combined and given to lower the androgen levels in the body. This helps in reducing hair loss and also hair growth in unwanted areas. It can also treat other symptoms of PCOS, like irregular periods and acne.

Minoxidil
It is a popular drug for treating female pattern baldness. It can also be used to enhance hair growth in PCOS-related hair loss. It is available as topical foam or solution (2% and 5%) and can be applied daily for thicker hair growth.

Spironolactone
This is another class of drug that is used in androgenetic alopecia. This can also be used to increase hair growth in PCOS. It is usually given in combination with oral contraceptive pills.

It works by blocking the effects of androgen.

Finasteride
This is a drug that is used for treating male pattern hair loss in men. Although its main use is in men, some doctors prescribe this for PCOS related hair loss as well. It is used in combination with other drugs that have the same effect.

Other ways to tackle PCOS-related hair loss
Healthy Eating
There are plenty of foods that are known to have a positive effect on hair growth. If our diet is deficient in these nutrients, we might see more hair loss even without PCOS.

Examples of such nutrients are Zinc and Biotin.

In PCOS certain foods are to be avoided and they are:

Junk food, milk and milk products, red meat, fried food, and sugar.

The best foods to consume in PCOS are:

Green leafy vegetables and foods that are rich in fiber content and have a poor glycemic index.

Seeds and nuts like flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, legumes, sprouts, and whole grains.

Add herbs like turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and fenugreek to your diet.

Drinking herbal teas like green tea and spearmint tea is also known to be beneficial.

Scalp Care and Nourishment
Whether with PCOS or not, our scalp and hair require a basic amount of nutrition in the form of oils. The best way to pamper your hair and help it grow would be to massage your scalp with warm oils.

The best carrier oils that can be used are coconut, almond, or olive oil. This can be enhanced by adding a few drops of your desired essential oil.

There are plenty of essential oils to choose from, as per your need. Rosemary and lavender for hair growth, tea tree, and peppermint for dandruff are the most commonly used essential oils.

Herbs
Aloe vera
Consumption of aloe vera juice regularly in the morning on an empty stomach is extremely beneficial. It removes toxins, restores hormonal balance, and improves insulin sensitivity.

On topical application, aloe vera helps heal and soothe your dry and damaged hair.

Cinnamon
Cinnamon is like a multi-talented herb. It supports female body functions like ovulation and boosts fertility. It provides immunity, regulates metabolism and aids in losing weight as well. This is especially useful because losing weight is very significant in PCOS.

You can consume cinnamon by adding it to your milk or tea, or you can sprinkle cinnamon powder on your smoothies, salads, fruits or curries.

Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek is another brilliant herb for counteracting the harsh effects of hair fall, dryness, thinning and dandruff. Like cinnamon, this also aids in controlling excess weight gain.

It has a very high protein and lecithin content that hydrates and strengthens your hair roots.

It can be applied as a paste or consumed on an empty stomach in the morning after overnight soaking.

Fenugreek seeds are also great immunity boosters.

Amla (Indian gooseberry)
These are small rounded berries that are packed with Vit C and antioxidants.

They come with similar benefits of providing immunity, boosting fertility, regulating metabolism and helping in weight loss.

Carotene, iron, and antioxidants present in amla prevent bald patches and add significant volume to your hair. They are also known to prevent premature greying of hair.

You can consume amla juice or consume the berry as a whole. This can be quite sour though.

Yoga and Meditation
Yoga can be a cure to different ailments of the body.

There are various yoga poses that help in alleviating PCOS as well as reducing hair loss. Not only that, Yoga helps to reduce weight and keep away anxiety that comes along with PCOS.

Yoga poses for alleviating PCOS:
  • Titli asana or the Butterfly pose
  • Supta Baddha Konasana or the Bound Angle pose
  • Bharadvajasana or the Torso Stretch pose
  • Chakki Chalanasana or the Churning the Mill pose
  • Shavasana or the Corpse pose
  • Surya Namaskara or the Sun Salutation

Yoga poses to reduce hair fall are:
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward Dog pose
  • Uttanasana or the Standing Forward pose
  • Pawanmuktasana or the Wind Relieving pose
  • Sarvangasana or the Shoulder Stand
  • Vajrasana or the Diamond pose
 
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