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Testosterone and Hair Loss

Testosterone is an important hormone within the human body that has an impact on many different areas of functioning. For men, testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for muscle development, sexual function, and energy. However, there is one function that can be impacted that is often overlooked: hair loss. The connection between hair loss and testosterone is important because as men age, they naturally experience decreases in testosterone production in the body. Testosterone also impacts hair loss because it is decreases in this hormone, not increases in the hormone as some believe to be true, that results in hair loss. As testosterone levels continue to decrease with age, hair loss can increase (Morgentaler 21). The psychological impact associated with testosterone and hair loss can be a major problem for many people. Hair loss is something that can result in a decrease in self-confidence, as well as feelings of growing old in terms of appearance even while not feeling old in relation to energy and vitality. When the outward appearance does not match the inner feelings of strength, a person can feel sad or even depressed (Lunenfeld and Morley 701). However, understanding the relationship between testosterone and hair loss is an important first step in potentially being able to reduce hair loss.

Hormone Levels

As has already been noted, it is often assumed that an increase in hormones is what causes hair loss to occur. In reality, however, hair loss occurs because of a decrease in the hormone testosterone. The reason that a decrease in testosterone can lead to hair loss is because it results in an increase in the amount of another hormone in the body called dihydrotesterone (DHT) (Hertoghe 72). As testosterone levels in the body decrease, there is more DHT in the body that can attach to hair follicles. Testosterone and hair loss are connected because with reduced amounts of testosterone in the body, there is a larger amount of DHT that can work to harm hair follicles and cause hair loss to not only occur, but to increase (Morgentaler 21).

It is important to note that the levels of testosterone in the body can naturally fluctuate throughout the year. During the summer months, testosterone production within the human body is at its highest. In contrast, testosterone production is at its lowest during the winter months (Barnard 17). The variations in the amount of testosterone that is produced in the human body can result in people losing more hair during the winter and spring months and losing less hair during the summer months. Testosterone and hair loss are something that occur within an annual cycle.

However, as people get older, and because of other reasons such as increased stress and illness, testosterone production in the body decreases. It is the overall decreases in testosterone levels that can result in hair loss that is not reversed on a seasonal level. Instead, overall decreases in testosterone production in the human body means that more DHT is available. As people age further or experience a prolonged illness that may cause testosterone production to decrease, hair loss increases (Hertoghe 72). What is demonstrated in this relationship between testosterone and hair loss is that it can increase and become worse over time. As the body produces less testosterone, hair loss can increase. In turn, people may experienced increased discomfort and anxiety because of losing larger amounts of their hair over time.

The real issue with regards to testosterone and hair loss is an imbalance in the amount of testosterone in the body as compared to DHT. The imbalance that occurs between these two hormones that results in hair loss would suggest that the way to stop the hair loss that will occur is to increase the amount of testosterone in the body. By increasing the amount of testosterone, then the body will not have the imbalance between testosterone and DHT. As a result of correcting the imbalance, hair loss will stop.

Stopping Hair loss

The idea that the relationship between testosterone and hair loss means that increasing testosterone in order to reduce hair loss is something that has been tested by researchers. Studies that have been conducted to determine if hair loss can be prevented using testosterone therapy have shown that hair loss can indeed be stopped (Hertoghe 72). It is important to understand that the age at which testosterone therapy occurs can have a major impact on whether hair loss is simply stopped or whether hair loss can actually be reversed. The research suggests that people who are younger than 25 that receive testosterone therapy can actually regain a full head of hair. After 25, testosterone therapy is still useful, but the impact is to prevent further hair loss. Testosterone and hair loss is something that must be dealt with as early as possible if the goal is not simply to prevent greater hair loss, but to reverse the hair loss that has already occurred (Hertoghe 72).

Testosterone and hair loss is something that can indeed be handled. It is not something that must be viewed as a product of getting older. Reversing the outward problem of hair loss that can occur because of reductions in testosterone levels in the body is about having the knowledge that testosterone may be the culprit for the hair loss, and knowing that there are actions that can be taken in order to reverse or at least stop additional hair loss. Instead, being willing to get information and taking the actions that are necessary in order to increase testosterone levels in the body can mean that people can avoid the anxiety and stress that can occur with hair loss.

Summary

The relationship between testosterone and hair loss is important in understanding the real reasons why people often lose experience hair loss as they get older. The reason for hair loss can be a decrease in testosterone levels in the body, which is a natural event as people get older. Testosterone and hair loss are related because reductions in testosterone in the body cause an imbalance to occur with another hormone called DHT. Testosterone therapy can be used to increase testosterone in the body, and in turn, prevent hair loss from occurring. However, the age at which testosterone therapy begins can impact whether hair loss is simply stopped or whether hair loss can actually be reversed. This is why acknowledging that hair loss is occurring and then being willing to take the time and effort to find out if testosterone therapy can help is so important.

Works Cited

  • Barnard, Neal D. Food For Life. New York: Random House Digital, Inc., 1993.
  • Hertoghe, Thierry. The Hormone Solution. New York: Random House Digital, Inc., 2002.
  • Lunenfeld, Bruno and John E. Morley. Textbook of Men's Health and Aging. London: CRC
  • Press, 2007.
  • Morgentaler, Abraham. Testosterone for Life. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

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