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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) & Hair Thinning

Its symptoms may include: irregular periods, hair thinning, increased hair on your face and/or body, acne, weight gain or infertility.

If your hair thinning is accompanied by a combination of these symptoms, and you are unsure whether you have PCOS, we suggest that you consult with your doctor as well as a Trichologist.

Why does Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Cause Hair Thinning?

Hair thinning is caused by a genetic condition, inherited from either parent, in which your hair follicles are sensitive to androgens (male hormones). All women naturally have androgens in their bodies, but only some have hair follicles that react to them. If you have this sensitivity, once it is triggered, your hair follicles will gradually miniaturise and grow back thinner over the years. This reduces the volume and length of your hair, eventually making your scalp more visible.

If you have PCOS, your body may produce excess levels of androgens (male hormones). If you have little or no hair follicle sensitivity to androgens, your hair may not be affected by PCOS. By contrast, normal (or even sub-normal) levels of androgens can cause hair loss if your follicles are very sensitive to it.

Treatment for Hair Loss Caused by PCOS

Hair thinning from PCOS is treated with anti-androgens, which can be taken orally and/or applied topically to your scalp. It is usually most effective to use both types of treatment together.

Oral anti-androgens:

The type most commonly prescribed for hair loss related to PCOS are combination oral contraceptive pills, such as Dianette and Yasmin. The anti-androgen Spironolactone is also commonly prescribed.

Topical scalp drops:

In the Philip Kingsley Clinics, our Trichologists formulate prescription-only scalp drops, containing a combination of anti-androgenic hormones, as well as a follicle stimulant. If you would like more information on our bespoke drops, please contact us.

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