According to a study from Switzerland, growth hormone deficiency is associated with poor skin health and hair loss.
The question is, can patients with androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness consider human growth hormone therapy?
In this article, we will discuss the role of the human growth hormone on hair follicles and how you can prevent hair loss.
Understanding How Your Hair Grows
To start, we will first take a look at the process of how your hair grows. Your hair follicles make up the root of your hair.
Generally, a single hair follicle is rich in proteins called keratin.
According to a study from The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, a single hair follicle may contain up to 100 proteins, and these proteins are needed for healthy hair growth.
When your follicles are nourished, your hair will continue to grow healthier.
Additionally, according to a study from France, there are three phases of hair growth and shedding. These are the anagen phase, catagen phase, and telogen phase.
1) Anagen phase
This is the phase where your hair grows actively.
Based on the book Anagen Effluvium, the length of this phase ranges from 2-6 years.
During this stage, 90% of the matrix bulb will undergo mitosis and proliferation to form the hair shaft.
2) Catagen phase
The catagen phase, also known as the transitional phase, may last for 2-3 weeks. This is the stage where your hair root will begin to shrink.
Around 3% of your hair is at this phase during this period.
3) Telogen phase
Lastly, also known as the resting phase, the telogen phase may last up to 100 days. During this period, around 25-100 strands can be shed each day.
Based on the book Telogen Effluvium, around 15% of your hair will undergo this stage.
Additionally, metabolic stress, hormonal changes, and medications can induce the telogen phase.
The Role of Human Growth Hormone on Hair Follicles
According to a study from Australia, androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness is most common in males.
It is a hereditary condition, and by the age of 50, around 30-50% of men develop this baldness.
Androgenic alopecia is caused by many factors.
Some of these include aging and low levels of androgen, dehydroepiandrosterone, and testosterone.
One of the common signs of androgenic alopecia includes hair thinning and receding hairlines.
Furthermore, your thyroid also affects your hair growth.
When you have low levels of thyroid hormone, your body tends to slow down the less important functions, such as hair growth.
HGH and Hair Growth
Human growth hormone (HGH) also plays an important role in your hair growth cycle.
According to a study from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, HGH and hair growth are strongly associated.
In this study, it was found that high growth hormone levels can cause increased hair growth in the body and face.
However, although HGH therapy is an essential hormone for the hair, proper doses of it should be taken, or else, could cause hirsutism.
Does HGH Cause Hair Loss?
You also have another anabolic hormone that mediates the effect of the human growth hormone (HGH). This hormone is called insulin growth factor (IGF-1).
According to a study from the United Kingdom, this hormone can stimulate growth factors and reduce the death of hair cells.
This hormone works by maintaining the health of hair and inducing the premature catagen phase.
Furthermore, take note that growth hormones also increase testosterone levels.
Eventually, when testosterone is converted, it will then turn into dihydrotestosterone.
This androgen will then stimulate IGF-1.
However, this stimulation will only cause the reduction of the secretion of IGF-1 which then can lead to hair loss. Fortunately, the HGH is not affected by this.
Even without the IGF-1, HGH can promote hair growth.
Other Hormones and the Growth of Hair
Aside from HGH, there are other growth hormones and factors that affect the growth of your hair.
Some of these will be discussed in this section.
As we all know, stress is harmful to one’s health.
Many people can notice that during their stressful days, hair loss is present as well.
According to some experts, being stressed puts your immune system into survival mode.
This means that your energy which is supposed to be used on your follicles will be used for other parts essential for your survival.
Consistent with a study from Germany, stress can induce hair-damaging pro-inflammatory effects.
In another study from Australia, women of ages 20-30 are most at risk of hair loss due to a stressed body.
2) Sex hormones
Estradiol and progesterone levels can also affect the hair growth cycle. During pregnancy, these levels are high and, thus, can prevent hair loss.
However, after pregnancy, postpartum can cause hair loss.
Furthermore, menopause can also induce hair loss because, during this period, your levels of estradiol and progesterone decrease.
This is also the reason why as a person ages, baldness becomes common.
Low levels of ferritin can lead to anemia. Interestingly, your follicles depend on the levels of this protein.
If you have low levels of ferritin, your body will take the amounts of this protein from your follicles.
Eventually, this can lead to hair loss. According to a study from Ohio, addressing your medical conditions, such as anemia, can prevent hair loss.
4) Amino acids and low vitamin D
Of course, the nutrients, such as amino acids and vitamins, in your body can also affect your hair conditions. If your body lacks vitamins such as vitamin D, this can cause hair loss.
According to a study from Egypt, individuals with immune disorders cannot absorb vitamin D properly.
Thus, they may only store a few amounts of it.
Eventually, this can lead to hair loss.
Hair Loss Prevention
As hair loss or receding hairlines can make people lose their self-confidence, many patients suffering from alopecia undergo restoration which is costly but effective.
However, for those who only experience sudden hair loss, treatment and prevention are always available.
- Improve your diet by consuming foods rich in vegetable oils, isoflavones, and polyphenols. Some of these are black or green tea, fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts
- Improve your lifestyle by quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol
- Avoid excessive hairstyling
- Stop the use of chemicals that can cause hair thinning
- Avoid high-heat hair styling tools and other mechanical forces such as dryers that can damage your follicles
Considering growth hormone therapy is also an effective way to prevent hair loss. Seek consultation from a medical doctor to learn more about the options for you.
Indeed, hormonal imbalance, especially low levels of HGH, is associated with hair loss.
The growth of hair comes in a growing-shedding cycle but having enough nutrients in the body can stimulate the growth phase better.
Individuals suffering from male pattern baldness can consider HGH treatment.
Sometimes, supplements can help but these do not affect HGH levels.
Other proactive options such as proper diet and regular exercise can also be considered.
To prevent alopecia, you can also start caring for your follicles.
Avoiding products and chemicals that can damage your scalp would truly help.
For proper treatment, you can consult a dermatologist or a medical doctor. These healthcare professionals can also determine the cause of your alopecia.
Although alopecia is hereditary, everyone can experience it, especially during stressful times.