Does Testosterone Affect Female Hair Loss?
Female hair loss gets less attention than male hair loss, perhaps as it is less common.
This doesn’t mean that it is less traumatic for women to experience. In fact the role that hair can play in many women’s sense of femininity can make hair loss particularly distressing.
One interesting factor in female pattern baldness is testosterone. You may have heard that men are more likely to get male pattern baldness if they have ‘too much testosterone’. This is a simplification of the fact that testosterone can convert into a chemical that can cause hair loss. The more you have of it the more hair loss you can experience.
While women do have much lower testosterone levels than men it is still possible for them to have enough testosterone for it to cause female baldness.
This is as hair loss is dictated by the amount of ‘free testosterone’ people have in their bloodstream. Most testosterone is bound to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) protein and isn’t active. If you have a low level of SHBG, you may have a high level of free testosterone in your bloodstream.
This free testosterone can be converted to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is five times more potent than testosterone. It is used in the prostate, skin, and hair follicles.
The action to DHT and a person’s sensitivity to it, which is largely genetic, is what causes baldness. This is why women can experience hair loss.
The impact of DHT on the skin is a contributor to acne.