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Hair Loss St. Louis: The Link Between Low Testosterone and Hair Loss

Updated: Mar 16


Hair Loss St. Louis
Hair Loss St. Louis

Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a common hair loss condition affecting millions of men and women. It can have a significant impact on emotional well-being. Men typically experience a receding hairline in an M-shape, along with a bald spot on the crown, while women may notice thinning hair along the part. Many people believe that testosterone levels play a major role in hair loss, but the truth is more complex. To effectively treat hair loss, it is important to determine the specific type and underlying cause. During your initial consultation with Dr. Lawrence Feigenbaum, a board-certified dermatologist in St. Louis, he will assess the affected area and recommend the most suitable treatment option for you.


When it comes to treating hair loss, patients often find themselves overwhelmed by the numerous options available. It can be difficult to determine which treatments are effective. For those experiencing hair loss due to excessive activity of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a DHT blocker like Finasteride may be prescribed by Dr. Feigenbaum. This medication works by preventing the formation of DHT in the body, which can damage hair follicles and lead to accelerated hair loss and male pattern baldness. In cases where hair loss has already occurred, Dr. Feigenbaum may recommend Minoxidil (Rogaine) to patients. This treatment helps improve blood flow to the scalp and strengthens hair follicles, promoting regrowth. Additionally, Dr. Feigenbaum offers Microneedling with PRP injections at his dermatology office. This procedure aids in improving circulation to the scalp and thickening hair follicles, encouraging new hair growth.


With over 10 years of experience in treating a wide range of medical and cosmetic dermatological concerns, Dr. Feigenbaum is well-known for his ability to create individualized treatment plans for each of his patients experiencing hair loss.


What is Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)?

Testosterone is a hormone found in the body, more in people assigned male at birth. There are different types of testosterone, like "free testosterone" that moves around the body and helps with muscle building. Some testosterone is bound to proteins like albumin or sex hormone-binding globulin. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is made when testosterone binds to an enzyme and affects things like voice, body hair, and sperm production during puberty. DHT can also affect hair growth, but it depends on how sensitive the hair follicles are to it.


Does high testosterone cause hair loss?

Many patients believe that hair loss is directly caused by high levels of testosterone. However, the truth is more complicated. When testosterone levels are high, the body may produce more DHT, which can speed up hair loss for those who are genetically predisposed to balding. Although high testosterone or DHT levels don't directly lead to hair loss, there is a connection between elevated DHT levels and conditions like prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.


Does low testosterone cause hair loss?

When hormones are imbalanced, it can affect how well a person functions in their daily life. Low testosterone levels, also known as "low T," can lead to various side effects such as muscle loss, weight gain, problems with erections, fatigue, reduced sex drive, and even feelings of depression. As men get older, their testosterone production naturally decreases, which can impact the growth of body and facial hair. However, scientists have not discovered a direct connection between low testosterone levels and hair loss on the top of the head. Although lower testosterone levels may result in less production of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the main cause of hair loss is a genetic sensitivity to the binding of DHT to the hair follicles.


Does testosterone replacement cause hair loss?

Low levels of testosterone can lead to various problems, such as reduced bone density, muscle mass, and strength, sleep difficulties, erectile dysfunction, decreased sex drive, weight gain, and a decline in mental and emotional well-being. To address these conditions, testosterone replacement therapy can be used in different forms like injections, pellets, creams, and patches. Injecting testosterone under the skin or into a muscle allows the body to absorb it. Gels are applied on the skin and absorbed that way, although there is a possibility of skin irritation and the transfer of medication to another person if they come into contact with the treated area. Patches can be placed on the thigh or torso every night, while pellets need to be surgically implanted under the skin every few months. Regardless of the method used, testosterone replacement therapy can be beneficial for individuals with low testosterone levels and does not directly cause hair loss or male pattern baldness.


Does taking testosterone cause hair loss?

Testosterone replacement therapy is designed to raise testosterone levels in patients with Low T, restoring normal testosterone levels, which fall in the 300-1,000 nanogram per deciliter of blood range. Some patients worry that increased levels of testosterone in the body can contribute to hair loss and male pattern baldness. However, that is not necessarily true. Hair loss occurs when the hair follicles become thinner and weaker, eventually entering a permanent resting phase and causing the hair to fall out. When androgen levels increase in the body, the production of DHT in the 5-alpha reductase enzyme rises, which can be a risk factor for patients genetically susceptible to hair loss. The DHT binds to the hair follicle, causing them to weaken and accelerating the hair-thinning process. As such, increasing testosterone levels in the body does not cause hair loss, but it can accelerate the process already in motion.


Can testosterone lead to hair loss in St. Louis?

Hair loss directly caused by high or low levels of testosterone. Instead, it is determined by the genetic sensitivity of the hair follicles. When the hair follicles become sensitive, they shrink and eventually stop producing new hair, leading to baldness. This condition, known as androgenic alopecia, can affect both men and women, although it is more common in men. The balding process typically begins with a receding front hairline, forming an M-shape, followed by thinning on the top of the head and eventual hair loss at the crown. Eventually, these two areas merge, leaving only a U-shaped ring of hair around the sides of the head. While high testosterone levels can increase the production of DHT, a hormone that weakens hair follicles and causes hair loss, having a family history of androgenetic alopecia is a more significant risk factor than testosterone levels alone. This is because some individuals genetically have a higher sensitivity to DHT, which means that even with normal testosterone levels, they may experience accelerated hair loss.


Is balding a sign of low or high testosterone?

Hair loss on the crown of the head is not directly caused by hormonal imbalance or high testosterone levels. While testosterone can affect body and facial hair growth, it does not directly lead to hair loss. However, if you have a genetic predisposition, high testosterone levels can speed up the hair loss process by increasing the production of DHT, which can bind to sensitive hair follicles. The occurrence of androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is determined by the sensitivity of your hair follicles rather than testosterone levels.


Does testosterone cause hair loss in females?

Female pattern balding affects over 30 million women and is caused by the same hormone, DHT, that causes male pattern balding. However, the hair loss looks different in women, with thinning starting at the part and spreading outwards in a "Christmas tree" shape. Women with higher testosterone levels may also experience side effects like weight gain, acne, and growth of chest or facial hair. Just like men, genetics play a role in how sensitive a woman's hair follicles are to testosterone, which can lead to hair thinning.


Can low testosterone cause hair loss in females?

High testosterone levels in male and female patients can contribute to increased production of DHT, which can accelerate hair thinning for genetically predisposed people. Typically, patients assigned female at birth have naturally lower levels of testosterone than men, as these androgens, or male expression hormones, are balanced out by female expression hormones, such as estrogen. While that is the case, testosterone levels can still affect many aspects of the female body, including muscle mass, bone density, menstruation cycle, and sex drive. However, there is no correlation between low testosterone levels and hair loss in females.


Can testosterone replacements cause hair loss?

Low testosterone levels can have a big impact on people's lives. Both men and women may experience fatigue, weight gain, decreased muscle mass and bone density, low sex drive, and depression as a result of low testosterone. This often leads patients to consider testosterone replacement therapy as a solution. There are different ways to perform this therapy, which increases the levels of androgens in the body and can also raise the levels of DHT. For individuals who are genetically predisposed to hair follicle sensitivity, higher levels of DHT can speed up hair loss on the top of the head.


Do testosterone supplements cause hair loss?

Testosterone supplements can be prescribed to patients who have low levels of testosterone. These supplements come in various forms such as injections, gels, patches, or pellets that are implanted under the skin. Although testosterone supplements can increase the amount of DHT in the body, they are not directly linked to hair loss. However, for individuals with high hair follicle sensitivity, the binding of DHT to their hair follicles can weaken and thin them over time, eventually leading to hair thinning. In such cases, patients with hair follicle sensitivity may experience accelerated hair loss when using testosterone supplements.


Is hair loss a sign of low testosterone?

Hair loss in people with a family history of male pattern baldness happens because their hair follicles are more sensitive to a hormone called DHT. When DHT attaches to the follicle, it weakens and makes the hair thinner, causing it to fall out and the hairline to go back. DHT is made when testosterone combines with an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, and having more testosterone usually means having more DHT. So, having low testosterone doesn't directly cause hair loss.


Is hair loss from low testosterone reversible?

Hair loss can be extremely frustrating and distressing for patients, causing many to seek a hair regrowth treatment option. Luckily, Dr. Feigenbaum has several treatment options available at his St. Louis dermatology office to help restore strength to the hair follicles, thicken the hair, and promote new growth. One such treatment is oral Minoxidil, which was initially FDA-approved to treat high blood pressure but has since been used to treat male and female pattern baldness. Minoxidil can be used topically or orally, though topical Minoxidil can irritate the scalp, which is why some patients prefer to take the medication orally. The drug increases circulation and blood flow to the scalp, which helps to thicken hair follicles that DHT may have weakened. Further, the treatment prolongs the growth phase of the hair follicle, allowing hair to grow longer and for an extended period. With these actions together, Minoxidil helps reverse the effects of androgenetic alopecia without needing a surgical hair transplant.


PRP injections are another treatment available at Dr. Feigenbaum’s office that helps reverse signs of hair loss. PRP injections, also known as platelet-rich plasma injections, are created with a solution comprising the patient’s plasma. The procedure begins with Dr. Feigenbaum drawing blood and using a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the red blood cells. The PRP solution is then injected into the scalp to increase the concentration of proteins known as growth factors, which helps extend the hair growth phase, thicken the hair follicle, and heal the treatment area. Several studies have shown that PRP injections performed once every 2 to 3 weeks for several months can help increase the number of hair follicles, increase the thickness of hair follicles, and strengthen the root of the hair.


How to prevent hair loss while taking testosterone

One of the best ways to prevent hair loss when increasing testosterone levels with supplements or testosterone replacement therapy is to be prescribed a DHT blocker, such as Finasteride. Finasteride, known by its brand name Propecia, inhibits the production of DHT by inhibiting the essential enzyme in the creation of DHT. When oral Finasteride is taken daily, it can decrease DHT production by up to 70%, significantly slowing hair loss in most male patients. Studies have shown that Finasteride consistently decreases hair loss compared to patients who do not take the medication. Biotin, or vitamin B supplements, can also be taken while taking testosterone to maintain the strength of the hair follicles. Vitamin B supplements are less effective than prescription medication such as Minoxidil or Finasteride.


How to get started with hair loss treatment today

Androgenetic alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by hormones that weaken hair follicles. This leads to thinning hair and balding. It's genetic, so it can't be completely prevented, but there are treatments available. Dr. Feigenbaum, a dermatologist with lots of hair treatment experience, offers oral treatments and DHT blockers to slow down and reverse hair loss. He can help protect you from losing too much hair. Consult with him to find the best treatment for you. You can schedule online or call 314-994-0200 to schedule a consultation and learn more about treatment options for hair loss.

 

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