PCOS, also known as the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition that affects women of reproductive age (usually between 12-45 years). True to its name, PCOS is a hormonal disorder characterized by the formation of cysts in the ovary (one or both the ovaries). Androgen, the male sex hormone is produced in small amounts by the ovary. In PCOS, there is an increased production of androgens. The levels of estrogen and progesterone (female sex hormones) also undergo alteration. All these hormonal imbalance affects the functioning of the ovary as well as the ovulation process (the eggs either don't mature or are not released from the ovary).
PCOS and Hair Loss
In the case of PCOS, in addition to the menstrual and fertility problem, many females also suffer from severe hair loss.
There are three phases in a hair growth cycle-
In PCOS, there is an increased production of androgen or testosterone. The testosterone then gets converted to another hormone called the Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The DHT thus formed binds itself to the hair follicles. As a result of this, the hair follicles abruptly enters into the resting phase, characterized by hair loss. The DHT when it binds to the hair follicles is also known to affect the ability of the hair follicles to absorb the essential nutrients.The PCOS left untreated, this process gets repeated in each hair growth cycle with increased hair loss and hair thinning. The hair regrowth and regeneration also slows down, a condition termed as Androgenic Alopecia.