Unfortunately, so many conditions can lead to hair loss. PCOS is one of those. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition that affects 10 million people all over the world, according to the PCOS Awareness Association. 10 million is an enormous number, yet we don’t really know much about this syndrome. My own mother has condition. I had heard of it most of my life because of this, but even so, I didn’t truly understand what it was until I was a young adult.
How PCOS Affects Your Hair
PCOS is called a syndrome, not a disorder, because it is a group of health issues and symptoms that signify the existence of a condition. For example, I often get painful ovarian cysts. I have ended up in the ER a couple of times over them! However, beyond that, I don’t meet any of the other criteria for PCOS. Basically, I have polycystic ovaries, but I do not have PCOS.
Symptoms of PCOS
A long list of symptoms should be present for a diagnosis of PCOS. According to the PCOS Awareness Association, these symptoms include polycystic ovaries, irregular periods, acne, unintended weight gain, depression, infertility, and hair loss. As many of these symptoms can be written off as puberty or something else mundane, the condition often goes undiagnosed. Frequently, women do not know they have PCOS until they experience infertility. There is no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be managed.
Hair thinning or loss can be a terrible symptom of PCOS. Medically, this hair loss is called androgenic alopecia or female pattern hair loss. This is caused by high levels of androgens in the body, brought on by PCOS. It will not cause complete baldness, which is the good news. The bad news is you can’t cure the hair loss. It can be managed, though, with certain hormonal medications, including the birth control pill.
With PCOS, you can probably expect to see hair loss at the top of the head. Glenn Lyons, the Clinical Director of Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic, is what could be considered a hair loss expert. In fact, he specializes in female hair loss. In an interview with Refinery29, Lyons explained that, while it may not feel like it, PCOS hair loss is gradual, not sudden. He further described that the hair loss is seen at the top center of the head, meaning PCOS sufferers typically notice a widening part.
Solutions for Hair Loss
If you are insecure about your PCOS-caused hair thinning or loss, a hairpiece can alleviate these issues. You don’t have to opt for a full wig if you don’t want to. A topper or a top piece can camouflage any thinning at the crown of your head. Banish the image of the delusional man with a bad rug covering his balding head. Toppers can be realistic and beautiful. Since toppers only cover the crown of the head, it is vital you match the color of the topper to your natural hair. Read here for more information on color matching toppers.
Have you been diagnosed with PCOS? Have you faced hair loss or thinning because of it? Tell us your experiences in the comments!