Women experience hair loss for any number of reasons, but one common cause is the reduction in the production of estrogen. Estrogen has a big hand in hair growth in that this hormone helps activate hair follicles to grow hair. When estrogen levels decrease, more follicles go into a rest phase, causing hair shedding that results in a thinning mane or bald spots. If you find your hair is not as thick as it used to be, decreased estrogen levels may be to blame. Here are two treatment options that may help restore your crowning glory.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

If the dip in your estrogen levels is because of perimenopause, menopause, or another long-term condition, then hormone replacement therapy is one way you can fix the issue. This treatment consists of taking estrogen medication to increase and maintain a healthy level of this hormone in the body. The medicine comes in several different forms, including pills, patches, and vaginal rings.

Hormone replacement therapy is very effective at promoting hair growth and can correct other estrogen-related problems, such as hot flashes, weight gain, and vaginal dryness. Be aware, though, that this therapy can work too well. One side effect of taking synthetic estrogen is you may begin growing hair in unwanted places.

Other issues you may experience include vaginal bleeding, nausea, mood problems, sore breasts, and headaches. There is also an increased risk of blood clots. This therapy is generally only appropriate for women who cannot naturally produce estrogen (e.g. those who've had hysterectomies), so it's essential you discuss this option with your doctor to help you decide if it's right for you.

Dietary Change

Another option that may appropriate for all women experiencing low estrogen levels is to change diets. There are a variety of foods that naturally contains either regular estrogen or phytoestrogen (a hormone that mimics the action of estrogen), which may help raise your levels without the side effects associated with other treatment options.

Foods that are good sources of estrogen/phytoestrogen include:

  • Dried fruits, particularly apricots, dates, and prunes
  • Flaxseed and sesame seed
  • Chickpeas, beans, and peas
  • Tempeh
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Tofu and soy milk
  • Grapes and red wine

Since these foods contain other beneficial elements, such as vitamins and fiber, adding a few servings to your diet can improve your overall health as well as protect your hair. Be careful to avoid overconsuming, though. Excessive amounts of estrogen can also cause problems such as irregular periods, trouble sleeping, and mood swings.

For more information about increasing estrogen levels through hormone therapy for fixing a hair loss problem, contact your healthcare provider.