Does Lack of Estrogen Cause Hair Loss?

WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Hair loss can be a distressing experience for both men and women, and there are numerous factors that can contribute to this condition. One such factor that is particularly relevant for women is a lack of estrogen, a hormone that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including hair growth and maintenance.

Does lack of estrogen cause hair loss?

Yes, a lack of estrogen can indeed cause hair loss in women. Estrogen is a key hormone that helps regulate the hair growth cycle and maintain the health of hair follicles.

Estrogen's Role in Hair Growth

Estrogen has several important functions related to hair growth and maintenance:

  1. It helps prolong the anagen phase (the active growth phase) of the hair cycle, allowing hair to grow longer.
  2. It stimulates the production of natural hair-protecting oils (sebum) from the sebaceous glands, keeping hair well-nourished and lubricated.
  3. It counteracts the effects of androgens (male hormones like testosterone), which can contribute to hair thinning and loss.

When estrogen levels decline, these beneficial effects on hair growth and follicle health are diminished, leading to an increased risk of hair loss or thinning.

Causes of Estrogen Deficiency

There are several scenarios in which a woman may experience a lack of estrogen, potentially leading to hair loss:


During menopause, a woman's ovaries gradually produce less estrogen, leading to a significant drop in estrogen levels. This hormonal shift can trigger a condition called female pattern hair loss (FPHL), characterized by thinning hair on the top of the scalp and crown area.


Women who undergo a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) may experience a sudden decrease in estrogen levels if their ovaries are also removed (surgical menopause). This abrupt hormonal change can result in hair thinning or shedding.

Hormonal Imbalances

Certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, or pituitary gland disorders, can disrupt the balance of hormones, including estrogen, and contribute to hair loss.

Stress and Nutritional Deficiencies

Chronic stress and nutritional deficiencies, particularly in nutrients like iron, zinc, and protein, can affect hormone regulation and lead to temporary hair shedding or thinning.

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Addressing Estrogen-Related Hair Loss

If a lack of estrogen is contributing to hair loss, there are several treatment options that can help manage the condition and promote hair regrowth:

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

For women experiencing menopausal hair loss, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help restore estrogen levels and potentially improve hair growth and thickness. HRT can be administered in various forms, such as pills, patches, or creams, and should be supervised by a healthcare professional.

Topical Treatments

Topical medications like minoxidil (Rogaine) can stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. These treatments can be effective for both men and women experiencing hair loss due to various causes, including estrogen deficiency.

Nutritional Support

Ensuring an adequate intake of essential nutrients, such as iron, zinc, biotin, and protein, can support overall hair health and potentially improve hair regrowth. A balanced diet or the use of targeted supplements may be recommended.

Stress Management

Incorporating stress management techniques, such as exercise, meditation, or counseling, can help regulate hormone levels and reduce the impact of stress-related hair loss.


Estrogen plays a vital role in maintaining healthy hair growth and follicle function. A lack of estrogen, whether due to menopause, surgical interventions, hormonal imbalances, or other factors, can indeed contribute to hair loss or thinning in women. By addressing the underlying cause of estrogen deficiency through hormone replacement therapy, topical treatments, nutritional support, or stress management, many women can effectively manage and potentially reverse estrogen-related hair loss. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate course of treatment based on individual circumstances and medical history.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.