Practically all men are familiar with the fact that they have testosterone, especially those who have male pattern hair loss that is giving them a receding hair line. fewer know that men have an albeit small amount of estrogen in them. In fact, fewer people know about estrogen at all compared to how many know about testosterone.
Estrogen may be lesser known, but there is some evidence that suggests it can help with hair loss. For those with thinning hair who nothing seems to work for from androgenic alopecia, any possibility is worth trying. The question is if estrogen really can help or not for hormonal hair loss as a hair loss treatment.
How Estrogen Affects Men
Normally, the estrogen hormone takes care of various functions in the body, like regulating various systems. These systems include your immune system, your brain, your bones, and your muscles. This function is true for both men and women.
A small amount of the estrogen men have is found in the testis, which is quite surprising to consider. What’s more, as a man ages, sometimes their estrogen level goes up as their hair loss goes down.
However, taking more estrogen has other effects, both positive and negative. These effects of estrogen are probably what you’ll be more interested in learning.
To start with, estrogen actually hasn’t been studied nearly as much as many other hair growth factors. This is more so the case in reference to men and how it affects their hair growth. As for women’s hair loss, estrogen is thought to stimulate new hair follicle growth.
In men, estrogen is thought to somehow reduce the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Proof of this reduction is somewhat lacking, though.
Estrogen combines with another thing called progesterone, supposedly working even better together. These two can keep your hair in the growth phase of your hair cycle and may even speed up the growth itself a little.
Apart from estrogen’s effects on hair, estrogen treatments are sometimes used for men who have testosterone sensitive cancer. Since this cancer type thrives with testosterone hormone levels, using estrogen to decrease it makes sense.
Besides those benefits, estrogen can cause a lot of things that are borderline benefits and disadvantages. Softer skin and softer hair probably lean more toward being benefits. However, more weight around the hips as your body tries to make itself curvier is probably not something you want.
A Theory Or Two
Worth noting, one study was done on men who had been castrated, an action that had the effect of stopping the hair loss they had been suffering from. However, it was only when these me had started estrogen injections that their hair actually started growing back.
While I’m not recommending castration for men, that study was one of the first recorded for this. Nowadays, there are male-to-female hormone replacement therapies that you can potentially ask for even if you aren’t trying to switch genders.
It really isn’t known why taking estrogen had this effect. In some cases, stopping DHT is enough to stop hair loss, but not always enough to cause hair regrowth. In these situations, adding estrogen can sometimes be the last little push needed to achieve healthy hair growth.
Some feel that the estrogen slightly changes the structure of the scalp in men when there is enough of it present. This slight structure change is thought to somehow relieve muscle tension in the scalp. In turn, this released tension contributes to the hair growing again.
That said, there is another theory that is more probable. While testosterone is often blamed for male pattern baldness, this is solely because of its link to DHT. After all, more testosterone can potentially allow more DHT to be made.
However, testosterone levels of men that are balding have been tested, and these don’t always line up with that. Some men with little testosterone have extreme balding, and some with lots of testosterone in their system have no balding problems at all.
What might be to blame is the balance – or, rather, the imbalance – between testosterone and estrogen. Practically all men have a small amount of estrogen in them. Though men don’t have such a thing as menopause, their hormones can become unbalanced.
How To Take Estrogen
Estrogen is fairly easy to find. Though almost all estrogen supplements are for women, there is nothing preventing a man from taking them. These are mostly in pill form, though there are tablets and powders as well. These last two forms are harder to find, but they give you more options as far as ways to take it.
It is also possible to include more foods that are richer in estrogen into your diet. Soy is a popular one, as are garlic, cranberries, blueberries, peaches, and a few other foods. You should also avoid foods that prohibit estrogen, like citrus fruits, olive oil, mushrooms, etc. if you are trying to raise your estrogen levels.
On the other hand, one or two places say that men with male pattern baldness shouldn’t take estrogen supplements directly. Instead, they claim it is better to take supplements that boost the production of your natural estrogen.
Hormone Replacement Therapy, HRT for short, is extremely strong doses of hormones, and this is one way to go about it. However, HRT is not recommended for men who intend on staying as a man. Still, there are four well-known HRT treatments you can choose from if you wish to do so.
Finally, certain environmental things can give men more estrogen as well. Estrogen is in certain things like canned foods and plastic containers that foods tend to be stored in. Some herbal remedies can increase its presence in the body as well.
There are even some chemicals that can trigger estrogen. These estrogen triggering chemicals are found in all sorts of things, from air fresheners to the birth control pill, cosmetics, and more. These are by far not the healthiest way to get your estrogen, but they still do increase your estrogen.
Why Not To Take Estrogen
There are reasons why estrogen is more prevalent in women than it is in men. When men take enough estrogen to affect their hair, there are often unintended side effects. The two most common out of these are breast growth and a decreased sex drive.
The latter is also part of infertility, which estrogen can also cause. The former, in particular, can eventually cause gynecomastia. This is a condition where breast tissue not only grows larger in men, but it becomes enlarged and swollen to the point of being painful.
Besides leading to embarrassment, this can’t always be reversed, even by ceasing estrogen supplementation. In this case, surgery on a man’s breasts may be necessary. Unfortunately, this type of surgery does leave a small amount of scarring. In other words, estrogen can cause permanent effects on those who take it.
Other lesser known symptoms of too much estrogen include bloating, weight gain, and other prostate problems. Mentally, estrogen can also cause a hormone imbalance that leads to depression or general irritability.
High estrogen levels can also give you greater chances of blood pressure problems, stroke, certain types of cancer, and even thyroid dysfunctions as well. That is quite the list of possible side effects when very little is known about its benefits for hair density.
Lastly, too much estrogen can even cause hair loss itself, which can rather defeat the whole purpose of taking it. There is even a condition called estrogen dominance that men can have. Its symptoms include seemingly random things like fatigue, soreness, boating, and some of the others already mentioned.
All in all, taking estrogen is something that can potentially help some men with their hair loss. However, there are many disadvantages, as well as the fact that there is very little evidence supporting the fact that it actually works for hair loss.
Then, there is no info on female pattern baldness and it this might help a woman as all. Female pattern hair loss is often caused by a hormonal imbalance, though, so estrogen should somewhat prevent hair loss here.
Therefore, estrogen is not something that I feel confident about recommending for those with thinning hair. Some things like Finasteride supposedly boost estrogen to reduce the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
So, it is evident that at least some people put stock in what estrogen can do for hair thinning problems. And perhaps estrogen is exactly what you need for your androgenetic alopecia to get the hair restoration you’re after.
If you have had success with estrogen, please leave a message and let me know what you thought about it.