Hair loss is one of the most conspicuous and exasperating signs of aging. It can have a serious impact on your confidence as it changes your look forever. But hair loss is not always a sign of aging 1.
Fluctuating levels of testosterone have also been linked to hair fall, especially when males reach the age of 40s and early 50s 2. However, the link between hair loss and testosterone is quite complicated. For starters, testosterone occurs in different forms in the body 3, 4.
There is bound and free testosterone. Almost 98% of the body's testosterone is bound to albumin or sex-hormone-binding globulin 5. When testosterone has albumin or SHBG chemical receptors attached to it, that testosterone is not active.
Free testosterone is not bound to any proteins in the body and therefore it is the most common form to act in the body. Free testosterone can freely combine with available receptors on body cells, and therefore it can readily combine with T molecules and perform cellular functions as well as other functions like metabolism 6.
This simply means that free testosterone can affect hair growth. While hair loss is often caused by low testosterone levels 7, high testosterone can also cause hair to fall off 8. Dihydrotestosterone is the hormone responsible for hair loss in both males and females 9.
DHT is believed to be more potent than testosterone and is formed when testosterone is converted. As a matter of fact, nearly 10 percent of the testosterone produced is converted to DHT 10.
This means that if there are high levels of testosterone in the body, more of it will be converted to DHT. DHT causes hair follicles to miniaturize. This is a process where the hair follicle shrinks in size over time. As the follicle shrinks, the hair that it produces becomes thinner and shorter.
3 ways to increase testosterone levels naturally.
Reduce cortisol and stress
Emotional, physical, and mental stress affects the production of testosterone negatively 11. This is due to the fact that stress upsets the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. When you are stressed, cortisol hormone is produced and along with testosterone, interrelates in a see-saw manner, meaning when one is low, the other is high. High levels of cortisol have a testosterone-dampening impact, and thus reducing stress and cortisol hormones can help increase T levels naturally 12.
A huge percentage of testosterone produced by the male body takes place during sleep. So having disruptive sleep apnea or sleep fragmentation can lead to decreased testosterone levels 13. Therefore, by improving your sleep, you will generally enhance your body's testosterone levels. You will notice that the levels of T in your body start increasing immediately after you begin to have more quality sleep 14. In fact, the impact of poor sleep on testosterone levels can be ostensible after just 7 days of poor sleep 15.
Eat healthy diet
Improving your diet can promote a healthy weight and decrease the risk of increased blood sugar 16. Obesity can lead to low testosterone levels.
Healthy eating – adding plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to your diet can help increase your testosterone levels naturally 17. The most important thing to remember when trying to increase your testosterone levels using a healthy diet is avoiding highly processed carbs, like those found in chips, fries, and most junk foods.
Low testosterone levels can cause hair loss, but high testosterone levels can also lead to hair loss. DHT is the hormone responsible for hair loss in both males and females. DHT is formed when testosterone is converted. If there are high levels of testosterone in the body, more of it will be converted to DHT. Reducing stress, sleeping well, and eating a healthy diet can help increase testosterone levels naturally.