The Relationship Between Diabetes and Hair Loss
This relationship? It can be a complicated one.
Just like anything else, everyone’s personal experience is different. So while some may never experience even an ounce of hair loss due to diabetes, others may be losing their hair by the handful. Unfortunately, this is why a number of newly diagnosed diabetics may not know what lies on the road ahead of them.
So, does diabetes cause hair loss?
Diabetes and Hair Loss: Disrupting the Hair Growth Cycle
Is there a link between diabetes and hair loss?
As we’ve discussed in prior articles, stress, unhealthy eating, exercise and changes in the hormonal cycle can all affect the rate of your hair growth. But your insulin and blood glucose levels can also disrupt your hair growth cycle—so we’re here to talk about that.
The hair growth cycle consists of four phases: anagen, catagen, telogen and exogen, during which your hair follicles grow, stall and shed. On average, it is perfectly normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day throughout the year. Any number of outside factors can disrupt this cycle and result in the appearance of increased hair loss. However, the relationship between diabetes and hair loss is often left undiscussed.
For someone recently diagnosed with diabetes, hair loss can feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back, especially if your doctor doesn’t discuss hair loss as a possible side effect. Sure, they might mention that high glucose levels, or hyperglycemia, can start to damage your blood vessels and that these blood vessels are responsible for delivering oxygen and various nutrients to your organs.
But what they may fail to indicate, is that your blood vessels also need to carry oxygen to your scalp and hair follicles. And that without enough oxygen, your hair growth cycle can falter, leading to damaged and brittle hair, thinner hair or stunted hair growth. High levels of glucose can stunt your hair growth so that you’re actually losing hair faster than you can regrow it, which is what appears as thinning hair and general hair loss.
Diabetes can trigger Telogen Effluvium, a form of hair loss where your sudden hair thinning is occurring because your body can’t produce insulin, which results in excessive hair shedding during the telogen phase. Diabetes and hair loss can also increase your risk of developing Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disease, or other immune system disorders.
Alopecia Areata is a condition in which your immune system attacks the hair follicles that grow on your scalp and other areas of your body, causing your hair to fall out in patches. Thankfully, more often than not, Alopecia Areata doesn’t completely destroy your hair follicles, meaning your hair can usually grow back.
Like many other medical conditions, diabetes can cause added stress on you and your body. Of course, this stress, and any other hormonal conditions you may be experiencing (like postpartum or menopause), can also directly disrupt the hair growth cycle. Sometimes it can feel as if someone just keeps adding fuel to the fire.
So when it comes to diabetes and hair loss prevention, what can you do?
Diabetes Hair Loss Prevention: What You Can Do
First and foremost, make sure you’re consistently monitoring your glucose levels and practicing a healthy lifestyle. By integrating exercise, healthy eating and meditative practices into your life, you can naturally decrease your glucose and stress levels.
According to the American Diabetes Association, an A1C level below 7% will improve your overall health and prevent additional diabetes complications, including hair loss. A1C tests are reported as a percentage of your average blood sugar levels over the past three months, with a normal level measuring below 5.7%.
1. Can You Rule Out Diabetes?
If you’ve ruled out diabetes and high glucose levels as the cause for your increased hair loss, it might be time to talk to your doctor, as it could be related to a medication you’re taking or another underlying cause. Unfortunately, diabetics are more susceptible to developing celiac disease and thyroid complications, both of which also affect the hair growth cycle.
2. Add Supplements to Your Daily Routine
No matter the cause of your hair loss, hair, skin and nail supplements are one of the best ways to complement natural diabetes hair loss prevention. Our gummies are jam-packed with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as biotin, vitamin A and folic acid. Biotin is a powerhouse nutrient responsible for boosting and strengthening your overall hair condition.
3. Scalp Massages Stimulate Blood Flow
When it comes to diabetes hair loss prevention, adding scalp massages with scalp serum to your weekly routine is a great topical solution. Our Superpower Hair & Scalp Duo is specifically designed to not only make scalp serum application easier, but to provide a blood stimulating scalp massage as well.
Formulated with scalp stimulating ingredients for all hair types, our serum reverses follicle fatigue and provides beneficial oils to your hair and scalp.
4. Do You Want to Cover Your Hair in the Meantime?
While you work on bringing your hair back to life, there are a number of options available to you if you want to cover or hide your existing hair, such as hats, scarves and wigs, to name a few. Make sure you schedule an appointment to speak with your doctor if you want to discuss medical solutions for your hair loss, or if your hair loss continues to worsen.
Tell Us: Do you have a diabetes and hair loss story of your own, or know someone who does? We want to hear about it. Share in the comments below!
Send us a message on Facebook and Instagram if you have any questions about our products or how they can help your hair-care journey. Better Not Younger has everything you need to help you strengthen your hair as it ages. Make sure to check out our blog for more hair-care information as well!