Well ladies - and I suppose possibly some gents - I have had beyond a ton of requests to talk more about PCOS and specifically what I do about the thinning PCOS hair thing that SO many of us are dealing with.
I gotta tell you, having thinning hair might have been one of the hardest part about getting PCOS. Yes the acne was bad, yes the thought of possibly never having children was unbearable, BUT my HAIR was something I never had to worry about.
My hair had always been rather cooperative. It was nice and thick, but not too thick. It was silky and undamaged.... I could grow it long without it looking dead, and of all my features, I'd say that for most of my life my hair was the ONE thing I actually liked about myself. Genuinely. I talked more about my PCOS hair and natural 'no poo' experience in a previous posts and I also shared my favorite natural mask recipe in THIS blog post. The recipe is magic and I STILL use it!
It not only makes your hair soft and silky, it also helps promote new growth in your hair follicles and strengthens your existing strands with nutrients AKA a dream combination for those of us struggling with PCOS HAIR ore really anyone with thin hair! I've had a ton of friends add it to their weekly routine and they've seen great results!
I want to mention WHY so many of us ladies with PCOS deal with the same thing, and I'm sure you can pretty much figure out the culprit:
ANDROGENS and specifically a type of testosterone called DHT.
Those damn male hormones that are swirling around and wreaking all kinds of havoc in our bodies are essentially also making our hair follicles more manly, AKA alopecia AKA male pattern balding, BUT FOR WOMEN. Fun right? Not so much, but don't worry - it doesn't have to be forever.
Just like men tend to start balding and losing their hair as they age and their hormones shift, the same thing happens to us women with PCOS because of our hormonal imbalances.
Now that you understand why this is happening, let's talk a little bit about what you can do to combat this beyond throwing temper tantrums and walking around with two strands of hair.
Below you'll also find a hair tutorial I did over on facebook the other day, AND I'll give you some updates on my current fav hair-care products including my not so secret weapon: EXTENSIONS!
What can you do to combat PCOS thinning hair?
1. Eat nutritious food!
Yep, I know you probably didn't want to see this one, but I'm sure you're also not surprised by it! Your body needs nutrients on the inside and out in order to balance your hormones and keep the hair you DO have healthy! Include things like Salmon, Sardines, Cucumbers, Beets, Kale, Spinach, Bok Choy, Raw Sauerkraut, Sweet Potatoes, Yuca, Taro, Mushrooms, Goats Milk Kefir, Kombucha, Blueberries, Avocado, Bone Broth, Oysters, Grass Fed Beef, Liver, Lamb, Seaweed, Kelp, Eggs, Cinnamon, Turmeric, and any Coconut products. BUT just eating nutritious food won't necessarily get the nutrients into your body. You gotta make sure that your body can absorb the nutrients you're feeding it by healing your gut, which brings me to number two...
2. Heal Leaky Gut...
I hate to break it to you, but if you have hormonal imbalances ie PCOS - then you're def dealing with some leaky gut. I'm not going to go into details here but you need to remove gut damaging foods like sugar, gluten, grains, and beans like asap! On top of that here are some great supplements to add into your diet to help nutrient absorption, healing leaky gut, & building up your hair, skin & nails! a) Collagen Peptides b) Liver Caps c) L-Glutamine or BCAA OR Leaky Gut Repair depending on what your overall goals are, and last but not least d) Probiotics!
3. Don't Stress It!
Yep, stress is just going to make you lose more hair, so try adding in some outside time with a walk during the day, maybe reading a book or taking an epsom salt bath, whatever is going relax you and help you de-stress - DO IT!
4. Don't Be Rough!
Take a gentle hand with your hair, don't constantly touch it and run your fingers through it as that will just make more hair come out. When you do brush your hair I recommend using a boar bristle brush and ALWAYS brush from the bottom to the top. So start with small sections at the tips of your hair and work your way up to the root! But don't brush too often! Again all the pulling isn't great when you're trying to hold onto your locks! Also make sure that you're not over washing your hair. Some natural oils are good, so keep the washes to just 2-5 times per week, and just wear your hair up so you're not tempted to mess with it!
5. Ditch The Conventional Stuff!
Yep, forget about regular shampoos, masks, serums, gels, and conditioners, that clog your hair follicles and mess with your hormonal balancing efforts, instead go the natural route and again do that hair mask I mentioned above, you won;t regret it! Some of my favorite natural products for thinning hair are a) Just Naturals b) African Black Soap - this is what I currently use c) Morocco Method.
Last but certainly not least....
6. Don't be afraid to wear some hair extensions!
I don't care how hippy dippy or into self love and self care you are - if your hair is making you feel like crap about yourself it's NOT worth the stress and agonizing over. Seriously I wish I had bought some a lot sooner. It would have saved me a lot of stress & heartache. Especially if you know it's going to take some time to really build your hair back up the RIGHT way, then get some clip in extensions!
There ain't no shame in my game!
I'll admit that I myself was totally judgy about extensions until I wore them for my bikini competition earlier this year and realized.... WOW these make me feel AMAZING! And it's in that moment that I realized that if there's something about yourself that you're kind of unsatisfied with, it's OKAY to do something about it! You should NOT feel bad about doing things that make you feel good about yourself - even if it's getting a boob job, or removing excess skin that drives you crazy, or getting some friggin hair extensions! By doing something to feel differently about yourself you're not saying that there's something WRONG with you. You're just doing something that makes you feel AWESOME! Isn't that worth it? Your body and hair is not going to suffer from you putting in some extensions. Your body will however suffer from you STRESSING about your hair every day. Now what COULD as a result of wearing extensions is that wearing them will make you feel LESS stressed about your hair and outward appearance and make you feel like the banging ass woman that you most definitely are. Having that renewed confidence in yourself can lower your stress, help you to be more outgoing, make better connections with people, and let's be honest - GO OUT IN PUBLIC without feeling ashed, or being worried about how your thin hair looks the entire time!
I know all too well how it goes to see pictures of yourself from an outing or event and just feel like your hair looks so thin and wispy and gross. Or to blow dry the crap out of it in hopes of giving it all of the volume and hiding the fact that it's gotten so thin. Seriously, I feel you boo! Don't let your PCOS have that much power over you when you can easily do something about it!
So while you're working on making your hair and hormones healthy with my methods above - why not help your self confidence out by putting some extensions in!? I swear it's funny how one little thing can make such a huge difference. And people tell me ALL THE TIME how amazing and thick and healthy my hair looks when I wear them!
I plan to get some more "semi permanent" ones soon using either keratin strips, or itips, when I have room for it in my budget. But today is not that day, and until then I'll keep using my clip ins!
I do only wear the extensions when my hair is down - I want to mention that. I don't really wear them when I have my hair up unless I do a low side pony or a braid of some sort. But when it's on top of my head I typically don't think it's worth the hassle of putting them in! Oh and as far as the hassle goes - once you get a system down they don't take long to put in at all maybe 5 minutes tops! But I won't lie that it took me a minute to figure out what I was doing on that front! Maybe that'll be my next hair tutorial if you guys are wanting to see it? If so then leave a comment below - if I get enough comments then I'll tutorial that ish. If not then, meh we'll see. I make no promises!
Speaking of tutorials.... Here's my hair tutorial for that PINEAPPLE HAIR that everyone goes crazy over!!! It's really easy to do and a fun look! I don't wear any kind of extensions for this look, and I wear this look almost all week long, not gonna lie!
Well folks that's it for me today! I hope you have an amazing Thursday, I've gotta run off and go teach some ballet, but in the mean time don't forget to ask any PCOS specific hair questions in the comments section below right here on the blog! And also let me know if you enjoy blog posts like this so I can bring you more of em in the future! Please share this post if you know someone who struggles with thinning hair and may find it helpful! <3