In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, Dr. Sophia Kogan is back on the show to share brand new research about women’s hair loss and thinning.
Dr. Kogan is co-founder and Chief Medical Advisor at Nutrafol. The company creates supplements to decrease shedding and increase hair growth. Several of the products are designed specifically for women’s physiology.
Her new study is important because women are about four times more susceptible to hair loss than men. Women not only have different hormonal pathways and factors that contribute to what they need for hair growth, but they also have phases in their lives, like menopause or pregnancy, that make them more susceptible to hair loss.
“This is the first study that came out on women in menopause or who are going through hair thinning,” she says.
Stress is another major factor that contributes to hair thinning and loss
Stress effects our hair throughout our entire lifetime, but during this past pandemic year, it’s been worse than ever. When we’re suffering from a bunch of stress (whether physical or emotional), the body pulls its resources to preserve its life internally, not hair growth.
“During stress, hair follicles are synchronistically shifted, a huge number of them, into that resting phase,” Dr. Kogan explains. “So, the body says, ‘I want to pull the resources internally. I don’t really need or care about hair. I want to preserve my life.’ And so it goes to the vital organs. That’s what happens to the hair growth cycle and it shifts and all of a sudden, we have a massive amount of hair shedding about three to six months later.”
“Women go through a tremendous amount of stress in relationship to their hair, even more so than men because men sort of expect to thin,” Dr. Kogan says. She explains that the experience of hair loss for women often has a specific shame and guilt associated with it, too.
We all experience stress differently, so it’s generally important to take time in your day for something that brings you into a flow state, says Dr. Kogan. “Each person is going to be really different, but they’ve got to feel a feeling of calmness because that’s when you calm the nervous system,“ she says.
Listen on to learn more about Dr. Kogan’s research, ways to manage your stress, and nutraceutical solutions for hair thinning and loss.
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Nutrafol Blog: nutrafol.com/blog/
Dave Asprey Blog:
- You’ve just seen a huge increase in hair shedding recently. Not personally, but just in the world. What’s going on with that? – 2:52
- So it’s a lot of things that people are stressed about and follicles are very sensitive to stress. – 11:30
- It was mostly women that were coming back with the hair shedding and telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium is found predominantly in women. – 14:02
- Each person it’s going to be really different, but they’ve got to feel a feeling of calmness because that’s when you calm the nervous system. – 16:36
- We’re all striving towards homeostasis, but in reality, what we’re really striving for, it’s towards allostasis. And for anyone who doesn’t know the difference, homeostasis is where there’s static and allostasis is mobile. – 17:46
- Why do women lose hair during perimenopause? – 19:51
- Relative to the estrogen and progesterone, there’s going to be a dominance of androgens. And if you’re stressed, you’re actually going to contribute to that. – 24:04
- So the follicle gets miniaturized, it becomes thinner and smaller. There’s less of it. There is less hairs in each follicle. – 27:49
- Terminal hair is what you really want to increase, but you want to affect the vellus hairs as well. So the terminal hair is increased by about 10% on day 180. – 30:54
- The ones that were taking Nutrafol actually, they had an increase of about again 10%, but the ones that did not take Nutrafol had a decrease that was also statistically significant and it was about 3% decrease. – 31:26
- Why are you able to do this? I mean, are you turning down cortisol? What are you manipulating? – 33:03
- One of the things that I find really irritating about hair is it’s the worst biofeedback system ever. – 38:48
- When somebody got really stressed and went gray overnight, how does that happen? – 43:13
- I think using antioxidants is a big deal. You have to boost your own because we’re declining an anti-oxidant potential as we grow older. – 48:00
- This is the first study that came out on women in menopause or who are going through hair thinning that for a natural supplement there’s virtually nothing even on that non natural supplement. So we’re very proud of ourselves. – 52:43
- That’s why we talk about hair wellness. It’s about really changing the systems inside, what you do, and essentially biohacking your way to improve the hair outside. – 55:20
- We’re going to be able to talk about periods, great. Hallelujah, we finally can. We can talk about menopause, Hallelujah, will we ever finally can. And now I think it’s really important to just like you said, address the fact that, “Hey, this is going to happen to you at some point in time.” So what can you do about it? And I always encourage women to speak up because that’s the first way that they can de-stress. – 58:41
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