Obesity and female androgenic alopecia: A cause and an effect?

    Daniel Piacquadio, Farhad S. Rad, Mary Spellman, Kathryn A. Hollenbach
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    TLDR Obesity may contribute to female hair loss by increasing male hormone levels that affect hair follicles.
    In a 1994 study of 48 premenopausal women aged 24 to 48 with female androgenetic alopecia (FAA), researchers discovered a significant link between hair loss and obesity. The subjects, selected from over 400 volunteers, had no significant medical histories or medications affecting hair growth. With a BMI calculation, 45.9% were found to be overweight or obese, higher than the 27% obesity rate in the general population. The findings indicated a potential correlation between obesity severity and alopecia prevalence. The study suggested that obesity might lead to FAA by causing hyperandrogenism, due to increased androgen production or reduced SHBG, resulting in more bioactive androgen affecting hair follicles. Weight loss was proposed as a potential treatment for FAA, but its practicality and effectiveness were not confirmed.
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