Can weight loss help to reverse PCOS hair loss?

I've had all blood work done, no deficiencies, just mid levels of DHT. I am such it's androgenic alopecia and not TE. Can a proper diet help to reverse PCOS hair loss? I am also on birth control pill and finasteride and aware of risks for both. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 8

Weight loss for hair regrowth

In PCOS, weight loss is very important.  With weight gain,  I see patients loosing more hair and I have noticed some patients regrow hair after weight loss.  It makes sense that reversing the metabolic syndrome would reduce circulating androgens.


Chicago Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Can weight loss help to reverse PCOS hair loss?

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Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

You need to see a doctor for your issues. Women should not be taking Propecia.

You need to see a doctor for your issues. Women should not be taking Propecia.  Weight loss can help with PCOS symptoms.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Hair loss -- PRP, Progesterone, Viviscal, Rogaine, Metformin (PCOS)

weight loss can actually make hair loss worse in patients with PCOS.  I suggest you see a hair loss expert and get on the appropriate treatment for telogen hair loss if you do not have genetic loss.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

PCOS and weight gain

One of the symptoms of PCOS is hair loss.  Another is weight gain.  Treating the PCOS may help both of these, but since the weight gain did not cause the hair loss, losing the weight alone will not reverse it.

You should absolutely get the PCOS treated however.  Hormonal therapies like birth control pills, and treatment with cimetidine or spironolactone have been shown to help the hair (as well as some of other PCOS sympoms).  Minoxidil and LLLT seems to help hair growth no matter what the cause - so consider giving those a try, too.

Hope that helps!

Sara Wasserbauer, MD
Walnut Creek Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

PCOS and hair loss

In my opinion, weight loss will improve the PCOS. However it may help or hurt your hair loss. If you develop telogen  type of hair loss. It could be worse. Make sure that you attempt a gradual type of weight loss. You should also be fully aware of the side effects of finasteride in women. Lately we have been successful with treating genetic type alopecia with platelet rich plasma. It has helped decrease the hair loss and thicken the areas with existing hair.. It does not regrow bald areas. If you have a significant amount of hair still present, it may be of some use. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Jeffrey Rapaport, MD
Englewood Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

POCS

POCS is a hormonal problem so it can not be cured or significantly impacted by diet. Speak with your doctor about the use of birth control pills.

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Weight loss in PCOS

Weight loss in PCOS helps improve acne and sometimes reduce hair growth on the face and sometimes improve menstrual irregularity but I'm not convinced it consistently helps improve hair growth on the scalp. In fact sometimes rapid weight loss triggers a telogen shed (telogen effluvium) which speeds up miniaturization.

Weight loss should always be considered in women with PCOS who are overweight for a variety of health benefits. Effects of weight loss on scalp hair growth are not well understood and likely minimal. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.