PCOS and Hair Loss: Treatments, Remedies and Tips
Dr. Gunjan Gurav (she/her)

Dr. Gunjan Gurav (she/her)

Sep 06PCOS

PCOS and Hair Loss: Treatments, Remedies and Tips

This article has been compiled by Vaibhavi Kodnani, a content writer at Proactive For Her.

Does PCOS cause hair loss?

PCOS is a hormonal condition that causes an imbalance in the hormones of the body. In people with PCOS, the androgen or masculinizing hormone levels in the body increase, which can lead to various symptoms on the skin and hair like acne, increased body hair growth and hair loss.

Hair thinning and female pattern hair loss

The coarse hair on your scalp gradually starts becoming thinner, and the growth slows down. It will lead to various thinness and thickness of hair all over the scalp. It is a common PCOS hair loss pattern known as female pattern hair loss or androgenic alopecia. You may experience:

  • Widening of the centre partition
  • Thinning of hair
  • Receding hairline

Will the hair grow back on its own?

If you do not manage your PCOS, hair growth will not take place. Hence, to treat your hair problems, you need to get your PCOS under control. Holistically treating your PCOS becomes crucial to improve your chances of growing thick, dense hair.

Is PCOS hair loss reversible?

On close evaluation, a dermatologist will be able to assess the status of your hair follicles. There are two possibilities:

  • If the hair has thinned out, it is possible to restore its thickness with appropriate PCOS hair loss treatments.
  • If there are dead follicles, meaning they do not produce hair anymore, there is no medical treatment for promoting hair growth in those areas. However, there are many options to choose from, such as hair transplants, hair wigs and more.

Medical treatments for PCOS related hair loss

You must consult your doctor if you start experiencing hair thinning and hair fall. After diagnosis, if your doctor concludes that the hair loss is associated with PCOS, they can make a holistic plan to control your PCOS and hair loss. A multidisciplinary team of doctors are needed to treat PCOS and its related symptoms.

There are various effective forms of medical treatments for PCOS hair fall. It helps promote hair growth and manage permanent hair fall too.

Topical solutions

Your doctor may prescribe topical solutions containing ​​minoxidil that not only strengthens the hair roots but also improves the density and thickness of the hair over time. It needs to be applied for at least 8-10 months to gain effective results.

Oral medications

If the androgen levels in your body are high, your doctor will give you anti-androgens in the form of oral medications. For the menopausal age group, the doctors may also prescribe oral drugs like finasteride or dutasteride that help balance testosterone levels. Younger females can take them as long as they are not planning to get pregnant. It is not advisable to get pregnant while taking these drugs as it can cause fetal anomalies.


Hair requires various nutrients for optimal growth and strengthening. Hence, to meet those requirements, your doctor may ask you to take a combination of certain supplements.

  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Multivitamins
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Amino acids
  • Omega 3-6 fatty acids
  • B-complex vitamins
  • Resveratrol

Hair transplant

If your hair thinning is too severe, the doctor will first try to resolve it through medical treatments. However, if none of the treatments proves to be too effective, they would suggest you opt for a hair transplant. For a hair transplant, your doctor will take hair from the back of the scalp where the hair is usually stronger, and the density is better. These hairs are then implanted in the front of the scalp or the other bald areas where the density is thinner.

However, along with the hair transplant, the other medications and topical applications have to be continued, or the process will not be as successful.

Adjunctive therapies

There are many more therapies for hair loss due to PCOS. But, no one treatment will give you a successful outcome; it has to be a combination of medications, topical solutions and other therapies.

Laser therapy or laser helmets: Laser therapy stimulates the hair roots to grow hair.

Microneedling: It is a process wherein solutions containing minerals, vitamins like biotin, and peptides are infused into the scalp to promote hair growth.

Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy (PRP): The doctor will extract your blood. Then, the platelets are separated from it. This platelet-rich plasma is injected into the scalp to stimulate the hair follicles and allow the hair to grow stronger and better.

Home remedies for PCOS hair growth

You must not solely rely on home remedies. But, there is no harm in using them while your treatment is going on. However, it is best to ask your doctor before trying any new PCOS hair loss remedies. A few known safe hair stimulants are castor oil and onion.

Castor oil: It stimulates the hair to grow stronger and also prevents hair fall. You can mix a few drops of castor oil in your base oil and apply it to your scalp before shampooing.

Onion juice or oil: Onion irritates the scalp, causes inflammation and that stimulates the hair follicles to grow. There are some products containing onion extracts. You could also extract onion juice and apply it to your scalp. Leave it for half an hour before washing it with shampoo.

What should one avoid when dealing with hair loss?

To avoid aggravating your hair loss, you must keep a few things in mind:

Do not use any chemical treatments on your hair: Using too many chemical treatments like perming, colouring, straightening on already thin and weakened hair can damage it furthermore.

Do not use heat on your hair: Do not use too much heat on the hair as it can heighten hair breakage.

Avoid too many styling products in the hair: Do not use any hair styling products like gel or mousse on your hair.

What is the best hair care routine to follow?

Here are some general tips for hair care when suffering from PCOS-related hair loss.

Washing hair:

  • Wash your hair regularly with a mild shampoo and conditioner. It is a myth that if you wash your hair often, it will fall more. For the hair to be healthy and clean, it should be washed every third day. If your hair is very oily, you can wash it every alternate day.
  • If you work out, sweat too much, and live in a humid environment, you can wash your hair daily.
  • You can apply oil for half an hour to two hours before shampooing your hair. Apply it on your scalp and even your hair if it is too dry. You do not have to leave it on overnight.
  • Do not use really hot water to wash your hair. Use lukewarm or normal temperature water as it is gentler for your hair.
  • After shampooing, apply the conditioner 1 inch from the root to the ends of the hair.

Hair Care products:

  • Use a mild shampoo and conditioner. You can consider shampoos that are fortified with certain ingredients such as peptides, procapil that are known to stimulate hair growth. Make sure the products are free of parabens and sulphate.
  • You can oil your hair even if you have hair loss. You can use any regular oil and mix a few drops of castor oil in it.
  • After washing your hair, do you apply oil once again as you will have to apply medicated solutions on your scalp for strengthening the hair?
  • If you colour your hair, choose milder, natural hair colours that are ammonia and PPD free as those will be gentler on the hair.

Drying hair after wash:

  • After washing, leave your hair open for air drying.
  • It is not advisable, but if you have to use a blow-dry, use it in the cool mode.

Combing hair:

  • Do not try to comb your hair when it is wet because it is already thin and weakened.
  • It is better to let it dry completely before combing.

Colouring hair: 

  • If you are experiencing acute hair loss, meaning if it has happened in a short period, wait until the hair loss treatments start showing their effects before colouring your hair or doing any other chemical treatments.
  • If it is chronic hair loss, and you are on treatments for a long time, and your condition has fairly stabilised, then you can go ahead with colouring your hair. But, it is better to take your doctor’s advice before doing it.

Trimming hair:

  • It is ideal to get your hair trimmed once in three months as the hair ends get damaged and can lead to hair breakage, thinning and split ends.

What are the lifestyle and diet changes for managing hair fall?

Apart from the PCOS hair growth treatments, home remedies and hair care routine, a few crucial lifestyles and diet changes are necessary for managing hair loss due to PCOS.

Exercise regularly: Exercising for 30 mins at least 5 times a week can have significant benefits for your PCOS and its various symptoms.

Manage your stress: Try to incorporate relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation in your daily schedule to manage everyday stress better.

Stop smoking and alcohol: Smoking and alcohol use can cause free radical damage and then hasten the process of hair loss.

Get enough sleep: Make sure you get 7-8 hours of restful sleep at night to regularise your body cycles. Practise healthy sleep habits such as sleeping in a clean space, and at the same time, and not using devices and gadgets one hour before bedtime.

Focus on what you eat: Consuming a healthy diet can prove beneficial for your hair too. Your diet should be rich in proteins, minerals and iron. Have nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Avoid eating high-processed foods, foods with added preservatives, sugary foods, refined carbs, foods with a high Glycemic Index.

Maintain an optimum weight: If you gain weight and have abdominal obesity, then there is overall inflammation in the body that can lead to PCOS and other related symptoms such as hair loss. Hence, have an active lifestyle and consume a healthy diet to have your weight under control.

What are some tips to make hair loss less noticeable?

There are some cosmetic tips for making your hair loss less noticeable. These are extremely helpful until the treatments start showing their effects. Even those suffering from permanent hair loss can benefit from these alternatives.

Hair sprays: There are hair fibre sprays available in different colours to spray on your bald areas. These sprays have electrostatic properties, so they stick to the hair and give it a natural look. But they will only stay until you wash the hair. Toppik is a good brand for these hair sprays.

Micropigmentation: Sometimes, people do not want to opt for hair transplants. A new treatment called scalp micro pigmentation is a good alternative. It is like permanent makeup or tattooing on the scalp to give an illusion of hair.

Hair extensions: Now, good hair extensions are available in the market made with natural hair.


Usually, hair treatments require at least 2-12 months of continuous effort for them to be effective. Hence, you have to be patient and follow your doctor’s advice diligently. If the hair loss is impacting your emotional well-being, do not hesitate to reach out for psychological help. Always remember that there are many helpful solutions to treat your PCOS hair loss. If it has reached a point where it can’t be treated, there are ways to make it less visible.


This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare practitioners before undertaking any changes in your diet or adding supplements.

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