What Hormone Stimulates Hair Growth?

The primary hormone responsible for stimulating hair growth is estrogen. This female sex hormone plays a crucial role in maintaining the hair growth cycle, leading to thicker, stronger, and healthier hair. Meanwhile, androgens, such as testosterone and its derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can either stimulate or suppress hair growth depending on the body area and individual follicle sensitivity.

A Detailed Overview of Hormonal Regulation of Hair Growth

Estrogens: Stimulation and Protection

Estrogens prolong the anagen phase (active growth phase) of the hair, allowing it to grow longer and denser. Additionally, estrogens can mitigate the effects of androgens, preventing their adverse impact on hair follicles, particularly on the scalp.

Androgens: A Dual Role

Androgens, including testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), have varying effects on hair depending on their concentration and location. For example, DHT is known for its ability to shorten the hair growth cycle and cause thinning, potentially leading to androgenetic alopecia (pattern hair loss). However, in some cases, androgens may promote increased hair density on the body and face.

Prolactin: A Potential Player

Recent studies also highlight the role of prolactin—a hormone traditionally associated with lactation—in hair growth regulation. Elevated prolactin levels can affect hair follicles, reducing hair growth and contributing to hair loss.

Hormonal Imbalance and Hair Health

Hormonal imbalances can significantly affect hair condition. For instance, an excess of androgens in women can lead to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), one of whose symptoms is increased body and facial hair growth alongside thinning hair on the scalp. During menopause, the decrease in estrogen levels can also lead to reduced hair volume and thinning.


Understanding the role of hormones in hair growth and health opens avenues for targeted treatments of various hair and scalp conditions. Effective management of hormonal balance through diet, lifestyle, and, where necessary, medication can help restore and maintain hair health.

Author: Dan Silvertown

Hello, I'm Dan Silvertown. I'm passionate about the world of grooming, style, and the art of barbering. As an author, I've had the privilege of writing articles for a virtual barbershop, sharing my insights, tips, and expertise on all things related to men's grooming and self-care.

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