Can Menopause Cause Hair Loss We Asked Physicians
In the years preceding menopause, a female’s hormones go through fluctuations that can affect everything from her mood to her skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, these changes can occur in your 30s, but for most, they begin to happen around their 40s and early 50s. Whenever they do start, it’s important to remember that the menopausal transition is totally natural and not to be feared. Those with female bodies do, however, require support to navigate this time and figure out what’s happening internally . One concern for those who experience menopause is hair loss, which is associated with a decline of certain hormones.
Ahead, a gynecologist, naturopath, and dermatologist explain menopausal hair loss and offer recommendations on how to manage it.
Meet the Expert
- Kate Denniston, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor, trained in both conventional and alternative medicine. She specializes in helping women optimize their hormonal health and practices at Los Angeles Integrated Health.
- Lavanya Krishnan, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology and is the founder of Arya Derm in San Francisco.
- Nicole Williams, MD, FACOG, FACS is a board-certified gynecologist and founder of The Gynecology Institute of Chicago. She specializes in fibroids, minimally invasive hysterectomy, pelvic/sexual pain, heavy bleeding, menopause, and urinary incontinence.
Food Sources That Promote Hair Growth
- Organic food although organic food can be pricey, it will give you more health benefits than commercialized goods and products. They are free from chemicals as well, ensuring that you dont bring any poison to your body. Aside from this, organic foods can help prevent estrogen dominance!
- Pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc which is good for hair growth. Many studies have also shown that theres a link between zinc deficiency and hypothyroidism which causes hair loss.
- Green tea Green tea is not only useful in weight loss, it is also effective in preventing hair loss. It promotes detoxification, ridding the body of toxins and encouraging hair growth. It stops testosterone from being converting to dihydrotestosterone , which greatly damages hair follicles.
- SuperfoodsChia, flaxand hemp seeds are rich in fiber and healthy fats which can help in hair growth.
- Bone Broth Protein is very important because our hair is made of keratin. Bone broth is rich in protein, collagen and amino acids.
- Biotin-rich foods Biotin or vitamin B7 is a water-soluble vitamin in the body which is essential in healthy hair growth. It strengthens our hair strands preventing hair damage. Nutritional yeast and egg yolks are examples of biotin rich foods.
What About Those Progesterone Creams At The Health Store
If you browse the aisles of your favorite health store, you’ll likely see jars of progesterone cream, which are advertised as an alternative to HRT. If the cream is sold over the counter without a prescription, it contains too little of the hormone to be effective. And yam extracts don’t help because your body cannot convert them into progesterone.
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When To Talk To Your Doctor
Along with seeing a doctor if you notice extreme hair loss, its also good to consult with him or her if you notice hair loss after taking a new medication. Your doctor may be able to adjust the dosage so that you dont experience this side effect, or find another medication that doesnt affect your overall hair growth.
Its also good to consider seeing a dermatologist if you have an overly dry, flaking, or itchy scalp. Note the shampoos and other such hair care products you use during your visit. Your hair loss may be due to a skin irritation, allergy, or other such cause, and not menopause.
Important Disclaimer: The information contained on myHirsutism is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Any statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and any information or products discussed are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult a healthcare practitioner before making changes to your diet or taking supplements that may interfere with medications.
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Is Something Wrong With Me
Seeing clumps of hair on your brush or in the tub on a regular basis can be frightening. But rest assured, there is likely nothing wrong with you. Menopause hair loss is a common occurrence in women around the age of fifty and is not commonly known to be a symptom of illness.
However, if you experience sudden severe hair loss, if you notice circular bald spots on your scalp, or if the hair thinning is accompanied by other symptoms, such as rashes, discoloration, itching, swelling, or tenderness, it is a good idea to see your GP or a dermatologist, as you may have an underlying condition which is unrelated to menopause.
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How Can We Recognise Androgenic Alopecia
Female androgenic alopecia is characterised by a diffused thinning of hair over the crown of the head. Women might notice a widening of their natural hair parting or a less full ponytail. However, if hair-loss more closely resembles male-pattern balding , this might be a sign of a different hormonal condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome . Other symptoms of PCOS include weight gain, acne, excessive facial hair growth and irregular periods.
Poor diet and iron-deficiency can also result in hair loss. The NHS advises consulting a GP if you have sudden hair loss, develop bald patches, lose hair in clumps or experience itching or burning sensations on the scalp.
Sun Protection Is A Must
No matter what your skin challenges are, sunscreen is your friend. Slather it on every day, all year round. Sun protection can ward off signs of aging and prevent skin cancer.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen thats SPF 30 or higher. Choose one you like so youll be more likely to apply it every morning. If youre going to be outside, reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
The suns rays age your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer, Dr. Williams says. Even in the winter, UV rays penetrate the clouds.
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How To Identify Hair Loss After Menopause Before Its Too Late
Just because hair loss is a visible condition doesnt mean that youll see it right away. In fact, people often dont notice that they are experience hair loss until half of the process has occurred. Its important to keep an eye on the following symptoms so that you can treat the condition as early as possible. The earlier you treat hair loss, the better your results will be. Here are a few common female hair loss symptoms:
- A widening of the part in your hair. While mens hair often starts receding at the hairline, women typically start seeing hair loss at their part.
- Handfuls of hair coming out when you brush or shower. If you notice your hair is unusually loose, with patches coming out after a gentle tug, you may be experiencing a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium.
- Patches of hair loss. If you notice small patches of baldness where there was once hair, you may be experiencing hair loss such as alopecia areata.
If hair loss during menopause runs in your family, we recommend seeing your primary physician or a board-certified dermatologist. Dr. Krejci is a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in the evaluation of hair loss. Through careful analysis, she will be able to find out if you are suffering with hair loss and what type.
Loss Of Body Hair: Why Its Happening And What You Can Do
A loss of body hair may sound like a GOOD thing after all, we spend most of our adult lives trying to remove it from one body part or another! But the reality is that it can be quite alarming, because it can be completely unexpected and the cause can be hard to determine.
Partial or complete hair loss can affect pretty much any part of the body, including the arms and legs eyebrows and eyelashes even pubic hair can be affected. In some cases, the hair loss can be temporary, but in others it may be permanent.
On this page well take a look at the various causes of body hair loss in women.
Please note: This information, whilst supported by links to the relevant resources and research, is not meant to constitute medical advice. You should always discuss your hair loss concerns with your doctor or other medical professional.
Also, make sure you take the free hair quiz further down in this article.
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Wigs And Head Coverings
If hair loss is extensive, you may find that a wig or head covering can give a life-changing confidence boost. Wigs are widely available on the high street, online and from the NHS Alopecia UK has a thorough and informative guide here. Be aware of the latest concerns regarding the use of human hair and its link to modern slavery and trafficking. Leading hairdresser and wig maker Denise McAdam now only works with synthetic hair for this reason.
How Should You Prepare For Your Doctor Visit
There are four things that you should do before you talk to Doctors:
Hair Loss: Myths and Realities | Carolyn Goh, MD UCLA Health
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A Lack Of Dhea In Your Body Could Be Causing Hair Loss
DHEA is dehydroepiandrosterone, the most abundant hormone in the blood. We produce most of it during our adult lives but certain factors can reduce how much we produce. These include
- The aging process
- Certain medications, particularly anti-fungal antibiotics and birth control
Under-production of DHEA can contribute to a lowered libido and a loss of body hair, particularly in the lower half of the body.
Ask your doctor to check your DHEA levels this can be accomplished with a test of either your blood, urine or saliva.
What Can I Do
- The appearance of menopausal hair loss can sometimes be improved by cosmetic practices, e.g. reducing the use of straighteners, hair dryers and other heat damaging tools. This along with the use of thickening shampoos and conditioners may improve hair appearance.
- A healthy, varied diet is a contributing factor to a healthy body, so a nutritional review may be helpful.
- Topical solutions to increase hair growth can be purchased. These take several months to take effect and must be used on an ongoing basis, or hair loss will return.
- Laser devices that emit low-energy laser light may stimulate hair growth to help fight thinning hair. Laser therapy is best carried out by a hairdresser or therapist with experience and training on these devices. The long-term safety and effectiveness are unknown.
- Some medications have side effects that could include hair loss. Make sure to talk to your doctor if youve noticed significant hair loss and you think that your medicine might be the cause.
- An important function of hair is to protect the scalp from sunlight it is therefore important to protect any bald areas of your scalp from the sun to prevent sunburn and to reduce the chances of developing long-term sun damage.
- Be reassured. Most menopause related hair loss does slow down with time.
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Natural Ways To Prevent Hair Loss During Menopause
Hair loss is a common symptoms during menopause, but its not a cause for alarm because its highly manageable. Restoration physicians recommend natural hair treatments first before anything else. This may include changing your diet and lifestyle or taking nutritional supplements to reverse nutrient deficiencies.
Patterns Of Female Hair Loss
Clinicians use the Ludwig Classification to describe female pattern hair loss. Type I is minimal thinning that can be camouflaged with hair styling techniques. Type II is characterized by decreased volume and noticeable widening of the mid-line part. Type III describes diffuse thinning, with a see-through appearance on the top of the scalp.
Which Type Of Hair Loss Is This
If you’re hair is thinning or falling out during peri-menopause or after menopause the first thing to figure out is – what’s causing it.
80% of the time peri-menopausal and postmenopausal thinning hair is caused by “EFFLUVIUM.” This is by far the most common type of hair loss in women, and it’s related to hormones and menopausal changes.
We’re going to dive deeply into what you can do about this type of hair loss.
But if you’re not sure, check with your doc or healthcare practitioner to rule out other less common causes of hair loss like fungal infections or a thyroid disorder.
Take Menopause And Hair Loss One Step At A Time
Just like other stages of life, menopause is inevitable. The good news is that extra-gentle treatment and overall body- and hair-wellness habits can help ease its symptoms. Put a positive spin on menopause by using it as a time for reflection and taking stock. Also, do things to make you feel good about yourself, such as getting a shorter, breezier cut that can give your hair a fresh new lease on life.
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And Introduction To Hair Loss And Menopause
Many women suffer from hair loss when going through the menopause. Every person naturally loses between 50 and 100 hairs a day. If you begin to lose more than this, you may notice areas of baldness on your scalp, clumps of hair coming out when you wash or brush your hair, or thinning of hair around the front and sides of your scalp.
Hair is made from keratin, the same material as nails. This is produced by cell structures known as hair follicles lying beneath the scalp and the hair that people wash, brush and style is actually the dead secretions from these follicles. Individual strands of hair can stay on the head for up to six years before falling out.
Are There Herbal Remedies To Help Me
If your hair loss is the result of hormonal changes caused by the menopause, using a soy based supplement such as our Menopause Support supplement may be effective. This tackles all stages of the menopause, as it contains soy isoflavones which naturally mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body.
“Menopause support tablets have eased my problems and have helped me sleep better at night. I would recommend them to any one suffering the effects of the menopause.”Stress at this time of your life will not help improve your head of hair, so if you feel you are not coping, face up this issue rather than ignore it. You can also try our Stress Relief Daytime, which can help ease stress and relieve mild anxiety.
If you think your hair loss is caused by medication, seek help and advice from your doctor.
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Hair Transplantation May Be An Option For Some Women With Hair Loss
Women who are more distressed by their hair loss or have more significant hair loss may consider hair transplantation, says Bruce. This is an expensive and somewhat invasive procedure. Youre taking hair from a donor site, typically at the back of the scalp, and then redistributing those hair follicles to areas where the hair is thinner, she says.
What Causes Hair Loss In Women
When most people hear the words hair loss, they think of balding men. However, hair loss can also be a significant problem for women. Female hair loss can occur for several reasons, from a genetic sensitivity to certain androgenic hormones to reactive factors.
Weve listed the most common causes of female hair loss below, as well as the specific ways in which each cause can affect your hairline.
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Nonpharmaceutical Treatments For Hair Loss
Although there is no miracle cure, says Bruce, other options that can help with FPHL include:
- Platelet rich plasma injection is a procedure in which the patients blood is drawn and the blood is spun in a centrifuge so that the platelets are concentrated then they are injected into the scalp, says Bruce. The theory is that the platelets have growth factors and they will stimulate hair growth, she says.
- Low level light lasers These laser combs, helmets, and other devices can be used at home without a prescription. The laser light has been shown to stimulate hair growth in a few studies, according to the AAD.
- Supplements Ablon recently completed a study looking at a nutraceutical supplement, Nutrafol Womens Balance Capsules, which contain bioactive compounds derived from food sources, including curcumin, ashwagandha, saw palmetto, and tocopherol. The six-month results were published in the January 2021 issue of the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, and the 12-month results will be released shortly, says Ablon. Researchers compared results at 6 months and 12 months of treatment and found that mean total hair counts increased significantly and progressively. Global hair quality measures significantly improved, by 40 percent, with few or no side effects, along with a decrease in hair shedding, according to the authors. Ablon received a research grant and financial support from Nutraceutical Wellness Inc., the manufacturer of the supplement.