Menopausal Hair Loss: Is It Reversible
Menopause is a time of extreme hormonal changes that typically occurs around the late 40s and early 50s. After menopause, many different physical symptoms can appear, including menopausal hair loss. These symptoms can also include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, and vaginal dryness.
Many people want to know if hormonal hair loss can be reversed. The answer is yes! Fortunately, unlike genetic hair loss, most hair loss caused by hormonal imbalances is reversible.
What Are The Types Of Hair Loss
There are three: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.
- Anagen effluvium: This is caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle .
- Telogen effluvium: This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.
- Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern alopecia/female pattern hair loss /baldness: This type is the most common. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.
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.
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Does Your Hair Change During Menopause
For some women, changes in hair texture and thickness during menopause may not be very apparent at first. For example, if you tend to shed a considerable amount of hair during brushing, styling or washing, then hair loss during menopause or perimenopause may not raise any immediate red flags. The effect of menopause on hair health can vary, some women may experience hair that, once strong and full, now seems weak, brittle and thin compared to other women.
Those same hormones that regulate reproduction also affect hair and bone density. Stress and diet can accelerate hair loss during all three stages of menopause, too. While its always important to eat healthy, exercise and minimize stress, its especially important to do so during this transitional phase.
Understand that while this is a frustrating experience, it is also a normal side effect of menopause. Nutrafol is a company focused on helping people grow healthier hair at all stages of life by taking a new approach: hair wellness. If you want to better understand how to treat your thinning hair Nutrafols Hair Wellness Evaluation can help shed some light.
What Causes Hair Loss
Unfortunately, androgenetic alopecia is a largely genetic condition. Those genetically predisposed to hair loss have higher levels of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme converts testosterone in the body into dihydrotestosterone . DHT, in turn, causes the hair follicles to shrink with each growth cycle, resulting in progressively thinner hair and in some cases balding.
The reason that women experience increased hair loss and thinning during the menopause is because of the dip in estrogen levels. Estrogen is thought to play a protective role, preventing the conversion of testosterone into the follicle-shrinking DHT.
Stress can also make matters worse. Researchers think that this may be another reason why menopausal women are more likely to experience hair loss theyre also more likely to experience external stress factors such as the death of a parent.
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How To Hide Thinning Hair After Menopause
If hair continues to thin after menopause and natural treatments have been ineffective, there are things that can help camouflage this issue. Some hair stylists will suggest shortening the length of hair. This adds volume and reduces the weight of hair. It can also help hide problem spots.
Some more permanent but also costly options include topical hair growth products, hair extensions, wigs, surgical hair transplants, and low-level laser scalp treatments.
Complete Your Nutrient Pack
Consuming a healthy balanced diet to complete your nutrition deficiency acts as the best defense mechanism against hair loss. Include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in every meal. Drinking green tea and taking vitamin B6 and folic acid supplements may help restore hair growth as well. Essential fatty acids also play a crucial role in maintaining hair health.
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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.
Whats Hair Loss In Women
Hair loss in women is just that when a woman experiences unexpected, heavy loss of hair. Generally, humans shed between 50 and 100 single hairs per day. Hair shedding is part of a natural balance some hairs fall out while others grow in. When the balance is interrupted when hair falls out and less hair grows in hair loss happens. Hair loss is different than hair shedding. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia.
Hair grows on almost all of your skin surfaces not the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, lips or eyelids. Light, fine, short hair is called vellus hair. Terminal/androgenic hair is thicker, darker and longer.
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Estrogen Progesterone And Androgens
Estrogen and progesterone hormones keep your hair in the growing phase the longer the growing phase, the longer and healthier your hair can grow. When your levels of estrogen drop, the growth cycle of your hair shortens and hairs shed before it reaches its maximum length.
A decrease in estrogen and progesterone also triggers an increase in the production of androgens, or a group of male hormones. Androgens do not decrease your number of scalp hairs they miniaturize the hair bulbs, causing a reduction in the volume or body of your hair overall. So, your hair may not be falling out more or failing to grow back, but the hairs growing in to replace the lost ones are thinner and weaker.
High Stress Can Cause Hair Loss
Extreme stress can be a problem and cause hair loss, says Faubion. The condition is called telogen effluvium, and fortunately, the hair loss it causes is temporary, she says.
All hair follicles are on a cycle, and significant physical or emotional stress can push more follicles than usual into a resting phase, which can lead to a significant amount of hair loss at one time, says Faubion. It can take a while after that stress for the cycle to go back to normal, she says.
The pandemic seems to have increased stress levels and subsequent hair loss for a lot of women, says Ablon. I saw a lot of patients about hair loss pre-pandemic, and I probably see about three times that many compared to a year ago, she says.
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How To Reduce Water Retention During Menopause Easily
5 Ways To Reduce Water Retention During Menopause Avoid Dehydration. So it’s very important, as I always say, water, water, water, lots of water. And you’d be surprised how fast yours is. Track your salt intake. Another thing that can cause water retention is excess salt. It moves the lymphatic system. Eat the right foods. Try herbal tea.
The Beauty Of The Menopause
Female body is a complex, beautiful organism with its rhythms, flows and changes it undergoes as we live. It fills us with uttermost fascination that we, women, can create a life and have an inherent capacity and instincts to care and nurture for this life.
You might follow a scientific line of thinking and understand that your hormones are changing and your body rhythms becomes less focused on offspring-rearing abilities during menopause. Or, you might prefer a primordial, even tribal approach that looks back at the evolution and the wisdom that more mature women pass on to younger generation. Almost regardless, menopause can be an exciting, liberating and beautiful period of life.
In many ways, you left the worries of the youth behind you. You know who you are, what you want, what is you life, what works for you and what doesnt. While still accommodating room for changes that might and will take place as a result of you entering the menopause you are sure of yourself, as a human being. You probably have a somewhat established career or have a flourishing business: you are standing with both feet on the ground while yet, having so much more to look forward ahead of you.
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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.
Will Hormone Replacement Therapy Help With Female Hair Loss
Having healthy hair is often associated with confidence and a positive self-image, especially for many women. One bad hair day can affect how a woman feels about herself, and there are studies that show how female pattern hair loss can have psychological effects and negatively impact their quality of life. Female pattern hair loss is common during the menopausal transition but intervention with hormone replacement therapy can help combat further hair thinning.
So how exactly can hormone therapy treat thinning hair for women? Hair loss among perimenopausal and menopausal women can often be caused by hormone imbalance where estrogen levels drastically drop. Getting HRT can restore balance to the female hormone levels, slowing down the shrinking of hair follicle and maintaining ideal hair density.
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A Q& a With Sophia Kogan Md
Research shows that there can be a genetic predisposition for hair thinning, but its not an explicit future we need to resign ourselves to. There are factors other than your genes that play a role in whether you experience thinning or not. These are things that affect how well your body builds and maintains hair, including the environment, hormones, stress, and nutrient absorption in your gut.
As we grow older, our bodies may not produce antioxidants as well as we used to. We also start to experience more inflammation in the body, and as a result, we might experience more serious health issues. All of this ultimately contributes to poor hair health and possible thinning. Hair follicles are sensitive. To maintain hair health, especially if were genetically predisposed to thinning, we need to support our bodies against these kinds of physical stressors. Hair health issues are multifactorial, and while genetics loads the gun, environment and lifestyle pull the trigger.
Women may experience hair thinning during distinct stages in their lives: after the birth of a child, during periods of stress, or in the process of perimenopause or menopause.
For the new menopause formulation, Womens Balance, we increased the amount of saw palmetto, which lowers the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
We also added ingredients tailored to the needs of perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal women.
What Are The Main Causes Of Alopecia
In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes the hair to fall out in patches all over the body. Hair that is easily pulled or broken will appear as oval or round spots in this condition. Baldness can be caused by aging and genetics, disease, chemotherapy, malnutrition or autoimmune diseases.
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Why Menopause Affects Your Hair
Why might the menopause affect your hair? The answer, of course, is hormones. Lack of oestrogen could lead to a lacklustre mane.
“Hair loss during menopause is the result of lowered production of oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones help hair grow faster and stay on the head for longer periods of time. When the levels of oestrogen and progesterone drop, hair grows more slowly and becomes much thinner,” Denning explains.
Does the menopause cause hair loss?
Things Women Should Know About Menopause And Hair Loss
Women expect hot flashes and mood swings to occur during “the change,” but many women are unaware and unprepared for the fact that they may also find themselves facing hair loss and thinning during this time as well. After menopause, about 40 percent of women experience hair thinning, which is almost the same rate as men. But if this is true, why don’t we see bald women on the street? Unlike male pattern hair loss, hereditary hair loss in women is usually a lot subtler and it can be easy to miss the early warning signs. Women tend to experience thinning over a wide area of scalp, and for many, the first signs and symptoms may come in the form of a smaller ponytail, a wider part line or excessive shedding during brushing and showering.
Hair loss before, during or after menopause — as well as after childbirth — is commonly attributed to hormonal changes. And while most physicians agree that replacing these hormones can alleviate many of the other troubling symptoms of menopause, unfortunately, hormone replacement alone does not seem to radically alter a woman’s “follicular fate,” and can even sometimes make matters worse.
Since September is Menopause Awareness Month, it is a good time to take a look at menopausal hair loss, to help women understand the causes of their hair loss as well as learn what they can do to treat it.
For more by Alan J. Bauman, .
For more on personal health, .
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Protect Your Hair From Uv Rays
Just as the sun can damage your skin, so too can it damage your hair. If youre experiencing menopause hair loss, youll want to take extra special care of the hair you do have by protecting it from the sun. Wear a hat when youre outdoors, or use a UV protection styling product like our Hair Defence & Hydration Mist.
Hair Defence & Hydration Mist
Why Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss
Although most people wouldnt automatically think of hair loss as a menopause symptom, the hormonal changes which the menopause causes can have all sorts of unexpected effects on the body.
The hormones oestrogen and testosterone have the most important influence on hair growth. During the menopause, levels of oestrogen decrease. This hormone is important for promoting hair growth. While oestrogen levels drop, testosterone levels increase disproportionately. This causes the hair that does grow to be thinner than before, and can also cause facial hair.
However, there are other causes of hair loss. These include factors as simple as what you eat to more serious issues such as stress, certain illnesses and medication. It is important to get to the root of the problem in order to find the most effective treatment.
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An Overview Of Menopause
Menopause is officially diagnosed in women after they have not experienced a menstrual period for more than one year. The age women experience it varies, but the average age in the U.S. is 51. You will experience many symptoms during menopause, which are caused by a decreased production of estrogen and progesterone in your ovaries.
In the months or years leading up to menopause , you might experience these signs and symptoms:
- Irregular periods
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Thinning hair and dry skin
- Loss of breast fullness
While menopause is inevitable, there are ways to manage symptoms. To learn more about menopause, visit the Mayo Clinic website.
While all of the symptoms caused by menopause can be difficult to deal with, Dr. Dy specializes in treating women who experience hair loss.