There are many different reasons why women experience hair loss during their lifetime. Female hair loss might also be more complicated than men’s hair loss.
Sometimes the hair can fall out in tufts. Your hair might continue to fall even if you eat healthily and take supplements with vitamins or iron. In this guide, we will discuss menopause hair loss and what you can do to deal with it.
What Is Menopause?
When a woman doesn’t menstruate for a whole year, it means that she has reached the end of her reproductive years. Her ovaries won’t release any more eggs, and she will not menstruate every month.
Menopause is completely normal and natural. It happens as you age. Most women experience menopause between the age of 45-55.
However, some can experience premature menopause, one reason being a hysterectomy. Some of the symptoms of menopause include:
- hair loss
- weight gain
- mood changes
- vaginal dryness
- irregular periods
- night sweats
Many hormonal changes are associated with menopause. The production of oestrogen and progesterone decreases. A decrease in bone density can cause many women to fracture easily.
Moreover, women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis as a result. You can also have hot flashes that can last from minutes to seconds as a result of a drop in oestrogen levels. You may experience this for many years after menopause.
Can Menopause Cause Hair Loss?
According to a review published in Climacteric, hair loss is a symptom of menopause. There is a reduction in the growth and density of hair as a result.
During menopause, there’s a drop in the levels of hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Because both of these hormones affect hair growth, a reduction in their production may shorten the anagen phase of the growth cycle.
Additionally, there’s a relative increase in the level of androgens, which can cause permanent follicular miniaturisation during menopause. That is why many women experience androgenetic alopecia after its onset.
Unlike male pattern baldness, the hair thinning experienced by women is not as prominent.
However, it becomes noticeable after some time because the volume of the hair starts to decrease, and the part-line gets wider.
Thinning hair during menopause and shedding can happen throughout the scalp instead of just one area.
Moreover, hormonal fluctuations can also lead to eyebrow loss due to menopause or hair loss elsewhere on the body.
For instance, women can experience menopause-related loss of pubic hair as well. But this “menopause pubic hair loss” may not be only because of hormonal changes. Your age may have a lot to do with it.
Why Do Women Experience Hair Loss During Menopause?
Thinning hair due to menopause mainly occurs due to hormonal imbalance. However, it can be exacerbated by stress and nutritional deficiency. It can also coincide with involutional alopecia – due to ageing – which can worsen overall hair loss.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors:
Drop in Estrogen
Menopause and thinning hair are related due to oestrogen.
According to a 2022 study published in Menopause, “estrogen receptors are present at the hair follicles.” This may indicate their role in the normal growth of hair and the fact that their hair is sensitive to its absence or presence.
You might’ve noticed that pregnant women have thicker, healthier hair. This is because of the rise in the levels of hormones. However, the drop in the levels of these very hormones can result in hair loss during menopause.
One 2020 research in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences notes that “female pattern hair loss and facial hirsutism” is commonly experienced in women at menopause.
However, not just that, according to another 2013 Maturitas study, before menopause and during the menopause transition, women experience a decrease in the density of their hair along with a decrease in its diameter.
Genetics can make some women more vulnerable to hair loss after menopause, which makes this whole experience quite difficult for them.
Increase In Androgens
Hair loss in women during menopause can also be attributed to androgens.
According to a review published in Menopause Review, during menopause, a relative surge in androgen levels has been noted.
It’s due to the drop in the oestrogen levels and increase in sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). The latter is a protein that binds to sex hormones in the blood.
These androgens can act on the hair follicles on the scalp and cause their miniaturisation. And this can, in turn, cause permanent hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia.
Reduction In Sebum
Low levels of oestrogen can also reduce the overall production of sebum – the oily substance that lubricates the skin on the scalp. This can also give you dry hair in menopause. And that can make your hair more easily breakable.
Keep in mind that sebum production decreases with age as well. So, menopause hair breakage may also be happening due to other factors.
However, you cannot always blame hair loss during menopause on hormonal changes, as there might be some other reasons. If you’re experiencing a stressful event in your life, you might end up losing your hair.
If you’re suffering from an illness (perceived as stress by the body), that or the medicines that you’re taking for its cure can lead you to lose your hair.
The hair loss itself can cause you to stress out a lot and lose hair as a result. Many women experience a loss in self-esteem and confidence due to hair fall.
They might not perceive themselves as beautiful enough as a result. This can become another reason for their sadness and depression and further make them lose their hair.
To counter the weight gain that can accompany menopause, you may try crash diets or reduce the nutritional intake of your food.
Less protein in your diet or deficiency of iron can both make you lose your hair.
Therefore, do not try to be your own doctor. Make sure that you get yourself tested and examined by a professional doctor.
Your hair will thin as you age, and that can worsen thinning hair after menopause.
Around two-thirds of women lose their hair after menopause. Less than 45% of women end up with a full head of hair throughout their lifetime, according to one 2007 research in Clinical Interventions in Aging.
No matter how common it is, the experience can be very difficult. The societal pressure on a woman to look flawless and beautiful no matter what age can make her feel even more self-conscious about this natural experience.
Are Perimenopause And Hair Loss Related?
Perimenopause refers to the transitional time around menopause. And hair falling out around perimenopause is also something that women experience.
Perimenopause hair loss is also a result of the hormonal fluctuations that occur within the body.
Of course, these perimenopause hair changes can be attributed to oestrogen, progesterone, and androgens.
Moreover, thinning hair around perimenopause can be accompanied by changes in the texture and moisture level of your hair.
Other than that, perimenopause iron deficiency hair loss can also occur. It happens due to blood loss during menstruation.
Still, premenopausal hair loss can occur due to other reasons, which is why you must consult a medical doctor.
How After Hysterectomy Hair Loss Due To Menopause Occurs?
According to the NHS, in the event of a total hysterectomy (in which the ovaries are removed), you’ll experience menopause right after the surgery. It doesn’t matter how old you are.
While effluvium can occur due to the stress of the surgery, it can also happen due to the hair changes by the menopause induced after the surgery.
Does Post-Menopausal Hair Loss Occur?
Hair loss after menopause can continue due to the shrinking of the hair follicles. In general, your hair will become weaker, which will also make it more prone to breakage.
Additionally, since your hair will also grow more slowly, your post-menopause hair loss can result in noticeable thinning.
Will Hair Loss Due To Menopause Grow Back?
During menopause, pattern baldness is the main cause of hair loss. This is caused by hormonal imbalances. Unfortunately, this kind of hair loss is irreversible.
That’s because it will lead to a miniaturization of the hair follicle and the consequent thinning of your hair permanently.
In contrast, if you are experiencing hair loss because of other reasons, you may regrow your hair once you undergo treatment.
How To Treat Menopausal Hair Loss?
For menopause hair growth, treatments may include lifestyle changes, medications, and surgical and non-surgical solutions.
You should only consider them after consulting with a medical professional.
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved drug for hair loss. It’s even used for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women.
It’s believed to work by dilating the blood vessels and increasing the blood flow to the scalp. That, in turn, delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the follicles, which can stimulate growth.
Some research also shows that it can prolong the anagen phase of hair growth. Still, it’s not exactly understood how it works.
Its usage can, however, cause some unpleasant side effects, such as unwanted facial hair growth and skin irritation, among others.
Spironolactone is another popular drug that’s used to treat female pattern baldness.
It’s a steroidal antiandrogen that slows down the production of androgens. That can slow down the progression of androgenetic alopecia after menopause.
However, this drug can also cause side effects, such as breast tenderness, headache, and dizziness. You will also have to wait around six months for you to see any difference.
Some small researches show that laser therapy can help with androgenetic alopecia.
Therefore, you may also be recommended this treatment for your menopausal hair loss.
The problem is that it might not work for you, and its sessions/devices aren’t exactly cheap either.
Platelet-rich plasma injections on the scalp can also promote hair growth. You can have regular PRP injections on your scalp for hair loss caused by menopause.
Since there is nothing in it but your white blood cells, it does not harm either your body or disturb your hormonal balance during this stage.
PRP therapy might not give you too dramatic results for menopausal hair loss if it’s due to androgenetic alopecia.
Genetic hair loss is best treated with transplant surgery. And hair transplants for women are possible, so they can get them if they have hair falling out during menopause permanently.
What Helps Hair Loss During Menopause?
You should make sure to discuss all the different options with a professional doctor. For now, let’s take a look at some of the things that you can do at home or easily get done at the clinic to promote hair growth.
Include Proteins in Your Diet
Your hair is primarily composed of proteins. You need to incorporate proteins in your diet for healthy, growing hair. Keratin is the building block of your hair.
Its deficiency can particularly harm your hair during menopause, so make sure that you have a diet that is rich in protein. Eat lean proteins, eggs, fish, seafood, yoghurt, milk, beans, hazelnuts, almonds, pine nuts, etc.
Get Your Vitamins
Many people ask, “What vitamins are good for hair loss during menopause?” Vitamin C is particularly helpful in improving the health of your hair. This is why you should try adding foods rich in vitamin C to your diet.
The antioxidants can help to remove the free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C plays an important role in the absorption of iron, which helps in hair growth.
Oranges, strawberries, potatoes, broccoli, kale, kiwis, guava, blackcurrants, parsley, and lychees are all good sources of vitamin C.
Other than that, vitamin A can also keep your hair from getting brittle. It can help to keep your hair moisturised. You can find it in carrots, broccoli, eggs, squash, and fish, among other foods. Vitamins B3, B12, and B5 can also play a role in strengthening your hair.
Just keep in mind, however, that vitamins for hair loss due to menopause will only work if you have a deficiency. So, don’t just go looking for the best vitamins for menopause hair loss.
You should make sure to prevent it in the first place by eating healthily.
Try to Exercise Regularly
There are countless benefits of exercising. Having healthy hair is just another benefit that you can reap from this activity. Exercising can help elevate your mood and keep you happy.
You might not have to deal with problems such as weight gain, insomnia, irritability, and moodiness that accompany menopause. Staying stress-free can have a positive impact on your body and even help to make your hair strong and healthy.
Avoid Certain Hair Practices
Do try to lessen the use of hair straighteners, rollers, curlers, and dryers. These can further give you brittle hair during menopause.
Make sure that the shampoo and conditioner that you’re buying have safe ingredients that can nourish and clean and scalp.
Also, try to keep your hair protected from the sunlight. It can also damage the follicles, making dry hair and menopause go even more hand in hand.
Lastly, do not wear your hair too tightly.
Since menopausal hair loss can be exacerbated by stress, it’s also a good idea to look for ways to manage it.
You can consider trying yoga, meditation, deep breathing, music or art therapy. However, it’s always a good idea to consult a medical professional.
Are There Any Good Menopausal Hair Products?
It is probably not a good idea to look for any best product for menopausal hair loss at face value because it might not work.
For instance, many menopause hair loss shampoos just contain vitamins, plant extracts, or caffeine, with some other moisturising and volumising ingredients.
Since menopause hair loss is more due to hormonal changes, these shampoos might not do anything for you.
The same goes for any menopause hair loss supplements, vitamins for perimenopause hair loss or thinning hair menopause vitamins.
How To Prevent Menopausal Hair Loss?
Menopausal hair loss is entirely preventable because of hormonal changes. However, you can take care of some factors to prevent this kind of hair loss from worsening.
For that, you should consider:
- Having a healthy and active lifestyle.
- Being gentle with your hair.
- Taking your hair loss medications (if prescribed).
- Eating healthy meals to avoid a deficiency.
These measures may help you have thicker hair after menopause.
But if you’re experiencing menopausal hair loss, it’s extremely important to get in touch with your doctor first.
What You Need To Know About Menopausal Hair Loss
Thinning hair in women during menopause is a result of the hormonal changes that accompany the process.
It can take a toll on the self-esteem of the person. They might consider themselves unattractive as a result, making them feel less confident.
To help with this, it can be worth checking out coping strategies for menopause hair loss on the NHS. They’re not just for menopause, though.
Unfortunately, this hair loss is irreversible if it is because of androgenetic alopecia after menopause. That happens due to a combination of genetics and hormones. Before you start any treatment, make sure to discuss everything with a doctor. Don’t just trust any “my hair grew back after menopause” stories you find on the internet.
By making some lifestyle changes and getting a PRP treatment, you can try to promote the growth of your hair and make them stronger and healthy. You can also get a hair restoration procedure for this since it offers permanent results.
Reviewed and Approved by Trichologist Yaprak Yazan