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. Pregnancy, childbirth, hormonal imbalances, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and menopause can also cause it.
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 hair loss during menopause and what you can do to deal with it.
The whole experience is quite stressful, and many women wonder if it’s happening as a result of a more serious medical condition. They might not even know that they’re losing their hair as a result of menopause. 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. The thinning and hair shedding can happen throughout the scalp instead of just one area. To understand what you can do about hair loss during menopause, you should know why you’re losing your hair because of 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 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.
What Causes Hair Loss In Menopause?
If you’re wondering about the causes of hair loss during menopause, these may be the reasons:
Drop in Estrogen
According to a study, “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 study notes that “female pattern hair loss and facial hirsutism” is commonly experienced in women at menopause. However, not just that, according to another study, before the 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, which makes this whole experience quite difficult for them.
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, 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 from your food. Less protein in 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. 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 study.
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.
Hair Loss During Menopause: Will It 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 are very likely to regrow your hair once you undergo treatment.
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.
Take 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. Vitamin B3, B12, and B5 can also play a role in strengthening your hair.
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 accompanies menopause. Staying stress-free can have a positive impact on your body and even help to make your hair strong and healthy.
Hair Transplant & PRP Therapy
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.
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.
Avoid Certain Hair Practices
Do try to lessen the use of hair straighteners, rollers, curlers, and dryers. These can further damage your hair. Make sure that the shampoo and conditioner that you’re buying has 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. Lastly, do not wear your hair too tight.
Some medications are prescribed for hair loss in females. One FDA approved drug for hair loss is minoxidil. Your dermatologist might also prescribe spironolactone to deal with the binding of androgens to hair follicles. It could also be a combination therapy of both.
Many women commonly experience hair loss and thinning during menopause as 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.
Unfortunately, this hair loss is irreversible if it is because of female pattern baldness. That happens due to a combination of genetics and hormones. Before you start any treatment, make sure to discuss everything with a doctor.
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 Dr. Hassan Soueid.