The words "feminine" and "woman" are used in this article to refer to people who identify as women and have the typical reproductive organs of a cisgender woman. We recognize that some people who identify as female do not have the same anatomy as presented in this article.
Menopause and hair loss go hand in hand for many women. Studies show that just over half of all women experience some level of menopausal discomfort.Hair lossthe lost.
By definition,MenopauseIt occurs when a woman has not had a menstrual period for at least 12 months. However, the hormonal dips that cause hair loss can begin years before the official menopause (perimenopause) and last long after the change is complete (postmenopause).
This article provides an overview of menopause and hair loss. Discusses the hormones that can cause hair loss and strategies to combat hair loss in menopause.
Symptoms of hair loss in menopause
Hair loss during menopause is not obvious at first. Humans lose an average of 50 to 100 hairs a day.Hair loss begins to increase during perimenopause. The first signs of menopausal hair loss are subtle:
- You need to clean your hairbrush more often.
- More hair builds up in the shower drain.
- You'll find more hair on your pillow, clothes, home, or car than ever before.
- Hair breakage becomes more common.
As hair loss occurs slowly, it may take some time for the changes to be visible in the mirror. Your part may become wider, your ponytail may appear thinner, and your hair may appear flatter and duller.
If this excessive hair loss continues for a while, noticeably fine patches may appear in the upper center of the hairline and near the hairline on the forehead. Fine patches may also appear on the back of the head, near the top of the head, or on the nape of the neck.
Menopausal hair loss can also occur on other parts of the body. Many women find that hair growth on their legs, arms, and underarms slows or stops. Pubic hair may also start to thin, leaving bald patches. Your eyelashes and eyebrows may also become thinner during menopause.
Causes of hair loss in menopause
Hormonal fluctuations are the main cause of hair loss during menopause. Menopausal hair loss can occur at any of the three stages of menopause:
- perimenopauseIt is the time before menopause. That's when hormone levels start to fluctuate. It usually starts around age 40 and can last up to 10 years.
- Menopause it becomes official after 12 consecutive months without menstruation. While every woman is different, the average age of menopause in the US is 52 years.
- after menopauseit begins as soon as menopause is official and lasts until the end of a woman's life.
during a perimenopause,estrogenmiprogesteroneThe levels start to drop. These hormones play a role in promoting hair growth, density, and volume. When they fall out, hair loss occurs that does not grow back as fast as before.
A decrease in progesterone and estrogen also triggers an increaseandrogens. These are male hormones that are found in smaller amounts in women than in men. Androgens can make hairfollicleshrink on the head, resulting in a type of hair loss known asandrogenic alopecia.
Can menopause cause excessive hair growth?
In some cases, when androgens are higher than they should be, women can also develop "peach hair" or excessive hair on the chin along with thinning hair or hair thinning on top of the head.
What medications can cause hair loss?
Medications prescribed to treat menopausal symptoms usually don't cause hair loss and may even help prevent it. However, medications that treat other conditions common to women over the age of 40 can contribute to hair loss.
Types of medications that can cause hair loss include:
- Drugs used to treat hyperthyroidism
- Heart medications (anticoagulants and beta-blockers)
- epilepsy medication
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases
How to treat hair loss in menopause
Treatments for menopausal hair loss can include lifestyle changes, medications, and professional treatments.
Rogaine (Minoxidil), an over-the-counter hair loss treatment for male pattern baldness, may also help women with androgen-related hair loss. Research shows that topical Rogaine treatments can promote hair growth in women with female pattern baldness, which can occur during menopause.
Rogaine is available in different formulas for men and women, both as a serum and as a foam. Minoxidil is also available as a generic or unbranded product. The main difference between the male and female versions is the dosage:
- Serum:The Rogaine serum for men contains 5% minoxidil, while the women's only contains 2% minoxidil. Both need to be applied twice a day.
- Foam:The foam is only available in formulas with 5% minoxidil. The male version is used twice a day, while the female Rogaine is used only once a day.
Common side effects of topical minoxidil include itching, dryness, scaling, or burning. Although serious symptoms are rare, call your doctor immediately if you experience weight gain, facial swelling, shortness of breath, dizziness, fast heartbeat, or chest pain.Pregnant women should not use topical minoxidil.
Oral medications that may be prescribed for hair loss in women include:finasteridemiSpironolactone.
finasteride, sold under the brand name Propecia, is commonly prescribed for male pattern baldness. Some research shows that finasteride may also help hair loss to regrow in women.Finasteride is also used to treathirsutism, unwanted androgen-related hair growth on a woman's face, chest, or back.
SpironolactoneIt is a medication used to treat acne that may be effective for hair loss associated with menopause. While it doesn't seem to help regrow hair, research shows it can prevent further hair loss and improve hair quality and thickness in about 40% of women with female pattern baldness.
Warning: May cause birth defects
Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not take finasteride and spironolactone. Both drugs alter hormone levels and can cause birth defects or miscarriage. If you have not yet completed menopause (a full year without a period), use birth control while taking any of these medications.
A more recent therapy against hair loss is microneedling. Microneedling can be done in the dermatologist's office or at home. However, it is better to consult your doctor first before using it.
The technique, most commonly used to treat scars, involves a roller with hundreds of tiny needles that puncture microscopic holes in the skin. This controlled injury triggers an immune system response that can help promote hair growth.
Research on microneedling for hair growth is focused on androgenetic alopecia. A 2020 review of studies found microneedling to show promise for increasing hair density, thickness, and quality.For best results, it is recommended to combine microneedling with topical minoxidil.
Was that microneedling?
Laser treatments, also known as light therapy, work a low-intensity light into the scalp, triggering a response that signals new hair growth. The light is believed to increase the number of hair follicles and increase the strength of the hair.
A hair transplant can help with severe hair loss during menopause. A hair transplant is a surgical procedure in which hair is removed from one part of the body (usually the back of the head) and implanted in bald areas.
Different types of hair transplants include transplantation, scalp reduction, flap surgery, and tissue expansion. Of these, hair transplantation is the most common hair transplant procedure.It is performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon under local anesthesia.
During a hair transplant, small patches of skin (a graft) containing healthy hair are removed from the back of the scalp and transplanted into bald or thinning areas. Sometimes called a hair plug, each graft contains one to 15 hairs.
It can take up to a year to see the full results of the hair transplant. Additional surgeries may be needed over time to fill in new bald spots.
What to expect from a hair transplant
The hormonal changes associated with menopause can cause your stress levels to increase. When this happens, it can be difficult to rebalance your hormones. Also, stress is a common cause of hair loss.
To keep stress under control, you can try stress reduction techniques such as:
- breathing relaxation techniques
Also, regular exercise can help reduce stress.Walking, bicycling, dancing, and walking are gentle options that can help keep stress levels down.
Why is exercise important for hair loss in menopause?
Movement helps treat the symptoms of menopause. Improves sleep, increases brain power, and helps maintain a healthy weight.It can also alleviate stress-related hormonal imbalances that can contribute to hair loss during menopause.
Eat a balanced diet
Diet plays a crucial role in hormonal balance. Research has found that women who experience hair loss during menopause may not be getting all the nutrients they need.Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients can help reduce hair loss.
Some specific nutrients to include are:
- protein: Protein can strengthen hair and hair follicles, thus reducing hair loss.
- slices: Healthy fats play a role in the production of steroid hormones that protect hair and skin. Healthy fats include omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- vitamins: Vitamins A, B, C and D play a role in hair health. Adequate supply of these nutrients is important to alleviate hair loss caused by menopause.
- minerals: zinc, iron, copper,Selenium, calcium and magnesium are important for proper hair growth.
|Where can I find nutrients for hair loss in menopause?|
|protein||Lean meats, soy products, dairy products, nuts, beans|
|slices||Oily fish, flaxseed, nuts, soybeans, vegetable oils|
|vitamins||Citrus fruits, bell peppers, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, salmon, egg yolks, dairy products, red meat, chicken|
|minerals||Yogurt, cheese, berries, starchy vegetables, ancient grains, leafy greens|
gentle hair care
To prevent further damage to your hair, practice gentle hair care. Avoid using hot styling equipment, including blow dryers, straighteners, curling irons, and hot stylers. Do not comb your hair back, this can cause hair breakage.
You should also avoid dyeing your hair if possible and opt for an all-natural color if necessary.
Using a moisturizing and nourishing conditioner also promotes healthier hair and stimulates hair growth.
If your hair tends to get tangled, put it up in a ponytail, bun, or braid whenever possible. However, avoid pulling the hair too hard as this can cause hair breakage.
How to style fine hair
When your hair starts to thin out, you can style it to make the fall less noticeable. This could include changing the part, cutting your hair shorter to create more volume, or adding some dimensional layers. This can give the illusion of thicker, fuller hair while hiding thinning hair.
Natural remedies for menopause that really work
Are there tests to diagnose the cause of hair loss during menopause?
Blood tests are sometimes used to determine the cause of hair loss in menopausal and perimenopausal women. This includes checking the following hormone levels:
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
- luteinizing hormone
Your doctor may perform additional tests to rule out other possible causes of hair loss.
When to consult a health professional
If you suffer from hair loss, talk to your doctor. Although menopause is commonly associated with hair loss, other conditions that can cause hair loss include:
- suprarrenal insufficiency
- Nutritional deficiencies, including biotin, iron, protein, and zinc.
- medication side effects
- scalp psoriasis
- To emphasize
- thyroid disease
These conditions must be ruled out as part of the diagnostic process for menopausal hair loss.
Approximately half of all women experience some degree of hair loss associated with menopause. The main cause is a drop in hormone levels that begins during perimenopause and continues through the years after menopause.
Hormones like estrogen and progesterone affect the rate of hair growth, the volume of each strand, and the rate of hair loss. Other health factors can contribute to hair loss. Therefore, talk to your doctor about excessive hair loss to rule out other causes.
Treatment options for menopausal hair loss can include medications like Rogaine and procedures like microneedling. It may also involve lifestyle changes, including stress reduction, exercise, and a healthy diet. Being kind to your hair by avoiding harsh hair care practices can also promote a healthier scalp and less hair loss.
Hair loss and hair loss in women.
A word from Verywell
Hair loss can be a difficult and irritating experience. Many people see their hair as an extension of themselves and their personality. Seeking treatment is the best way to lessen the effects of menopausal hair loss. Talk to your doctor and a hair care professional about how to treat your hair loss.
Does hair loss stop after menopause?
Sometimes, but not always. Hair loss associated with menopause is caused by a drop in estrogen and progesterone levels. After menopause, these hormone levels do not increase. Many women find that their hair thins as they age.
How to keep hair healthy after 50?
Keeping your hair healthy after menopause can be challenging. In addition to hair loss, hormonal changes can also make hair brittle and break more easily.
Avoid shampooing or over-styling your hair, use a conditioning conditioner, and get regular trims to keep your hair looking healthy. Changing up your part or choosing a shorter hairstyle can help camouflage your thinning hair.
What nutrients help against hair loss during menopause?
Several vitamins and minerals play a role in hair health and may help with menopausal hair loss. The complex of vitamins A, C and B, as well as the minerals zinc, iron, selenium, silicon, magnesium and calcium promote hair growth and fullness.
Ensuring an adequate intake of protein and healthy fats can also help maintain healthy hair and prevent hair loss.
What is the best supplement for hair loss in menopause?
Biotin is the most commonly recommended supplement to treat and prevent hair loss.
Also known as vitamin B7, several studies suggest that biotin may help prevent or reverse hair loss in people with biotin deficiency. However, it is not clear if biotin can improve hair growth and volume in people with adequate biotin levels.
Other supplements that may help improve hair health in menopausal women include collagen, keratin, fatty acids, and saw palmetto.
What can cause hair loss in women over 40?
Hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause are a common cause of hair loss in women over the age of 40. Other possibilities include:
- suprarrenal insufficiency
- nutritional deficiencies
- A side effect of certain medications.
- To emphasize
- thyroid disease
What medications can cause hair loss?
Hair loss can be a side effect of certain medications. These include:
- Antithyroid drug
- beta blockers
- chemotherapy and tamoxifen
- Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
- Gichtmittel Zyloprim (Alopurinol)
- Medications for Parkinson's levodopa and bromocriptine
Verywell Health only uses quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. read ourpublishing processto learn more about how we verify our content and keep it accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Angélica Bottaro is a professional freelance writer with more than 5 years of experience. She studied psychology and journalism, and her dual education has given her the research and writing skills necessary to provide strong and engaging content in the health field.
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