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Menopausal Hair Loss - Big Guide to Causes and Treatment

by Nanna Bundgaard on Mar 03, 2023

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on April 10, 2024.

Table of contents

Hair loss can be a distressing experience, especially when it occurs during menopause. The hormonal changes associated with menopause contribute to hair loss in women , making it a problem that affects a significant number of women. It can be difficult to know how to deal with hair loss and the emotional impact it can have on those who suffer from it.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the causes and solutions for hair loss in menopausal women and how to best manage its effects. We will look at the changes that occur during menopause that contribute to hair loss, as well as lifestyle tips to combat it. In addition, we will examine different treatment options to prevent hair loss. By understanding more about hair loss in menopausal women, we can take steps to manage the effects of hair loss on both physical and emotional well-being.

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In this blog post, we take you through the following topics:

Why do women experience hair loss during menopause?

When women enter menopause, their body experiences a drop in estrogen levels. This decrease in estrogen can lead to an increase in androgens, which are male hormones typically found in much lower levels in women than in men. The increased androgens can cause hair follicles to shrink, causing them to produce thinner and shorter hair. What actually happens is that the drop in female hormones causes the hair's growth cycle to be considerably shortened. It will therefore trigger the hair to become significantly thinner, as there are not the same hairs to replace the hairs that must be replaced naturally. As a result, women can experience thinning and hair loss due to the lack of strength in the hair shaft. This type of hair loss can be categorized as hormonal hair loss.

Furthermore, these changes can also cause the scalp to become drier and more prone to irritation, which can lead to further hair loss or breakage. Additionally, as women age, their bodies naturally produce less sebum, which is an oily substance that helps keep the scalp and hair healthy. Symptomatically, this fat helps keep the scalp moisturized and prevent damage from occurring, so when production slows, it can leave the scalp feeling dry or itchy , which in turn can contribute to hair loss.

Finally, during menopause, there can be drastic fluctuations in hormone levels which can further disrupt the delicate balance in our body, resulting in additional stress on our scalp and overall health, causing more hair loss for some individuals.

What are the symptoms of menopausal hair loss?

The classic symptoms of menopausal hair loss can include thinning of the hair all over the head, a receding hairline and a general loss of volume. Menopausal hair loss can appear as patches on the scalp or diffuse thinning throughout the scalp. Women will thus often experience a general thinning of the hair, as opposed to men who will often experience it as high temples . Hair texture can become brittle, coarse and dry. Clumps of hair may come out when brushing or showering, and there may be an increase in the amount of visible scalp due to bald spots occurring. There may also be an increased incidence of dandruff or flakes on the scalp .

Menopause is a hormonal hair loss and thus you may not notice it at all, as it is more evenly distributed and discreet than with other forms of hormonal hair loss.

Signs to watch out for:

  • If you lose more than 150 hairs a day on average.
  • Generally thinner hair
  • Your scalp is more visible, especially at the hairline
  • It breaks more easily than usual
  • The hair brush is filled with hair repeatedly

How common is menopausal hair loss?

Menopausal hair loss is a common phenomenon that affects many women when they go through menopause. Studies have estimated that up to 66% of all women experience some degree of hair loss during menopause. This type of hair loss typically occurs gradually and involves thinning or baldness at the temples or top of the head. In most cases, the hair does not fall out completely and is only visibly thinner than before. In addition to hormone levels falling, changes in diet and stress levels during menopause can also contribute to hair loss.

How can I prevent hair loss during menopause?

Hair loss during menopause can be a difficult experience for women, and it is important to take steps to prevent it. Here are some tips to help protect your hair during menopause:

Eat a healthy diet

Eat a diet with a high content of fruit, vegetables and lean proteins such as fish, poultry, beans and legumes, so that your body gets the essential vitamins and minerals needed for normal and healthy hair growth. A well-balanced diet also helps reduce stress hormones that can cause hair loss.

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Keep stress levels low

Try to reduce stress levels as much as possible using relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. It can also help to stay away from activities that create excessive stress, such as working too much or worrying too much about trivial things. Additionally, a positive attitude toward aging can help you better cope with the changes you may experience as a result of menopause.

Limit alcohol consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which can result in a dry scalp and unhealthy looking hair. In addition, alcohol can interfere with the body's ability to absorb the necessary nutrients needed for healthy hair growth.

Get adequate sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for good health in general, but it's especially important if you're trying to prevent hair loss during menopause because it gives the body time to rest and repair itself, which includes repairing damaged cells in the follicles of your scalp that is responsible for growing new hair. So aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night if possible.

Exercise regularly

Exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins, which are known mood boosters! In addition, regular exercise helps to ensure that your circulatory system works optimally and supplies sufficient oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body, including the scalp, which is essential for healthy and beautiful locks!

Use gentle hair products

When washing or styling your hair, choose gentle products specially formulated for sensitive scalps so you don't further irritate the area and cause more harm than good! It will often be a good idea to switch to a sulfate- and silicone-free shampoo or, in general, hair care products without sulfate and silicone. And make sure you don't wash your hair too often (no more than twice a week) as this can strip the protective oils and make your locks dry.

Treatment of hair loss during menopause

If you discover that you are affected by hair loss or thinning hair during menopause, it is first of all a good idea to see your doctor and find out what exactly is causing it. That way, you can best start with the right treatment. Often, hair loss during menopause is caused by a hormonal change and treatments may therefore be needed that require the help of a doctor.

In addition, dietary changes such as increasing the intake of certain B vitamins or adding biotin help to maintain normal hair. For those looking for an extra boost, scalp massage techniques have been shown to increase blood flow to the scalp and stimulate new hair growth. It is important to remember that everyone's body is different and what works for some people may not be effective for others. By consulting with a doctor or healthcare professional, you can get a better idea of ​​which treatment is best for your needs.

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