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?
Add More Protein To Your Plate
Protein is another nutrient thats important for healthy hair growth. Thats because hair is made up of 80% to 95% protein , so if youre not eating enough protein in your daily diet, it can interrupt your hairs growth cycle.6 Just a few high-protein foods include beans, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt, lean beef, lentils, milk, nuts and tofu. You can also add whey protein powder to meals and beverages to increase your protein intake.
How To Stop Thinning Hair: Hair Loss Treatment For Women
Medications are the most common treatment for hair loss in women. They include the following:
Minoxidil . This drug was initially introduced as a treatment for high blood pressure, but people who took it noticed that they were growing hair in places where they had lost it. Research studies confirmed that minoxidil applied directly to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. As a result of the studies, the FDA originally approved over-the-counter 2% minoxidil to treat hair loss in women. Since then a 5% solution has also become available when a stronger solution is need for a woman’s hair loss.
Clearly, minoxidil is not a miracle drug. While it can produce some new growth of fine hair in some not all women, it can’t restore the full density of the lost hair. It’s not a quick fix, either for hair loss in women . You won’t see results until you use the drug for at least two months. The effect often peaks at around four months, but it could take longer, so plan on a trial of six to 12 months. If minoxidil works for you, you’ll need to keep using it to maintain those results. If you stop, you’ll start to lose hair again.
Some women find that the minoxidil solution leaves a deposit that dries and irritates their scalp. This irritation, called contact dermatitis, is probably caused not by the minoxidil itself, but rather by the alcohol that is included to facilitate drying.
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When To See A Doctor About Menopause Hair Loss
Hair loss or thinning during the menopause can be upsetting, but it isnt usually an emergency or cause for concern. However, its a good idea to see a doctor, especially if youre worried.
A doctor will ask about your medical history and lifestyle. They should be able to tell the cause of your hair loss by looking at your hair.
They can check for any other possible causes, such as an iron or vitamin deficiency . There can sometimes be several factors involved in hair loss.
You should see a doctor if you have hair loss and:
- your hair loss is sudden
- your head itches and burns
- youre losing hair in clumps
- you have bald patches
Hair Loss Due To Hormones: Will It Grow Back
Hair loss due to hormones is a reality for many people after menopause as well as during pregnancy. But will it grow back? The answer is yes, but there are also things that can help the body along.
Wash hair regularly with a mild shampoo. Treat hair gently. Dont comb or brush hair when its wet. Using the fingers to detangle is a gentler option. Putting hair up in a tight bun or ponytail can cause added stress on the hair and its follicles.
Finally, try to limit the use of hair dryers or irons on hair, as they can dry and damage it.
Here are five tips to prevent hair loss during the menopausal transition and after menopause:
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New Pill Treats Vva Without Raising Breast Cancer Risk
Ospemifene , a non-hormonal oral medication manufactured by Shionogi, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013 to treat VVA.
Moore said Osphenas packaging warns that the drug may increase the risk for cancer of the lining of the uterus, called endometrial cancer. Other side effects include increased risk of stroke, blood clots, hot flashes, muscle spasms, vaginal discharge, and increased sweating.
Those things are also side effects of menopause, Moore said. Women have to talk to their doctor about what is right for them. Thats the same situation with estrogen or any other prescription medication. With a prescription medication we always weigh the risks and the benefits.
Moore said Osphena or supplemental estrogen can actually make the cells of the vagina healthier and more robust.
I want to be very careful not to imply this can restore you to where you were when you were 25, Moore cautioned, but it can help improve the functioning of your vaginal mucosa. Osphena and estrogen act the same way in that regard. Osphena acts like an estrogen in some tissues of the body, and not like an estrogen in other tissues of the body.
Estrogens, a category of medicine that includes patches, cremes, and gels, can treat the underlying cause of VVA. However, there is concern about giving women supplemental estrogen because it has been linked to the growth of certain cancers.
The Link Between Menopause And Hair Loss
Like grey hair, menopause is a natural part of the aging process that occurs for women around the age of 50. During menopause, the ovaries gradually produce less reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These fluctuating hormone levels cause many changes in the body, like hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, insomnia, and even hair loss.
So why does menopause cause hair loss? When were younger, hormones like estrogen and progesterone help to extend the growing phase of the hair cycle, allowing your hair to grow more quickly and for longer periods of time.
But with the decline of these hormones that comes with menopause, the growing phase of the hair cycle shortens considerably. As a result, hair grows more slowly. And since your hair is growing more slowly, it isnt able to replace the hair that is shed as a normal part of the hair growth cycle. As a result, your hair may appear much thinner after a while. This is the process of menopause hair loss in a nutshell.
But dont panic! For most women experiencing menopausal hair loss, there is nothing medically wrong. While its a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure that you dont have another issue thats causing your hair loss, menopause hair loss is a natural part of aging.
However, menopausal hair loss doesnt mean you have to give up on your hair for good! There are plenty of ways that you can treat and disguise the appearance of menopause hair loss .
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Signs Of Hair Loss In Women
- Overall thinning on the top of your head. Men notice bald spots more commonly, while women will see a difference in density.
- Bald patches can be seen in some cases.
- If you have gone through emotional trauma in the recent past, you may notice your hair falling in clumps in the shower or while brushing it.
- Complete hair loss can also be seen post a few medical treatments like chemotherapy.
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Is There Any Medical Treatment That Will Help A Woman Grow Back Hair During Menopause
Not all women experience hair loss or thinning during menopause, but many do, said Dr. Culwell. For women who are experiencing hair loss, I recommend that they have their thyroid levels checked as hypothyroidism can also cause hair loss and is more common in women in their 40s and 50s. Assuming the thyroid is normal, the only prescription treatment for hair loss is minoxidil which is applied topically to the scalp. This option has rare, but serious, side effects of elevated heart rate and can decrease blood pressure as it was originally developed as a medication for high blood pressure.
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Try A Hair Regrowth Product
Minoxidil, the generic name for the topical over-the-counter treatment many people know as Rogaine, has been shown to provide some regrowth of hair or prevent further hair loss. Rogaine now comes in a five percent foam for women, which is to be applied once a day, and must be used indefinitely if you stop using it, hair loss will recur.
Some studies have shown that about 20 percent of women experience moderate regrowth of hair and about 40 percent experience some regrowth of hair after four months of use results are best for women who start the treatment as soon as they start to experience hair loss.
Sun Protection Is A Must
No matter what your skin challenges are, sunscreen is your friend. Slather it on every day, all year round. Sun protection can ward off signs of aging and prevent skin cancer.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen thats SPF 30 or higher. Choose one you like so youll be more likely to apply it every morning. If youre going to be outside, reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
The suns rays age your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer, Dr. Williams says. Even in the winter, UV rays penetrate the clouds.
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Curb Stress Effects With Vitamin C
You may have suspected that stress from work, school, family or other responsibilities can affect your hair. Well, researchers examining stressed-out female medical students discovered its true, according to a study in the journal PLOS ONE. Turns out, hormones released when youre under stress drain energy from the hair follicle so it stops growing, which can thin your tresses.
Adopting stress-busting habitssuch as regularly exercising, practicing yoga and meditatingis one way to curb stress. Another: Take 500 mg. of vitamin C twice daily. A growing body of research shows that this nutrient can blunt the bodys usual response to stress by reducing output of stress hormones.9
Another option: Take a daily B-complex supplement. In one study in the journal Human Psychopharmacology, stressed-out volunteers who took Bs every day for 90 days reported significantly lower tension than the group given a placebo.10 B vitamins help regulate brain chemicals that impact mood and stress sensitivity. Tip: Make a point to take your B-complex early in the day since taking Bs too close to bedtime can trigger wakefulness that keeps you up at night.
How Much Hair Is Lost During Menopause
Every woman has a genetic predisposition that determines whether shell experience menopausal hair loss and what it will look likeand it varies from woman to woman. That being said, its typically a lot subtler than the hair loss men experience with age.Also different than men, hair loss for women is typically more diffuse versus showing up as noticeable bald spots. The thinning can occur at the sides, front or top of your head and you may notice more hair fall when showering or after brushing. Rest assured, while it may feel never-ending, it wont last forever. Once your hormones level out, your hair loss will stop.
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Look At Your Nutrition
Consider consulting a nutritionist to see if you might be deficient in certain nutrients that are vital to hormone balance and hair health, for example, B Vitamins, Zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids. Consider using Viviscal, a natural supplement containing Amino-Mar which is shown to promote hair growth. Viviscal Shampoo and Conditioner can also be used to ensure hair health inside and out.
Perimenopause And Hair Loss What You Need To Know
Why your hair may start to thin at this age. Plus expert hair advice, best shampoos and tips on disguising thinner hair.
The perimenopause, the period before full menopause begins, can affect your hair’s texture and thickness. You may start to notice that your hair becomes dull and dry, is thinner than it used to be and falls out easier.
This is mainly due to the fact your body’s oestrogen levels are dropping. Oestrogen is important in maintaining the growing phase of your hair’s life cycle, so a sudden drop will cause a shorter growth cycle and hair will shed quicker than it used to.
Added to this, menopause causes androgen levels the ‘male hormone’ – in your body to rise as oestrogen falls. Androgens reduce the hair shaft diameter and volume, as they bind to hair follicles and force them to stop growing quicker than normal so that new hair grows thinner with each cycle of hair growth. The hair follicles may also start to shrink, which can lead to hair loss.
To counter these natural body changes, Dr Edward Ball of The Maitland Clinic says it is important to avoid anything that causes stress or harm to your hair. Avoid harsh colouring treatments or chemical procedures such as hair straightening, as this can damage the hair shaft. Be aware that tight hairstyles, such as braiding and ponytails or adding extensions to the hair, can also irritate the hair root and cause hair loss.
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Hair Loss Is Often Caused By Genetics
Its important for women to realize that a lot of why they may experience hair loss is influenced by genetics and the aging process, says Bruce. A genetic cause doesnt mean that its necessarily something youve inherited directly from your mom or dad, she adds.
There are multiple different genes related to hair loss, and this is a very complex interplay of many genes. You shouldnt assume youve done anything to cause your hair loss, especially if you are otherwise healthy, says Bruce.
Can Menopause Cause Hair Loss
Some women notice that their hair becomes thinner or patchy at menopause. For most women it’s not as dramatic as male hair loss but it can be a very sensitive subject that can badly knock your confidence. The pattern in women tends of gradual thinning – maybe a more obvious scalp or a wider parting. Thinning can be seen on the top of the scalp as well as at the sides. Some women notice hair on their pillow, in the shower or it may come out in clumps while brushing.
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How Can You Take Care Of Your Hair During Menopause
Small daily habits can also make a difference when it comes to protecting your hair. Dr Newson says it’s best to use a gentle shampoo and good quality conditioner. Women should also avoid intense drying as it can make their hair more prone to splitting.
Wearing a hat on sunny days will protect the scalp and hair from UV damage. Colouring hair is not usually a problem. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help, as will managing the cause of stress, and focussing on your wellbeing, she points out. If you need more expert information about perimenopause and menopause Dr Newson founded the balance app that can help you track symptoms and create personalized health reports.