What You Can Do
The change in our appearance due to hair loss can be upsetting. Fortunately, menopausal hair loss isnt often permanent. However, if youre looking for a shorter-term solution, there are a variety of lifestyle adjustments and treatment options that may help.
How Can Hair Loss In Women Be Prevented
Preventing hair loss is not possible when it is due to disease, aging, heredity or physical stressors like injuries. You can prevent hair loss caused by caustic chemicals or tight hairstyles by avoiding them. You might be able to prevent some hair loss by eating a healthy diet that provides necessary nutrients in terms of vitamins, minerals and protein. You can stop smoking.
Can Women Experience Hair Loss From Hormone Replacement Therapy With Testosterone
Q: Dr. Bernstein, a lot of older women are taking testosterone to restore libido, but are they going to experience hair loss as a consequence?
A: They can. In women there is a delicate balance between the androgens, i.e. testosterone and estrogens. Estrogen is protective to some degree against hair loss in women, which is why most women dont experience such severe hair loss as do men.
When a woman takes testosterone supplements it upsets that balance and can cause hair loss. However, hair loss in post-menopausal women is usually due to age related changes. Typically, the hair decreases in size in a genetically determined progression that seems not to be directly related to changes in the levels of hormones.
For more information, please see the Causes of Hair Loss in Women page on the Bernstein Medical Center for Hair Restoration website.
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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?
Hair Loss A Quiet Personal Hell
Hair loss is both terrifying and devastating for any woman. The very word distress says it all: dis = not, opposite of,tress = a long lock of a woman’s hair. Ever thought of that before?
But why are we so devastated about hair loss? Well, for one, we love our hair. For most of us, its a central part of our identity. Its how we describe ourselves along with our height and eye-color. Its also one our most public forms of self-expression. A short punk-styled undercut says something very different than a neatly coiffed bob or at least so we usually think. But there are also deeply-engrained social beliefs and biases about women and our hair. Having a lush head of hair in our culture represents beauty and youthfulness. Theres also a terrible double standard when it comes to male and female hair loss. While 50 million men also lose their hair, mostly as a function of age, and while yes, it may cause men grief to lose hair, bald men have long been seen as desirable even sexy one study of over 20,000 surveyed individuals found that bald men are perceived as more intelligent, bigger, stronger, and more masculine. Another study found that bald men are perceived as more dominant and successful.
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What Is The Prognosis/outlook For Women With Hair Loss
Your diagnosis determines the prognosis:
- Anagen and telogen shedding may stop with time.
- Treat any diseases associated with hair loss.
- Disguise or cover your hair loss using a wig or hat.
- Early treatment of alopecia may reduce the speed of thinning and may promote regrowth.
While hair loss is not itself dangerous, women with hair loss tend to be very upset by the changes to their appearance. These negative feelings can affect self-esteem and social lives. Recent studies suggest that FPHL can be associated with conditions that include metabolic syndrome, endocrine disorders and diabetes.
Pop A Quality Multivitamin
Nutrients, or lack thereof, can affect hair growth, too. Vitamin A helps fat synthesis in hair follicles, encouraging growth vitamin E helps protect your hair cells from damage and B vitamins also help to restore hair thickness and shine. Vitamin C and zinc also help to repair cellular damage from the inside out, which makes for a healthy mane.
Unfortunately, theres no magic solution, pill or product that will correct hair loss entirely. But if you think of your hormones as a cast of characters, knowing which ones are leading the show and which ones are only playing a supporting role can help you get to the bottom of the issue. If you havent already, take my free hormone quiz it can help you determine what tests you may want to request from your doctor and which lifestyle or dietary changes may benefit you most. In the meantime, manage your stress levels and get enough sleep. This will help with general hormone balance and can protect your precious locks from any further damage.
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How Does Hair Grow
You might be aware that on average, hair growth is about a half-inch each month. Its normal to lose around 60-100 pieces of hair a day, but women can lose twice or even three times that number when the hair is washed. This is healthy. Typical hair care, such as washing, agitates the strands that are about to fall out anyway.
Ways Hormonal Hair Loss Differs From Other Forms Of Alopecia
If your hairline is receding or your hair is thinning, there may be hormonal reasons for your hair loss, according to Harvard Health Publishing. This means that hormonal hair loss symptoms may differ from other forms of hair loss.
The following are ways that hormonal hair loss causes, symptoms, and treatments differ from other types of hair loss.
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Menopause And Hair Loss: Whats The Connection
When entering the years of menopausal transition, it is a good idea to check the bodys hormone levels. This can help explain symptoms such as hair loss.
When a person experiences hair loss and other symptoms of menopause, it is predominantly due to hormonal changes. With age, the ovaries begin to decrease the amount of sex hormones that are normally produced. As the body responds to the fluctuations in hormones, numerous physical changes occur. Menopausal hair loss is directly related to the decreased production of estrogen and progesterone.
As these hormone levels drop, hair may begin to grow more slowly and become thinner. Over time, the decrease in estrogen and progesterone causes an increase in the activity of male hormones that the body makes. Androgens cause the hair follicles on the head to shrink, which leads to hair loss. These are the same hormones that are responsible for increased facial hair growth in menopausal people.
Among other factors that contribute to hair loss are lack of nutrients, stress, and illness. A health care provider may suggest tests for basic blood count, thyroid function, or hormone levels to identify the cause of hair loss.
Clinical Evaluation Talk To Your Doctor
A laboratory workup for hair loss is commonly performed. Additional questions that you may be asked to help narrow down differential diagnosis are :
- When did the hair loss start? A sudden onset of hair loss may be suggestive of a disruption of the hair cycle.
- Where is the hair loss most prominent? Hair loss can be patchy, diffuse or patterned. Diffuse shedding may indicate disruption of the hair cycle, while patterned thinning could be attributed to hormonal dysregulation.
- What is the normal hair care routine? Certain hair care practices can have a tremendous impact on the loss of hair health.
With proper evaluation and appropriate testing for hormonal imbalances or nutritional deficiencies, help is on the way!
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What helps: Ample exercise, meditation, and healthy habits are the best kinds of treatments, says Cleveland Clinic dermatologist Melissa Piliang, M.D. “These techniques help restore your body to its natural state.” Meaning: Your hair follicles can return to their regularly scheduled programming .
In addition, if your condition was brought on by a medical-related hormonal issue, your doctor may put you on hormone-regulating medications, like progesterone or even birth control, to fix the underlying issue.
No matter the source of the shedding, minoxidil and supplements that address multiple sources of hair loss make great options , says Fusco. She is particularly impressed with Nutrafol , which can kick-start strands to grow in about three months. “It has vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and adaptogens that address stress and inflammation and in general optimize the immune system so hair follicles can be triggered to grow healthy and strong.”
Learn how to blow dry fine hair to make it look full and gorgeous:
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Women’s Health. For more hair care secrets, pick up a copy on newsstands now!
How Hormones Secretly Affect Your Hair
As if horrid zits and murderous mood swings werent enough, now we can thank those blasted hormones for messing up our hair as well. Turns out, hormone levels affect both the quality and quantity of hair, making it thin, brittle or lustreless during certain times. When? And how? Here you go.
Hair and hormones: Going on and off the pill
Popping the pill changes some womens hair, usually for the better. Normally, it makes strands luscious, shiny and voluminous. But go off the pill and there may be sudden hair loss, along with changes in texture.
What you can do: Consider all-over colour or highlights, which will plump up the hair cuticles and create instant volume. Plus, build body with a thickening shampoo and apply conditioner just to the ends, so locks dont become limp.
Hair and hormones: Thyroid troubles
Hair loss, in fact, is often the first sign of a thyroid disorder, since fluctuating levels of this hormone directly affect your strands growth cycle.
What you can do: The thyroid gland accumulates more toxins than any other organ, so an imbalance of this hormone can accelerate hair loss. Counter by switching to organic foods and non-toxic hair products wherever possible. Besides this, stock your diet with proteins and give your scalp a daily massage.
Hair and hormones: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Hair and hormones: Stress saboteurs
What you can do: Taking a B-vitamin complex supplement and trying relaxation techniques could go a long way.
Hair and hormones: Menopause
Hormones That Affect Hair Growth And Hair Loss
The female cycle, in Biological terms, or her entire life in the common-mans term, is hugely effected by the hormones alone. Be it her puberty, the delay or onset of it her pregnancy, the frequency or lack of it her Menopause, its late or early arrival is all controlled and monitored by the good old hormones. Good locks of healthy hair are as important to a woman as her heritage jewels. However, sometimes, despite the very best of care and treatments, you find yourself suffering from hair fall and hair loss. Well, blame the female hormone imbalance. So, which of these little invisible demons-of-hormones are we talking about? Lets locate them and catch them to help your hair growth, shall we?
A womans overall health is a play of hormones maybe that is why they are often known to be rather unpredictable. It is the hormones that are responsible for the fire and ice likeness of a female mood sometimes credited to the lack of judgment that she can be a victim to or the mysterious sensuality that she can exude. However, the striking part is that, aside from just her psych, it is also a womans physical attributes that often fall on the not-so-friendly-side of the hormonal imbalance. One such physical aspect is her precious head of hair .
Are There Other Causes
Nutritional deficiencies are definitely something that you should look into if you have hair loss.
Iron deficiency anaemia can cause hair loss so always check your iron levels. Dr Philip Kingsley, Trichologist, states that ferritin levels also need to be checked and that, Even if the ferritin is within the normal range, the level may still not be adequate for optimum hair growth.
He states, Hair loss due to low ferritin is one of the most common types of hair loss we see in women. 3 Be careful when supplementing with iron as it can be toxic Toxic something poisonous, very harmful or bad .
B12 deficiency may cause hair loss although evidence is sparse.4
Biotin deficiency has also been reported as a cause of hair loss and some people found that it improved after taking supplements. You need to be aware, though, that taking biotin Biotin a vitamin found in small amounts in many foods such as eggs, milk, or bananas. Commonly used for hair loss, brittle nails, nerve damage, and many other conditions can show skewed levels in your test results. 5,6
Other vitamin deficiencies that may play a role in hair loss are vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E.4 The mineral, zinc, also plays a part in hair loss.4,5
Taking vitamin supplements may not always be helpful, though. Too much Vitamin A has been reported as causing hair loss so be careful with this vitamin.4
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Female Hair Loss : Why It Happens And How To Treat It
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Noticed your hair falling out? Whether youve spotted more hairs than normal on your pillow, in the shower drain catch or on your clothing, its easy to panic when you notice your hair thinning at a faster pace than normal.
Female pattern hair loss is the most common type of hair loss women experience.
Hair loss in women can occur for a variety of hair types and reasons. Sometimes, its triggered by changes in your hormone levels and a genetic sensitivity to certain hormones. In other cases, factors such as stress, thyroid issues , weight loss and even environmental factors can all have an effect on your hairline.
As a woman, dealing with hair loss can be difficult. Luckily, its almost always treatable using a range of safe, effective medications. Weve covered these treatment options, as well as the key reasons for female hair loss, below.