Menopause And Hair Loss
Menopause is one of the major causes of hair loss as women enter middle age. While losing 50-100 hairs every day and a few more on shampoo days is common, menopause may double that loss rate.
Other common signs are more time than usual between periods, and shorter periods, along with night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, especially in the belly and dry skin.
When these signs start showing up, talk to your doctor. A few basic blood tests will pinpoint your current testosterone levels and estrogen loss, and you can begin to explore treatment options if you choose to do so.
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Understanding Hair Loss During Perimenopause
Hair loss, or “alopecia,” refers to a condition in which a person loses more hair than normal. Typically, a hair follicle grows one quarter of an inch per month for up to six years before falling out and being replaced by another. Hair loss during perimenopause occurs when the rate of loss exceeds that of re-growth.
Largely, hair loss is popularly considered to only affect men. However, during perimenopause, nearly all women will experience some degree of hair loss or thinning. However, unlike in cases of male hair loss, the experience does not typically result in complete baldness. Generally, women will only experience hair thinning.
Because of the negative impact that hair loss can have on a woman’s self-esteem, it is wise to deal with the condition swiftly. The following information will help to illustrate the various causes.
What Are The Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
What causes hair loss?
- Hair style: Your style of hair can cause hair loss when your hair is arranged in ways that pull on your roots, like tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. If hair follicles are damaged, the loss can be permanent.
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Over processed scalp hair .
What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?
- Toxic substances, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some medications. These cause sudden hair loss that can occur anywhere on your body. It happens to hair in the growth stage. Sometimes, this type of hair loss can be permanent if your hair follicles are damaged.
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?
- Extreme physical stress or shock to your body: This causes temporary hair loss. This category includes events like losing a lot of weight, surgery, anemia, illness and having a baby.
- Extreme emotional stress: mental illness, the death of a loved one, etc.
- An abnormal thyroid.
- Medications and supplements: blood pressure medicines, gout medicines and high doses of Vitamin A.
- Hormone changes caused by pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills.
What causes FPHL ?
- Genes: Your familys genes can cause thinning of hair along the top of your head.
- Aging: Hormone changes as you age can cause balding.
- Menopause: This type of hair loss often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.
There are also some conditions that affect hair loss:
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What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss During Menopause
While hair loss can happen at any age, menopause is a major trigger. Factors such as age, diet, genetics, ethnicity, and lifestyle influence the changes we go through at menopause as well.
- Genetics is a major factor and it can play a role in both male and female hair loss.
- A stressful lifestyle or a stressful event can enhance the odds of losing hair at menopause.
- Your diet can positively or negatively impact hair loss at menopause.
- Illnesses such as thyroid afflictions and anemia can also trigger hair loss at menopause.
What Can Be Done To Minimize The Weight Gain Caused By Menopause
Start adopting healthy lifestyle practices before menopause by exercising and eating well, so those good habits are in place. Aging is associated with changes in metabolism, decreased muscle and increased body fat. We are often less physically active the older we get, which is a large contributor to weight gain. Weight tends to deposit around the midsection, which can increase the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and certain types of cancer . In addition to the negative impact on health, weight gain often leads to poor self-image and depression.
It is important to your overall health and well-being to adhere to a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity. A healthy diet includes watching portion control and limiting amounts of sugar, processed carbohydrates, fat and processed foods. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to help with weight loss, improve cognition and decrease the risk of dementia and osteoporosis, as well as improve heart health. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, Pilates and yoga help maintain posture, balance and core strength.
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What Is Female Pattern Hair Loss
The most common type of hair loss in women is called androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss . Hair follicles shrink, causing the hair to become thinner and finer, with decreased numbers of hairs overall. The hairs growing phase also gets shorter and fewer hairs are in the active growing phase.
Usually in female pattern hair loss, the frontal hairline stays about the same, but there can be a widening of the part and a central thinning of the hair, says Alison Bruce, MBChB, a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Bruce presented information on common causes of midlife hair loss and new therapy options at the North American Medical Society Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, held September 2225, 2021.
Are There Complications/side Effects Of Treatment
Minoxidil may irritate your scalp and cause dryness, scaling, itching and/or redness. See your dermatologist if this happens.
With Minoxidil you might also see hair growing in other places other than your scalp . Wash your face after you apply Minoxidil and make sure you avoid other areas when you apply it.
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Counselling And Support Groups
Losing your hair can be hard to cope with many of us think of our hair as part of our identity.
If menopause hair loss or thinning is causing you distress, your doctor may be able to offer advice about counselling. You might also find it useful to join a support group, or share your story on online forums.
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.
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Does What I Eat Affect Menopause Hair Loss
It can! While eating the perfect diet cannot prevent menopause hair lossremember, the hair thinning is more likely due to genetics and age than hormones, your diet can help. Eating a diet rich in protein is necessary to stimulate hair growth. Additionally, vitamins A and C offer the optimal nutrients to support hair growth.
This means eating things like berries, spinach, sweet potatoes, and sweet peppers. The fresh, vital nutrients in these foods provide the nutrients your body needs to stimulate hair follicles. Click here for a full list of foods to eat to help support lush, full hair.
Conversely, if your diet is lacking in protein or Vitamins A, C, or E, that could be contributing to your menopause hair loss. Give your diet a second look to make sure youre eating plenty of produce to get these vital nutrients into your system. Other dietary changes for perimenopause can support your whole body health.
Should I Tell My Doctor About My Menopause Hair Loss
Yes! Do make sure you tell your doctor about your thinning hair. Hair loss can be a symptom of a serious medical condition, not just your naturally lowering hormones. Its a good idea to let your physician know so she can rule out issues like hypothyroidism or autoimmune disorders like lupus.
Also, some medications may accelerate hair loss. If you have noticed a rapid uptick in hair loss and have recently started a new medication, there may be a link. Let your doctor know and be sure to ask if the hair loss could be a symptom of your medication.
Menopause hair loss can seem like just one more annoying symptom that comes along with being a midlife woman. Because a womans identity is often on display through her hair, losing hair during perimenopause is a clear outward sign of aging. For this reason, menopause hair loss is particularly disheartening.
Ensuring that your diet is nutrient-dense and that you are getting adequate stress-busting exercise and sleep is a self-compassionate way to support your body. And when your body is well nourished with food, exercise, and rest, you can be at your best.
Karen Shopoff Rooff is a certified health coach. The Well Balanced Women blog is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please discuss your health issues with a licensed medical practitioner.
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Hair Loss Or Thinning
Losing hair can often be a concern during the menopause. Again, this is due to a fall in oestrogen levels in your body.
If your hair is falling out or becoming thinner due to the menopause, try using gentle shampoos and moisturising conditioners, and avoid using hot hair dryers.
Eating a healthy diet may also help if your hair starts to thin. In particular, having a low intake of iron, iodine, B-vitamins or zinc has been associated with hair loss.
You should see a doctor if you are worried about your hair thinning or falling out.
Your doctor may be able to prescribe medications to stimulate growth. HRT may also help to manage the hair loss.
Midlife Hormonal Changes May Contribute To Thinning Hair
Hair loss might also be related to a shift in hormones, says Faubion. Androgens, a group of hormones that include testosterone and androstenedione, dont increase during the menopause transition, but the ratio between estrogen and androgen changes, so you have less estrogen and relatively more androgen, she explains.
DHT, a metabolite of testosterone, has been linked to male baldness in research. Theres a theory that changing ratios may be related to hair loss in women, says Faubion.
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Use Products Designed To Encourage Healthy Hair
Relax with CBD products created for thicker, fuller hair. We recommend that you take the two-pronged approach to hair growth, building your mane’s bounce and vitality from the inside and the outside. Pop a GRO+ Advanced Gummy with CBD every morning to support your hair’s health, and soothe the scalp irritation that can arrest hair production in the follicles with CBD-enhanced GRO+ Advanced Hair Serum.
You can also take a hands-on approach to hair-loss treatment. Indulge yourself with a daily scalp massage to increase blood flow to the scalp, with or without a hair product. If you want a rich, super-relaxing rub, work our marula oil, GRO Hair Serum or GRO Scalp Detoxifying Serum into your scalp with your fingertips or a scalp massager.
What Causes Hair Loss In Menopause
Menopausal and perimenopausal hair loss is caused by hormones which have a pivotal role in the hair growth cycle.5 In women going through menopause, the levels of oestrogen in the body drops.1 The first phase of the hair growth cycle, the anagen phase, is where hair actively grows, and this is prolonged by the hormone, oestrogen.6
Not sure if you want more detail on hormones and the hair cycle?
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Talk To Your Doctor About Cortisone Shots Or Acupuncture For Perimenopause Hair Loss
The data is inconclusive as to whether or not cortisone shots actually work at re-growing hair, but I do know one woman who gets them frequently and says they have really helped her. Cortisone shots are given at the scalp, and the Mayo Clinic suggests they should not be given more often than every six weeks.
While I know of some women who have had luck with acupuncture for hair loss, the British Acupuncture Society states that there is no evidence that acupuncture can treat hair loss as a specific symptom however, it might help with the underlying problem.
Preventing Hair Loss: Over
The simplest solution is to start using 5 percent minoxidil, which is available without a prescription, says Bruce. The trade name is Rogaine, but there are also generic versions available. This treatment is effective in about two out of three people who use it, she says.
Compliance can be an issue, because you have to use it every day to retain the benefits, she says. There are medications marketed to both men and women, but women can use the mens formulation and it is often less expensive.
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Oral prescription drugs have been shown to help with female pattern hair loss. These drugs have been approved for use in other conditions, but are used by doctors off-label for FPHL, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association .
Spironolactone, a blood pressure medication that is a diuretic can prevent hair loss from worsening and restore hair growth, according to the AAD. Other drugs block the effects of circulating androgens or lower androgen levels.
These oral medications should not be used by women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, according to the AAD.
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Outlook: Is Menopausal Hair Loss Permanent
Hair loss during menopause is common and can be upsetting, but there are things you can do to help protect your hair. Some of these will also help with other menopause symptoms, so they can help you feel generally better, too.
Whether your hair loss is permanent depends on the cause. If youre worried, see a doctor, and they can investigate.
Hair Changes During Menopause
We put our hair through a lot during our lifetime. Heat styling, products, coloring, and up-dos can do a number on our locks. So, when we begin perimenopause, our hair is already pretty stressed out.
Why your hair changes: As a crucial part of your intimate health, estrogen and progesterone play an important role in the growth of your hair. Healthy levels of these hormones allow hair to grow quickly and stay on your head for a long time. So as these hormone levels start to decline, the supportive structure for healthy, thick locks is no longer there.
In addition, your body still produces the same level of androgen hormones, which can shrink hair follicles, causing hair to fall out and not grow back. According to researchers, over 50% of women over 50 experience some level of hair loss.
Finally, as your hormone product slows down, your scalp produces less sebum. Sebum is the oil in your hair that promotes moisture and shine.
What you can do about it: You may want to talk with your healthcare provider about hormone replacement therapy. Balances estrogen and progesterone support many menopausal symptoms, including hair loss and dryness.
Also, consider your lifestyle. Eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Get ample healthy fats and plenty of lean protein. Exercise and sleep also play a crucial role in your overall health, which can support the health of your hair.
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