What Our Patients Say
As of March 2021, I have been a HerKare patient for 3 years. I have driven from the Austin to Ft. Worth and Southlake since March 2018. In fact, today I attempted to drive to Southlake to see the provider, Dania Khoncarly, because she is so amazing, but the roads were too dangerous with the current ice storm in Texas, so I visited the Mansfield location instead as it was closer for me. The patient care has been nothing short of amazing. In fact, I cant imagine my life without HerKare. I struggled with hormone deficiency since 2003 until March 2018. The treatment plan provided by HerKare has positively impacted my way of life socially, emotionally, and physically. One of my closest friends now drives from Copperas Cove to the Mansfield location. I have several friends in my age group mid to late 40s & early 50s who would benefit from HerKare. I understand with our nation experiencing COVID, now might not be the time to open a new location, however, your services could positively impact the well-being of so many women. When the time is right, please open more HerKare locations!
Patient since March 2018
Can Menopause Cause Hair Loss We Asked Physicians
In the years preceding menopause, a female’s hormones go through fluctuations that can affect everything from her mood to her skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, these changes can occur in your 30s, but for most, they begin to happen around their 40s and early 50s. Whenever they do start, it’s important to remember that the menopausal transition is totally natural and not to be feared. Those with female bodies do, however, require support to navigate this time and figure out what’s happening internally . One concern for those who experience menopause is hair loss, which is associated with a decline of certain hormones.
Ahead, a gynecologist, naturopath, and dermatologist explain menopausal hair loss and offer recommendations on how to manage it.
Meet the Expert
- Kate Denniston, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor, trained in both conventional and alternative medicine. She specializes in helping women optimize their hormonal health and practices at Los Angeles Integrated Health.
- Lavanya Krishnan, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology and is the founder of Arya Derm in San Francisco.
- Nicole Williams, MD, FACOG, FACS is a board-certified gynecologist and founder of The Gynecology Institute of Chicago. She specializes in fibroids, minimally invasive hysterectomy, pelvic/sexual pain, heavy bleeding, menopause, and urinary incontinence.
Menopause Hair That Can Help
In partnership with our friends at Nutrafol
When you start to notice that more hair than usual is collecting in your shower drain or on your brush or that running your hand through your hair picks up more than a few loose strands, it can be shocking.
Women dont expect to experience hair thinning when they hit perimenopause or menopause, says Sophia Kogan, MD. As the cofounder and chief medical advisor at Nutrafol, she hears this sentiment all the time: Why didnt anyone tell me? And if were not even talking about the experience, then were certainly not talking about solutions.
Kogan adds that it doesnt need to be this way: Menopause can be liberatingeven an event to potentially celebrate. Have a conversation about what the transition means, how it feels, and how you can support yourself through it.
Read Also: How To Prevent Hair Loss Naturally
How To Manage Menopausal Hair Loss With Diet Supplements And Lifestyle
There are several effective supplements on the market to address menopausal hair thinning and loss. Respectively, diet plays an important role in managing hormones, and should be seriously considered as women enter menopause. In particular, Denniston advocates an anti-inflammation and low-glycemic diet. “Keeping inflammation and insulin regulated is important,” as underlying inflammation and insulin resistance can affect the 5-alpha-reductase pathway, she says.
Denniston also suggests a high-fiber diet to “keep blood sugar stable and to keep insulin resistance and testosterone in check.” She also suggests incorporating ground raw flaxseed into your diet. “It has lignans that help modulate estrogen activity and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation.”
Maca is another supplement to consider, Denniston says, to “support the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which can make a big difference for a womans symptoms during menopause.” She adds, “The plant sterols in maca have a balancing effect on the endocrine system. Maca has been used for hundreds of years in Peru to help ease menopausal symptoms.”
A couple other herbs that may be helpful include adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and holy basil. Denniston says they can “help regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and increase stress resilience.” She also likes reishi mushroom and saw palmetto. These help “block the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme and the production of super testosterone, dihydrotestosterone.”
Lifestyle And Home Remedies For Thinning Hair
If you feel self-conscious about thinning hair, there are options beyond treatments and procedures that may make hair loss less noticeable, says Bruce.
- Wear a wig, extension, or hairpiece. Some women find this to be a suitable option.
- Style your hair differently. This can make a widening part less noticeable.
- Try hair powders. These contain tiny fibers you sprinkle the powder in your hair and the fibers cling to the hair shaft, giving the appearance of fuller hair and hiding where the scalp is visible.
- Consult a hair stylist. Some stylists specialize in thinning hair.
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The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause
The average age of menopause is 51. Menopause refers to a period in a womans life when she stops having a menstrual period. Many people think that a woman stops having her period overnight when in reality, menopause is a process that can last for years.
The period leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause. Most women begin perimenopause in their 40s. Some women may experience so few symptoms that they do not realize they have entered perimenopause . However, for others, symptoms can be severe and life-altering.
There are a total of 34 symptoms that can signify the arrival of menopause, which range from mild to disabling in nature.
Unwanted Facial Hair: What To Do
Its easier to remove the hairs you dont want than it is to make hair grow where you do want it. Luckily, women have a host of ways to get rid of unwanted hair:
Try to prevent it with the Pill if youre pre- or perimenopausal. Taking birth control pills before youre going through menopause can help prevent facial hair growth, Polan says.
Go with the old stand-bys tweezing, bleaching, and waxing. If you dont have a lot of unwanted facial hair, you can probably spend a little bit of time removing it yourself with a pair of tweezers or by waxing the hair away. Another option is to bleach the hairs on your face with an over-the-counter face and body cream bleach kit.
Try a prescription cream. The topical cream eflornithine slows the growth of facial hair. If facial hair is bothering you, it may be worth a try, Polan says. Youll need to ask your doctor for a prescription and it may take four to eight weeks to see results.
Laser them away. A dermatologist can remove facial hair by using a laser to damage the hair follicle and slow down hair growth. But this technique works best on dark hairs, and is less effective for blonde or peach-fuzz type hair growth.
Every woman will approach thinning hair and facial hair differently. For some, its no big deal, while others want to try to find effective fixes. Whatever camp you fall in, know its a common part of aging and menopause, and talk to your doctor about your options.
Recommended Reading: How Much Postpartum Hair Loss Is Normal
Are There Herbal Remedies To Help Me
If your hair loss is the result of hormonal changes caused by the menopause, using a soy based supplement such as our Menopause Support supplement may be effective. This tackles all stages of the menopause, as it contains soy isoflavones which naturally mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body.
“Menopause support tablets have eased my problems and have helped me sleep better at night. I would recommend them to any one suffering the effects of the menopause.”Stress at this time of your life will not help improve your head of hair, so if you feel you are not coping, face up this issue rather than ignore it. You can also try our Stress Relief Daytime, which can help ease stress and relieve mild anxiety.
If you think your hair loss is caused by medication, seek help and advice from your doctor.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can Collagen Cause Hair Loss
The Typical Hair Loss Experience
On average, a person loses around 100-200 hairs a day to allow for new hair growth. During menopause, when your hair is breaking, it may seem that you are losing more than the average amount. In reality, however, your hair is not falling out but breaking somewhere along the hair strand itself, giving the appearance of thinner hair.
Common Menopause Skin And Hair Changes
These are the most common changes people can expect in their skin and hair post-menopause.
Sagging and loss of plumpness
Collagen is a protein that holds the bodys tissues together. And when estrogen drops, your skins collagen production decreases, too. Loss of collagen means the skin loses its youthful volume and tightness.
To combat this problem, many people take collagen supplements or eat high-collagen foods like bone broth. But the jury is still out on this strategy. We dont have enough controlled studies to prove that consuming collagen will help post-menopausal skin, Dr. Williams says.
Dont give up, though. You can help fight collagen loss at home with a simple facial massage. Dr. Williams recommends taking your favorite moisturizer or facial oil and giving yourself a facial rubdown each night. The massaging motion stimulates your skins collagen production, she says.
Dryness, flakiness and itching
Those pesky dark marks, sometimes called age spots, often appear after menopause and theyre hard to treat at home.
Unwanted facial hair
As hormones shift, you may notice hair on the upper lip or chin. If you want it gone, the tried-and-true methods of tweezing, waxing, hair removal creams and threading will get rid of it until it grows back.
Post-menopause acne breakouts
Hair loss and thinning
Recommended Reading: What Should I Take To Stop Hair Loss
Why Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss
Although most people wouldnt automatically think of hair loss as a menopause symptom, the hormonal changes which the menopause causes can have all sorts of unexpected effects on the body.
The hormones oestrogen and testosterone have the most important influence on hair growth. During the menopause, levels of oestrogen decrease. This hormone is important for promoting hair growth. While oestrogen levels drop, testosterone levels increase disproportionately. This causes the hair that does grow to be thinner than before, and can also cause facial hair.
However, there are other causes of hair loss. These include factors as simple as what you eat to more serious issues such as stress, certain illnesses and medication. It is important to get to the root of the problem in order to find the most effective treatment.
Can You Lose Hair Due To Menopause
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.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Hair Loss In 50 Year Old Woman
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.
Wigs And Head Coverings
If hair loss is extensive, you may find that a wig or head covering can give a life-changing confidence boost. Wigs are widely available on the high street, online and from the NHS Alopecia UK has a thorough and informative guide here. Be aware of the latest concerns regarding the use of human hair and its link to modern slavery and trafficking. Leading hairdresser and wig maker Denise McAdam now only works with synthetic hair for this reason.
Read Also: What Can You Do For Hair Loss
Hair Loss Happens As We Age
About half of all women will have some element of hair loss by the age of 50, and by the age of 60, approximately 80 percent of women will experience some hair loss, says Glynis Ablon, MD, an associate clinical professor at the University of California in Los Angeles and a dermatologist at Ablon Skin Institute and Research Center in California.
We all know hair loss or balding can happen to men in midlife, but we dont talk about it as much when it comes to women, she says. It usually impacts women in a different way, especially their self-confidence. Someone like Bruce Willis can just shave their head look fine, but it tends to be a bigger deal for women, says Dr. Ablon.
The good news: Various treatments are available to address hair loss in menopausal women, says Stephanie S. Faubion, MD, the director of the Center for Womens Health at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and the medical director of NAMS. There are simple fixes for female pattern hair loss, but we shouldnt assume that is always the reason for hair loss sometimes there are underlying issues causing the condition, says Dr. Faubion.