Menopause is a natural biological change that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. It typically occurs in the late 40s to early 50s in a woman's life. During this phase, the decline in the production of reproductive hormones, primarily estrogen and progesterone can be seen. During menopause, a woman goes through a variety of physical and hormonal changes and hair loss is one of the potential symptoms that some women might experience during this time.
Androgenetic alopecia or female pattern hair loss occurs during or after menopause due to hormonal changes. The decline in estrogen levels during menopause contributes to hair thinning or loss. However, not all women experience significant hair loss during menopause and the degree of hair thinning can vary from person to person. Genetics also play a role in determining if an individual is susceptible to hair loss.
Menopause Hair Loss
Could you be experiencing Menopause Hair Loss? September is Menopause Awareness Month, so now is a good time to look at ways to make menopause more of a positive experience. The average age of U.S. women at the time of menopause is 51 years old.
Over 50% of women report hair loss by age 50, so don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’re all aware of the more common side effects of menopause: mood swings, depression, skin dryness, loss of libido, and hot flashes. What comes as a shock to most menopausal women is when their usually healthy hair unexpectedly starts thinning out.
Blame it on male hormones!
Hair loss is actually a common side effect of menopause. It’s just not as noticeable as men’s hair loss because it follows a completely different pattern. You probably notice that more hair clings to your brush and might assume that it's normal daily shedding.
But gradually, as your hormone production declines, you start to realize that the central parting of your scalp is becoming wider. Or that you need three turns of an elastic band instead of two to throw your hair up into a ponytail.
Hair loss is often associated with hormonal changes, so hair loss during menopause makes sense. When your female hormones start declining, your male hormones - Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) made from testosterone - increases disproportionately.
DHT is infamously known as a hair follicle assassin, so its role in menopausal hair loss isn’t that surprising. An increase in DHT is also why some women might experience fuzzy facial hair growth during menopause. The hair growth and hair loss effects of menopause depend on how sensitive you are to male hormones to begin with.
We All Want to Live With Healthy Hair. Does Menopause Hair Loss Grow Back?
Replacement hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that some women take during menopause might help. They aren’t necessarily hair regrowth treatments, but they can alleviate many menopausal symptoms. Taking hormones has its pros and cons, and the decision should be made taking your medical history into account. Be sure to discuss this thoroughly with your doctor. If it is recommended that you increase your DHT levels, think twice because it can actually cause increased hair loss.
One of the most effective hair regrowth treatments is low-level laser therapy, and it applies to menopausal hair loss too. It’s a natural solution that won’t cause any side effects like oral medications and you can expect a pretty high hair count increase (up to 30%) after just a few months of home hair laser treatments.
Just make sure to use a high-quality device that’s recommended by physicians, like the Theradome PRO LH80, a cordless, wearable, and hands-free device that is recommended by doctors but used at home. Find out more about Theradome.
The 'surviving menopause with healthy hair' checklist
The good news is that you can definitely do something about hair loss, regardless of which transition in life (menopause or pre-menopause) you’re entering. For the best results, follow this checklist:
- Pay attention to early signs of thinning. The sooner you treat it the better your results will be.
- Take supplements such as zinc, selenium, and biotin to keep your hair healthy from the inside out.
- Make sure you are getting the right nutrients from your diet. Keratin is the type of protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails. Keratin is made up of amino acids which your body gets from high protein foods such as red meat, beans, fish, eggs, asparagus, kale, and milk.
- Be proactive and start low-level laser therapy before you actually reach menopause to boost your natural hair growth cycle.
- If you’ve already entered menopause, incorporate these treatments into your beauty regimen at least twice a week.
- Keep track of your hair growth progress and take weekly progress photos. You look at yourself in the mirror every day, so improvements can be hard to notice sometimes.
- Don’t assume menopause is the problem. There are a thousand and one causes of hair loss in women. You need to make sure you’re perfectly healthy.
Don’t forget that hormone imbalance isn't the only cause of hair loss during menopause. Female hair loss can occur for a range of reasons. These include genetics, stress, reactions to medications, excessive blow-drying or brushing and more can cause bald spots. However, whatever the cause, it's nice to know that you can restore hair growth by using the Theradome PRO LH80 or Theradome EVO LH40.
Does hair return to normal after menopause?
Yes, hair can grow from menopausal hair loss as the hormone level stabilizes but complete return to pre-menopausal hair density isn't guaranteed. Hair could grow back thinner and also curlier prior to loss.
Can low estrogen causes hair loss?
Yes, low estrogen can contribute to hair loss since it plays a role in promoting hair growth and a decrease in estrogen levels can lead to hair thinning or loss. This particularly occurs in cases of androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss where imbalance of estrogen and androgen hormones result in miniaturization of hair follicles and gradual hair thinning.
What is perimenopause hair loss?
Perimenopause hair loss is a condition where hormonal fluctuations during the transition to menopause can lead to hair thinning or loss. Declining estrogen levels and potential increases in androgen hormones can contribute to this kind of hair loss.