Menopause and Hair Loss

Menopause and Hair Loss

While you may have come to accept menopause as a natural stage of womanhood, coming to grips with losing your hair is difficult. What’s important to understand is exactly why your beloved tresses bear the brunt of menopausal hormone changes and what you can do about it.

Research suggests that a major cause of hair loss in menopause is the imbalance of hormones in your body—namely, the reduced production of estrogen and progesterone. These changes can lead to a “hormonal pattern,” resulting in hair loss and sometimes even facial “peach fuzz” or sprouts of hair on the chin.

Other factors that could contribute to menopausal hair loss include extraordinarily high levels of stress, illness, or a genetic predisposition. Diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions include thyroid tests, a blood sugar level test, or a rheumatoid evaluation.

While menopausal hair loss can cause you to feel anxious about your physical appearance and even lower your self-esteem, the condition isn’t permanent. There are many steps you can take to improve the quality of your hair from the inside out. 

Menopause is a time of change, some good and some not so good. One of the more distressing problems a woman can experience is hair loss after menopause. We have all seen the impact this can have on a woman’s sense of well-being. After all, a man who’s losing his hair still looks masculine, while it’s less socially acceptable for women to have hair loss. Needless to say, it can have a big impact on a woman’s self-esteem. That’s why most women with this problem are desperately in search of answers.

Hair Loss After Menopause Is Not Uncommon

About a third of women experience hair loss to some degree after they go through the change of life. The most common cause of hair loss in men is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness. This frequent cause of hair loss typically has a genetic as well as environmental component.

Women can also have androgenetic alopecia. In women, we call this female-pattern baldness, and it’s often related to the hormonal fluctuations that take place around the time of menopause, particularly an increase in androgens. Women who have this type of hair loss usually have family members who also experienced hair loss.

When men have androgenetic alopecia, they typically see their hairline recede and experience hair loss at the back of their scalp. With women, it’s usually more subtle and diffuse—all over the scalp rather than in a single spot—although We have seen women with a strong family history of baldness develop a receding hairline similar to what men experience. Frequently, the first sign women notice is a widening of their part or more hairs than usual in their brush. It’s not uncommon to lose 100 to 150 hairs a day. More than this should raise a red flag.