Menopause and Hair Loss

Menopause and Hair Loss

All women will experience the menopause (when their periods stop)1 at some point in their life, some much earlier than others and some for medical reasons rather than part of their natural cycle. Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause when women experience a variety of symptoms, and this can be eight to ten years before menopause. 

Though not listed as a common menopause or perimenopause symptom by the NHS, hair loss can be caused by it. Here we explain why and what you can do to help yourself. 

Is it normal to lose hair during menopause?

Hair loss is actually something that happens to us every day, often without us even noticing. According to the NHS2 we can lose between 50 and 100 hairs over a 24 hour period, so if

you do happen to spot any loose hairs it’s probably just part of our normal and

healthy daily hair loss. This is called shedding. If you notice a change in your hair, you should always consult your doctor to make sure you don’t have any other underlying health condition such as reduced iron levels or thyroid problem. If it isn’t related to a health condition, it could be because of menopause.

What are menopausal hair loss symptoms?

You might be experiencing some of the many symptoms of menopause, as described by the NHS.3 If you also see excessive amounts of hair in your brush or large clumps fall out whilst you wash, or style your hair then this could be a symptom of menopausal hair loss. Hair loss symptoms in women include general hair thinning, especially at the crown of the head.4

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?  

What treatments are available for menopausal hair loss?

Minoxidil is a scientifically proven treatment7 that can be used to slow and combat any existing hair.8 You may have heard of it under its more common brand name Regaine which is a product you can buy to help fight hair loss. It is available as a liquid solution, spray or foam that you apply directly to your scalp and in some cases as an oral tablet. 

Hormone replacement therapy could be used as part of your menopause or perimenopause treatment, and this might help with your hair loss too. Your doctor will advise you whether HRT is a suitable treatment for you and will advise you of the benefits and risks.9 

A hair transplant is another, more radical and expensive treatment.10 

Can menopausal hair loss be prevented?

You can help to prevent hair loss by taking a few steps that don’t involve medical treatment. Try to reduce stress in your life, exercise daily, eat well, take vitamins and drink plenty of water.

Importantly, look after your hair too. Try not to over-style your hair or use too many products. If you enjoy swimming, wear a swimming cap to protect your hair from the chemicals in the pool.11

What if my hair loss isn’t because of menopause?

If you are not suffering hair loss caused by menopause it could be female pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia.12 This is a hereditary condition that is can start any time after puberty, but is more common after menopause.13

Hair loss for women can be quite distressing and the NHS has some tips for coping with it. If you are particularly worried, you can seek expert advice from a specialist hair loss consultant, trichologist or advisor about how and why you might be losing your hair. 

You could also take the Fagron TrichoTest™, as this scientifically validated test analyses both your different gene variations and your lifestyle to then accurately determine which treatment would work best for you.

To find out more about this or to book a test click here. 

References

  1.     https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/
  2.     https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hair-loss/
  3.     https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/
  4.     https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/understanding-hair-loss-symptoms
  5.     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432488/
  6.     https://dermnetnz.org/topics/hair-shedding/
  7.     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691938/
  8.     https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/minoxidil.html
  9.   https://www.everydayhealth.com/hair-loss/hormone-replacement-therapy-as-a-hair-loss-treatment.aspx
  10. https://www.healthline.com/health/fut-hair-transplant
  11. https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/hair-loss
  12. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/female-pattern-baldness
  13. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/treating-female-pattern-hair-loss
The Trichotest Team
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