For many women, menopause and hair loss go hand in hand. According to recent studies, around half of all women endure some level of hair thinning or loss as a result of menopause. All women go through menopause at some point in their life since it is a normal biological process. The body reacts to the shifting hormone levels throughout this time by going through a number of physical changes. Hot flashes, mood fluctuations, and insomnia are among the unpleasant symptoms that many women experience throughout menopause. Another typical occurrence is hair loss. Female alopecia is typically milder than male alopecia since instead of having obvious bald spots, the majority of women have general hair thinning and the front, sides, or top of the head may start to thin. According to research, a hormonal imbalance causes menopausal women to lose their hair. It’s specifically connected to a decreased production of progesterone and estrogen. Hair grows more quickly and stays on the head for long thanks to these hormones. Hair grows slower and is much thinner when progesterone and estrogen levels fall. A rise in the synthesis of androgens, a class of male hormones, is also brought on by a decrease in these hormones. Androgens cause hair follicles to shrink, which leads to balding on the scalp. But occasionally, these hormones can increase the amount of facial hair that grows. For this reason, some menopausal women grow face “peach fuzz” and little hair grows on the chin. In this article, we would be discussing more about menopause and hair loss.
Causes of Menopausal Hair Loss
The changes in hormone levels that occur during menopause usually play a role in the hair loss that occurs during this time in a woman’s life. On the other hand, menopause is just one of many reasons that might cause a loss of hair during this time in a woman’s life. Some examples of these are exceptionally high levels of stress, disease, or a deficiency in particular nutrients. However, the most significant contributor to hair thinning linked with menopause is a change in hormone levels.
Symptoms of Menopausal Hair Loss
The earliest indications of menopause-related hair loss are non-obvious. However, some of the most likely symptoms includes:
- More hair builds up in the shower drain;
- Need to clean your hairbrush more regularly.
- Discovering more hair than before on your pillow, clothes, at your house, or in your automobile.
- Hair breakage becoming more prevalent.
It may take some time before the changes are visible in the mirror because the hair loss happens gradually. Your hair may appear flatter and lacklustre and your ponytail may appear thinner. After a while of this severe hair shedding, you might see areas of your scalp that are noticeably thinning at the top center and close to your hairline by your forehead. On the back of the head, by the nape of the neck, or close to the crown, thin patches can also develop. Other areas of the body may also experience hair loss connected to menopause. On their arms, legs, and armpits, many women observe that hair growth slows down or ceases. Bald patches may develop as pubic hair starts to thin. During menopause, even your eyebrows and eyelashes may thin out.
How to Treat Menopausal Hair Loss
Menopausal hair loss treatments may include lifestyle changes, medicines, and professional treatments. Some examples of ways in treating hair loss during menopause includes:
Rogaine (minoxidil), an over-the-counter hair-loss therapy for male pattern baldness, may also benefit women suffering from androgen-related hair loss. According to research, topical Rogaine treatments can boost hair regeneration in women suffering from female-pattern baldness, which can develop following menopause. Rogaine is available in serum and foam formulations for both men and women. Minoxidil can also be purchased as a generic or off-brand product. The dosage strength is the key variation between the men’s and women’s versions:
- Serum: The minoxidil concentration in men’s Rogaine serum is 5%, while that in women’s Rogaine serum is only 2%. Both should be use at least twice daily.
- Foam: The foam is only available in recipes that include 5% minoxidil. While the women’s formulation of Rogaine only requires a single application per day, the men’s formulation must be used twice daily.
Finasteride and spironolactone are two examples of drugs that can be taken orally and can also be used to treat hair loss in women during menopause.
- Finasteride, which is also known by its brand name, Propecia, is a medication that is frequently recommended for treating male pattern baldness. Finasteride has been shown in certain studies to be effective in regrowing hair in both men and women who have experienced hair loss. Finasteride is also used to treat hirsutism, which is the undesirable growth of hair on a woman’s face, chest, or back that is caused by androgens.
- Spironolactone is a drug that is used to treat acne, but it may also be beneficial for menopausal hair loss. Even while it does not seem to help regrow hair, studies shows that it can prevent additional hair loss, enhance the quality and thickness of hair for about 40% of women who have female pattern baldness, and improve the overall health of the hair.
Microneedling is a relatively novel treatment for alopecia. However, before using it, you should discuss it with your doctor. This method includes using a roller covered in hundreds of tiny needles to puncture the skin at a microscopic level, typically for the treatment of scars. The immune system’s reaction to the controlled damage may stimulate hair growth. Androgenetic alopecia is the primary focus of the studies on microneedling for hair restoration. The best outcomes can be achieved by combining microneedling with topical minoxidil.
4- Laser Treatment
Laser treatments, which are also known as laser therapy, are effective because they include the application of low-intensity light to the scalp. This causes a reaction, which in turn signals the growth of new hair. It’s been hypothesized that exposure to light can both boost the number of hair follicles and the density of hair.
5- Hair Transplant
A hair transplant can assist if menopausal hair loss is severe. An operation called a hair transplant involves moving hair from one area of your body—typically the back of your head—and implanting it in bald regions. Grafting, scalp reduction, flap surgery, and tissue expansion are a few different kinds of hair transplants. The most frequent hair transplant procedure among these is hair grafting. A dermatologist or plastic surgeon performs it while using a local anesthetic. The full effects of hair grafting can take up to a year to become apparent. Over time, additional operations can be required to cover up new bald spots.
6- Reduce Stress
Keep your stress levels under control to avoid a hormonal imbalance. Your brain chemistry might be impacted by decreased estrogen production, leading to mood swings, anxiety, and sadness. However, combating menopausal symptoms can be very successful when practicing yoga and other breathing techniques. Regular exercise might also aid in stress reduction.
7- Eat a Balanced Diet
The hormonal equilibrium is mostly determined by dietary choices. According to research, it’s possible that women who are going through menopause and losing their hair aren’t getting all the nutrients they require. Eating a diet that is both well-balanced and rich in nutrients is one way to help slow or stop the loss of hair.
Tests to Diagnose the Cause of Menopausal Hair Loss?
Blood testing is sometimes used as a diagnostic tool in menopausal and perimenopausal women who are experiencing hair loss. One of these consists of ways in determining the levels of the following hormones:
- Substance that stimulates follicle development
- The hormone prolactin
- L-leucine-rich peptide
- Your doctor may choose to do additional tests in order to eliminate any other potential triggers for the hair loss.
When to See a Healthcare Provider
Speak with your healthcare provider if you are balding. While hair loss is frequently linked to menopause, there are other medical issues that can also result in hair loss, such as anemia, nutritional deficiencies, such as those in biotin, iron, protein, and zinc, and drug side effects. As part of the diagnostic process for menopausal hair loss, it is necessary to see your doctors in the case of:
- An unusual pattern of hair loss;
- You are young or experiencing quick hair loss.
- You experience any discomfort or itching along with hair loss.
- The skin under the affected area on your scalp is red, scaly, or otherwise odd.
- You experience an irregular menstruation cycle, facial hair, or acne.
- You’ve seen other symptoms that worry you.
Most women find it difficult to adjust to the permanent loss of their hair. Although hair loss during menopause is common, it is usually not indicative of a serious medical condition unless it is accompanied by other symptoms. If you want to slow down your loss, maybe you might work on your general and nutritional health. Long-term usage of certain medical treatments can promote hair growth, and other cosmetic procedures can be utilized to enhance the hair’s current appearance.
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