Can menopause cause hair loss? Tired of losing your hair and having in thin out all over? Find out all about hair loss during and after menopause and what natural treatments can help for thinning hair as a result of menopause.
These days many more women, especially in their menopausal stage, are also experiencing thinning and bald spots as they mature, and both men and women are reaching out for new solutions. But, does menopause cause hair loss? The answer is yes.
Both changes in the hormonal levels and genes are to blame for acute hair loss during menopause, as is the aging process in the woman’s body. However, there’re also many other causes of thinning hair in women. Confirming the causes of your hair loss with a competent and experienced dermatologist is the first step in determining your best treatment options.
Causes of hair loss in women
It’s possible to have temporary loss of hair caused by physical stress, emotional stress, thyroid abnormalities, medications and hormonal changes (such as androgens and estrogens during menopause) normally associated with females. Tension on the hair by prolonged use of hair weaving or corn rows can also cause permanent loss.
There are autoimmune disorders such as Alopecia Areata that cause patchy loss of hair often in small circular areas in different areas of the scalp. Alopecia Totalis is a total loss of hair on the scalp and is considered an advanced form of Areata. Alopecia Universalis is total hair loss of the entire body. People with diseases such as diabetes and lupus have also reported losing hair as a result.
It’s normal to shed some hair each day as about 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time during a normal phase that lasts for 2 to 6 years at one time. Some women notice they are losing hair about 3 months after delivering a child. This is related to a hormone loss and is usually temporary.
Several medicines have been known to cause hair loss such as blood thinners (anticoagulants), medicines used for gout and in chemotherapy to treat cancer. Also, the use of vitamin A, birth control pills and antidepressants has been known to cause hair loss.
Can menopause cause hair loss?
In women, there is a rapid hair loss during menopause due to changes in the hormonal levels in the woman’s body. 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR) is the enzyme that converts testosterone into the much more potent androgen, male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). If 5-AR levels increase, more testosterone will be converted into DHT, and greater hair loss will result. In women, the female hormone estrogen balances out the effects of androgens like DHT. But, as menopause approaches, women’s hormone levels decline and even drop sharply after menopause. This gives an edge to the androgens and causes an imbalance leading to hair loss after menopause.
Natural remedies for hair loss during and after menopause
One way to combat hair loss during menopause is to eat food that is more nutritious. A woman must eat green leafy vegetables that contain vitamins, zinc and copper. Intake of vitamin C, B and E in food promotes hair growth. One must eat herbs, as fennel seeds that are a good source of vitamin C. Citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C. However, there must be a proper balance between vitamin C, zinc and copper intake. An increase in vitamin C and zinc inhibits absorption of copper and vice versa.
Another way to minimize hair loss after menopause is to condition hair with natural products like henna. This gives natural color to the hair and is a good conditioner. One must use fewer chemicals in washing hair and change shampoos frequently. It is advisable to let hair dry naturally rather than using a hair dryer for the same.
Women must use a hairbrush to comb wet hair. This avoids breakage and thus reduces thinning hair menopause. Women who swim must avoid exposure to chlorinated water. For this, they must wear a cap while swimming and use chlorine filter to filter the water during a shower.
Amino acids promote the growth of scalp hair. However, menopause occurs with aging when the body absorbs less amino acid. Therefore, women must take high sulfur content foods that contain amino acids, like eggs. Those allergic to eggs can consume sulfur in the form of a supplement that is available at all pharmacists. These diet modifications can greatly reduce hair loss.
One can adopt measures to slow down hair loss. This includes stimulating the scalp with a massage or simply running one’s fingers through one’s scalp. This stimulates blood flow and promotes hair growth.
Hair loss during menopause greatly affects women’s self-esteem and confidence. This is because there is a change in their physical appearance with growing age. A good haircut that gives a fuller appearance to the hair is compulsory for such women.
Menopause hair loss treatment
For women whose are entering menopause stage, missed periods and hair loss can be connected. Lack of ovulation in a skipped period during perimenopause causes the adrenal cortex to secrete androstenedione (a steroid hormone). This hormone is associated with some male characteristics such as male pattern baldness. However, if you raise your progesterone level with natural progesterone cream, your androstenedione level gradually declines and your hair will grow back normally. This could take months before you see a difference, so be patient.
Remember, the onset of menopause can often lead to hair loss and has long been a part of aging that many women and men fear the most. Thinning hair menopause is a natural phenomenon that is nonreversible. Even though there is no real cure, there are many things that can be done to help. Changes in one’s diet by adopting best diet for menopause which stressing on natural ingredients in hair maintenance can greatly prolong the life of one’s hair. Some products claim to help revive weakened hair roots and promote healthy hair growth. One can take medication like propecia for hair growth or go for a hair transplant to get a new crop of hair. However, these menopause hair loss treatments are long-term and costly. Therefore, one must weigh the risks and payoffs of every treatment before selecting the best solution for hair loss menopause.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.