Menopause is a natural part of ageing for women, which typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, as their natural oestrogen levels start to decline. Many women find they experience some less-than-pleasant symptoms during menopause, such as mood swings and hot flushes, but not everyone knows that female hair loss can also occur.
Why does menopause cause hair loss?
Just as our skin changes as we get older, so does our hair – it’s a natural part of the ageing process, so unfortunately, you can’t expect your hair to be the same density in your 40s as it was in your 20s. Unlike male-pattern baldness, where hair loss tends to present itself as bald spots, hair loss in women tends to manifest as thinning all over, having a noticeable impact on volume, which can be distressing.
Menopausal hair loss is all down to hormones. As your body is producing less oestrogen and progesterone – the hair-friendly hormones that keep hair in its growth phase for longer – this sudden drop causes hair to grow more slowly. Some women also find that their hair is more fragile and breaks far more easily than it used to, as the follicles are producing finer hair.
In women who have a particular sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), they may find their hair thinning is more prominent. The drop in oestrogen throws the ratio of testosterone out of balance, meaning it can have a stronger effect on the follicles.
How will I know if menopause is causing hair loss?
Hair loss is a gradual process, but it can still be an unwelcome shock when you notice the changes to your hair. You may find that your hair is growing at a slower rate than it used to, or that the individual strands feel finer. You might also experience changes around your hairline, such as a loss of density or recession around the temples, as well as a wider parting than you previously had.
Treating menopausal hair loss
It can be very upsetting to start losing your hair, taking a toll on your confidence and self-esteem. Menopause may be a normal, biological process, but hair loss can still have an impact on your quality of life.
If you are struggling with menopausal hair loss, help is at hand. Treating your hair more gently may be helpful, so try to avoid using hot tools such as straighteners and curling irons as much as possible. Eating a healthy, varied diet can support hair health, as well as overall health, so make sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein. High levels of stress can also lead to a hormonal imbalance, so taking steps such as regular exercise and yoga may be useful. Some women find Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can help alleviate some symptoms of menopause, but you will need to speak to your GP to find out if this is suitable.
There are more permanent solutions to female hair loss available that can help you regain full, voluminous hair – hair transplants can radically transform the look of your hair and boost your self-confidence. Crown Clinic offer a range of treatments to help women who are experiencing hair loss, so book a consultation to find out how we can help you.