The Truth: Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss?

Amoha Jha
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss

Menopause is a natural biological process that every woman has in her life.

It is the time when your menstrual cycle is stopped. 

It is usually diagnosed after 12 months till your last menstrual period.

Menopause can occur in the 40s or 50s in woman’s life.

It comes with several effects, including the lesser-known impact on hair.

You may notice some changes in your hair. These changes can happen before and even after menopause.

But these changes are regular, and there’s no need to worry. 

However, you may take some treatments if there is extreme hair fall.

Fact
In the US, the average age of menopause is 51.

The cycle of menopausal hair loss

It is not necessary that you will have hair loss only during menopause. 

You can have these symptoms before and even after menopause too.

These phases are known as perimenopause and post-menopause. It affects the woman before and after menopause, respectively.

Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the advent of the journey to menopause. 

The ovarian functions start to decline. A woman can face irregular menstrual periods during this time.

It usually lasts for about 3-5 years before menopause.

The hair problems may start from this phase only. 

The reason is that the ovaries gradually begin to make less Estrogen.

Post-menopause

Post-menopause is the time after your menstrual period has ended for at least 12 months.

Most women don’t have the symptoms of menopause during this phase. But some may have the symptoms, including hair issues.

Also, hair issues take time to be resolved. It doesn’t go away as soon as menopause ends.

Caution:
It is necessary to take care of your health after and during menopause, or else it may lead to severe effects.

Causes of menopausal hair loss

Woman worried about hair lossSource: AndreyPopov_from_Getty_Images
Hair Loss

Menopause is caused due to several factors, but the most common is the natural decline of reproductive hormones. 

As you reach your late 30s, your ovaries gradually decrease the production of Estrogen and Progesterone— the reproductive hormones.

This process of less production continuously increases with time. This decrease in production can affect in three ways:

Decrease in Progesterone

Progesterone deficiency can play a vital role in hair loss. 

The reason is that Progesterone naturally inhibits 5-alpha-reductase. 

It is an enzyme responsible for turning Testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 

For both men and women, DHT is one of the key contributors to pattern hair loss.

If you have little to no Progesterone, 5-alpha-reductase can convert Testosterone into DHT easily. 

This conversion produces more DHT, triggering further hair thinning and loss.

Less Estrogen

One of the important functions of Estrogen is to increase the time the hair spends in the growth phase, known as the anagen.

In this phase, the hair shaft is actively generated and extended.

Hence, when due to menopause, the level of Estrogen is declined, the hair growth process becomes slower, and hair becomes thinner.

Increase in Androgen

Androgens are male sex hormones that play a pivotal role in a person’s hair growth. 

Though it is a male sex hormone, it is present in both males and females.

When there is a decrease in the levels of Estrogen and Progesterone, the ratio between these hormones and Androgen is affected. 

It results in higher levels of Androgen.

When Androgen is increased in a person’s body, it causes the hair follicles on the head to shrink.

This shrinkage may result in male or female-pattern hair loss, also known as Androgenetic Alopecia.

Diagnosis of menopausal hair loss

Hair loss due to MenopauseSource: galitskaya
Menopause hair loss

A doctor will usually test your hormone level in the body. 

These tests will help the doctor determine whether your hair loss is menopause or another underlying disease.

A urine or blood test might be conducted to check hormonal levels. 

The hormones that your doctor will check may include the following:

Is menopausal hair loss reversible?

In menopause, most women experience overall hair thinning. 

The thinning can be seen on the head’s front, sides, or top. 

Hair may also fall out in clumps during brushing and showering. 

It is more abnormal than the usual shedding of hair.

The main question is, does this ever stop, or is it reversible?

The answer to this question is tricky. There hasn’t been much research on this topic. 

However, it is said that hair loss from menopause might not be reversible, though it can be treated.

The reason is that DHT— the Androgen changes the structure of the hair follicle. 

As it shrinks, it is difficult for it to produce good-quality terminal hair.

However, hormonal therapy, like birth control pills, might be used for the treatment.

Checkout:
You can get Yasmin 3mg from WowRxPharmacy. It is a prescribed birth control medicine that might be used in hormonal therapy.

Takeaway

Menopause is a natural biological process that happens in every woman’s life. 

It indicates the end of the reproductive cycle. 

Menopause causes several effects, including hair loss. 

You may notice hair thinning as a prime symptom during this time.

This thinning happens because the body starts to make less Estrogen and Progesterone, which are essential for hair growth in women.

Also, it hinders the ratio of Androgens and other reproductive hormones, causing an increase in Androgens. 

This increase results in Androgenetic Alopecia or female pattern hair loss.

Treatment may include hormonal therapy like birth control pills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal to lose hair during menopause?

Yes, it is completely normal to lose your hair during menopause. Hair loss happens due to Androgens in your body. It causes our hair to grow slower and weaker and hair follicles to shrink. This process occurs gradually.

How can I stop hair loss during menopause?

Reducing stress, exercising, having a healthy diet, and being hydrated may contribute to reducing the effects of menopause, including hair loss. If the hair loss is severe, you may also consult with your doctor.

What vitamins are good for hair loss during menopause?

Vitamins may help you during menopause. It gives your body the required nutrients and strengthens your hair. You can consume Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin H (commonly known as Biotin) for healthy hair.

Does hair loss stop after menopause is over?

The stopping of hair loss may or may not happen. Hair loss in women due to menopause happens because of decreased levels of Estrogen and Progesterone. These hormones don’t increase after menopause is over. Thus, some women’s hair continues to be thin.

Citations:
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