If you’re in menopause, you’re probably woefully familiar with hot flashes and mood swings. But if you’ve been experiencing perimenopause hair loss, or postmenopausal hair loss, it may have come as an unpleasant surprise. While most of us don’t expect to possess the same lustrous locks we had in our 20s, menopause hair loss can be downright alarming. It’s not just a cosmetic issue either; hair loss in women can really do a number on self-esteem and overall well-being.
Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss?
A recent study of around 200 postmenopausal women found that more than half of them had experienced hair thinning and hair loss related to menopause. Of the women studied, 60% reported low self-esteem — and that the more hair they lost, the worse they felt about themselves.1
We all naturally lose between 50 and 100 hairs daily, but hair loss in menopause can become quite significant. It can eventually even cause bald spots on the scalp, as well as thinning around the front of the head and temples. With perimenopause hair loss or postmenopause hair loss, you may also notice some loss on your arms and legs, as well as on other parts of the body, such as in the pubic region. But don’t despair – there are ways to both effectively address hair loss in menopause and keep your hair healthier.
Hear more about the connection between menopause and hair loss from Bonafide Chief Medical Office, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, below:
Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women
Unwanted changes in your hair experienced during perimenopause or menopause can be hard to deal with, but it’s easier if you understand what’s happening. Perimenopause hair loss and hair loss in menopause is part of the cycle of life. The causes of hair loss in women are partially attributed to the hormonal changes experienced during menopause. Just like high levels of female hormones during pregnancy can leave women with fuller, thicker hair, declining levels during menopause can have the opposite effect, contributing to hair loss and thinning during this transition.
When female hormone levels decline, the effects of androgens (male hormones) can increase, causing certain hair follicles to fail, contributing to hair loss in women. Depending on your genetic predisposition, these follicles produce progressively weaker hair and then eventually none at all.2
Hair Loss in Menopause Happens All Over the Body
In addition to affecting your scalp, hormone changes during menopause can negatively impact the hair follicles on other parts of your body. The same decline in estrogen that may cause thinning hair on your scalp may also lead to hair loss in menopause from your:3
- Pubic area
- Chest/nipple area
Research suggests postmenopause hair loss on the body is correlated with older age, meaning you may find yourself losing more and more hair all over your body as you get older.4
For example, the growth of pubic hair — which happens at a steady pace of 0.5 millimeters per day before menopause, may slow down or stop completely after menopause, causing pubic hair to thin out as a result.5
Ironically, the shift in balance of hormone levels can also lead to increased hair growth after menopause — but not on your scalp. Hair may start appearing in areas where the follicles are particularly sensitive to androgens, like the chin, cheeks and upper lip.6
Although the most common cause of hair loss in menopause is hormonal changes, there may also be other contributing factors like illness, high stress levels, nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as iron, and other chemical changes. Talk to your healthcare provider to rule out other causes, and then you can work together to pick a plan of action on how to address hair loss during menopause.
Does Hair Regrow After Menopause?
As you experience changes in your hair’s thickness and texture, you may find yourself wondering: can hormonal hair loss be reversed after menopause? While a hair follicle will not regrow hair once it has been destroyed, the type of hair loss in menopause is not permanent in many cases – meaning some hair can regrow after menopause.7 And there are steps you can take to keep your follicles (and your hair) as healthy as possible while you move through the menopause transition, which can help to potentially reduce the severity of postmenopause hair loss.8
These steps include:9
- Eating plenty of nutrient-rich, whole foods
- Using supplements, such as biotin and omega-3 fatty acids, to fill in nutritional gaps
- Massaging the scalp to stimulate follicles
- Washing hair less often with a gentle shampoo
- Avoiding tight ponytails or buns when styling
Hair Loss Treatments for Women
A quick remedy to help disguise hair loss during menopause is to get a different haircut. Find an experienced stylist who can show you how to make the most out of what you have. In general, consider avoiding choppy, blunt cuts. Opt instead for a layered look, which will add volume, or try thick side-swept bangs, which can create fullness towards the front of the head.
For a more permanent solution for hair loss in menopause, you can consider consulting a hair restoration specialist to discuss both product treatment options and lifestyle changes. Just as there are hair loss treatments for men, there are similar topical treatments for hair loss in women that can help to regrow hair and maintain its health with regular, continuous use.
And if you’re looking for a holistic approach that works to address perimenopause hair loss or hair loss in menopause from the inside out, consider a comprehensive system like Silvessa®, which includes a topical serum and a dietary supplement designed to support hair impacted by estrogen decline.*
While hair loss in menopause is common, feel confident knowing there are a variety of options that can help to restore and maintain your hair health during menopause and beyond.