With all the changes your body is going through during menopause, it may feel as though you’re enduring something like puberty all over again – you’re dealing with mood swings, putting on weight more easily, and hair is growing in places that it never did before. Well, now let’s add menopausal hair loss to the list of concerns.
Many post-menopausal women find that the hair on their scalp thins and won’t grow like it used to. For some, this can cause a lot of social anxiety.
This type of hair loss is very common for post-menopausal women. In fact, about half of women have experienced some hair thinning (also known as androgenetic alopecia) by the age of 50. Luckily, androgenetic alopecia hardly ever leads to balding.
Causes of Menopausal Hair Loss
Research suggests that the pattern of hair loss in senior women may actually result from decreases in both estrogen and progesterone during menopause.
However, other factors might lead to hair loss as well. Some women are genetically predisposed to hair loss, while others may lose hair due to stress or illness. Hair loss can also result from an excess of androgen, which is a hormone that fuels male characteristics. Your doctor can determine the cause of your hair loss and recommend the best treatment options.
Treatment Options for Hair Loss in Menopause
Hair loss is generally not a cause for concern. Some women may view the changes in their appearance as another marker of a major life milestone. However for others, there are both medical and behavioral treatment options.
Reducing stress can help a lot. Your body may be producing too much androgen if your insulin levels are chronically high and you’re maxing out your stress hormones. Reducing stress can help decrease this surging androgen.
Are you getting enough sleep? What about exercising regularly? Are you practicing mindful relaxation? All these can ease the impact of stress, which in turn can help prevent hair loss.
There are also some well-known over-the-counter medications that have helped curb and, in some cases, reverse hair loss. One popular medication called Rogaine is known to work well for decreasing hair loss. There are also others medications available by prescription, which you can discuss with your doctor.