According to the North American Menopause Society, 40 and 50 per cent of women experience hair loss during menopause.
While there are some possible causes for this hair loss, one of the most common is related to the hormonal changes that come with menopause.
If you’re experiencing hair loss during menopause, here’s what you need to know to prevent and treat the condition.
What is menopause?
Menopause is a natural transition that typically occurs around age 50 when a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs, and her body produces less oestrogen and progesterone.
Menopause can cause various symptoms, including hair loss, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and irritability.
Some women also experience weight gain and difficulty sleeping. While menopause is a normal part of ageing, the associated changes can disrupt a woman’s life.
Fortunately, many treatments are available to help ease menopausal symptoms and improve quality of life. If you’ve reached menopause, discussing it with your doctor and the best options to manage your symptoms is important.
Why does menopause cause hair loss?
One of the most common changes that occur during menopause is hair loss. This condition, also known as female pattern baldness, can affect a woman’s self-esteem and sense of femininity.
While hair loss is often synonymous with ageing, it is essential to note that menopause is not a cause of hair loss.
Instead, it is the result of a hormonal imbalance. During menopause, the hormone estrogen decreases while levels of the hormone testosterone increase.
This shift in hormone levels causes the hair follicles to shrink, resulting in thinner and more brittle hair.
In some cases, the strands may even stop producing new hair altogether.
While there is no cure for menopausal hair loss, treatments can help slow or halt the progression of the ailment.
These include topical medications, low-level laser therapy, and hormone replacement therapy. With proper treatment, menopausal women can maintain a healthy head of hair throughout their transition.
Six ways to treat and prevent hair loss caused by menopause:
Minoxidil is a drug used to treat high blood pressure. However, anecdotal evidence found it to have some unexpected side effects, one of which was hair growth.
Minoxidil stimulates the follicles, encourages hair growth, and increases the blood supply and nutrients to the follicles, promoting hair growth.
Minoxidil is available as a topical solution or foam, applied to the scalp twice daily. It can take several months for minoxidil to start working, and it is only effective for some.
However, it’s considered to be safe and well-tolerated. Minoxidil is an option for women experiencing hair loss due to menopause, and it can help to arrest hair loss and promote new hair growth.
However, specific side effects associated with minoxidil might lead you to find better alternatives to minoxidil.
Androgen blockers treat various ailments, including menopause hair loss. Androgens are hormones that play a role in hair growth, and when these hormones decline, they can lead to hair thinning and hair loss.
Androgen blockers suppress the hormone receptors, which can help reduce hair loss and promote new hair growth. In addition, androgen blockers can help reduce hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms of menopause.
As a result, they can be an effective treatment for hair loss and menopausal symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) works by balancing the hormones lost during menopause and helps to keep the hair follicles healthy and prevent them from falling out.
In addition, HRT can also help to reduce the annoying symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats.
Light laser therapy.
While there are many possible treatments for menopause-related hair loss, one promising option is light therapy. Also known as laser therapy, this treatment involves using low-level lasers to stimulate blood flow to the scalp and promote hair growth.
Studies have shown that light therapy can be an effective treatment for both hereditary and menopause-related hair loss, and it is generally well tolerated with few side effects.
If you struggle with hair loss during menopause, talk to your doctor about whether light therapy may be right for you.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a promising new treatment for hair loss, particularly for women experiencing menopause-related hair loss.
Platelet-rich plasma is extracted from the patient’s blood and contains growth factors and other nutrients that promote hair growth.
The therapy involves injecting the platelet-rich plasma into the scalp, where it can help to stimulate hair follicles and encourage new hair growth.
While more extensive research is needed to confirm the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma therapy, early studies have shown promising results.
It may provide a much-needed option for women seeking effective treatment for menopause hair loss.
Natural oils and their effectiveness in menopause hair loss.
Peppermint oil (Mentha Piperita).
Peppermint oil is a natural substance that has been shown to promote hair growth, and it stimulates the scalp and enhances blood flow to the hair follicles.
In addition, peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce scalp inflammation. As a result, peppermint oil may help to minimise menopause-related hair loss.
Rosemary oil (Rosmarinus Officinalis).
Rosemary is an evergreen shrub that has many benefits. The oil from the plant can help with menopause hair loss in many ways.
For one, it increases circulation to the scalp, which in turn helps to reduce inflammation and promote hair growth.
Additionally, rosemary oil balances hormone levels, which can be one of the causes of hair loss during menopause.
For that reason, they also may help with PCOS hair loss.
It also strengthens the hair follicles and prevents them from breaking, further preventing hair loss. Lastly, rosemary oil has antioxidant properties that protect the hair from damage caused by free radicals.
When used regularly, rosemary oil can help to diminish menopausal hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.
Thyme oil (Thymus Vulgaris).
Thyme oil is effective in stimulating hair growth and regrowth. In one study, thyme oil increased the number of hairs per square cm by 92% after three months.
Thyme oil may increase scalp circulation and improve the absorption of nutrients by the hair follicles.
In addition, thyme oil has antimicrobial properties that may help to reduce scalp inflammation, another contributing factor to hair loss.
While thyme oil may offer some benefits for menopausal hair loss, it is essential to note that more research is needed.
However, if you are looking for a natural remedy, thyme oil may be worth considering. Be sure to speak with your doctor before using any new treatment, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medications.
Cedarwood oil (Cedrus Atlantica).
Cedarwood oil has been used for centuries to treat various conditions, including hair loss. This essential oil is extracted from the cedar tree and may have numerous benefits for the hair and scalp.
Cedarwood oil is known to stimulate circulation, which can promote hair growth.
Additionally, this oil can help to balance the scalp’s natural oils, reducing dryness and inflammation.
Cedarwood oil is also thought to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, which can help to prevent scalp infections that can lead to hair loss. For these reasons, cedarwood oil is an effective treatment for menopause-related hair loss.
Massage a few drops of this oil into the scalp daily or add it to your shampoo for the best results.
Lemon oil (Citrus Limonum).
The oil has multiple benefits for menopausal women suffering from hair loss:
- It helps to improve circulation, which is essential for keeping hair follicles healthy.
- It helps to balance hormones, which can reduce the amount of hair that is lost.
- Lemon oil is a natural antiseptic that can help keep the scalp clean and free of infection.
For these reasons, lemon oil is an effective natural treatment for menopausal hair loss.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, the first place to start is a discussion with your doctor to rule out other medical conditions that might be causing hair loss.
While it may seem like a lot to manage, hair loss during menopause is a common and temporary issue. With the correct information and products in your arsenal, you can keep your head of hair healthy and looking great through this stage of life.
If you’d like to read my own personal experience, you’ll find it here.
See you next time,