How To Handle Menopausal Hair Loss

Many people think of hair loss as a male problem, but it can greatly affect women, too. In fact, more than half of women experience hair loss after menopause. Hair loss can be a troubling concern as it can take a serious toll on our self-esteem. Fortunately, there are things we can do to address it. Let’s explore why menopausal hair loss happens and what can be done to treat it.

What Causes Hair Loss

The first step to addressing menopausal hair loss is understanding why it happens. Research suggests that a hormonal imbalance contributes to hair loss during menopause. As we go through menopause, our estrogen levels decline. Estrogen is found in the hair follicles and is responsible for helping hair grow faster and stronger. When levels of estrogen drop, hair growth slows, and loss can become an issue. At the same time, levels of male hormones (androgens) increase, which can lead to unwanted hair growth in other areas like the face.

It’s important to note that other factors can cause hair loss such as a thyroid condition, stress, PCOS, anemia, autoimmune diseases, and other environmental factors or dietary factors. For this reason, working with your health care provider can help to determine the root cause of your hair loss.

Symptoms To Look For

We naturally lose some hair every day, but the signs of menopausal hair loss may become more noticeable as time goes on. For example, if you’re finding more hair than normal on your pillow, in the shower, or in your hairbrush, it may be time to speak with your provider about hair loss during menopause. Other signs of hair loss can include a widening of your hair part because of your hair thinning.

What You Can Do

The change in our appearance due to hair loss can be upsetting. Fortunately, menopausal hair loss isn’t often permanent. However, if you’re looking for a shorter-term solution, there are a variety of lifestyle adjustments and treatment options that may help.

  1. Adjust Your Hair Care Routine: Treating your hair with care can help prevent further damage. One tip is to try to limit the use of hair dryers or irons which can dry out your hair and make it more susceptible to breakage. Avoid roughly combing through hair when wet or putting it in a tight ponytail which can stress the hair follicle. If you’re looking to mask the appearance of hair loss, there are various sprays and powders available at your local drugstore that can help to fill in bald spots. Additionally, some hairstylists specialize in hair loss and can help to craft a new hairstyle to help you feel more confident.
  2. Manage Stress Levels: We know stress can influence our physical health in a variety of ways, including hair loss. Finding ways to reduce stress levels through yoga, meditation, or other exercises can be beneficial to help prevent further hair loss.
  3. Non-invasive Dermatology Treatments: There are new procedures in the field of dermatology like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection that uses your body’s own blood to stimulate hair growth. With PRP, a small amount of blood is drawn, spun in a centrifuge to concentrate your platelets, and then injected into your scalp to stimulate the hair follicle. Other treatments include low-level light lasers that aim to have a similar effect.
  4. Prescription Treatments: Minoxidil, or more commonly Rogaine, has been around for many years and can be prescribed by your provider for hair loss. It works by increasing blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles. There are both over-the-counter and prescription strength options available. Over-the-counter vitamins like Biotin can also help to restore hair thickness, in some cases.

For some women who are experiencing other symptoms associated with menopause, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may also improve hair growth. As it sounds, hormone replacement therapy mirrors what the ovaries do. It releases the same steady-state of hormones our bodies were once able to produce on their own. If hair loss is your only concern, you may prefer to try an alternative method first.

Talk With Your Provider

While hair loss can be difficult to discuss, you don’t have to suffer in silence. With education and help from your Axia Women’s Health provider, you can find a treatment plan that works for you, so you can continue enjoying this next chapter of life!

 

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