The Hair Clinic London

Why Does Hair Fall Out And Become Thinner During Menopause?

A lot of changes occur in women when they go through the menopause, but did you know the shift in hormones could also affect your hair?

While most people know that menopause causes irregular periods, hot flushes and mood swings, far less is discussed about the other unpleasant symptoms, including difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping and even heart palpitations. 

The list of menopausal symptoms is extremely long, as it can affect women differently and at different ages, with some beginning to see the signs in their mid to late-forties, while others do not have any indications of it until their fifties. 

However, something that is common in menopause, no matter your age, is hair thinning and even hair loss. 


Why does menopause affect your hair?

The main reason why menopause impacts on the condition of your hair is due to the changes in hormones. 

  • Hormonal changes 

As oestrogen and progesterone levels drop, male hormones, known as androgens, increase. 

While this can boost growth in other areas of the body, such as your chin, it also makes hair on the scalp become thinner or even fall out. 

Progesterone and oestrogen prolong the growth phase of hair, while at the same time providing better circulation to encourage follicle growth. On the other hand, testosterone shrinks hair follicles, which is why men are more likely to suffer from hair loss than women. 

However, after menopause, testosterone rises without the female hormones to offset it, which is why hair loss occurs. 

  • Poor circulation 

Menopause can also decrease circulation around the body, which results in hair follicles not being able to receive as much oxygen as before. Consequently, they are unable to benefit from the nutrients needed to be strong and healthy, or grow at all. 

  • Nutrition deficiencies 

There are other reasons why hair loss can occur in women after the menopause, including poor diet, and subsequent nutrition deficiencies. 

Dermatologist Dr Shilpi Khetarpal told The New York Times about recent research, saying: “We know vitamin D acts more like a hormone in the hair than a vitamin.”

Therefore, a vitamin D deficiency could exacerbate hair loss after a certain age. 

  • Ageing

Getting older, regardless of the menopause, triggers poor hair health, as a result of a decline in lipids, fatty acids, ceramides, and cholesterol. These are needed to keep hair well moisturised and strong, and the scalp healthy to promote hair growth. 

  • Poor hair care

Cumulative years of poor hair care could also begin to have an impact on women in their fifties and older, with products, hot styling appliances, and exposure to the sun all known to age hair prematurely. 

  • Stress

Stress also leads to hair loss, and many women going through the menopause can feel anxious and worried. The more hair they see falling out, the worse their stress can become, which exacerbates the problem. 

  • Genetics 

In addition to this, genetics also plays a major part in whether women will experience hair thinning or hair loss. If there is a history of female-pattern hair loss in the family, the chances are it will happen again. 

What can be done about menopausal hair loss?

Though nothing can reverse time, there are a few remedies for hair loss in menopausal women. 

They could undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help manage the drop in progesterone and oestrogen; take vitamin supplements to eradicate deficiencies; stop using hot appliances and chemical hair products; and find ways to relax themselves, so they can relieve their symptoms of stress. 

If the problem is serious and it is affecting their confidence and mental wellbeing, it is worth speaking to trichologists about hair loss treatments.