Table of Contents

Menopause Hair Loss: Hormones, Reversibility, and Diet

Menopause hair loss is a common condition that affects many women. Hair shedding often occurs as you go through the natural aging process of menopause. It is characterized by the gradual thinning of the hair.

Research shows that more than 52% of women over 50 years old experience hair loss and menopause.

Here are some main key points from the article:

  • MENOPAUSAL HAIR LOSS IS RELATED TO HORMONAL CHANGES.
  • YOUR HAIR CAN GROW BACK NATURALLY DESPITE MENOPAUSAL SHEDDING.
  • THERE ARE SOME NATURAL REMEDIES THAT CAN HELP WITH HAIR LOSS DURING MENOPAUSE.
  • IF YOU SUSPECT THAT YOUR HAIR LOSS IS DUE TO MENOPAUSE, THERE ARE SOME SIGNS TO HELP YOU DETERMINE IT.

What Is Menopause Hair Loss Exactly?

Hair loss due to menopause is sometimes known as female pattern hair loss or androgenic alopecia. In fact, female pattern hair loss may happen at any time in life, but women tend first to notice it around menopause. This is when hair loss typically increases. 

Before your menopausal phase begins, perimenopause and thinning hair may occur as well. Your hair can become thinner because hair follicles shrink. Loss of body hair after menopause will gradually slow down.

Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, menopause and losing hair are related. It happens due to hormonal changes that happen during menopause. The changes in hormones may cause dermal papilla or an increase in keratosis pilaris.

Dermal papilla, the base of every hair follicle, plays a crucial role in the hair growth cycle and is affected by hormonal changes during menopause. The disruption of the cycle will eventually lead to hair thinning and hair loss.

Keratosis pilaris (aka chicken skin) is a common skin condition that may worsen during menopause and affect hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.

⚠️ The extent of these changes will, of course, vary from woman to woman. 

Why Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss?

How do all the changes in the body during menopause contribute to hair loss?

  • ESTROGEN LEVELS DROP
  • ANDROGEN LEVELS INCREASE
  • TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM
  • THYROID CHANGES
  • COLLAGEN DROP

Estrogen Levels Drop

Estrogen keeps the hair in the anagen (growing) phase, that’s why it plays a very important role in the hair cycle. 

Estradiol is the strongest form of estrogen, which may be used in menopausal hormone therapy against hair loss.

With estrogen levels dropping, the balance of hormones in the body shifts, leading to hair thinning with menopause and hair breakage.

Androgen Levels Increase

Androgen (male hormone) levels, such as testosterone, remain relatively stable or increase.

Androgenetic alopecia (female pattern hair loss) can occur with this imbalance between estrogen and androgens.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium condition can be triggered by menopause. As a result, many hair follicles suddenly enter the resting (telogen) phase and fall out.

Thyroid Changes

Thyroid function can also change during the menopause. Thyroid and hair loss are related because thyroid hormones can alter anagen or telogen phases of the hair cycle, which can cause hair loss or thinning. 

Collagen Drop

In menopause, collagen production drops and affects the strength and elasticity of the hair. This can lead to increased breakage and hair loss.

Which Body Spots Are Affected?

You may observe that hair growth on the legs, arms, and armpits slows down or even stops. Pubic hair may also become thinner, resulting in bald spots. What’s more, eyelashes and eyebrows can also experience thinning during menopause.

You can also experience hair thinning on various areas of your head such as the front, sides, or top.

 Many menopausal women experience hair thinning, not bald spots.

Does Hair Thin During Menopause?

Yes, your hair may thin during menopause. Menopause hair thinning is related to hormonal fluctuations. Many women can notice that their hair becomes thinner. You too may experience overall hair thinning and hair loss.

How Much Hair Loss Is Normal During Menopause?

You may start worrying if there are many more of them and if:

  • HAIR FALLS OUT IN CLUMPS
  • HAIR IS THINNING VISIBLY
  • HAIR DOES NOT GROW BACK AS FAST AS BEFORE
  • YOU EXPERIENCE PATCHY HAIR LOSS
  • THERE IS A WIDENING AREA ON YOUR SCALP
  • YOU HAVE MORE SYMPTOMS THAT CONCERN YOU

 

⚠️ Keep in mind that it is perfectly normal to lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair a day.

Does Menopause Hair Loss Grow Back?

Yes, your hair will most probably grow back. Yet, it depends on these factors that need to be taken into consideration:

TREATMENT OPTIONS:

  • PRESCRIBED AND OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS
  • HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT)
  • LOW-LEVEL LASER THERAPY (LLLT)

TIMING:

  • START YOUR TREATMENT ASAP.
  • DO NOT SKIP YOUR SESSIONS OR MEDICATIONS

How Long Does Hair Loss Last After Menopause?

Generally, menopause hair loss lasts during the perimenopausal period which is approximately 4 years

⚠️ Women’s hair loss after menopause may be very different when it comes to its duration. 

⚠️ Keep in mind that not all women will experience significant hair loss during or after menopause. If you do experience it, you should know that the time of your hair loss can vary vastly.

Is Hair Loss a Sign of Menopause?

Yes, it could, but it doesn’t have to. Hair loss can be a common symptom during menopause, but it’s not a direct sign of menopause. There could be other underlying reasons for your hair shedding. 

Remember that not all women experience hair loss during menopause. Also, the degree of hair shedding may vary, depending on the person.

How Do I Know If My Hair Loss Is Related to Menopause?

If you suspect that your hair loss is related to menopause, here are some signs and considerations to help you determine if this might be the case:

  • AGE BETWEEN 45 AND 55
  • MEDICAL HISTORY IN THE FAMILY
  • THINNING OF HAIR ON THE WHOLE SCALP, DIFFUSE AND GRADUAL
  • HORMONAL CHANGES AND RELATED MOOD SWINGS, HOT FLASHES, AND IRREGULAR PERIODS

How to Reverse Menopause Hair Loss

Here is some good news. Hair loss during menopause can naturally regrow. Postmenopausal hair may not fully revert to its previous state, but it has the potential to grow back. There are some strategies you can implement to help reverse or manage menopausal hair loss.

How to Naturally Stop Hair Loss During Menopause

There are some natural remedies you can try if you want to stop hair loss during menopause. These strategies involve:

  • DIET RICH IN PROTEIN
  • VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS
  • REGULAR EXERCISE
  • STRESS MANAGEMENT
  • GENTLE HAIR CARE AND SCALP MASSAGE
  • SCALP MICRONEEDLING

What to Eat During Menopause Hair Loss

One of the natural remedies you can try is a proper, well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients, especially protein. 

What should you eat during menopausal hair loss to avoid nutrient deficiency?

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN THE DIET

SOURCES

PROTEIN

lean poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu

IRON

lean red meat, spinach, lentils, fortified cereals

ZINC

oysters, nuts, seeds, whole grains

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts

ANTIOXIDANTS

variety of fruits and vegetables, like berries, broccoli, kale

COLLAGEN

bone broth and supplements

SILICA

cucumbers, bell peppers, whole grains

What Vitamins Are Good for Hair Loss During Menopause?

Here are the best vitamins for menopause hair loss:

  • VITAMIN H (VITAMIN B7, BIOTIN): EGGS, NUTS, SEEDS, SWEET POTATOES
  • VITAMIN D: FATTY FISH, FORTIFIED DAIRY PRODUCTS, SUPPLEMENTS
  • VITAMIN E: NUTS, SEEDS, SPINACH
  • VITAMIN A: CARROTS, SPINACH, SWEET POTATOES
  • VITAMIN C: BELL PEPPERS, CITRUS FRUITS, BERRIES
  • VITAMIN B9 (FOLIC ACID): LEAFY GREENS, CITRUS FRUITS, FORTIFIED CEREALS

How to Avoid Hair Loss in Menopause

There are many things you can try before experiencing menopause hair loss.

Here are some tips on how to prevent hair loss during menopause:

  • BALANCED DIET AND PROPER HYDRATION
  • SUPPLEMENTS AND VITAMINS
  • SCALP HEALTH CARE AND MASSAGE
  • REGULAR EXERCISE
  • NATURAL HAIR PRODUCTS AND GENTLE HAIR CARE
  • STRESS MANAGEMENT
  • HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY TREATMENT

Does Taking Keratin at an Early Age Help with Menopause Hair Loss?

Unlike the hearsay evidence, there is limited evidence to suggest that using keratin from an early age helps prevent or weaken menopausal hair loss.

To address hair thinning during menopause, it is more effective to consider treatments and lifestyle changes that target the underlying hormonal and genetic factors.

Keratin-based products can of course still be a part of your menopausal hair care routine. Yet, they are unlikely to become a direct solution for menopausal hair loss.

What Tests Are There to See If Hair Loss Is from Menopause?

Your doctor will need to decide if hair loss is specifically related to menopause. For this, they may consider running the following tests and check-ups:

  • MEDICAL HISTORY REVIEW
  • PHYSICAL EXAMINATION
  • HORMONE LEVELS BLOOD TESTS
  • THYROID HORMONE LEVELS (TSH, T3, T4)
  • IRON LEVELS BLOOD TEST TO DETERMINE ANEMIA
  • FERRITIN TEST
  • DERMATOSCOPY

 

The tests your doctor will run depend on your specific symptoms. Your dermatologist can request some extra tests to rule out autoimmune disorders or fungal infections. They may also suggest a scalp biopsy in some cases.

Tips on How to Take Care of Your Hair After Menopause

Among postmenopausal women, 2 women out of 3 suffer from thinned hair. Taking care of your hair after menopause is essential. Hormonal changes during this period can result in post-menopausal hair loss. 

Here are some tips for postmenopausal women to maintain healthy hair and improve their quality of life:

  • AVOID OVERWASHING YOUR HAIR
  • CHOOSE SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS
  • USE TOPICAL SOLUTIONS TO INCREASE HAIR GROWTH
  • AVOID HEAT STYLING HAIR TOOLS
  • TRIM YOUR HAIR REGULARLY
  • PROTECT YOUR HEAD FROM THE SUN
  • PLATELET-RICH PLASMA (PRP) FOR STIMULATING HAIR GROWTH


There is one more thing! If you would like to track your hair loss, here’s a printable chart for you!

[1] Chaikittisilpa S, Rattanasirisin N, Panchaprateep R, Orprayoon N, Phutrakul P, Suwan A, Jaisamrarn U. Prevalence of female pattern hair loss in postmenopausal women: a cross-sectional study. Menopause. 2022 Feb 14;29(4):415-420. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001927. PMID: 35357365.

[2] Kamp E, Ashraf M, Musbahi E, DeGiovanni C. Menopause, skin and common dermatoses. Part 1: Hair disorders. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2022 Dec;47(12):2110-2116. doi: 10.1111/ced.15327. Epub 2022 Oct 28. PMID: 35796569; PMCID: PMC10092469.

[3] Ioannides D, Lazaridou E. Female pattern hair loss. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2015;47:45-54. doi: 10.1159/000369404. Epub 2015 Feb 20. PMID: 26370643.

[4] Goluch-Koniuszy ZS. Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause. Prz Menopauzalny. 2016 Mar;15(1):56-61. doi: 10.5114/pm.2016.58776. Epub 2016 Mar 29. PMID: 27095961; PMCID: PMC4828511.

[5] Treating female pattern hair loss. Harvard Health Publishing.