For many women, the menopause can be an extremely stressful period of their lives as their body goes through a number of physical and emotional changes that heavily affect their everyday lives.
So, why does menopause sometimes cause hair loss? The menopause itself is the point at which a woman stops being able to become pregnant via natural methods. When this happens, both progesterone and oestrogen hormone levels start to drop, leading to hair loss, mood swings and insomnia.
What happens during menopause?
The menopause most often occurs between the ages of 45-55 and can last anywhere between 7-12 years. It is the chapter in a woman’s life that begins in the twelve months once her ovaries stop producing eggs, and after her final period.
This turn of events can also be triggered if a woman has her ovaries or uterus removed for medical reasons.
Why does menopause sometimes cause hair loss?
Female pattern hair loss is one of the more common symptoms of menopause, with its severity varying from person to person.
The normal growth of hair in a human is controlled by the delicate balance of male and female hormones – oestrogen and androgen. During the four stages of hair growth, it is oestrogen that keeps hair follicles in a state of growth, whereas androgen is used to control the shedding of hair towards the end of the cycle.
Men are much more likely to go bald than women as a result of the hormone androgen causing hair follicles to thin and then fall out. Similarly, when a woman stops producing eggs, her oestrogen levels drop and her androgen levels rise, leading to the same outcome. However, the hair loss itself can be exasperated by a number of other factors such as stress, genetics and diet.
What steps can I take to avoid hair loss during menopause?
To help a woman limit the amount of hair loss during menopause, doctors advise the following steps:
- Avoid stressful situations, and start using mindfulness practices such as yoga and tai chi to lower stress levels.
- As one of the key outcomes of menopause is unwanted weight gain, incorporating a daily exercise regime can not only keep a person in shape, but also reduce stress and insomnia.
- The most important decision a woman going through the menopause can make is to follow a regimented diet. Doctors advise sufferers to eat a low fat, high calcium diet along with foods rich in vitamin B6 and folic acid.
- The importance of staying hydrated can never be understated to ensure proper liver and kidney function.
- Women experiencing menopause should avoid using hair products that are full of chemicals as these can force the scalp and hair to dry out and break. They should also avoid using swimming pools unless they wear a waterproof cap to limit contact with chlorine.
If you are worried that you are suffering from hair loss as a result of menopause, it is always advisable to visit your GP to discuss the options that are available to you. However, we will always be available to provide additional support and offer a number of different therapies to help you recover from hair loss due to menopause, so please book a consultation with the Hair Growth Studio if you’d like advice from a different perspective.