Menopausal hair loss is quite common. Forty percent of women notice a significant thinning of their hair by the time they’re postmenopausal. Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. While two-thirds of women who lose their hair in menopause notice diffuse generalized thinning, one-third lose hair at their crown and temples. This is known as male pattern balding. Male pattern balding is genetic. It tends to run in families.
So what causes hair loss during menopause?
Menopausal hair loss is caused by a decline in hormones. Estrogen helps to stimulate hair growth, especially on your head. It also helps to stimulate the T3 receptors in your hair follicles. Which helps to keep your hair healthy. If you have high levels of testosterone as your estrogen levels start to fall, you can actually lose hair much more rapidly. Especially if your body is converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. You can experience male pattern balding. Excessive shedding due to unbound testosterone and less hair growth due to less estrogen can lead to significant generalized hair loss in menopause.
How can you stop menopause hair loss?
Prevention is key. It’s difficult to grow back lost hair if the follicles are damaged. And long-term lack of hormones definitely damages your hair follicles.
First of all, as soon as you start to become hormonally out of balance in perimenopause, it’s a good idea to come up with a plan to deal with your loss of hormones. I help my patients to develop their own personalized menopause action plan (MAP). When we develop their MAP, they research all their options and know exactly what type of hormone replacement therapy they may need, and what is safe for them. Their menopause action plan includes alternative therapies and necessary lifestyle changes to stay hormonally balanced and healthy.
The earlier you create your own menopause action plan, the better. And the sooner you get on the therapies and start making some lifestyle adjustments, the less likely you’ll suffer from the more severe symptoms of menopause. Including hair loss.
Hypothalamus support is key.
Healthy hair needs all your hormones to be in balance – your sex steroids, your adrenals, your thyroid, your growth hormone. By supporting your hypothalamus, all your hormones stay in balance longer. Your adrenal function is especially important during menopause, because adrenal DHEA helps keep your endogenous estrogen levels up, so that you’re less likely to experience hair loss.
In terms of menopausal hair loss, it’s important to keep estrogen receptors active and estrogen levels sufficient to maintain hair growth, and also to bind up testosterone. Second, making sure that your thyroid function is normal and treating it if it is low can also help maintain your hair during menopause.
If you have any questions regarding menopausal hair loss, please join us in our Hormone Support Group. You can access it when you sign up for my free Hormone Reboot Training below. I hope to see you there!