Menopause and Hair Loss: Is It Common?
If you’re like many women, you may find experience some unpleasant side effects when you enter menopause. Hot flashes and mood swings are just a few of the changes you’ll experience when you’re going through “the change”. Menopause officially occurs when the body stops having a monthly menstrual cycle. The subsequent changes that occur will be hormonal, emotional, and can even affect your metabolism.
Over 25 million women every year experience the wild mood changes and hormone fluctuations as they begin to enter their golden years. Prior to menopause, only a small fraction of women experience hair loss. But by the time a woman has finished menopause, the chance of her having female-pattern baldness increases up to 37%.Female pattern hair is characterized by an overall thinning of hair, especially around the forehead and crown of the scalp.Hair loss may be one of the few symptoms of menopause that you may visually notice, and often it contributes to poor self0-image as well.
Unfortunately, while hormone replacement can help alleviate some of the unpleasant side effects of menopause, replacing hormones has little effect on halting hair loss. High levels of estrogen can be a great help to luscious hair during pregnancy, but menopause tends to have the opposite effect. When the levels of female hormones fall, the effects of male hormones can increase. Too much exposure to these antogens can choke off your hair follicles, making it impossible for new hairs to grow. This is especially a risk if your doctor has recommended testosterone therapy as part of your menopause regimen. Unfortunately, our genetics play a large part in how menopause affects us. If there is thinning hair on your father’s side of the family tree, you may be more likely to experience hair loss as you age, as well.
Not All Hair Loss is Menopause-Related
Just because you’re at the age of menopause doesn’t mean your hair loss is from the hormonal changes. Other factors could be at play, such as thyroid disorders or diabetes. You may be more genetically prone to hair loss or experience a major medical event or stress that can cause temporary hair loss. Some people who are nutrient-deficient can also lose hair. Just to be careful, if you feel you are experiencing a significant amount of hair loss over a short amount of time, it may be time schedule a checkup with your doctor. Medical complications should be ruled out as the primary cause of your hair loss. Once the condition is treated, it may be possible for your hair to regrow.
Certain medications, especially estrogens, are also known to cause hair loss. Check with your pharmacist to find out if any of the medications you are taking have been known to cause this side effect. If so, you may be able to switch medications and regrow the hair during its next cycle. A detailed medical history, a list of your medications, andpossible diagnostic tests should be on your doctor’s to-do list to hunt down the cause of your hair loss. Many types of hair loss are temporary
Coping With Menopause-Related Hair Loss
Many women find it overwhelming when they first experience hair loss. However, for many people, hair loss is a fact of life we must learn how to cope with. Start by feeding the hair you have with a good multivitamin that contains iron as well as biotin. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet, as well.
If you find your hair is thinning and you feel uncomfortable with your hairstyle, you may want to try hair extensions or other cosmetic solutions such as hairpieces. Hairpieces come in natural as well synthetic options, and can be used to add a ponytail or bangs. You can even achieve a whole new look with a wig. Decide which options are the most satisfying for you and look best on you. There are a lot of choices as long as you can keep an open mind.