If you’re in menopause, you’re probably woefully familiar with hot flashes and mood swings, but if you’ve been experiencing hair loss during menopause, it may have come as an unpleasant shock. While most of us don’t expect to possess the same lustrous locks we had in our 20s, hair loss during menopause can be very alarming. It’s not just a cosmetic issue; it can really do a number on self-esteem and overall well-being.
We all naturally lose between 50 and 100 hairs daily, but in menopause, hair shedding can become quite significant. It can actually cause areas of baldness on the scalp and thinning around the front of the head and temples. But don’t despair – there are ways to deal with it.
Hair Loss During Menopause: Lost on the Scalp, Found on the Chin
Unwanted changes in your hair can be hard to deal with, but it’s easier if you understand what’s happening. Hair loss during menopause is part of the cycle of life. Thinning hair is most commonly attributed to hormonal changes. Just like high levels of female hormones during pregnancy can leave women with fuller, thicker hair, declining levels during menopause can have the opposite effect.
When female hormone levels decline, the effects of androgens (male hormones) can increase causing certain hair follicles to fail. Depending on your genetic predisposition, these follicles produce progressively weaker hair and then eventually none at all. Ironically, the shift in balance of hormone levels can also lead to increased hair growth – but not on your scalp, unfortunately. Hair starts appearing in areas where the follicles are particularly sensitive to androgen, like the chin, cheeks and upper lip.
Although the most common cause of menopausal hair loss is hormonal, there may also be other contributing factors like illness, high stress levels, nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as iron, and other chemical changes. Talk to your doctor to rule out other causes, and then pick a plan of action.
The quickest fix for hair loss during menopause is to get a better haircut. Find an experienced stylist who can show you how to make the most out of what you have. In general, avoid choppy, blunt cuts. Opt instead for a layered look, which will add volume, or try thick side-swept bangs, which create fullness towards the front of the head.
For a more permanent solution, you can also consult a hair restoration specialist to discuss both pharmaceutical options and lifestyle changes. Just like hair loss prescriptions for men, there are similar topical treatments for women that can actually regrow hair with regular and continuous use.
While you deal with hair lost on your scalp, and hair found on your chin, remember these tips. Hopefully one or more will work for you.