Menopause Hair Loss: How To Bring Hair Back To Life During The Change
7 minutes read
As menopause begins so can hair loss. Your ponytail may feel thinner and more whispy, and you may well notice more hair shedding in your hairbrush and around the plughole.
“It can be really distressing as for most women their hair is their crowning glory, a part of their identity. When women start to develop bold patches, and thinning, and their hair looks flat and lifeless and it can greatly affect their confidence levels,” says Katie Taylor, CEO and Founder of The Latte Lounge, an online community for women over 40.
In our recent Beauty Daily report, we found that of The UK’s Top 10 Menopause Concerns, hair loss came in at number six, with 112,560 annual Google searches. So, rest assured you are not on this road alone.
We spoke to three menopause specialists about menopause hair loss treatments, prevention techniques and coping tips.
Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss?
What Causes Menopause Hair Loss?
Our hormones have a profound impact on our whole body, and when it comes to our hair they play a massive part in growth and density.
Hair loss is a natural part of the ageing process. Combine that with years of styling, possible chemical treatments, and menopause hair loss and you’ve got yourself the perfect storm. One significant cause of age-related hair loss is the lack of collagen production, which declines as we age. As a result, hair loses vitality and thickness. We have a handy guide on Everything You Need To Boost Your Collagen, which should be one of your first lines of defence.
Chronic stress is another culprit when it comes to hair loss issues and according to Natasha Alonzi, Registered Nutritional Therapist and Wellbeing Coach, “stress is also linked to menopause hair loss. As going through menopause can be incredibly stressful in itself.”
Cortisol, a stress hormone, has also been shown to disrupt the hair cycle leading to hair loss. And with a new poll by The Midlife Festival and The Latte Lounge finding that 70 per cent of middle-aged women spend less than five hours a week on their own needs, self-care and hobbies – it’s unsurprising that stress is a key factor in menopausal hair loss.
“The stress of losing hair can be a vicious cycle; the more you worry, the more it falls out. This is because, when we’re stressed our bodies go into fight or flight mode, the body will prioritise the important organs when fighting a stressor. Nutrients will go to the heart, not hair, nails, and skin – and over time this can have a huge impact on our appearance,” adds Alonzi.
Feeling Stressed? Here Are 6 Expert-Backed Ways On How To Relax Your Mind
Whether you choose hormone replacement therapy (HRP) or not, diet is key when it comes to looking after your hair during the menopause.
“Many women worry about weight gain during the menopause, so can often be on low calorie diets and not get enough essential vitamins and minerals by way of what they are consuming,” shares GP, Dr Shahzadi Harper, The Perimenopause Doctor.
When it comes to eating right for your hair, a daily dose of phytoestrogens from food sources like as nuts and seeds, oats, coffee, tofu and olive oil can be incredibly helpful. Iron also plays an important role in hair health, as it’s involved in red blood cell formation which affects hair growth. So, if you’re not getting enough of the stuff Harper recommends the Viviscal Healthy Hair Vitamins, £66.49, as it contains iron and other vitamins like vitamin C and H that help absorb and metabolise the nutrients your hair needs to look its best.
Taylor also suggests seeing your GP and getting blood tests to check for any deficiencies or thyroid issues to ensure you’re not putting your hair loss down to the menopause when there’s another health issue at play.
Is Menopausal Hair Loss Permanent?
Hair that’s lost due to a shift in hormones can grow back after menopause.
Can Menopause Hair Loss Be Prevented?
What Helps Hair Loss During Menopause?
1. Lower your cortisol and de-stress
2. Reduce sugar intake. Too much sugar is a stressor.
“Too much insulin caused by eating high levels of sugar and processed carbohydrates impacts hair follicles causing them to shrink. However, consuming complex sources of carbohydrates, vegetables, low sugar fruits such as apples and berries, lentils, chickpeas and wholegrain bread, oats, rice, and pasta can help keep insulin at a healthy level and not exacerbate menopausal hair loss
3. Consume more protein
Eating a good portion of protein at every meal regulates blood sugar and mood and helps the internal structure of the hair.
4. Have your ferritin levels checked
Many women are low in iron, especially if they suffer heavy periods during perimenopause.
5. Don’t skip your B vitamins
B vitamins such as B12 and folate are essential for healthy red blood cell production. In addition, a healthy blood flow to the scalp can help with hair growth. Alonzo suggests consuming meat, chicken, fish, eggs and green leafy vegetables.
6. Supplement with vitamin D
“Vitamin D can support hair growth. Studies have shown that people with hair loss have low vitamin D. Sunlight is the best source, but eating salmon, dairy and eggs are great vitamin D sources,” shares Alonzi.
If menopause hair loss is causing your self-esteem or affecting the quality of your life, talk to your GP. And you don’t have to simply put up with it, connect with groups like The Latte Lounge, for an instant community of mid-life women, plus support, tips and signposting for all your health and wellbeing needs.
Are you looking for more menopause reads? We cover a wide range of menopausal skincare, nutrition, and lifestyle content with inputs from global experts. Click here.