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The Ultimate Guide to Resolve Hair Loss Issues during Menopause

Although a lot of people do not automatically think of hair loss as a menopausal symptom, it is widely recognized that a 40% of women experience hair thinning or hair loss to some degree around the time of menopause (that is, during perimenopause, menopause or post-menopause stages).

While women accept that menopause is a natural and unavoidable stage of womanhood, coming to grips with its effects, especially with female hair loss due to menopause, can be very difficult. Often, hair loss is one of the first and more depressing symptoms of menopause that a woman notices and it can have a profound effect on her sense of femininity, sexuality and self-confidence.

As women near menopause, hair growth slows, and their hair may lose its healthy, youthful, shine, and their hair texture changes.

Beginning at perimenopause in their 40s, women may see the effects of menopause on hair, including thinning hair, dull, graying and hair loss. Experts previously thought hair loss due to menopause was caused by low estrogen levels. But new research shows that hair loss in older women is likely due to lower levels of both estrogen and progesterone, causing hair follicles to thin and hair to fall out.

Symptoms of menopause hair loss

Hot flashes, fatigue, weight gain, low libido and mood swings are all symptoms commonly associated with menopause. As if these aren’t all enough to deal with, research links menopause to female hair loss. According to Lovera Wolf Miller, M.D., member of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), noticeable hair thinning (androgenetic alopecia) occurs in about half of all women by age 50, although it may begin any time after puberty. "Alopecia is actually as common in women as it is in men, but it's less apparent because it rarely causes balding," Dr. Miller says.

The psychological effects of menopause hair loss

The fact that hair loss is a widespread problem that you share with many other women doesn't make it easier to manage. Several studies have shown that the emotional and psychological effects of hair loss are more severe in women than in men, leading to poor self-esteem, social anxiety and even lower job performance.

According to psychologist Dr. Ana Fonseca, “For women, self-esteem and self-concept are the reflex of social influence, which can act as a source of conflict and misfit, with repercussions on body image and health. The relationship with the hair often includes anxiety about its general condition, if it’s thinning and falling out, or going gray. Hair is valued in connection with beauty and femininity, sexuality and attractiveness, so when losing it, people are affected negatively in their self-esteem and self-image. Hair loss threatens our vanity, how much we value ourselves and is usually seen as unattractive and often associated with being unwell or aging. It is recognized that there are also emotional factors associated with hair loss so it can mean psychological discomfort.”

How to prevent hair loss during menopause

If follicles receive the necessary stimulus and nutrients from the body, it can stabilize hair loss during menopause and strengthen existing hair growth. This is why it’s important to nourish thinning hair follicles with the right nutrients, including marine extracts, vitamins (including B vitamins such as Biotin and Niacin) and minerals (such as Zinc), to promote hair growth during menopause. A good diet, as well as a nourishing shampoo and conditioner that is gentle on dry, aging hair, are top tips for how to treat menopause-related hair loss.