Menopause Hair Loss: Is It Normal?

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The words “female” and "woman" are used throughout this article to refer to people who identify as female and have the typical reproductive organs of a cisgender female. We recognize that some people who identify as female do not have the same anatomy as that depicted in this article.

Menopause occurs when a person has not had a menstrual period for at least 12 months. While all women will reach menopause at some point, age of onset and symptoms differ for each person. However, a common symptom of menopause is hair loss.

Read on to learn more about what causes menopausal hair loss and how it can be treated.

Close-Up Of Woman With Hair Loss

EyeEm / Getty Images

What Causes Menopausal Hair Loss?

During menopause, levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone go down. Because these hormones play a role in hair growth, hair loss can occur as they begin to drop. It can also lead to hair thinning and hair that doesn’t grow as quickly as it normally would.

A decrease in progesterone and estrogen also sparks an increase in androgens, which are male hormones that are found in women in smaller amounts than in men. Androgens can cause the hair follicles on the head to shrink, resulting in hair loss.

Other causes can include high levels of stress as well as nutrient deficiencies.

Can Menopause Cause Excessive Hair Growth?

In some cases, when androgens are higher than they should be, women can also develop "peach fuzz," or excess hair on their chin, along with thinning or loss of hair on the head.

Where Hair Loss Might Appear

A drop in female sex hormones typically causes the hair to thin in the central area of the head, as well as near the hairline on the forehead. However, it can also occur on the back of the head and near the crown, as well as near the nape.

When excessive androgens are involved, hair loss occurs around the line where the hair is parted as well as the top of the head.    

How to Treat Menopausal Hair Loss

Thinning or loss of hair during menopause can be hard to cope with, but there are ways to treat it.

Keep Stress in Check

The hormonal changes from menopause can cause your stress levels to rise. When that happens, it can be difficult to rebalance the hormones.

To keep stress in check, you can try stress-reduction techniques such as:

Any type of regular exercise can help reduce stress.

Exercise

While exercise is good for stress, it's also helpful in maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle. Exercising regularly has been shown to:

  • Improve sleep
  • Sharpen cognitive abilities, such as learning and memory
  • Aid in maintaining a healthy weight

Since menopause is associated with weight gain, cognitive issues, and sleep disturbances, exercising can help mitigate those effects.

Why Is Exercise Important for Menopausal Hair Loss?

Exercise is important because it aids in the management of menopausal symptoms. Some symptoms arise due to stress-induced hormone imbalances, so by exercising, a person can reduce stress and the stress-related imbalances in the body to prevent hair loss.

A Healthy Diet

Diet plays a vital role in hormonal balance. Research has found that women who experience hair loss during menopause may not be getting all the nutrients they need. Eating a well-balanced diet that is high in nutrients can aid in the reduction of hair loss.

Some specific nutrients you should be incorporating are:

  • Protein: Protein can strengthen hair and hair follicles, thus reducing hair loss.
  • Fats: Healthy fats play a role in the production of steroid hormones, which protect both the hair and the skin. Some healthy fats include omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins A, B, C, and D all play a role in hair health. Getting enough of these nutrients is vital to help with hair loss caused by menopause.
  • Minerals: Zinc, iron, copper, selenium, calcium, and magnesium are all important for proper hair growth.
Where to Find Nutrients for Menopausal Hair Loss
Protein Lean meats, soy products, dairy products, nuts, beans
Fats  Fatty fish, flaxseed, nuts, soybeans, plant oils
Vitamins  Citrus fruits, red peppers, leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, salmon, egg yolks, dairy products, red meat, chicken
Minerals  Yogurt, cheese, berries, starchy vegetables, ancient grains, leafy greens

Gentle Hair Care 

To ensure that you don’t harm your hair further, you should practice gentle hair care and avoid using heated styling tools, including blow dryers, straighteners, curling irons, and hot curlers.

You should also avoid dying your hair, when possible, and choose an all-natural dye if you need to.

Using a conditioner that is hydrating and nourishing for your hair will also promote healthier hair and encourage hair growth.

How to Style Your Thinning Hair

If your hair is beginning to thin, you can style it in a way that makes the hair loss less noticeable. This could include changing where you part your hair, cutting your hair shorter to create more volume, or adding some dimensional layers. This could give the illusion of thicker and fuller hair while hiding any hair loss you may have.

Laser Treatments 

Laser treatments, also known as light therapy, work by applying low-intensity light to the scalp, triggering a reaction that signals new hair to grow. It’s thought that the light increases the number of hair follicles and increases hair strength.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Experiencing hair loss during menopause can be difficult. If you are affected by hair loss and want to learn about treatment options, contact your healthcare provider. They will determine what will be most effective for you depending on your hormone levels and other lifestyle factors.

Summary

Menopausal hair loss doesn’t happen to everyone going through the transition, but it is a common symptom. It occurs due to the reduction in hormone levels during menopause. This drives biological changes that affect how thick the hair grows in, how quickly the hair grows, and the rate of hair loss. Other lifestyle factors, such as diet and excessive stress, can also play a role in menopausal hair loss.

There are various treatment options available for menopausal hair loss that focus heavily on balancing hormones. These include reducing stress, exercising, and eating a healthy diet. Being kind to your hair by avoiding harsh hair-care practices can also encourage a healthier scalp and less hair loss.

A Word From Verywell

Losing your hair can be a difficult and upsetting experience. Many people see their hair as an extension of themselves and their personality. Seeking treatment is the best way to lessen the effects of menopausal hair loss. Speak to your healthcare provider as well as a hair-care professional if you want to address your hair loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does hair loss after menopause go away?

    Although the hair loss that occurs during menopause is unavoidable, it is not permanent in most cases. There are also various treatment options that can aid in the correction of thinning hair or hair loss.

  • How do you keep your hair healthy after 50?

    Keeping your hair healthy as you age is fairly simple. You should avoid shampooing your hair too much and use a nourishing conditioner every time you wash your hair. Pay close attention to your diet and the nutrients you need for proper hair health, which can aid in keeping your hair healthy well after menopause.

  • What vitamins are good for hair loss during menopause?

    Various vitamins play a role in hair health. During menopause, it’s vital that you get the proper amount of B vitamins, and vitamins A, C, and D. Other nutrients such as protein and healthy fats also need to be consumed in adequate amounts for good hair health.

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5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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