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Hair Loss

Hair loss or hair thinning is a common concern during menopause

Hair loss or hair thinning

As a woman progresses through menopause she can experience imbalances in her hair health, from increased dryness and brittleness to thinning and hair loss.

What is the cause of hair loss in menopause?

Hair loss or thinning in menopause is usually caused by a direct result of fluctuating hormone levels. However, there are many other factors that may also play a role in hair loss during menopause, including stress, illness or lack of nutrients.

What are the types of hair loss associated with menopause?

Two main hormones are involved in hair growth: estrogen and testosterone. Estrogenic alopecia is hair loss iresulting from declining estrogen levels because estrogen helps hair grow faster and stay on the head longer, leading to thicker, healthier hair. This is the most common type of hair loss amongst menopausal women. A decrease in estrogen also triggers an increase in the production of androgens, or a group of male hormones. Androgens shrink hair follicles, resulting in hair loss on the head. This is referred to as androgenic alopecia.

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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.