Reverse Thinning Hair After Menopause: Effective Solutions and Prevention

Last updated 12.05.2023 | by Sabrina Johnson | 8 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


“Can you tell me why my hair is getting thinner day by day?” This is what I heard an anxious woman in her early 50s tell the doctor the other day. Well, this is not perhaps her woe only; many of us go through this situation, mostly after we hit our 40s.

If we were to look at the data, it says that 20-60% of women experience hair loss before 60. Understandably, menopause is one of the main reasons behind the same. The hormonal imbalances are doing their job – if I were to be more specific.

I had long, thick hair until my 40s when I began to be troubled with consistent hair loss alongside the other symptoms. It was frustrating to find my hair getting thinner in density day by day. Upon discussing it with the doctor, she advised me on ways to take care of my hair. She even said that this wasn’t just my worry. Most women going through menopause complain of the same.

Are you of the menopausal age? Is hair loss one of the problems troubling you to the core? This article will be of help then. I will touch on topics like why women lose hair in menopause and how to manage the same. Read on for a better understanding.

Why Do Women Lose Hair In Menopause?

There is no point in guessing that hormonal imbalances are responsible for the hair loss women go through in menopause. A doctor once explained that menopause isn’t only about hair loss. It even involves hair growth in unwanted areas like your face, below your chin, around your nipples, etc.

The drastic fall in estrogen and progesterone increases the impact of the androgen hormone (more predominant in males than females). This accounts for increased hair growth in unexpected areas.

However, if we were to talk about hair thinning, it’s all because of low estrogen levels. Estrogen isn’t just a reproductive hormone. It has other functions as well, one being nurturing hair growth. That’s why, in the menopause transition phase, the hair follicles shrink, resulting in thin hair.

What Are the Symptoms of Menopausal Hair Loss

Hair loss begins sometime during perimenopause, and the initial signs of hair loss during this period could include:

  • Hair breakage occurs more often.
  • Finding hair strands on one’s clothes, pillows, or around the house
  • Hair getting collected in the shower drain.
  • Hair getting stuck between the bristles of a hairbrush.

The symptoms of hair loss during menopause could begin gradually, and women may notice the following changes:

  • Their ponytails look thinner.
  • Their hair part may appear wider
  • Their hair may lose shine and appear lackluster

A receding hairline or thin patches of hair on the scalp become more visible after these initial symptoms have set in. In addition to experiencing hair loss on the head, women could also experience less hair growth on their other body parts, such as their armpits, arms, and legs, as mentioned already.

Many women witness their eyelashes and eyebrows getting thinner during menopause. The growth of pubic hair also reduces during this time of transition.

How to Reverse Thinning Hair After Menopause?

How to Reverse Thinning Hair After Menopause

If your hair isn’t as long and thick as before, and you seem to be losing hair fast, there are ways in which you may manage the same. Here are some tips:

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Hormonal imbalance is often linked to the diet we follow. Women who experience hair loss during and after menopause must consume a well-balanced diet. Here are the elements that are a must-add to your meals.

  • Fats: Nuts, fatty fish, plant oils, and soybeans
  • Protein: Beans, dairy products, lean meats, and nuts.
  • Minerals: Cheese, leafy greens, berries, yogurt, and starchy veggies.
  • Vitamins: Chicken, salmon, tomatoes, citrus fruits, red peppers, egg yolk, carrots, and red meat.

Reduce Stress Levels

Numerous reasons lead to elevated stress levels in menopausal women. In addition, many women go through anxiety and depression during this time. There is the added stress of aging and physical changes.

Everything has a connection. Did you know that increased stress levels may trigger hair loss? Immense stress could cause the hair follicles to get into the resting phase. This tremendously impacts the hair, making it fall off suddenly when you wash or comb it.

Excessive stress also prompts one to pull hair from their eyebrows, scalp, or other parts of the body. This condition is known as trichotillomania, which results in increased hair loss. So, now you know how important it is to manage your stress levels for your hair health, alongside other reasons.

Identify the triggers and attempt to bring them under control. Women can also try relaxation techniques for this purpose, such as yoga, meditation, and massages. Deep breathing and meditation worked for me immensely in tackling my increased bouts of anxiety.

Stay Hydrated

Keeping yourself hydrated is necessary throughout your life, but even more so as you go through menopause. A hair expert once told me that an average daily water intake of two liters would help strengthen our hair. When we are dehydrated, hair growth is severely impacted.

However, staying hydrated doesn’t mean drinking anything and everything. It would help if you refrained from increased consumption of carbonated beverages, caffeine, and alcohol, as they may trigger hair loss.

Focus on More Movement

Exercising is necessary to improve blood circulation and relax your muscles. When there is proper blood circulation, it improves our scalp health. Better scalp health contributes to improved hair growth and better hair quality.

However, hair growth isn’t the only reason for menopausal women to exercise. Indulging in more movement also helps in dealing with other symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings, bloating, insomnia, and stress.

Talk to Your Doctor

If hair loss has become a recurring problem, then seeking a doctor’s consultation is immensely important. Sometimes, side effects of medications may also aggravate hair loss.

It could even be a sign of any underlying conditions like anemia, thyroid, chronic stress, or diabetes. That’s why the earlier you seek medical help, the sooner will your concern be addressed.

A Few More Hair Care Tips to Consider

Besides the lifestyle changes mentioned above, you also have to take external care of your health. When in the menopause transition stage, your hair is already delicate.

Any trigger could worsen things and make your hair fall worse. Here are some tips that will come of aid.

  • Shampoo your hair gently, and do not over-scrub or tug at it
  • Always ensure to apply conditioner to your hair after you wash it. This prevents your hair from getting brittle, minimizing hair loss
  • Using a towel to dry your hair is better than blow-drying it. This protects your hair from unwanted wear, tear, and damage
  • The pillowcase you sleep on also significantly influences your hair health. If you sleep on a silken pillowcase, there will be less chance of hair breakage due to satin’s smooth and shiny texture
  • When you are putting your hair into a braid or ponytail, avoid tying it too hard. It could trigger hair fall and damage

FAQs

Which supplements do women try to prevent hair loss? 

Many women often resort to several supplements to prevent hair loss. The ones that top the list include omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, collagen, Vitamin D, etc. However, I would suggest contacting your healthcare provider before going for any supplements.

Can hormone replacement therapy reverse hair thinning and hair loss? 

Hormone replacement therapy helps manage several menopausal symptoms. It is beneficial for hair loss also. By making up for the lost estrogen, HRT helps in hair follicle shrinkage and hair thinning.

What tests are conducted for hair loss? 

When you consult your doctor for hair loss, he may prescribe bloodwork to check your vitamin B, vitamin D, and zinc levels. He could even prescribe for a thyroid examination. Sometimes, a scalp examination and scalp biopsy may even be needed.

Conclusion

Over 50% of menopausal women go through hair loss. It isn’t an uncommon phenomenon. That’s why it is essential to be super careful about maintaining your hair during the transition phase. 

Moreover, if hair loss persists and worsens with time, do not delay seeking medical help. Besides detecting the root cause of hair loss, the doctor might even advise you for a hair transplant or other treatment procedures to regrow your lost hair. 

References:

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.