The symptoms associated with the menopause are well-known, from hot flushes to loss of libido, but one of the prime symptoms, that often causes the most distress as it is so visible, is hair loss and marked thinning on top. In fact, over half of menopausal women list hair loss as one of their chief problems.
During the menopause your levels of the ‘female sex hormone’, oestrogen, start to drop. Although 51 is the average age for women to reach the menopause in the UK, the pre-menopausal stage can last for many years, so very gradually there will be a reduction of thickness in the hair and an increase in hair fall.
Understanding the Psychological Impact of Hair Loss in Menopausal Women
Women often view their hair with femininity, youth and sexuality, so hair loss during your menopause can become a very visible sign of loss of those qualities and can become a deep source of distress and discomfort.
Although it is incredibly rare for women to go bald as a result of the menopause, there are a number of treatments that might be of interest to you for restoring and rejuvenating your hair.
Oestrogen and Hair Loss
Oestrogen affects your sexual function, menstrual cycle, protects your heart and bones, impacts on your mood and appetite and is also key to the hair’s growth cycle. As your levels of oestrogen drop your hair has a shorter growing cycle, meaning your hair falls out before it reaches the length or thickness that it previously did.
Male Hormones and Hair Loss
Our hormones work in delicate balance with each other and changes the body commonly occur when levels of certain hormones drop or increase. Androgens are known as male hormones although women produce this hormones to a lesser degree.
The menopause causes androgen levels to increase and that can trigger a form of baldness that appears as thinning along the centre parting. Hair may still be growing but it will be much thinner and weaker.
HRT for Hair Loss
HRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy, does exactly what is says, in that it aims to replace your levels of oestrogen to pre-menopausal levels. This should reduce the severity of all menopausal symptoms including hair loss.
There are some potential risks associated with HRT but these will be discussed in full before you embark on your HRT regimen and you should be monitored throughout your treatment. Different HRT treatments affect the hair and hair loss in different ways, so this should be discussed with your doctor or gynaecologist first if hair loss is the symptom causing you most concern.
If your hair loss is not responding to HRT or has only halted the problem, you may wish to investigate alternative treatments that can camouflage the problem. Scalp micropigmentation or SMP can be performed on women experiencing thinning on top – to see if you’re suitable for SMP, get in touch today to book your free consultation.