You’re likely familiar with the side effects of menopause that get the most coverage in pop culture: hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. But did you know that your hair may go through “the change” too? Thanks to perimenopause hair loss and hair texture changes after menopause, you may notice that your usually full, soft head of hair becomes a little…lacklustre. In fact, a recent study found that just over half of post-menopausal women have some degree of female pattern hair loss—and it’s not great for self-esteem. Luckily, there are several hair loss treatments for women as well as hair thickening products that can help.
Hair changes during menopause
Changes to the look and feel of your skin and hair go hand in hand with hormonal changes (like estrogen depletion during menopause) and overall aging. During and after menopause, you may experience a few of these common hair side effects:
- Hair thinning
- Hair loss
- Changes in hair texture
Why does menopause cause hair thinning and hair Loss?
Estrogen and progesterone help regulate the hair growth process, keeping the follicles firmly rooted on the head. However, when these hormone levels begin to drop (during perimenopause and post-menopause) hair becomes thinner and grows more slowly. Another contributor to hair loss is the increase of androgens (a group of male hormones) at this time, which in turn causes hair follicles to shrink. This kind of hair loss typically shows up after menopause and looks different than a receding hairline, which is common for men. Instead, it shows up as a widening of the centre or side part, or an overall thinning that reveals more scalp on the crown.
It’s completely normal to grow and shed hair throughout your life as part of a healthy hair cycle—and you’ll see the evidence in your hairbrush and on your pillow. But once you reach your 40s or 50s (in Canada, the average age of natural menopause is 51), you may notice that you’re losing more hair than usual or that it’s not being replaced. That’s a side effect of menopause or perimenopause, and, as a result, your hair may feel less full than it did when you were in your 20s and 30s.
Taking good care of your scalp throughout this time and using a gentle haircare regimen that includes products specifically created for thinning hair may make a big difference in the look and feel of your hair. Some of the best hair thinning products for you may include:
- Dercos Densi-solutions Thickening Shampoo, which improves volume, thickness and shine.
- Dercos Densisol Balm, a rinse-out conditioning balm with ceramide R, rhamnose and vitamin E that enhances the shampoo’s results and leaves hair feeling soft and smooth.
- Dercos Densi-solutions Hair Mass Thickening Concentrateis a leave-in concentrate that you apply daily to dry or towel-dried hair to make it feel stronger and denser.
It’s also smart to be gentle with your hair during this time, so skip hairstyles that pull at the hair (like tight ponytails) and damaging heat tools like blow-dryers, straighteners and curling irons whenever possible.
Hair loss in women comes in several forms, however during perimenopause and menopause it often shows up as thinning hair at the front, sides, or top of the head or a widening part, also known as androgenetic alopecia.
With treatment, you can prevent perimenopause hair loss or menopause hair loss from getting worse and may even be able to regrow some hair. The sooner you start, the better. See a dermatologist to discuss your options for hair loss treatments for women, which may include prescription medications, supplements and treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, scalp microneedling or laser therapy.
As for the best hair loss treatment for at-home use, try:
- Dercos Fortifying Treatment 5, a six-week daily treatment that uses five active ingredients (including Aminexil, which has proven clinical efficacy) for preventing hair loss due to breakage.
Change in hair texture
Got frizz, dryness and wiry texture? These changes may be due to the hormonal fluctuations caused by menopause and can make hair rough and difficult to manage. If your main concern is your hair texture change after menopause, particularly if dryness and frizz have become an issue, these repairing haircare products could be a good fit for you:
- Dercos Kera-Solutions Repairing Shampoo works to soothe and repair the hair fibre with a pro-keratin complex to smooth, reduce frizz in humidity and increase shine—particularly if you have a sensitive scalp.
- Dercos Kera-Solutions Nourishing Conditioner is designed to coat damaged and dry hair with fortifying vitamin B5 and a micro-filling formula enriched with a pro-keratin complex.
- Kera-Solutions Repairing Leave-In Serum works to protect your hair’s ends against heat tools and UV rays while locking in hydration.
For some women, changes in hormone levels can cause hair to swing in the other direction, making it limp and greasy. You may need to start washing it more frequently or simply focus on washing your scalp, where the oil is produced, rather than the rest of your hair.
FAQ on hair loss in menopause
If you’ve started perimenopause or menopause, you may have concerns about hair growth and loss. Here are answers to some of the most common questions.
- Can menopause cause facial hair? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re not imagining the new whiskers sprouting on your face. Extra hair growth can be one of the side effects of menopause and can result in stiff hairs poking out of your chin or neck when you least expect them. Your best bet for treatment is laser hair removal, waxing or shaving. If the excessive hair is alarming consult a healthcare professional because this could be a sign of high levels of androgen, a menopause-related hormone, which can be treated.
- What causes hair loss in menopause?
Perimenopause or menopause hair loss affects some—but not all—women. There are a few suspected causes, but it’s likely a mix of the decline in ovarian estrogen production, plus interactions with other hormones, growth factors and cytokines. Genetics also play a role.
- Can menopausal hair loss be stopped?
You may be able to reduce or even stop hair loss if you start treatment early. See a dermatologist who can help you understand the variety of hair loss treatments for women (from supplements to lasers to injections) while also rejigging your at-home hair regimen. The best products for hair loss include thickening shampoos and conditioners, as well as leave-in treatments that fortify the hair. You can also limit your use of heat tools and skip any hairstyles that excessively pull the hair from your scalp.