Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss? Surprising Facts

Let's dive in the question 'does menopause cause hair loss?', exploring these changes and offering ideas on how to manage them - provide insights and solutions for those noticing their hair isn't as thick or lush as before, due to the hormonal shifts experienced during menopause.

Key Takeaways

  • Hormonal Changes During Menopause: A significant decline in estrogen and progesterone levels during menopause directly impacts hair growth cycles, contributing to hair thinning and loss. An increase in androgens can also lead to hair thinning on the scalp and unwanted hair growth elsewhere.
  • Stages of Menopause and Hair Loss: The transition from perimenopause to postmenopause brings about various symptoms, including hair loss. Understanding these stages helps in identifying and addressing hair loss more effectively.
  • Other Contributing Factors: Beyond hormonal changes, factors such as aging, genetics, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid disorders, and stress play a critical role in menopausal hair loss. Addressing these can help in managing the condition.
  • Preventing and Managing Hair Loss during Menopause: While completely preventing menopausal hair loss might not be possible, adopting a balanced diet, practicing gentle hair care, managing stress, and consulting healthcare professionals for tailored advice can significantly mitigate its impact.

What is Menopause?

Menopause marks a significant milestone in your life, signaling the end of your menstrual cycles. It's a natural biological process, not a medical condition, affecting millions of women between the ages of 40 and 58, with the average onset around age 51. Understanding menopause is important, especially when exploring its connection to hair loss and other changes in your body.

Understanding the Phases

Menopause doesn't occur overnight. It encompasses three stages: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Here's a brief overview:

  • Perimenopause: This phase can begin up to 10 years before menopause, typically during your 40s. Although periods still occur, your body starts to experience hormonal fluctuations that can lead to various signs.
  • Menopause: Officially diagnosed after you've gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, marking the end of your reproductive years.
  • Postmenopause: The years following menopause. Your signs may ease during this stage, but some long-term health risks associated with the loss of estrogen increase.

During these stages, particularly perimenopause and menopause, many women experience signs ranging from hot flashes and mood swings to more concerning issues like hair thinning or loss.

Why It Happens

Menopause happens because your ovaries gradually produce less estrogen and progesterone, hormones that regulate menstruation and ovulation. This decline leads to the cessation of menstrual periods and the onset of menopause. Factors influencing the timing and experience of menopause include genetics, lifestyle, and health history. Notably, some women may undergo premature menopause, which occurs before age 40, or experience menopause due to medical interventions such as surgery.

How Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss

Menopause marks a significant period in your life, bringing about several changes. One such change that might be causing you concern is hair loss. Understanding the link between menopause and hair loss is important in finding strategies to manage this issue.

Hormonal Changes

This natural biological process is characterized by three stages: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. During these stages, your body undergoes significant hormonal shifts. Research indicates that these changes, particularly the reduction in estrogen and progesterone levels, play a pivotal role in hair thinning and loss.

Hair growth goes through phases: growth (anagen), rest (telogen), and shedding (exogen). The hormonal upheaval during menopause can disrupt this cycle, shortening the growth phase and extending the shedding phase. This leads to a noticeable decrease in hair density and volume.

Androgen Hormones

Although menopause is synonymous with a decrease in female sex hormones, it also triggers an increase in androgens, a group of male hormones. Androgens, such as testosterone, can shrink hair follicles, exacerbating hair loss on the scalp. The imbalance between reduced estrogen and increased androgens is a key factor contributing to menopausal hair loss.

Estrogen Hormones

Estrogen is crucial for hair growth and the maintenance of the hair life cycle, as it prolongs the growing phase, leading to longer and more voluminous hair. However, during menopause, a significant drop in estrogen levels can affect hair growth and health, causing slower hair growth and thinner strands. Research involving skin cells and animal studies indicates that estrogen not only promotes hair growth but may also help maintain the thickness of the hair strand, highlighting the hormone's key role in preserving hair health.

Symptoms of Menopausal Hair Loss

Exploring through menopause, you might observe some changes that catch you off guard, particularly when it comes to your hair. Deciphering the signs of menopausal hair loss early on can be a game-changer in how you manage and mitigate its effects. Here’s what you need to keep an eye out for.

Widespread thinning across the scalp is a key sign of menopausal hair loss, marked by a gradual and uniform decrease in hair density leading to reduced volume. Also, increased shedding beyond the normal 50 to 100 strands a day, and noticeable hairs on pillows, shower drains, or hairbrushes, indicate more than normal hair loss. Changes in hair texture towards finer strands contribute to the appearance of thinning and can complicate styling efforts. Lastly, experiencing slower hair growth or weaker regrowth is common due to hormonal changes during menopause.

Other Factors Affecting Hair Loss during Menopause


As you grow older, your hair naturally changes. Hair follicles shrink, leading to thinner, more brittle hair. Also, hair growth slows down, and the strands that do grow might not be as robust as they once were. This process is a natural part of aging, affecting everyone to varying degrees.


Your genetic makeup plays a role in how your hair will fare during menopause. If female pattern hair loss runs in your family, you might be more likely to experience it yourself. This genetic influence can't be altered, but being aware of it can help you manage expectations and seek early intervention.

Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders, both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, can lead to hair thinning or loss. These conditions affect your body's metabolism, including the growth cycles of your hair. Signs of a thyroid issue can be subtle, so it's essential to have regular check-ups, especially if you notice changes in your hair along with other signs like changes in weight or energy levels.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Your hair's health relies heavily on your diet. Deficiencies including iron, zinc, protein, and vitamins D and B12, plus more can lead to hair loss. Menopause is a time when your nutritional needs may shift, making it all the more important to ensure you're getting a balanced diet or considering supplements if recommended by your healthcare provider.


Stress, both physical and emotional, can lead to a condition known as telogen effluvium, where hair shifts from its growth phase to a resting phase, leading to increased shedding. This condition is usually temporary but can be distressing. Managing stress through activities like yoga, meditation, or even seeking professional help can mitigate its impact on your hair.

Can Menopause Hair Loss Be Prevented or Slowed?

The truth is, while you can't completely stop the biological process, you can certainly take measures to reduce the impact and protect your hair's health.

Adjust Your Diet: Nutrition plays an important role in hair health. Incorporate a balanced diet rich in proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Foods high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, like fish and flaxseed, can support hair strength and texture. Meanwhile, spinach, eggs, and carrots are great sources of the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy hair growth.

Gentle Hair Care Practices: The way you assist your hair can either protect it or put it at further risk of damage. Avoid excessive heat styling and harsh chemical treatments. Opt for gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that nourish rather than strip your hair. Never underestimate the power of a good, wide-tooth comb for detangling without breakage.

Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate hair loss. Engaging in regular exercise, practicing mindfulness or yoga, and ensuring you're getting enough sleep are all effective ways to lower stress levels. Remember, a calm mind often leads to a healthier body – and that includes your hair.

Consult a Healthcare Professional: If you're noticing significant hair thinning or loss, it might be time to consult with a hair loss expert. They can offer personalized advice or assistance options tailored to your specific situation.

Coping with Hair Loss during Menopause

Exploring through menopause comes with its own set of challenges, one of which can be hair loss. Understanding how to cope effectively can make all the difference in maintaining your self-confidence and hair health.

Hair Care Tips

Taking extra care of your hair during menopause is important. Gentle hair care practices are vital. Avoid excessive heat from straighteners and dryers, and minimize chemical treatments such as dyes and perms. Instead, focus on hydrating your hair. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and a rich, nourishing conditioner to support scalp health. When detangling, use a wide-tooth comb on damp hair to reduce breakage.

Dietary Changes

What you eat plays a pivotal role in hair health. Aim for a balanced diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and proteins. Foods like salmon, walnuts, and spinach can support healthy hair growth. Also, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This not only benefits your hair but also your overall health.

Reduce Stress

Stress has been directly linked to hair loss. Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your daily routine. Yoga, meditation, and regular exercise can be effective ways to lower stress levels. Establishing a nightly routine to ensure adequate sleep is also key in managing stress and supporting hair health.

Supplements and Nutrition

Certain supplements might be beneficial in coping with hair loss during menopause. Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D, B12, iron, and zinc can support hair growth and overall health. Before starting any supplement regimen, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it's appropriate for your specific needs.

Hairstyling Options

Exploring different hairstyling options can also provide a boost in confidence. Natural volumizing products can help your hair look fuller (just be sure to read the ingredients!). Consider consulting with a stylist who specializes in thinning hair. They can recommend styles and cuts that create the illusion of volume.

Wrapping it Up

Understanding and addressing menopausal hair loss involves recognizing its signs and contributing factors, which is crucial for effective management. Taking timely action and adopting a holistic approach to health can significantly mitigate hair thinning. This can include dietary adjustments, gentle hair care practices, and seeking professional help if needed. It's important not to let hair loss affect your morale during menopause.

Book a call with us to help with your hair loss during menopause!


Mirmirani, P. (2011). Hormonal changes in menopause: do they contribute to a ‘midlife hair crisis’ in women?. British Journal of Dermatology, 165. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10629.x.

Mirmirani, P., Luo, F., Youngquist, S., Fisher, B., Li, J., Oblong, J., & Dawson, T. (2010). Hair Growth Parameters in Pre- and Postmenopausal Women. , 49-60. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-02636-2_6.

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