Menopause is frequently associated with hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and sleep problems. However, one of the less talked about occurrences (albeit incredibly common) is menopausal hair loss. Thankfully, there are treatment options that can help slow down hair loss and even promote the regrowth of new hair.
What causes menopausal hair loss?
A recent study shatters the misperception that losing hair in midlife is something only men need to worry about. This study found that more than 50% of women after 50 have visible female pattern hair loss (FPHL) that negatively impacts their self-image and well-being.
It is believed that the hormonal fluctuation that happens during perimenopause and menopause is why women experience hair loss. During perimenopause and menopause, the change in hormone levels – specifically the decreased production of estrogen and progesterone – leads to thinning hair. That is because these hormones help keep hair in the growing phase (AKA the anagen phase), meaning these hairs stay on the head for longer.
The effects of androgens (male hormones) also increase during this time. These hormones shrink hair follicles, leading to thinner hair, and are responsible for unwanted hair growth in other body areas (like "peach fuzz" around the chin), which many women experience during menopause. With this type of female pattern hair loss, it is unlikely to experience bald spots or complete baldness. Instead, they'll usually see general thinning throughout the hair.
What are the effects of aging on our hair?
Aging affects hair density, hair diameter, hair strength, hair elasticity, and color. 50% of men and 40% of women will experience hair loss before 50. The reduction of hair diameter adds to the effects of hair loss. One large study has shown that the diameter of hair for females reaches its peak around the age of forty and then gradually decreases. Another study in men demonstrated that the diameter of hair shafts decreased with age, beginning at age 25.
The most effective medication to slow hair loss and hair aging is minoxidil. Its ability to increase blood circulation in the scalp was proven to reduce hair loss, help regrow hair, and increase hair diameter in both women and men. Alternatives to minoxidil are plant-based scalp serums specifically formulated to help with scalp health and provide the hair follicles with the needed micronutrients for continued hair regrowth. Taking hair supplements and collagen peptides can help restore the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are depleted as we age.
Using sulfate-free shampoos that include ingredients like salicylic and lactic acid tea tree oil, green tea caffeine, niacinamide, and panthenol can keep Malassezia spp. and oxidative stress under control. Certain conditioners containing keratin and plant-based proteins provide a protective layer and help maintain hair strength, elasticity, and shine.
A natural herb, Polygonum multiflorum, aka Ho Shou Wu or Fo-Ti, has been adopted from oriental medicine to help reduce hair graying. Meaning "Mr. Ho's hair is black." the story refers to a 58-year-old man named Ho, whose gray hair changed to black after using the herb. According to the story, he lived to become 160, retaining his black hair.
What treatments are available for hair loss during menopause?
It's important to note that while hair loss around mid-life is generally menopause-related, a wide variety of additional factors can lead to hair loss: stress, poor diet, thyroid disorders, and certain medications (to name a few) can all be triggered. Here are the treatments that can minimize and prevent further hair loss during menopause.
Best supplements for menopause and post-menopause-related hair loss
DHT blockers are one of the primary ingredients in supplements for post-menopausal hair loss. DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a hormone that can contribute to hair loss. By blocking the effects of DHT on hair follicles, these supplements can help reduce hair loss and promote healthier hair growth. Saw palmetto, nettle leaf extract, and Reishi and Maitake mushroom extracts are common DHT blockers found in hair loss supplements.
The Regrowth Hair Supplements offer comprehensive support for hair health. These supplements contain DHT-blocking saw palmetto, nettle leaf extract, Reishi and Maitake mushroom extracts, biotin, vitamins B6, B9, and D, folate, zinc, copper, vitamin D, and iron. They offer a natural approach to hair loss, making them an excellent choice for women who want to promote fuller, healthier hair.
In conclusion, supplements that combine DHT blockers and essential nutrients can help reduce hair loss and promote healthier hair regrowth in women experiencing post-menopausal hair loss. The Regrowth Hair Wellness Supplements offer a comprehensive approach to hair health, making them an excellent choice for women who want to take a natural approach to hair loss and promote fuller, healthier hair.
The Regrowth Hair Supplements contain various ingredients that promote healthy hair regrowth. Saw palmetto and pygeum bark extract are DHT blockers that prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT and reduce their effects on hair follicles. Broccoli powder contains antioxidants that reduce scalp damage from free radicals, and its B vitamins help reduce stress. Maitake and Reishi mushrooms support a healthy scalp and promote hair regrowth by inhibiting 5α-reductase. Ashwagandha root extract helps control hair loss by regulating cortisol levels and improving sleep quality. The supplements also contain essential vitamins (E, D, B6, folic acid, and biotin) and minerals (zinc, selenium, and copper) that support healthy hair regrowth.
Minoxidil is a frequently used medication approved by the FDA to treat male and female pattern hair loss. Minoxidil is applied topically to the scalp, increasing blood flow to this area, preventing further hair loss, and supporting hair regrowth. Generally, with consistent use, you'll begin to see hair loss slow down after about two months and new growth around the four-month mark. There are some side effects to be aware of, including dryness, irritation, and itching of the scalp.
One thing to remember is that consistency and long-term commitment are key with minoxidil. You must continue its use to maintain hair growth, so this is not a short-term treatment option. While you can get minoxidil products over the counter, it's a good idea to talk to a medical professional about whether it's a suitable option for you and decide which strength is best for your needs.
Best drug-free scalp treatment serums for menopause and post-menopause-related hair loss
As women enter menopause, they may experience hair loss and thinning due to hormonal changes. While several treatments are available for menopause-related hair loss, some women prefer a more natural approach. Plant-based ingredients have been shown to support hair regrowth and improve scalp health without harsh chemicals. Here are some of the best plant-based ingredients for promoting hair regrowth in women experiencing menopause-related hair loss.
The MDhair Regrowth Serum is a DHT-blocker-powered serum designed to support scalp health and stimulate hair follicles for new hair regrowth. This serum contains over 20 plant-based ingredients that promote cell renewal and activate thicker, stronger hair. It is specially formulated for sensitive and dry scalps and includes fo-ti root extract to improve scalp health and reduce premature graying. The serum is lightweight, fast-absorbing, vegan, sulfate-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and color-safe. Key ingredients include horsetail extract to increase blood flow to the scalp, saw palmetto berry extract to support healthy hair regrowth, rosemary leaf oil to stimulate hair regrowth and promote a healthy scalp, and argan oil to provide a protective layer to the hair and scalp. This serum also includes hydrolyzed wheat proteins to improve the flexibility and tensile strength of the hair and tea tree oil to reduce inflammation, redness, and itchiness of the scalp. Apply a full dropper to the target areas on the scalp and spread the liquid using your fingers. The MDhair Regrowth Serum is an excellent drug-free scalp treatment serum for menopause and post-menopause-related hair loss, and it is dermatologist-formulated and tested.
Collagen peptides for menopause and post-menopause-related hair loss
Collagen supplements can help your body produce collagen and elastin naturally. These proteins are responsible for the strength and elasticity of your hair and skin. To gain the optimal benefit from your collagen supplements, look for collagen powders that contain Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
How do collagen supplements improve hair quality?
Starting at age 18, we lose 1% of our collagen yearly. In menopause, there are sudden and steep drops in hormone levels, notably estrogen and progesterone. When people reach menopause, the sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone causes an additional 30% drop in collagen production in the skin and hair.
Estrogen is vital for the normal functioning of the skin and blood vessels, hair follicles, oil glands, and melanocytes (pigment-producing cells). Estrogen also has an essential role in collagen and elastin. Reduced estrogen levels can lead to thinner hair, dull-looking hair and skin complexion, skin sagging, wrinkles, and more prominent age spots.
Collagen supplements contain hydrolyzed collagen peptides that the body can absorb. Once absorbed, these encourage fibroblasts in the skin and hair follicles to enhance their natural collagen production. MDhair's Marine Collagen supplements contain other actives, like vitamin C, that neutralize free radical damage, combat oxidative stress, and help hair look thicker and healthier. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which can help enhance hair and skin hydration, combating the hair and skin dryness typical of menopause.
Phytoestrogens: Benefits for women with menopause-related hair loss
Post-menopausal women have lower estrogen levels. The lower estrogen levels slow the renewal of many organs, including hair follicles. Phytoestrogens ("Phyto" is a Greek word meaning "plant") are plant source extracts that mimic the effects of estrogen on hair follicles and support normal hair regrowth. Phytoestrogens can be found in some scalp treatment serums and oral hair supplements. The MDhair hair treatment serums and shampoos contain phytoestrogens, including Quercetin (from Sophora japonica) and pumpkin seed oil. An excellent example of total supplements that contain phytoestrogens is the MDhair regrowth supplement which contains multiple phytoestrogens, including Quercetin, broccoli whole plant powder, green tea, and pumpkin seed powder.
How to fight menopause-related dry hair?
Menopause can lead to a variety of changes in a woman's body, including dry and brittle hair. Fortunately, there are products available that can help combat these changes, such as MDhair Conditioner and MDhair Peptide Bond Repair Oil.
The MDhair Conditioner is formulated with 16 active plant complexes and vegan proteins, including Saw Palmetto, Rosemary Leaf Oil, and Apple Stem Cell culture, to stimulate the hair follicles, thicken and strengthen the hair, and improve scalp health. It also contains Keratin, Silk Peptides, and Argan Oil, which provide a protective layer to the hair and scalp, add shine, and reduce frizz. Additionally, the conditioner includes Fo-Ti root extract, which helps to improve scalp health and reduce premature graying.
The MDhair Peptide Bond Repair Oil is designed specifically for individuals with dry, frizzy hair that has been damaged by coloring, perming, or harsh chemicals. It contains active oligopeptides, nourishing argan and avocado oils, and powerful antioxidants to protect hair from heat damage, increase shine and strength, and reduce frizz, flyaways, and split ends. To use, apply a few drops of the oil to dry or damp hair, focusing on the mid-length to ends or any areas of damage. These products are silicone-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, and color-safe, making them a safe and effective option for women experiencing menopause-related dry hair.
Other things to do to support healthy hair during menopause
Essential proteins, B vitamins, vitamins A, C, D, and E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc are just some of the necessities for a diet that supports hair health. Women need to be as gentle as possible with their hair during this time to prevent further damage and loss. The use of hot tools should be limited, as they can weaken and damage the hair. Try to avoid hairstyles that pull on the hair too tightly, as this can cause additional hair loss.
Q: What causes menopausal hair loss in women?
A: Menopausal hair loss is believed to be caused by hormonal fluctuations that occur during perimenopause and menopause, particularly the decreased production of estrogen and progesterone. Androgens (male hormones) also increase during this time, which can lead to hair follicle shrinkage and thinner hair.
Q: What are some of the effects of aging on hair density, diameter, strength, elasticity, and color?
A: Aging can lead to a reduction in hair density, diameter, strength, and elasticity, as well as changes in hair color. Hair diameter reaches its peak for females around the age of forty and then gradually decreases. In men, hair shaft diameter decreases with age, beginning at age 25.
Q: How does DHT contribute to hair loss, and what are some natural DHT blockers?
A: DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is a hormone that can contribute to hair loss by shrinking hair follicles. Natural DHT blockers include saw palmetto, nettle leaf extract, and Reishi and Maitake mushroom extracts.
Q: What are some of the best supplements for menopause and post-menopause-related hair loss?
A: Supplements that combine DHT blockers and essential nutrients can help reduce hair loss and promote healthier hair regrowth. Saw palmetto, nettle leaf extract, Reishi and Maitake mushroom extracts, biotin, vitamins B6, B9, and D, folate, zinc, copper, and iron are all commonly found in supplements designed for hair loss during menopause.
Q: What is minoxidil, and how does it work to promote hair growth?
A: Minoxidil is a medication approved by the FDA to treat male and female pattern hair loss. It is applied topically to the scalp, increasing blood flow to the area and supporting hair regrowth.
Q: What are some potential side effects of using minoxidil for hair loss?
A: Some potential side effects of minoxidil include dryness, irritation, and itching of the scalp.
Q: What are some of the best drug-free scalp treatment serums for menopause and post-menopause-related hair loss?
A: The MDhair Regrowth Serum and plant-based scalp serums formulated to promote scalp health and provide hair follicles with the micronutrients needed for hair regrowth are among the best drug-free scalp treatment serums.
Q: How do collagen supplements improve hair quality, and what are some of the key ingredients to look for in a collagen powder?
A: Collagen supplements contain hydrolyzed collagen peptides that the body can absorb and use to produce collagen and elastin naturally. Key ingredients to look for in a collagen powder include Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
Q: What are phytoestrogens, and how can they benefit women with menopause-related hair loss?
A: Phytoestrogens are plant-sourced extracts that mimic the effects of estrogen on hair follicles and support normal hair regrowth. They can be found in some scalp treatment serums and oral hair supplements and may benefit women with menopause-related hair loss by promoting hair regrowth.
Q: What are some additional tips for supporting healthy hair during menopause, such as diet and styling practices?
A: A diet rich in essential proteins, B vitamins, vitamins A, C, D, and E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc can support healthy hair. Women should also avoid hairstyles that pull on the hair too tightly and limit their use of hot tools, which can weaken and damage the hair.
Female pattern hair loss: Current treatment concepts
Prevalence of female pattern hair loss in post-menopausal women; a cross-sectional study
Interventions for female pattern hair loss
Hormonal therapy in female pattern hair loss
Nutrition of women with hair loss problems during the period of menopause
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