Hair Loss and Menopause
Traditionally hair loss is a condition associated with men, however it is a reality for an astonishing number of women as well. Particularly during menopause when hormones are thrown out of balance in the body, hair loss is an unfortunately common reality. Oftentimes this is one of the first symptoms of menopause that a woman notices. Hair loss can be one of the more depressing symptoms of menopause, as a woman´s hair is associated with her femininity, sexuality, and individual sense of style.
About Hair Loss
The average head contains approximately 100,000 hairs at any given time. Hair is formed from keratin, a protein that also forms the nails and outer layer of skin. Above the surface, the part that is brushed and styled, each strand of hair is actually dead tissue secreted by hair follicles which exist below the scalp´s surface. This visible section is called the hair shaft.
Hair remains on the head for a length of time between 2 and 6 years, during which it is continually growing. This growing phase is known as the time of anagen. By contrast, there is also a resting phase known as telogen, about 3 months in duration, in which the hair stops growing, after which it generally falls out, creating hair loss.
It is normal to lose 50-100 hairs each day. These are constantly regenerated by the hair follicles. However due to various reasons, it is possible for a far greater hair loss to occur, particularly in women undergoing the transition of menopause.
Not all hair loss is the same. As it can be caused by a variety of factors, there are a corresponding number of ways in which it might manifest itself. When imagining hair loss, many people automatically think of male pattern baldness first, which is characterized by the receding hairline and bald patch on top of the head. In menopausal women this hair loss tends to not be as noticeable, with an overall thinning in most cases rather than bald spots.
Symptoms of Hair Loss
As some degree of hair loss is normal, it may be difficult to ascertain whether or not the amount of hair being shed is to a degree that warrants concern. The following are some of the most commons symptoms of hair loss in menopause:
- Hair falls out in large clumps when washing it.
- Large snarls of hair appear in brush or comb.
- Small bald patches appear on the scalp.
- Scalp is red, oily, and/or itchy.
- Noticeable hair thinning on front, sides or top of head.
The average head of hair has about 100,000 hairs. If experiencing these symptoms, it is likely that hair loss has reached the point of being a problem.
Causes of Hair Loss
Hair loss during menopause is usually a direct effect of fluctuating hormone levels. Two main hormones are involved in hair growth: estrogen and testosterone. In estrogenic alopecia, the most common type of hair loss for menopausal women, this loss is directly attributed to a fall in estrogen levels. Estrogen helps hair grow faster, and stay on the head for a longer duration, leading to thicker, healthier hair.
Estrogen is not the only hormone that comes into play with the issue of menopausal hair loss. Androgens, or male hormones, increase as estrogen levels decrease. This causes androgenic alopecia, another form of hair loss.
An androgen known as dihydrotestosterone, or DHT appears to bind to hair follicles and force them to go into their “resting” phases, or telogen, sooner than is normal, causing the new hairs to grow ever thinner with each cycle of hair growth. Testosterone also shrinks the hair follicles, causing hair loss on the head, yet a greater production of hair on the face.
It is not only hormones that can cause a decrease in hair production during menopause however. There are a number of other causes that can lead to hair loss.
While for menopausal women the cause of hair loss almost always is at least partially hormonal, there are many other causes that may also play a role in hair loss during menopause; including medical, psychological, or lifestyle triggers.
Treatment for Hair loss during Menopause:
- Lifestyle Changes
- The Manna Menopause Support Supplement, with 100% natural phyto-estrogens.