Why Menopause Doesn’t Have to Mean Hair Loss

By the age of 50, half of all women experience some sort of hair thinning, according to the North American Menopause Society. While hair thinning may be predetermined by genetics, there are also plenty of other causes of hair loss in a woman's 50s and 60s. To avoid significantly thinning hair, women should identify the underlying cause of their hair loss and aggressively seek treatment. With help from a doctor, a hair loss specialist and a combination of medications, topical treatments and other hair-health boosters, many menopausal women report they can stop their hair loss. How Menopause Causes Hair Loss When a woman begins menopause, her body stops producing the same levels of estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones encourage hair growth and overall hair health, so many women experience a drop-in hair thickness when their hormones start to change. As these hormones decrease, many women's androgens become more potent. These androgens can trigger hair thinning, and it can also cause facial hair in women. To treat menopause, doctors may recommend that women take testosterone. Androgen-sensitive women may experience even more hair loss as a result of this treatment. Plus, many women entering menopause may have taken hormonal birth control, which encouraged hair growth. When they stop using birth control, women may notice thinning that occurs as hair growth returns to normal levels. Other Hair-Loss Factors Women may attribute hair thinning to menopause, but there are other causes of hair loss that coincide with menopause. First, menopause can often cause weight gain, and weight-control diets can cause hair loss. Weight gain can also cause increased androgen levels, leading to thinning hair. Second, certain women are genetically predisposed to hair loss. While most women over 50 [...]