Thinning locks are a natural part of ageing, and menopause can accelerate this process. Breakage becomes more common too, but hormonal sensitivity in the scalp can be treated.
Hair care expert Philip Kingsley stated their trichologists can formulate “prescription-only scalp drops”.
These contain “anti-androgenic hormones” and a “follicle stimulant” that improve hair density within three to six months.
Oestrogen and hair loss
Oestrogen is said to be a “hair-friendly hormone”, by Philip Kingsley, as it helps to “keep the hair in its anagen (growth) phase for longer”.
As oestrogen levels deplete during the menopause, new hair follicles gradually become finer and more fragile.
In addition, lower oestrogen levels means you’re left with a higher rate of testosterone in the body; this can have a negative effect on hair follicles.
“In women whose hair follicles are sensitive to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), hair thinning during menopause is often more pronounced,” added Philip Kingsley.
Symptoms of menopausal hair thinning
- Your ponytail is thinner
- Your hair is not growing as long as it used to
- Your parting is wider
- Your scalp is more visible around the crown of your head
- A recession at your temples
- A loss of density at your frontal hairline
- A reduction in the thickness (volume) and length of each strand
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Another option is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which restores the body’s oestrogen “to an average pre-menopausal level”.
This can help with hair thinning, and other menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.
However, there are risks associated with taking HRT which will need to be discussed with your doctor.
In addition, only certain HRT therapies are considered “hair-friendly”, so it’s advisable to tell your doctor about any hair thinning concerns you may have.
Changes can include weight gain, lower bone density, hot flushes, vaginal dryness, and sleep troubles.
What are hot flushes?
Healthcare provider Bupa UK explained the signs of a hot flush:
- A sudden feeling of heat spreading through your body
- A red flush spreading across your chest, neck, face and head
- Heart palpitations
- Feelings of anxiety
- A lack of concentration
Hot flushes can appear at any time of day, and tend to last (on average) for four minutes.
It can occur a couple of times a week, or up to every hour; they can be unpredictable.