Resources / Hair Loss in Menopause: Causes & Treatments

Hair Loss in Menopause: Causes & Treatments

Menopausal hair loss can be a cause of significant stress and unhappiness for many women. The hormonal changes that occur during menopause may cause thinning hair or slow growth, as well as unwanted hair growth, particularly on the face.

What causes hair loss during menopause?

As is the case with many menopausal symptoms, hair loss may occur as a consequence of alterations in levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen, in particular, is important for the maintenance of healthy hair, and as levels decline, changes in hair growth and quality may occur. 

During menopause, the ratio of estrogen to testosterone changes leading to a relative excess of testosterone. Testosterone may cause shrinkage of hair follicles, which may also contribute to hair loss. Testosterone excess may also be associated with increased facial hair.

Other causes of menopausal hair loss

Hair loss may be caused by factors other than menopause, and it’s important to remember that even in menopausal women, these may cause or contribute to hair loss.

  • Stress: Stress may cause or contribute to hair loss in several ways:
    • It may alter the balance between the number of individual hairs that are actively growing (anagen phase) and those that are resting (telogen phase), resulting in more hairs moving from anagen to telogen in which hairs are no longer growing, but stay on the head for a time before falling out. This is called telogen effluvium and is the commonest cause of hair loss
    • Stress may also cause some people to pull their hair out (trichotillomania)
    • Alopecia areata is a specific type of hair loss that results in bald patches across the scalp face and body. The cause of this is unclear, but it is thought to be related to the effect of stress hormones on the immune system which leads to the targeting of hair follicles by immune cells.
  • Illness: Some illnesses, such as thyroid disease, may result in hair loss, so tests may be necessary to determine the cause. Hair loss may also occur as a consequence of treatments such as chemotherapy.
  • Genetics: Baldness in women may run in families. Although this is more common in older women, it may also affect women of menopausal age.

Other areas of the body affected by menopausal hair loss?

Hair loss in menopause most commonly affects the head, however, some women also experience hair loss on the arms and legs as well as in the pubic region.

As with all menopausal symptoms, every woman’s experience will be different, and some may not be affected by hair loss at all.

Is menopausal hair loss permanent?

Although menopausal hair loss is usually temporary, regrowth can be unpredictable, and it may sometimes take years for some women to see normal hair growth return. For some women, hair loss may be permanent, and although total hair loss is extremely unusual, their hair never returns to its previous state.

Treatment for menopausal hair loss

What can be done to treat hair loss during menopause?

  • Topical solutions: Topical scalp preparations such as minoxidil have been shown to stimulate hair growth in men and may be helpful in some women depending on the cause of hair loss. These solutions may take a few months to take effect and need to be taken consistently and on an ongoing basis.
  • Laser therapy: Targeted low-energy laser may help to stimulate hair growth and may be helpful in menopause though there are few data to support this. The long-term effects are unknown.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): HRT is effective in treating many menopause symptoms and may be helpful for hair loss. Although HRT does not always restore hair to its pre-menopausal state, it may help to slow hair loss, as well as reduce the severity of other menopausal symptoms.

Prevention of  menopausal hair loss

While some causes of hair loss cannot be avoided, certain measures may be helpful for the general health of the hair and scalp.

  • Hair care: Ensuring proper hair care. This includes reducing the use of heat damaging tools like hair straighteners and dryers and avoiding hair products with harsh chemicals.
  • Sun protection: Protecting the scalp from sunlight and UV rays is very important, both for hair health and for the prevention of sun damage and skin cancers
  • General lifestyle: Eating a healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption are all important for overall general health. Making good health a priority is one of the best ways to ensure good health during and after the post-menopause transition.

Specialist support for menopausal hair loss & other symptoms

Every woman’s experience of menopause is different. At NewWoman Health, we provide tailored medical support and treatment to suit individual needs, including hair loss advice and one-to-one nutritional advice.

Whatever your symptoms, you’re not alone. Book your personal medical consultation to start your journey towards managing your menopause symptoms and maximising your quality of life.


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You are not alone. As a local example, in Manchester over 46% of council employees are female and over 40 years old. In a CIPD survey (2019) over 30% of women said they were unable to work because of menopausal symptoms.

Only 25% said they could tell their manager the real reason for their absence. The Council account for nearly 7% of all employment in Manchester. They implemented a new Menopause policy in March 2022. CIPD survey | Manchester Council Menopause Policy | CIPD Manchester

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