September is Menopause Awareness Month, so now is a good time to look at ways to make menopause more of a positive experience. The average age of U.S. women at the time of menopause is 51 years old and over 50% of women report hair loss by age 50, so don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’re all aware of the more common side effects of menopause: mood swings, depression, skin dryness, loss of libido and hot flashes, but what comes as a shock to most women is when their usually healthy hair unexpectedly starts thinning out.
Blame it on male hormones!
Hair loss is actually a common side effect of menopause. It’s just not as noticeable as men’s hair loss because it follows a completely different pattern. You probably notice that more hair clings to your brush and might assume that it's normal daily shedding. But gradually, as your hormone production declines, you start to realize that the central parting of your scalp is becoming wider. Or that you need three turns of an elastic band instead of two to throw your hair up into a ponytail.
Hair loss is often associated with hormonal changes, so hair loss during menopause makes sense. When your female hormones start declining, your male hormones - Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) made from testosterone - increases disproportionately. DHT is infamously known as a hair follicle assassin, so its role in menopausal hair loss isn’t that surprising. An increase in DHT is also why some women might experience fuzzy facial hair growth during menopause. The hair growth and hair loss effects of menopause depend on how sensitive you are to male hormones to begin with.
You still have so much life to live and you want to live it with healthy hair, so what to do?
Replacement hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that some women take during menopause might help. They aren’t necessarily hair regrowth treatments, but they can alleviate many menopausal symptoms. Taking hormones has its pros and cons, and the decision should be made taking your medical history into account. Be sure to discuss this thoroughly with your doctor. If it is recommended that you increase your DHT levels, think twice because it can actually cause increased hair loss.
One of the most effective hair regrowth treatments is low-level laser therapy, and it applies to menopausal hair loss too. It’s a natural solution that won’t cause any side effects like oral medications and you can expect a pretty high hair count increase (up to 30%) after just a few months of home hair laser treatments. Just make sure to use a high-quality device that’s recommended by physicians, like the Theradome LH80 PRO, a cordless, wearable and hands-free device that is recommended by doctors but used at home.
The 'surviving menopause with healthy hair' checklist
The good news is that you can definitely do something about hair loss, regardless of which transition in life (menopause or pre-menopause) you’re entering. For the best results, follow this checklist:
● Pay attention to early signs of thinning. The sooner you treat it the better your results will be.
● Take supplements such as zinc, selenium and biotin to keep your hair healthy from the inside out.
● Be proactive and start low-level laser therapy before you actually reach menopause to boost your natural hair growth cycle.
● If you’ve already entered menopause, incorporate these treatments into your beauty regimen at least twice a week.
● Keep track of your hair growth progress and take weekly progress photos. You look at yourself in the mirror every day, so improvements can be hard to notice sometimes.
● Don’t assume menopause is the problem. There are a thousand and one causes of hair loss in women - and you need to make sure you’re perfectly healthy.
Don’t forget that hormones aren’t the only cause of hair loss during menopause. Hair loss can occur for a range of reasons including genetics, stress, reactions to medications, excessive blow drying or brushing and more. However, whatever the cause, it's nice to know that you can do something about it by using the Theradome LH80 PRO.