Is there a relationship between hair loss and menopause?
The most common cause of hair loss is low thyroid function, which is common among menopausal women. Other causes include, but are not limited to: changes in hormone levels (decrease or increase), increased testosterone, increased stress (physical or emotional), various medications, scalp/dermatological issues and heredity. Any time sudden hair loss is experienced, one must consider events which took place up to three months prior to the hair loss, as factors affecting hair loss can often take up to three months to have an effect, i.e., were you diagnosed with something new in the past few months? Did you start taking medication during the past few months? Did you go through a traumatic experience (death of a loved one/friend, divorce and any other event that can be categorized as ‘traumatic’). Subsequently, any treatments for hair loss should be given at least three months to have noticeable effects.
When progesterone levels fall as a result of lack of ovulation, the body responds by increasing its production of the adrenal cortical steroid, androstenedione, an alternative precursor for the production of other adrenal cortical hormones. Androstenedione conveys some androgenic (male-like) properties, in this case, male pattern hair loss. When progesterone levels are raised by natural progesterone supplements, the androstenedione level will gradually fall, and your normal hair growth will eventually resume. Since hair growth is a slow process, it may take four to six months for the effects to become apparent. This can be corrected by using naturally compounded hormones.
Additional Information on hair loss and hair in general.
“Hair Loss in women: It’s more common than you may think
Originally published in Mayo Clinic Health Letter
“You wouldn’t guess it from the male-oriented ads for hair-growth products, but about two-thirds of women also face hair loss at some point in life. Not surprisingly, many find it as alarming as men do perhaps even more so.
For many, the loss is permanent. But some causes of hair loss in women are treatable. Seeing your physician can help you get to the root of the problem.
How your hair grows
Your hair is made of keratin (KER-uh-tin), the same protein that makes up your nails and the outer layer of your skin. The part you see and style is called the hair shaft. It’s actually dead tissue made by your hair follicles tiny bulb-like structures beneath your scalp’s surface.
The average head has about 100,000 hairs. Your hair grows and is shed regularly. You usually lose 50 to 100 strands each day. If you have a normal head of hair, you probably don’t notice this small loss.
Hair usually grows about half an inch per month, although this slows as you age. Each hair remains on your head for two to six years, and during most of this time is continually growing.
As a hair gets older, it may enter a resting stage in which it remains on your head but doesn’t grow. At the end of this stage, the hair usually falls out. Usually, the follicle replaces it in about six months.
But many factors can disrupt this cycle. The result can be that your hair falls out early or isn’t replaced.
Age and hormones
Most people naturally experience some hair loss as they get older. But age, changing hormones and heredity cause some to lose more hair than others. The result can be partial or total baldness, known as alopecia (al-o-PEE-she-uh).
Men are far more likely than women to have hair loss and baldness as they age. “Male-pattern baldness” is the receding hairline and hair loss on top of the head. It’s typically genetic.
But there’s also a “female-pattern baldness” also inherited that can cause modest to significant hair loss in women as they age. The hair loss can first become apparent in women by ages 25 to 30.
Female-pattern baldness starts with the replacement hairs becoming progressively finer and shorter. They can also become almost transparent.
Usually, the hair loss is far less prominent than it is in men. It also occurs in a different pattern. Most women first experience hair thinning and hair loss where they part their hair and on the top of the head, but don’t have a receding hairline.
About 50 percent of women who experience hair loss have female-pattern baldness. Unfortunately, it’s often permanent just as in men. (Dearest Note: Not all hair thinning and loss must be permanent. There have been cases of perimenopausal women, for example, experiencing thinning and lost hair who, once their hormone levels become balanced, can experience the thickness of previously thinning and the regrowth of lost hair that occurred during the ebbing and flowing hormonal years).