As you get older, it’s normal for your hair to start to thin. But when it becomes more noticeable, it can damage your confidence. Menopause-related hair loss is one of the more visible symptoms of getting older, which can make you feel self-conscious. So it’s important to know how to reverse thinning hair after menopause.
Here, you’ll learn why menopause leads to hair loss and 12 ways you can reverse thinning hair after menopause.
When you go through menopause, your hormone levels change dramatically. Oestrogen prolongs the amount of time hair follicles spend in the growth phase of the hair growth cycle . So when your oestrogen levels drop throughout menopause, your hair may move quickly into the shedding phase.
This decrease in oestrogen levels can also lead to the development of female pattern hair loss, a common cause of hair thinning in older women .
A reduction in oestrogen and progesterone can cause an imbalance in your male and female sex hormones. That means male sex hormones like dihydrotestosterone (DHT) (which occur naturally in all women as well as men) can have more of an impact on your hair, leading to more hair shedding during and after menopause . It can also cause facial and body hair growth.
Certain types of hair loss stemming from menopause are irreversible without specific female hair loss treatments. That’s why it’s important to understand what’s causing your hair thinning before you start to tackle it.
The causes of women’s hair loss are often complex. Even if you suspect your symptoms are related to the menopause, various factors including vitamin deficiencies, damaging styling practices, and hormone changes can all contribute to the problem. So before you can reverse hair thinning, you need to find out the cause with hair loss blood tests and other assessments.
Ready to tackle your hair thinning and find out how to make your hair thicker after menopause? Here are 12 treatments that can help you reverse your symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help with hair loss, as it rebalances your hormones. That’s why HRT is often used to treat other menopause symptoms, including night sweats, hot flushes, and sleep problems.
Oestrogen replacement therapy can adjust your hormones back to premenopausal levels, reducing symptoms caused by hormonal changes . However, if your hair loss isn’t caused by hormone changes, HRT is unlikely to have an impact.
Plus, it’s not always a straightforward decision to have HRT, even if it does have promising results . Some menopausal women (such as those with high blood pressure or a history of cancer) aren’t suited to HRT, so it may not be available to everyone.
Finasteride is a drug that blocks the production of the male sex hormone DHT. Finasteride for women isn’t suitable for younger women, as it can interfere with the menstrual cycle and male foetal development in pregnancy.
However menopausal or postmenopausal women may be able to use Finasteride safely. Multiple research papers show that Finasteride can help treat symptoms of female pattern hair loss [5-7].
Minoxidil is one of the most common hair loss treatments for menopausal and postmenopausal women. With proven safety and effectiveness (although there can be some mild side effects) Minoxidil is often the first-line treatment for all types of alopecia .
Unlike Finasteride and HRT, Minoxidil doesn’t impact your hormones. It works by dilating the scalp blood vessels so more nutrients can reach the hair follicles. So it may be a good option if there are non-hormonal factors contributing to your hair loss.
Spironolactone is a drug commonly used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It works by reducing androgen (male sex hormone) production and has been trialed as a hair loss treatment for postmenopausal women in recent years .
Unlike other treatments, Spironolactone for hair loss hasn’t yet been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). So it needs to be prescribed off-label by a qualified trichologist.
Heat styling tools like hair straighteners and curlers can cause your hair to become dry, brittle, and snap off. Hair breakage around the crown can make your hair look even thinner, so avoid heat styling as much as possible.
Scalp massage for hair growth can stimulate blood flow to the follicles, helping them produce healthy hair. But this is by no means a quick fix — you’ll need to commit to the treatment to see results.
Start by massaging your scalp for 20 minutes twice a day. Repeat this for at least six months to see visible hair growth coming through.
Try combining scalp massage with one of the best shampoos for menopausal hair to improve symptoms of hair damage.
A hair transplant is the only way to restore permanent hair loss. So if you have a condition like female pattern hair loss, a female hair transplant may be the best option for regaining healthy tresses, especially if you’re in the latter stages of hair loss.
Before and after hair transplant results at the Wimpole Clinic.
Some essential oils may help boost hair growth following menopause. Proven essential oils for hair growth include:
Vitamins for hair growth aren’t always useful. But if you have a clinical nutritional deficiency or inadequacy, vitamin supplements may help you reverse thinning hair after menopause (or at least prevent further hair loss).
Vitamin D deficiency is very common in menopausal women, and has been linked to the development of female pattern hair loss . So consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement if you’re affected.
Derma rolling for hair growth — also known as microneedling — can improve the absorption of topical hair loss treatments like Minoxidil. This can enhance the hair growth effects of Minoxidil, giving you thicker, fuller hair.
Derma rolling may also work on its own. By creating tiny wounds in the scalp, derma rolling can activate stem cells in the follicle hair bulge and generate platelet-derived growth factors, both of which can help with hair regrowth.
Diet is closely linked to hair loss in menopausal and postmenopausal women . So it’s essential that you eat a balanced diet that’s rich in healthy hair foods. This includes sources of:
Don’t over-rely on supplements to get nutrients into your body. It’s much better for you to get them from your diet, as there’s very little evidence to suggest supplements can help unless you have a clinical nutritional deficiency.
Some medicines may be linked with hair loss, including those used to treat menopause symptoms. For example, the following drugs may cause mild or temporary alopecia:
Don’t stop taking your medication because you think it may be linked to hair loss. Talk to your GP before you make any changes.
For more advice and a personalised treatment plan to reverse menopause-related hair loss, book a consultation at the Wimpole Clinic. Our team of female hair loss specialists is on hand to assess your hair loss and offer all the guidance you need to restore your thinning hair.
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