HORMONAL IMBALANCES / MENOPAUSE
HORMONAL IMBALANCES / MENOPAUSE
The transition period known as the Menopause happens to all of us eventually. It can bring with it a whole host of varied symptoms, from the physical to the cognitive and emotional. And as if there wasn’t enough going on, many women in the transition also see a degree of hair loss. How can not having periods anymore affect your hair? Here’s how Menopause and hair loss are linked.
Now, this is a really good question. Why? Because the period which we’re going to call the Menopausal Transition actually encompasses three distinct stages. And only one of them is called Menopause. Confused? Allow us to explain…
Let’s start with a breakdown of what happens in your body during the Menopausal Transition. The entire thing is basically the result of your reproductive system winding down before stopping altogether. And that happens to us all for one simple, mind-blowing reason: there are no viable eggs left to keep it going.
And that’s mind-blowing because you’re born with all the eggs – or rather, the follicles that grow them – you’ll ever have. Yup, there’s a finite supply of good quality eggs in your ovaries, and every menstrual cycle, you grow multiple follicles, even though you only release one egg. So, by the time you reach your mid-40s, there’s a very good chance you’re starting to run low.
That’s the beginning of the Menopausal Transition.
The reason Menopause is described as a transition is because it can take years to go from running low to none at all. But even running low can cause a huge number of symptoms.
This initial stage is known as Perimenopause and typically starts around your mid-to-late 40s. The thing is, there’s a good chance you won’t notice the really early symptoms. Eventually though, those symptoms will become more frequent and, often, more severe. They include: irregular periods, longer or shorter cycles, irregular ovulation, random PMS, brain fog, sleep disturbance, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood swings… It’s a long list.
That said, the frequency, severity and how long symptoms last, or if you see any symptoms at all, will be individual to you. This stage can last for several years, and includes being period-free for 12 months in row.
In month 13, Menopause proper has started. It’s important to make the distinction here, because if you get to month 11 and start spotting, the clock resets. During this stage, symptoms still exist, but should be less severe and frequent and time goes on. Menopause typically starts at around 51 in Western countries, and could go on for a few years as well.
Once most of your symptoms have abated, you’re sleeping again and the hot flashes are bearable, you’re likely in the final stage. This is Perimenopause, also known as the rest of your like, and all things being equal, you should feel a lot better.
If your hair does whatever it likes a week before, or around your period, you already have some idea of what’s going on. Yup, it’s hormones. And, more specifically, Estrogen and Progesterone.
As those with hormone-sensitive hair will attest, both play a role in the health, growth and, yes, the obedience of your hair.
During the peaks and troughs of a menstrual cycle, those hormone fluctuations can cause more hair loss than usual. It’s generally brief and temporary, though, so for the most part, your hair doesn’t really notice.
But once your reproductive system enters Perimenopause, your Estrogen and Progesterone levels rise and fall randomly, and often for prolonged period. During Menopause, they reach their lowest levels, and that’s where they tend to stay once you’re in Postmenopause.
All of which can lead to thinning hair and loss, spread out over your scalp, as opposed to in patches or around your hairline. In addition, any regrowth may be thinner and weaker than before.
The good news is, your hair isn’t helpless in the face of the Menopausal transition. There are proven treatment and therapies that can slow and even stop hair loss, as well as encourage healthy regrowth and improve follicle health.
Hormone Replacement Therapy, otherwise known as HRT, can be effective in slowing loss and encouraging regrowth, as well as improving other symptoms. That said, it doesn’t necessarily work the same way for everyone where hair is concerned, as reactions to hormones can be highly individual.
Outside of hormones, topical treatments, gels or creams containing Minoxidil can also be very effective. Applied directly to the scalp, these treatments can also be very effective in slowing loss and encouraging follicle health.
But if you’re looking for a more natural solution, PRP might be worth considering. A highly innovative new technique, it involves using your own platelets to improve follicle and hair health. Hair loss through Menopause doesn’t have to permanent, or even inevitable. Talk to us.
At Hormona, we understand the emotional challenges that come with hair loss, and we are here to support you every step of the way.
Our advanced hormone tracking features allow you to monitor hormonal fluctuations throughout your menstrual cycle or different life stages. By understanding these patterns, you gain valuable insights into how hormones may be affecting your hair health.
Partnering for change
We are proud to be partnering up with Nordic Hair Clinic –Leading hair clinic in the Nordics. Together we want to change how women perceive their hormonal health and hair growth, and help them feel confident and empowered in their bodies.