Menopause and Hair Loss

Menopause marks the end of fertility in women. Often called “the change of life,” menopause is a welcome relief to many women worried about unexpected pregnancies or who simply don’t want to deal with the aggravations of a monthly menstrual cycle. For others, menopause is viewed in a negative light because it occurs later in life and marks the end of a more youthful era. Whether you find the idea of menopause positive or negative, it’s important to be aware of the side effects, some of which go overlooked. First, review how menopause works so you can get a better idea of what’s occurring internally before taking the steps to fight menopause symptoms.

How does Menopause Occur?

Typically, menopause occurs when a woman reaches the average age of 51. Menopause can also be triggered by surgery, illness, or disease treatment, in which cases it is referred to as premature ovarian failure. Regular menopause presents side effects that usually indicate the process has begun. For starters, a woman usually experiences irregular periods before menopause has taken full effect. The entire process can last about four years. The first stage of menopause is called perimenopause. During this period, usually around age 47, menstrual cycles become irregular but remain ongoing. Technically, women can still get pregnant during perimenopause, but as with any pregnancy at a mature age, late childbearing presents a much higher health risk for both mother and child. The period referred to as menopause is when women have their last period. This is when the most widely discussed symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and trouble sleeping, occur. Finally, post menopause is the stage after a woman hasn’t had a period for at least one year. The stage continues for the duration of a woman’s life, and any post-menopausal vaginal bleeding is considered abnormal.

Hair Loss and Menopause

Most women talk about hot flashes and mood swings as a result of the hormonal fluctuations in their bodies during menopause. But hair loss is another big issue that does not receive as much attention, potentially due to its slow and discreet onset. When a woman’s body produces less estrogen and progesterone, she might experience hair loss on her head and more light, fuzzy hairs growing on the rest of her face. After menopause, an estimated 40 percent of women experience diffuse thinning or shedding on their scalp.

How to Fight Hair Loss from Menopause

Just because you are undergoing a hormonal change that leads to thinning hair doesn’t mean you can’t fight back. A variety of treatment options are available to treat and reverse hormonal hair loss that occurs before, during, or after menopause.

Topical Foam

Rogaine® is a topical foam that’s been in the beauty industry for years. Minoxidil, the generic name for Rogaine, was originally used to treat hypertension until it was approved as a treatment for hair loss in both men and women. For women, the only type of hair loss that can be targeted with Rogaine is androgenic alopecia. Unfortunately, using Rogaine can present some negative side effects. "Hypertrichosis," or hair growth on the face or other bodily areas, can occur in women with high blood pressure who use Rogaine. This side effect appears in about 3 to 5 percent of women who use the 2 percent solution, and higher among women using the 5 percent solution. Further, Rogaine is only useful at stopping or slowing hair loss – it is not a cure for baldness. Women especially may find the use of Rogaine somewhat troublesome given its messy application. Applying Rogaine to long hair is dirty and debilitating, forcing hair loss sufferers to carve out time in their busy schedule to undergo treatment and clean up afterward—usually twice daily.

Hair Transplant Surgery

Hair transplant surgery isn’t always an option for women, despite being a popular solution for men. Women’s hair loss, even as it occurs during menopause, is diffuse, unlike men who typically experience male pattern baldness on the crown of their head. For men, hair loss patterns are easily identified and transplant (recipient) sites are easy to target. But women who have an overall thinning appearance may not be able to undergo surgery, as there are no major balding areas to act as the host site for the transplant. Even women who are candidates for hair transplant surgery might avoid such an invasive procedure due to the time and financial commitment involved.

Low-level laser therapy

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), on the other hand, is a non-surgical approach to hair loss. Women are prime candidates for LLLT therapy because the laser dome covers the entire scalp, effectively targeting the front, sides, and top of the head for maximum hair follicle stimulation.

Capillus272™: A Wonderful Option for Women

If you’re looking to prevent and treat hair loss associated with menopause, the Capillus272 Pro is the safest and most convenient option to use in the privacy of your own home. Depending on your specific scenario, it also might be the most effective. “I do find that some women are not good candidates for hair transplantation,” says Dr. Robert Leonard, acclaimed celebrity hair transplant surgeon. “So this is a wonderful option, especially for women to use.”

Take a Free Hair Loss Evaluation Online

To learn more about hair loss in women and how you can fight it, take our hair loss evaluation today. If you’re a candidate for LLLT therapy, we can find a provider in your area so you can diminish hair shedding as it relates to menopause.

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