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by Better Not Younger
October 07, 2020
Menopause-related hormone changes give us mood swings, insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, weight gain, and to top it all off — hair loss.
Our hormones are a significant factor in the health of our hair and scalp. When hormone levels fluctuate, we may experience hair loss. Having a baby or a thyroid condition are other reasons women may experience hormonal hair loss.
Our hair follicles are mini-organs that require constant blood supply and nourishment to continue producing hairs. Changes to our scalp and hair’s underlying biology can cause dryness, shedding, and hair loss. Thankfully, there are things we can do to stop hormonal hair loss.
A hormone is an organic substance produced in our endocrine system that regulates physiological activities in our bodies. They are transported to their targets throughout your body via your bloodstream to stimulate cells or tissues into action.
Hormones are essential for controlling most primary bodily functions; therefore, a hormonal disruption can impact various physical processes. Hormones aid in regulating your:
Several hormones become disrupted during menopause, and it is this imbalance that impacts your sensitive hair follicles and triggers hair loss. Levels of female hormones like estrogen and progesterone plummet, while male hormones like testosterone and its derivative, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), come to be more prominent.
Here’s a closer look at how each of these hormones can impact your hair and scalp:
Estrogen is a female hormone released by your ovaries to regulate ovulation. In addition to its role in the reproductive system, estrogen impacts your hair’s growth cycle. With normal estrogen levels, your follicles spend more time in the growing stage before entering the resting phase and shedding your strands.
We experience irregular ovulation and unpredictable estrogen fluctuations during perimenopause. Once you arrive at menopause, your estrogen production drops off dramatically. With less estrogen available in your body, your follicles shed hair sooner and spend more time in the resting phase — this leads to thinner hair.
The testosterone hormone is an androgen, which means its primary purpose relates to male reproductive system development. Women have this hormone as well, though generally at much lower levels than men. During menopause, elevated testosterone concentrations interact with an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase to become DHT, a hormone that shrinks your hair follicles.
DHT is another androgen hormone and is believed to have the most influence on menopausal hair loss. The hormone binds to receptors in your hair follicles, causing them to shrink. These contracted follicles shed hair prematurely and produce narrower strands.
Even if your DHT levels are tested and found within normal levels, this hormone can still contribute to hormonal hair loss and thinning. This is due to the lower levels of female hormones versus the higher DHT concentration in your system.
Progesterone is a hormone produced by your ovaries after you ovulate to prepare the endometrial lining for a fertilized egg. Additionally, progesterone works to inhibit the enzyme that turns testosterone into DHT. When ovulation ceases, progesterone levels also decrease significantly, and DHT levels rise.
Menopausal hormone imbalance is the likely culprit behind the ever-growing hair wad in your shower drain. Fortunately, there are alternatives to accepting thinner, wispy locks.
One of the first things you should do is to see your doctor. They can examine your scalp and hair and order blood or saliva tests to check your hormone levels. Once you know the imbalance you are dealing with, you and your doctor can discuss options to remedy the situation. Possibilities include:
Minoxidil is a topical medication applied directly to your scalp to encourage hair growth through increased circulation. It does this by dilating your skin's blood vessels. Many women need to use minoxidil every day for up to a year before seeing results.
HRT is the reintroduction of estrogen and progesterone or synthetic versions of these substances that can mimic their function in your body. By increasing these female hormones, it may be possible to reverse hormonal hair loss and other menopause symptoms.
Hormone therapy was a common and popular treatment for post-menopausal women; however, clinical trials have indicated health risks. Some women receiving HRT exhibited higher rates of strokes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, blood clots, and heart disease. Your doctor can help you decide if the benefits outweigh the risks for you.
Some medications act as anti-androgens, meaning they can reduce or inhibit testosterone and DHT's effects in your body. Oral contraceptives and spironolactone therapy are the most commonly prescribed anti-androgen treatments.
As with HRT, there are side effects and risks associated with this remedy. For example, they could lead to depression, libido changes, weight gain, and fatigue. They could also exacerbate pre-existing conditions, including heart problems or blood clots.
Oleanolic acid has shown promise in suppressing the actions of DHT and thwarting hair loss. Topical products that contain this plant-based compound include the following solutions from Better Not Younger:
Extreme hormonal changes typically strike when we hit our late 40s and early 50s. During these years, various physiological symptoms appear, including menopausal hair loss. The underlying cause can be chiefly blamed on fluctuations of estrogen, testosterone, DHT, and progesterone.
Get plenty of rest and consume a healthy diet that includes antioxidant- and vitamin-rich foods, including blueberries, flaxseed, leafy greens, and yogurt. Use hair care solutions by Better Not Younger.
Our company addresses hormonal hair loss issues with products formulated with natural ingredients to suppress follicle-damaging hormones while nourishing your scalp and roots. Please stop by our Shop page to check out our full line of Better Not Younger products.
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