Menopause, Hair Loss, and Too Much Estrogen

by Donna Palmer
(Kailua, HI)

It’s no secret that menopause means you will be experiencing lots of bodily changes. But what you may not have been expecting is for menopause to cost you your hair! It is true though, that most women will experience hair loss during menopause. How much hair loss you experience and how long the loss lasts depends on a number of factors including genetic propensity, lifestyle, diet, and health.

Even though it is by no means rare for a menopausal woman to suffer from alopecia, many doctors don’t seem to have a solution and can be unsympathetic. The condition is often overlooked as a normal part of the aging process. Sometimes, Rogaine is suggested; but while Rogaine has the potential to enhance existing hair it does not offer a real solution to the original and underlying cause of your hair loss. And it cannot prevent future thinning.

Finding The Cause

Alopecia can be caused by many conditions but most hair loss in women (and men) can be attributed to hormonal factors. It has become obvious that hair is very sensitive to large hormonal shifts. Think about getting on and off birth control, pregnancy, and yes, menopause. Changes in your body’s levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can and will likely affect hair growth. So much so that if a woman is experiencing a significant amount of hair loss, the first thing to consider is whether there has been any significant hormonal changes.

This is why doctors will say that it is “normal” for women to have hair loss as they head into menopause. A better way to put it is that it is understandable that a menopausal woman experience hair loss. One great misconception about menopause is that the symptoms of menopause are always caused by an estrogen deficiency. The symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are caused by changes and fluctuations of hormones. When it comes to hormones, balance is key. Estrogen levels do fall as women head into menopause, but the hormone progesterone falls much more.

Hormonal imbalance is the primary cause of what is known as male pattern baldness when it occurs in women. This pattern of hair loss can be seen in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, sometimes after pregnancy, and when heading into menopause. The problem is exacerbated when some women have a genetic predisposition to male pattern hair loss. If all this information has gotten you down a bit, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. The good news is that most cases of female pattern hair loss do not result in complete baldness. There’s more good news; hormonal hair loss in women can be treated. Women who are able to balance their hormones can stop the hair loss and restore a full head of hair.

...To continue reading this article and for more tips on how you can beat hair loss visit HowToStopHairLossforWomen.com.

Comments for Menopause, Hair Loss, and Too Much Estrogen

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Sep 05, 2012
Menopause, Hair Loss, and Too Much Estrogen
by: Wray

Hi Donna Thanks for this, it needs to be told. I had an enquiry only today, so now I can give this link to anyone suffering from it. Unfortunately many women experience hair loss when they first start using progesterone, and of course blame it on that. So your article will help clear up the confusion. Take care Wray

Sep 05, 2012
Hair Loss is Tricky
by: Donna

Hi Wray,

Yes, dealing with women's hair loss can be tricky but it's not impossible to sort out. Progesterone therapy is just one of the simple things women can do to start to balance their hormones. In the case of hormonal hair loss, small steps in the right direction can make a big difference.

Sep 06, 2012
Hair Loss is Tricky
by: Wray

Hi Donna I do agree with you! Take care Wray

Feb 14, 2013
Too much progesterone
by: Anonymous

And too much progesterone can cause hair loss! A lack of estrogen can make your hair shed like crazy. Progesterone needs to be added in small doses. Some people cannot tolerate Progesterone well. I wish web sites would stop saying Progesterone is the end all to hair loss. Its not.

Feb 16, 2013
Too much progesterone
by: Wray

Hi there I agree progesterone is not the end to all hair loss, neither Donna or I are saying that. There are a huge number of factors involved. In a manner of speaking you are right about oestrogen, simply because testosterone has risen. And it's this which can cause Hair Loss. Commonly known as male pattern baldness, it also occurs in women too. We make more testosterone each month than oestrogen. But most of it is converted to oestrogen by the enzyme aromatase. If aromatase levels drop of course oestrogen drops, and by default testosterone rises. Please see this chart by Genova Diagnostics showing the steroid pathway. So it's not so much a lack of oestrogen causing hair loss, but excess testosterone. Most pregnant women have wonderful hair, it's due to the 400mg/day or more progesterone which is secreted by the placenta. The people who cannot tolerate progesterone are those using far too little, this stimulates oestrogen causing in some cases severe Oestrogen Dominance. Blog sites do progesterone a great disservice, I wish people would read the medical studies done on it, and not what's written on the blogs. Donna has an excellent website on hair loss, please take the time to look through it. Take care Wray

Nov 17, 2013
Web site?
by: Anonymous

Hi, I tried following the link to Donna's web site on How Women Can Stop Hairloss, but it seems to be unavailable. Does anyone know if this can still be found? Thanks

Nov 19, 2013
Web site?
by: Wray

Hi there You are right, it isn’t working. But I have found another site with her info here. She gives the same link we have on our site on that page, and that doesn’t work either. Let’s hope she see’s our comments and responds. This is another link to her info here, with another link not working. Take care Wray

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