Hair loss or thinning commonly affects most people as they age, and it is estimated that millions of people experience hair loss. Hair loss caused by aging can usually not be reversed, but there may be certain steps you can take to prevent it from continuing or slow its impact. Although hair loss can be a distressing sign of aging for some women to experience, it is usually not medically serious, and if you are comfortable with your hair loss, there is no reason to treat it. Keep reading to find out what exactly hair loss is and what causes it.
What Is Hair Loss after Menopause?
Hair loss, also known as alopecia, means that a woman is losing more hair than she is growing. A typical hair grows approximately ¼ of an inch per month, and continues growing for up to six years before it falls out and is replaced with another hair. Hair loss occurs when the amount of hair falling surpasses the amount of hair being produced.
Hair loss can be difficult to accept as women age. Women can feel self-conscious about their appearance or like they are losing a part of themselves. Understanding why hair loss happens and how it is a natural step of aging for many people can help women embrace and accept their bodies.
What Causes Hair Loss after Menopause?
The causes of hair loss can be varied, but whether or not a person experiences hair loss is usually due to genetics and is hereditary. It is natural that hair follicles weaken with age. However, there are many reasons a person may be experiencing hair loss, including:
Nutrition deficiency, including a deficit of protein, vitamin A, or iron
Weight loss or an eating disorder
Hormonal changes due to stress, pregnancy, or menopause
Hairstyles that pull at the hair or harsh hair care products
Over 30 diseases have hair loss as a symptom. Thyroid disease, anemia, autoimmune diseases, ringworm, cicatricial (scarring) alopecia, and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia can all cause hair loss. It is important to seek medical attention to treat the underlying causes of these diseases.
Certain medicines, including blood thinners, high doses of vitamin A, some birth control pills, anabolic steroids, and some medicines and treatments used to treat cancer, arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems, and high blood pressure may cause hair loss.
Testosterone helps produce hair, but a hormone deriving from testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the main contributing factor for hair loss in men. However, hair loss in women is more complicated, and DHT may be one of several factors that can cause hair loss in women.
If you have experienced sudden or rapid hair loss or you feel like you have an underlying condition that caused your hair loss, it is important that you go to see a medical practitioner. Click on the following link to learn more about what hair loss treatments are available.
- American Academy of Dermatology. (2015). Hair Loss. Retrieved August 13, 2015, from https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/e---h/hair-loss
- National Institute of Health. (2012). Aging changes in hair and nails. Retrieved August 13, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004005.htm