Your partner has started menopause, and she's begun to experience symptoms that can be difficult to deal with both physically and emotionally. What can you do to help? Menopause symptoms like hair loss may feel like an uphill battle at times, but there are things you can do to support your partner through this experience.
Shedding hair is not unusual: women generally lose 100 - 200 strands of hair every day. There are, however, multiple factors that can lead to hair loss, including pregnancy, hormonal contraception, stress, and menopause.
Supporting Your Partner during Menopausal Hair Loss
Here are some ways you can help your partner get through menopausal hair loss.
The first way to help with a problem is to understand it. Hair loss is relatively common during menopause, mainly as a result of natural hormonal fluctuations. Alopecia, as it is also known, means that the amount of hair lost outweighs the amount of hair produced. Thinning hair can be distressing and can affect your partner's self-esteem.
Understand what hair means to your partner
Understanding the significance of hair for your partner will make you more able to help her deal with hair loss. Hair is often more important to women than it is to men. Your partner may spend quite a bit of time styling her hair, and it may be an important part of her personal style or a distinguishing aspect of her self-image. She is also accustomed to her hair looking a certain way, and when that changes, her sense of normality can be disrupted. In this light, it makes sense that hair loss can make a woman feel irritable or depressed. It's important to communicate with your partner and understand how hair loss is affecting her.
Love your partner
Hair loss, in most cases, makes a woman feel more conscious of her image and how she appears to others. Media and social norms put a large amount of pressure on women to look a certain way, so things like hair loss or weight gain can unfairly affect your partner's self esteem. You can help her through these feelings by listening, being supportive, and reminding her every day that she is beautiful and loved.
Help your partner find solutions
Reducing stress, balancing hormone levels, healthy lifestyle changes, and herbal supplements are all options to tackle hormonal imbalance and hair loss. A healthy diet and regular exercise are always the first steps in combating menopause symptoms, and your partner may want to try natural supplements and relaxation techniques as well. Do some research or talk to a doctor about the best treatment options for her.
More Information about Hair Loss
Approximately half of all women experience some form of hair loss during menopause. Though it may be an upsetting symptom, remind your partner that she is not alone. Healthy habits and support from her partner are key, and there is a variety of treatments available to her. Follow the links below to read more about hair loss treatments.
- Dinh, Q.Q. & Sinclair, R. (2007). Female pattern hair loss: Current treatment concepts. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2(2), 189-199. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684510/
- Dr. McNair, Trisha.(n.d)."Hair Loss".Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk.
- Mayo Clinic.(n.d)."Hair Loss". Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com
- National Health Service UK. (2012). Hair loss - causes. Retrieved June 26, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hair-loss/Pages/Causes.aspx
- Riedel-Baima, B. & Riedel, A. (2008). Female pattern baldness may be triggered by low oestrogen to androgen ratio. Endocrine regulations, 42(1), 13-16. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18333699
- The American Hair Loss.(n.d)."Women Hair Loss".Retrieved from http://www.americanhairloss.org.