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Dry brittle hair menopause: How to Treat Menopause Hair Changes, Loss, and Thinning

How to Treat Menopause Hair Changes, Loss, and Thinning

“The change” doesn’t happen all at once. In fact, you’ll likely start to notice smaller shifts during a phase called perimenopause—which can be quite the hormonal roller coaster. For the eight to 10 years preceding menopause, hormone levels rise and fall and rise and fall. It can be confusing: Was that a hot flash, or is it warm in here? Do I have insomnia, or did I drink my latte too late? Is my period gone for good or just a few months? And, surprisingly, you can add this one to your list of questionable symptoms: Is it just a bad hair day, or is it my hormones?

Yup, your hair is among the many things your hormones can alter during both the perimenopausal and post-menopausal years. The hormones involved—mainly estrogen and progesterone—affect your hair’s growth cycles, your scalp and follicle health, and the natural oils that keep hair smooth and lustrous. Because of that, you may experience thinning, lack of density, texture changes, and dryness as estrogen wanes. But, again, it’s not a linear process. “During perimenopause, it isn’t that your estrogen is gone; it’s fluctuating,” says Debra Lin, PhD, hair science expert and chief scientific officer at Better Not Younger, a haircare brand. “So sometimes your hair may look thicker and healthier; other times it may be thinner and duller,” she says. When your menstrual cycle has stopped for an entire year, you’re officially in menopause—and those less desirable hair changes may be permanent. To get to the root of these hormonal hair shifts, we asked experts—some of whom have experienced these changes firsthand—to break down exactly what’s happening and recommend ways to combat it.

Hormonal Hair

Whether you’re in perimenopause or have gone through menopause, you may experience the following hair changes.


If your ponytail feels lighter these days, you’re not alone. A recent study in the journal Menopause found that more than half of the nearly 200 postmenopausal women studied had experienced female pattern hair loss. “As estrogen starts to decline, the delicate balance between estrogen and the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is responsible for masculinizing changes such as hair loss, gets disrupted,” says Audrey Kunin, MD, a dermatologist in Kansas City, Missouri, and founder of DERMAdoctor, a skincare brand. Women who have a genetic predisposition to hair thinning may begin to see an increase in hair loss. “I’ve seen my hairline recede—a telltale sign of hormonal hair loss,” says Kunin.

Low estrogen levels can also affect your hair growth cycle, shortening the growth phase and delaying the stage when the hair regrows, says Lin. Your hair follicles also miniaturize with age, so the strands coming out of them are finer, resulting in an overall lack of density.

Dry, Dull Strands

While she hasn’t noticed significant shedding, Ellen Marmur, MD, a dermatologist in New York City and founder of MM Skincare, has seen changes in her scalp and strand quality while in perimenopause. “My hair and scalp feel more fragile,” she says. Just as your skin gets dry as estrogen is on the decline, your scalp and, by extension, your hair strands lack hydration, too. “A reduction in estrogen results in reduced sebum (oil) production, which normally lubricates the scalp. The result is dry skin and a flaky scalp,” says Kunin. And, since that hydrating scalp oil isn’t there to work itself down your strands, hair is also drier, as well as duller, more brittle, and breakage-prone.

Scalp Sensitivity

Dryness can make a scalp cranky. The skin’s barrier (the outermost layer) forms tiny cracks when it’s dry, which allows irritants to get into it and cause inflammation. “Plus, if you’re experiencing thinning then your scalp is more exposed to environmental aggressors (such as UV rays) and harsh ingredients. This leads to more inflammation,” says Lin.

Texture Changes

“You may find that your hair feels wirier, or it’s suddenly curly in the back, and you have two textures on one head,” says Katelyn Ellsworth, owner of The Roslyn Salon in San Diego. Hormones can affect the shape of some hair follicles, changing them from, say, circle-shaped follicles that produce straight hair to oval-shaped follicles that produce curly hair.
The coarse, wiry feel of some strands stems from the lack of natural oils. Sebum helps to maintain hair’s pH in a healthy acidic range. “Acidity keeps the hair cuticle cells lying tightly against each other like shingles on a roof,” says Kunin. But less sebum throws that pH balance off-kilter. “Without the acidity, the cuticle cells begin to lift up and pull apart, leaving hair looking dull and feeling rough,” she says.

Your Menopause Hair Plan

Hormone replacement (HR) is one way to stave off the changes in your hair—and the rest of your body—so speak to your doctor to see if this is an option for you. You can also consider these topical treatments, supplements, and styling tips.

Stimulate Growth

Topical treatments can help keep hair in the growth phase longer. “If you’re losing more than 100 hairs per day, using a product with 5 percent topical minoxidil for women can help reduce the rate of hair loss,” Kunin says. Research has also put a spotlight on LED therapy, in particular red light. A study in the Annals of Dermatology found that red light stimulated growth and reversed the miniaturization of the follicle. Marmur says research has also suggested that a pulsed red light setting is optimal for follicular stimulation; she recommends doing four 20-minute sessions a week.

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Incorporate Scalp Care into Your Routine

“Caring for your scalp leads to healthier hair,” says Lin. Keeping it clean, reducing buildup, and conditioning it will help reduce inflammation and support the follicles. Scalp serums provide lightweight hydration that won’t clog follicles or leave roots greasy, and also moisturize hair. Look for one that has collagen-stimulating ingredients such as niacinamide, barrier-supporting lipids such as ceramides, and agents that wake up groggy follicles such as caffeine.

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Julien Farel Hydrate Restore

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Plump Up

The products you use can temporarily thicken the diameter of your hair shaft, making the hair you do have feel fuller. Look for thickening shampoos and treatments that include biotin, hydrolyzed wheat or rice proteins, and kaolin clay, says Ellsworth.

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Tame Texture

At-home smoothing treatments and deep conditioners packed with nourishing oils such as coconut and avocado can soften coarse, brittle strands and help calm frizz, which stems from dehydration. But if you have really unruly hair, Ellsworth suggests an in-salon keratin treatment, which seals the cuticle layer. “It’s going to make your hair more manageable and easier to blow out at home,” she says.

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Try a Hair Supplement

“Vivascal and Nutrafol are very popular with my patients,” says Marmur. “There is only anecdotal evidence that these home supplements work, but I still believe in trying a holistic approach to improving your hair,” she says. And the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals will help optimize hair growth and health. Look for blends containing vitamins A and C, B vitamins such as folic acid and biotin, and minerals including zinc and silica.

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Krista Bennett DeMaio

Krista Bennett DeMaio has nearly two decades of editorial experience. The former magazine-editor-turned-freelance writer regularly covers skincare, beauty, health, and lifestyle topics. Her work has appeared in national publications including Oprah, Shape, Parents, Cosmopolitan, Allure, and websites such as HealthCentral. com bhg.com, and prevention.com.”

Thin, Dry, Frizzy Menopause Hair, Oh My!

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Have you ever woken up one day and realized that your hair is noticeably thinner, drier, frizzier, or a combination? During menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and wreak havoc with our hair. Thick, smooth, shiny locks are suddenly thin, dry, and frizzy. Not to mention going gray and looking a little dull. You might even find that while you’re losing hair on your head, it starts growing someplace less desirable, like your chin. Talk about adding insult to injury!

It’s typical for people to lose 50-100 hairs a day in a natural process of growth and hair loss. About one-third of women experience hair loss (alopecia) at one point in their life. That number climbs to two-thirds in postmenopausal women.

Menopause is one reason for changes in your hair. The impact of changing hair patterns is most noticeable in your mid-40’s. In addition to fluctuating hormones, some women may be genetically predisposed to thinning hair. Other causes of hair loss can include certain medications, stress, and hormone imbalances like thyroid, for example.

Not only does our hair get thinner and finer, but it will also become more dry and brittle. The oil glands produce less oil, which makes hair drier and less elastic. All the processing we do to our hair – blow-drying, straightening, and coloring – makes the problem worse.

Signs and Symptoms of Hair Loss and Thinning Hair

A few telltale clues will indicate that your hair is thinning during menopause. Things to look for include:

  1. More hair on your hairbrush, pillow, in the shower or sink drains, and on the floor.
  2. Noticeable patches of thinning or missing hair.
  3. A smaller ponytail.
  4. Seeing hair break off.

Solutions for Aging Hair

For many women, problems with aging hair, especially hair loss and thinning hair, cause stress, anxiety, and even social withdrawal. Confidence and self-esteem take a hit too. While we can point the finger at hormones and genetics, there are some controllable factors like lifestyle and environment.

Here are a few steps you can take to improve the health and look of your hair.

  1. Make sure you are eating a healthy plant-based diet with the nutrients that help promote strong, healthy hair growth. These include protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, biotin, iron, zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and flavonoids. Getting nutrients from food is best, but talk to your doctor about supplementation if you think you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
  2. Stay well hydrated with water throughout the day.
  3. Reduce stress levels through self-care practices like yoga, meditation, and journaling.
  4. Avoid pulling your hair back into a tight ponytail, up-do, or braid, or in any way pulling or twisting on the hair. Doing so can pull on the roots, damaging the follicle, and the loss can be permanent.
  5. Wash your hair regularly but not too regularly. While getting rid of dead skin, excess oil, and product buildup is essential to promote hair growth, don’t over-dry your hair and scalp by washing it too much.
  6. Avoid hair care products that contain sulfates.
  7. Seek out quality products that specifically target aging hair.
  8. Wear a hat outside to protect the hair and scalp from harsh sunlight.
  9. Think twice about coloring or bleaching your hair. It may be time to go gray.
  10. Keep styling tools to a minimum. Blow drying and straightening your hair with high heat settings is quite damaging.
  11. Talk to your hairdresser about switching to a more flattering hairstyle. Your hairdresser has undoubtedly noticed your hair is thinning but may not want to embarrass you by bringing it up.
  12. For more extreme hair loss, consult your doctor on prescription remedies like Minoxidil, antiandrogen drugs like spironolactone, and red light therapy.

It may take a bit of time for these strategies to work. Hair regrowth takes time. Don’t give up if you don’t see results right away.

For more guidance on managing your menopause symptoms and find curated products from new brands tackling thinning hair, gray hair, and more, download Midday from the App Store, the only menopause app you’ll ever need. 

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Menopause and problems of skin, nails, hair. Why do we age quickly with menopause?




Menopause and problems of skin, nails, hair

The appearance of a woman is a mirror reflecting the internal state of the body. At first, imperceptible, age-related changes can completely transform beautiful ladies after 40 years. Is it possible to turn back time and become young and beautiful again?

Skin, hair and nails

Even before the onset of menopause, the body begins to experience a deficiency of estrogens, which is not the best effect on the condition of the skin, hair and nails.

The skin is the first to be hit because estrogens regulate many processes:

Normal estrogen Estrogen deficiency
Responsible for the density and elasticity of the skin. Loss of skin elasticity, many wrinkles, slumping of the face oval.
Help skin cells renew themselves. The skin quickly ages, loses its tone.
Helps skin retain moisture and stay hydrated. Dry skin, “gray”, tired look, tendency to irritation.

Hair and nails suffer from a lack of hormones no less. How it turns out

Normal estrogen Estrogen deficiency
Provides hair growth and cell renewal of hair follicles. Hair growth slows down, hair becomes thin, lose volume.
They regulate sufficient blood supply to the skin, which means excellent nutrition of the hair follicles. Increased hair loss, split ends appear. Hair looks dull, loses its natural shine.
Regulates the work of the sebaceous glands and oiliness of the scalp. The scalp becomes dry, dandruff may appear.
They regulate the blood supply to the nail bed and are responsible for the nutrition and growth of the nail plate. Nails become brittle, grow worse, cracks, chips appear, loss of elasticity of the nail plate and cuticle, ribbing of nails, susceptibility to fungus.

Important! All these changes are exacerbated by an imbalance of hormones. For example, the condition of the hair is affected not only by a deficiency of female hormones, but also by an excess of male hormones (androgens). It is because of him that women in menopause may develop bald patches (male-type baldness), which is then not easy to fix.

It may seem that changes in appearance are irreversible, because the natural hormonal “cocktail” in the body is already different. In fact, skin, hair and nail problems can be prevented and even completely eliminated.

It is necessary not to wait for real problems with hair loss, skin aging, because it is much easier to prevent changes than to correct what has already happened.

The condition of the skin, hair, nails can deteriorate even at a young age under the influence of external factors (solar ultraviolet radiation, poor quality water, household chemicals) or at certain periods of life (pregnancy, the postpartum period), but after 40 years they can be very strong due to for hormonal imbalance.

Saturation of the skin with useful substances with the help of creams, injections and procedures, “lifting” the skin can bring a good result, but it will be short-lived if the internal problem (hormonal imbalance) remains unresolved. It is necessary to influence the problem in a complex way: both from the inside and from the outside. Then the appearance, like a mirror, will reflect the impeccable internal state of the body, and the effect of this approach will delight you for decades.

It is the correct ratio of estrogens, testosterone and other hormones that ensures youthful skin, firmness, elasticity and the absence of wrinkles.

How to improve the condition of skin, hair and nails?

Skin, hair, nails

  • Dietary supplements based on collagen, peptides, lipids, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, biotin, calcium and other useful substances are prescribed orally in courses, depending on the condition of the skin, hair, nails.
  • Change in diet. A diet rich in vitamins and microelements, also balanced in terms of the amount of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and calories.


  • Active cosmetics and medicines based on glycolic and retinoic acid to stimulate cell metabolism and synthesis of own collagen and elastin.
  • Cosmetic procedures with the use of hyaluronic acid preparations for the correction of facial contours.
  • The introduction of placental preparations with a high content of mucopolysaccharides, minerals, nucleic and organic acids, which are easily absorbed by the skin and have a rejuvenating effect (Laennec, Melsmon).
  • Sun protection with broad spectrum UVA/UVB filters with zinc/titanium oxide (SPF at least 30) is mandatory.


  • Special means and methods for strengthening hair follicles and preventing hair loss.
  • Physiotherapy to stimulate hair growth.
  • Mesotherapy and other cosmetic procedures to improve hair growth and quality.


  • Strengthening treatments for nails.
  • Prevention and treatment of fungal nail diseases.

Doctors of the TN-Clinic first reveal the hidden problems of the body, the levels of various hormones, and only then prescribe a correction, select the necessary trace elements, and make changes to the diet. This is the secret to the success of this therapy.

Shape changes

An equally important problem is overweight. Women note that closer to the age of 40, weight is gained faster, the figure becomes loose, more and more fat is deposited on the abdomen and hips, and it is more and more difficult to lose kilograms every year! Neither training nor diets help anymore, you have to make great efforts to at least not gain more weight. Very often, the cause of such changes is an imbalance of sex hormones (and sometimes also a lack of thyroid hormones). Therefore, changes in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism occur, the figure changes and it is so difficult to return to harmony.


  • Correction of the diet taking into account disorders of carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
  • Correction with thyroid hormones and sex hormones in combination.
  • Dietary supplements and trace elements.
  • Special set of exercises

Doctors of the TN-Clinic, endocrinologists-nutritionists, have extensive experience in compiling weight correction programs taking into account age-related changes in the female body. Based on the results of analyzes and research. Often, only a correction of the diet already leads to good results, and if hormonal changes are detected, appropriate drug therapy is prescribed – and the weight gradually returns to normal.

The condition of the skin, its appearance, the tone of the muscles of the body and the amount of body fat – all these are interrelated indicators that after 40 years are very difficult to correct separately from each other. The doctors of our clinic will help in solving this problem, as they are able to look for the real cause of age-related changes (hormonal imbalance) and correct it using the most modern methods and treatment regimens.

How to stop hair loss during menopause

Many women experience severe hair loss during menopause. Due to hormonal changes, hair follicles die off, curls lose density, become dry, brittle and lifeless. To solve such a problem, doctors can only offer hormone therapy, which has many contraindications and side effects. Complexes with vitamins will help maintain both the health and beauty of hair during menopause.

A complex of vitamins from hair loss during menopause should include a number of important components. Specialized bio-complexes for women, aimed specifically at restoring hair, will help restore strength and shine to curls. In the composition of such complexes, in addition to vitamins, there should also be minerals, biologically active components, natural plant extracts. For mature ladies with hair loss, it is useful to take:

  • L-cysteine ​​- an amino acid that provides the synthesis of collagen and keratin; the maximum effect will be when taken simultaneously with vitamin C and selenium;
  • marine collagen – in composition close to human, therefore it is perfectly absorbed; not only protects against hair loss, but also prevents the appearance of cellulite and improves skin elasticity;
  • copper – slows down the formation of gray hair, maintains the elasticity and health of curls; when taken simultaneously with vitamin C, it slows down the aging process;
  • zinc – protects collagen fibers from destruction, prevents the appearance of stretch marks and wrinkles;
  • black pepper extract – with menopause has a beneficial effect on the body as a whole; improves blood supply to hair follicles, ensures maximum absorption of vitamins and nutrients;
  • nettle extract – a natural plant antiandrogen; Hair loss during menopause is often associated precisely with hormonal imbalance, so nettle will help solve this problem.

Thick and beautiful curls – at any age

All the vitamins, minerals and trace elements necessary for health, beauty and hair growth are contained in the biologically active complex created specifically for women, Lady’s formula For Hair ™. It is useful for women of any age who complain about the condition of their hair. With menopause, the complex will protect against loss, help maintain elasticity and natural color of curls. For young women, the biocomplex will help restore strands damaged by frequent dyeing and styling, and get hair of the desired length.

To achieve the desired effect, the complex with vitamins must be taken in courses, at least for a month. If the loss is severe, the hair is very weak and damaged, immediately after the first course, you can start the second one to consolidate the result. You will find detailed information about the procedure for admission in the instructions for the complex.

Vitamins for women during menopause are vital.