While the more typical symptoms of menopause are hot flashes and night sweats, some people experience hair loss. Although hair thinning and hair loss occurs naturally because of aging, medical research recognizes the role played by the fluctuating hormone levels as a result of menopause.
What Are the Causes of Hair Loss?
Hair loss as a result of menopause is usually set off by fluctuating hormone levels. This is because estrogen and testosterone both play a major role in the hair growth cycle. Estrogen helps the hair stay in the growth phase, and to grow faster, stronger, and healthier. A decrease in estrogen levels (or a raise in testosterone ones) can put hair on “resting” phase and cause hair loss. This is very common during menopause.
In addition to the decrease in hormones during menopause, there are many lifestyle and diet factors which could be causing hair loss:
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of protein
- Lack of vitamins, such A, B, and C
Some Herbal Treatments
Herbal remedies have several advantages over commercial ones: they are easy to obtain, inexpensive, and safe. Here are a few examples:
It has been used for centuries by people in South America who claim it makes their hair thick and healthy. Aloe vera triggers the formation of nitric oxide, which can stimulate hair growth.
Drinking several cups of green tea a day or ingesting it in capsule form reduce the risk of hair loss. The antioxidants found in green tea inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, responsible for converting testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Found in traditional Chinese stores, this herb contains phytoestrogens that decreases the production of DHT.
Sometimes an adjustment in lifestyle is what you need to overcome significant hair loss. For example, changes in diet and hair care are beneficial. Increasing intake of vitamins A, B, and C, along with iron should help stimulate hair re-growth. Exercise and stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation can improve overall health.
For more specific information on the types of herbal treatments available, click on the link below.
- Dr. McNair, Trisha.(n.d). "Hair Loss". Retrieved from www.bbc.co.uk.
- Mayo Clinic.(n.d). "Hair Loss".Retrieved from www.mayoclinic.com.
- The American Hair Loss Association. (n.d). "Womens Hair Loss". Retrieved from www.americanhairloss.org.