Young women often hear about the dreaded “menopause.” Few, however, are ever really prepared mentally, emotionally and physically for the unwelcome effects of female menopause – the hot flashes, chills, mood swings, and hair loss.
The latter menopause symptom is perhaps the most soul crushing for a woman once blessed with a gorgeous head of hair that is now falling out by the brush full.
“The Change,” as it is often called by women experiencing menopause, truly is a life-changing event. The female reproductive system begins to shut down. The reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone are in flux. Hormonal androgen levels increase, leading to the female version of androgenic alopecia, or female pattern baldness. It’s estimated that at least a third of menopausal women experience some degree of hair loss during, and even after, the change has occurred.
When men go bald or experience thinning hair, the receding hairline or widening crown of the head are the most noticeable signs. In women, however, hair loss is a more subtle process. Hair thinning is more diffuse across the scalp. There is a general widening of the part. In more severe cases of menopausal balding in women, the hair falls out in clumps.
Signs of Hair Loss in Women
Warning signs of menopausal hair loss in women include 100 to 150 hairs shed daily, whether by washing, combing, or brushing. Small bald patches gradually appear. The scalp appears red and oily. There may also be noticeable hair thinning in the front, sides and top of the head.
Menopausal hair loss goes directly to a woman’s sense of womanhood and feminine self-esteem. Women aren’t supposed to go bald, we are told. But they do, often thanks to hormonal imbalances brought on by menopause. Many women stress endlessly over the process, which only worsens the condition.
The good news is that menopausal hair loss need not be permanent. With proper diet, exercise, stress management, and medications or changes in dosage, many women experience regrowth of hair they thought they lost forever.
Life doesn’t end at menopause. And hair loss can be stopped, reversed or replaced with the skill and guidance of a qualified hair transplant surgeon.
It’s important to know the facts about menopause and your options for treating the hair loss symptoms so that once again you can enjoy the feeling of being a natural woman.
Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist with offices located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He has extensive experience in a variety of hair restoration techniques for both men and women, including hair transplant surgery. Contact The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at (757) 389-5850 for a personal consultation.