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Is menopause causing my hair to thin?

by Margery Gass | May 07, 2014
The common forms of hair loss after menopause are diffuse shedding and “female pattern hair loss,” which typically starts with a widening center part, and the loss is mainly at the top and crown (upper back) of your head. Diffuse shedding usually resolves on its own within 6 months. Why women experience female pattern hair loss is not well understood, but a shift in the balance between estrogen and androgens (male hormones) may be one cause. Nutrition and thyroid disease or other medical conditions may also cause hair loss. Talk to your healthcare providers about what the cause may be in your case. You may need to see a dermatologist. You can support healthy hair by eating a healthy diet low in red meat and calories and rich in zinc, iron, vitamin D, and biotin and taking a daily multivitamin. Treatments your healthcare providers may recommend may be aimed at suppressing androgens (with minoxidil-containing scalp treatments or shampoos or with prescription drugs), or they may recommend other prescription medications or antidandruff shampoos containing zinc or ketoconazole.

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JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, NCMP
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