Welcome to “Ask Dr. Sophia,” where our own Dr. Sophia Kogan answers your hair questions. Specializing in integrative hair health, Dr. Kogan is an expert on the effects of botanicals, nutrition, and stress on follicle biology. This week, she’s tackling a question on hair thinning during menopause.
Ask Dr. Sophia:
Thank you for the great question! It’s so important for women to talk about and understand the natural hormonal changes that affect our hair wellness during this life stage.
First off, hair thinning during menopause is very common — and you can absolutely take control. To address a widening hair part or general hair thinning through menopause, you want to work from the inside-out, addressing the multiple root causes at play.
Hormones are often the top culprit. During menopause, the ovarian function starts to decline rather quickly. This shift can cause androgen (male sex hormone) dominance, wherein estrogen and progesterone (female sex hormone) levels fall at a faster pace than testosterone. With this, testosterone can convert to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at the follicle level, and some hair follicles may be sensitive to that. Using a natural 5-alpha reductase inhibitor like the medical-grade saw palmetto found in Nutrafol Women’s Balance, we’re able to help combat this conversion from testosterone to DHT as a root cause of thinning hair during menopause. There’s also a beautiful adaptogen called maca that is known to naturally support sex hormones as they decrease.
Other root causes during menopause are stress and aging. Studies have shown that women going through menopause have elevated cortisol levels, which can shorten the hair growth phase and deplete essential nutrients needed for hair growth. It’s also a time of life where many of us are at the pinnacles of our careers, while still parenting and working hard in both our personal and professional lives. In our society, we don’t often get to kick back with a cup of tea and retire when our periods stop; we have to manage our symptoms as we keep going to work and raising children, which can be stressful.
All of these root causes weigh heavy on our hair. Some women complain of texture changes; some have thinning on the sides; and yes, there’s often that widening middle part. The important thing here is to find a supplement tailored to your phase of life. That’s why we created Nutrafol Women’s Balance as the first hair supplement for women experiencing menopause. It’s formulated with more saw palmetto to target DHT, as well as maca to support female sex hormones, astaxanthin and tocotrienols to fight oxidative stress, ashwagandha to balance stress levels, and curcumin to support the immune system as it responds to aging, stress, hormones, and environment.
You can also boost the effects of Women’s Balance by supporting your hair through lifestyle interventions. Exercise, sleep, and meditation are all powerful tools to manage stress, while a low sugar diet of whole foods, organic produce, and healthy fats sets your metabolism, nutrient levels, and gut health up for hair growth success.
Remember: Hair changes during menopause are a natural part of a woman’s life. You are not alone! In addition to supplementation and a healthy lifestyle, it’s always a good idea to bring hair health concerns to the attention of your physician to rule out any underlying medical issues or diagnosable conditions. On top of that, the Nutrafol community is here for you and your hair! Our DMs are always open on Instagram and Facebook, and you can chat with our team 24/7 via our website.
Dr. Sophia Kogan