Women Share A Side Of Menopause That No One Talks About

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Menopause is a hushed topic, even among women. 

Happening, on average, at age 51, menopause is often used as a punchline in TV and film; cue Diane Keaton leaning into the refrigerator to relieve a hot flash. 

But menopause is more than just hot flashes (which are no joke to anyone who’s had one). Other symptoms include fluctuations in mood, depression, sleep disturbances, night sweats, changes in libido, vaginal dryness, dry skin, weight gain, urinary incontinence, and yes, hair loss.

The latter is among the most debilitating to a woman’s self-esteem at this age and stage — or at any age, really. “Hair is everything,” as Fleabag actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge famously said. 

And for most of us, a bad hair day is a bad day. Period.  

Over 30 million women experience hair loss at some point in their lives, and 40% of women have visible hair loss by age 40. According to Harvard Medical School, two-thirds of post-menopausal women deal with hair thinning or bald spots.

To open up the conversation about hair health and menopause, Nutrafol spoke with a group of women entering and experiencing menopause to learn how they were impacted by changes in their hair. 

“You feel your femininity kind of going away — and hair is one of the places where you get to be feminine, no matter what you look like,” said Madeline, an actor and mom who started menopause at 52.

For the millions of women like Madeline, Nutrafol created Women’s Balance, a natural hair supplement that uses hormone-balancing botanicals that not only help grow healthy hair, but may also ease hot flashes and sleeplessness during menopause. 

Keep scrolling to read the hair stories of five women who are going through menopause. 

Christine

Started menopause at 47

How has menopause affected your hair? 
I’m starting to notice a little bit of thinning and hair coming out after the shower. My hair used to be really full and I’m noticing that it’s not as full and luxurious as it was prior to menopause. 

What other symptoms have you experienced?
Sleeping at night sometimes I’d kind of throw the covers off or go through insomnia a little bit. And you definitley need more lubrication before sex. That was something that took me by surprise. I’ve definitely researched products to help a little bit with that. 

Suzanne

Started menopause at 51

How has menopause affected your hair?
My hair was falling out. People joked when they’d go in my car, like, “Do you have a dog?” My hair was everywhere and people would say, “Suzanne was here [laughs].” You’d see these strands of gray hair all over the place. The texture of my hair changed, too, as it was thinning out. Obviously I don’t color my hair anymore; I’ve embraced my gray hair for years.

What other symptoms have you experienced?
I didn’t know that sleep issues were a part of menopause. I didn’t have sufficient sleep for three years. I didn’t have hot flashes. All of what you hear about typical menopause symptoms, I didn’t have.

Denita

Started menopause at 50

How has menopause affected your hair?
My hair is definitely thinner. However, it was really, really thick. So even now I probably have a lot more hair than a lot of people. But it’s definitely thinner. I did witness it falling out in the shower. And I noticed a lot of hair left in my comb and it just never regrew. 

What other symptoms have you experienced?
This is the year of the hot flash. My main symptoms were hot flashes and the redistribution of weight — cardigans are my friend [laughs].

Madeline

Started menopause at 49

How has menopause affected your hair?
Hair has always been an issue with me because I never had that beautiful, thick hair; it’s always been thin and fine. And then, when I hit menopause, it went down to 50% of what I had … Hair was always an area of insecurity for me, and I felt a loss for the hair that I lost during menopause. You feel your femininity kind of going away — and hair is one of the places where you get to be feminine, no matter what you look like. 

What other symptoms have you experienced?
The biggest thing is that your hormones also affect your whole identity — that is a shift that no one really talks about. The hot flashes are tolerable but it’s a bigger identity issue that you don’t realize until you’re going through it and then you kind of have to re-learn about a new you.

Kristine

Started menopause at 52

How has menopause affected your hair? 
It has definitely thinned out a little bit and I’m really fighting the grays. I haven’t yet had the courage to embrace the gray, so there’s that. But I do have a great relationship with my hair. I love my hair. I have these crazy curls. I’ve always felt like it’s an extension of my personality, just wild and free. It’s hanging in there. 

What other symptoms have you experienced?
It was more during perimenopause that I had a difficult time. I used to be held prisoner by my hormonal fluctuations and where I was with my cycle. I missed out on so much of my life because of it. Every month I was unable to function at full capacity, sometimes not at all. My period became so much more intense during perimenopause. It happened to a lot of my girlfriends, too.

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