Symptoms of hair loss in women during the menopause

The hair becomes thinner, falls out prematurely, the parting becomes visible or the hairline recedes – these are the classic symptoms of hair loss (alopecia). One reason for hair loss in women is androgenetic alopecia.

Hair loss due to the menopause

During the menopause the level of female hormones (estrogen) decrease. As a result, the influence of male hormones (testosterone) on the hair roots increases. This can shorten the hairs' growth phases. Androgenetic alopecia can then cause the centre parting to thin, render the scalp more visible and leave the hair feeling thinner.

This process is for the most part gradual, and becomes significantly worse during and after the menopause. Men, too, are affected by androgenetic alopecia. Whilst men can frequently suffer from a receding hairline as early as puberty, female hair does not start thinning along the parting to leave the scalp visible until the menopause. Research has shown that up to 50% of all women over 50, and indeed also younger women, experience at least slight androgenetic alopecia. 

Possible manifestations of hair loss in the menopause

The following diagram shows possible manifestations of androgenetic alopecia:

Progression of hair loss in women
Possible symptoms of androgenetic alopecia: The hair around the parting thins or the hairline recedes

Frequent symptoms of female hair loss:

  • The hair around the parting thins
  • The parting becomes bigger
  • The hairline recedes
  • Hair growth slows
  • The hair falls out prematurely
  • The hair feels thinner
  • The scalp becomes visible
  • The hair loses volume
  • Hair loss occurs in phases