Madison, a 47-year old women who came to see me, was struggling with exhaustion but her biggest goal of care was to understand why she was suddenly losing so much hair. She sobbed as she described the clumps that would come out in the shower and showed me pictures of her once thick hair which was now thinning, brittle and lacked lustre. She brought it up with her doctor, he had brushed it off, saying: “all your bloodwork is OK” and she frustrated not knowing what to do.
Daily loss of hair 70-100 strands is relatively normal but when hair loss exceeds 100 hairs a day for a few weeks, it’s time to ask for help.
Madison was otherwise healthy, had 2 high school-aged children and a busy career. After an in-depth history, we started to peel back the layers on what was causing Madison’s hair loss.
Key factors to assess with hair loss
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Malabsorption and gastrointestinal issues
- Physical, mental or emotional stress
- Illness or post-infection
- Dieting or malnutrition
- Thyroid health
- Reproductive hormones
Madison had several factors working against her hair restoration plan. She was chronically taking care of everyone else and never making time for her. Her diet was irregular, and she would often skip meals having only a coffee in the morning or working through her lunch. Her vitamin D and iron were both deficient and thyroid function suboptimal. After running a DUTCH panel, she uncovered ever more about what was going on with her hair.
During perimenopause and throughout menopause, estrogen level in the blood start to decline and androgens naturally rise which can lead to androgenic hair loss. This thinning of the hair mainly in the forehead but also sometimes in the parietal or occipital parts of the hair can start during menopause. This can lead to higher levels of Dihydtrotestosterone (DHT), similar to men in andropause, that leads to weakening of the hair follicle leading resulting in hair loss.
Up to 60% of women may experience changes in hair quality and hair growth before reaching age 60.
The problem of hair loss in women during this time need precise diagnostics to be able to undertake the proper approach to healing.
After a year of working together, Madison was able to change her perspective and priorities. She realized that in order to balance her hormones and the factors involved in hair loss, she needed to make self-care her biggest priority. We restored her nutrient status, changed her lifestyle and got her on a regime to restore hormone balance in her perimenopausal years. Not only was she more energized but her hair started to grow back with luster.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with hair loss and can’t seem to get a handle on why they are losing their hair or where to turn for help, we are here to walk you through the process of deeply understanding how to restore your hair health. Book an appointment today!
- Miziołek B, Brzezińska-Wcisło L, Wcisło-Dziadecka D, et al. Trichological problems related to menopause. Post Nauk Med. 2015;28:211–216.
- Herskovitz I, Tosti A. Female pattern hair loss. Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2013;11:e9860. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
- Imko-Walczuk B, Cegielska A, Głombiowska M. Changes in hair distribution in postmenopausal women. Przegl Derm. 2012;99:62–67.
- Shapiro J. Clinical practice: Hair loss in women. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:1620–1630. [PubMed]