Hormonal changes in menopause: do they contribute to a ‘midlife hair crisis’ in women?

    December 2011 in “ British Journal of Dermatology
    Paradi Mirmirani
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    TLDR Menopause-related hormonal changes affect hair but are not the only cause of hair changes in middle-aged women.
    The 2011 document reviews the role of hormonal changes during menopause in female pattern hair loss (FPHL), emphasizing the importance of oestrogens in hair biology. It notes that menopause may affect hair growth rate, anagen percentage, and hair diameter, especially in the frontal scalp, but hair density decline is more related to aging than menopause. A study within the review involving 44 pre- and postmenopausal women found significant differences in hair characteristics between the groups. Another study with 1,099 women with hair loss and 315 without found that hair diameter and density peak at certain ages and then decline, with a noticeable perception of hair loss in women in their mid-late forties, possibly due to hormonal changes. The review concludes that while hormonal changes during menopause do affect hair biology, they are not the sole cause of hair changes, and more research is needed to fully understand the pathogenesis of hair loss in women and to develop effective treatments.
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