Almost half of us will experience hair loss during menopause – around 40 percent to be exact, according to Dr Sharon Wong, one of only a handful of people combining medical trichology with dermatology. It can be one of the most challenging changes for midlife women.
Our hair naturally grows thinner as we age, but the biggest culprit is the effect of testosterone as our female hormones drop. The female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are hair ‘protective’ and help to keep your hair in its anagen (growth) phase for longer. Meanwhile male hormones (androgens) kick-start the balding process in genetic hair loss.
During menopause, the ratio between the female sex hormones and male hormones is gradually reversed. “The decline in estrogens/progesterones means you lose the protective effect on your hair, whilst the effect of androgens on the follicle is amplified,” Dr Wong explains. Hair follicles begin to get smaller, causing hair to grow back finer and weaker.
Menopause is also a time which can coincide with the onset of female pattern hair loss (FPHL). “This is the female equivalent of male pattern balding, with loss of density and thinning specifically over the crown,” explains Dr Wong. Not all menopausal women will experience thinning, however. “They must have a genetic predisposition which then becomes active when the oestrogen levels start to change,” trichologist and hair loss expert Lorna Jones says.
The solution? These 10 transformative products for menopause hair loss are here to help.
Philip Kingsley Trichotherapy Regime for Fine Or Thinning Hair, from £52
Backed up by seven years of research, Philip Kingsley’s three step regime gives clinic-worthy results. The set includes a scalp treatment to block the effect of testosterone on your hair follicles, a volumising protein spray to add instant thickness to each strand and a vitamin and mineral supplement to support hair health from the inside out.
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Kérastase Genesis Masque Reconstituant Hair Mask, £36.40
The Kérastase Genesis range strengthens thinning hair that’s become prone to breakage. We love the intensely hydrating five-minute masque. It’s enriched with edelweiss native cells and ginger root for a super glossy finish. You’ll find more of our Kérastase favourites here.
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Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo, £8.99
Created for midlife women, Plantur Shampoo uses a Phyto-Caffeine Complex to reduce hair loss caused by menopause. Research shows that caffeine promotes growth by stimulating the hair follicles. With the inclusion of zinc and niacin, it’s a powerhouse formula for thicker hair.
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Aveda Invati Advanced™ Exfoliating Shampoo, £25
Meaning ‘invigorate’ in sanskrit, Aveda’s Invati range claims to reduce hair loss by 53%. The award-winning shampoo contains pore-clearing salicylic acid to renew the scalp and provide a healthy foundation for new hair to grow.
Kevin Murphy Full.Again Thickening Lotion, £23
If it’s a quick fix you need, this Kevin Murphy lotion is formulated with rayon particles to make fine hair act thicker. You only need to use a small amount, and it feels weightless, giving your hair natural movement and body.
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Kiehl’s Magic Elixir, £30
Kiehl’s much loved pre-shampoo treatment works to optimise the health of your scalp to encourage hair growth and reduce shedding. It’s formulated with a blend of avocado, rosemary leaf and safflower seed oils, plus soothing aloe, to leave hair looking and feeling healthy.
Revitalash Thickening Shampoo, £41
If you’ve tried their iconic eyelash serum, you’ll probably be very happy to hear that Rivitalash has added a shampoo to its portfolio. Filled with proteins and amino acids, it encourages hair to grow thicker while protecting against breakage.
Grow Gorgeous Intense Thickening Shampoo, £16
Vegan haircare brand Grow Gorgeous has created a shampoo to increase hair density and stimulate growth, thanks to a cocktail of amino acids, biotin, caffeine and B vitamins. It’s a great all-rounder that works with every hair type.
Klorane Quinine & Keratin Strength Fortifying Spray, £16.42
Looking for a low maintenance treatment? This is lightweight and non-greasy with a subtle scent – perfect to quickly spray on before styling. It feeds the follicles with active ingredients to add instant thickness and improve the strength of your hair over time.
Sisley Hair Rituel Regenerating Hair Care Mask, £72.50
Packed with restorative plant-based proteins and enriched with a blend of shea, macadamia, and camellia oils, this Sisley mask hydrates and strengthens each strand from the root. Apply as a luxurious treatment once or twice a week.