Hair Breakage in Menopause

Fact Checked

iOlder cool woman image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from

Women can have a difficult time keeping their hair looking healthy and strong. Due to the hormonal changes that occur in menopause, hair is particularly susceptible to thinning, breaking and falling out during this time. There are ways to help stop thinning hair; certain treatments can help prevent hair from breaking.

Hair Breakage

The growth of hair is a three-phase cycle: The first phase is the active growing cycle and the second phase is when hair becomes keratin, or hair protein. The last phase is when the hair falls out and the hair follicle reenters the first phase. On average, a person loses 100 to 200 hairs a day so new hair can begin growing. When hair breaks, it seems like you are losing more than average; however, your hair is not falling out, but rather breaking somewhere along the hair strand itself. This can make your hair look thinner.


Menopause is a natural phase of life for women, typically occurring around the age of 51. It signals the end of menstruation and fertility and is diagnosed after 12 months of missed periods. Menopause causes physical and emotional changes due to hormonal fluctuations. According to, symptoms can include hot flashes, sleep disturbances, night sweats, irregular periods, mood swings, increased abdominal fat and thinning hair.


There is a constant decrease in the production of the female hormone estrogen during menopause, according to the Clivir website. Simultaneously, there is an increase in the male hormone testosterone. These two events can result in hair loss and thinning. Thinning hair is prone to breakage since it is no longer as strong as it once was. Using brushes and blow dryers, towel drying or wearing hair up in ponytails or buns can exacerbate thin hair, causing more breakage.


Following the basic rules for healthy living, which include exercise, a healthy diet and plenty of rest, will also help your hair from breaking. Nutritional supplements along with the gentle treatment of your hair can also help prevent breakage. Massaging your head will help blood flow to your scalp. Using gentle shampoos and conditioners and hot oil treatments will provide your hair with moisture to prevent it from drying out and breaking.


Hormone therapy is a popular remedy for menopause. Restoring hormonal balance can help your hair from thinning or falling out, according to the Clivir website. Hormone replacement therapy involves replacing estrogen that is lost during menopause as well as reducing the amount of testosterone being produced.