I have a list of the 10 best essential oils for hair loss during menopause for you, oils and blends that actually work. Menopausal hair loss is very common, two-thirds of postmenopausal women experience hair thinning or bald spots across all ethnic groups. There are, besides menopause, other reasons for hair loss which I will list below.
Besides using the right oils the right way there are lifestyle changes you can adopt to lessen the effects of menopause.
Many women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings or fatigue during menopause. These symptoms are uncomfortable, losing hair effects women on a whole other level. Our self-esteem is tightly connected to the amount and quality of hair on our head.
However, menopausal hair loss doesn’t mean you have to give up on your hair for good! There are plenty of ways that you can treat and disguise the appearance of menopause hair loss (but more on those later).
Does menopause cause hair loss?
Women in their late 40s and early 50s experience extreem hormonal changes which results in many different physical symptoms. In most cases menopausal hair loss doesn’t have to be permanent.
Peri-menopausal hair loss happens during the years leading up to menopause and it is also related to changes in hormone levels. Leading up to the average age of menopause some women are noticing that their hair doesn’t grow as fast as before, that the volume and condition seems to have gotten worse and that more hair is falling out tan before. A scary situation.
The amount of hair loss varies per person, some see a more general thinning all over the head while others experience a more profound thinning on the top, front or sides of the head. Hair loss can occur on any place you have hair, this can be your eyebrows, your eyelashes, your underarm hair, your leg hair, and your pubic hair.
In most cases menopausal hair loss doesn’t have to be permanent.
Why does menopause affects your hair?
Hormone fluctuations is the short answer which can be affected by lifestyle and diet.
A lowered production of estrogen and progesteron is the main cause of hair loss during menopause. The levels of these hormones drop resulting hair becoming thinner and growing more slowly. During menopause the ovaries produce less estrogen and progesteron, we have fewer eggs to mature and there is less need for these hormones, causing all the well known side effects of menopause.
With lower hormone levels your begins to become thinner and grow slower. Due to less estrogen and progesteron in the body male hormones, that the female body naturally makes, increase. These male hormones called androgen hormone, especially DHT as a byproduct of testosteron, cause the hair follicles to shrink which leads to hair loss.
If the last quarter of your eyebrows start to thin and disappear that can be sign of your thyroid having some problems.
The psychological impact
Our hair is a big part of our image of ourselves, of who we are. Hair is important, having a “bad hair day” can really throw ones confidence out of the window. It can be really upsetting not having the hair or hairdo one is used to. This can even lead to depression, self-doubt, feeling less feminine and sociale distancing. Losing hair doesn’t seem that urgent but it can gravely effect ones quality of life.
Hair loss can happen where hair grows, this can be eyebrows thinning, underarm, on your scalp or pubic hair.
Around 40% of women will experience some degree of hair loss before reaching menopause.
Symptoms of menopausal hair loss
- Hair looks dull and difficult to style
- Ponytail is smaller, less volume
- More scalp showing though
- More hair is falling out when brushing, washing your hair or is sticking to your clothes
- When parting your hair you see a wider part then you used to
- Hair breaks off without effort
Why Does Female Hair Loss Happen?
There are many reasons for hair loss in women. Changing hormone levels when going into menopause is huge one but also factors like stress, nutrient deficiencies, genetic sensitivity, rapid weight loss and thyroid problems can have an effect on the amount of hair we have. Aging and genetics can also an effect on hair loss.
Here below I listed the most common causes of female hair loss.
Hormones / Menopause
One of the side effects of menopause is hair loss due to hormonal changes and imbalances. Dihydrotestosterone, more known as “DHT” is a byproduct of testosteron, a hormone both men and women need. Normally women have a small amount of testosteron and a generous amount of estrogen and progesteron circling the body. The small amount of testosteron is needed for keeping the muscles strong and also for a normal sex drive.
DHT makes the hair follicles shrink and causes hair to fall out and stop growing. When the hair follicles are destroyed the hair falls out.
It is important to notice changes as soon as possible regarding hair loss, the sooner you start with remedies the greater the chance of succes.
An under-active thyroid, called hypothyroidisme, an overactive thyroid, hypertyroidisme, these both can play a role in hair loss. A healthy thyroid gland is needed to maintain a a good head of hair. When the thyroid is off the old hairs are not efficiently replaced by new ones.
Thyroid related hair loss is mostly over the entire scalp not just on specific areas of the head.
Thyroid issues can usually be fixed and the hair will regrow when everything is back to its normal functioning.
Stress can take a toll on the quality and on the amount of your hair. Telogen effluvium, hair loss caused by stress, results in hair loss across the entire head. This stress related hair loss usually happens two to three months after a stressful period or event.
It is possible to regrow all the hair lost by making lifestyle changes and doing inner work regarding to stress.
Stress makes the hairs fall out by pushing them into their final phase, the telogen phase, without having the replacements ready.
Rapid Weight Loss / Nutrient Deficiency
Reducing the amount of calories you consume by a significant amount, thereby also often lacking the proper amount of nutrients needed can stress the body and trigger temporary hair loss. Eating enough calories yet not enough nutrients can have the same effect on hair.
Eating too far below your caloric needs for an extended period of time can negatively effect the amount of hair on your head. Restoring the amount of nutrients and calories needed will positively effect you mane.
Iron Deficiency / Anemia
Low iron levels can result in hair loss. It is harder to detect. If you suspect not having the appropriate amount of nutrients in your diet, having intestinal problems leading to not being able to absorb your nutrients, feeling exhausted or having very heavy periods, your doctor can do an iron test and check the levels.
A change in diet can return your iron levels to the normal range and your hair will bloom up again. If you want to know how to add more iron rich foods to your diet and how to achieve better absorption of the iron added read Iron Rich Foods, plant based sources of iron.
Can menopausal hair loss be reversed?
Hair loss is caused by hormones, diet, stress or weight loss, is usually treatable. Genetic hair loss is not.
You can reverse most hair loss caused by hormonal imbalances. It is wise to check hormonal levels when you are approaching menopause so you wont be surprised with gradual hair loss. The ability to restore your hair depends for a part on lifestyle, stress levels, diet and the state of your hormones when you get to menopause.
Using essential oils and oils on your scalp can amazingly support hair growth and a healthy scalp and vibrant hair follicles.
Look after your health and take care of your scalp before you hit menopause, it is so much easier to keep a healthy routine up than restoring damage done. It is doable, just read through the amazing benefits of the oils listed below.
Perseverance is the key
Before we get into the oils, this is an important part, perseverance is key! It takes months to start regrowing hair and reversing hair loss. Using oils of the best quality and purity is of course very important.
Which oils to buy?
Not all essential oils are created equal. Over 95% of all essential oils have little to no therapeutic benefit and may lead to adverse effects, like headaches and irritation. These oils have been altered, added synthetic ingredients to and often contaminated.
There are essential oils in various price ranges and if a bottle costs next to nothing may be it’s not that high of a quality. Essential oils require a LOT of plant material for production. They also have to produced under certain circumstances to insure and safeguard the quality of the oil.
Always look for therapeutic grade, USDA certified organic oils stored in dark glass bottles to protect it against sun exposure.
Below, I have put links to my favorite oils. These brands have high quality oils and yet they are also very affordable.
The 10 best essential oils for hair loss, for prevention and hair re-growth
In 1998 researchers at the Department of Dermatology, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, organized a 7 month study showing that essential oils successfully can treat hair loss. Essential oils can help hair regrow because they stimulate the blood vessels where the hair follicles are created. This increases blood flow to the follicles.
Essential oils are highly concentrated they always need to be diluted the right way. Below I also have a list of the best carrier oils you can use.
Rosemary is the number one known essentil oil to treat and prevent hair loss. Besides that it is also used for other hair and scalp challenges like dandruff and lice.
In a study in 2015 100 participants joined to compare a 2% minoxidil solution ( a drug often prescribed for hair loss ) and a 1% rosemary essential oil solution, both twice a day for 6 months. Rosemary seems to contain phytochemicals that suppress the action of enzyme 5-alpha-reductase in converting testosterone to dihydrotesterone. Dihydrotestosterone is believed to be the cause of shrinking of hair follicles. It reduces blood flow and thereby deprives the hair and follicles of nutrients.
The rosemary essential oil users ended with better results regarding new hair growth, less hair loss and no major side effects.
Lavender is often used in skin care and it is also very beneficial for treating hair loss. It is one of the safest essential oils without side effects and has been seen to increase the number of hair follicles after a period of treatment. More hair follicles mean fuller, thicker hair. Lavender essential oil also improves the all over quality of the scalp.
Peppermint essential oil is a very stimulating oil, it increases blood flow to the scalp and can improve the strength of the hair follicles. This is important during the growing fase of the hair.
Peppermint oil contains around 40% of menthol which is the potent ingredient in peppermint oil. In studies it seems to increase the number and depth of hair follicles better than the drug minoxidil with it’s long list of side effects.
Geranium essential oil is anti-inflammatory and due to the high concentration monoterpenes it is also immuun stimulating. It is a regenerating oil stimulating hair growth.
A healthy scalp is key to improve hair growth and geranium essential oil can regulate dryness, excess oil, and the production of sebum. According to this study from 2017 it promotes hair growth and is a great addition to your hair care routine.
Sesquiterpenes, a compound that promotes oxygen delivery is found in cedarwood essential oil. It improves circulation and promotes blood flow to the hair follicles for thicker, healthier hair.
A combination of cedarwood, rosemary, thyme, and lavender was used in this study to treat hair loss and to reverse it, with succes.
Another essential oil to consider when dealing with hair loss is clary sage. Clary sage essential oil is a great oil to use to stop hair loss and to stimulate hair growth. This is not an oil for pregnant women or when breastfeeding, when having estrogen problems or when consuming too much alcohol.
Linalyl acetate is the active ingredient in clary sage which boosts hair growth and strengthens your hair.
Another one of the best essential oils for hair loss is roman chamomile essential oil. Gentle and calming, chamomile has been used for numerous issues for decades. While it’s most known for its calming properties, chamomile is also used to support hair health.
Chamomile is often used in hair care. Like lavender, chamomile is considered a safe oil and can be used on most individuals.
This oil can help enhance hair growth. It penetrates through your skin to stimulate blood flow hair follicles.
Thyme Essential Oil is considered strong when it comes to essential oils. It is best to use this oil in a carrier as a DIY hair growth oil to massage on the scalp and then wash out after approximately 10 minutes.
Inflammation is known as one of the major factors in ageing and hair loss. Studies showed that thyme has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help slow down hair loss and promote hair growth.
Tea tree oil is packed with powerful antimicrobial properties that help cleanse the scalp.
It is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal and it can unclog hair follicles and nourish hair from the roots. All of these factors are important for hair growth.
Ylang Ylang essential oil has been used traditionally to support healthy hair growth. Like cedarwood oil, ylang ylang essential oil has the ability to balance oil production. A well-balanced scalp helps support hair growth.
Onion Seed Oil is probably the one you haven’t heard of yet so I wanted to add it in. Onion oil has been shown to help in regrowing hair. The Journal of Dermatology has published a study showing that the hair of participants started to improve and grow within just two weeks.
Essential Oil Recipes for Thicker, Healthier Hair
Hair-loss blend #1
- Lavender – 12 drops
- Peppermint – 4 drops
- Rosemary – 4 drops
- 40ml carrier oil of your choice
Hair-loss blend #2
- Geranium – 6 drops
- Cedarwood – 6 drops
- Chamomile – 5 drops
- Clary Sage – 3 drops
- 40ml carrier oil of your choice
Thoroughly combine each of the blends and store them in a dark glass dropper bottle. Use one or both of them alternating the recipe when you finished a bottle to treat hair loss and to regrow your hair.
Hair Growth Spray #3
- Cedarwood – 15 drops
- Rosemary – 10 drops
- Lavender – 10 drops
- Peppermint – 5 drops
- Alcohol Free Witch Hazel – 2 Tbsp.
- distilled water to top off the 4oz. sprayer bottle
Add all the ingredients to a 4oz. glass sprayer bottle, shake well before spraying it on your scalp. The hair growth spray is not oily so it can be used more often without having to wash your hair afterward.
Feel free to mix and match carrier and essential oils that you have on hand or what appeals to you. You do want to keep the total amount of drops of essential oils the same to be sure you are using the right amount as essential oils always have to be diluted properly. When dealing with a very sensitive scalp try to add less drops.
Select your essential oils from those above or the list. The best is to use a combination of a few essential oils. Essential oils always need to be diluted in a carrier oil. Below you also find a list of the best carrier oils to choose from.
How to use the essential oil blends
Add 5 drops of essential oil to every 10mls of carrier oil, and shake together well. I like to use a glass bottle with a dropper for easy appliance. You can pour a small amount of the blend to your hand, or, as I prefer, add it with the dropper directly to the scalp. Work the oil into your scalp, not on the hair. Gently massage in small, circular motions all over the scalp without causing too much friction since this can damage hair roots.
Getting extra blood flow to the scalp is a good thing when applying the oils. You can bend over and lower your head to increase blood flow and massage some more. Keep the mixture on your scalp for at least 20 to 30 minutes, as long as possible is the best option. Overnight, covered with a towel or shower cap, is a great way to let the oils do their work. Shampoo the hair in the morning.
Add the blend to your Shampoo
Add 1-3 drops of the essential oil blend, without the carrier oil, to your shampoo each time you wash your hair. Gently massage into hair and scalp and rinse as normal.
Use the blend as a Scalp Oil
Massage the essential oil blend including the carrier oil into the scalp. Leave on fot 20 minutes or even better, overnight. Shampoo the hair in the morning.
The key with using essential oils for hair loss is to be consistent and to be patient. Use the oils two to three times per week for the desired results.
Growth-Stimulating Scalp Massage
Massaging your scalp with your fingertips helps to stimulate the scalp, increase circulation, and helps remove dead skin cells that could be clogging the pores. Massage your scalp gently at least twice a week for healthy hair follicles and skin.
Feel free to mix and match the carrier and essential oils that you have on hand or what appeals to you. Just use one carrier oil, or a mix of any of the above, switch out the essential oils to what appeals to you or based on what your hair needs are. You really can’t mess it up! Do keep the amount of drops you add the same as in the recipes.
ps. You should always do a patch test on the skin before applying it for the first time on your scalp.
The 6 Best Carrier Oils for Hair Growth
Which Carrier Oil Should You Use?
An oily scalp is best soothed with a light-weight carrier oil like grapeseed or almond oil. A very dry scalp is better with a heavier carrier oil like coconut oil. For a normal scalp you can choose the oil or the blend of oils you like.
Coconut oil comes in such refined, unrefined, extra-virgin, and fractionated form. I prefer the fractionated coconut oil because it doesn’t harden when it gets colder. Coconut oil is one of the best oils for hair growth.
Coconut oil is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and it is also anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. This oil also works great for all hair types.
Argan oil is derived from the nuts from argan trees. It is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants and Vitamin E. Argan oil can be used as a conditioner oil for dry, frizzy hair but it is also a great carrier oil for essential oils. It is best to use 100% pure, organic oils on your scalp and body.
Argan oil protects hair against from UV rays and heat. It also moisturizes and makes hair soft, shiny and manageable. It is less greasy than coconut oil so it can be used more often.
Jojoba oil doesn’t interfere with the scalp’s natural balance. Jojoba oil can enter the hair shaft and follicle and works from the inside out. It also has antibacterial qualities and is great for dry hair, dandruff and dry scalp.
Jojoba oil is a great healing oil for the scalp which makes it perfect for preventing and reversing hair loss.
Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, proteins, magnesium and antioxidants. Great for dry, damaged hair and for slow-growing hair or hair loss. Almond oil can be a great carrier oil for essential oils and it can also be used to restore split ends.
Grapeseed oil is an extract of cold-pressed grape seeds. It is rich in emollients, antioxidants and nutrients that are essential to the growth of healthy hair and skin cells. As a conditioner great for dull looking, brittle hair and for preventing hair loss.
Grapeseed oil moisturizes and conditions hair and it blocks the production of DHT, a hormone that causes hair loss. It is rich in vitamin E, a great hair and skin vitamin, and it revitalizes the health of hair follicles. It is a light oil and can be used more often.
Castor oil is a very sticky, heavy oil and it is rich in antioxidants and ricinoleic acid which has circulation-boosting properties. The ricinoleic acid is a type of fatty acid that fights inflammation and it also enhances the health of hair follicles which in turns promote hair growth.
Lifestyle changes to prevent menopausal hair loss
There are a few lifestyle changes you could implement to support a healthy head of hair regardless your age.
Stress plays a huge part in your hormonal imbalance. Stress impacts all areas of your body and health and it is of the highest priority to minimize stress. Our lives are crazy busy and with all kinds of distractions we can easily be sucked in the stress cycle.
Stress adds to the already existing menopausal symptoms. Reduced estrogen production can affect your brain chemistry and cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
Yoga, breathing relaxations, walking meditation, meditation and tai chi are especially effective in fighting menopausal symptoms. They clear your mind. Regular exercise can reduce stress levels too.
Take care of your liver
A stressed, overworked liver that is not filtering properly has a direct effect on the health of your hair and hormonal balance. Also if you have stubborn fat you can’t seem to get rid of and/or cellulite the liver is often the organ to look at. Check out my 9-Day Liver Detox program if you suspect that your liver could use a tune-up.
Handle with care
Hair that is growing more slowly and is breaking more easily needs to be handled with care. Go easy on the heat, styling products, coloring and bleaching. You don’t want to speed up the deterioration process. Choose the most gentile and natural shampoo, conditioner and hair care products that you can.
Using a Hair De-Tangling Brush with Ultra-soft Bristles that glide through tangles with ease is one easy way to prevent unnecessary breakage.
A gentle way of drying the hair is by using a bamboo hair towel that takes up the moisture.
Sleep on bamboo. A bamboo pillow case is softer and smoother than cotton and it leaves your hair de-tangled and soft. Bamboo Queen Pillowcases – Better Than Silk, Super Soft and Cool
Protect you hair from UV-rays with a leave-in conditioner spray that also shields against UV-rays.
Eat a well balanced diet
A nutrient dense diet supports healthy hair, nails and skin at any age but especially when in menopause. A whole foods, highly plant based diet can prevent a lot of menopausal distress and side effects. Hair, skin and nails are not in the top priority list as long as your body is concerned which means that those are cut off first when lacking nutrients.
A whole foods, highly plant based diet consists of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, iron rich foods, lots of leafy greens rich in minerals like calcium and plenty of fiber. Healthy fats from avocado, nuts and seeds are also a part of a well balanced diet.
Try to skip on fatty foods, animal fat, fried food, dairy, sodium, refined sugar and white flour and limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol.
Read HERE more about The Healthy Hair Diet
Hydration is key
Most people are chronically dehydrated without even knowing it. Dehydration affects the quality of your hair and skin directly. Filtered water is what you need and that is what gets you hydrated, not sugary drinks and coffee. Depending on the level of activity and weather, most people need at least 8 glasses of water per day. Try to make infused water with fruits and herbs to make getting enough easier.
Water helps to lessen symptoms like constipation, fatigue, bloating and headaches. It also flushes out the toxins when working up a sweat or even during unfortunate night sweats that can occur during menopause.
I love this bpa free 75oz. / 2.2 liter water bottle with motivational text on it to get you to down your daily water!
Move Your Body
Exercise is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. No way around it. Besides all the other benefits like maintaining a healthy weight and muscle tone it also helps to prevent menopausal symptoms like mood swings, stress, insomnia and weight gain.
Consider a ( temporary ) hair style change
A shorter haircut can add more volume and texture to the hair, it doesn’t have to be permanent, you can grow it longer when it starts to get fuller and healthier. And you might even like it shorter! Also adding highlights or low-lights can add more depth and dimension to your hair, making it appear thicker and more playful than one flat color. to create the appearance of more depth and dimension in your hair.
When to seek help
You should consult your doctor when …
- You are losing hair in an unusual pattern
- You are losing hair rapidly or at an early age (for example, in your teens or twenties)
- You have any pain or itching with the hair loss
- The skin on your scalp under the involved area is red, scaly, or otherwise abnormal
- You have acne, facial hair, or an abnormal menstrual cycle
- You have additional symptoms which concern you.
To wrap it up …
The sooner you notice signs of menopausal hair loss, the easier it will be to treat it. So if you’re going through menopause, keep a close eye on your hair.
Perseverance and patience, these are two key words in reversing hair loss. It can take months to start seeing results but don’t give up! There is a lot of evidence that hair can, and will regrow when using the right essential oils and making the necessary lifestyle changes.
Stress, medication, illness, vitamin deficiencies and rapid weight loss can also contribute to hair loss. These factors can actually worsen menopausal hair loss.
Menopausal hair loss can be upsetting and cause a lot of anxiety for women. It’s important to take action quickly, this will minimize hair loss and regrowing will be easier and quicker.
If you are concerned about the amount and speed of your hair loss please consult a dermatologist. She can help evaluate if there is a bigger problem than the normal menopausal hair loss.