Hair loss after hysterectomy – Get to know the facts before you drive yourself crazy

Hair loss after hysterectomy is very upsetting, especially when you see chunks of hair come out while combing your hair or showering.

hair loss after hysterectomy

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For most of us women, hair is of great importance. And we are panic-stricken with the thought of becoming bold. Beautiful, voluminous hair signifies youth and vitality and often reflects our femininity, style, and personality.

Thinning hairlines and bald spots are socially acceptable for men but not for women. Hair loss can be very upsetting and lead to low self-esteem in women.

There are many different types of hair loss (alopecia), and before starting any treatment, you must pinpoint the reason for your hair loss after hysterectomy. Often, medical treatment is not required, and hair loss will improve by altering your diet and giving your body time to recover from this enormous physical change.

Why do women suffer from hair loss after hysterectomy

1. Telogen Effluvium

Luckily, it is usually a temporary condition where women, several weeks or months after the hysterectomy, see significant hair shedding. They often notice this when they are washing or combing their hair. The reason is that surgery may disrupt the average growth cycle of the hair. By nature, growing hair or anagen hair lasts around three years. And then, the hair will go into a resting stage for several months. At the end of this cycle, the hair will fall out.

After a major surgery like a hysterectomy, more anagen hairs become telogen (resting) hairs, thus speeding up this process. You may see an increased hair loss for 6 to 9 months that, in most cases, resolves independently.

2. Hormonal Fluctuations

Estrogen production drops dramatically when the hysterectomy also involves the removal of the ovaries. Our hair grows faster and remains on our heads longer thanks to estrogen. When estrogen levels start to drop, hair follicles become more sensitive to male hormones (androgens), and women see a diffuse thinning of hair on the scalp.

In case you didn’t know, this is also why some women have increased facial hair. Fortunately, several treatment options are available for women with androgenic alopecia.

3. Postoperative Alopecia

Some women find a bald patch on the back of their heads after hysterectomy surgery. Pressure alopecia can occur after a lengthy operation like a hysterectomy. Prolonged pressure on the scalp may cause damage to tissue and the hair follicles in the area. The longer the surgery, the higher the likelihood of irreversible damage.

4. Thyroid disorders

Both an underactive and an overactive thyroid can result in changes in all body hair and skin. Women may experience hair thinning, brittle hair, and nails. Thyroid hormones target the hair follicles, the hair cycle, and its pigmentation. Treating hair loss due to thyroid problems and comprehensive lab testing may take time. No thyroid drug works for all women, and you may need several lab tests to see what medication and dosage will work for you.

5. Iron Deficiency

Blood loss during surgery or heavy menstrual bleeding before the hysterectomy may cause anemia. Ferritin is a protein in our body cells that stores iron. Optimal ferritin levels are crucial for optimal hair growth. If your ferritin levels are low, your hair may shed before it completes its natural cycle. When testing for iron deficiency, ensure your doctor also tests ferritin levels. You can treat low ferritin levels with iron supplements and by eating iron-rich foods.

6. Chemotherapy

For most women, losing all their hair from anti-cancer therapy is a traumatic experience. Not all anti-cancer drugs will make you lose your hair. Some may cause only a hardly noticeable thinning. On the positive side, the hair will almost always grow back after stopping the therapy. If you dread losing all your hair due to chemotherapy, you may want to know they invented a new device. Women can wear a device called a Dignicap during a chemo session to prevent hair loss. This device will lower the scalp temperature, so there is less blood flow in the area. This way, less chemo medication can reach and cause damage to the hair follicles.

What can you do about it?

As we already mentioned, to find the best hair loss treatment, you must find out what causes it. If you are unsure, you may consult a dermatologist first.

One can address the problem of hair loss after hysterectomy in three ways.

Naturally, by adapting your lifestyle

Eating a healthy and nutritious diet can help you maintain your gorgeous locks. For example, a deficiency in trace minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium is essential for hair growth. Moreover, essential fatty acids are vital for healthy hair, skin, and nails.

Limit the use of harsh hair treatments like perms and hair colors. But hair straighteners, curling wands, and hair dryers may contribute to hair loss when you use them often.

It’s important to keep stress at bay. Consider doing yoga and regular walking exercises, as they will help to reduce stress.

With supplements or organic treatments

There are so many supplements available for healthy hair. In particular, look for those containing iron, zinc, biotin, and vitamin A when trying to curb your hair loss. Some organic treatments you may like to try to encourage hair growth are massaging Aloe Vera or coconut oil into the scalp a few times a week. Additionally, you can add some essential oils, like rosemary oil or geranium oil, to your shampoo to improve the condition of your hair.

With medication prescribed by your doctor

Before your doctor prescribes any hair loss treatment, he may like to do some blood tests to check for deficiencies and hormonal imbalances. When these tests are within the normal range, your physician may prescribe a medical treatment named minoxidil. For women experiencing surgical menopause, hormone replacement therapy may be a suitable treatment option for hair loss after hysterectomy.


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  1. Hi my name is Jeanene Barron I had a full hysterectomy in 2019 and my life has not been the same since. Reading these other women’s testimonies are hurt breaking, but also helps me know I am not a lone. My hair is thinning and shedding and very dry and brittle. It has been so discouraging. I have tried so many things and nothing has helped. My scalp is so sensitive and tender.

  2. Ladies,
    I had a partial hysterectomy back in 2008. After a few months later, my scalp got really irritated. I get huge pieces of build up. I went to 3 different dermatologist, tried laser treatments to increase the circulation on the scalp and all the different shampoos and nothing is working. My hair is really thin and I lost alot. My concern is that now the hair line shows even more. I need to find a cure before I am bald. I heard that taking oral contraceptives again will help due to the estrogen. Let’s see if this work.
    I guess I am not alone.

  3. Hi. I’m going through the same thing as well. I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy on December 24, 2019. My hair started falling out the beginning of April 2020. I had beautiful curly hair. My hair is shedding, it’s dry and brittle. I’m trying everything but I’m getting so frustrated. I’m just writing this to say you’re not alone. I’m hoping this will ease very soon. I’ve been taking Biotin and B12’s everyday. Good luck and may God bless you all!

  4. I had hysterectomy 2004 my hair start fallout after 7 of operation and is falling on the side next to the ear and my forehead but is growing fast on the top and also my breast was so small but now they grow big. But I’m taking herbal hormones tablets I’m afraid of other tablets as I heard that they course cancer.
    Please help me


  5. I had a hysterectomy with one ovary left on my right side. I am short and horribly obese so I had had a huge surgical wound that got infected and had to be reopened and for a long time, I was in a wound vac. so needless to say there was a lot of bleeding involved. I used to have a very nice thick head of red-brown curly hair which had so many curls and vitality. The strands were much thicker. I can hardly stand what had happened now. I kind of look like I’m 65 and I just turned 41. Almost all the hair, on the top of my head, is gone with only a very thin layer. it has gotten super dry very grey the curls look sad and lifeless the better hair has mainly fallen out now I see shedding all the time everywhere. It’s disheartening, agrivating and annoying. If I ever was depressed before I feel I have never known the meaning of the word til now I have tried so many commercialized things that just aren’t working my hair is progressively getting thinner. I’m in poor health and will need kidney stones removed very soon and just wonder how very bald I’m going to be. I’m so beside myself. I had gotten this removed because of endometrial cancer and large fibroids so I should be really thankful I’m alive, which I really am. But I’m about to go try to see if I can just give it up and go for expensive treatment even though I can’t afford it. It’s frustrating and hard to live like this. I’m not sure what to do.

    1. Ladyloki77 I had a radical hysterectomy in sept 2017. I’m 40 I had super thick curly brown hair and I’m having the same experience. Curls are barely there and hair is thinning a lot and I am mostly grey. But I’ve been going grey since I was 17. I did have a lot of blood loss during surgery and I have low ferritin (but I’ve had that for a long a time). I have been dealing with massive anxiety since the surgery and just recently started getting a lot better. It is comforting to seee someone else going through the exact same because that means there isn’t something seriously wrong.

  6. I had my ovaries removed in December 17. I’m sitting here almost in tears seeing how much hair I’m shedding. It wasn’t thick before. I’ve been depressed since the operation and losing my hair is making it much worse.

    1. Hi I had a full hysterectomy in July 2017 this past summer. Yes, my hair started shutting falling out and breaking off badly thought I was going crazy. I was not put on hormone medicine right away but did start on December 3 as I was told this would help. However, I have high blood pressure and I’m on high blood pressure medicine. The hormone medicine interacted with my blood pressure medicine causing bloating headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, severe angina and severe anxiety. I ended up taking myself off the medicine recently just like a day ago. I’m going to try the all natural way through Savoy and vitamins and such as the hormone medicine did not work for me I know the feeling about your hair it’s absolutely devastating and I went through a complete meltdown. I also left my job on February 9 being on hormone medicine and going crazy. I wonder if there’s a website just for women like us that we can talk and figure out natural stuff to help each other

  7. Had a hysterectomy in February but was able to keep my ovaries. Over the last 2 months I have had significant hair loss and am starting to panic.

  8. I had a hysterectomy in March of 2017, at age almost 37 (I was a month from my birthday). I had very little pain with the actual surgery (still have overies) and just small amounts with bladder repositioning after. About four months after the surgery my mom noticed my hair was thinning “in the same place your dads did” I shrugged it off as the part I had done for that day. Since then I’ve noticed just how thin my hair really has gotten. I’m five months post surgery at this time and I’m starting to fear all my hair will fall out!

    1. Hi Julie,

      So sorry to hear you’re struggling with this. I’ve had the same problem since having a radical hysterectomy and totally understand how upsetting it is.

      My consultant gave me a testosterone gel which I apply weekly to my upper arm to stop the hair ‘falling.’

      I’m also rubbing sesame oil (a traditional Indian treatment) to improve scalp and hair condition with great results.

      You don’t have to suffer in silence – go back to your GP and discuss your options.

      Good luck!

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