The menopause has, over the last couple of generations, become much better understood. But what is it’s effect on our hair?
It starts when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation comes to an end. We are all born with all the eggs we will ever have already there, once we reach puberty the process of releasing one egg every cycle begins and carries on until the supply of eggs is exhausted.
Typically, in our late forties, the menopause begins with our cycles becoming slightly irregular. This is called the perimenopause, it becomes the menopause when we have our final menstrual period. The final stage is called the postmenopause, which begins a year later.
The sudden changes in hormone levels can trigger a range of symptoms that might include hot flushes, tenderness around the breasts, fatigue, intensified PMT… and many more. The emotional challenge that is involved is very real, but the physical changes can amplify that challenge and leave the sufferer in a pretty miserable state.
The Effect On Hair
The changes in key hormones, estrogen and testosterone, have a marked effect. The reduction in estrogen, an important hormone which promotes the growth of hair and nails… both keratin. The double whammy is that while estrogen production reduces the production of testosterone increases disproportionately… and testosterone, as any man will tell you, is the hormone that will cause your hair to grow thinner and even shed. Unfortunately, it can also trigger hair growth in the one place we would choose not to have hair… on our faces.
Can I Save My Hair?
The first thing to be said is that you should get along to see your doctor. While hair loss is a regular feature of the menopause, it is not the only reason women of a certain age might be losing hair. So there is a real risk that, if ignored, the menopause might be masking an underlying condition for which the symptom is also hair loss.
If the hair loss is linked to the menopause and the physical changes happening inside your body, then there are some lifestyle changes that will help. If you have struggled to make and sustain these sort of changes in the past then you may find that hair loss is a powerful motivator to pursue those changes with a little more vigor.
Changes to the care routine are a good starting point. Use a gentle shampoo and massage your scalp regularly. Avoid styles that pull on the hair at the roots. Make sure your diet contains plenty of iron and protein, not forgetting vital vitamin C. Avoid, wherever possible, situations that you find stressful and exercise regularly… this will help you sleep properly and improve circulation.
Hair Loss for Women
The menopause is an unavoidable phase of life that looms the closer we get to it. When it arrives it can be incredibly distressing in the broadest sense, making the hair loss that can accompany it all the more distressing. But improve your hair care routine, watch what you eat and step up your exercise programme and you will give yourself, and your hair, the very best chance of coming through.
We would like to offer you the opportunity to discuss your hair loss situation with a friendly, globally recognized, expert. Ranbir is a committed hair professional with years of experience and a well-earned reputation for thought-leadership and innovation in the industry. If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with an expert, sympathetic and experienced ear, please use the contact form below to get in touch.