life (and hair loss) begins at 40Our hair is a vital part of our overall image and beauty, but when it begins to thin with age it can be a frustrating and emotionally distressing experience for many of us. As unnatural as it may feel, however, hair loss is a perfectly normal part of the ageing process.

Menopausal hair loss

Usually around the age of forty, most women will be starting a menopause transition phase. This phase of life involves fluctuations in hormone levels. Ovaries will gradually produce less oestrogen each month leading to less frequent menstruation, progesterone and androgen levels will also begin to fluctuate. These three hormones are understood to play a part in healthy hair growth; however their exact role is not yet understood. Menopause-related hair loss happens everywhere, hair will begin to thin out on the scalp, body and even pubic hair will reduce.

Men on the other hand are more likely to suffer from hair loss if they are genetically predisposed to it. Male pattern baldness is estimated to affect up to two thirds of men by the time they are forty. It usually follows a pattern of a receding hairline – typically in a ‘M’ shape and hair which thins out at the crown.

Other common causes of hair loss are stress, illness, medications or childbirth – these are all situations in which the body’s hormones can become imbalanced therefore aggravate the natural hair loss cycle.

Dealing with age-related hair loss

Hair loss which is associated with age does not happen overnight, it is a long and steady process but there are some effective options available to deal with the thinning.

Some experts recommend that to stimulate regrowth for healthy hair, iron intake should be increased. This works by improving blood circulation to hair follicles and making ideal conditions for regrowth. Many swear by biotin supplements, a molecule which has been shown to aid in hair and nail growth. A regular therapeutic head massage with essential oils which nurture the hair can also help with stimulating regrowth.

If you feel your hair thinning is affecting your confidence, then perhaps it’s time for a cut and restyle so that it is more lightweight and appears voluminous. However be sure to use gentle products and avoid pulling it into tight styles and using hair dyes. Otherwise you can always try experimenting with wigs and accessories such as headscarves, or visit a hair loss expert to find out about your other options.