Caring For Your Hair And Skin In Menopause
My hair, nails and skin look amazing since menopause started, said no perimenopausal or postmenopausal woman EVER! BUT that does not mean all hope is lost. On the contrary, there is a lot of easy and effective actions to take.
In general, skin and hair appearance are a reflection of what our body is trying to tell us. We are what we eatso lets start with the nitty gritty about diet and nutrients:
TAKE HOME POINT: for most women- a daily multivitamin is really all you need.
Perimenopause And Hair Loss
And then theres the hair question.
Perimenopause is not, in specific terms, a condition that can cause hair loss. Its not a stated symptom of the condition.
But, that being said, theres some bad news.
Hormonal changes have been shown in some cases to exacerbate conditions like female pattern alopecia, also known as androgenic alopecia.
The condition can worsen during perimenopause, especially if its effects were already showing before the onset of perimenopause.
The hormones that typically cause female pattern hair loss are called androgens, but interestingly enough, not all women show an increase in circulating androgen levels.
This suggests that a more complicated mechanism may be involved.
What we do know is that perimenopause can cause a decrease in the duration of the anagen phase of hair growth one of hairs three life cycle phases.
Typically 90 percent of your hair should be in the anagen phase at one time, but when this number is reduced, so is your hair count.
Because estrogen is thought to influence hair growth, its believed that the reduction in ovarian estrogen levels may be the cause of androgenic alopecia in women.
Why Does It Happen
FPHL is very common and increases with age and varies across ethnic groups. Although it can happen at any age, the condition occurs most commonly following the menopause. This does not mean that hormones alone are to blame, although oestrogen may have a protective role, helping to keep hair in the growing phase. Age itself is a factor and whilst women can take care of their hair cosmetically, it is one aspect of the ageing process we cannot always control. Genetics are important too and you may notice a family link with both male and female hair loss. Occasionally times of acute stress on the body will influence hair growth, eg illness, emotional stresses and crash dieting. Some medications may have an influence too.
Also Check: What Deficiency Causes Hair Loss
Try A Few Key Supplements
If youre wondering what vitamins are good for hair loss during menopause, there are a few key nutrients you need. Biotin and Viviscal, for example, come up again and again in perimenopausal hair loss research. Deficiencies in biotin are rare, but many women take supplements because it seems to improve the condition of their hair and nails.
Viviscal has Biotin in it and calcium. And vitamin C. It also contains shark cartilage, oyster extract, and a marine complex which is apparently the secret elixir that gives the ingredient its power. The U.S. National Library of Medicine published an article with a double-blind placebo controlled study that showed the efficacy of this product significantly more women who took Viviscal than the placebo noticed hair growth after 90 days, and even more after 180 days.
Now its true that the funding for the study was provided by the makers of Viviscal, but double-blind is double-blind. Furthermore, in an entirely separate article, Beauty Editor writer Katrina Persad tried Viviscal for six months and documented her results in a quite convincing photo essay and article that showed fairly dramatic results and Viviscal did not pay her for her trouble.
Check out this list of nutrients for hair loss, and where you can find them.
Patterns Of Female Hair Loss
Clinicians use the Ludwig Classification to describe female pattern hair loss. Type I is minimal thinning that can be camouflaged with hair styling techniques. Type II is characterized by decreased volume and noticeable widening of the mid-line part. Type III describes diffuse thinning, with a see-through appearance on the top of the scalp.
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What Can Be Done To Minimize The Weight Gain Caused By Menopause
Start adopting healthy lifestyle practices before menopause by exercising and eating well, so those good habits are in place. Aging is associated with changes in metabolism, decreased muscle and increased body fat. We are often less physically active the older we get, which is a large contributor to weight gain. Weight tends to deposit around the midsection, which can increase the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and certain types of cancer . In addition to the negative impact on health, weight gain often leads to poor self-image and depression.
It is important to your overall health and well-being to adhere to a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity. A healthy diet includes watching portion control and limiting amounts of sugar, processed carbohydrates, fat and processed foods. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to help with weight loss, improve cognition and decrease the risk of dementia and osteoporosis, as well as improve heart health. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, Pilates and yoga help maintain posture, balance and core strength.
Are There Complications/side Effects Of Treatment
Minoxidil may irritate your scalp and cause dryness, scaling, itching and/or redness. See your dermatologist if this happens.
With Minoxidil you might also see hair growing in other places other than your scalp . Wash your face after you apply Minoxidil and make sure you avoid other areas when you apply it.
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When To See A Doctor About Menopause Hair Loss
Hair loss or thinning during the menopause can be upsetting, but it isnt usually an emergency or cause for concern. However, its a good idea to see a doctor, especially if youre worried.
A doctor will ask about your medical history and lifestyle. They should be able to tell the cause of your hair loss by looking at your hair.
They can check for any other possible causes, such as an iron or vitamin deficiency . There can sometimes be several factors involved in hair loss.
You should see a doctor if you have hair loss and:
- your hair loss is sudden
- your head itches and burns
- youre losing hair in clumps
- you have bald patches
- you have hard poos or loose poos
- youre having mood changes
Find Out If A Medical Issue Is Causing Your Hair Loss
Perimenopause is a natural state of aging, but hair loss can be a symptom of a more serious problem. The first thing you should do if youre experience hair loss is see your doctor to make sure you dont have a health issue .
Once you and your doctor have determined that your hair loss is caused by perimenopause, it might be time to try out some other treatments.
Read Also: What Causes Rapid Hair Loss In Females
What Role Does Hormone Replacement Treatment Play In Hair Thinning During Menopause
Hormone replacement treatment during menopause may help with thinning hair if its related to hormone changes. Our provider may prescribe estrogen replacement therapy to help bring your hormones back into balance and back up to healthy baseline levels if you have low estrogen during menopause. This may help your hair in a few ways.
First, as we learned, estrogen plays a significant role during hair growth. Increasing estrogen levels during hormone replacement treatment may help your hair stay in the growing phase for longer than it would without hormone injections. It can also help your body keep testosterone levels in balance to help reduce the shrinking effects testosterone can have on hair follicles. In addition, some studies show that if you start hormone imbalance treatment early on for menopause symptoms, it may help you maintain your current hair density. This can help you reduce how much hair you lose throughout the course of menopause.
Does Hair Grow Back After Menopause
Is hormonal hair loss reversible? While menopausal hair loss can make you self-conscious about your appearance and femininity, fortunately it is not permanent. So stop grieving your lost hair! If hair loss during menopause is hormonal, it can be reversed. Will your hair grow back? Yes! And there are some things you can do to support your body along the way.
Read Also: How To Fix Thinning Hair Naturally
Is There Any Medical Treatment That Will Help A Woman Grow Back Hair During Menopause
“Not all women experience hair loss or thinning during menopause, but many do,” said Dr. Culwell. “For women who are experiencing hair loss, I recommend that they have their thyroid levels checked as hypothyroidism can also cause hair loss and is more common in women in their 40s and 50s. Assuming the thyroid is normal, the only prescription treatment for hair loss is minoxidil which is applied topically to the scalp. This option has rare, but serious, side effects of elevated heart rate and can decrease blood pressure as it was originally developed as a medication for high blood pressure.”
Wash Your Hair Less Frequently
Experts seem to agree that nobody needs to wash her hair every day. Its not that washing our hair makes it fall out , but experts say that what we do to our hair afterwards can damage it.
For example, using blow dryers and curling irons on high heat settings and extra-hold hair spray can all create hair loss. The trick is to let our hair dry naturally or wash and style it less often.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Menopause Hair Loss
1. Eat plenty of good foodsA balanced diet fill of vitamins and minerals and is low in saturated fat.
2. Add SupplementsA daily multivitamin or mineral supplement to get the nutrients you may have missed in your diet and help to replenish key nutrients.
3. Exercise RegularlyExercise can help in keeping your mood swings in check, maintaining your weight, and helping you sleep, all of which help to contribute to hormonal balance and promote healthy hair growth.
4. Stay HydratedStaying hydrated can keep your skin and hair healthy and also improve blood circulation, which keeps your follicles nourished.
5. Look after your hairUse a gentle, moisturising shampoo and conditioner when you wash your hair. Choose products that are made specifically for dry or damaged hair that will increase its elasticity.
How Can Thinning Hair Affect Me
While thinning hair itself doesnt usually affect your physical health directly, there are many ways hair loss can negatively impact your well-being. One study showed that 55% of women who were experiencing some form of hair loss also experienced symptoms of depression. In this same study, about 89% of those women noticed improvements in their depressive symptoms after receiving treatment for hair loss. Many women notice they have lower self-esteem, confidence, and negative body image after experiencing hair loss.
The problem with hair loss during menopause is that it doesnt just signal hormone imbalances or extra stress, it can also cause negative consequences for your mental, emotional, and social health. Many women notice that theyre less likely to engage in social activities if they experience menopausal hair loss. They may also feel anxiety and stress about their hair. Over time, this can also affect your overall well-being and quality of life. Therefore, if youre experiencing thinning hair, its important to talk to your doctor. If youre experiencing other symptoms as well, our provider may recommend hormone replacement treatment.
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What Is Androgenetic Alopecia
Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause, when hair loss typically increases. The risk rises with age, and it’s higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family.
As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it’s important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.
What Can You Do About The Hair Loss
1. Have No Stress
Stress has a great impact on the levels of various hormones in the human body, so avoiding stress as much as possible is necessary. As the levels of estrogen are reduced during menopause, certain brain neurotransmitters are affected, causing mood swings, anxiety, and even depression.
In order to avoid and reduce stress, choose activities that will help you relax, such as swimming, yoga, listening to music, jogging, walking, etc., whichever you prefer.
2. Stay Physically Active
For a healthy life staying physically active is a must. If exercises are part of your daily routine you will feel much healthier and happier at the same time. By staying physically active, other signs and symptoms of menopause such as weight gain, mood swings, or insomnia are prevented as well.
3. Watch Your Diet
What you eat has a great impact on your overall health. A low-fat diet is necessary when dealing with hair loss. For this reason, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains should be part of your daily diet. Olive oil or sesame oil should also be part of your diet as well.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
6. Protect Your Hair
The health of your hair will depend a lot on how much attention you pay to your hair and which cosmetic products you use. For this purpose, avoid certain hair products such as certain hair styling, hair dyes, hair dryers, extensions, straightening irons, etc. All these have a great impact on the health of your hair.
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