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Perimenopause & Menopause Hair – What you need to know

It’s not our imagination; this period of change brings many unwanted changes to our hair. You may notice your hair is thinning, lacking volume or shedding more.

For many, it can be challenging; our hair is something we have control over; we cut it, style it and choose how to wear it. It’s a way to express ourselves and convey our personality and image to others. When these changes come into play, we may feel less like ourself and less in control, affecting our self-esteem. These worries can bring on additional stress, which has a further negative effect on the hair.

How does perimenopause & menopause affect our hair?

Because our hair’s growth cycle is affected by hormones, the changing hormone levels around perimenopause & menopause often accelerate these changes to your hair. These changes are due to immense hormonal fluctuations, and the main two culprits are estrogen and progesterone. Menopause causes oestrogen levels to decrease, and oestrogen is a hair-friendly hormone, helping to keep hair in its anagen (growth) phase for longer.

When estrogen and progesterone levels decline or are off-balance, hair growth slows, and hair loss becomes more pronounced.

Possible symptoms & signs of hormonal hair

  • Your ponytail/pineapple is thinner
  • Your hair is not growing as long as it used to
  • Your parting is wider
  • Your scalp is more visible around the crown of your head
  • A recession at your temples
  • A loss of density at your frontal hairline
  • A reduction in the thickness (volume) and length of each strand
  • A few more or new grey strands


Are we at the mercy of our hormones?

The good news is we can help support our hair through this time by caring for it correctly on the outside and defending it from within.

  • Add hair-specific vitamin, mineral and protein supplements into your daily regime to help you achieve the correct balance for healthy hair growth.
  • Move more: activity helps us manage stress, and stress can have a negative effect on your hair because it raises the androgen levels in your body. Whatever your choice of activity may be, it will have a positive impact not just on your hair but also on factors such as your mood, weight management and insomnia. These are important in maintaining a good hormonal balance, which ultimately promotes healthy hair growth.
  • You are what eat: this couldn’t be truer when it comes to your hair. Eating a well-balanced diet is your best defence against hair loss; Make sure your diet includes a balance of protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  
  • Use the right shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair clean, balanced and moisturised. While this is nothing new to those with curly and wavy hair, this time means there is a loss of moisture and elasticity throughout the body, including the scalp. Therefore each hair strand loses oil (sebum), contributing to increased dryness.
  • Treat your scalp like the ultimate feeding ground to optimise hair growth. Now is the time to scale up your scalp care routine. If your scalp is dry, use gentle, moisturising shampoos and wash it less frequently. If your scalp is oily, you may want to shampoo every other day, this varies from person to person. It’s important to get movement in the scalp area capillaries underneath the skin shrink and need to be stimulated to increase the blood flow to the hair root. Scalp treatments and scalp massaging daily is a great way to do this.
  • Ditch the heated styling tools where possible, keep heat to a minimum and use heat protection products to support your hair’s overall health when styling

Whist, it may feel like you are losing control over your hair at this time; you can take control of many factors in terms of diet, lifestyle and hair care; these are three significant areas that can influence your hair health.

Remember, while we may be dreaming of our hair as it was, other people don’t view your hair in the past; they see it as it is now. Tweaking your current hair routine or adding in additional steps once you’ve recognised your hair’s new attributes will see this phase of your hair flourish!

Have you read our 3 step approach to caring for your hair? Read our full mission statement here

(Always seek professional advice if you are experiencing severe hair loss)

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