Staying ahead of hair loss and shedding during menopause
October is Menopause Awareness Month – an issue that is now discussed honestly and openly across the media (as well as in the workplace) allowing for greater understanding, positive awareness and taking steps to help reduce stigma.
The menopause can be a very challenging time for many women and every woman’s journey through this phase can vary. One impact which women may experience is the effect the menopause has on their hair, which in turn can affect how they feel about themselves.
The point at which you begin your menopause, as your hormone levels start to change is called the Perimenopause. However, by being aware, prepared and embracing a better understanding this phase (combined with the introduction of lifestyle changes) women can strive to ‘take control’ of managing and mitigating their symptoms, including how your hair is affected.
As part of Menopause Awareness Month 2022, Consultant Trichologist, Eleanore Richardson MIT shares her insight and top tips on how to manage and maintain healthy hair during this time of change.
“The Perimenopause is a time when our natural oestrogen levels begin to decline. As oestrogen acts as a protective hormone on hair growth, it is entirely natural that we should expect a gradual reduction in hair density as we enter this next phase in life and most women will experience this to some degree.
There are many ways that women can help to reduce their symptoms, ranging from supplements, HRT, exercise and nutrition. But here are my Top Three tips to help keep your hair looking healthy and in the best possible condition:
- Tip: Reduce stress; try to manage your workload and, wherever possible, make sure you get a good night’s sleep. There’s little doubt that stress contributes to hair shedding, so reducing the stress levels in your life is an important step in maximising hair density during menopause. But, with the pressures of work and family life, stress management is easier said than done! Why not have a chat with your GP or practice nurse about perimenopausal / menopausal symptoms so you know what to expect and can take more control in navigating the changes to your body, including the health of your hair.
- Tip: Specific HRT treatments may be a great option to help you manage a wide range of menopausal symptoms as they supplement the reducing oestrogen (which is particularly beneficial for healthy hair) and progesterone experienced by the body. Finding the right ‘type’ for you can definitely help to improve reduced hair density. Talk with your GP sooner rather than later if you are considering HRT and make sure you mention that hair loss is a specific concern so that they can help you choose the best option possible with a known protective effect on the hair.
- Tip: Products such as Nanogen Hair fibres (made of natural keratin, a fibrous protein found in hair strands) and scalp concealers can help to reduce the contrast between the colour of your hair and scalp, making hair loss look less obvious, whilst also bulking up individual hair strands. This improves the overall appearance of hair, giving you a confidence boost and one less thing to worry about when going through this period of change.
Eleanore adds; “Don’t give up, menopause does not mean that you have to put up with thinning hair – you can take control…whether through dietary and lifestyle ‘tweaks’ or researching hair-enhancing products that work for you).”
“There are many support networks out there – more so than ever before – and if you are struggling with menopause symptoms, please consult your GP for advice. And do think about reaching out to a clinical trichologist for a through assessment, diagnosis and treatment. We really are here to help you every step of the way.”