Being a woman can be quite tough; you go through many critical stages in life that impact your health and well-being. Menopause is one of the phases that women have to go through during their 40s and 50s, and the symptoms that one may experience are never tolerable. These menopausal signs include mood swings, extreme fatigue, sleeping disorder, hot flashes, drying skin, and even hair loss.
Even after menopause, it's not a guarantee that your hair's condition would go back to how it used to be. Thus, it is vital to take extra care of your tresses, especially during and after menopause. Find out how menopause affects hair growth and learn some helpful hair care tips during and after your menopausal transition.
Menopause and Hair: How Can Menopause Affect Hair Growth?
When a woman undergoes menopause, her ovaries gradually decline in producing estrogens, resulting in hormonal imbalance. These hormones are responsible for the reproductive, sexual, and other vital physiological functions in the body, such as hair growth.
Estrogens play a vital role in the hair growth cycle, allowing more hair follicles to stay and thrive in the growth (or anagen) phase. However, the decrease of such hormones may impact and cause the follicles to shift into the resting (or telogen) phase. The longer that they are dormant, the longer you have to wait for your hair to grow. They are also more susceptible to breakage and hair fall since they don't receive nutrients to strengthen the shaft.
Simple Care Tips for Your Tresses during the Menopausal Journey
During your menopausal journey, you may feel various symptoms that can affect you physically, such as how your hair grows. How should you deal with these effects then? Here are some helpful hair care tips for women undergoing menopause.
1. Gently brush your hair to avoid hair fall and strand breakage.
Even though women of all ages should follow this particular hair care tip, menopausal women must be extra gentle in hair brushing. Since hormonal imbalance affects the hair growth cycle, most of your hair follicles might be in the telogen phase. Aggressive brushing of your hair may cause these sensitive hair strands to fall out.
2. Increase your protein intake in your everyday diet.
Your hair strands are mostly made of a protein called keratin. By increasing your protein intake in your diet, you can help strengthen your hair and improve your strands' quality amidst the estrogen decline in your body.
3. Avoid getting stressed.
As people age, they become more exposed to stressful situations that can affect their emotional and mental stability. When you are stressed, your body discharges cortisol to cope with the stress. These stress hormones can increase your body's androgen levels, which can be detrimental to your hair follicles. They can bind these follicles and shrink them, leading to hair loss problems. Therefore, it'd help to learn how to manage stress and avoid stressful circumstances as much as possible.
4. Hydration is a must.
Your body needs hydration to keep the hair growth process going and moisturize your hair strands. Unfortunately, your ovaries may not produce enough estrogens during menopause to preserve sufficient moisture on your hair and skin. Hence, it would be best to drink lots of water and moisturize your locks using natural yet effective hair growth conditioners and serums.
5. Minimize the usage of heat-styling tools.
Your hair and scalp may be prone to dryness due to loss of moisture during menopause, and it's not enough to apply hair moisturizers to keep your hair well-hydrated. It's also important to avoid using heat-styling tools that can parch your hair strands.
6. Consume phytoestrogen-enriched meals every day.
Your estrogen levels may fluctuate from time to time, but it doesn't mean they won't decrease. You can help regulate your hormonal levels by eating a hearty supply of foods rich in phytoestrogens. These plant nutrients have properties that can imitate estrogenic functions, assisting biological activities in coping with the lack of estrogens in the body. You can obtain all of these phytoestrogens from soy products, broccoli, carrots, oranges, and licorice roots. Including these healthy foods in your daily diet will help you keep you hale and hearty and mitigate the adverse impact of hormonal imbalance.
7. Have your hormonal levels checked.
If you think that hormonal imbalance has something to do with your hair's poor condition during menopause, it would be best to have your hormonal levels checked. Your physician can also give you proper medication if you have hormonal problems and share some tips on how to stabilize your hormonal levels.
Dos and Don'ts for Your Hair Post-Menopause
After menopause, your ovaries will no longer be active in producing estrogens, which means hormonal imbalance. Thus, you should be extra careful in handling your tresses. Take note of the following advice on how to treat your hair after your menopausal journey.
1. Don't leave your hair conditioner on your tresses for more than three minutes.
It's a common mistake for most women to leave their conditioner on their locks for a long time (even up to an hour). Unless it is a deep conditioning treatment, such as hair masks, one should never prolong the rinse-out conditioner on his or her hair. This type of conditioner can fill in the cracks or gaps on your hair cuticles, but it can also suck up the proteins on your strands, leaving them pliable yet prone to breakage. Postmenopausal women should be careful with how much they apply conditioners since their bodies may not have sufficient proteins to support healthy hair growth.
The tricky part isn't on how long your conditioner stays on your hair but on how evenly distributed the product is all over your hair. Therefore, allow your tresses to absorb the conditioner's nutrients for at least five minutes, but ensure that you have slathered the cream evenly on your locks.
2. Don't ditch the phytoestrogen diet.
Your regular estrogen production won't come back after menopause, so you should be extra cautious with what you consume for your body. Hence, you need to provide ample phytoestrogens to keep those physiological activities going, especially your hair growth.
3. Exercise daily.
Age is never an excuse for someone to get those muscles and joints moving. Even beyond the 50s, women should be active mentally and physically. When you exercise, blood circulates all over your body, allowing more nutrients to reach more cells, especially those residing on your hair follicles. Exercise is also a fun and healthy way to relieve stress, another common cause of hair loss problems. You can do some household work or start walking around your neighborhood if you can't handle strenuous activities. Postmenopausal women can also join Zumba classes to burn those calories enjoyably.
4. If your hormones go down and cause hair loss issues, you may opt for HRT.
Some women have to go through the worst even after menopause, suffering from aging problems up to hair loss. Thus, opting to undergo Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may be the solution to your problem. This type of therapy can come in various forms, such as pills, gels, and patches, which can be expensive to maintain. Thus, it's essential to consult your physician before undergoing this kind of treatment for safety and financial purposes.
5. You can use an anti-dandruff shampoo to fight dandruff problems.
You've read it right. You can still suffer from dandruff, even post-menopause. Estrogen decline can mess up your scalp's sebum production, leading to excess oils on your pate. As a result, more bacteria and fungi that feed on your hair's natural oils invade your scalp, causing dandruff issues. To inhibit this hair-and-scalp catastrophe, use an anti-dandruff shampoo. Always remember to shampoo your locks every day to remove the grease and prevent any build-up.
6. Use hair coloring products that are free from harmful chemicals.
Aging can affect one's physical appearance, causing skin wrinkles and grey strands to appear. Because people want to look youthful, most of them opt to dye their hair with darker colors. There's nothing wrong with that aspiration, as long as you use hair coloring products that are free from toxic chemicals, such as parabens, ammonia, toluene, resorcinol, and SLS (or sodium lauryl sulfate). These chemicals can dry and damage your tresses, leaving your hair strands lifeless and not so youthful-looking.
Don't Let Menopause Bring Your Hair Down.
Menopause is a normal phase that women have to go through, but it doesn't mean your hair should go through this stage unpleasantly. Hence, every woman should also take precautions for her tresses during and even after menopause. By eating healthy foods, exercising daily, avoiding stress, and applying the best hair growth products, you can keep those locks bouncy and youthful.
Enjoy Your Glowing and Growing Hair During and After Menopause.
Don't let menopause ruin your hair. Preserve those youthful locks by using hair thickening shampoos and conditioners. Ensure that your hair growth products contain vitamins to prevent menopausal hair loss.