Guest post by Morgan Allman
Aging is a beautiful thing, a rite of passage that proves more worthy for us than we are for it most times. As great as it can be, there are also some… well…struggles we deal with as an aging woman along the way. One of those is the dreaded, unavoidable years of menopause and the potential hair loss that comes along with it.
But how can we fight this, to live our best, most extra hair lives? Let’s look at what causes the hair loss and some simple tips and tricks we can use to combat menopausal hair loss.
What Causes Menopausal Hair Loss?
We all know that menopause is brought on by a change in hormones, and a pretty extreme one if I may say so. Those hormonal changes include a decrease in estrogen and progesterone produced in the ovaries. These typically work to help hair to grow faster and stronger, and stay on our heads for longer periods.
Another conditional result is that many women experience a seeming increase in testosterone. Although your body isn’t actually producing more of this, there is simply less estrogen to counteract it, which may lead to unwanted hair growth on the face and neck. So, what can we do to combat these changes in our hair during menopause? Let’s dig in…
Fight Away The Hair Loss
1. Food for thought
One of the most important aspects of hair loss management is paying attention to what goes into your body. Nutrients like iron, vitamins A, B and C, folic acid, protein, and antioxidants are major players when it comes to hair growth.
Be sure to eat a balanced diet with foods such as berries, fatty fish like salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds and seed oil, beans, and meats to get the nutrients you most need. You can also add a supplement, like these fortified vitamins, into your daily routine. This can help to cover the bases even on those “off” days and aid in hair growth.
2. Stress Management
Another less commonly considered factor in hair loss is stress. Emotional reactions to hair loss can cause stress, which can cause poor eating habits, and lead to a staggering stop in hair growth and follicle health leading to hair becoming more brittle, and even falling out.
Getting enough sleep and exercise can help you manage stress levels. You can also try yoga, meditation, reading, or anything else that brings on a sense of calmness and anxiety relief for you. Baths and showers can also be a huge stress reliever.
3. Stay away from heat and harsh chemicals
Heat and harsh chemicals are some of the worst things for your hair in general, but especially when you’re experiencing hair loss and hormonal changes. Heat in the form of blow drying, hair straighteners, curling wands, and hot showers can strip your hair of moisture, leaving it brittle and frizzy.
While harsh chemicals from coloring and styling treatments, and poor shampoos can also strip your hair of hydration, but also of those important nutrients we talked about previously and leave buildup on the scalp. This blocks new growth and damages the hair already there. Both of these leave your hair susceptible to dry, brittle strands, breakage, and slowed growth.
To prevent this, consider lengthening the time between treatments and switching to a gentle sulfate-free shampoo. You can also try out alternative styling methods, air drying your hair and showering in more mild temperature water.
4. Beware of medications side effects
You know those drug commercials with the voice at the end saying, “Users may experience X, Y, Z while taking this medication”? Well, one of those symptoms you may experience as a side effect is hair loss. If you notice this around the time that you start a new medication, talk to your doctor to see if there is a correlation. Independently, menopause and a medicinal side effect could only cause a little loss, but together they may exacerbate one another.