Is the Menopause impacting your hair?
Each week we take an issue that you have brought into the salon and we provide help on how to solve it. This weeks topic is thinning hair - and why it could be down to the big M
Information on the menopause has really exploded recently, it's now easier than ever to reach out to others to discuss symptoms and explore ways to get through this part of life.
Brain fog, lack of sleep, anxiety, weight gain are all well-known symptoms, but one less well-known impact is that on your hair,
Yep, as if heading towards night sweats and hurling through hot flushes isn't enough, we now have hair loss to add to the list of peri/meno pause symptoms. A recent NBC news survey revealed that more than half of women (52%) over the age of 50 will experience thinning hair.
"The only part of our bodies getting thinner at menopause are the strands sitting at the top of our head"
Now, hair loss in men, has long been accepted as part of their distinguished journey into the mature years. Many men seem to embrace it and those that don't begrudingly accept that it is what it is. The pressure that society puts upon men is usually a little kinder especially when it is anything to do with aesthetics.
However, we know that most women really do treat their hair as part of their identlty, It almost becomes a security blanket that allows you to hide away when you feel low, but also enables you to shine on your 'feel good days'.
We know that hair loss can be so upsetting, especially when you add it ontop of the other menopausal symptoms that you maybe displaying.
So, I've been using myself as a guinea pig to try to find out if any of the magic 'potions' make any difference.
Disclaimer, I have naturally fine hair that started to shed a lot about 6months ago, and although Im peri-menopausal I'm not yet in the main throws of it. So, my recommendations may change as my Oestrogen levels dip or fluctuate further.
My biggest problems so far - super oily hair - lots of hair shedding.
Oily Hair - As we approach and go through the menopuase one hormone, androgen, surges increasing the production of sebum in the scalp. Sebum is responsible for that greasy feeling and although it has a really important job, too much of it isnt great.
I have mentioned previously that over washing your hair can also trigger the scalp to produce more sebum, so if your approaching menopause and you are a daily hair washer (like me) then you have double trouble! I cannot go more than 2 days without washing my hair and I absolutely hate dry shampoo. I know lots of you love it, and I will use it in an emergency, but the texture is not for me.
So I've really had to ensure I use a Shampoo that can be used daily and isnt full of sulphates (harsh detergents that strip the hair)
Most of you will know I personally love Olaplex Shampoo. it is a godsend for anyone with oily hair. It's kind enough to use every single day and its lightweight so I don't get that stripped squeaky feel. I've also really scaled back how much conditioner I use. I now use aprox 1 bottle of conditioner to 3 bottles of shampoo. I only ever use a little bit of conditioner on the end. (I used to use it all over, this defo didn't help)
My recommendation - check your shampoo get rid of anything that lists Sodium Laureth (or lauryl) sulfate.
Thinning Hair - Aprox 40% of women experience hair loss during the menopause, some of the other impacts reported include, a loss of volume and poor/slow growth. I have definitly noticed that my hair does not want to grow any longer than my shoulder blades and I'm definitely feeling like I only have those fine baby hairs around my temples. You may notice your ponytail feels a little thinner or your hair parting feels a little wider.
Now unfortunately this is mainly due to the decline in oestrogen and progesterone so if you notice it, have a chat with your GP as HRT may help boost your levels. But after reading a lot of articles I have tested a number of Hair and Nail vitamins/gummies and although there is no specific evidence that suggests vitamins can improve hair growth, Eating a healthy balanced diet and ensuring you get a mixture of the right vitamins and minerals is the most likely way you can improve hair growth and quality.
My personal reccomendation IvyBears Hair Vitamins 60 Gummies 150g
£20 Europes most sold vitamin gummy bear
I actually look forward to popping 2 of these in my mouth each day, they are sweet but not sickly and they feel like a little treat, You do have to take them for a while, but I notice the difference in my nails and my hair and they also set me up for my next little health step, a little drop of collagen powder in my coffee. I've made both of these products part of my routine and although I've always taken daily vitamins I have noticed a huge improvement in my hair and nails. I also know that im getting my daily routine off to a good start, the positive step really helps my frame of mind.