While you may have come to accept menopause as a natural stage of womanhood, coming to grips with losing your hair is difficult. What’s important to understand is exactly why your beloved tresses bear the brunt of menopausal hormone changes and what you can do about it.
Research suggests that a major cause of hair loss in menopause is the imbalance of hormones in your body—namely, the reduced production of estrogen and progesterone. These changes can lead to a “hormonal pattern,” resulting in hair loss and sometimes even facial “peach fuzz” or sprouts of hair on the chin.
Other factors that could contribute to menopausal hair loss include extraordinarily high levels of stress, illness, or a genetic predisposition. Diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions include thyroid tests, a blood sugar level test, or a rheumatoid evaluation.
While menopausal hair loss can cause you to feel anxious about your physical appearance and even lower your self-esteem, the condition isn’t permanent. There are many steps you can take to improve the quality of your hair from the inside out. Follow these tips to keep your locks healthy and strong during menopause.
1. Just Breathe
It’s important to keep your stress levels in check to preserve hormonal balance. While reduced estrogen production can affect your brain chemistry and cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression, you can prevent getting down in the dumps. Studies show that yoga and breathing relaxation methods are especially effective in fighting menopausal symptoms.
2. Pile Your Plate High
A balanced diet low in saturated fat is your best defense against health conditions, including hair loss. Incorporate enough whole grains, mono-saturated oils, and fruits and vegetables in each meal. Drinking green tea and getting enough Vitamin B6 and folic acid may restore hair growth. Essential fatty acids play a key role in maintaining your hair health and can be found in foods including salmon, tuna, herring, flaxseed oil, walnuts and almonds.
Take a daily multivitamin to get the nutrients you may have missed in your diet. Be sure to look for one that’s appropriate for your age group.
3. Get Moving
Exercise is a key component to a healthy lifestyle. It’s a sure way to keep mood swings in check, maintain your weight, and even help you sleep—all important factors that contribute to hormonal balance- which promotes healthy hair growth. Take a walk with a friend: time spent with friends is a scientifically proven guard against depression. Get outside: the sun boosts vitamin D levels. And get moving: you’ll maintain healthy bone growth and you’ll feel stronger and happier.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
It’s old news, but your body, composed of over 70 percent water, needs to be hydrated to function properly. Load up on H2O all day long and pass on juices, sodas, and other flavored drinks that contain more sugar than your body needs.
5. Au Naturale is Always Best
To prevent drying and breakage, it’s best to stay away from heat-based treatments like hair dryers and straightening irons. Extensions and other styling methods can weaken your hair and cause early hair loss. If you must dye your hair, opt for an all-natural hair color, as artificial chemicals found in dyes and perms can compromise your scalp and hair health. When you wash your hair, always use a nourishing conditioner to keep your scalp healthy and promote healthy hair growth.
If you swim, make sure to wear a swimming cap, as chlorine can contribute to breakage. When out in the sun or the wind, make sure to wear a hat to protect your hair from drying and breakage.
6. Talk to Your Doctor about Your Meds
Some medications have side effects that could include hair loss. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you’ve noticed significant hair loss and you think that your medicine might be the cause. Your doctor might be able to prescribe you an alternative medicine without any reported side effects. Be sure not to stop taking your medications without talking to your doctor first, as this could be dangerous for your health.