Being a woman is never easy. In fact, women experience more physical changes than men. Despite that, the world still expects women to be strong and look good all the time. This perverse anticipation is one of the reasons why many women have been particular with their crowning glory. It has become a gender stereotype, making women worry whenever their hair isn't in the best condition.
However, hair doesn't grow forever. When a woman reaches her 40s, her hair might not feel and look like during her prime. Such hair growth changes can be rooted in perimenopause and cause women to feel down or lose self-confidence.
What is perimenopause, and how does it affect hair growth? How can women thwart hair loss problems during this phase? Let's find out the answers to these questions by exploring more about perimenopause and its influence on hair growth.
Perimenopause: How Does It Affect Hair Growth?
Menopause signifies the retirement of your ovaries, thereby ending your menstrual cycles, too. However, it does not happen drastically. Your body will experience three different menopausal stages, namely perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. And in each period, your body begins to slow down your ovaries' estrogen production.
The first transitional phase is perimenopause. The prefix "peri-" means "around," which explains why perimenopause is somehow around menopause. You will still get your period in your 40s, but it may become irregular from time to time. It is also at this point that you will start experiencing the adverse effects of estrogen decline.
Various symptoms such as menstrual abnormality, mood swings, hot flashes, and decreased libido indicate that you're already in the perimenopausal stage. However, not all women know that hair loss is also one of the significant changes experienced during perimenopause.
Why Is It Possible to Lose Your Hair During Perimenopause?
If you think that perimenopause isn't a big deal, you are wrong. In this stage, the irregularity of your hormones can trigger unfavorable physical and emotional changes that might be uncomfortable to you. Even your hair won't get exempted from the effects of hormonal imbalance. But, how does it work?
Perimenopause can affect hair growth in two ways. First, since estrogens help boost hair follicle growth, a decline in estrogen production may also affect the quality and quantity of new hair strands. Second, low estrogen levels can also give way for androgens to increase and shrink your hair follicles. Either way, you still lose hair strands, which is why you need to do something to prevent it from happening.
Hair Care for Women Over 40: 9 Ways to Stop Hair Loss During Perimenopause
Hair loss is not something to be taken lightly, for you may suffer from it permanently. Here are nine ways to stop female alopecia during perimenopause.
1. Have your hormones checked.
It may sound a bit expensive or time-consuming, but hair loss in any menopausal phase will most likely be related to hormonal imbalance. Hence, having your hormone levels checked would be a smart move.
A blood test is one of the easiest methods to determine your hormone levels, including estrogen and progesterone. Once the test detects hormonal decline, then you can opt to undergo HRT.
2. Stabilize your hormone levels with HRT.
HRT stands for Hormone Replacement Therapy, a medical treatment that involves additional hormones to stabilize its levels. You can either increase your estrogen levels or reduce the androgens in your body.
There are also different ways to experience HRT; it can come in patches, rings, gels, creams, tablets, or injections. But take note that this kind of treatment will always be subject to approval. You would still need your physician's final say before starting this therapy.
3. Exercise every day.
Many women in their perimenopausal stage often have difficulty falling asleep due to hot flashes and night sweats. While these symptoms may seem normal for every menopausal woman, an irregularity in your sleeping pattern can impede proper hair growth.
One way to enhance your sleep quality and make you fall asleep faster and deeper is aerobic exercise. By exercising, you physically get tired, pushing your body to take a long rest. The body temperature after cooling down is also comparable to your body heat when you're about to snooze, signaling the brain that it is time to take a good night's sleep.
4. Indulge yourself in enjoyable activities.
As people grow older, they handle and worry about more responsibilities. While being responsible is a sign of maturity, it can burn you out and cause stress and anxiety. The aftermath is not pleasing at all because mental tension can increase cortisol levels and meddle with the hair growth cycle. Too much cortisol can push more hair follicles in the anagen or growth phase to shift into the telogen or resting phase, which heightens the risk of hair loss issues. Hence, to relieve stress, focus on activities that make you happy or relaxed. By doing this, you can reduce the chances of cortisol fluctuations.
5. Style your hair to a bare minimum.
As much as you want to color, curl, or straighten your hair, doing any of these puts your tresses in real danger. Your hair strands might not be the strongest during perimenopause, giving you a primary reason to take extra care of them. Hairstyling and hair coloring can damage your hair for good. Hence, it would be best to stop these habits in the meantime. If it isn't possible, you can style your hair to a bare minimum and only use products that will do the most minimal damage to your hair.
6. Boost your nutrient intake.
You might be busy at work all the time, but you should never neglect proper diet, even if you're in your 40s. As a matter of fact, perimenopausal women should be alarmed about nutrient deficiency, especially when they start to experience hair growth changes, such as thinning hair. Remember that hair follicles rely on the nutrients in your body to grow hair strands, which you can obtain from your diet.
Unfortunately, a decrease in estrogens, especially during perimenopause, can affect your body's nutrient absorption, reducing the levels of vitamins, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and amino acids that it can provide to your hair follicles. Therefore, always make sure to eat a balanced diet.
7. Say 'no' to alcohol and smoking.
Being adults also gives us much freedom to do things that minors cannot do, such as drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. However, making this a habit might not seem healthy for your hair, especially during perimenopause. As mentioned earlier, nutrient absorption is critical in keeping your hair follicles alive and kicking, and sadly, immoderate alcohol consumption can prevent that from happening. Not only does alcohol have little nutritional value, but it also lessens the digestive enzymes that inhibit the breakdown of nutrients.
Smoking also has adverse effects on blood circulation. The longer you smoke, the more toxins pile up on your blood vessels. They can block your veins and arteries, which can impair blood flow, thereby impeding nutrient absorption. Cigarette particles also contain carcinogens that are harmful to your cells. The toxic chemicals in cigarette or tobacco smoke can trigger oxidative activities and cause hair follicle issues.
These activities won't harm if done moderately and occasionally. However, it would be better not to engage in these activities to prevent triggering hair-related issues.
8. Switch to better hair growth products.
Some of your current hair care favorites might not be able to cater to your hair's needs during perimenopause. Hence, you may want to use anti-hair loss products to prevent strands from falling out. Always make sure that your shampoo, conditioner, and serum have ingredients with potential benefits against hair loss problems.
9. Go for Red Light Therapy.
If you think that your hair's betraying you and the other eight methods don't work for you, you may opt to undergo Low-Light Laser Therapy. Also known as Red Light Therapy, this anti-hair loss treatment works by using red light to excite hair cells and stimulate their proliferation. Specifically, photons enter through your skin and fuel the cell's powerhouse (or mitochondria), allowing cells to multiply rapidly. Don't worry about this therapy because it is non-invasive, which means you don't have to go under the knife to grow new hair. However, RLT might be more expensive than other anti-hair loss treatments. Therefore, you have to prepare before choosing this alternative.
Hair Loss During Perimenopause is Manageable and Evitable.
Women may experience various and unfavorable issues, such as hair growth problems during perimenopause, but these symptoms are preventable. With proper hair care habits, a healthy and renewed lifestyle accompanied by a stress-free disposition, and a nutritious diet, there will be no need for you to worry about perimenopausal hair loss at all.
Start Your Anti-Hair Loss Journey Now.
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