Seeing a handful of hair strands on your palms after brushing your hair with your hands can be quite a nightmarish sight. However, it does not only happen in your dreams; many women in their menopausal stage will most likely experience hair growth nightmares.
Every woman should enjoy her womanhood, regardless of her age. Sadly, menopause does not make it easy to happen. Not only does menopause cause physical and emotional changes, but it also poses a threat to your hair condition.
So, how does menopause affect your hair's health, and what can you do to prevent them from occurring and recurring? Learn more about menopause and try some helpful tips to mitigate and treat menopausal hair growth issues.
The Nexus Between Menopause and Hair Growth
Menopause can have a significant impact on hair growth. During this period, your ovaries decline in estrogen production, allowing androgens to take over and badly affect proper hair growth. Yes, androgens, particularly testosterone, are harmful to your hair follicles. The 5-alpha-reductase enzyme can also convert more testosterone into its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone, and shrink hair follicles. Sadly, in extreme cases, you may even suffer from hair loss because of menopause. Find out the following hair growth issues that menopause can cause.
The Negative Impacts of Menopause on Hair Health
Here are some possible hair issues you might encounter throughout menopause.
1. Dryness and Frizz
You might have noticed your face and body getting bloated during your ovulation. You may want to blame your hormones since estrogen increases during this phase in your menstrual cycle. Estrogen contributes to the stimulation of cell osmosis, thereby boosting fluid retention. Hence, a drastic decrease in estrogens during menopause might affect your hair cells' ability to retain moisture, resulting in dryness.
2. Thinning Hair
Not only does your hair get dry and frizzy while you're at menopause, but your hair also thins as a result of estrogen deficiency. With estrogens, your hair follicles stay much longer in the anagen or growth phase, giving more time to grow thicker and longer hair strands. Sadly, low estrogen levels might not be enough to thicken each hair strand's diameter, causing it to look and feel thin.
3. Slower metabolic rate for hair cells
Thyroid hormones also have something to do with hair growth, for they control the metabolic rate of cells in the body, including in your hair. These chemical messengers also provide energy for cells to multiply quickly. Unfortunately, when your estrogens decrease during menopause, it somehow affects your thyroid's hormone production, indirectly affecting hair cell growth.
4. Fewer Hair Strands
Estrogens control androgen metabolism. Hence, an imbalance between androgens and estrogens can disrupt the hair growth cycle, pushing more androgens to bind around hair follicles which can cause their miniaturization. If more of your follicles shrink, the fewer hair strands grow, making your hair appear less dense.
Stress also builds up during menopause, especially when a woman experiences undesirable symptoms during menopause (e.g., hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, etc.). Being stressed increases the stress hormones in your body, which can also forcibly shift follicles into telogen and contribute to a reduced hair count.
5. Hair Loss
Ignoring estrogen deficiency can take a toll on your hair's health. If left untreated, your hair might not only fall in its worst condition, but you might lose your hair permanently, which isn't great news for women. Keeping your estrogen levels extremely low for a long time poses a greater risk for your anagen hair follicles. The longer they stay dormant forever in the telogen phase, the more hair strands will fall out, and the fewer will grow.
How Can You Cope with Hair Growth Problems during Menopause?
For every problem comes a solution for it. Don't worry, ladies; menopause isn't forever. However, proper intervention and early treatment are crucial, or else you might experience its long-term effects and affect you even after menopause. Below are some helpful tips on how to cope with and treat hair growth issues during menopause.
1. Hydration is the key to prevent hair dryness.
Menopause is the long season of dryness for women. Remember that low estrogen levels also decrease the osmotic activities of body cells, and drinking fluids is one effective way to keep various body parts, including your hair and skin, well-hydrated. Always drink enough water and natural fruit juices to rejuvenate your body's water percentage.
2. Moisturize your hair with moisturizing products.
It would also be a big help to moisturize your hair externally using hair products, such as conditioners, serums, and oils. Most hair care items should contain hyaluronic acid and glycerin that can boost moisture retention. Not only that, but natural sources such as coconuts, olives, aloe vera, and Shea butter are some of the most hydrating and moisture-retentive ingredients you can get from Mother Nature for your locks.
3. Get your hair away from styling tools and harmful chemicals.
Your hair becomes much fragile during menopause, which you'll surely not want to damage for good. Therefore, it would be best to avoid treatments and styles that can worsen your hair's condition. As much as possible, only use hair products made with natural ingredients and let your hair loose to avoid straining and scarring your hair follicles.
4. Increase your estrogen levels if badly needed.
There are some cases wherein you need to raise your estrogen levels to relieve and reverse menopausal symptoms. For instance, you might want to consider Hormone Replacement Therapy. HRT involves increasing estrogen levels using tablets, patches, gels, rings, or injections. However, women who choose to undergo this treatment require a prescription from their respective physician because your medicine will depend on how high or low your estrogen levels are. You also might want to avoid overdosage that can lead to more complications post-menopause.
5. Learn different methods of coping with stress.
Stress is inevitable. Whether you like it or not, adults encounter stressful situations now and then; if not, every day. Yet, as grown-ups, you should learn how to manage stress to prevent inducing health issues, such as hair problems. During menopause, there is a higher tendency for women to be exhausted and stressed, which increases their cortisol levels and results in hair growth problems.
So, how can you reduce stress? First, you need to spend more time on hobbies and enjoyable activities. You also have to be physically active, and exercise is one way of doing that. If you aren't confident with doing complicated exercise movements, you may focus on breathing and stretching exercises to help relax your muscles and mind. Lastly, it would be best to vent your pent-up problems or worries to someone. This tip will ease your anxieties, causing high cortisol levels to drop and stabilize.
6. Make sure to eat plenty of vitamin-C enriched foods.
During menopause, your immune system becomes vulnerable to oxidative damage. Free radicals can freely attack your hair cells, which can hinder healthy hair growth. To safeguard them, especially during this critical phase, you need to amplify your vitamin-C intake. Vitamin C has potent antioxidant properties that can protect your cells against oxidative activities. This super nutrient also stimulates collagen production, which is considered vital for your hair and skin. Hence, always include citrus fruits like oranges, kiwis, tomatoes, berries, and of course, lemons. You'll also need vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes to get your healthy dose of vitamin C every day.
7. Don’t be afraid to rely on hair-thickening shampoos.
Your hair during menopause becomes thinner and more fickle. These issues call for a need to use hair growth products that can strengthen and thicken your hair from roots to tips. What you need is a protein-based hair growth product for fuller locks. Hence, it would be a great start to use a hair-thickening shampoo to volumize your hair. Not only can it cleanse your scalp for a healthier environment, but it also plumps each hair strand with proteins and coats your hair for moisture retention. The result? You'll see better hair improvements in no time.
Revive and Let Your Hair Survive during Menopause.
Managing your hair's health during menopause doesn't seem plain and easy like most people think. In fact, it is the stage when women should be most cautious because menopause can trigger unwanted changes in one's health and life. However, you must not halt your life just because you're suffering during menopause, when in fact, you can do so much to mitigate these menopausal repercussions. Therefore, as much as you can do, always do something to change the course of your hair. By following those healthy hair care tips, you can survive hair growth problems during menopause.
Hair Loss during Menopause is Reversible.
Hair loss in women, especially during menopause, does not mean the end of the world. You can do so much more than just sulking over your hair growth problems. Go to the nearest beauty store and grab the best hair-thickening shampoo that you can find. Try also using the best shampoo for hair growth to keep those strands popping and plumping.