The change in hormones that happens during menopause can cause changes to your hair. Some women find that their hair thins or becomes more fine. Others also find that it becomes more dry and brittle.
A combination of lifestyle and topical factors can help support hair health and give you a sense of control. In this article we wanted to give you a starter kit covering a combination of nutrition, product and lifestyle suggestions that you may find helpful.
What causes menopausal hair thinning?
Hair loss during menopause is related to the loss of oestrogen and progesterone. Both hormones contribute to helping hair grow faster and remain in place longer. It does grow back, it's just a bit slower and needs a bit more TLC than it might have done before.
How does menopausal hair thinning manifest?
Women experience menopausal hair loss differently. It might be that your parting looks a little wider, your hairbrush fills up more quickly or that you see it when you wash in the shower. Some women do notice patches where the hair is thinner than normal, or just that your ponytail is thinner than it once was. Lots of women also find that hair becomes finer and drier than it once was.
What can you do to help with thinning hair during menopause?
A combination of diet, lifestyle factors and products can help support hair health and encourage regrowth. Here are a few tips.
Talk to your doctor about vitamin supplements
As part of a process of causal elimination, some vitamin deficiencies are linked to a loss of hair and hair health. For example, vitamins C, B and A have been shown to have some impact on hair health in studies. Vitamin C is typically associated with maintaining hair health during menopause. Vitamin B12 and iron can also help your hair's natural growth cycle to improve. Before taking any vitamin supplements, you should always speak to your doctor or a medical professional, and it would be a good idea to test for deficiencies to help decide on any supplements.
Try to avoid heat damage to hair
Try to minimise the use of hair dryers, hair straighteners and other damaging tools or products (like bleaches), that can dry hair out further or damage it. You don't need to avoid them all the time, but just try to give your hair a little time to recover.
Eat a varied diet for healthy hair
Try to eat a balanced, healthy diet of regular meals to support your body's overall health during menopause. Wellbeing tends to show in our hair, skin and nails after a while, so supporting your body from the inside out is the best defence against hair loss. Plenty of whole grains, fruit, and vegetables as well as mono-saturated oils like olive oil are all great. You can also explore foods with naturally occurring plant hormones, like oats and soya to support your body.
Hydrate to support healthy hair
Water being the essence of life, staying hydrated is generally good for helping the body to function properly. Try to stick to water rather than lots of juices or sugary drinks. Dehydration is thought to limit hair growth and contributes to dryness.
Reduce stress for hair loss
Lots of women experienced heightened stress levels during menopause, and extreme stress can be linked to hair loss and reduced hair health whatever stage of life you're at. While it's easier said than done, we find that the best way to help reduce stress is with lots of little things that work together over the course of the day and the week to calm our nerves. For example, bringing aromatherapy into the home, having regular massages, practising a nurturing skincare routine in the morning and evening, and spending a little time outside in nature as often as possible - even if it's just for a minute.
Change your hair products
Our hair and body needs different things at different life stages and menopause is no exception. Hair loss or not, menopause is a good time to review your hair care products and choose ones that proactively support hair health. Natural products will be more gentle on the hair, and those that are plant based may also contain phytoestrogens for an added boost.