It’s not your imagination. You’ve been busy with work, caring for your kids, caring for your parents, and maybe not looking in the mirror as often as you used to. Your usual tricks for making your hair look good just aren’t working anymore. Suddenly, your hair has become a stranger to you.
As with so many other changes, hormones are to blame. How can menopause affect your hair’s health? Read on to find out.
Straight hair can become curly. Thick hair can go limp. As androgens increase in your body, they reduce the diameter of your hair strands. That’s what accounts for the loss in volume.
Menopause causes a decrease in estrogen, and estrogen was responsible for all that thick hair you grew after giving birth. Now the new hairs that your follicles produce will be finer and more fragile. This hair is far more likely to break, which is also why it’s hard to maintain longer hair length.
In the years surrounding menopause, an estimated half of all women experience hair loss. And it’s not just because of the hormonal changes. Age, diet, ethnicity, genetics—so many factors can all contribute to your chances for hair loss.
But you are not alone. And the brilliant, follicly challenged women who have come before you have come up with some solutions to help.
You’ve changed, and your hair has changed. Roll with it. Embrace this as a time to try another hairstyle that can optimize your appearance. Let your hair air dry, and shield your hair from heating tools with thermal protective sprays. Shorter layers create the illusion of fullness, and bangs can disguise hair loss. If you want to take a test run, you can always try artificial clip-in bangs to see if they’re for you.
There’s no longer any stigma when it comes to adding to what nature gave you. Reality stars probably wouldn’t even exist without hair weaves. An experienced stylist can help you choose sew-in, bonded, beaded, taped, or clip-in pieces that won’t damage your hair further. You can try out a partial wig “hair topper” to wear every day or on special occasions. Have a stylist customize your hairpieces to match your tones.
Monitor your diet to make sure your hair is getting the nutrients it needs to reproduce. Foods like salmon, avocado, oysters, and eggs are great boosts for hair.
Can menopause affect your hair health? Yes, and so can you. Stress can raise those male hormone levels even further, resulting in hair loss. Your beauty sleep is no longer optional. Make time to get to the gym. Hydrate.
Don’t give up on your hair, and don’t be afraid of the mirror. Accept these changes, and make a few of your own. A happy you means happy hair.