Your hair changes through different phases of life and if you’ve noticed hair loss during perimenopause, you’re not alone. It’s normal to notice small shifts throughout this transition period before menopause, while your hormone levels continuously rise and fall. And your hair is among one of the many things your hormones can affect during this time, on top of your mood, body temperature, and sleep patterns. If you’ve been noticing hair thinning, lack of density, texture changes and dryness, we’ve got 8 tips and remedies for you to try!
What is Perimenopause?
Menopause marks the end of your menstrual cycles, when your ovaries stop producing eggs and the production of female hormones decline. It typically develops gradually between the ages of 45 and 55, a transition time called “perimenopause”.
During perimenopause, which can last eight to ten years, your menstrual periods become more irregular and begin to taper off, and it also results in other changes, including hot flashes, mood changes, headaches and hair loss. Perimenopause varies greatly from one person to the next and can last for years, but when you go a full 12 months without a period, menopause has begun.
Hair Loss During Perimenopause: The Facts
Hair loss during perimenopause occurs due to hormonal fluctuations. Estrogen and progesterone keep hair in the growing phase, but when these levels decline hair growth slows and hair loss becomes more prominent. Your ovaries begin to produce less estrogen as you age in preparation to stop releasing eggs entirely.
A decrease in these hormones also triggers an increase in the production of androgens, a group of male hormones. Androgens shrink hair follicles, resulting in hair loss on the head. Most women experience overall hair thinning rather than bald spots, and you may notice hair falling out in large clumps during brushing and showering.
When To Worry About Hair Loss During Perimenopause
Hair loss is common during perimenopause and menopause, but it could also be a sign of something more serious going on. In these cases, hair loss is accompanied by other symptoms such as rashes, lack of energy or muscle aches that won’t go away. If you notice hair loss on other parts of your body, such as your eyebrows or eyelashes, this is also cause for concern. If you notice any of these symptoms along with your hair loss, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
4 Tips to Prevent Hair Loss During Perimenopause
1. Reduce Stress
Stress can worsen hair loss, so it’s important to keep your stress levels in check to prevent a hormonal imbalance. A decrease in estrogen production can lead to mood swings, anxiety and depression, so it’s important to take care of yourself and figure out the best ways for you to reduce stress. Yoga, deep breathing, meditation and daily exercise are some of the best ways to limit stress and anxiety.
2. Regular Exercise
Exercise is key for maintaining hormonal balance. Plus, it helps prevent other symptoms of perimenopause and menopause such as mood swings, weight gain and insomnia. Healthy hormone balance promotes healthy hair growth, so find the form of exercise that works best for you and try to get some form of physical activity in every day, whether that means a walk or easy yoga sessions, or longer, more intense workouts like an HIIT or cycle class.
3. Healthy Eating
A healthy, well balanced diet is one of the best ways to keep your hair lush and prevent hair loss. Make sure you’re eating an adequate amount of whole grains, fruits and vegetables at every meal, as well as essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in maintaining hair health and can be found in foods like salmon, tuna, flaxseed oil, walnuts and almonds. Drinking green tea and taking vitamin B6 and folic acid supplements can help with hair growth as well.
4. Avoid Hair Tools and Treatments
Hair tools like blow dryers, straightening irons and curling rods can lead to drying and breakage. Chemicals found in hair dyes and perms or permanent straighteners can also weaken your hair and compromise your scalp. Avoid hair tools and treatments as much as possible, or completely if you can. And if you’re outside in the sun for extended periods of time, make sure to stay in the shade or wear a hat to protect your hair from drying and breakage.
4 Tips to Deal with Hair Loss During Perimenopause
1. Consider Supplements
There are certain supplements that may help with hair loss during perimenopause. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, can help stimulate hair growth and improve the condition of your hair and nails. Viviscal is another supplement known to help with hair loss. It contains biotin as well as calcium and vitamin C and is said to strengthen and replenish vital nutrients in thinning hair. Nutrafol has also been shown to target thinning. It uses highly concentrated botanicals, such as vitamin E, ashwagandha (a type of herb), biocurcumin, and others, to address every stage of the hair growth cycle.
2. Update Your Hair Washing Schedule
It’s time to reevaluate your hair washing schedule. No one needs to wash their hair everyday and doing so can actually cause more harm than good. Washing your hair too frequently is hard on your strands and can strip your hair of necessary moisture. However, this doesn’t mean you should go weeks without washing your hair either.
Keeping your scalp clean and getting rid of products, dead skin and oil build up is super important for healthy hair. So what’s the happy medium? You know it’s time to wash your hair when the scalp becomes itchy, the hair appears oily, there’s noticeable buildup or flaking, or you notice a smell coming from your scalp or hair.
3. Regular Scalp Massages
Massaging your scalp regularly may help with hair regrowth as it stimulates blood flow, relieves stress and improves hair thickness. Massaging dilates the tiny arteries within the scalp, increasing blood flow to the hair follicle and prolonging the growth cycle of the hair. The boost in blood circulation to the surface of the skin aids in delivering more nutrients, plus it’s super relaxing. You can book scalp massages at a salon for ultimate relaxation, and you can even do them yourself at home.
4. Change Your Hairstyle
Switching up your hair with a new style or cut can make hair thinning less noticeable. Long locks can weigh down fine hair, so consider getting a shorter chop. Trim it frequently and add layers for more volume, which will also help with the look of thinning. Lowlights and highlights will add depth and dimension and make your scalp look less pronounced. You can also try to switch up your hairstyles. Try switching your part to the other side for more volume, and a half pony with the top pulled up high creates more fullness and height.
Hair loss during perimenopause is more normal than you think, but if you want to prevent or combat it, follow our tips above!
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