6 Tips for Healthy Hair in Menopause
For many women, hair is intrinsically linked to self-esteem. But, during menopause as our hormones dip our crowning glory can become thinner and weaker.
Hair loss during menopause comes down to your lowering levels of the oestrogen and progesterone hormones. These hormones normally help hair to grow and stay on the head for longer.
As hormone levels drop, hair can become brittle and noticeably thinner. Luckily, there is plenty that you can do to support a healthy head of hair.
Life can be stressful, but stress can be brutal on your mane. Try a simple relaxation exercise each day, such as yoga or meditation to keep your stress levels at bay.
Plenty of sleep can greatly alleviate stress and anxiety, aim to get a solid 7-9 hours sleep each night, and stick to a schedule that works for you. Of course, menopause can affect your sleeping habits, but there are a number of ways to help you sleep better during menopause, for example if you sleep in a cool, well-ventilated room, block out noise and keep technology out.
Eat plenty of Protein
Your hair is made up of a substance called Keratin, which is a protein made from amino acids. Whilst it’s not directly found in food, it’s production is directly affected by how much protein is in your diet. By not eating enough protein, your hair will suffer.
Try opting protein rich foods, such as red meat, eggs, fish and milk, vegetables such as kale and asparagus are great too. Studies have also shown that by incorporating these foods into your diet, you can alleviate some of the other unpleasant side effects that come with the cessation of menopause.
Speak to your doctor
If you look in the mirror and are unhappy with your hair since menopause, you are not alone.
Sometimes changes in our hair is simply a nutritional deficiency, that a simple blood test can often identify.
An iron deficiency can often be a cause of hair loss, therefore during menopause it is crucial to make sure you consume enough through your diet. Much like Niacin, iron contributes to a healthy blood flow to the scalp and improves the maintenance of your hair follicles. Vitamin B12 is another nutrient that helps to promote healthy blood-flow.
A A simple blood test can reveal if you have certain nutritional deficiencies and there are a range of supplements may be able to help boost your levels.
Vitamin C is like the gift that keeps on giving. Not only is it good for your skin, it also helps to maintain a heathy head of hair by stimulating regrowth after hair loss.
Vitamin C is the common name for ascorbic acid, or more specifically L-ascorbic acid. When added to hair products like shampoo, it can be helpful in breaking down any mineral build up and improve the hairs’ ability to absorb moisture. It is also effective to prevent hair damage as it acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the hair against structural damage to the proteins in the hair.
Turn down the heat and avoid chemicals
Whether you are menopausal or not, heat and chemicals are a big no-no for your hair.
We understand the need to style your hair, but when you wash it try to turn down the heat settings on your hair tools and invest in some heat protection products. You should also avoid heat styling on a day-to-day basis, there are plenty of hairstyles that look amazing, and require no heat.
Avoid the use of chemicals on the hair, such as hair colours. These chemicals breakdown your hairs protein bonds and cause the hair to become dry and brittle.
Pro tip: Be gentle with your hair when it is wet. Wet hair is weak hair, so avoid rubbing it with a towel and combing it too vigorously.
Know your fats
There has been debate about the role fats play in your overall health, but it is agreed by the medical community that you need healthy fats in your diet to keep your mind, body, and hair strong.
Healthy fats, such as the essential omega fatty acids provide the body with linoleic acid, along with long-chain poly-saturated fats which are essential for hair structure. If you’re looking for an example of a source of good omega fats to include in your diet, fish can be an excellent source. If you are feeling more adventurous, try flax seeds, avocadoes, and chia seeds. For those of you with a sweet tooth, dark chocolate contains healthy fats (in moderation of course).
If you are experiencing hair loss it is important to see a medical professional to diagnose the source of this issue. If it is linked to a nutritional or hormonal imbalance, then bioidentical hormone replacement therapy could be something to consider.