Menopause and hair loss

Liz Nicholls

hair

Menopause and hair loss – what’s the link? Experiencing hair loss at any age can be upsetting. It may not be talked about as much as hot flushes and night sweats, but hair loss is extremely common during menopause and often occurs as a result of plummeting oestrogen levels and an increase in testosterone.

Every person naturally loses between 50 and 100 hairs a day, which hardly seems possible but this is considered normal shedding. Any more than this and you may notice areas of baldness on your scalp, clumps of hair coming out when you wash or brush your hair, or thinning of hair around the front and sides of your scalp.

Although you wouldn’t necessarily think of hair loss as a being a symptom of menopause, the hormonal havoc that menopause can wreak, can have all sorts of unexpected effects on the body.

The hormones oestrogen and testosterone have the most important influence on hair growth. During the menopause, levels of oestrogen decrease. This hormone is important for promoting hair growth. While oestrogen levels drop, testosterone levels increase disproportionately. This causes the hair that does grow to be thinner than before, and can also cause facial hair.

Diet

Dietary and lifestyle changes can help to some extent. Protein and iron rich foods are good for strengthening your hair. Vitamin C is also beneficial, not least for helping you to absorb iron into your bloodstream.

Stress

Try to keep stress to a minimum. This will also help you sleep well at night, reducing another factor which might cause you to lose your hair. Exercise will help to reduce stress, improve sleep and circulation of blood to the scalp to help you keep your hair on.

Be nice!

Be nice to your hair. Use gentle shampoo when you wash it and try to avoid tugging and tangling it. Dying it regularly can cause hair to become unhealthy and more likely to fall out. A scalp massage can stimulate extra blood flow to the scalp, which may prevent further hair loss.

If hair loss is the result of hormonal changes caused by the menopause, a soy based supplement such as A.Vogel’s Menopause Support supplement may help. It tackles all stages of the menopause, and contains soy isoflavones which naturally mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body. The inclusion of magnesium helps to support the nervous system in times of need; it also contributes to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

For further information on menopause, visit Anita and her team at Nature’s Corner, 73 Northbrook St, Newbury.

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