How Hormonal Changes During Menopause Affects Your Hair

During my 40’s, my hair worries consisted mostly of the ever-present greys.   Like a lot of women, I regularly color my hair and the southern California sunshine, while beautiful, is hair-color’s worst enemy!  I’ve learned to battle the rusty tones that the sun inflicts onto my hair that I don’t embrace.   This ongoing hair struggle was further complicated once menopause arrived. There’s a lot more follicle issues to contend with now.   Here’s how hormonal changes during menopause affects your hair.  

Hair Where It Shouldn’t Be!

Keep those tweezers handy for the upper lip and chin friends who will seem to appear overnight. Crazy hormonal changes during menopause are going to mess with your hair growth.  You may experience unwanted facial hair popping up where it never did before.   If tweezing, or waxing are not enough, try a more permanent solution like electrolysis or laser hair removal.  Dermaplaning is also an option for facial hair to give your skin a smoother surface for makeup application.  

Thinning Hair

Estrogen promotes hair growth, density and fullness. During menopause, people may notice their hair is thinning, less full or shedding more.

*For thinning and shedding hair, here’s what the Cleveland Clinic suggests:

 “Treat your scalp like fertilizer that you want to optimize for hair growth,” says Dr. Williams. “If your scalp is dry, use gentle, moisturizing shampoos and wash it less frequently. If your scalp is oily, however, you may want to shampoo every day. This varies from person to person.”

Baldness Isn’t Just for the Guys!

Older adults are more likely to experience androgenic alopecia, often called male or female-pattern baldness. It can cause overall thinning or bald spots. The vitamin Biotin can help.

How much biotin can you take for hair loss?

Biotin is present in many foods, including eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower.

For supplementation, Cleveland Clinic dermatologists favor a mega-B vitamin combination that includes:

  • 3 milligrams of biotin.
  • 30 milligrams of zinc.
  • 200 milligrams of vitamin C.
  • <1 milligram of folic acid.

And if you can’t find the mega B-vitamin combination, you can buy biotin, zinc and vitamin C separately.

Finally, if you notice any of these signs, see your dermatologist as a more serious condition may exist:

  • Distinct circle-shaped bald spots on the scalp.
  • Hair loss that occurs with itching, burning or pain.
  • Pimple-like bumps on the hairline.
  • Hair coming out in clumps.
  • Rash.

Graying Hair

For most people, graying of hairs begins in our 30’s.  By age 50, half of all people have significant gray hair.   There is no way to prevent graying or change the course of the process once it’s begun.  Unless you experienced premature graying before age 30, which can be caused by a deficiency in vitamin B12, graying hair is a natural part of aging.  

When you say a stressful situation is “making me go gray” – you may not be wrong! 

Stress and smoking can exacerbate the graying and speed it along.  

You can either embrace the look and “grow old gracefully”, enhance the look with beautiful silver hair color, or change the look with either salon or over-the-counter hair color treatments.  There is no right or wrong choice here….just what you want your look to be.   

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