How to Manage Hair Loss During Menopause

Many women dread Menopause, the time in a woman’s life when she stops menstruating as her eggs deplete with age.

The experience, which usually occurs in women in their 40s and 50s but can come sooner in some women due to certain medical conditions, leads to well-known side effects like hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, and insomnia. Fluctuating hormones cause these side effects. One effect that gets less attention than some of the others is hair loss. In fact, Harvard Women’s Health Watch reports that up to two-thirds of post-menopausal women experience hair loss.

If you’re worried about what menopause is doing to your hair, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make.

1. Hydrate

Water is essential to every system in your body, including your hair. It energizes hair cells to promote growth and nourishes the root. Dehydration alone may cause hair loss, and with excessive sweating and night sweats, menopausal women are even more prone to dehydration. So drink up.

2. Eat Protein

If concern about menopausal weight gain is leading you to reduce your caloric intake, you may be depriving your hair of adequate amounts of protein. Most of your hair is made up of protein. Be sure to include two to three servings of healthy protein in your diet every day. Fish, egg whites, yogurt, lean meats, quinoa, beans and, nuts are your great options for managing both your weight and your hair.

3. Be Gentle

You may choose to camouflage your hair loss with style and color, but be sure to treat your tresses gently. Harsh chemical products like dyes, perms or straighteners can destroy the cuticle and break the hair shaft, exacerbating your hair loss problem. Natural products or ammonia-free hair dyes are usually best. Choose hairstyles that don’t twist, rub, or pull your hair to avoid unnecessary stress to your hair shaft and roots. Brush or comb gently. Shedding is unavoidable, but don’t encourage extra.

4. Reduce Stress

Menopause can send your stress levels soaring, and the impact on your hair can be disastrous. Why? Because stress can indirectly increase testosterone, a hormone named as one of the potential causes of female hair loss. And when you’re already losing hair because your hormones are out of whack, adding more testosterone to the mix can make the problem that much worse. So, one word – relax! Your hair depends on it.