Menopause and Hair Loss: 5 Ways to Stop or Prevent This From Happening to You

by Laura Ramirez on December 22, 2010

Menopause and Hair Loss Can Be Shocking

Menopause and hair loss is a scary thing. The thought of dealing with thinning hair or even baldness as we age is enough to send any sensible woman into a tailspin. Finding excessive hair in your brush or clumps of it clogging the drain after a bath or shower can strike fear into your heart. After all, your mane is your crowning glory; it accents your beauty and is part of your femininity.

Women going through this are terrified, and their fears are real. While even your own doctor may not take menopause and hair loss seriously, it is important to you because besides affecting your appearance, it can affect you on many other levels.

Don’t fret if you’re experiencing menopause and hair loss, though because there are solutions. While some women opt for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to counteract menopausal symptoms, a study conducted in 2002 about its effects revealed that HRT can up the chances of ovarian and breast cancer, as well as have side effects of blood clotting, stroke, and heart diseases, so for many women, the health risks are just not worth it.

However, there are other, more natural ways to cope with it, and it doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny! Here are top five tips on dealing with menopause and hair loss.
1. Go on a healthier diet.

While hormones may be the main cause of menopause and hair loss, there’s also a direct correlation between diet and hair growth. So if you’ve haven’t been eating food rich in Vitamins A, B and C, protein, and iron your whole life, now is the time to do so!

Examples of food you should now include in your daily intake are red, yellow, and orange-colored fruit and dark leafy vegetables.  These are rich in beta-carotene, which gets converted by your body to Vitamin A. Having adequate amounts of Vitamin A in your system makes for healthier cells and tissues, which in turn results in improved skin, nails, and scalp. You can also get Vitamin A from eating cooked liver, eggs, fish oil capsules, and fortified milk.

It’s also good to consume hemoglobin-forming food. Hemoglobin is the part of your red-blood cells that’s rich in iron, which helps transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body…including your hair. Oxygen and properly functioning blood streams are essential for healthy hair and skin. For these, you need the right quantity of B vitamins (about 2 milligrams per day) to combat deficiency and eventual hair loss. You can get B vitamins from soy beans, kidney, liver, fish, chicken, pork, cereals, nuts, and legumes.

Another great idea is to take an herbal supplement that promotes good circulation in order to encourage hair growth. Those whose formulas include gingko biloba, rosemary, prickly ash, yarrow, oats, and cornflower are best for maintaining healthy blood flow and circulation essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails; and also help balance hormones as well as support the immune system. Eating right and taking a supplement are a good way to stop menopause and hair loss or prevent it in the first place.

2. Keep a calm and happy disposition.

Even non-menopausal women experience sudden hair fall when they’re stressed, depressed, or anxious. Understandably, the hormonal changes you’re going through during menopause can wreak havoc on your moods and frame of mind. It is therefore important to keep a cheerful disposition and try not to let small things bother or annoy you. If you must, steer clear of stressful situations, people, and news.

Psychosomatic illnesses can also trigger hair loss. When you’re sick or stressed, you can start losing hair as long as three months afterward.

To prevent this, go on a restful holiday with your loved ones, or else take up a calming hobby such as painting. Keeping your mind off things that can cause you anger, anxiety, or sadness can keep menopause and hair loss at bay (and you’ll have less wrinkles to show for while you’re at it!).

3. Avoid combs/harsh chemicals and opt for soft-bristled brushes/natural hair tonics.

Forget that old advice about giving your hair 100 brush strokes daily to keep it shiny. Menopause and hair loss requires more kindness to your hair follicles and how you groom them. Tugging at your hair with “detangler”-type combs can loosen the already weakened hair shafts in your scalp, resulting in brisker and more hair fall.

For daily grooming, buy soft-bristled brushes of the kind used for babies.  If you must use a comb, go for wide-toothed ones and don’t comb in the usual way. Rather, comb by section and hold the part nearest your scalp with your hand as you gently get rid of snarls and tangles at the ends. This prevents you from tugging and pulling out clumps of hair with the comb.

Keep your hair in place with water-based gels, and nix heavy cream mousses, hair spray, and conditioners altogether. Better yet, go for prepared, FDA-approved scalp massage tonics with mild but effective essential oils like chamomile, rosemary, sage, and avocado as ingredients. When expertly blended together, these oils can act as nourishment and stimulant to healthy circulation and hair follicle regrowth. Plus, the vitamin E-rich avocado oil helps make your hair shiny and glowing the natural way.

4. Get a shorter, “smarter” hair cut.

Before splurging on a hair transplant treatment, go to your trusted hairdresser and explain your menopause and hair loss dilemma. Chances are, they have a few tricks up their sleeve to make you look like you still own a full head of hair.

A few new coif suggestions: short layered hair which adds height at the crown, chin-length blunt bobs with more volume at the back, and wispy, side-swept bangs especially if you’re losing hair near your temples. Longer hairstyles have the tendency to pull your hair from the scalp when it hangs down, emphasizing thinning spots. You might also feel the urge to use hair ties when your hair is longer, which can tug out more hair in the process.

Also, don’t use hair dyes or any other chemical treatments at the salon, as these can exacerbate hair loss. If you feel like getting highlights or a color rinse, ask your hairdresser for vegetable-based formula or other milder versions of dyes.

Finally, massage healing hair oil into your scalp at night before going to sleep. A good oil will nourish your follicles and support the growth of a strong, healthy head of hair. Using hair oil with a supplement like the one recommended above is a smart thing to do, along with paying careful attention to your stress levels and diet.

5. Do a few blow-drying tricks.

Using a blow dryer can do wonders for your thinning hair. The trick is not to use a blower to completely dry your hair after washing it. You can still use a towel  and let your hair air-dry. Afterward, lean forward, flip all your hair upside down, fluff it a bit with one hand as you give your hair a few blasts with the blow dryer (use the lowest setting), then flip your head and hair back to normal position. Fluff your hair a bit more and tame the flyaways with a soft-bristled brush, and you’ll end up with more volume at the crown and at the back.

You can also part your hair a different way than usual. Use a blow dryer to coax your hair in a different direction, taking care to keep it half an arm’s length so you don’t overheat your scalp. This is an excellent way to disguise thinning spots and a widening part.

And always use a wide-tooth comb when styling wet hair, never a brush! Menopause and hair loss means you have to do away with old techniques of grooming and styling your hair, as well as take natural supplements and scalp massage oils to help stimulate hair growth even when you groom.

Copyright © 2010 by Laura Ramirez. All rights reserved.

Feel free to share your stories, tips and comments about menopause and hair loss. Pay it forward and help other women who are struggling with this issue.

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