Hot flashes, weight gain, and (finally!) Urinary leakage, we talk a lot about the effects of menopause on the daily life of women but this period also impacts our appearance. If we know a little about the consequences of menopause on the skin, those on the hair are still quite taboo. We are talking about it?
Menopause is considered to have set in when there is an absence of periods over the last twelve months in a woman whose age is around fifty since this is the average age at which women live. usually that particular period of their life. But menopause can also occur as early as - and even before - the age of 40 in some people, either spontaneously or because of genetics. We will then speak of early menopause. But no matter when it occurs, this natural phenomenon impacts your hair capital as much as that of your epidermis, even if we still hear too little about its consequences on the hair.
This hormonal upheaval, which causes periods to stop, and which causes hot flashes, weight gain, and irritability in stride, also affects the hair and its appearance. The drop in the rate of female hormones - estrogens - which accompanies it, directly impacts the growth and quality of the hair because the latter limits until then the action of androgens, the male hormones which are among other things responsible for baldness with these gentlemen.
Since hair growth is governed by the action of estrogen, when the ovaries stop their hormonal secretion (estrogen and progesterone), there is more or less reactive hair loss depending on the woman. While it is normal to lose between forty and sixty hairs a day at any age and at any time in life, around the time of menopause, more hair is falling out. We can sometimes even speak of "chronic hair loss" as the hair mass is drastically reduced. And "if androgenetic alopecia existed before menopause, it will be worsened by it," says the expert.
To make matters worse, it is the entire hair growth cycle that is upset since we observe a slower hair growth, with a percentage of hair in the growth phase which decreases, as well as the duration of the anagen phase ( growth phase): the hair, therefore, grows shorter, slower, and there is less of it.” as explained to us by Virginie Turlier, Head of Clinical Development for Ducray Hair Products for the Pierre Fabre Group, whom we interviewed on the subject.
And do not think that you can count on the quality of your hair fiber to cushion the shock because the hair is also “thinner, hence the notion of loss of density, especially at the top of the head and the sides” warns L expert. An effect that we owe more precisely to "androgens [...] (which) miniaturize the hair follicles" and are therefore at the origin of the thinning of the hair. In addition, "their quality changes" as Virginie Turlier underlines, before adding that they are then "less tonic" than before. Last effect and not the least of the menopause on the hair: the quantity of sebum secreted by the scalp “also decreases” which has another direct consequence: “the hair can therefore be drier / dehydrated”. And all this is without counting on "the effects of age" which "are added to those of menopause, as well as heredity, associated pathologies, or even lifestyle ..." as noted. the expert.
You will understand, at menopause, not only do we lose more hair, but in addition, the number of hair that grows decreases, and the quality of the hair drops as well as its caliber. This, therefore, results in a loss of density which is noticeable to the naked eye. It is the beauty of the hair as a whole that is impacted.
One thing that is generally even less known is that these harmful effects on the hair begin before menopause and ultimately only settle and become more pronounced during the hormonal upheaval: “The changes due to menopause begin before it (during what is called peri-menopause from the age of 40) and become more pronounced over time ”. If you are seeing more hair loss than before and you have the impression that your hair is weakening around your 40s. You may therefore start to feel these effects.
Besides the aesthetic aspect of these major hair changes, “All of these manifestations can have consequences on quality of life and self-esteem,” notes the expert. It is therefore important to review your habits to avoid making the problem worse.
Since your hair is already suffering from the hormonal upheaval induced by menopause, it will be very important to “Do not attack the scalp and hair by using aggressive styling products or techniques, which would weaken an already refined hair shaft and intrinsically weakened ”states the Head of Clinical Development for Ducray hair products. So forget about perms, coloring, and extensions at the hairdresser, limit brushings, and avoid backcombing your hair. Of course, these recommendations should be qualified according to your hair type because despite everything, "some are more resistant than others" recalls Virginie Turlier. For those who can not do without coloring to camouflage their white hair, she then recommends “vegetable hair dyes” because they “do not oxidize the fiber and provide pretty reflections and shine” without damaging too much. the hair.
As we told you earlier, the negative effects of menopause on hair begin long before menopause itself. It is, therefore, best to slow down their appearance by adopting a preventive skin care routine and an anti-hair loss lotion as soon as the first more significant hair loss appears. "Certain products have proven their effectiveness (supporting clinical studies) in reducing hair loss, for example, Creastim lotion from Ducray Dermatological Laboratories" as advised by Virginie Turlier. When applying your lotion, do not neglect the massage of your scalp because “in addition to its relaxing and softening effects”, the scalp massage will also act against hair loss “by activating the microcirculation, (which) will promote hair loss. oxygen supply to the scalp and limit certain effects such as the reduction in the growth rate and the thickness of the hair and (which) could stimulate hair growth by mechanical stimulation”.
To continue with the onset of menopause, these anti-hair loss treatments can then be supplemented by more aesthetic treatments such as “sheathing, volumizing products” which will recreate the illusion of fuller hair...
Of course, and as with many beauty issues, the care to be applied to the hair and scalp are not the only cards you have up your sleeve to fight against hair loss, thinning, and weakening of the fiber. capillary associated with menopause. Diet can also help you lessen its effects on your hair, although it will not be enough on its own. Be sure to adopt a balanced diet that contains iron and biotin (found in nuts, fish, beans, poultry, or lettuce, tomatoes, or carrots), vitamin B (which can be consumed in the form of cereals, legumes, and dried fruits), zinc (which can be found in seafood, organ meats, cheese, nuts) or even sulfur-containing amino acids (present in particular in meats, fish, seafood or even egg yolks). to promote the growth of your hair and tone the fiber. Those who are less assiduous on their diet can also afford the beneficial effects of anti-hair loss or special hair beauty food supplements which allow you to ensure, thanks to a few cures per year, to give a little boost to your hair.
Thanks to Virginie Turlier, Head of clinical development for Ducray hair products (Pierre Fabre Group).