During their 40’s and 50’s women may notice that the overall thickness of their hair starts to reduce, hair and skin changes during Perimenopause and Menopause are not uncommon. These changes are mostly related to decreasing levels of two main female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Commonly it results in an overall thinning and sometimes receding of our hairlines. Although some of us may find that we are losing clumps of hair, we are generally not left with bald patches. We may also note that our hair is becoming more wiry and frizzy and no longer as glossy as before. Other areas where we may notice this change is on our eyebrows and eyelashes. They may not feature very prominently as they did. It is the opposite of what happens during pregnancy!
Hormonal balance in women is a very complex phenomenon. Other than estrogen and progesterone, testosterone and thyroid hormone can have a role to play. Very often we may notice an increase in facial hair growth, especially on our chins. This happens because the drop in estrogen levels is proportionally more than the drop in testosterone. As a result, we have more active testosterone which leads to this effect. We also know that our skin can become oily and more acne prone at this time, which is another one of the testosterone-related effects. Other skin changes may be related to increased dryness or propensity to allergies and irritation. This could be due to reduced estrogen, thyroxine levels or iron levels.
What to do?
Work from inside out
- Reduce Stress ( exercise, yoga, mindfulness)
- Eat Well ( eg.cruciferous vegetables, uncooked olive oil, salmon, avocado, almonds, walnuts, whole grains etc).
- Vitamin B6, Folate
- Stay Hydrated.
Work from the outside in:
- Avoid: harsh dyes with ammonia, heat or chemical treatments, shampoos, and conditioners with sulfates and parabens
- Do: massage scalp with coconut or olive oil pre-shampoo to increase circulation, condition and moisturise hair. It reduces hair breakage and stimulates hair growth.
Discuss with your doctor with regards to any further tests or help you may need.