Beauty and the menopause
“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows.”
Approaching menopause can be a daunting time. Women can experience many symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, brain fog and weight gain. But the dramatic drop in the female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, which the menopause brings, can also have a major effect on your skin and hair. We asked Maxine, salon director at KH Hair Newark and qualified Trichologist (specialist in hair and scalp health), for her advice on how to stay looking and feeling happy and healthy through this often difficult transition.
When we first become perimenopausal, our hormones begin to fluctuate causing changes throughout the whole of our body. Heavy periods can lead to loss of serum ferratin (storage of iron) and this can contribute towards hair loss or hair thinning. In addition, the drop in oestrogen and progesterone levels allows testosterone to be more prominent, having a negative effect on the hair follicles which can cause hair loss. Menopause can also make hair more brittle which can result in breakage if not cared for properly.
When it comes to tackling the menopause, the importance of a healthy balanced diet cannot be overestimated. Red meat, beans, brown rice and nuts are a great way to help keep our ferratin levels up and zinc, found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and even dark chocolate, is essential for hormone production. Zinc is also really important for our immune system, which can be compromised during menopause due to all the emotional and physical changes that are happening to us. Choose foods which contain biotin too, as this is beneficial for hormone balance, energy production, healthy moods and helps build strong and healthy hair, skin and nails. You’ll find it in eggs, milk, bananas, salmon, avocados, raspberries and sunflower seeds.
There are also plenty of different supplements available specifically for the skin and hair but you should NOT take an iron supplement without speaking to your doctor first.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
If symptoms are severe, your doctor may suggest Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) which helps restore your body’s oestrogen levels and can help relieve troublesome mood swings and hot flashes. It’s also known to help with hair thinning. Many women take HRT to help with menopausal symptoms but it’s not suitable for everyone. You should always look at the negatives as well as the positives and talk everything through with your GP before taking it.
THE S WORD…
Another factor that can affect your hair is stress, and troublesome symptoms of the menopause can certainly contribute towards increased levels. Stress is a well-known trigger for hair loss so try and get plenty of exercise as this will help keep stress levels down and feel-good hormones up.
As we age, each life cycle of the hair becomes longer and each hair becomes finer, which could lead to people thinking they are losing hair. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to stop this, but we can certainly help to slow it down. Nioxin is a fantastic range for hair thinning and hair loss. Developed by Wella specifically to amplify the texture of the hair whilst helping to optimise the health of the scalp, Nioxin allows a nice clean, healthy environment for hair to grow. The range also has some great styling products to help with volume and hold and is available in all KH Hair salons, so do ask your stylist for details.
“The trick is to age honestly and gracefully and make it look great so that everyone looks forward to it.”
All KH Hair salons offer a completely free, no obligation consultation to anyone concerned with hair loss, thinning hair or any other hair/scalp-related problems. Contact your nearest salon for details