what are its effects on the hair?

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 ?

We consider that the menopause is installed when there is a lack of menstruation over the last twelve months in a woman whose age is around the age of fiftieth, since this is the average age at which women typically experience this particular period of their lives. But menopause can also occur as early as – and even before – the age of forty 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 both your hair capital and that of your skin even if we still hear too little about its consequences on hair.

This hormonal upheaval which causes the stopping of the rules, and which generates hot flashes, weight gain and irritability in the wake, in fact also affects the hair and its appearance. The drop in the level of female hormones – the estrogen – which accompanies it, directly impacts the growth and the quality of the hair because the latter limited until then the action of androgens, the male hormones which are among other things responsible for baldness in these men.

Menopause: a hormonal upheaval that affects the beauty of our hair

Hair loss: the menopause involved
Hair growth is governed by the action of estrogen, when the ovaries stop their hormonal secretion (estrogen and progesterone), there is a more or less significant reactive hair loss depending on the woman. While it is normal to lose between forty and sixty hairs per day at any age and at any time in life, during menopause, more hairs fall out. We can sometimes even speak of “chronic fall” as the hair mass is drastically reduced. And “If androgenetic alopecia existed before menopause, it will be aggravated by it” specifies the expert.
To make matters worse, it is the entire hair growth cycle that is upset since we observes 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 less long, less quickly, and there is less . ” as explained to us by Virginie Turlier, Head of Clinical Development of Ducray Hair Products for the Pierre Fabre Group, whom we interviewed on the subject.

Menopause and hair quality: towards premature aging
And don’t think you can count on the quality of your hair fiber to cushion the shock because hair is too.thinner, hence the notion of loss of density, in particular at the level of the top of the skull and the sides ” warns the expert. An effect that we owe more precisely to “Androgens […] (which) miniaturize hair follicles ” and are therefore at the origin of the thinning of the hair. Besides, “Their quality changes” as Virginie Turlier underlines, before adding that they are then “Less tonic” than before. Last effect and not the least of menopause on the hair: the amount 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” who “Are added to those of menopause, as well as heredity, associated pathologies, or even lifestyle …” as the expert notes.

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.

Effects that start even before menopause

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 start before it (during what is called peri-menopause from the age of 40) and become more pronounced over time”. If you notice more hair loss than before and you have the impression that your hair is weakening around your forties. You may therefore start to feel these effects.

Hair loss and weakened hair: how to react to menopause?

Besides the aesthetic aspect of these major changes for the hair, “All these manifestations can have consequences on the quality of life and self-esteem” notes the expert. It is therefore important to review your habits to avoid worsening the problem.
Since your hair is already suffering from the hormonal upheaval induced by menopause, it is going to be very important to “Do not attack the scalp and hair by using aggressive styling products or techniques, which would weaken a hair shaft already refined and inherently weakened” says 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 advises “Vegetable hair colorings” because they “Do not oxidize the fiber and provide nice reflections and shine” without damaging the hair too much.

Menopause and hair: what care to adopt?

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 care routine and an anti-hair loss lotion as soon as the first more significant hair loss appears. “Certain products have proven their effectiveness (clinical studies in support) in reducing hair loss, for example Creastim lotion from Ducray Dermatological Laboratories” as Virginie Turlier advises. When applying your lotion, do not neglect the massage of your scalp because “In addition to its relaxing and softening effects”, scalp massage will also act against hair loss “By activating the microcirculation, (which) will promote the supply of oxygen to the scalp and limit certain effects such as the decrease in the rate of growth 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.

3 perfect menopause densifying shampoos

Read also :Thin hair: 6 tips that really work to thicken them!

Menopause and hair: a little boost from food

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).

Early menopause: one in a hundred women is affected in France

Video by Mathilde Nalliod

Elodie LE GALL

Passionate about writing and beauty, Elodie swaps her lipstick for her laptop to find the best in makeup, hairstyle and skincare trends, and professional tips …

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