Read the full video transcript below
Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today, on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to look at how to prevent hair loss.
Now, our hair is so important to all of us. It's our crowning glory. It's part of who we are. It can be part of our identity. And I get contact from so many women really upset, and distressed, and worried because their hair is starting to change.
It's a really common symptom in the menopause. So today, I'm going to look at ways in which you can hopefully help yourself to minimise this particular situation.
Areas you can lose hair during menopause
The area that can be affected is on your head. It can be your eyebrows, your eyelashes, your underarm hair, your leg hair, and your pubic hair.
It's difficult to tell which area, if any, is going to be affected. It's a very individual situation, here.
Hormones and your hair
For the most part, it's the hormones or the falling of hormones that's causing this particular problem. Your progesterone and oestrogen help to support your hair growth during your fertile years.
So as these hormones start to decrease, as you approach the menopause, go into the menopause, and after the menopause as well, this can have a direct effect on your hair. It will take a lot longer to grow, and it tends to be thinner, both on the scalp area and also the thickness of the hair, too.
How can I stop hair loss during menopause?
So what are the ways you can do to help this? Look at hormonal balance. As you start in the peri-menopause, if your hormones are starting to change, then you know that that's the sort of start of the whole menopause, peri-menopause scenario.
So you can look at balancing hormones by things like Menopause Support, have plenty of fermented soya foods in your diet. Look at things that maybe Black Cohosh as well, if they're appropriate. You could start to eat fermented soya foods, and these are foods that are eaten on a regular basis in the Far East, so it would be things like tempeh, and miso, and maybe some kinds of fermented tofu as well.
So you can get these particular foods in health food shops and maybe some of the oriental supermarkets as well.
Other things that can help prevent hair loss
The other things that are really important is to reduce stress, and as I say every time I talk about stress, "Who isn't stressed going through the menopause?"
It can play a huge part in your hormonal imbalance, so reducing stress can have a positive impact on all sorts of different health issues, including how good and how healthy your hair can be.
Love your liver
Look at liver function. And, again, I talk about the liver on a regular basis. The liver plays a big part in hormonal balance, and if your liver is stressed, then that can have a direct effect on the health of your hair, too.
Be kind to your hair
You know, in this day and age, we can be really brutal with our hair, all these sprays, and heating tools, and hair dryers, and hair straighteners, so just watch what you're actually doing with your hair because if it's starting to get a little thinner and a little more brittle, then using a lot of these harsh treatments can speed up the deterioration process.
Look at what you're putting on your hair. What kind of shampoos are you using? What kind of hairsprays and gel are you using? And if you think that you use shampoo to wash your hair, you then use a conditioner, you may then put some kind of styling product on, and then on top of all that, you might put hairspray on.
There is a huge combination of chemicals that are sitting on your hair and on your scalp, probably for at least 18 to 24 hours a day, and that can cause problems as well. Your scalp can also get very, very sensitive. An itchy scalp is another one of those reasonably common menopause symptoms.
So maybe if you can't go organic, then just go as natural as you can, and try and avoid having these compounds on a daily basis. Give your hair a little bit of a rest. I know if I have a long weekend, I will leave my hair for maybe two to three days. I won't wash it. I won't put anything on it.
Obviously, I don't do this if I'm going out anywhere, but just if I'm having a long relaxing weekend, where there's nothing much going on, then I will let my hair rest for two to three days. And it does make a difference, so it's certainly worth a try if you have the time to do this.
The other thing is to eat well. Your nutritional needs go sky-high in the menopause. All these internal changes that are going on take lots of nutrition, and if you're not getting enough, then the first things to go are your hair, and your nails, and your skin.
The body doesn't see these as necessary for life, so if you don't have enough nutrition, then the body's going to use what it can get to help you to stay standing rather than to help you have beautiful hair.
So it's a really good giveaway, if your hair starts to suffer, then look at your diet. Are you getting enough protein? You need more protein during the menopause as well, and you need plenty of protein for good hair growth.
Drink plenty of water
Look at your water intake, too, because dehydration will affect the quality of your hair as well. So remember loads and loads of plain water, too.
What vitamins are good for hair loss during menopause?
You can also look at things like essential fatty acids. Fish oils or flaxseed oil can be wonderful for the hair, so worth adding into to your daily regime. Look at vitamins. Are you getting enough iron? Low iron, now, if you are approaching the menopause, and you are having a lot of heavy or prolonged or close together periods, you can end up with low iron and that can very quickly affect your health.
So look at your iron levels, look at your zinc. This is another really important one, look at your vitamin A. Are you getting enough vitamin A, too?
You could try...
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Signs your thyroid is struggling
So have a good look at your whole lifestyle, so that's stress, food, and water, and the other really important thing here is if your hair is falling out very quickly, then that could be an indication that your thyroid is struggling, which again is another common issue that appears during the menopause.
If your eyebrows, if the last quarter of your eyebrows start to disappear, that's often an indication that your thyroid's struggling, so again, get these things checked out by your doctor if anything just to rule them out.
And then you can look at other areas of your life where you can try and make some positive changes.
Is menopausal hair loss permanent?
I do get asked by women a lot, "Will my hair grow back after the menopause?" This is one of those questions that I can't answer because it's going to be different for everybody. It can depend on your diet. It can depend on your lifestyle. It can depend on your hormonal balance by the time you get through the menopause.
So this is one of the situations, especially for you ladies who are just starting the peri-menopause, is to look after your hair health now, and that will help to keep you in good stead as you go through the menopause and afterwards as well.
It can be a horrible situation to be in, but sometimes, you can look at situations like this as a little trigger for change. I've known women who've had long hair all their life, it started to change as they go through the menopause, and they've ended up having their hair cut short. And sometimes, it can make them look so much younger. So, you know, look at these situations, too, and look at ways in which you can make yourself more comfortable with what's actually happening with you.
I hope this has helped you. If any of you out there have any really good tips about how you look after your hair or things that you have done to help, we would love to hear from you, so please let us know.
Have a good week. And I'll look forward to seeing you next week on A.Vogel Talks Menopause.