One thing is for sure: shining and healthy hair is what all women want. But unfortunately, menopause is one of the hair enemies impossible to avoid that doesn’t let many enjoy the crown they deserve. Menopause is the time of life when the menstrual cycle ceases due to the decrease in some particular ovarian hormones like estrogen and progesterone. The effects of menopause appear differently in each woman, but they often lead to the so-called “midlife hair crisis.” Yes, thinning hair is a common result of menopause. That’s because one of estrogen and progesterone’s roles is to help hair grow faster and stronger. So if you face hair loss during menopause, here’s what you need to do.
Why you start to lose hair during menopause
Your body has different hormones that support various body activities. Of these, estrogen and progesterone are the ones that contribute to hair growth. During menopause, these hormones levels start declining and as a result, hair became thin and fragile. It’s believed that among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots, as Harvard Health Publishing suggests. Dr. Aarti Narayan Denning, GP & Aesthetic Doctor for Hormonal Health, points out that the same. “Hair loss during menopause is the result of lowered production of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones help hair grow faster and stay on the head for longer periods. When the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop, hair grows slower and becomes much thinner.”
Besides the hormonal disturbance due to menopause, there are other things that may contribute to hair loss — for example, genetics, stress, aging factors, and other health concerns like thyroid issues. But above all, nutritional deficiencies seem to be the first factor that weakens the hair and slows its growing process. Because the hair needs nutrients and proteins to grow naturally, the follicles will be unable to produce healthy hair when they lack these resources.
Is hair loss during menopause treatable?
Yes, you can grow back your hair during menopause. By taking care of your diet, increasing your physical activity, taking supplements for hormonal treatment, you can reverse hormonal hair loss.
Treatments for hair loss during menopause
According to one study published in the Journal of Menopause Review in 2016, the following will help reduce thinning hair during menopause:
Proteins are essential for healthy hair growth as the amino acids in proteins nourish hair follicles and stimulate hair production. During menopause, you should eat a diet consisting of 10-15% energy as proteins. Foods like cheese, yogurt, fish, meat, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, sesame, and peanuts are the best to increase your intake of proteins. As an addition, 2 or 3 eggs per week are recommended as a source of amino acids.
Healthy fats are also needed to help your hair grow thicker. So, fish oil, flax seeds, walnuts, eggs, olive oil, avocado should not miss in your daily diet.
Many women avoid carbs and increase proteins in their diet for bodyweight maintenance. But it’s a fact that you need a reasonable amount of carbohydrates to reduce thinning hair. It’s noteworthy that your diet must be complex-carb-rich but with a low glycemic index.
Vitamin C is one of the most beneficial vitamins needed for natural hair growth. The presence of vitamin C ensures that your body absorbs iron and other nutrients. Since it’s an antioxidant, vitamin C also helps offset cellular damage to the hair follicles.
Folate or, say, folic acid is a type of vitamin B naturally found in many foods. Folic acid helps increase the red blood cells in your body that transport oxygen to your hair cells. It also plays a crucial role in the hair rebuilding mechanism of the follicle cells.
This vitamin helps your hair to retain the original natural color and prevents premature greying of your hair. Women in their 50’s should eat a diet full of B5-rich foods like cauliflower, mushrooms, soya beans, eggs, whole grains, milk, beans, and green leafy vegetables.
The most famous vitamin, also known as biotin, is taken in the form of supplements for hair growth as it supports fat metabolism. A deficiency of biotin is also often linked to thinning hair, so more reason to include this vitamin in your daily diet if you want fuller-looking hair.
Known as vitamin PP, niacin helps hair grow stronger and keeps your strands in shape. Whole meat grains, meat, vegetables, seeds, fish, and peanuts are the major sources of getting niacin.
Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that increases the red blood cells in the body. Vegetarians often face a deficiency of this vitamin, as it’s mostly found in meats, fish, and eggs
Vitamin A targets the regeneration and synthesis of cells in your body. It protects hair from being brittle and is responsible for moisturizing. Cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt, they’re all good sources of vit A. Also, you can get this vitamin by including beta-carotene-rich sources in your diet (the body will convert it to retinol, which will also help your skin) — spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, mango, papaya, apricots.
Many minerals contribute to normal hair growth. These minerals include zinc, iron, copper, selenium, silicon, magnesium, and calcium. Although minerals can’t directly stimulate hair growth, a deficiency of these may weaken the hair and make it more prone to breakage.