Over the last few months in fact, for a whole year, I’ve noticed changes to my hair, mood, and sleep patterns and I just knew instinctively that it was linked to my hormones.
I must tell you that it is the change to my hair in recent months that got me making that GP appointment. And I had it confirmed! Titilolami Bello is firmly in the Perimenopause phase!!
Not only have I noticed loss in hair volume, my hair is breaking more easily! Getting the GP to confirm my status via a blood test was however a relief! I can now tackle it through acceptance, diet, weight training, and herbs if need be - a thorough and complete holistic approach (more on that soon).
What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause, the transitional phase leading up to menopause, tends to start in your 40’s but can start as early as 30’s. It is a natural and inevitable process for women. While it is often associated with various physical and emotional changes, one aspect that is frequently overlooked is its impact on hair health. As hormone levels fluctuate during this time, many women experience noticeable changes in their hair.
So here are some things that have been happening to me:
Thinning Hair and Hair Loss:
During perimenopause, declining levels of estrogen and progesterone can lead to hair thinning and hair loss. Estrogen plays a crucial role in promoting hair growth, and its decline can disrupt the hair growth cycle. Additionally, hormonal imbalances can trigger increased sensitivity to androgens, which can further contribute to hair loss. It is important to note that while hair thinning is common, significant hair loss may require medical attention. What I’ve experienced is thinning not significant hair loss! But enough for me to notice! This thinning is exacerbated I’m certain, by my low iron caused by my heavier and longer periods, another symptom of perimenopause. I am tackling this too.
Many women notice changes in their hair texture during perimenopause. Hair may become drier, frizzier, or more brittle due to hormonal imbalances. Reduced sebum production, the natural oil that keeps hair moisturized, can lead to dryness and lack of shine. Adjusting your hair care routine by using moisturizing products and avoiding excessive heat styling can help combat these changes. I’ve now realised that I need a little more leave-in conditioner after wash day and I only use Khalila oil for the extra strength and support the blend offers! These have been working a treat!
Perimenopause is also associated with an increase in grey hair. Within 9 months I’ve discovered so much more grey hair! Of course, as we age, the pigment-producing cells in our hair follicles gradually decline, resulting in the growth of colorless hair strands. While genetics play a significant role in determining when greying occurs, hormonal changes during perimenopause can accelerate this process. I was planning to colour my hair but I fear that colour may now exacerbate the hormonal dryness I’m experiencing .
Hormonal fluctuations can affect the scalp, leading to issues such as dryness, itchiness, and sensitivity. This can be attributed to reduced sebum production and changes in the scalp's pH balance. I am tackling this aspect with Omega 3 fish oil and I may even incorporate regular scalp massages.
I’ve banged on and preached, that we should all be adapting our hair practices as we age! Don’t wait till your 40’s! But If you are closer to my age now is the time! Here are some helpful tips:
- Prioritize a balanced diet rich in nutrients, particularly vitamins B, C, and E, which are essential for hair health.
- Minimize heat styling and opt for gentle hair care practices to avoid further damage. Honestly, braids for months on end is not it!
- Regularly trim your hair to keep it healthy and prevent split ends.
- Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy lifestyle, as overall well-being positively impacts hair health
Perimenopause affects women in various ways, and changes in hair are among the less-discussed yet significant effects. Understanding these changes and adopting appropriate hair care practices can help you navigate this transition period with confidence. Remember, seeking professional advice from a healthcare provider or a dermatologist is crucial if you experience severe hair loss or scalp issues.
Two months ago, I adopted many changes to support this new phase, I’ll share more in time!