Menopause and Hair Care

There is no need for your hair to look less than wonderfully luxuriant at midlife. It’s true that individual hair shafts begin to thin and fade and become dryer when you are about forty. Changes in your hair after menopause generally are the result of hormonal changes. You can counter these changes by giving your crowning glory better care, and a new and more flattering cut and style. You can try to stop drying it further with electrical tools, harsh chemicals, poor diet, poor circula­tion, and too much exposure to the elements.

There is no need for your hair to look less than wonderfully luxuriant at midlife. It’s true that individual hair shafts begin to thin and fade and become dryer when you are about forty. Changes in your hair after menopause generally are the result of hormonal changes. You can counter these changes by giving your crowning glory better care, and a new and more flattering cut and style. You can try to stop drying it further with electrical tools, harsh chemicals, poor diet, poor circula­tion, and too much exposure to the elements.

If you love your hair, it won’t disappoint you. True female baldness is a rare problem; it usually has a genetic base, if it occurs. Hair loss, when caused by disease, will usually regrow and be as healthy as it was before. Since you were very young, you have been losing 50 to 120 hairs each day. Thus, about 30,000 hairs per year are replaced by new ones. As we age, sometimes the replacement process is slower. Usually, past forty, the replacement hairs are a lighter, or faded, version of the ones you lost. The texture and consistency may also change. If you crash diet regularly, your hair will rebel against the lack of nutrition by becoming dry and brittle. If you combine your internal abuse with normal aging changes, and then add external abuses of over-styling or improper coloring or perming techniques, you can’t expect your hair to care for you.

First, you should know that everyone eventually turns gray. We lose pigment as we age, and by fifty, half of the population is gray-haired. Well-cared-for gray hair can look chic, stunning, and appealing de­pending on its condition and styling. Frizzy, dry, flyaway gray is not flattering. A long bob of gray hair is just too much of a good thing. A shorter blunt cut, good conditioning to make it shine, and a color rinse to heighten, deepen, or lighten the gray, if necessary, is all you need.

On the other hand, if gray is not your favorite color, change it early. When you find you are spending more time jerking gray hairs from your head than washing it, it’s time to consider color. If you like the gray coming in naturally and appreciate the salt and pepper stage, leave it alone. If you are thinking about coloring your hair eventually, skip the salt and pepper stage. Simply go from your hair color back to your hair color, by gradually adding color as your natural color fades. You can enjoy your hair color for a lifetime. Did you always want to find out whether blondes have more fun, or redheads are more exciting? Then switch colors, but first make sure the color you. choose is flattering to you. Often a change in hair color means a change in makeup palette.

For hair-care harmony, use as few electrical appliances on your hair as possible. If you use a dryer, keep it at least six inches away from your head. Turn off the dryer just before your hair is completely dry. If you use rollers, curlers, or bobby pins, don’t pull on the hair excessively. Use quality hair-care products that are right for your type of hair. Practice good nutrition and meet the recommended daily requirements for vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, which may have espe­cially good effects on your hair. HRT helps as well. Cover your hair in the sun and wind and rinse it after you swim to get rid of pool chemicals.