Shedding locks is a woman's worst nightmare, especially since healthy hair can be viewed as an integral part of her femininity and what it means to be a woman. Fortunately, there are ways of ensuring that the situation doesn't escalate while you seek proper treatment.
Find out what things not to do when experiencing hair loss in menopause so that you can achieve healthy hair and a happy scalp.
Washing excessively with inappropriate drying techniques
Avoid washing your hair every day as this can strip your scalp of its natural oils and encourage further hair loss. Also, after washing, try to allow your hair to air dry rather than using a hairdryer. However, if you must use a dryer, keep it on a low heat setting. If you towel dry your hair, make sure not to rub too vigorously as this can also cause brittle hair strands to break.
Styling and brushing aggressively
Any hair style that requires pulling the hair from the scalp will have a damaging affect; this includes tight ponytails or buns in addition to tight braids. The use of straightening irons can also cause hair strands to break. It is recommended not to comb hair when it is completely wet, yet to wait about 10 to 15 minutes as it air dries. Then, treat your hair gently when brushing. Use a wide-toothed comb, starting at the ends and working your way up to the roots.
Applying harsh chemicals
Unfortunately, all bleaches, perms, or hair colorants should be avoided. While this could mean leaving grey hairs exposed, it's better than the alternative of fostering hair loss and encouraging more locks to shed. Chlorine should also be avoided. So, if you are a keen swimmer, use a swim cap and rinse the chlorine out of your hair immediately afterwards.
Neglecting your scalp
Gentle head massages are hugely beneficial for your hair and for overall scalp health. They increase blood flow to the hair follicles and scalp, which, in turn, promotes hair growth. An effective massage includes applying pressure to the scalp with the fingers and hands through kneading and rubbing.
Using chemical-ridden styling products
Try to cut back on the number of chemical-infused hair styling products you use. Mousse, hairspray, and setting lotions are generally acceptable, but they shouldn't be used excessively. A better idea is to massage your head with good quality natural oil once a week. Popular options include peppermint, rosemary, cedarwood, or lavender when mixed with carrier oils.
It's important to remember that a small amount of hair loss is normal and largely inevitable. It is accepted that people generally lose about 100 hairs a day, which is normally replaced by new hair growing in simultaneously.
However, significant indicators that you are suffering from hair loss include bald patches on the scalp, clumps of hair falling out, thinning of the hair (especially along the part), and an itchy scalp. Also, the sooner you treat the root cause of hormonal imbalance with menopausal hair loss treatments, the sooner you will have a full, healthy head of hair.
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Hair loss: Symptoms & causes. Retrieved December 6, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20372926
- Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. (n.d.). The Benefits of Scalp Massage for Hair Loss. Retrieved December 6, 2018, from https://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2015/02/01/benefits-scalp-massage-hair-loss