Menopause is a term used for ending of menstrual cycle in females. Menopause brings about many changes in women. One of them is change in texture of hairs. Many women have reported a great change in texture as well as thickness of hairs after they entered menopause phase.
It is commonly reported that during menopause, hairs become coarse, dry and brittle. Maintaining such hairs is really a difficult task. Since new hairs are not growing at this stage, all steps have to be taken for preventing loss of hairs. Due to changed texture, hairs also become more prone to damage. Thus, colors, dyes, and hair straightening products should be avoided at this stage.
It is not that texture of hairs changes as soon as a woman enters this phase. Rather, it takes time for effects of menopause to become noticeable. This time period is generally three to four months. Even treatment taken for improving hair texture and thickness require time. Menopause causes thinning of hairs, which is clearly noticed on the top of head.
Hairs in this region become short and fine. They are usually lusterless. Due to changed texture and thickness of hairs, scalp becomes easily visible. Change in texture also leads to curliness of hairs. Thus, wave pattern of hairs also get changed after menopause.
Why Change in Hair Texture Occurs
Hormonal changes are basically responsible for change in hair texture during and after menopause. Actual change that has occurred in texture of hairs depends upon certain factors. For example, genetic traits can play a good role in determining the texture of hairs. Change in hormonal levels also brings about loss of hair pigment and graying of hairs. Since hairs become less porous, they become hard or rough and moisturizing them also becomes difficult.
For dealing with hormonal changes, it is very necessary that hair care routine is modified and strictly followed. Due to drying out, hairs also become less curable. With onset of menopause, levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone starts declining in the body. Apart from changing the hair texture, decreased hormonal levels also lead to loss of hair.
It is to be understood that when a woman comes close to menopause, functions of ovary starts getting affected, which ultimately lead to decreased hormonal levels. Woman approaching menopause can experience up to 50% hair loss. If texture of hairs has been affected badly, the percentage of hair loss can be up to even 75%. Estrogen deficiency is mainly responsible for change in texture and loss of hairs.
Another factor that leads to above is change in level of male hormones inside the body. Women have male hormone called as androgen in their bodies and when progesterone level falls, androgen level increases. Progesterone level fall as ovulation do not occur. In the presence of progesterone, levels of male hormones in the body of woman remain low. In its absence, they increase so as to cause change in texture of hair.
Density of hairs is also affected adversely due to presence of androgens. For dealing with roughness of hairs, many steps have to be taken. In many women, a particular pattern of hairs develop due to change in texture. For example, hairline remains intact in most of women but crown area suffers from excessive thinning. Texture of hair is badly affected during and after menopause if a woman takes certain types of heart medications.
Estrogen is one female hormone that contributes to growth of hair follicles greatly. When its level is decreased due to menopause, changes in hair are bound to occur. Hairs do not remain as soft as they use to be, though they become thin. Great difficulty is faced in some cases while styling hairs, as they become curly. Washing and styling of hairs lead to loss of 50 to 100 strands. If a woman does not consume healthy diet and does not maintain proper hair hygiene, this number can get increased to 200.
What Should be Done
One of best measures for improving and maintaining texture of hairs is to maintain proper hair regimen. Since hairs become dry and brittle due to menopause, they should be washed with mild shampoos. Also, frequency of washing hairs should be reduced. Many hair experts believe that women in menopause should wash their hairs up to two times in a week. Washing of hairs should be followed by application of deep conditioners or serum.
Gentle massage of natural oils like olive, sweet almond and coconut oil also helps in improving the texture. Application of chemicals on hairs should be reduced. At this stage, hair straightening and relaxing products are generally not recommended. For improving the texture, healthy diet should be taken that contain all the important vitamins and other nutrients. Diet must contain good quantities of magnesium and zinc. Food substances with beta carotene should be included in diet.
While moving out, a hat should be worn so that hairs do not catch dust. However, wearing tight hats should be avoided. Since harmful rays from sun also damage hairs and affects their texture, exposure to sun should be reduced. For avoiding thinning of hairs and hair loss, some steps can be taken. These steps are also helpful in maintaining the texture of hairs. For example, many women go for hormone replacement therapy. This a process in which estrogen levels in the body are increased.
However, there are certain side-effects of this therapy and thus, it may not be recommended to all women. It is to be understood that increased levels of estrogen do not lead to growing of new hairs. Thus, a woman may not get head full of hairs due to this therapy. This is because growth of hairs is affected adversely due to aging. But texture of hair can be improved through this therapy. As a result, hairs become more manageable.
Since menopause can be accompanied with great stress, anti-depressants and anti-coagulants are prescribed to such women. There are some medications that have been found effective in improving the texture of hairs and in preventing hair loss. For example, Rogaine is one such medication. It has been approved by FDA. There are also some herbal products that promise to improve the texture of hairs. Due care should be observed while using these products.