Hair loss can occur for a variety of reasons, including illness or as a side effect of taking medication. But in the months and years leading up to menopause, many women experience varying degrees of hair loss and thinning. It can be a gradual process, with thinning being apparent after we have brushed our hair.
Emma Munroe tells us that she recently lost all of her hair almost overnight which her doctor has told her is due to menopause. She’s 48 and has a stressful London-based job in the city. But after undergoing a battery of tests, medics told her that there was nothing that they could do and that, whilst rare, it is something that can happen to some women at this time of their lives.
“My hair just started falling out in clumps,” Emma tells us. “After panicking that I had a serious illness and having a number of sleepless nights as I waited for test results, being told that it was menopause and that I wasn’t about to die or anything was a huge relief, so I have decided to make the most of it.”
She has bought a variety of wigs, a couple of more expensive, high quality ones for work, along with twenty or so, “cheap fun ones for nights out,” she explains. “I have lots of different styles, and colours. I have a short choppy black bob, a long glossy light blonde one, another with braids. I wake up and decide what mood I am in and pick my hairstyle accordingly.”
She adds: “I’ve come to accept that my hair may never grow back so even if it does I might just continue wearing wigs. It’s actually liberating and I’m not seeing it as a bad thing. I have had my eyebrows microbladed and they look fantastic and so neat and defined, but natural too. If anything I feel more groomed than ever and it’s all so easy – no more long, boring expensive hairdresser appointments, no more plucking my eyebrows, and getting ready to go out is quick and it’s fun trying out different looks.”
We absolutely salute Emma’s attitude and think it’s fabulously inspiring, but many women do feel hugely upset when they notice that their hair has started thinning, so we wondered what can be done to help prevent hair loss.
Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley says that not washing your hair frequently, braiding or putting your hair in a ponytail while at the gym – or as a quick and easy bad hair day fix – as well as not protecting your hair while swimming are some of the most common causes that she sees for hair loss.
Are you putting your hair in a ponytail while at the gym or putting your hair in a tight braid when you’re running late or on bad hair days? This could lead to ‘traction alopecia’ and Anabel Kingsley notes that this may, “lead to permanent hair loss if done repeatedly over a long period of time.”
Swimming is a great way reduce stress levels and stay fit and healthy. “However chlorinated and salt water can be drying on your hair, especially African-Caribbean hair as it tends to be more porous” says Anabel Kingsley. It is important to restore lost moisture and elasticity after swimming, otherwise this could lead to further damage.
Frequently shampooing your hair is essential for hair health and beneficial for hair growth she adds: “Your hair, just like any other part of your body, does not clean itself” Anabel says. “When you shampoo your hair, the act of massaging dislodges the loose hairs sitting detached in the follicle.” By stimulating the scalp, shampooing regularly can actually help reduce daily hair loss.
A head massage is a relaxing way to end a stressful day. We recommend using Lumity’s new all natural Facial Oil (which can be used all over your body, as well as in your hair), to massage your hair and scalp before bed. Simply put a small amount in the palm of your hands and then dab some oil on the tips of your fingers.
Carefully massage your scalp using circular movements and gently rub the oil through your hair all the way to the ends. The ideal is to do this on damp hair, after you have had a shower or bath, and then leave the oil in overnight as a hair masque – then wash your hair as usual in the morning. The nutrients in the oil will help to keep your scalp healthy and the oil will give your hair a lovely, glossy, moisturised sheen.
Did you enjoy this? Here’s our expert’s take on why perimenopause can be a positive time in your life. Here’s a surprising benefit of menopause that Davina McCall noticed and don’t miss A-list facialist Nichola Joss showing how to do her world-famous facial massage techniques!