Hair loss is dreadful, distressing and upsetting. For women, luscious hair makes us feel beautiful and seeing our scalp get more bare as the days pass is absolutely horrifying. We feel less in control, our confidence plummets and our self-esteem lowers.
Even as a businesswoman with decades of experience, Jessica* found herself struggling to concentrate on her conversations with other people. Ever since she noticed substantial hair fall, a thought that plagued her mind whenever she met new people was, “They are staring at my scalp. They noticed my hair loss.”
Wearing a cap became part of Jessica’s style because she felt so insecure and anxious about her exposed scalp. When there were important meetings and appointments, she resorted to using makeup on her scalp to cover up the thinning and shining spots. But the makeup would never stay, and it was way too much trouble.
Jessica decided that it was time to ditch her cap as she realised that she needed a more permanent solution. The first step that she took to turn her life around was finding out the cause. A quick search on the net led her to many different causes, and she eventually realised that she could be dealing with hormonal imbalance. While there are many other hormonal causes that could lead to hair loss, Jessica was sure that menopause was the main cause for her.
Fluctuating hormonal levels are experienced by all women, some with more severe side-effects than others. The female body may demonstrate various physical changes in different stages of the menstrual cycle. While hormones like progesterone and oestrogen help to support our hair growth during our fertile years, the drop in these hormone levels as women approaches menopause may cause their hair to grow slower and thinner, eventually leading to significant hair loss for some.
Here are 3 ways that women can tackle hormonal hair loss:
1. Ensure a protein-rich diet (also try fermented soy food!)
Considering that changes in hormonal metabolism are the main cause of hair loss at menopause, it is imperative to do a nutritional review and ensure that we meet our nutritional needs.
A diet lacking in protein or Vitamins A, C, or E can be a prime factor in hormonal hair loss. The lack of protein has a lasting impact on your hair health. Since hair strands are made of keratin, a sulfur-rich protein, depriving it of its basic building blocks (keratin) is detrimental to its health. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein such as red meat, fish, eggs etc. can help to stimulate hair growth when it is already impacted by hormonal imbalances.
Consider also taking fermented soy food such as tempeh, miso and fermented tofu. Such foods inhibit the formation of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, which has been found to contribute to hair loss. Try incorporating them in your diet to take a step closer to growing thicker hair!
2. Reduce stress by exercising and meditating
Physical and emotional stress are also causes of hair loss. Many women who double up as working moms and homemakers experience a great amount of stress from balancing the demands of family and work. While you may not be able to prevent or avoid stress in life, you can find ways to relieve them.
To start with, exercise can improve your blood circulation to the heart, lungs, blood vessels and also… scalp! Increased blood circulation and flow of nutrients to each hair follicle will encourage optimal hair growth, especially when combined with a nutritional diet.
Besides, physical activity also causes your body to release endorphins that can uplift your mood, reducing stress. If your busy work schedule does not allow time for exercise, opting to walk home from work or alighting a couple of bus stops earlier is a good start.
If you’re working from home, meditation is also a great and simple way to build your tolerance to stress. This age-old practice helps to clear your mind and relaxes your body while it restores your body to a calm and focused state. It is great for stress relief and can be done in the morning, after lunch or before bedtime.
3. Going easy on the hair sprays or avoid it altogether
Your hair needs some tender loving care too. Caring for your hair means going easy on the hair sprays that you thought were necessary for special events or important meetings. Chemicals found in hair sprays can be damaging to your scalp health, making your hair more susceptible to breakage. Regular use of heating tools such as curlers and straighteners can also make your hair dry, prone to breakage and eventually cause them to fall out.
How often do you add damage to your hair just for it to look good?
Start by reducing your usage of hair sprays and heating tools by half, and you may just realise that healthy hair is just as beautiful!
With a healthier scalp, Jessica can now ditch her cap for a more sophisticated and natural look, without the constant worry of her peers staring at her scalp. Hormonal hair loss can be tackled with intentional nutritional and lifestyle changes, which can give you greater confidence in your appearance and better scalp health.
If you are experiencing hormonal hair loss and would like to find out more about your current scalp health, get in touch with us!