The truth is, we all know someone who has been or will be impacted by menopause. That impact could be direct or indirect, but we’re all connected to a woman walking through the doors of menopause and mentally endeavoring to embrace her new life.
Most women – your mom, sister, boss, and coworker, you – will all go down the glorious path of aging that takes her through “The Change,” as affectionately called by many. When women go through The Change, they experience a metamorphosis into a new life – one with no periods – which is most publicly celebrated. Often you’ll see these ladies constantly fanning, using an electronic fan with the occasional water spray, chewing ice, or sweating in the coolest of temperatures.
Before a woman experiences menopause, she goes through a transitional period called perimenopause. Perimenopause means recognizing the time a woman’s body naturally begins to transition to menopause. Perimenopause can start as early as the mid-30s to 40s, and it’s during this time when they recognize a shift in their bodies, or should we say, “The Change” lived out through irregular periods, and vasomotor symptoms (VMS) such as hot flashes, among other symptoms.
So, we know what menopause could look like and that there is a transitional time that leads up to it, but what is menopause? The National Institute on Aging defines menopause as happening 12 months after a woman’s last period. So, menopause essentially marks the end of a menstrual cycle and can only be diagnosed after a woman’s gone 12 months without a menstrual period. The average age for menopause is approximately 51; however, women can experience it anytime in their 40s or 50.
Common complaints of menopausal women: trouble sleeping, hot flashes, chills, painful sex, depression, night sweats, mood swings, irregular sleep patterns, and one not so common… Hair loss! Yes, hair loss is a genuine issue directly related; however, there is a dissociation between hair loss and menopause due to a lack of awareness.
Women are often identified by their beautiful hair! From signature hairstyles to frequently changing styles – you mention a woman, and someone can tell you how they wear their hair! So, what happens when a woman starts losing her hair – the same hair she was told growing up is her glory, her crown? When a crown shifts, we adjust it; when the “crown” of hair shifts – we have learned how to adjust that too – this adjustment requires more work, but it’s work that all women can do!
So, why do women experience hair loss during menopause and how to reduce it?
One of the primary reasons women experience hair loss during menopause is due to hormonal changes in the body. Sometimes, it’s not recognized because the condition is often associated with stress, changes in diet, an illness, etc.
With other competing factors, it’s understandable why so many women miss the correlation between hair loss and menopause. Some ways to note if there is hair loss? Slower growth, thinning hair, loss of volume, thinning, changes in hair pattern, etc. – hair will normally be seen through access shedding of hair in brushes and the shower. The great news is that menopausal hair loss is reversible.
Six ways to slow down hair loss due to menopause
When it comes to eating well, there are so many sites, books, and health gurus sharing