One of the mane (er, main) things we can all count on: The typical healthy head sheds between 50 and 100 hairs each day and sometimes, even more, depending on your hair’s growth cycle.
Does that number seem low to you? Us too.
If your thick, lustrous hair of yesteryear has been getting thinner — your ponytail, smaller — you are not alone. As you’ve probably realized by now, human hair naturally thins with age. (That same favor is not granted to human bodies… Ah, the cruel irony!)
About two-thirds of post-menopausal women experience thinning hair, typically as “diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp,” known as female-pattern hair loss, according to the American Hair Loss Association.
As with much of what we cover in thePause, this change is due to — ding! ding! — changing hormone levels. As estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, the effects of male hormones (such as androgen), increase, impacting how and where our hair grows.
Hormones aren’t always to blame, however: A largely hereditary and more extreme condition called androgenic or androgenetic alopecia, also affects some 30 million women nationwide, prompting thinning around the crown and top of the head.
Treatments do exist. However, none are a slam dunk at this point. Here is a list of options to consider with your doctor:
Antiandrogen drugs (like ketoconazole and zinc pyrithione)
Minoxidil lotion or shampoo
Antidandruff shampoos that contain ingredients like ketoconazole and zinc pyrithione
FDA-approved low-intensity laser light therapy
Hair transplant surgery (in which small pieces of scalp with hair follicles attached are taken from the back of your head and transplanted to bald areas)
Note: Menopause hormone therapy may result in an improvement in your hair; however, it is not recommended as a way to treat hair loss alone.
If your hair loss is excessive, talk to your healthcare provider about testing your thyroid, your vitamin and mineral levels and/or hormone levels to see if they’re where they need to be.
Everyday life can also impact our hair’s health. To help keep it growing, here are some impacts to consider:
Take a break. Your hair doesn’t like stress, either. Manage yours with exercise, a massage, stretching, deep breathing… If you ever needed yet another reason to take a moment for yourself, consider your hair! 💆 And while you’re at it, massage it while you wash it to get a head start on some relaxation.
Loosen up. Tight hairstyles, too much shampooing, heat styling, chemical products can all weaken hair and cause it to break off or fall out. 💇♀️ Scrunchies like these can be gentle and comfy for bedtime, or any time you need to tie back your hair.
Review your Rx. Certain medications, like antibiotics and antidepressants, can also impact your hair. 👩⚕️
For a Pause
Here’s some trivia to amaze everyone at your next Zoom Happy Hour: Did you know that hair grows everywhere on the body with the exception of a few places? Eyelids, soles of the feet, palms of the hands, and lips. 💋
If you want to get rid of hair somewhere, there are many options, but we’re into this slick “Ladies' Shaver” by Wahl. We’ll give it a try and let you know what we think! 🎀
Have you been envying someone with hair down to there? Her secret might be a hair extension like this one by Luxy. (Jennifer says she can’t wait to bust this out for her next Zoom call!) 👱🏽♀️
Can we talk about brittle nails too? Like our skin and hair, nails are also impacted by changing hormones and dehydration. Reducing stress will also supposedly help as well but seriously, what isn’t helped by less stress? 💅🏿
One More Thing
The smell of Herbal Essence shampoo, circa 1972. #childhood
Stay healthy and see you next week!
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
— Hair, The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical
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