While you might be a few years away from the menopause, its effect on your hormones - and your hair, from changing its thickness to texture - has likely already begun. Here's what you need to understand about what's happening with your body, and what you can do about it so your hair doesn't suffer.
The rise and fall of hormones
We have over 100,000 hairs on our head, each growing at a rate of around a quarter of an inch per month. These strands grow for up to six years before they fall out, then the growth cycle starts all over again. As part of this process, it's completely normal for 50 to 100 strands of hair to fall out every day.
But as levels of certain hormones, especially testosterone, increase during perimenopause and menopause, more hair can start to fall out. Testosterone has a direct impact on the hair follicle, causing it to slow growth. It can also alter the shape of the follicle itself, changing the texture of your hair. So, you might have spent the last decade tackling frizz and waves, then suddenly you're now reaching for volumizing products to lift limp hair!
It's not only testosterone's fault though: while a pregnant woman might enjoy fuller hair thanks to a spike in estrogen levels, as we age estrogen (as well as progesterone) decrease, causing the opposite - thinning hair. But the good news is, there are things you can do to make the most of your hair now!
Focus on your health
One of the most important things to address when it comes to your hair is your overall health. Try not to add to your stress levels by fretting over the condition of your hair - instead, focus on the positive lifestyle changes that are within your control. Could you eat more vegetables and fruit perhaps? Reduce your stress levels with a weekly massage? Or take up a new active hobby to increase your exercise levels? Taking time to really look after yourself will not only improve your overall health and wellbeing, but your hair condition, too.
Embrace your new hair type
Are you still buying products for your old hair type? It's time for a trip to the beauty counter! Opt for lighter formulas that don't weigh down hair or cause it to look flat: Pantene Pro-V's Aqua Pure shampoo and conditioner rinses clean with no build-up, so hair looks refreshed and beautifully bouncy.Â
If you have finer hair and need a little more help with volume, try targeted products such as Pantene Nature Care Fullness and Life Root Lift Mist, which creates invisible support and lifts right from the roots. Spritz it on towel-dried hair and blow-dry using a round brush for an instant boost.
If it's brittle hair you're dealing with, you need to work on healing it from within. Try a specific mask such as Pantene Pro-V Total Damage Care 3 Minute Miracle Treatment. Used weekly this will help to seal the hair strands and smooth any rough ends.
Now is also the perfect time to try out a new hairstyle - the cut and color you've been rocking for the past few years might be better suited to your hair before, so chat with your stylist about some changes that will make the most of your next texture. Look at it as an exciting, fresh start!
What are your top tips for healthy hair? Share with us in the comments below.
For more tips and advice on the right care for your hair visit Pantene.