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  • Writer's pictureLauren Sawyer

Stopping Hair Loss in Perimenopause

Hair loss

The journey through perimenopause, a transitional phase leading up to menopause, can bring about various changes in a woman's body. While some of these changes are expected, one of the more distressing ones for many women is hair loss. I never had a ton of thick, flowing locks….my hair has been thin and straight since I was born. It’s something I have felt insecure about my whole life. And at 49 years old, it's getting even thinner. Hair loss during perimenopause is not uncommon, but it can be unsettling and impact self-esteem. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the causes of hair loss in perimenopause, how estrogen affects hair health and provide a detailed overview of effective solutions, with a focus on what I have seen success with, Keravive treatments.

Understanding Hair Loss in Perimenopause

Hair loss, medically known as alopecia, can occur at any stage of life. However, it becomes more prevalent during perimenopause, which typically starts in a woman's 40s but can vary individually. Perimenopause is characterized by hormonal fluctuations as the body prepares for menopause. The decline in estrogen levels can lead to all kinds of fun perimenopausal symptoms..and certainly contributes to hair loss.

How do lower estrogen levels affect hair?

1. Prolonging the Anagen Phase: The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). Estrogen has the effect of prolonging the anagen phase, which is the phase during which hair actively grows. This extended growth phase results in longer and thicker hair strands.

2. Reducing Hair Shedding: Estrogen also has a role in slowing down the transition of hair follicles from the anagen phase to the telogen phase. This delay in transitioning reduces the rate of hair shedding. As a result, individuals with higher estrogen levels tend to experience less hair shedding and maintain fuller hair.

3. Maintaining Hair Follicle Health: Estrogen contributes to maintaining the health of hair follicles, which are the structures responsible for hair growth. It helps promote blood flow to the scalp, ensuring that hair follicles receive adequate oxygen and nutrients for optimal growth. Additionally, estrogen supports the production of proteins like keratin, a key structural component of hair strands.

4. Thicker and Shinier Hair: Estrogen has the effect of increasing hair shaft diameter, making individual strands appear thicker and more substantial. This increase in hair thickness can contribute to shinier and healthier-looking hair.

5. Hair Growth During Pregnancy: Pregnancy is a time of elevated estrogen levels, and many pregnant women experience a noticeable improvement in their hair's texture and density. This is due to the heightened levels of estrogen prolonging the anagen phase and reducing the rate of hair shedding.

6. Changes During Menopause: Conversely, as women enter perimenopause and menopause, estrogen levels decrease significantly. This decline can lead to changes in hair growth patterns. The shorter anagen phase and increased shedding can result in hair that appears thinner and more prone to breakage. Female pattern hair loss, characterized by thinning at the crown of the head, is also influenced by hormonal changes, particularly the decrease in estrogen.

7. Hormone Imbalance and Hair Loss: Estrogen works in harmony with other hormones, including progesterone and testosterone. Imbalances in these hormones can lead to hair loss. For instance, an excess of androgens (male hormones) or a decrease in estrogen can contribute to conditions like androgenetic alopecia, a form of hair loss that is influenced by genetics and hormone levels.

Effective Strategies to Combat Hair Loss

1. Balanced Diet and Nutritional Supplements

Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins is essential for healthy hair growth. Nutrients like biotin, vitamin D, and iron are particularly crucial. Biotin, a B-vitamin, supports keratin production, which is a key component of hair. Vitamin D contributes to hair follicle health, and iron deficiency is linked to hair loss. I believe it is important to get the vitamins and nutrients you need through a plant forward, mediterranean based diet…for all kinds of health benefits! But I also take a biotin supplement daily. Consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

2. Stress Management

Stress can exacerbate hair loss. Many people will notice significant hair loss after periods of illness and after a surgery. And of course the stress of daily life. Practicing stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and regular exercise can have a positive impact on hair health. Adequate sleep is also crucial for managing stress and supporting overall well-being.

3. Hair Care Habits

Gentle hair care practices can help minimize hair loss. Avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the hair, as this can lead to increased hair breakage. Be cautious when using heat styling tools and opt for heat protectants. My stylist recently switched me to a soft-bristle round brush, which has made a big difference. Far less hair in my brush than the hard bristle versions! Use a mild shampoo and conditioner, and avoid over-washing your hair, as it can strip away natural oils.

4. Topical Treatments

Minoxidil is a medication commonly used to treat hair loss, particularly androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness). While it is generally considered safe and effective, like any medication, minoxidil can have potential side effects. It's important to be aware of these potential side effects before using minoxidil, and you should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new medication. Here are some of the possible side effects associated with minoxidil:

1. Scalp Irritation and Itching: Minoxidil solutions or foams are applied directly to the scalp. Some individuals may experience mild to moderate scalp irritation, redness, itching, or a burning sensation at the application site. This irritation is usually temporary and may improve over time as your scalp adjusts to the medication.

2. Increased Hair Shedding: In the initial stages of using minoxidil, some people might notice an increase in hair shedding. This shedding is often temporary and is referred to as "shedding phase" or "shedding shed." It can be distressing, but it usually indicates that the hair follicles are transitioning from the resting phase (telogen) to the growth phase (anagen), leading to new, healthier hair growth.

3. Hypertrichosis: One of the more common side effects of minoxidil is a condition known as hypertrichosis, which is the growth of hair in areas where it's not intended. Some users may notice increased hair growth on the face, neck, or other areas of the body. This effect is more common in women and can be managed by adjusting the dosage or discontinuing use if necessary.

4. Allergic Reactions: While rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to minoxidil. Symptoms can include rash, hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, discontinue use and seek medical attention immediately.

5. Cardiovascular Effects: Minoxidil was originally developed as an oral medication for high blood pressure. In topical form, it can still be absorbed into the bloodstream. There is a very low risk of systemic effects, such as changes in heart rate or blood pressure, particularly if excessive amounts of the product are applied. It's important to follow the recommended dosage and application instructions to minimize this risk.

6. Dizziness and Light-headedness: Some individuals might experience dizziness or light-headedness when using minoxidil. This is more likely to occur if the product is applied to a large area of the scalp or if it's used in excess. Avoid applying too much product and follow the instructions carefully.

7. Interaction with Other Medications: Minoxidil may interact with certain medications or treatments, particularly those affecting blood pressure. If you're taking other medications, it's important to inform your healthcare provider before starting minoxidil.

5. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Hormone replacement therapy involves supplementing estrogen and, if needed, progesterone to balance hormone levels. This can help address the underlying hormonal imbalances contributing to hair loss. However, HRT should be discussed thoroughly with a healthcare provider, as it has potential risks and benefits.

Introducing Keravive: A Revolutionary Solution

A newer treatment on the market, Keravive, is showing great promise. After being on the program for 4 months I have seen a notable difference in the thickness and health of my hair. Keravive is a professional scalp treatment that combines multiple technologies to cleanse, exfoliate, and nourish the scalp. This treatment is designed to create an optimal environment for hair follicles to thrive, promoting healthier hair growth.

How Does Keravive Work?

Keravive treatments consist of three main steps:

1. Exfoliation: The treatment begins with a thorough exfoliation of the scalp using a specially formulated exfoliating scrub. This step helps remove dead skin cells, excess oil, and impurities that can clog hair follicles and hinder hair growth.

2. Cleanse: After exfoliation, a gentle cleanser is applied to the scalp to further cleanse the area. This step ensures that the scalp is free from any residue that could potentially obstruct hair follicles.

3. Nourish: The final step involves applying a nourishing serum that contains a blend of growth factors, peptides, and nutrients. This serum is designed to provide essential nutrients to the hair follicles, supporting healthier hair growth and overall scalp health.

Advantages of Keravive

Keravive treatments offer several advantages for individuals experiencing hair loss during perimenopause:

1. Scalp Health: By focusing on scalp health, Keravive treatments address the root causes of hair loss. A healthy scalp provides a conducive environment for hair follicles to grow.

2. Non-Invasive: Keravive treatments are non-invasive and do not involve surgery or harsh chemicals, making them a safer option for many individuals.

3. Personalized Approach: The treatment can be tailored to the specific needs of each individual, ensuring a personalized experience and optimal results.

4. Minimal Downtime: There is minimal downtime associated with Keravive treatments, allowing individuals to resume their regular activities shortly after the session.

Consultation and Treatment Process

Before undergoing Keravive treatments, it's important to schedule a consultation with an aesthetician with this type of specialized training. During the consultation, she will assess your scalp health, discuss your medical history, and determine whether Keravive is a suitable option for you.

If Keravive is recommended, the treatment process typically involves a series of 3 sessions spaced one month. The treatment also comes with a Peptide Spray for home use, which is a critical part of the program for active repair and maintenance. It is important to apply the Peptide spray each evening to maximize results.

The treatment is very comfortable and relaxing. It will take about 30-60 minutes depending on the areas you want to target. Your hair may look a little damp for a few minutes after the treatment but once dried you can brush out and style.

If you've recently undergone other hair treatments, such as hair coloring, perming, or chemical straightening, you should inform your healthcare provider. These treatments can affect the integrity of your hair and scalp, and it's important to determine the appropriate timing for Keravive treatments to avoid causing damage.

After Keravive treatments, your scalp might be more sensitive to sun exposure. It's advisable to protect your scalp from excessive sun exposure, especially immediately after a treatment session.

When can you expect results from Keravive?

1. Initial Sessions (First 4-6 Weeks):

During the initial sessions of Keravive treatments, you may notice improvements in scalp health and texture. The exfoliation and cleansing steps can help remove dead skin cells, excess oil, and debris, creating a more conducive environment for healthy hair growth. Some individuals report a refreshing sensation on their scalp after these sessions.

2. Mid-Treatment Phase (2-3 Months):

As you continue with the treatment sessions, you might start to notice subtle changes in hair quality. Hair might appear shinier, thicker, and more vibrant. This is when I began to notice my hair felt thicker and stronger.

3. Progressive Improvements (3-6 Months):

Around the three to six-month mark, you may begin to see more noticeable improvements in hair density and overall hair health. Some individuals experience a reduction in hair shedding and breakage. The nourishing serums used in the Keravive treatment are designed to support hair follicle health and promote healthier hair growth over time. Remember to continue to use your peptide spray each night!

4. Full Results (6-12 Months):

For many individuals, the full benefits of Keravive treatments may become evident around the six to twelve-month mark. Hair may appear thicker, denser, and more resilient. It's important to keep in mind that individual responses to treatment can vary, and some people might experience quicker or slower progress.

Hair loss during perimenopause is stressful and demoralizing. Maintaining a balanced diet, practicing stress reduction techniques and innovative treatments like Keravive offer promising ways to address the root causes of hair loss and promote healthy hair growth. By taking a whole body approach to hair care and exploring advanced treatments, you can navigate the challenges of perimenopause with confidence and maintain your hair's vitality and beauty!

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