Black Women, Menopause and Hair Loss
Stress is at the centrepiece of menopause for black women. According to studies conducted in 2018, black women experience racial and sexual discrimination disproportionately, when compared to other races. The consistent hardships experienced by black women accumulates over time into chronic stress which reaches a crescendo in middle age (between 40 – 50), potentially triggering early menopause. Consequently, black women, on average, enter menopause aged 49, two years earlier than their white counterparts.
Entering menopause, especially in younger age, such as your thirties or forties can be extremely disruptive to your wellbeing. Menopause plays havoc with hormones (affecting emotions and physical health) which can trigger uncomfortable side effects such as hot flashes or hair loss. For black women, it is highly likely they were stressed prior to menopause due to socio-economic disadvantage and discrimination. Sudden hair loss adds further stress, potentially creating a vicious circle of stress, hot flashes and hair loss.
Black women are more likely to suffer from hair loss during menopause because they have to contend with hormone disruption caused by menopause as well as higher levels of stress. Increased stress can also explain why black women suffer menopausal symptoms, on average, for a staggering 10 years, in contrast to 6.5 years for their white counterparts. The longer duration of menopause the greater the risk of hair loss. Therefore, unbalanced hormones and high levels of chronic stress create a ripe environment for hair loss.
How Is Stress a Trigger for Hair Loss During Menopause
Stress is not solely mental and emotional but has real effects on your physical health. Hypertension (high blood pressure) and cardiovascular damage are health problems which are closely associated with discrimination and stress. Hypertension and cardiovascular damage has a negative effect on the flow of blood around the body and scalp. Blood flow around the scalp is a crucial component for the facilitation of hair growth. When blood travels around the scalp, it passes oxygen and vital nutrients (protein) to the hair bulb, allowing for the creation of hair. If blood flow is hindered by hypertension or cardiovascular damage, hair growth can slow or cease potentially causing hair thinning, hair loss or both.
Stress can also have an adverse effect on the growth, health and vitality of your hair. For example, if you are stressed, it might follow that you tense your body. When your body is tense, your scalp tightens and the blood capillaries contract which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can reach the hair follicles, hindering hair growth. Oxygen and nutrients are vital to your hairs’ growth and health. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion helps to counter the negative effects that stress has on your hair by facilitating the circulation of nutrients and oxygen to the scalp. Click here to learn more.
Menopause, Hormone Disruption and Hair Loss
Stress is not the only trigger of hair loss during menopause. Menopause significantly disrupts hormones, which changes the way your body functions. Upon entering menopause women will experience a reduction in the production of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone assist hair growth and prolongs the anagen (hair growth) stage of the hair growth cycle which keeps hair on your head for longer and prevents premature hair loss. As the levels of estrogen and progesterone fall, the gap is filled with an increase in testosterone. A side effect of more testosterone in the body is rising quantities of DHT. DHT minimises hair follicles, making hair thin and more vulnerable to breakage. To make matters worse, whilst DHT shrinks hair follicles on the scalp, testosterone promotes facial hair growth, which is why women tend to suffer from facial fuzz during menopause.
Progesterone is responsible for the production of sebum. Sebum is a lubricant produced by the body to moisturise hair and scalp. The reduction of progesterone because of menopause can result in dry scalp because of the depletion sebum. An excessively dry scalp can cause the scalp to become sore, flaky and itchy, potentially triggering hair loss. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Lotion helps to rebalance the scalp, regulating the production of sebum. Click here to find out more about other causes of dryness for afro scalp and hair.
How Can Black Women Prevent Hair Loss During Menopause?
- Reduce Stress
Stress is a monumental trigger to menopausal symptoms and hair loss, so managing it is crucial. Exercise is one way to reduce stress because it allows for endorphins to be released which triggers positive feelings in the body, lifting your mood. Exercise also improves blood flow around the scalp which can stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss.
- Get Hair Loss Treatment
ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion counteracts the negative effects of menopause and stress on hair. ProTress Energising Lotion contains the patented Si MATRIX PF which helps to re-establish the peripheral micro circulation (blood flow around the scalp), as well as increasing the supply of oxygen to and nutrients to the hair bulb which stimulates hair growth and revitalises hair follicles, helping to reactivate the Anagen phase. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Lotion also contains revolutionary treatment for connective tissue recovery, making hair thicker, stronger and less prone to breakage or shedding, thereby reducing hair loss. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Lotion contains anti ageing components which counteracts the negative effects that ageing has on hair growth
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- Get the Right Nutrients
Hair is made from protein, therefore ensuring you have enough protein in your bloodstream, through diet or vitamins, is vital for hair growth. Nutrient deficiency can have detrimental effects on the health of your hair. It is important to ensure you have a healthy diet or take the necessary vitamins to restore what is lacking because of the hormone disruption caused by menopause.
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