When I posted about HRT gels on my blog a few weeks ago I didn't expect such a response and reading your emails and comments it made me appreciate just how us women do need each other to talk to - then my more recent Instagram post abut my own blip with HRT was also popular, anyway .... thank you for getting in touch, thank you for sharing your stories and thank you for being kind about my recent dip in oestrogen and subsequent return of symptoms! The good news is things are slowly improving! Anyway ...
Not wishing to be too negative but sometimes another menopause challenge to overcome is maintaining healthy hair! Hair loss, hair thinning, hair breakage, brittle hair, and a general change in our hair texture comes along during peri menopause and we need to change our hair care routine. By the way, there are many other factors that can cause hair loss in women. I recommend reading this article on Hairguard.com if you're interested in knowing more.
I've always had fine hair and it is neither curly hair or straight hair, just a sort of in-between wave prone to frizzy hair days. As a teen I did suffer from excess oil but nowadays it is much drier and seems to need more moisture added. And my hair is much thinner and prone to breakage. I've dabbled with hair extensions (just at the side) but didn't really like the feeling of them in my hair.
So a few months ago I set about finding out more about my new hair type and what I can do to encourage healthy hair growth and get it back to tip top condition! I've been on a very determined mission!
This blog post contains gifted products and affiliate links.
Above: my jumpsuit is from JolieMoi (low stock - but similar styles available)
I chatted to my hairdresser first, Rachel has been looking after my hair for at least 15 years and she knows that I get frustrated at the breakage, particularly on one side. Up until my daughter was born I had a very short, cropped hairstyle. In the days before GHD hair straighteners and advances in haircare products, it was easier for me to manage. Then I had a little girl and I wanted long hair! It took ages to grow and I've never managed to get much beyond it's current length, it just seems to stop growing at a certain point! But hair problems have been real and with hormonal changes I have some very bad hair days!
My natural hair is a darker brunette, although I've not seen that colour for a long time, my hair is coloured every 6 weeks and any grey hair is kept safely hidden! I have no plans to go grey gracefully. I prefer the lighter blonde hair colour as I've aged and although I have to be careful of yellow tones, I believe it is softer on my face and features.
My 8 top tips for healthy hair ...
Find the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type
Now this is easier said than done as I find I buy so many products all promoting shiny hair and maximum results. And then when I try the latest hair product to arrive it doesn't live up to the promise and I am left disappointed. I do think we need to change our hair care products frequently as our hair gets used to them.
My recommended list of the best shampoos I have tried and keep going back to ...
Sebastian Professional Penetraitt - a repair and restore formula, it can repair hair follicles and give you revitalised and replenished hair, I really love these products - expensive but worth it.
Davines - Volu range for thin hair - an Italian brand with sustainability paramount, this is a high end brand but worth it!
Charles Worthington - Thicker & Fuller or Grow Strong - a household name and affordable but I have been very impressed with the products I have tried recently.
Moroccanoil - Argan Oil infused products - their products are nourishing and hydrating and are sulfate free.
Head & Shoulders DERMAXPRO - for itchy scalp and dry scalp, an upgrade on the traditional Head & Shoulders range and effective at preventing and protecting a dry scalp.
For best results shampoo twice ... and don't wash your hair every day!
Ok yeah I know this is probably obvious to many and I know every shampoo bottle tells us but in my typically rushed schedule, I avoided it! But when Rachel asked me some basic hair care questions, she reminded me that shampooing twice with a good shampoo ensures we really get the excess oil out of our hair, it stops too much product build-up and keeps our hair follicles healthy! It means that my hair feels cleaner for longer and I am less likely to wash my hair daily ... unless I am going somewhere I now try and wash my hair every other day.
Maintain a healthy scalp
Rachel recommended I try the NIOXIN 3-Part System 4 for Coloured Hair with Progressed Thinning. It takes about 3 months of regular use to see a significant difference as hair grows in 3 to 4 cycles and I have only just started using it. The NIOXIN System Kit contains a Cleaner Shampoo designed to cleanse both the hair and scalp of dirt, excess sebum and impurities, a Scalp Therapy Revitalising Conditioner, designed to add a strengthening treatment while adding hydration and the Scalp and Hair Treatment which you use on wet hair before drying, it contains key ingredients to sooth damaged hair strands, and protect from further breakage. I am using these 2-3 x per week. In terms of how they leave my hair feeling, they are not my favourite but I am persevering as I am keen to get thicker hair!
Use a clarifying shampoo weekly to prevent product build-up
At the moment I am using the NIOXIN Cleaner Shampoo but usually I try and use a good clarifying shampoo weekly as I do feel this makes such a difference to my hair health, it just feels cleaner and less tangled! I plan to try the Sebastian Professional Trilliance.
Avoid hair straighteners for everyday use
I am sure Rachel tells me off every time I see her and I know hair straighteners don't help my hair breakage, cutting down on their use is without doubt a great way to improve the condition of our midlife hair and prevent heat damage. If I can avoid washing my hair every day then I am avoiding using heat tools every day too! My current leave-in spray to protect my hair from styling tools and help repair my hair breakage is the Sebastian Professional No Breaker Leave-in Spray, not only does this hair product boast 99% less hair breakage and repairs, strengthens and smooths, it also maintains the hairs natural volume and body. It is made with 87% derived natural ingredients and I love how it makes my hair feel! This is a big winner for me in my journey to healthier, thick hair.
I use Cloud Nine Hair Straighteners having swapped from GHD a few years ago, I really rate these straighteners, they have a variable temperature control, ceramic plates and floating plates that minimise damage. Cloud Nine also offer a recycling scheme so you can return any old or broken products!
Take a biotin hair supplement
Not another supplement I thought, but when I was gifted a month's trial of Hair Zooki which comes in individual sachets so is easy to add to a smoothie, or tastes delicious by itself or added to water or yoghurt, I was converted! Hair Zooki contains biotin, zinc and selenium to promote hair regrowth and hair nourishment. Hair Zooki is expensive but after my one month trial I was super impressed with how my hair was feeling, it inspired me to purchase another month and press on with my other hair care improvements!
Use my Zooki referral code REF-MICH470 and you will get 50% off your first two orders if you select the Subscribe & Save option. What I am loving about Zooki is that they text you to check you still want your order that month, if you want to skip you just reply SKIP to the text!
Use a Wet Brush
Another game changer for me, why did I not make the swap before!? I was combing my freshly washed, damp hair with my styling comb and then wondering why I had so much hair loss .... Wet Brush make hair brushes that painlessly untangle and straighten your hair and prevent hair loss. I have the Wet Brush Go Green Biodegradable Detangler Hairbrush and I love it! I use it on my damp hair then I style with my Kent Brushes Ceramic Coated Brush and on my freshly dry hair I use my Hairdressers Comb with Stainless Steel Handle for sectioning to straighten.
Also on my to do list - a Brazilian Blow Out!
I have just booked into have another Brazilian Blow Out Treatment with Rachel, I've had these before but not for a couple of years (mainly due to less socialising and no holidays)! A Brazilian Blow Out creates a protective layer around each strand of hair using a liquid keratin formula. Keratin is a protein that is naturally found in your hair, skin, nails and even teeth so adding keratin can strengthen and smooth the hair follicles and really improve your hair condition. The treatment takes a few hours depending on the length of your hair, and you need to leave the product in for 3 days so it can be quite a challenge by the end, I am usually desperate to wash my hair. You cannot get it wet (no rain) or tie it up during this time. Once it is done you have to use a sulfate-free shampoo to look after your new 'permanent blow dry' but it reduces drying time, keeps your hair feeling smooth and healthy and of course reduces the use of heat tools. The Brazilian Blow Out treatment can last for 2-3 months before needed to be done again, I tend to have one prior to a hot holiday or special occasion.
A few more hair care thoughts ...
Nano CellCare - I've also noticed new hair growth to my hair since I started my Nano CellCare treatments at Dorota's Lifestyle Studio. The treatments use Hyaluronic Acid and although we have not been directly targeting my hair, there will still be some benefit to my overall health which is a fabulous benefit! Hair loss in midlife occurs because of the weakening of hair strands which makes them more prone to breakage from over-styling. Increasing Hyaluronic Acid can help the hair keep excess moisture but without saturating the structure, this can help reduce hair loss. It will also. help improve the blood flow to the scalp, thus supporting hair growth.
Sleep on a silk pillowcase - I have written about the benefits of a silk pillowcase on my blog in the past, sleeping on a silk pillowcase can help prevent frizzy, tangled hair and help keep your hair in better condition, so you wake up not needing to wash it every day or do a complete restyle!
HRT - There is no doubt that my hair, skin and nails have improved since starting on HRT a few years ago and although I still needed to repair damage to my hair from too much use of heat tools I do feel that getting my hormones balanced has been really positive for my overall health and wellbeing. Just need to get my oestrogen levels back up now!
So a lot of great options to improve the condition of our midlife hair and combat hair dryness, encourage new growth and have fabulous hair again! Without a doubt I am seeing an improvement - from the best shampoos, to finding the right hair brush and taking a biotin supplement, it is impossible to be sure which single one has made a difference but I believe that a combination of simple changes to my hair care routine is the best thing I can do for my hair right now - and I am seeing the benefits so I will be carrying on with all these measures to look after my hair!
I'd love to know if you have any other suggestions or things you have tried to look after your hair, comment below!
Disclaimer: this blog posts contains gifted items from Hair Zooki, Silk Pillowcase and Head & Shoulders. I have used affiliate links. I only recommend products I have tried personally and love.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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