Natural hair care for afro hair during the menopause

The hormone disruption caused by the menopause can have an adverse affect on your hair, explains blogger Maria Tumolo

Maria Tumolo

Like many women, I only suspected that I was perimenopausal when I’d missed a few periods, my skin became dry and my hair started to thin out.  Although symptoms vary, the one that upsets us is the hair loss. You see during menopause, women can experience hair thinning, female pattern hair loss (FPHL), even dryness of the hair itself. It can be a devastating blow, at a time when we have low self-esteem due to a perceived loss of femininity. At this time more than ever self-care is important; not forgetting the usual suspects, a healthy balanced diet and exercise.

Perimenopause and haircare

Perimenopause is phase of life when a woman’s body begins preparing for menopause. Changes begin to occur inside the body and outside. If you have any concerns, request a blood test via your GP.

According to, Jacqui McIntosh, director of education for Avlon Industries, you need to check if you have sufficient nutrients to sustain hair growth (e.g. biotin and ferutin). When asked about diet, she suggested eating chicken liver because it is rich in vital nutrients to support hair growth, the Bs, Cs and E vitamins. Including green foods such as broccoli, kale, and spinach is also beneficial. They are known for their antioxidant and ‘anti-ageing’ properties.

Menopause and hair loss

The loss of hair at the crown (thinning at the sides or all over) is described as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL). Speaking to trichologist Afope Atoyebi she says;

“Women’s bodies (as with men’s) produce both male and female sex hormones, i.e. oestrogen and testosterone (androgens). The only difference is women typically produce more of the former whilst men produce more of the latter. It is also these hormones that we look to in order to understand how and why menopause is often accompanied with hair loss.”

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Regarding hair growth cycles, Afope notes, “Each individual hair goes through a hair cycle, the longest of which is the growing phase which, typically lasts for an average of 4-5+/- years, after which the follicle sheds the hair and begins the growth of a new hair…”

We know that oestrogen in a woman’s body decreases during menopause. As a result, less oestrogen leads to shorter growth phases (and shorter hairs). Nonetheless, be reassured, this doesn’t equate to us going bald in our golden years.  Menopause related hair loss does slow down.

5 Haircare tips during menopause

Right about the time of menopause, the greys may start popping out. Some of us begin to dye our hair ‘to hide’ the grey. Further still, we continue to blowdry and straighten. However, is it wise? According to Afope:

  • Invest in gentle, natural hair products where you can.
  • You may also benefit from thickening shampoos and conditioners that work to improve the appearance of the hair’s volume. (Horsetail extract is a great natural hair thickener)
  • Dandruff and scalp dryness may also be an issue with menopausal women – medicated shampoos and conditioners targeted at combatting this issue should help. (Lavender, rosemary, lemongrass, and ylang ylang essential oils are great natural remedies for this, and can be mixed into your natural shampoos).
  • Avoid harsh styling practices, especially tight styles that can pull on the hair and cause traction alopecia. The same goes for using heat appliances, heat damage will only further compromise the quality of hair that is already thinner and weaker.
  • Consider going short. Speak with your stylist on shorter hairstyles that will allow you to achieve the appearance of “fuller” hair and can be easily maintained without too much manipulation or harsh styling practices.

Maria Tumolo is a blogger and content creator. The way to her heart is a Dalpuri Chicken Roti. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram

More ways on how to keep your hair growth on track…

1 Comment

  1. by Sarai on 27/04/2023  1:17 AM Reply

    My best friend could really use some advice as she is beginning perimenopause at the age of 43. Her tightly coiled hair, which I believe is 4A, is now growing out straight. I was wondering, since I and Sue have never heard of this, can it be avoided?

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