Beauty Clinic: Help for thinning hair
Q. Can you advise on the most effective shampoo and conditioner for menopausal hair? I am 50 years old, in full menopause and my hair is breaking, coming out when I comb it, and thinning especially along the temples. Also, is there a recommended supplement? I currently take zinc every day.
A. As you probably know from others going through the menopause, some degree of hair loss is not uncommon. Pharmacist Shabir Daya explains that ‘although testosterone is usually thought of as the male hormone, women also have a certain amount. The most widely accepted theory of hair loss during the menopause is that declining levels of oestrogen, the principal female hormone, results in the dominance of testosterone.’
‘Since the body works within very finite levels of all hormones,’ Shabir Daya continues, ‘the excess testosterone is converted into DHT [dihydrotestosterone], which is known to cause underlying inflammation of the hair follicles. This disturbs hair production resulting in excessive hair shedding.’
In his experience, Shabir has found that women in your situation often benefit from a supplement called Superior Hair, £26.50 for 90 capsules, victoriahealth.com. This contains a specific blend of herbs and nutrients, which work to prevent this conversion, and also contains biotin and zinc to nourish the hair follicles.
Fulvic Acid Shampoo and Conditioner deliver 65-plus minerals to deeply nourish the scalp follicles. These products also contain aloe vera to calm underlying inflammation and other supporting herbs and nutrients. Fulvic Acid Shampoo, £25 for 240ml, and Fulvic Acid Conditioner, £25 for 240ml, from victoriahealth.com. (These products are suitable for men, too.)
It’s important to treat fragile hair gently. We suggest wrapping it up in a special moisture-wicking, absorbent towel after washing, rather than rubbing it too vigorously. Buying a separate ‘hair towel’ may seem extravagant but it really works and there is a useful turban too. From £30, aquishair.co.uk.
If you can avoid blasting hair with a drier, or styling it with heated tools, that really helps too.