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Menopausal Hair Changes

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At menopause, you may notice changes in your hair texture — it may seem less soft, more brittle — or thinning of the hair. It’s unclear whether such changes are due to the hormonal changes of menopause or to the aging process. (And of course, hair thinning, loss, and texture changes also can be caused by certain chemotherapies.)

If you notice significant hair loss or thinning that is not caused by chemotherapy, see your doctor. He or she may be able to help, or put you in touch with a specialist who can. To guard against thinning and breaking, try to be gentle with your hair: Use gentle shampoos without harsh chemical ingredients, wash and dry your hair less frequently, and avoid salon treatments that require chemical processing (such as perms and/or straightening).

You also may find that the hormonal changes of menopause cause more hair to grow on your face, cheeks, and/or upper lip. You can manage facial hair as you would any other unwanted hair: trimming, shaving, or using a gentle hair removal or bleaching cream intended for facial use. Creams can irritate the skin, so be sure to test a small amount first. To find hair removal creams that eliminate or minimize the use of potentially harmful additives, check out the Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep Cosmetics Database.


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