BEAUTY CLINIC: Help for thinning hair
Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to beautybible.com
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, ‘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 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 as well.
Beauty Bible loves…
Elizabeth W Floral Silk Sleep Mask (Floral Poppy), £28.
We are very, very picky about sleep masks. They have to be super-comfy – not too tight, not too loose. They have to feel soft on the skin. And they have to keep out every molecule of light, for when we’re on planes or staying in strange, spare bedrooms where our hosts somehow think that net curtains are all that are needed for a good night’s sleep.
Elizabeth W Floral Silk Sleep Mask (Floral Poppy). The fabric that touches your skin is a sueded silk that doesn’t slip but feels like a cloud
Well, these beautiful masks – hand-made by artisans in the San Francisco area for Elizabeth W. and available here via Cologne & Cotton – fulfilling all our eye mask wishes, and are available in all sorts of absolutely beautiful designs. The fabric that touches your skin is a sueded silk that doesn’t slip but feels like a cloud.
Elizabeth W’s have immediately become our new go-to sleep mask – but more than that, since the gift of a great night’s sleep is probably one of the nicest anyone can receive, we’ll be giving them away for birthdays.
(And – whisper it softly, because it’s February – Christmas.)