Ready for easy strategies to look and feel better?

Here's my free ebook!

  • Simple ways to have more energy all day every day

  • Why it's not overwhelming or time consuming to feel better

  • Quick tools to overcome and decrease your stress

  • Easy-to-use exercises to feel more centred and in control of your day

  • Simplify and make sense of all the confusing info about what to eat

  • How to put yourself back in the centre of what you want in life

Don't make the five mistakes that I made with hair loss!

  • FREE mini course

  • Regrowing your hair can be a minefield - understand how and what will actually help

  • Learn with a compassionate coach

  • What you can do when dermatologists tell you that there's nothing that they can do...

blog image

Perimenopause and Hair loss

Coaching| Perimenopause
January 10, 20235 min read

Why is nobody asking why the Japanese have no word for menopause or perimenopause or hot flash?

Perhaps because it’s complicated without a one pill fits all answer, and is further compounded by the medical data gap which results in excluding women from research as we’re not as simple as men.

As a Functional Health Coach the glaringly obvious answer lies in diet, lifestyle and environment changes. How can we create shifts away from our current Western approach to use what works better in other countries? I spent over a decade living and working in many different countries. Singapore was hands down the easiest place to be a working parent. The UK has been the worst.

Crash and Burn

To be honest it’s not surprising that we crash and burn during this midlife hormonal shift. Most women have been running on empty for years and entering perimenopause is the proverbial last straw for our long-suffering bodies and minds.

When I say running on empty I’m talking about women in their 30s with children who have already done the equivalent of a full day’s work before 9am, and then they begin their paid work. By the time that they’re in their 40s they’ve already had over a decade of this and looking after your children doesn’t stop just because your kids become teenagers.

Let’s add in some additional stressors like maybe a separation or divorce, a house move, financial worries, a renovation, a child with additional needs, caring for aging parents… and let’s manage these extras with, perhaps, alcohol. You’ve had a tough week and you absolutely deserve that glass of shiraz/prosecco on Friday. That one glass becomes a couple, and you repeat on Saturday too, why not?

You don’t have time for exercise, you’re far too exhausted. Dinner is whatever’s quick and easy, it might be a takeaway. Your sleep isn’t great. In fact when was the last time that you woke up feeling ready to go get ‘em?

Perimenopause - a health disaster waiting to happen

Against this background it’s not hard to see why perimenopause completely derails you. In fact it would be astonishing if it didn’t. Not only are we not feeling great, we're also potentially struggling with our appearance too. There's excess weight accumulating in new places, dry skin and that ultimate taboo for women, loss of hair.

While there’s a place for HRT there’s so much that you can do with simple lifestyle changes. Also HRT isn't suitable or available for everyone. When you consider that one of the contraindications for prescribed oestrogen in gel form is alopecia it's not always a straight forward option.

Women’s Hair Loss

When it first happened to me I was already hyper-aware of the subject of hair loss as my son had been diagnosed with alopecia. In fact I thought I was just noticing the shedding BECAUSE I knew about alopecia. In truth I was completely in denial.

While I didn’t have lots of hair on my pillow, I did notice a lot of shedding after washing my hair. Again, I could dismiss this as ‘normal’… it’s wonderful how we can rationalize what we don’t want to deal with! The moment when I realised that this wasn’t actually normal was when (and this is gross, if you’re eating please stop reading) my hair kept turning up in food that I’d prepared. When that happens repeatedly it’s really not something that you can ignore.

This was just one of the side effects of my hormones being completely out of whack – that’s a technical term, and it wasn’t even the worst symptom. Looking back stress was a big trigger. I’d had a serious health scare, then I'd started a gluten free bakery business which looked good on paper. It was making money, we’d won many national awards for our bread, cakes and biscuits, and my team was brilliant the flip-side of that was working 60+ hours a week, while looking after my three children by myself (my husband worked away). Oh and doing all of the other stuff that women do when they run a household.

Did I ask for help? Nope. I thought that the answer was just to work harder…

When I finally figured out that working harder was simply making everything worse I managed to create an exit strategy. In my case I took a brief holiday in August which made me realise how unsustainable both my business and family life were. After those five days away I knew that I had to close the business and by the following January I’d turned the door sign to ‘Closed’ for the final time. While my customers were sad, I was euphoric and was able to turn my attention to my health.

Your body's signal for help!

So yes I know all about how we fool ourselves into thinking that hair loss isn’t really an issue. ("It's just cosmetic"). Instead think of it like the canary in a coalmine. Your body is sending you (not so subtle) messages that all isn’t well. If you don’t listen then these signs become even more obvious until you really can’t avoid them. Like getting a mouthful of hair. Yum.

How we look can have an impact on self-confidence which in turn impacts everything. Your self-confidence has a knock-on effect with how you show up at work, your relationships with others. It leaves no place to hide. Conversely taking active steps to improve your health creates a completely different environment. Turning the experience of midlife into one of positivity and adventure is possible. It’s when you get to apply the benefits of your prior decades of life experience and focus on yourself. If you're ready to start making some changes let's have a conversation.

Back to Blog