Valerie Monroe
Photo: Patrik Andersson
Q: Since I hit my 40s, my hair has become more brittle and frizzy . Is it because I'm perimenopausal?

A: Way back when I was perimenopausal, as opposed to menopausal, which you have to be before you can graduate, as I proudly have, to postmenopausal...wait a minute, what was the question? Oh, your hair. I started to say that I liked to blame everything on perimenopause: my moods, my cocker spaniel's moods, the state of my complexion, whatever. But perimenopause is probably not affecting your hair, says Valerie Callender, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at Howard University. Low humidity and dry heat suck moisture out of the hair, making it brittle. (Less likely causes are hypothyroidism and a protein, vitamin, biotin, or zinc deficiency, says Callender.) As we age, our scalp can become drier, which can make the hair drier, too; and when hair loses its pigment, turning gray or white, its texture often becomes frizzier, says David H. Kingsley, PhD, a board-certified trichologist. Your hair needs moisture, and the best way to restore it is with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioning treatments. Use a deep conditioner once a week and a leave-in conditioner daily, says Callender.

Bottom line: Keep your hair well moisturized and it will look healthier and shinier no matter what your age.

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As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.

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