Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Tales from the other side – Scary hairy problems!

woman morning bathrobe bathroom

Greying hair, thinning hair, dry hair, and hair sprouting in random places where it has no business being. There’s no doubt that the accumulation of years has a direct effect but does menopause have anything to do with these changes? Well, yes and no. Let’s take each one in turn.

To dye or not…

Greys, or as I prefer to call them, my platinum highlights (or inner unicorn showing through), are purely down to normal ageing. No amount of HRT, lotions or potions is going stop this from happening so you can either embrace it or dye it. At the moment highlights are not exactly numerous so I’m in the ’embrace it’ camp… for now. I may need to revisit this stance the more my inner unicorn becomes my outer unicorn. I might dye it… but it’s more likely I’ll leave it well alone.

That said, I am looking forward to autumn, when I have some warm highlights added for the dark months of the year. Last year, those highlights were enhanced with pillar-box red. I have to confess, the colour palette my hairdresser put together looked terrifying as raw dyes, but the end result was worth my bravery. I guess the more unicorn I go, the less likely I am to stay in the warm part of the spectrum… maybe I’ll enhance my future greys with vibrant blues, greens and purples!

If you do decide to colour your hair there are some fabulous products out there designed to keep your colour looking fresh while nourishing your hair. A weekly hair mask is a must. Picture the scene in the Dean household. It’s the Sunday evening. My hair is smothered in mask, covered with a clear plastic shower cap (probably acquired from a hotel) and my face is layered with a moisturizing mask…. double masking! As the facial mask is an opaque cream all you can see from a distance is the gaps around my eyes and mouth! I am ready to scare the heck out of any unsuspecting visitor!

While I wait for the masks to do their thing, it gives me time to chill out with a gin and tonic or glass of wine. Now that’s what I call multi-tasking.

Thinning – so far for me this isn’t a problem but I know other women who are losing their crowning glories either overall or in patches. Menopause may well be the culprit in some cases but it’s always wise to visit your doc for a check-up just to be sure nothing else is going on such as thyroid issues. The only time I’ve experienced hair loss was after the kiddos were born – hormones to blame yet again!

Dry hair – so far, again, I have escaped this but I have noticed that my hair has moved from needing a wash every other day down to once or twice a week. Occasionally my scalp itches but I’ve found a lovely scalp itch relief product from Aveda works well, and a little goes a long way. It might seem a wee bit expensive but as I’m not spending as much on shampoo and conditioner these days, it’s worth it. As I am blessed with shoulder-length wavy hair, I leave my hairdryer in the drawer during the spring/summer months to avoid overheating the hair. Some days this works well, others see me looking wild and windswept!

Random sproutage! …. I used to be a regular monthly visitor to the beauty salon for deforestation/leg, underarm and bikini waxing. Nowadays I can go two months between appointments. Mind you, I am finding hair sprouting up in unexpected places. The other day I was using a magnifying mirror to hunt down a few straggly eyebrow hairs when I started examining the rest of my face. OMG! Bad idea. A normal mirror is fine but the magnifier will show you stuff you didn’t even know was there. Blocked pores, wrinkles like canyons, and, horror of horrors, a bloody great black hair under my chin! I tell you what, that bad boy was yanked out with the brow tweezers before I could think rationally if this was a good idea. Time will tell. If it comes back and brings siblings, I’ll know it was a bad idea. And while I’m on the subject, since when do we women need crazy nasal hair? Surely this is a man thing?! Apparently not. Thank you absent hormones.

Whatever hairy issues Mother Nature throws at us, I’m sure we will find a way to live with them/fix them/disguise them. Next week I’ll be taking a look and nail and skin health. If you have any tips on dealing with unruly hairy issues, please leave a comment below to share that precious knowledge

Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Cath’s adventures – tales from the other side…

Whatever else menopause is, it most certainly is not for the faint-hearted! I could tick off almost every last one of the 35 symptoms of menopause, while adding a few new ones of my own. I’ve lost count of the number of times I had myself measured up for my coffin. Apparently all that is normal for the big change.

So what’s it like on the other side? Has everything suddenly stopped causing havoc now that I’m officially post-menopausal?

The short answer to the first question is, it’s pretty much the same as pre-menopause but definitely no chance of another monthly visit, or unexpected visits from the stork! I celebrated this fact by handing over every last towel and tampon to Cost Centre 1 (aka beloved daughter). I removed them from my desk drawer at work, toilet bags, and handbag pockets. Like Christmas tree needles in Easter, the little packets are still turning up in unexpected places three years down the line!

Now to the second question…. have symptoms ceased to trouble me, disappearing as if switched off? Nope. But before you despair, they’re not as intense as they once were, and I’m more accustomed to them so I don’t give them a chance to turn into meno-monsters! Well, mostly. There are days when I’m utterly down in the dumps, tearing my hair out over some tiny, but huge to me, issue.

Over the next few weeks I’ll fill you in on some of the bigger issues:

  • Skin, hair and nail health
  • Is the old libido gone for good?
  • Taming the waist-line and keeping active in general
  • Erratic temperature control
  • Bone health
  • Hearty hearts
  • Anything else that springs to mind… like brain fog and forgetfulness

If you are still on the other side, and new to my blog, why not have a look at my adventures in Perimenopauseland.

Keep smiling… it makes everyone wonder what you’re up to!