MENOPAUSE AND WHAT IT DOES TO OUR EYEBROWS.
Yes ,it a word we hear every day.
Half of the women in the world are menopausal or peri menopausal.
We all know what happens at menopause, but did you know 'what it does to you'?
Prostaglandin is the hormone that signals your eyebrows to grow. As we get older, our natural prostaglandin production declines. That's why it's common around menopause for our eyebrows to thin, grow a little longer, become coarse and even change colour.
The usual cause for hair loss and brow loss in women at midlife is due to shifting and reducing hormone levels at menopause. Falling oestrogen and progesterone levels - the biggest hormone changes at menopause - can cause some women to notice that their hair in their brows becomes weaker and thinner and grows more slowly or eventually fall out.
The other hormone shift at midlife can be a dominance of androgens especially testosterone which can cause hair follicles to shrink but can also result in the appearance of unwanted hair - especially on the face. It's a tricky business this menopause rebalance! Another form of hair loss experienced is loss of eyebrows which is also caused by hormones but the culprit here is usually thyroid.
Hormone change is the main causes of hair loss for women at mid life. Other factors can also lead to hair loss for women at certain times of life when we are under pressure. For example high stress levels, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, poor hydration and insomnia can be contributors.
Menopause or Peri-menopause;
While you may have come to grips with the fact “the change” will change your life, you may not have connected the dots between the alterations in how your body manufactures sex hormones to your eyebrows during menopause and peri-menopause.
Hair loss in peri-menopausal and menopausal women is due to dwindling levels of oestrogen. This gets tricky since one of oestrogen’s jobs is to dampen the effects of testosterone. Without enough oestrogen, the sex hormone dihydrotesterone (DHT) is produced in the liver.
Think your liver looks more like a 5:00 p.m. traffic jam than the merrily humming detoxification allstar it’s meant to be?
Then Houston, we have a problem. A congested liver means excess DHT is produced.
And, wouldn’t ya know, DHT is the culprit of the making your hair disappear from your head and eyebrows and making it appear on places like your chin.
An overburdened liver also means you’re probably not getting adequate thyroid hormone conversion.
Prescription Medication – Did you know that your prescription medication could be causing temporary or permanent hair (or eyebrow) loss? According to the American Hair Loss Association, many commonly prescribed medications for acne, high cholesterol, depression and inflammation have hair loss listed as a common side effect. Ask your pharmacist or conduct further research about any medicine you are currently taking. For more valuable information from the American Hair Loss Association.
Eyebrow hair loss is also a common symptom of thyroid deficiency.
If you’re losing hair from your brows, we recommend making an appointment with your doctor to get your thyroid checked. Reproductive hormone changes - the menopause plays a part, and Dermatologists believe the same factors that cause hair loss from the scalp, a common problem for women as they age, may contribute to the thinning of eyebrows.
Your once beautiful, full ,lush and styled eyebrow suddenly get thinner, sparse, reduction in the quality of the brow hair, and we loose our brow tails, heads and overall fullness. An Endocrinologist we know said “Abrupt hormone changes can cause sudden hair loss (telogen effluvium) that recovers over about six months' time. It happens to many many women at menopause.”
Thinning brows are a common side effect of other conditions such as atopic dermatitis, or eczema, due to inflammation and itching around the brow area. A dermatologist can recommend medications and topical treatments to help.
Sparse brows could also be caused be a nutritional deficiency—though that’s not usually a problem if you eat a relatively healthy, consistent diet as we do in Ireland. In extreme cases, such as disordered eating and anaemia, an iron deficiency may be to blame for thinning brows. “Even if you don’t have anaemia, and you have low levels of stored iron, that could contribute to hair loss,” a dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who studies the link between nutrition and hair loss. Intestinal disorders like coeliac disease may be a contributing factor to nutrient absorption hence eyebrow hair loss.
Iron is found in meat, fish, and other animal products, plus beans and legumes, so vegans and vegetarians might be more likely to be low in iron. Your dermatologist can do a ferritin blood test to check your iron levels. But don’t start an iron supplement without medical recommendation. Too much iron can also have negative effects.
Low levels of zinc could also cause hair loss, but it’s not very likely (although more likely if you are vegetarian). Most Irish people don’t have problems getting a sufficient amount of these vitamins in their diet.
What’s more likely is that telogen effluvium is at play (again). In addition to hormone fluctuations, this type of hair loss happens when there is a drastic dip in protein in the diet or sudden weight loss. For example, if you are sick and can only consume liquids for a month. “If you have protein levels that drop dramatically, your hair follicles go into hibernation, and you can see sudden acute hair loss that shows up three to six months later,” .
There’s a pretty good chance your grooming habits may be working against you.
Over-grooming could also make all of these worse. “We also see thinning eyebrows, especially in women, as a result of too much tweezing or waxing earlier in life. If the hair follicles suffer trauma and die out as a result, a permanent thinning of the eyebrows can occur,”.
What clients in menopause are saying;
A recent client who was over 50 said;
"I’ve been blessed with thick, full eyebrows. But as soon as I turned 30, I noticed something was amiss. My beautiful brows were looking, let’s say, -sparse'.
Every time my brow specialist handed me a magnified mirror after my monthly wax, it seemed I had more patchy spots. My low-maintenance morning routine—a quick brush-up and pencil fill-in—was suddenly taking up a lot more time. I found myself on a constant quest for the best brow powders, pencils, and gels, and started researching microblading in hopes of finding a solution.It turns out, my thinning brows are probably just one more sign of aging.
Experts say that grey hairs and crow’s feet aren’t the only thing we have to look forward to as we get older.
When we blow out our birthday candles each year, our eyebrows age with us, too.
What should you do? What we say;
Fake fuller brows with finesse to begin with .
“The biggest mistake I see is people being too heavy handed with their eyebrow products,”
I recommend applying products in hair-like strokes, versus just filling in with powder because it often gets smeared and messy which isn’t achieving the polished look you are going for.
I recommend using a tinted eyebrow gel as a finishing step. It’s relatively foolproof and comes in a tube like mascara. Brush your hairs into shape to keep them in place and you can achieve more definition by choosing a gel with a tint.
Microblading is a more permanent solution. Microblading is called a semipermanent way to fill in brows that looks more natural than permanent makeup tattoo- its lighter and more natural looking . Its referred to as semi permanent as it fades , but dosen't wash off like a tint. Microblading differs from tattooing and the traditional form of permanent makeup in that it is typically done by hand versus a machine and doesn’t go as deep into the skin. In the past, tattooing and traditional permanent makeup usually resulted in a solid line and the colour could change significantly with time.
We use a pigment that’s chosen based on your natural skin tone and hair colour that fades naturally over time. The goal is to create delicate strokes that mimic hairs that result in a natural, more complete eyebrow.
The process takes about two hours to complete initially , and you’ll need to come back for Step 2 a month later and a touch up about once a year after the initial full treatment . Microblading costs between €550.00 and the results should last for indefinitely provided you return annually for your Colour Boost. Your natural brow hair will continue to grow, but you likely won’t need to get waxed as often. Most people find their regular maintenance decreased because they have the shape they want after microblading.
Fashionable and menopausal women in the public domain who have had it done include Helen Mirren, Trinny Woodall and Majella O Donnell.