How Hormones Affect a Woman’s Hair Throughout Different Stages in Life

How Hormones Affect a Woman’s Hair Throughout Different Stages in Life

Like most full service hair salon's we see literally thousands of 'heads' throughout the year. We are blessed to have operated for over 20 years now and as time passes our lovely clients grow up, have babies and grow just a little older (as do we). Lately we have been fielding many questions around the different stages of life and how this impacts your hair. Of course we are not medical experts and none of this advice is intended to be such. However, we can help you with firstly understanding these changes, and secondly help you manage your hair throughout the inevitable changes you may experience with your hair.

Hair is often considered a woman’s crowning glory, a powerful statement of her personality, style, and confidence. However, behind the scenes, it’s our hormones that play a crucial role in the health, texture, and overall appearance of our hair. As a hairstylist, understanding how hormones affect a woman’s hair throughout various stages of life allows us to offer personalised care and styling tips to help our clients manage their hair effectively. Let’s explore how hormonal changes during puberty, adulthood, pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause impact hair, and how we can best support our clients through each stage.

Puberty: The First Hormonal Surge

Hormonal Changes: During puberty, the body undergoes significant hormonal changes, particularly an increase in androgens (male hormones present in both sexes). This surge can stimulate the sebaceous glands, leading to increased oil production.

Effects on Hair:
- Increased Oiliness: Hair may become oilier due to more active sebaceous glands.
- Texture Changes: Hair can become thicker and sometimes coarser.
- Growth Patterns: Some girls might experience faster hair growth or changes in hair growth patterns, such as new hair appearing in different areas.

Styling Tips:
1. Regular Washing: Encourage frequent washing to manage oiliness. Use gentle shampoos that don’t strip the hair of natural oils.
2. Lightweight Products: Recommend lightweight, non-greasy styling products to avoid weighing down the hair.
3. Scalp Care: Promote a healthy scalp routine to control oil and prevent issues like dandruff.

Adulthood: Hormonal Balance and Stability

Hormonal Changes: In adulthood, hormonal levels tend to stabilize. However, factors like menstrual cycles, birth control, and stress can cause fluctuations.

Effects on Hair:
- Consistency: Hair quality and growth tend to be more consistent compared to puberty.
- Health: If hormones are balanced, hair generally remains healthy and strong.
- Cycle Fluctuations: Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can still affect hair oiliness and texture.

Styling Tips:
1. Customised Care: Tailor hair care routines to individual needs, considering factors like hair type and lifestyle.
2. Moisturising Treatments: Recommend regular deep conditioning treatments to maintain hair health and moisture.
3. Healthy Lifestyle: Encourage a balanced lifestyle, as stress and diet can impact hair health.

Pregnancy: The Hormonal Rollercoaster

Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy triggers a significant increase in estrogen levels, which can prolong the growth phase (anagen phase) of hair.

Effects on Hair:
- Thicker Hair: Many women experience thicker, more lustrous hair due to prolonged growth phases.
- Reduced Shedding: Hair shedding often decreases, contributing to the appearance of fuller hair.
- Texture Changes: Some women notice changes in hair texture, becoming curlier or straighter.

Styling Tips:
1. Volume and Body: Embrace the fuller hair by experimenting with styles that add volume and body.
2. Gentle Products: Use gentle, pregnancy-safe products to care for the hair and scalp.
3. Low Maintenance: Suggest low-maintenance styles that require minimal effort, as pregnancy can be tiring.

Postpartum: The Shedding Phase

Hormonal Changes: After childbirth, estrogen levels drop sharply, leading to a significant shedding phase known as postpartum hair loss.

Effects on Hair:
- Increased Shedding: Many women experience noticeable hair loss a few months after giving birth.
- Temporary Thinning: Hair may appear thinner during this phase, but this is usually temporary.

Styling Tips:
1. Patience and Reassurance: Reassure clients that postpartum hair loss is normal and temporary.
2. Volume-Enhancing Styles: Recommend styles that add volume and fullness, such as layered cuts or textured styles.
3. Nutrient-Rich Treatments: Suggest treatments that nourish the scalp and strengthen the hair to support regrowth.

Perimenopause: The Transition Phase

Hormonal Changes: Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading up to menopause, characterised by fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels.

Effects on Hai*:
- Thinning Hair: Hormonal fluctuations can lead to hair thinning and increased shedding.
- Texture Changes: Hair may become drier and more brittle due to reduced oil production.
- Scalp Issues: Some women experience scalp sensitivity or dryness.

Styling Tips:
1. Hydrating Products: Use hydrating shampoos, conditioners, and treatments to combat dryness and brittleness.
2. Scalp Care: Focus on scalp health with nourishing oils and gentle massages to promote blood circulation.
3. Protective Styles: Recommend protective styles that minimise stress on the hair, such as loose braids or buns.

Menopause: Hormonal Decline

Hormonal Changes: Menopause marks the end of menstrual cycles and is associated with a significant decline in estrogen and progesterone levels.

Effects on Hair:
- Continued Thinning: Hair thinning can continue or become more pronounced.
- Dryness and Fragility: Hair often becomes drier and more fragile due to decreased oil production.
- Slower Growth: Hair growth rate may slow down.

Styling Tips:
1. Regular Trims: Encourage regular trims to remove split ends and maintain hair health.
2. Moisture-Rich Treatments: Recommend moisture-rich masks and leave-in conditioners to keep hair hydrated.
3. Gentle Styling: Suggest gentle styling techniques to avoid breakage, such as avoiding excessive heat and using wide-tooth combs.

Post-Menopause: Embracing New Hair Changes

Hormonal Changes: Post-menopause, hormonal levels stabilize at a lower level, and the effects on hair continue to evolve.

Effects on Hair:
- Persistent Thinning: Hair may remain thin and fragile.
- Texture Changes: Hair texture can continue to change, often becoming finer.
- Scalp Sensitivity: The scalp may become more sensitive and prone to irritation.

Styling Tips:
1. Nourishing Products: Use products specifically designed for aging hair, which often include extra nourishing and strengthening ingredients.
2. Volumising Styles: Opt for styles that add volume and fullness, such as layered cuts or soft waves.
3. Colour Care: If clients colour their hair, suggest gentle, ammonia-free dyes to minimise damage and scalp irritation.

Managing Hair Through Hormonal Changes: General Tips

While the above suggestions are tailored to specific life stages, some general practices can help manage hair health and appearance through all hormonal changes:

1. Regular Scalp Massages: Promote blood circulation and relax the scalp, which can encourage hair growth and health.
2. Balanced Diet: A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins supports overall hair health. Encourage clients to consume foods like leafy greens, nuts, fish, and lean meats.
3. Hydration: Keeping the body well-hydrated is essential for maintaining healthy hair and scalp.
4. Avoid Over-Styling: Excessive heat, tight hairstyles, and harsh treatments can damage hair. Recommend gentle styling methods and tools.
5. Customised Hair Care: Tailor hair care routines to individual needs, considering factors such as hair type, lifestyle, and personal preferences.


Understanding the impact of hormones on a woman’s hair throughout different stages of life enables us as hairstylists to provide better care and personalised styling advice. Each stage, from puberty to post-menopause, brings unique challenges and changes that require specific attention and management strategies. By staying informed and empathetic, we can help our clients navigate these changes with confidence and grace, ensuring their hair remains healthy, beautiful, and a true reflection of their inner strength and beauty.

Our highly experienced salon stylists are always available to chat with to give you individualised advice and support.

** this is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your personal health needs.

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