I have a great idea for a post about the birth control/freedom of religion debate, but it will have to wait. I’m having a hair crisis.
Here’s the thing. From age 40 onward (I’m 53), I have had symptoms of impending menopause, starting with some killer PMS. Always one to have a regular cycle, I discovered that on Day 24 I needed, in the name of all that’s holy, to avoid all human contact. It was my personal full moon that turned me into a werewolf, and I didn’t want to turn my husband or any small neighborhood dogs into my prey.
Over the years I managed to dance with the mood swings and depression. I could handle with humor the alarmed comments about my flushed face (I have that kind of skin). As my periods became more erratic, I just threw an extra pad in my purse. When my face started to break out like a teenager’s, I changed up my products and booked a facial. No big deal. At my age, I can adjust to anything, right?
For all my experience with this cycle of life, including the books I’ve read, I was not prepared for everything. There are things the books don’t tell you about menopause. Namely, no one told me that my naturally straight bangs would kink up like poodle hair. That’s right. My mother now has what she always wanted, a daughter with naturally curly hair. Well, sort of. Only in the front.
I’ve had baby fine, straight hair my entire life. For many years I have covered my forehead with my bangs a la Goldie Hawn to hide my forehead, where I have my deepest facial lines. This arrangement worked really well until a few months ago when they suddenly started to curl and frizz. Since Google is my friend, I did some checking and, sure enough, menopause changes the hair. Curly hair may straighten, and straight hair may curl. My bangs, and the unflattering frizz that accompanies them, are just providing more evidence of hormonal shifts.
The rest of my hair remains straight for the most part, though I’m getting some ringlet activity on the left side. I don’t know whether to cut my hair short or let the bangs grow. In the meantime, I’m taking hair vitamins and have become an expert on anti-frizz products. I’m deep conditioning twice a week. I don’t normally blow dry my hair because it’s fragile, but I will spend extra time brushing and styling the bangs, trying to tame them even a bit. Yesterday I gave up and pulled them back with a barrette. Now everyone can see those wrinkles I’ve been hiding all these years.
I can handle just about anything. I’m even okay with the white streaks that are running through my hair. I just didn’t expect this. I don’t weep for my youth. I just want my straight bangs back.
I’d say do what you need to do to live with those bangs. Pull ’em back and expose the wrinkles if necessary. After all, you’ve earned every one. Or maybe just take to wearing your Barbra hat every day! On the other hand, if you let your bangs grow you can do more with them and maybe the weight of longer hair will pull them straight. Last year was my hair crisis and I started on hair vitamins. Nothing is worse for a woman than having a permanent bad hair day.
I think I’m going to grow them — like you, I think the weight will unkink them. I’m about six weeks into the hair vitamins — I think I’m starting to notice some differences. I guess you’re getting results if you’re continuing with them? Thank God for hats in the meantime…
Oh me, oh my. Whatever will become of my already kinky do? YIKES!
A friend of mine who was going through menopause told me that flax seed is good for that. I hope that period of my life is genetic. My mom didn’t go through menopause. She was naturally witchy, but no hot flashes and such.
Well, there are some who would suggest that I have some witchiness myself and that menopause is just an excuse! 🙂 I’m a big fan of flax seed and put it in my morning smoothie each day. I do feel a lot calmer than I did, except for the dang hair.
The Big M is just a ton of fun. I’m 54 and was having a horrible time with hot flashes but (yay!!!) they seem to have gone away after an intense few months. I haven’t seen any changes in my hair texture but I did go to red after being blond for 20 years. I love it, and so does everyone else. It was a good thing to make a change that I was in charge of!
I was a redhead for a while, and I loved it! I think that you can get away with a feisty personality with red hair. I stopped coloring mine two years ago because it just felt right for me to do that, but who knows? I reserve the right to change it at any time! Thanks for visiting!
Oh, no, not my hair! 🙂
I’m 48, almost 49, and my doctor says I’m not in menopause yet, but I’ve noticed that my hair is thinner. That really disturbs me. I have naturally curly hair, but I’ve always wanted straight hair. Maybe this is my chance?
Maybe letting the bangs grow out would pull some of the curl out, or maybe the curl won’t be permanent. I wouldn’t worry about the wrinkles. You’ve earned them, and wrinkles are not ugly. Gray hair isn’t ugly either. I really believe that!
TIna: you doctor is splitting hairs (Sorry, I couldn’t resist), when (s)he says you are not in menopause. Technically, menopause means your periods have stopped for at least a year. But you could very well be experiencing peri-menopause, which is when all the symptoms start. I think the general public uses the word “menopause” to refer to the whole shebang, but doctors must be more correct in their speech. My point is, do not let your doctor shortchange your symptoms because you’re not in menopause “yet.” You are in the process, and that’s what matters. Nadine and anybody else: if… Read more »
Marlene, I would agree. I think my doctor means that a blood test wouldn’t show a drop in hormones because I’m taking bc pills. But I definitely am in a different place, I think. My periods have changed, and, like I said before, my hair is thinner. So, yep, he’s probably splitting hairs :-). He’s retired now, and a woman replaced him. I’ll see what she says this summer!
Love the hair splitting, Tina and Marlene! You know, funny thing is, neither my mother nor my older sister had the hair change thing, so maybe you’ll luck out! I think if it had happened to one of them it wouldn’t be such a shock for me.
Thanks for the reminder on the progesterone cream. It could definitely be useful!
You poor thing, but what we any control, we must embrace.
I do embrace, but I like a good tantrum first!
How is your hair now? I am 58 and my straight hair has been going curly at the temples for a couple of years now, and it seems to be spreading now so that I have mostly straight hair with a lot of curly cues sticking out all over. No gray, but the curly hairs really show up when it’s humid (or during a sweaty hot flash.) I’m definitely menopausal, and taking nothing for it. No thinning. I’m considering getting a perm so that it will all be the same texture.
My hair has completely changed. It used to be completely straight, but now it’s wavy at best, with the right side really, really curly. I’ve had to try to adapt my style. If I wear it longer, then it’s more manageable, at least. I have a lot of gray, but even the parts with color are curly. Weird. My parents think it’s funny! Me, I’m not so sure! 🙂