The menopause can cause changes in hair growth on the face. But did you know that what you eat can also affect changes in facial hair?
When women go through the menopause oestrogen levels decrease. With female hormones at an all time low, the male hormones known as ‘androgens’ seemingly ‘take over’ and can result in unwanted facial hair growth. Androgynous hair growth can occur anywhere on the body but during the menopause tends to appear mainly on women’s faces, especially the chin. At our Bournemouth laser clinic our female menopausal (and peri-menopausal) clients often say that they feel these thick, dark wiry hairs seem to spring up on their chins overnight. Dealing with the side effects of the menopause (which can include hot flushes and night sweats) can be uncomfortable, but most of our clients find dealing with changes in their facial hair the most distressing. The good news is that laser hair removal can resolve this problem and now diet can help too.
So why would diet have an impact on facial hair? Well, put simply, increased insulin levels are responsible for the production of too many androgens (the male hormones), which in turn are responsible for an increase in unwanted facial hair. A diet high in white (or high ‘GI’ – Glycaemic Index) carbohydrates like white bread of white pasta can raise blood sugar which in turn increases insulin levels. So a low GI diet, avoiding excessive amounts of white carbs and eating more slow-release carbohydrates better regulates blood sugar, meaning your insulin production is more stable and therefore better for unwanted facial hair. Insulin levels however tend to have more of an effect on the finer fluffier hair or ‘peach fuzz’ as it is sometimes affectionately called. This mostly unnoticeable hair can change during the menopause and become thicker and darker.
Whilst diet can certainly help with finer fluffier hair by balancing out blood sugar and therefore insulin production, for those thick black coarse hairs, the only way of permanently removing them is with laser hair removal. Whilst there are many ways of getting rid of unwanted facial hair, like plucking, waxing or creaming, all of these are temporary solutions to what can be a distressing problem and can cause ingrowing hairs. Added to that, who really wants to be spending time in front of the mirror each morning having to pluck out unwanted black chin hairs? The good news is that whilst hormonally driven hair can take a little while longer to get rid of, laser hair removal (as well as electrolysis) does provide a permanent solution to unwanted hair.
Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment (melanin) in the hair shaft. Light travels down the hair and heats the hair bulb and stem cells at the base of the follicle to around 70 degrees for a split second. If the hair is in the active growth phase (anagen phase) it will permanently destroy the stem cells responsible for producing the hair and that follicle will not produce again. If dormant hair follicles are being stimulated during the menopause due to an increase in androgens, clients can expect to have a few more treatments on their chin, than the average 6-8 which are required for other non-hormonally driven areas of the body.
At Laser Skin Solutions we specialise in laser hair removal and offer 3 different laser and IPL handpieces for hair removal alone, meaning once we skin and hair type you, we choose whichever system is going to get you the quickest and best results. If your hair is not suitable for laser hair removal, we also offer electrolysis.
Both the menopause itself as well as HRT the medication used to help combat the side effects, can cause broken thread veins to appear on the face. Broken capillaries, thread veins, or spider veins as they are sometimes called, are easily removed with laser thread vein removal at our Bournemouth laser clinic and can provide relief from any menopausal flushing and blushing episodes.
To find out more about us, our training and why we are experts in our field, please contact us or call the clinic on 01202 985 029