At the age of 46, I am at the beginning stages of my perimenopause experience. It has had strange impacts, including hair issues.

It actually started in the last few months of my 45th year but who’s counting?

The problem I have with perimenopause is that everyone seems to experience it differently.

I have spoken with my doctor, researched online, and talked to friends.

Everyone has some similar experiences.

Yet at the same time, everyone also seems to have their own personal oddity perimenopause experience as well.

What The Heck Is Happening To My Hair Hair and Perimenopause

For me, my odd experience is oily hair!

Interestingly the last time I had oily hair was between the ages of 11 to 13.

That made perfect sense as my hormones were changing then too.

It is not like I am the only person in the world who has experienced this during menopause or perimenopause, however dry hair is more of the norm.

I realize this should be the least of my concerns when you consider all of the other complications and symptoms of “the change”.

The only reason I probably feel like complaining at all is that other than abnormal, and inconsistent menstrual cycles, and some very minor hot flashes, oily hair seems to be my only agitating symptom.

You may be thinking “wow shut up already, jeesh you big baby!”

Trust me I have other medical and physical issues to deal with.

I am not ready for the onslaught of full-fledged menopause.

So why is oily hair so frustrating?

One reason is that I used to be able to go 3 days without washing my hair.

I could go 5 days but I like my hair to smell pretty.

Yes, I showered, I just didn’t always wash my hair.

It is good to keep some natural oils and sheen.

Regardless, these days, I can wash it in the morning and through half of the day, my it is greasy, clumping, and separating into sections!

I am really thankful I work from home!

What The Heck Is Happening To My Hair? Hair And Perimenopause
You can see how oily it is is at the ends – it almost looks wet, but I promise you it is not.
I was actually just getting into the shower when I was inspired by this mess to write this article.

Not exactly the beachy look is it?

So I am curious, are you pre-menopausal or menopausal?

If so what experiences have you had this far other than “the norm”.

Please share in the comments anything you would like to.

I am particularly interested in if you have noticed any strange changes.

Changes that your doctor, or researching online has made you feel maybe is not the norm.

I have always suffered from dry skin.

I hope maybe menopause could help straighten that out in its process.

Thanks for reading my vent/rant please feel free to share yours in comments below.

What The Heck Is Happening To My Hair Hair and Perimenopause

 


Hair Update March 2017


I am updating because a lot of readers are coming to this article.

This problem appears to be very common.

In my experience, it does end!

My hair is now back to being normal.

This whole irritating situation lasted about six months for me.

So ladies, rest assured, it is not a forever thing.

Not from my experience anyway.

I hope you too find yourselves back to having nice hair soon too!

Oh, and my skin is not dry anymore either!

Menopause is weird!

Check out more about perimenopause/menopause symptoms in this article:

Body Smell Changes During Menopause

 

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36 Comments

  1. jocro
    March 6, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    i am 47 and am menopausal. i am having this icky greasy hair problem. i hate the way it makes me feel about myself i feel so gross n ugly. ugh

    • March 6, 2017 / 5:58 pm

      Awee I do not like that you feel this way. I am sorry but you are not gross or ugly! It also does pass and your hair will return to normal. For me this stage lasted about 3 months or so. I also changed my hair products often and that did help. Also strangely I found getting more sunlight helped too!

  2. March 21, 2017 / 11:15 pm

    I have the same as you had. It’s craz! I’ve had normal hair all my life and didn’t have to wash it but twice a week. I was thinking it was a change of color but it separates now. It makes me feel aweful. Getting hair cut and highlighted this mainly to feel better about myself. What the heck! I’m hoping it goes away like your experience. I’ll try to change up my hair products. Thanks.

    • March 21, 2017 / 11:21 pm

      I hope that changing hair products helps Christina. Sometimes during this frustrating stage it is about finding the RIGHT hair product for you. What type of hair do you have? Mine is very fine and thin by nature. Maybe I can help steer you in the right direction. Happy to help!

  3. Becky
    April 18, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    I am 47, and have fine, thin hair. My hair has always been somewhat oily, but on the next day… Now, I wash my hair in the morning, and only a couple of hairs later, the underneath layer in the back is nasty! The top and crown are just fine… any suggestions? I’ve tried tea tree shampoo, clarifying shampoo, etc.

    • April 18, 2017 / 1:11 pm

      Becky I am sorry you are dealing with this! For one thing do you have long or short hair? I know – odd question but it may make a difference.

  4. Samantha
    May 24, 2017 / 2:26 pm

    I just started experiencing this in February after getting my hair cut and colored. I went from being able to wash my hair every three days to needing to every day. My hair is fine and thin. Length is just to my shoulders. I’m 48 and perimenopausal. I think besides the irregular cycle that the oily hair is my most frustrating because I can’t find a shampoo/conditioner to use. If I don’t use conditioner my hair looks like oily straw.

    • May 24, 2017 / 5:43 pm

      Samantha while no one product works for everyone I really liked OGX Keratin Oil Shampoo in the purple bottles – you can get them at Walmart of online. I know it sounds crazy since OIL is in the name and OILY hair is what we have but for some reason it worked wonders for me. Who knows though we are all so different. It is so frustrating for sure and yes the irregular cycles UGGGG. I just want to be DONE with the whole cycle thing lol.
      Sorry you are dealing with this issue. It won’t last forever though.

  5. Cathy
    July 4, 2017 / 2:01 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! There is so little good information online about peri-menopause. I’ve talked to my doctor about my symptoms and she’s just “oh well, that’s a bummer” without giving me any good resources to deal with it (yeah, I know, find a new doctor, these days it’s not that easy – she’s great otherwise).

    I’m so happy to read about other women’s experiences with this. FBF, keep up the good work!

    • July 4, 2017 / 12:19 pm

      Cathy I am so glad this was of help for you! Seriously I know there simply is NOT enough out there on Perimenopause! Oh and I totally agree about finding a new doctor being so hard! I am in the process of doing this myself and it’s a real pain – no pun intended! My doctor used to be amazing but I think he is either burnt out or lost his mojo! I am so glad you found FBF – I hope you find other articles that interest you.

  6. Tracey Whitehouse
    August 3, 2017 / 3:42 am

    OH WOW!!! I thought it was just me ?. Like Cathy said, “thank you thank you thank you” I have read what you’ve written nodding and smiling vigorously! I also have had a lot of hair loss (greasy and thinning, yay!) Glad I found FBF, your posts are FAB !!

    • August 3, 2017 / 11:14 pm

      Thank you SO much Tracey! I love hearing that my post somehow helped someone. It really did not “resolve” much except to let others know YOU ARE NOT ALONE lol which really geesh we just need to know we are not crazy!
      We midlife women need to stick together lol so many bizarre changes going on.
      Thank you also for the lovely compliment about my posts. Since that article was when I was new my photo were horrible. It’s nice to know you looked around.
      So nice to meet you Tracey!

  7. August 5, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    Hi…my thinning hair goes from flat and greasy one day to dry and fly away the next. And the texture has changed!! Help!!

    • August 5, 2017 / 4:08 pm

      Hi Christi – what products are you using currently? Shampoo, conditioner, and any other hair product, hairspray, gel, butter, etc.
      Also what WAS your normal hair type?
      Is it curly or straight etc.
      The more info you can give me the better I can help.
      Thanks for reaching out.
      XOX

  8. kelly
    August 23, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    Thank you SO much for posting this !! I thought I’ve been going nuts. About a year or so ago, my roots started getting oily while the rest of my hair (wavy, thick shoulder length) stayed normal (or normal to dry). I happened into a beauty supply store (in another city from where I currently live) and thought to ask if there was a shampoo that dealt with this. I wish I could remember the name to share, but after finishing the bottle, it seemed to have rectified the situation and I didn’t buy it again. Then about 6 months ago, my scalp started itching like mad – I was scratching so badly that it actually hurt. I was finally able to break the itching-addiction cycle, but then my head and back of my neck (hairline) would get very hot. Sweating. But just there – no hot flashes (btw, I’ll be 50 next month). It wasn’t constant, but very frequent – and the worst at night on my pillow. In the last month or so, my hair has become so greasy, it’s disgusting – and has gotten progressively worse. At first, I thought it was because of the hot/sweating, but I woke up this morning and my head looks and feels like someone poured oil on my head. And I don’t feel like my head has been hot for a couple of days. I actually think it’s making my skin break out a little bit. My skin (normal normal/normal to dry is bumpy and itches. I’ve been mostly wearing my hair up in a knot on top of my head. This has the effect of cooling my neck and hiding the oily crown. My hair has changed in texture quite significantly over my life, so I’m not unaccustomed to change (the texture and curly can change between cities) and dealing with the changes (even the color has changed – it’s SHADES darker than it used to be – just in time to sharply contrast with the new greys coming in… ARGH), but this is for the birds ! I am very optimistic, reading some of these posts that may not be a new permanent state of my hair !!

    Anyway, I have been doing some major research online this morning trying to figure out if it’s just me (haven’t known anyone who’s been dealing with this) and what to do about it. I’ve got quite a list of shampoos, etc. in the running – there doesn’t seem to be any real consensus – and I’m going to the store(s) today to check out some different products (sulfate free, some with oils, some with clay…) and basically let the ingredients and my nose make the final decision. If I come up with anything good, I’ll let you know ! Sorry this was so long, but I thought sharing my issues might be valuable to someone. I guess the bottom line is there’s really no “normal”.

    • August 23, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      SO frustrating – just all of it! I mean seriously it’s all SO crazy we have to laugh or we will simply cry.
      I am so sorry you deal with all this too!
      No, you are not crazy nor alone!
      Hey about the itchy stuff – if that comes back PLEASE try a GOOD quality Tea Tree shampoo!
      Try it anyway actually as that will help keep down the oil!
      Granted – it is as if our hair and bodies adapt to anything we do try but it worked great for me with oil (for awhile) but ALWAYS works for the itchiness and blistering! Let me know what you find too please ! Good luck gal!

  9. Elizabeth Adamou
    September 23, 2017 / 6:09 pm

    Hi, I am so happy this conversation exists! It’s 6 months till I turn 50 and my hair is disgustingly greasy! It started about 6 months ago and I’m truly hoping it is just a passing phase. Never mind washing my hair everyday, I need to wash it twice a day in order not to appear like I’m dripping with grease. This is all new to me so I thought I would try shampoo that says it’s extra body. After trying a number of brands I finally decided I would try “dry shampoo”. My daughter being a lazy teenager (when it comes to washing her hair) swears by it. She also used it while travelling in Europe when she didn’t have the time to shower everyday. I thought it was just another gimmick…another beauty product being marketed that doesn’t really do much for you. It actually works. Having said that it does make my hair feel a bit stiff (kind of similar to a hair spray) but the greasiness just disappears. I’m still crossing my fingers this greasiness goes away!

    • September 24, 2017 / 5:44 pm

      I am so happy that you found the article and Fashion Beyond Forty!
      I LOVE dry shampoo and you are right it does help a lot!
      With fine hair like mine I have to be careful not to overdo it but it saves me in a pinch often!
      I am crossing my fingers your greasy hair issue goes away soon too!
      Please come back and update us and let us know how long it took for you.

  10. Cheryl Griffiths
    October 15, 2017 / 1:36 pm

    I have had the greasy hair for 2 and a half years now.im praying it will go away soon as it really gets me down.tried many different shampoos and nothing has worked for me.great to read that other s are having the same problem as research usually only mentions dry hair .

    • October 16, 2017 / 11:40 pm

      Cheryl have you tried any tea tree shampoos? I recommend giving one a try. I really like Paul Mitchell and also OGX Proganix. Yes I also found research often mentions dry hair but not oily! You are not alone!!

  11. Ranch Lady
    October 19, 2017 / 6:45 am

    Hi my crazy hair change started at about age 49. Mine didn’t go greasy but from super, super straight my whole life (curlers and a curling iron wouldn’t even give it a gentle bend on the ends!) to…get this….super curly! It has taken me a very long time to figure out a whole new way to care for my new curly locks! With no curly girls in the family I was totally clueless that you care for curly hair in an entirely different way than you do straight hair. People who don’t know any better say, “Oh, why’d you get a perm? I always loved your long straight hair!” I answer, “So did I!” I work at home and unfortunately for my husband, this new hair is too much work and I usually end up wearing a scarf or ponytail. But I totally understand those here who have said it effects their mood. The hair thing was a big issue for me on a daily basis for a long time. It’s a strange feeling to be know your whole life for your long, straight, silky hair (pretty much my “signature trait”) and then suddenly overnight have curly hair! Hang in there girls. It’s been four years now and I am finally, finally getting used to seeing the curls in the mirror. Ha ha

    • October 20, 2017 / 2:48 pm

      Wow now THAT IS crazy! I mean I will admit I have longed for curls now and then but you are right curls ARE harder to care for! I can’t imagine having them just BOOM over night! I can barely style my straight hair! I too do pony tail often! I was also planning on learning how to use a scarf in my hair for something different. Midlife is a pain in the butt since everyone experiences it differently! Thanks for telling others to hang in there. Hope to see you around the blog again!

  12. Jan
    December 1, 2017 / 10:55 am

    So I did a google search this morning (what did we do before google??) about why my hair always seems greasy. I used to be able to go every other day, but now it’s like the author wrote, by the end of the day my hair feels limp and oily again. I didn’t know about the greasy hair/ peri-menopause link before, but now that I’ve read about it I can see that when things started changing with my cycle my hair also started changing. I came across a hair shampoo system called Illumai that seems to have good reviews and help with this sort of thing. I hesitate to list a brand when I haven’t used it myself yet, but if ladies are looking for help they can at least go check it out.

    • December 4, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Hi Jan! I have actually used Illumai! I wrote about it in this post https://www.fiercebeyondforty.com/2016/10/womens-wellness-round-up-introducing.html There is actually a 40% off discount code for the system in this article! I hope it still works, I wrote that about a year ago. Anyway I cant’ say if it helped with my greasy hair issue or not as my issue had cleared itself up by then. I will say however it was a really great hair system! The only small issue I had which isn’t really an issue per say, is that it has a strange smell but that smell does not stick around in your hair! It wasn’t a bad smell just different. Worth a try especially if the discount still works!

  13. Melanie
    February 19, 2018 / 11:15 pm

    I’m 44, about to turn 45 in May. For the last year, my hair has been getting so greasy. It used to be long, but I got it cut into a shoulder length bob a year ago. I used to wash it every 3 days, and now I have to wash it every other day. I use sensitive scalp shampoos, but, despite that, I get HORRIFIC scalp itch. The itch is the worst the day before my period – that’s how I know my period is imminent. On the day before my period, my scalp itches so bad, it feels like it’s going to crawl off my head. I’ve tried head and shoulders shampoo, coal tar shampoo, sulfate and paraben free shampoo, you name it…nothing works. I swear my scalp itch is caused by fluctuating hormones, and not just some skin deep dermatological issue. Ugh. The greasy hair and severe scalp itch are the 2 most bothersome perimenopause symptoms for me, so far. Honestly, some days, I just want to give myself a buzz cut! Lol

    • February 20, 2018 / 1:37 pm

      Haha well you know, the buzz cut IS “in” right now! Joking aside – have you tried Tea Tree shampoo? You probably have but if not, be sure to get a strong one made with high quality Tea Tree Essential Oil. I can’t say that it takes away the flaking but it will soothe your scalp a lot. At least it did mine because I had that flaky crap going on too – BIG TIME!
      I am SO sorry you are going through this!!
      I do hope your situation ends soon like mine did!
      Keep me posted please and thank you so much for visiting my blog!
      I hope you find other articles you enjoy!
      All the best Melanie!

  14. Barbara Nutbrown
    March 31, 2018 / 6:29 am

    Wow! I’m literally sitting here reading all these posts with tears in my eyes because I think I finally know what’s been probably happening with me and my hair for the past year or so. I’m 47 now. I’ve had thick wavy to almost curly hair at times hair my whole life. Lots of body, can go with it washing everyday, air dry the whole lovely blessed bit. Then it started to change! My wave was gone it seemed like the ends looked split all the time. I hate to admit I was actually freaking out! I guess I took my hair fir granted and when my old wonderful texture disappeared I did not know what to do. I did used color cuz my blonde roots were getting darker as I got older but never had a problem. I thought maybe I had irrevocably damaged my hair. But the stylist said it wasn’t dry and didn’t look damaged so I had to learn how to do straight hair, had to blow dry. Uugh. Which meant more time in the morning. But the one thing it still seemed to have was thinkness and body so I started to embrace and tell myself be happy I have hair. Well in the last couple weeks it seems it’s changing even more. It’s more limp and greasy and I have to wash every day it seems. It looks darker too. Now I’m back to tears each day I try to get ready for work. I’ve tried anything I could reading just about every article I could find. This was the first blog I found that actually explained what is probably happening and give me some hope that it could end ( I sure hope sooner rather than later) cuz it is wreaking havoc on my self confidence. I haven’t tried the tea tree oil shampoo so I’ll give that a whirl but I’m almost at the point to just go Sinead style. Thank you for your post. It has atleast made me feel like I’m not alone.

    • March 31, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      Barbara
      You are absolutely not alone!
      In fact, this article is one of the most frequently found via Google search on my entire blog.
      Hang in there!
      I have another article about the strange issues perimenopause and menopause causes coming up next week as well.
      It’s so hard I know.
      I hope the Tea Tree works for you!
      Let me know please and feel free to reach out to me anytime via my contact page. Send me an email if you want.
      Oh and yes the hair color change! So frustrating!
      Honestly, under this dye I am not sure what color mine would be – I think mostly silvery grey lol.

  15. Poojasree M
    April 8, 2018 / 3:21 am

    I was using a shampoo for almost 2-3 yrs than due to some traveling and stuff I had to make use of another shampoo and then after I used another shampoo due to which my hairs were extremely rough and then atlast after lot of thinking I switched to my previous shampoo… Alas but after only one use I m feeling like that after that wash my hair is again dry and fizzy…Gosh it’s hell irritating.. .. I dont know what to do the shampoo which was one of my favorite one is now not working out or is it just that Ishould wash it more to observe the rest washes of my hairs.. … Please can you help me getting out of this problem.. .

    • April 9, 2018 / 10:38 am

      Oh I hate it when I travel and do not have my regular hair or beauty products with me.
      I can see how this could have caused some issue for you especially if you did not get right back to your better product when you returned home.
      It sounds like your hair may need some deep conditioning treatment.
      I would try a coconut oil hair mask!
      You can Google them and find one easily or there are also ways you can easily make your own right at home.
      I hope that helps.

  16. Peri M. Pause
    May 14, 2018 / 1:11 am

    Thank you for this. I’m 47 and started having irregular periods a few years ago. Now they’re really irregular an it’s so frustrating to have cramps on and off, PMS type symptoms, but no period! UGH! Just get it over with already!! Anyway, the past few days my hair (very, very thin and fine), has been limper than it’s normal limp self. Feels greasy right after blow drying it. I’ve always had to wash my hair at least once per day, but over the years it became apparent that right before my period, asi in the day before or day of, it would be extra lifeless and limp. So of course, this started a few days ago and I thought “finally! Period!” Nope. Just more cramps and limp hair. Oh, and last night woken up by what must’ve been a hot flash. Thankfully haven’t had a ton of those, but looks like it’s more fun to expect. Enough of this. Seriously. If men had to deal with all these hassles, there would be no more perimenopause.

    • May 15, 2018 / 12:10 am

      RIGHT!? Like can we be OVER it yet! Why do we have to have the symptoms at all at this stage!? LOL I totally hear you Peri!

      Cute screen name by the way!

      I have always had the same type of hair issues and it got worse for awhile but at least that drama is over for me.

      I hope it stops for you soon too.

      I plan to go to the doctor this coming week to get blood drawn because lately I am either dying or it’s more menopause symptoms.
      I know that menopause can cause us to lose energy, feel lethargic etc but lately its been really bad.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting and feel free to vent anytime or ask questions – I may have answers and if not I will try to get them for us.

      I will be writing about my current issues once I have some answers.

  17. Peri M. Pause
    May 15, 2018 / 1:05 am

    Thanks for replying to my comment! I am wondering if you (or anyone following this thread), has tried Black Cohosh? I found some in my cupboard, apparently I thought of this before, but it was fate that I found it last night while looking for something else. It has hundreds of years of tradition behind it, but I read recent studies that show it to be ineffective. But I don’t think it would’ve been used for that long for no reason. So I’m trying it!
    I’d love to hear any personal experiences with Black Cohosh for perimenopause.
    Thanks!

    • May 15, 2018 / 10:24 pm

      You are so welcome Peri.
      I have heard of Black Cohosh twice before.
      Once when I was pregnant I was warned never to take it while pregnant as I guess it can cause miscarriage.
      I have also heard of it for menopause symptoms as well.
      I am totally into natural remedies and healing but I have never tried it myself.
      Granted we should always check with our doctor before starting anything new including natural remedies and even vitamins because they can totally interact with other meds we may be taking or conditions we may have.
      However, I would love to know how it works for you if you do end up taking it!
      I think things work for some and not others so it is totally possible that what you have read is true both the pro side and con side.
      I hope it works wonders for you!!

  18. Clare
    June 12, 2018 / 1:40 am

    I started pre menopause at 36, don’t know why just unlucky I guess. I’m now 47 and have started getting oily hair. I always put it down to the fact I have hot flushes constantly and sweats. Especially in the heat of summer. I’m glad I’ve found this article. It helps alot

    • June 14, 2018 / 12:39 pm

      Clare I am like you. I started perimenopause very early myself. I am glad the article has helped some and it does go away eventually! At least we can be happy about that lol.

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