Hair Changes at Midlife - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish -Fashion Over 50
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Hair Changes at Midlife

Happy Friday friends!

Boy do I wish I had more pictures that i could share with you of my hair back in the ’80s. Yes, i was into heavy metal, I played a Stratocaster guitar, and I had BIG HAIR! I know there was never a back yard bonfire, so they have to be somewhere at my mom’s house. I do remember when I was of drinking age, having a can of “Coors light” on my leg, my red electric guitar making it’s debut, me all in black and a head of big curled hair in the picture. I was cool. ( or at least i thought that at the time). Remember Aqua-Net? I think I owned stock in the company!

( not the best photo, but look at that perm!)

Anyhow, let’s fast forward those days ( but i do have many a hair stories for the future…) and talk about hair at Midlife and beyond. I am almost 50, and i think it has been the last 3 years or so where I notice a difference in my hair. The color. The texture. The amount. I used to go to a salon Bella Lago Salon and Spa, where i met my current stylist, who knew about my condition and was so lovely to work with. While my hair processed, she would lead me into another room ( the eyebrow room) where I could lay down for the amount of time needed. My condition was worse when i began seeing her about 6 yrs ago. Then, however, i noticed my hair was a bit thicker and would grow faster. My hair had some shine and looked healthy.

( This was just last year but i used hot rollers. I need to use them more!)

Here are some things i have noticed just in the past 3 years, that my stylist will attest to;

  1. The grays are really coming in. Most are at the hairline at the sides and also at the top of my head. i have not only gray but white hair. Sometimes I really do wish I could just go gray, but my skin tone being fair, to me, would just make me look drawn or significantly older. I do have them covered with INOA, which is a No Ammonia product.
  1. Texture My sister and I went to lunch the other day and I asked her if the texture of her hair has changed. She is 43. She agreed when I said my hair has been more course over the last 3 yrs or so. My stylist recommended an oil- Kerestase and i really love it. It is going to take some time to condition properly, but when I take a bath at 5 am, I use the oils on my ends and a bit through the hair. I wrap it in a hair  turban, ( forget about the sexy look!) and go back to bed. When I wake, I rinse my hair with cooler water. This has helped the coarseness and dryness some and I think improve over time.  I also need to get my hair trimmed more often. The texture is the result of some things i will discuss further.

  2. Growth- My hair used to grow pretty fast, but now I think it has slowed down. My hair has always been more fine, I suppose i didn’t think of it that way when i was younger, as not only did I have BIG hair in the 80s, but i got perms! Oh, yes, remember perms! Now, my hair is fine and i also notice my eyebrows not growing.

Hair Changes after Menopause

My situation is a bit complicated. I had to go on BC pills to stop my period, in order to avoid having my pelvis dislocate. With EDS, i have hypermobility, which causes laxity to ligaments and tendons. That in turn would dislocate my pelvis (causing the glutes and lower leg muscles to tighten and cause pain). Since i couldn’t have that, I went on a Low-dose bc called lo-Loestrin. it is low in estrogen, but I haven’t had this dislocation since being on it. I don’t know for certain if i am in Menopause, but mom was 47 and the average is 51. I can’t find out for certain unless I go off the pills, and at the present, it isn’t worth it due to the repercussions of my illness.

  • Low Estrogen levels- which i have can cause enough unpleasant symptoms, but in regard to hair, this can cause a thinning of hair or a change in texture that is noticable. Women can also get thin, fine hair on the face and chin. I use hot rollers to add volume or more fullness to my hair. To combat the dryness, I let my hair mostly air dry and then spend less time with a dryer. I have also read that a blunt cut or even cut will make hair appear thinner. I have thought about an assymetrical bob at some point.
  • Medication– I take various medication for my EDS. Medication can certainly change hair’s texture. When i first saw my stylist, I was not taking all i am now.
  • Nutrition– I enjoy a variety of foods, but do not eat red meat or lamb. I eat mostly chicken and fish, lots of fruits and veggies, dairy..grains, I feel once you eat healthy, you crave healtier foods. Because of my illness, I get my blood checked once a year. Low iron levels can cause hair texture to change as well as other deficiencies.

Tell me in the comment section; Have you noticed a change in your hair at midlife? After Menopause? What did you do to change it, if anything/


Jess xo

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  • Laura || Walking in Memphis in High Heels
    Posted at 07:49h, 09 November Reply

    I love your gorgeous hair color! I feel like my hair hasn’t changed too much but it has changed with how fast it grows! I never realized that until now.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:34h, 09 November Reply

      Laura, you have such gorgeous hair, i love your thick long hair.x

  • Roxanne Birnbaum
    Posted at 09:33h, 03 October Reply

    You have beautiful hair! I have always admired it.

    This is such an interesting topic so I’m glad you brought it up! Hair is as personal as any self-care topic! Even though I’m 29, I still find that my hair has changed in texture, growth, and color as I am nearing my 30s. Where I used to never touch it and it looked incredible, those days are over! I have to apply a deep conditioning mask once a week so it doesn’t break off and die, haha!

  • Charlotte Issyvoo
    Posted at 18:00h, 27 September Reply

    Wow! You and I have a lot in common. My hair was really big in the 80s but it’s still really big because it’s naturally curly. I have noticed the curls have become uneven though, straightening out around my ears, so I’ve been keeping it shorter, in a bob, so I don’t look like I have a mullet. Ick! My hair was extremely thick in my youth, so much so that I’d break brushes and barrettes. I noticed it starting to get thinner in my mid-30s, but I’ve still got masses of it, like you do. (Like the others, I think your hair is always beautiful.) Happily, I seem to have less body hair as I age too. It’s a good trade-off. I still have very few greys so I don’t dye my hair yet; since I’m older now and going grey so slowly, by the time the grey becomes noticeable, I may opt not to dye it at all. I’m very pale like you are though so we’ll see.

    I have a severe lower back pain condition and endometriosis so, like you, I’m on constant birth control pills to stop my period and reduce my pain. Like you, then, I don’t know if I’m in menopause yet, though a recent visit to specialist proved that I’m close. (She said I have very few eggs left. Yay!) She said that even when you’re on the pill, a hormone test can indicate if you’re likely in menopause. I’m nearly 47 so I’m going to get that test. I’m on so many medications, I’d love to be able to get rid of one of them.

  • Rebecca
    Posted at 16:33h, 25 September Reply

    I think your beautiful red hair is stunning on you. I have always had very thin hair with a slight curl and find the coloring process (a rich brown) enhances the quality and fullness of my hair. I am not a fan of grey hair for me so I never consider going in that direction.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:07h, 26 September Reply

      Thank you Rebecca. I also find that when i get my hair done, that it is much better conditioned. grey doesn’t work for everyone! i appreciate your comment. xx

  • Miss Cellany
    Posted at 14:36h, 25 September Reply

    First thing to say is that your hair, and you, look fabulous. I’m in my mid-seventies and my hair was already mostly grey by my mid-forties. For a while I had highlights to balance the darker area at the back of the head with the front. Then I did nothing! I think that because my hair has received no harsh treatment, no harmful chemicals it maintains a good thickness and a healthy sheen. It is also far kinder to my skin tone. I’ve got friends who wouldn’t dream of going grey but I’m happy with my decision. (And I do get compliments from strangers!)

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 15:37h, 25 September Reply

      Thank you for your input! That sounds wonderful. I would certainly go grey if my skin tone looked good with it. Having your hair not processed sounds like it worked well in your favor with thick hair and shine. sounds like the right decision for you! I have noticed a change in coarseness and am adding some oils to my hair for more shine. i appreciate you stopping by! xx

  • Laurie
    Posted at 15:31h, 24 September Reply

    Yes, you need to use those heated curlers more Jess! I love your hair curly, but it’s beautiful however you wear it. Your trademark my friend xx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:59h, 25 September Reply

      Yes! I have been experimenting a bit and do like how the hot rollers look. Thanks for your input Laurie! xx

  • jacqui
    Posted at 15:17h, 24 September Reply

    Thank you for sharing this Jess, such a lot to contend with. I think your hair looks stunning, I’ve always wanted curly hair, but mine is dead straight! Hope you’re having a good weekend. x Jacqui

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:58h, 25 September Reply

      Thank you Jacqui~ My hair has some wave to it, but I can’t let it all air dry as it would look funky. I love your straight hair! xx

  • Elle
    Posted at 22:38h, 23 September Reply

    Your hair Jess is literally your crowning feature on your beautiful face! It looks healthy and thick even if it is because of hot rollers. I do agree and also have issues with my hair from being post menopausal and taking methotrexate, a mild chemotherapeutic drug. I am lucky to have so much fine hair, as the drugs have thinned it.
    You looked so fabulous with that perm , now go find more photos of you ! Loved this, you red haired beauty!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:51h, 24 September Reply

      Aww thanks Elle, I laugh when i see some of those pics with me and perms! I understand about meds changing the texture. YOur hair is lovely too, I wouldn’t know it was fine. I am similar, fine hair just lots of it. Enjoy your day! xx

  • Amy Christensen
    Posted at 13:47h, 23 September Reply

    Hair changes, yes! I was on the pill for years after I had my youngest daughter because my hubby didn’t want more children, but in my heart of hearts I did. Eventually, he got “fixed” and I went off the pill. I had a very smooth ride with menopause because I had been on the pill for so long. My hair is definitely course and the front on the sides is all gray, but the back still has a lot of color. My current stylist is trying to ease me into gray, by going lighter with hi-lights. I’m like you, in that I try not to dry my hair to often and I do use products like Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum which helps keep the frizzies at bay. I also have my stylist do a glazing treatment which helps seal the follicles to keep the hair shiny. I think you have gorgeous hair. It certainly helps to have a stylist that is willing to work with you. Have a great weekend. – AMy

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:49h, 24 September Reply

      Thanks for adding your experience Amy! i think hi-lights would work well as you ease into grey like you mentioned. Sounds like you have a good procedure for keeping your hair healthier. xx

  • Tsukiakari
    Posted at 11:03h, 23 September Reply

    Amazing post!
    Can you follow me? I follow you. 😉

    Have a lovely weekend!
    Tsukiakari from

  • Debra Barretta
    Posted at 10:00h, 23 September Reply

    Hey Jess, I totally agree. My hair has changed since chemo (it actually became darker which is not flattering with my skin tone. Yuck!). And menopause has changed it as well. I swear it is thinner not to mention more sparkles. (Don’t you just love those sneaky greys?!). Anyway, I think your hair ALWAYS looks beautiful doll. 💋


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:14h, 23 September Reply

      Hi Debbie! i am sorry to hear about your sickness. Are you in remission? Yes, “sparkles” is a good description! They do. I appreciate it Deb you too, and I hope you feel well. xx

  • suzannecarillo
    Posted at 15:23h, 22 September Reply

    My hair has always been very thin, fine and dead straight. It hasn’t changed much but I did have one of those spiral perms for ages in the 80s/90s and I actually love my hair when it is curly. They were far too damaging to continue though.

    Your hair has always been your defining feature to me. It is so incredibly gorgeous and the fact that it is your natural colour makes me green. I have to get my dyed every 4 weeks.

    My hair is blond and I have to have my brows dyed along with my hair otherwise they are invisible.

    Like you I have some illnesses that affect my body and I am currently still taking the pill even though I am 51. I cringe to think of what will happen when I am forced off of it as it. I know that the time is coming in the next four years though.

    I also have white hairs. Everyone in my family turns white and not grey. I have the same fair skin tone as you and even just thinking of going back to my natural blond washes me out compared to my darker red.

    I sometimes wonder if my hair colour is holding back my blog and IG. I wonder if people my age relate to me. So many of the bloggers that have chosen to go grey or white seem to have greater success because they visually represent their demographic in an obvious way.

    Interesting topic Jess!


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:10h, 23 September Reply

      Thank you Suzanne for adding to the discussion! oh, I know about damaging the hair, I had a lot of perms back in the day, and then I did dye it blonde.. it was like straw from all of the processing. i do think the pill has been my saving grace, even though i still have low estrogen levels, in that it has helped with alot of my muscular pain symptoms and good to hear it has helped you as well. Yeah, I can see how since we both have fair skin that grey or white would look washed out. i think you write quite well and are relateable! Glad you enjoyed it! xx

  • Jodie
    Posted at 09:24h, 22 September Reply

    I remember the Aqua Net days too, Jess! And I had to use a ton of it, because my hair has always been thin!!
    Love these old photos!! And have a great weekend!!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:19h, 22 September Reply

      I know about Aqua net, omg, i think the bathroom would smell like hairspray for a day! xx

  • Debbie Hull
    Posted at 08:48h, 22 September Reply

    Hi Jess ! I will be 62 in november. I never had thick hair but it has really thinned on top. You have beautiful hair. Our hair and everything else changes with age. You’re so pretty and I am sorry you’re having health issues. You always dress so nicely . I love your outfits and handbags ! Tre’ Chic ! Have a great weekend !

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:22h, 22 September Reply

      Hi Debbie! Thank you. So true, about hair and things changing. All of those other factors do come into play. I appreciate the well wishes on my health. Just something i deal with day to day. Enjoy your weekend as well! xx

  • Emma Peach
    Posted at 04:43h, 22 September Reply

    I had big, permed hair in the 80s too! I got through so much hair spray! I’ve noticed white hairs appearing on the hairline around my ears, more one side than the other. I usually dye it myself, but every so often I have my stylist do it. You have beautiful hair, it always looks lovely.

    Emma xxx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:23h, 22 September Reply

      Yes, the same for me Emma, white hairs along the sides. You do a fantastic job of dyeing your hair! Thank you! xx

  • Nancy
    Posted at 02:39h, 22 September Reply

    I had the same hair as you! I have always had very dry hair and nothing changed for me now I am in menopause. I do have all the other things that comes with menopause though!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:18h, 22 September Reply

      Hi Nancy! yes, big hair and perms were the thing! i know it is the pits sometimes! xx

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