It turns out the declining estrogen levels that cause the skin to become drier during menopause can also do a number on the hair and scalp. This results in decreased hair density, increased hair shedding, and eventually scalp hair loss.
“Estrogen plays an important role in the hair growth cycle. During menopause, the number of follicles in the anagen, or ‘growth’ stage is reduced, resulting in thinner hair,” says Deb Millard, Stripes brand president. “It was important to us as a brand to address common and underserved concerns associated with menopause and, therefore, it was important we created a product to specifically address the hair and scalp.”
That product: Stripes The Root Of It–Ectoine Calming & Thickening Scalp Serum ($50), a science-backed solution designed to soothe and moisturize the scalp while also improving the thickness, density, and shine of mature hair.
The serum’s hero ingredient is ectoine, a natural compound that helps certain bacteria thrive in places like volcanoes or salty lake bottoms.
“These bacteria are found in some of the most extreme conditions, and can survive in these dry, harsh environmental conditions because of ectoine,” says Millard. When taken out of nature and put into a bottle, ectoine can do some pretty amazing things: balance hair hydration levels, support protein function, improve the scalp’s moisture barrier function, and help protect against environmental stressors.
Also on the product’s all-natural ingredients list is a plant-based trio of soybean, wheat, and baikal skullcap root extracts. These actives work together to improve the appearance of hair density, and the overall health and condition of hair follicles. Finally, there’s squalene and hemi-squalane, emollients that improve moisture and hydration, and Indian gooseberry to increase follicle strength and shine, rebalance the scalp, and prevent premature greying.
The Root Of It comes in a recyclable glass bottle with a dropper for application. The serum can be massaged into the scalp 15 minutes before washing or left in overnight. I’ve just started using it and I can say it smells absolutely divine, leaves my scalp feeling tingly (in a good way), and makes my hair look healthy and full after every use. I was skeptical about leaving it on overnight because my roots are prone to oiliness, but after sleeping with the serum on, my hair not only wasn’t greasy in the morning, it looked shiny and had plenty of body.
I love that Stripes is all about creating a sense of community and celebrating life at midlife—and seeing a marquee name like Naomi Watts shining a spotlight on menopause gets a standing ovation in my book.