Many moms experience post-partum hair loss a few months after pregnancy. You see it everywhere – hair on your pillow; hair clogging the drain; way too much hair that’s stuck to your hairbrush.
It makes many new moms worry. Many ask how serious it really is – and they wonder whether it can cause permanent baldness.
Here’s the good news: post-pregnancy hair loss is normal. Post-pregnancy hair loss, also known as postpartum alopecia, affects up to 90% of all pregnant women. It can cause women to lose up to 400 hair strands a day. It’s a far cry from the normal amount of hairfall, which ranges between 80-100 strands a day.
But like we said, it’s only a temporary condition. Hair goes back to normal after a few months, you’ll see! We’ll explain why it happens and what you can do to manage it.
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What is Post-Partum Hair Loss and Why Does it Happen?
A woman’s body undergoes many changes during pregnancy. Your hormones are the culprit: pregnancy causes a surge in estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin and prolactin levels. These hormones are meant to help transfer nutrients and support the growth of the baby. High levels of estrogen also give mothers-to-be their pregnancy glow and help hair grow longer, thicker, and shinier than usual.
Once your baby is born, hormone levels drop dramatically, causing a disruption in the hair’s normal growth cycle, and pushing your lustrous pregnancy hair abruptly into the telogen (or resting) phase, which leads to accelerated hair fall.
This change in your metabolism is what causes major hair fall after pregnancy. It’s your hair making up for lost time; you may experience nine months’ worth of hair loss in only three to four months. Post-partum hair loss usually happens three to four months after childbirth, though some women experience up to 12 months after giving birth – and not with all pregnancies.
After a period of heavy hair fall, hair follicles that are “resting” in the telogen phase for about three months begin regenerating hair and restart the hair growth cycle.
That’s when your hair will be okay again. It’s normal to see hair restored to its normal state about six to 12 months after you’ve delivered your baby.
Mom Tips for Managing Hair Loss
So what can one do about it? It isn’t easy to manage in the first months of motherhood, especially when you’re breastfeeding and caring for a baby and not getting enough sleep.
One of the biggest misconceptions about postpartum alopecia is that shampooing hair causes it or aggravates it – when in fact, you could be using a natural shampoo that’s great for managing hair loss.
Hair, just like skin and the rest of our body, is restored to its healthiest state when you take care of yourself. Here are some tips we’d like to share.
Supplement your diet with iron, zinc, and Vitamin D. Women who have been pregnant need more iron than non-pregnant women. Iron deficiency can decrease the amount of oxygen being transported around the body and slowing down cell growth and regeneration, which in turn fails to stimulate hair follicle growth. Zinc and Vitamin D also help against hair fall.
Reduce stress. Stress is never good for anyone – not for working moms, stay at home moms, or brand-new moms! Try your best to get a few minutes of “me time” to do some exercise, quiet meditation, or listen to relaxing music on Spotify. Make the effort small but regular, so you can keep at it and not feel guilty about spending too much time on yourself.
- Eat plenty of food rich in lean protein, omega fats, flavonoids, and antioxidants. Women coming out of pregnancy must treat themselves to a healthy nutritious diet that includes lean protein from fish and chicken; vegetables like sweet potatoes, bell pepper spinach, beans, and avocado; nuts and seeds (like chia or flaxseed); and super antioxidants fruit like strawberries.
- Be kind to your hair. Avoid chemical treatments like heavy hair dyes, rebonding, or any other hair relaxing treatments. Also avoid pulling your hair into ponytail hairstyles, or tying hair too tightly into with hair elastics, which cause great stress to hair strands, even at the roots. Don’t brush too hard; use wide-toothed combs to arrange and detangle hair without pulling it.
Remind yourself that hair loss after pregnancy is normal, and don’t let it distress you! Keep yourself strong and healthy and take care of hair with a natural shampoo for hair loss.