How Hormones Affect Your Hair
Hormones are the biggest reason for your pregnancy hair changes and postpartum hair loss.
During pregnancy, your high levels of estrogen prevented your usual rate of hair loss. Normally, your hair falls out in small amounts every day. During pregnancy, your hair loss decreases. The effect is compounded by your increased blood volume and circulation, which also causes your hair to fall out less than normal.
So after your baby arrives and your hormone levels drop, your hair makes up for lost time by falling out in much bigger clumps than it normally does. The total volume of your hair loss probably isnt more than you would have lost over the last nine months, it just seems like it because its happening all at once.
Postpartum hair loss can set in any day after your baby arrives, and it sometimes continues as long as a year. It usually peaks around the 4-month mark, so if your baby is a few months old and youre still losing clumps of hair, that doesnt mean its time to panic!
How To Treatment For Postpartum Hair Loss
Moms often wonder how to prevent postpartum hair loss, but the truth is you cant do anything to stop it from happening to you. All you can do is try some treatment to help reduce and treat the problems.
Its normal for your hair to get thinner after pregnancy. Remember the hormones stopped hair loss, so you had thick, shiny hair from the prenatal vitamins. If its not bugging you, you dont have to worry about trying to treat it. If it does bother you, here are some things to do to treat postpartum hair loss and make your hair appear fuller.
Postpartum Hair Loss: The Ultimate Treatment Guide
Nearly 40-50% of all women will suffer from postpartum hair loss after delivering a child according to the American Pregnancy Association.
We understand that motherhood is a blessing, and the feeling of raising another human being is nothing short of amazing. Yet, being a mom can be a hardship too. It comes with many changes to the female body, and not all of those are appearance transformations.
Your body typically does not remain the same after pregnancy, but that is somehow manageable, and most women have a plan for it. The one thing that the majority ignore is postpartum hair loss. The only good news is that it is not permanent and can be prevented/treated.
So, we are here to talk about things you can do to prevent it or treat it. Now, before we talk about the possible treatments and prevention, lets talk about the core causes and reasons for postpartum hair loss.
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How To Stop Postpartum Hair Loss
Because postpartum hair loss is a normal result of your changing hormones, it is not something that you can immediately stop. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the effects of postpartum hair loss and help promote healthy hair growth.
Here are six things you can try for postpartum hair loss treatment:
What Every Woman Should Know About Postpartum Hair Loss
Your body goes through a lot of changes during and after pregnancy. You expect the growing belly and weird cravings, but there are many things you may not expect, like hair loss.
Postpartum hair loss doesnt happen to every new mom, but it is pretty common. If you experience it yourself, it can be quite alarming when you see strands coming out in chunks or clumps of it collecting on your hair brush. Dont worry its not nearly as bad as it may seem.
Postpartum hair loss isnt really permanent hair loss. Dermatologists refer to it as excessive shedding, or Telogen Effluvium. Just how some women experience thicker and fuller hair during pregnancy from increased hormones, some can experience shedding and thinning as those same hormone levels drop after the baby arrives.
Its normal to have questions about unexpected and startling changes in your body. Dr. Dy has the answers to some of the most common questions women have about experiencing postpartum hair loss.
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Excessive Hair Loss After Pregnancy
Typically, postpartum alopecia isnt serious enough to lead to permanent hair loss or cause bald spots. If you do feel like youre having an unusual amount of hair loss, it might be due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
For example, pregnancy can alter your ferritin levels, which is a blood cell protein that helps your body store iron. That can lead to your thyroid going a bit crazy. You can have blood tests to see whats happening.
Pregnant and postpartum women are more likely to have issues, such as:
- Vitamin and Nutrient Deficiencies: Your body needs vitamins to keep your hair healthy. Without the right minerals and vitamins in your body, your hair can become brittle and thin.
- Postpartum Anemia: If you dont have enough iron in your blood, you can develop postpartum anemia caused by a poor diet or excessive blood loss during labor and delivery. Iron-deficient anemia can definitely cause hair loss.
- Postpartum Thyroiditis: This disease happens when your thyroid is inflamed after giving birth, which causes a hormonal imbalance and leads to problems. The problems include fatigue and weakness, and it also can cause excessive hair loss.
What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss
Normally, 90 percent of your hair is in the growth cycle. During pregnancy, however, increased estrogen levels stimulate the percentage of your hairs that are in that growth cycle. Your estrogen levels also freeze the hairs that are in in the resting cycle this is when you will notice thicker, fuller hair because it is staying put on your scalp. After giving birth, your estrogen levels drop, and all the hair that was growing and resting on your scalp begins to fall out this is when you will notice increased shedding and thinning hair.
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How Much Hair Loss Is To Be Expected Per Day After The Delivery
We as humans lose about 50 to 100 hair strands every day. This is considered to be completely normal and natural. However, after the delivery, there will be an increased amount of hair strands falling out per day.
The experts point out that it is not possible to say the exact amount of hair fall per day. But it can be in the range of 150 and can go up to like 300 hair strands per day, in a worst case scenario.
As a result of excess hair falling, the scalp may become visible to the outside in certain parts of the head. The scalp may become visible in the crown area and on top of the head just above the forehead.
Dermatologists Tips For New Mothers
If the excessive hair shedding bothers you, these tips from dermatologists can help until your hair regains its normal fullness.
Use shampoo and conditioner that add volume. Heres what dermatologists recommend using and avoiding:
Use a volumizing shampoo. These shampoos tend to contain ingredients like protein that coat the hair, making the hair appear fuller.
Avoid any shampoo labeled conditioning shampoo. These contain heavy conditioners that can weigh down the hair and make it look limp.
Use a conditioner formulated for fine hair. These contain lighter formulas that will not weigh down hair.
Use conditioner primarily on the ends of your hair. Applying conditioner to your scalp and all of your hair tends to weigh down hair.
Avoid conditioners labeled intensive conditioners. These are too heavy.
Finding the best shampoo and conditioner for thin hair is really a matter of trial and error. There is no single ingredient that makes a volumizing shampoo or conditioner for fine hair better than the rest.
Try a new hairstyle. Some haircuts make hair look fuller. An experienced stylist can tell you what will work for you.
Many new mothers prefer short hair. A short style can make hair look fuller. Short hair also can be easier to manage, which can save time. With a baby, anything that saves time can be a real boon.
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Invest In A Supplement
Nutrafol Postpartum is formulated with a proprietary Synergen Recovery ComplexÂ®âan innovative blend of clinically effective ingredients like Shatavari, Omega 3s, and Apple Extract to support hair health after childbirth. Developed with an OBGYN, the whole-food sourced ingredients in this daily supplement target common root causes of thinning hair during the postpartum transition, like nutritional gaps, physical stress from childbirth, and the emotional stress of a new routine, to support healthier hair growth. Unlike many options on the market, Nutrafol Postpartum is breastfeeding-friendly, compatible with prenatal and multivitamins, and can be taken immediately after birth.
If you gave birth in the past year or are currently breastfeeding and are in the process of growing your hair back, Nutrafol Postpartum may be a great addition to help your hair remain healthy and strong as it begins to naturally grow again.
Sign up for the Nutrafol Newsletter
Being Honest About Hair Loss Can Help
Postpartum shedding is a normal and expected process, Donovon said. Shedding should return to pre-pregnancy rates by the time a woman’s baby turns one, he added. If it doesn’t, a woman should see a dermatologist, he said.
In the meantime, it can help to talk openly about your hair loss with loved ones and close friends, Donovan said.
“With so much focus on the new baby, there is often little attention given to the concerns of the new mom. Talking with others, especially other mothers who experienced hair loss, can be helpful,” he said.
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Dont Worryit Wont All Fall Out
Postpartum hair loss is a temporary thing! While everyones postpartum hormonal shift acts differently, its very unlikely that youre going from full volume to comb over after pregnancy. If your hair is feeling especially thin, theres no need to worry. The time it takes to get back to your pre-pregnancy hair can vary from woman to womanfor some, its three months, and for others, its a year.
While you probably cant stop hair loss altogether, there are ways you can control it. For starters, proper nutrition is essential to managing your postpartum hair loss. Getting all the vitamins and minerals you need will help keep your hair strong, healthy, and intact. Pregnancy is not the time to skimp on your protein or iron.
If your shedding genuinely seems out of the ordinary, you can always ask your doctor to air on the side of caution.
Postpartum Hair Loss Causes
During pregnancy, raised oestrogen levels help to keep hairs in their anagen phase for longer than usual, advises Anabel. This usually means less hair is shed, particularly towards the end of your 2nd Trimester. Hair also tends to feel healthier and shinier around this time.
After giving birth, these levels drop, returning to normal, which can cause all the extra hairs retained during pregnancy to shed in a short period of time, Anabel continues.
However, its not always as simple or clear cut as hormonal changes. The most important thing to realise with any hair shedding is that hair is not essential to physical survival so our body views it as a dispensable tissue. Hair is therefore super sensitive to our general state of health and when anything is amiss internally, or our nutrition is sub-optimal, our hair is often the first thing to suffer. Because of this, its really common for hair loss to be more severe, or to continue for longer than it should, due to other factors that commonly happen postpartum.
Iron deficiency, thyroid imbalances, breastfeeding, lack of sleep and a poor diet can all contribute to the quality of our hair. And all of these are common with new mothers.
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Consider Supplementing With Serums
Before you start stressing and it’s definitely best to keep stress at bay when prepping for a baby stop, pause and think about going the natural remedy route.
Dont panic. Often the hair loss is simply part of the cycle that may be accelerated due to hormonal fluctuations that occur during pregnancy,” said Gafni. “A lash serum can help, as will making sure youre getting all your adequate nutrition with a well-rounded diet, daily vitamins and essential nutrients.”
If you’re looking to elevate your natural lashes and brows with botanical extracts rather than chemical compounds, you’re in luck. Try vegaLASH Volumizing Serum to promote visibly fuller, thicker lashes. The lash enhancer is free from the things you’re trying to avoid while pregnant or caring for a newborn hormones, carcinogens or side effects and instead makes use of powerful plant actives. It’s also 100% vegan, cruelty-free, safe, effective and clinically shown to deliver visible results in as little as 30 days.
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Take Care Of Your Hair
When your follicles are in the telogen phase they are in their most fragile state and can be dislodged easily. To avoid premature shedding, be gentle with your hair when brushing, washing and drying, and avoid tight hair styles that place too much traction on the follicles. A silk pillowcase can also help to make sure your hair isn’t pulled out in your sleep. Being kind to your hair will ensure your telogen hairs stay in the scalp as long as possible.
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Beware Of A Hair Tourniquet
New mothers also should watch out for hair tourniquets. A hair tourniquet forms when a strand of hair falls out and wraps around a babys toe, finger, or other body part. A single strand can wrap so tightly that it cuts off circulation or causes an infection.
Dont panic. The likelihood of your baby getting a hair tourniquet is very rare. Knowing what to do, however, can be helpful.
If you see a shed hair wrapped around your baby finger, toe, or other body part, you must remove it. Here what you should do:
Look for a loose end and gently unwind the hair.
Sometimes you will not see a loose end, so youll need something to gently cut the hair, such as a small knife or scissors.
If you cannot remove the hair because it is wound too tightly or enmeshed in your babys skin, you need to get medical help. Call your babys doctor or take your baby to the emergency room. Sometimes a doctor has to remove a hair tourniquet.
Postpartum Hair Loss Treatment Continued
Laser caps can be an effective solution for a postpartum hair loss treatment. These caps are hands-free, portable and contain a built in self-timer. This makes them extremely convenient and easy to use while trying to adjust to life as a new mom.
You can complete the treatment in the comfort of your own home, without having to carve out time in your busy day to visit a clinic. The hands-free design and built in self-timer allows you to be doing other activities at the same time you are undergoing your treatment. For a busy new mom, this is an ideal hair growth method to help you combat your postpartum hair loss.
Also, keep in mind that laser caps can be used after the postpartum period. These FDA-cleared devices are also intended to strengthen and thicken existing follicles on the scalp. Therefore, you can continue to improve the overall health of your hair even after you see new hair growth in areas that were shedding in the postpartum period.
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