Treatments For Postpartum Hair Loss And Why It Happens
After the whirlwind journey that is pregnancy and caring for a newborn, postpartum hair loss is a motherhood rite of passage every woman would rather avoid.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the cause of this phenomenon is falling estrogen levels after labor. These levels are what kept your hair so shiny and full while your little one was still in utero.
Also known as postpartum alopecia and telogen effluvium, it causes the hair to shed faster than it can grow back, causing some women to have receding hairlines or even bald spots that can lead to feelings of low self-confidence and insecurity.
Regardless of how severe your hair loss is, rest assured that your hair will grow back and this change is only temporary.
While you wait for it to grow back, try one of the tips for treating postpartum hair loss listed below!
Also Check: Can Thin Hair Become Thick Again
Postpartum Hair Loss Oils
Have you ever heard of neem oil? Itâs a safe organic and biodegradable oil that is said to help stimulate hair follicle growth. Plenty of Amazon reviewers have had success with this particular neem oil, stating âI left it on for an hour then continued with my normal routine of shampoo and conditioner. No other product, prescription, otc, natural or otherwise, has left my scalp feeling this refreshed and scab-free after the first use. I will continue to use on a weekly basis.â One con? It does have a particular smell to it, but plenty of customers have found workarounds, like including peppermint in the mix. Since plenty of people have found success, itâs a mere small price to pay. As a bonus, it can also help control acne breakouts.
What Causes Hair Loss After Baby
The body experiences soaring estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy, says Salinger, which causes hair to remain in an ongoing stage of growth, creating thicker, more lustrous strands. Then your hormones level out in the months following childbirth. Hair remains in this resting stage for approximately three months before it falls out and new growth shows itself, says Salinger. Typically the regrowth is in the form of baby bangs appearing along the hairline.
Don’t Miss: Does Letrozole Cause Hair Loss
Is There Anything I Can Do To Reduce The Severity Of The Process Does Nutrition Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss
Unfortunately, there doesnt seem to be anything promising that can outright stop the process of postpartum hair loss. As explained above, this hair loss is the result of normal hormonal changes. Although currently used to treat postpartum alopecia, thyroid supplementation , topical steroid locations, oral contraceptives, and special shampoos have not been proven overall to be effective in reducing postpartum alopecia.
Human studies are lacking on nutrition interventions to treat postpartum hair loss, but research on sheep has found more severe postpartum hair loss in sheep with higher levels of prolactin, cortisol, and lower levels of zinc, copper, and calcium. Whether the same holds true for humans has yet to be studied, but it points out the interplay of hormones, stress, and nutrition on postpartum hair loss.
You can certainly give your hair its best shot by ensuring you are eating a well-rounded, balanced diet and keeping mineral stores up.
Your hair is primarily made up of keratin, a tough protein and so a lack of protein along with essential fatty acids, minerals , vitamin A, C, D and E, B vitamins, and biotin can impact hair growth and loss. Eating a variety of meats, eggs, fish and other seafood , dairy nuts and seeds, vegetables , legumes, and berries can help ensure your hair is getting the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy.
Try A New Cut And Color
First and foremost, visit a stylist for professional advice, says Scuoppo. They may recommend a different hairstyle that incorporates those fine hairs in the front. If you previously had long hair, or a layered cut with pieces that came down to the chin in the front, you may need to shorten it into long bangs that frame the face.
Celebrity stylist Oribe agrees that it’s a good idea to go shorter in the front. Sexy, short-in-the-middle, longer-at-the-sides bangs would look amazing, says Oribe. Layering your hair all over will also give you more fullness.
Coloring your hair can also give it body, says Scuoppo. If you feel that your hairline is receding and you have dark hair, highlighting the front acts as a camouflage. Or try glossing, a treatment that gives hair all-over shine.
Also Check: Do Birth Control Pills Cause Hair Loss
How Your Hormones Change During Pregnancy And Postpartum
During pregnancy, your hormones change dramatically.
One of the first to spike is human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. Thats the hormone your pregnancy test measured and its rising levels indicated that you were pregnant. Pregnancy also causes several other hormone levels to rise, including estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and prolactin. Your blood volume also rose during pregnancy, to as much as 50 percent greater volume than normal by your due date.
Immediately after your baby is born, several of your hormone levels drop quickly, including estrogen and progesterone. Those hormones will be almost back to normal levels within 24 hours after birth, although prolactin will stay high as long as youre breast-feeding.
Your blood volume also decreases, but its drop is more gradual. It gets back to normal a few weeks after your baby arrives.
Can Postpartum Hair Loss Be Prevented
There isnt anything that can necessarily stop your hair from shedding, but there are things you can do to help combat it. There are treatments you can do with the help of your dermatologist, and there are things you can add into your daily routine to help your hair look and feel fuller.
- Your dermatologist can perform a variety of diagnostic tests that can be used to confirm the diagnosis to render the right therapy to stop hair shedding. One of the treatments includes replenishing the iron in your body, or taking specific hair vitamins that are well studied and proven to prevent or treat Telogen Effluvium.
- Maintain a healthy and active lifestyle: exercising, eating well and taking care of your body are essential in hair health.
- Its easier said than done, but try and keep your stress levels low. Stress can contribute to hair thinning and shedding.
- Use therapeutic shampoos containing growth factor peptides to regrow hair, or volumizing shampoo to coat the hair and make it appear fuller and thicker. Also, use therapeutic conditioners: not only do they add moisture to your hair strands, but they add elasticity and repair the cuticles of the hair shafts. Lastly, condition only your ends so the conditioner doesnt weigh down the hairs on your scalp.
- Maintain a clean and healthy scalp by using therapeutic scalp sprays and anti-fungal shampoos to remove scales from the scalp this allows the hairs to grow in.
ph. 832-1185fax: 730-3617
Also Check: Does Low Thyroid Cause Hair Loss
Hormones Are To Blame
When youre pregnant, your body begins to produce higher levels of certain hormones.
Among the hormones that see a spike are estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and prolactin. One of the first hormones to begin to rise is human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG.
For parents who have long been hoping to see those pink lines on a pregnancy test, that spike in hCG levels will be very welcome. After all, pregnancy tests are designed to test for raised hCG levels, indicating that a woman is expecting.
These and other hormones, as well as an increase in your blood volume, help your baby grow and develop.
But immediately after your baby is born, you no longer need those elevated hormones. Your body stops producing as much, and your levels drop. The levels of some of your hormones return to your pre-pregnancy normal in as little as 24 hours after your baby is born.
Some of your hormones, including prolactin, remain elevated while youre breastfeeding, then drop.
Maintaining A Healthy Diet
Nutrition is an important part of postpartum recovery. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins helps ensure the body is getting the nutrients it needs to function and promote healing.
The Trichological Society recommends the following foods for hair growth:
- fish, including salmon and mackerel
- dark, leafy greens, including spinach, Swiss chard, and broccoli
- legumes, such as kidney beans and lentils
- nuts, such as Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts, and cashews
Also Check: How To Treat My Hair Loss
Hair Supplements And Postpartum Hair Loss
Its best to get the nutrients you need for hair health by eating a balanced diet. You should speak to your doctor before taking any supplements during pregnancy or after the birth.
Certain vitamins are important for hair growth. If your hair loss is thought to be caused by something other than hormonal changes after pregnancy, your doctor may do blood tests for iron, B12 or folate, and suggest a supplement if your levels are low.
Some other vitamins, including zinc, biotin and selenium, have also been linked to hair loss, but theyre not usually tested for.
If you don’t think youre getting all the nutrients you need from your diet and youre not breastfeeding, you could consider taking a multivitamin that contains a balanced amount of these nutrients. If youre breastfeeding, you could try a supplement thats designed for breastfeeding mothers.
Unless recommended by your doctor, its best not to take a large amount of any 1 nutrient, as occasionally this can lead to you getting too much, which can be harmful.
How Long Does It Last
“The good news is that this kind of hair loss is reversibleit does grow back,” says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D. While the hair loss typically peaks around three to four months after giving birth, your growth cycle should level out on its own within six to 12 months.
If it’s been a full year and you haven’t seen any improvement, you might want to visit a derm or hair specialist to make sure there isn’t another underlying condition happening simultaneously, says Ziering.
Also Check: Why Does Men’s Hair Thin
Is Hair Loss A Sign Of Pregnancy
Hair loss is not typically an indication that a person is pregnant.
Although hair loss can occur during pregnancy, it typically results from a decrease in estrogen, which can happen:
- when a person stops taking their oral contraceptive pill
- due to a hormonal imbalance during pregnancy
- if a person has experienced a pregnancy loss or abortion
Signs of pregnancy
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.
Also Check: Does High Blood Pressure Cause Hair Loss
Does Every New Mom Experience Postpartum Hair Loss
No, but two and five months 40-50% of all new moms will experience some form of hair loss postpartum according to the American Pregnancy Association .
The severity of hair loss can vary and is influenced by a variety of factors including genetics, age, nutrient status, hormones, and pre-existing conditions. Most women who experience postpartum hair loss will notice thinning of their hair, especially around their temples, a few weeks to months postpartum.
Scary But Perfectly Normal
Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile
A video highlighting a lesser-known side-effect of pregnancy has gone viral – and it shows just how shocking postpartum hair loss can be.
Uploaded to Instagram by a Utah hairdresser, the video shows the stylist gently pulling on a clients hair – and removing clumps of hair at a time.
While some were stunned by the video, many mothers have taken to social media to share accounts of their own extreme postpartum hair loss.
Apparently, the extreme hair loss is actually completely normal.
One mum tweeted, Im sure the post-pregnancy hair loss will stop at some point, Im just becoming concerned that point is total baldness
Another mom tweeted that her postpartum hair loss is so bad, Im surprised I dont have bald spots!
Another mum tweeted, Post pregnancy hair loss is terrifying. How do I have any strands left? Baby #2 kicked my ass.
So why the excessive shedding?
Well, while many new mums are shocked when they shed more hair than usual in the first few months after giving birth, its perfectly normal.
And it looks like oestrogen is the culprit.
While the hormone is your friend during pregnancy – when your body is producing it like crazy – after you give birth, your oestrogen level plummets, and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage.
But the good news is, in addition to having a brand new baby, hair always grows back.
Also Check: Is Aloe Vera Good For Hair Loss
How To Cope With Postpartum Hair Loss
If you feel discouraged by hair loss, he says to keep in mind that this is a temporary phase. According to the doctor, most shedding will resolve about three months after it starts. Knowing when this shedding will likely subside can help prepare you mentally and emotionally for this change.
Remember, postpartum hair loss occurs because you have just given birth to a baby. Try to focus on the bigger picture and have a long-term view.
Don’t get down on yourself, says Pacheco. Your body just did a fantastic thing, and it took a lot of work. Postpartum hair loss happens to every new mom to varying degrees. My best advice is to focus on regrowth because once it starts to fall out, it needs to run its course.
Since this fallout has nothing to do with your hair health or hair shaft, it cannot be stopped once it starts. However, there are ways to mitigate the loss.
Stress hormones can also lead to hair loss, says Pacheco. So try not to panicthe follicles aren’t dying off into baldness they are just resetting and letting go of old growth. Your hair will come back. Often stronger and fuller than before, and maybe with a new texture or wave than you had before.