Keep Taking Your Prenatal Vitamins
Folate is a complex B vitamin that offers multiple health benefits, including protecting embryos in the first few months of pregnancy. Thats why taking a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, is so important.
Once youre given birth, though, dont ditch the vitamins just yet. Folic acid can be helpful in helping with further hair and nail growth, advises Dr. Newlin.
Change In Hormonal Levels
We can all agree that our hormones go crazy during pregnancy. The progesterone and estrogen levels fluctuation affects everything from your ligaments movement to your complexion.
Unfortunately, they don’t stop at that the hormonal levels also put your daily/usual hair loss on pause. This is why most pregnant women have thick and lustrous hair.
However once the baby is born, the hormones decide to catch up on the hair loss time they lost . As a result, it appears like youre losing a lot of hair, when in reality, its your hormones adjusting to their normalcy. And for that to happen, you need to lose all the hair you shouldve lost in the nine months.
Regardless, this doesnt make it easier for any mom, so its okay to feel frustrated.
Tips For Dealing With Postpartum Hair Loss
If you’re losing hair since giving birth, there are some things you can do about it:
- Get the right nutrients. Keep your hair healthy by eating well and continuing to take your prenatal vitamin supplement.
- Go easy on your hair. Be extra gentle to prevent excess hair loss after pregnancy. Shampoo only when necessary , and use a good conditioner and a wide-toothed comb to minimize tangling.
- Choose the right accessories. Use scrunchies or barrettes to put hair up instead of elastic bands and don’t pull hair into tight ponytails.
- Turn down the heat. Skip blow-dryers, curling and flat irons if you can.
- Take a break from chemically based treatments. Put off any highlights, perms and straightening sessions until the shedding stops.
- Talk to your practitioner if your hair loss is excessive. When it’s accompanied by other symptoms, hair loss after pregnancy could be a sign of postpartum thyroiditis.
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Your Questions About Sudden Hair Loss
To help with your day-to-day problems, we put our scientific expertise at your disposal.
No, it will not help, and we strongly advise against taking any preventive treatment because this type of hair loss is completely normal. It is a natural consequence of childbirth.
Many women find it very hard to cope with losing their hair because it symbolizes a loss of their femininity. While waiting for it to grow back, opt for a shorter haircut, as this always makes the sparser areas seem less obvious. In addition, an above-the-shoulder cut gives an impression of volume, which helps hide the hair loss even more. If you have any questions, speak to a hairdresser who will be able to help.
Postpartum hair loss usually begins around 3 months after giving birth, but this varies among women. However, if it happens much later, you could be suffering from gradual hair loss. Ask your doctor to find out the exact causes of your hair loss.
No, fine hair is not more prone to hair loss. It is true that fine hair is generally more fragile and therefore breaks more easily, but this is not hair loss.
Yes, that is absolutely correct. Massaging the scalp activates the local microcirculation and helps supply the nutrients needed for strong hair growth. Try COMPLEXE 5 Regenerating plant extract and give yourself a massage. It promotes well-being and relaxation and is a wonderful tonic and stimulant for the scalp.
EFFECTS OF LIFESTYLE
Why Postpartum Hair Loss Occurs
Most women notice their hair changing while theyre pregnantoftentimes hair will thicken up, become fuller, and maybe a little on the dryer side. After pregnancy, however, these same women might notice that their hair starts falling out in earnest.
The simple explanation is this: there are a lot of different hormone shifts happening while youre pregnant, one of them promoting hair growth. The hormones going on inside your pregnant body are actually preventing you from shedding. Everyone sheds every day, but that typically stops while youre pregnantsomething subtle that you might not notice. Instead, youll notice your hair getting thicker.
After pregnancy, your hormones return to their status quo, meaning theres a big drop in estrogen. This drop triggers your regular shedding schedulewhich you havent been on for months. So, your body starts shedding more than usual to get rid of all the excess hair. This event is called telogen effluvium and is usually triggered by a significant event like giving birth. It normally takes about three months of all that excess hair to shed out, which is why most women notice shedding around three months postpartum.
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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
Why Does Hair Fall Out After Giving Birth
Sudden hair loss is triggered by an imbalance.
Hormonal imbalanceDuring pregnancy, estrogen hormones increase drastically throughout the whole body. Hair becomes shinier, softer, thicker, and the scalp is drier. About three months after giving birth, estrogen levels plummet. This sudden decrease in hormones causes a massive and simultaneous loss of hair.
Extreme fatigue and stressThe fatigue and stress associated with caring for a newborn baby also disrupts the body’s natural rhythms. Hair becomes dull, thin and falls out in clumps for about a month, sometimes longer.With this type of hair loss, which is classified as “sudden,” the growth phase transitions into the shedding phase too quickly.DeficienciesDuring pregnancy, iron and vitamins deficiencies can encourage sudden hair loss. Childbirth creates metabolic deficiencies: hair become thinner and dull. All these changes on the organisme will have an impact at a cellular level triggering prematured hair loss.
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Q: I Gave Birth A Few Months Ago Why Is My Hair Falling Out
A: Postpartum hair loss is one of those little-but-big parts of new motherhood that can come as an alarming surprise. From two to six months after giving birth, many women start to notice more-than-typical shedding while hair brushing or shampooing in the shower. The three-month mark is pretty typical. For some, its just a few strands, but for others, the loss can be significant for the time being and create noticeable thinning or bald spots, particularly around the hairline.
At a time when you may already be feeling self-conscious about your appearance, this new development can feel pretty scary, frustrating, and upsetting. But youre going to be okay. Its common and usually not a sign that something is seriously wrong . Your hair will grow back.
The technical name of this unwelcome phenomenon is telogen effluvium, more commonly called postpartum alopecia. It happens when higher hormone levels during pregnancy slow down the normal shedding and give hair a healthy, shiny growth boost. Those hormones level out after birth and cause hair growth to enter a resting phase where you may see little to no growth. After a few months of that, not only does your normal shedding come back, your body basically kicks out the old, stagnant hair to make room for new hair to grow in its place. You know, those fuzzy baby bangs that pop up along your hairline. This loss/growth pattern should return to your pre-pregnancy normal after about six months.
What To Do About Postpartum Hair Loss
You can’t prevent postpartum hair loss. It’s a normal part of the recovery from pregnancy. There aren’t any treatments to stop telogen effluvium or to speed up new hair growth. Doctors recommend eating a healthy and balanced diet. This may help hair grow after the shedding phase ends.
The hair you shed after having a baby will grow back over time. However, you may notice that you have a lot of new hairs that are much shorter than the rest of your hair. These are the new strands growing in, and they are a normal part of the postpartum hair growth process.
You may not like the look of your hair during the shedding and regrowth phase. In that case, you can use styling products or techniques to improve the way your hair looks. Try lightweight conditioners to avoid weighing hair down and making it look limp. Volumizing products can make your hair appear fuller. A fresh cut or new color can also improve how your hair looks. Your stylist might be able to suggest styling tips that would help as well.
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When To See Your Doctor
Your hair loss may seem too much, but if you had much thicker hair growth during pregnancy, your hair would likely fall out by just as much. However, if the hair loss seems out of proportion, this could mean other things. There may not be enough iron stores in the blood, or you may have a problem with your thyroid.
Iron is a mineral needed by your body for various functions. It helps blood deliver enough oxygen throughout the body. It helps repair cells in the body. It also helps stimulate hair growth. During pregnancy, iron stores can become depleted as the body tries to create more red blood cells to keep up with the growing baby. If this is not corrected through a proper diet or supplementation, you can develop anemia and alopecia.
Sometimes, an underlying problem in your thyroid levels may cause thinning and loss of hair. If your thyroid hormone level is too low, this triggers the telogen phase in most of your hair. In most pregnant women, thyroid problems are usually diagnosed during the first few months of pregnancy. If you are diagnosed with a thyroid problem, you can speak with your doctor regarding the possible effects of your condition.
It is always best to seek consult with your doctor when you are unsure about your symptoms.
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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What To Do To Prevent Further Hair Loss
Excessive hair loss can be troublesome and anxiety-inducing, especially for first-time mothers. There are many ways to manage postpartum hair loss.
One way is to help ensure that our bodies have enough nutrients needed to keep our hair healthy. Biotin is a type of Vitamin B linked to healthy hair growth. You can take daily Vitamin B or biotin supplements. Another option is to include in your diet foods rich in biotins, such as nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes, eggs, fish, and meat.
Another essential vitamin for healthy hair is Vitamin A. Besides supplements, you can consume green and leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils to ensure theres enough of this vitamin in your body.
Zinc should also be on top of your list. Hair loss can indicate a zinc deficiency. Eat more beans and lentils, chickpeas, cashews, cheese, yogurt, red meat, and seafood.
Lastly, Vitamin C helps produce enough collagen needed by your skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Fruits rich in Vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, pineapples, mangoes, papaya, watermelon, and cantaloupe.
Additional tips to help prevent or lessen hair loss include avoiding hairstyles that can pull your hair , using hair products specially formulated with biotin, and avoiding using heated hair instruments with a high heat setting.
What Happens To Your Hair During Pregnancy
While pregnant, hair sheds more slowly than normal. This can result in fuller and thicker-looking hair since you’re just not losing as much each week. When you are pregnant, you are in a privileged hormonal state,” says Dr. Yates, MD, FACS, a Chicago-based board-certified hair loss surgeon. “In your third trimester, your estrogen levels are six times higher than normal. Both estrogen and progesterone support hair growth and decrease shedding by keeping the hair in a constant anagen phase. This explains why your hair looks the most radiant at the time of delivery.
In addition to the increase of hormones while pregnant, overall lifestyle changes can contribute to a fuller-looking head of hair. Most patients experience better hair while pregnant probably due to prenatal vitamins and better nutrition overall as well as a healthier lifestyle, says Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York.
A normal, healthy scalp loses between 50 and 100 hairs per day. One study showed that a normal head of hair is usually 85 percent actively growing, and 15 percent in the resting phase. After a stressful event, like giving birth, the resting phase percentage can increase to 70 percent.
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How Can You Stop Or Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss
If the hair loss youâre experiencing is caused by the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and childbirth, it may simply stop on its own without any treatment at all.
Still, certain vitamins and minerals â such as vitamin A â can contribute to healthy hair growth, so itâs important to make sure youâre getting enough of these as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Ask your doctor or a dietician if you arenât sure youâre getting all the vitamins you need, and he or she may be able to recommend specific foods to add to your diet.
Certain vitamins and mineral may actually make hair loss worse if you take too much of them, so donât start taking any supplements for postpartum hair loss without asking your doctor first.
Above all, try to be patient. You have lots on your plate right now and there might not be much more you can do than wait it out.
What Else Can I Do To Keep My Hair As Healthy As Possible
While these measures won’t keep you from shedding so much hair, they may help you avoid making matters worse. Take care of your hair by:
- Eating a well-balanced diet. The studies are conflicting, but there’s some evidence that low vitamin D and possibly other nutrients may contribute to hair loss.
- Being gentle with your hair. Avoid heat and chemicals , and hairstyles that put tension on your scalp . And don’t brush or comb your hair too aggressively.
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Postpartum Hair Loss Is A Dispiriting Reality Heres How I Found Help And Hope
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It started in the shower. I have thick, curly hair and am accustomed to shedding when washing or combing100 strands a day is, apparently, normal. What I was not accustomed to was when, around two months after I gave birth to my son last May, seemingly thousands of hairs began leaving my head every time I shampooed. Soon it was no longer just in the shower: It was when I gently raked my hair back into a ponytail and my hand emerged with a competing ponytail of escaping strands or when my pillowcase appeared to be covered with floating clouds of dark coils or, God forbid, when I actually brushed it and an American Girl dollsworth of hair clogged the bristles. Worse still is that I began noticing patchy spots around my hairline. My scalp was newly visible and I was not pleased to see it. Was the muffin-top of residual baby weight hanging over my C-section scar, and my ballooning, milk-leaking breasts not enough aesthetic trauma to suffer? Apparently not.
The Stats Behind Postpartum Hair Loss
Unfortunately, the exact statistics on hair loss in new moms remains unclear. After all, hair loss can be attributed to a number of different conditions that could skew those numbers. Also, some new mothers only experience mild cases of hair loss and may not seek medical care or even report the condition to their doctor.
However, some experts believe that as much as 40 to 50 percent of American moms experience postpartum hair loss.
Some celebrity moms have come forward to share their struggles with the condition. Jessie James Decker came forward last year to ask other moms for advice on dealing with hair loss as a new parent.
If youre experiencing hair loss yourself, while also adapting to caring for your newborn, it can be a lonely feeling. Knowing that so many other mothers out there are experiencing the same thing can help.
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