Postpartum Hair Fall
Pregnancy changes a woman’s body in different ways. But the changes go beyond pregnancy and cause issues such as hair loss after giving birth. A few months after receiving your bundle of joy, you will notice some hair shedding. The thick and long hair you got when pregnant falls off in a few weeks. Just when you thought the mane is beautiful and what you have always wanted to have, it starts falling off. It may be disappointing, but not the end of the world.
What causes hair to fall after delivery?
During pregnancy, the levels of progesterone and estrogen increase. Various systems of the body affected by this change, and estrogen particularly, affects the hair growth pattern, sebaceous glands, and the skin. Most women enjoy improved hair quality and skin; this is what makes the hair grow strong that grows fast, and looks healthy.
After giving birth, a majority of women start losing their hair and blame it breastfeeding, but there is no scientific evidence linking the two. Sometimes the hair loss is extreme, and it’s referred to as postpartum alopecia, which may require seeking medical treatment.
The labor and birth process causes estrogen and progesterone levels to reduce rapidly and becomes lower than what you had before getting pregnant. In some women, the thyroid hormones are affected, but cortisol levels stay high. This is what leads to a quick synchronous change of follicles affecting their growth and resting phases. Most women lose their hair three months after giving birth. When combined with poor sleeping patterns, nutritional stress, and the demands of raising a newborn, hair loss takes place.
How much is too much?
Finding more strands on your pillow and the sink drain is normal if you have just had a baby. New moms can lose up to 400 hairs daily, and it’s quite a lot compared to what you lose normally; 80 strands per day. However, it should slow down at around six months as your body gradually goes back to normal.
It becomes too much if the shedding doesn’t slow down. This could be a sign of some underlying health issue. Since pregnancy changes ferritin levels in the body, your thyroid may be affected. It is therefore advisable to see your doctor if the amounts of hair you lose every day remain high after six months.
How to Minimize Postpartum Hair Fall
While it’s normal for the hair to thin and fall off after pregnancy, you can take some steps to minimize the loss. Some of the things you can do to strengthen your hair include:
Most hair styling methods involve heat. The heat makes your hair thinner, and you should there avoid it. Also, do not brush it too hard as it will fall out in large amounts. Brush it once in a day and be gentle.
Make a well-balanced diet and include vegetables, healthy proteins and fruits. This ensures your body gets all the essential nutrients that can help reduce hair loss. Some of the foods that enhance your hair’s health include carrots, eggs, fish, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamins work well when combined with a healthy diet. They help you a lot, especially if you are breasting by keeping the body healthy. Vitamins may not have any direct connection with hair growth, but they are important for overall health.
The type of shampoo you use can weigh down the hair. This makes it look weak, limp and unhealthy. Volumizers increase hair body and give it a magnificent look. Combine the shampoo with a deep conditioner to prevent brittleness, which eventually leads to hair breakage.
How long does the hair loss last?
You should not be afraid and worry about going bald. The hair loss will stop at some point. Take comfort in knowing that by the time your baby is over six months, the problem will be gone. Some mothers have to wait until one year to go to their pre-pregnancy hair volume.
If the hair keeps falling, talk to your doctor. The doctor may identify other symptoms and diagnose the health issue causing excessive hair loss. In most cases, postpartum hair fall with other symptoms may be signs of postpartum thyroiditis.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Sara Gale
Sara loves traveling and exploring new places with her family. She is mom to 2 lovely children and loves bringing them out on adventures.