What You Need to Know About Postpartum Hairloss.
Having children is truly the greatest joy there is, but every mother knows that there are constantly physical sacrifices that come up at every stage of the journey.
As a longtime hairdresser with many clients that are mom’s I get asked very frequently about the causes behind post-partum hair loss and if there are any solutions. Mothers often come to me in a panic, completely disheartened after finding clumps of hair falling out in the shower and thinning hair lines appearing. As a mother myself, I also have a very personal experience with postnatal hair-loss. After the birth of my second child, around 4 months post-partum, I had what appeared to be two bald patches on either side of my hairline
I understand the anxiety around it, for us women our hair is a source of confidence and pride and when it feels vulnerable, we feel vulnerable and unattractive. New mothers are already dealing with so many physical challenges and changes that significant hair loss can be an extremely demoralizing experience.
This is why I felt it was important to write this blog, I wanted to share my understanding of why this happens and provide some solutions to any of you new mothers out there going through the same problem. Here’s some of the science behind why many of us lose our hair in the months after giving birth and what we can do to make this time easier.
Hair has three specific growth cycles. The first is the stage where the hair follicle is attached to blood supply causing the hair to grow and flourish, the second stage is the resting phase where the hair follicle detaches from the nourishing blood supply, and the third stage is the falling stage when the hair follicle dies and falls from lack of nourishment. These processes are constantly on-going and totally normal, with some of your hair in each stage at all times. The average healthy person loses up to 100 hairs a day, just not all at once, so we usually don’t notice. It’s important to know that the biggest factor that affects hair growth and loss and the regulation of these processes is hormones.
During your pregnancy hormone levels rise, including estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and prolactin. Your blood volume also rises during pregnancy, up to about 50% by the time you are ready to give birth. These factors keep your hair in the growth phase throughout your pregnancy, which is why most women enjoy thick and shiny hair during this period. Unfortunately this comes to an end as your hormones change once you give birth and your hair goes into its resting stage for around 3 months at which point many women begin to lose what pregnancy helped them hold on to for those nine months. This is why the hair-loss can seem so extreme when it occurs.
But all is not lost, always keep in mind that what you are experiencing is a completely natural process and rest assured that a new cycle of hair growth is just around the corner. A new crop of baby hair will soon sprout and you will be back to your old self in no time. That being said, here are a few things that you can do to improve the look and feel of your hair during this time:
Protein is your Friend: Eating a healthy, protein-rich diet will give your body the building blocks for healthy hair growth.
Get a Haircut: Having a substantial haircut can relieve the surface tension on your scalp and may have a positive affect. And having a new, shorter style can add volume and improve the way your feel about your locks.
Give your hair a spa day: Treat your hair at home with oils that encourage hair growth by massaging them into your scalp, this will improve circulation to the hair follicle.
Supplement your diet: Taking certain vitamin supplements such as Biotin or Hair vitamins that combine Vitamin A, B, E and Zinc can target hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.
Don’t Panic: Most important of all, trust that your body will self regulate and very soon you’ll have lots of brand new baby hairs to celebrate. This is just another way in which the female body shows it miraculous resilience.