A. How to Deal With Hair Loss After Pregnancy
Most side effects of pregnancy are a burden, but your hair? Oh, that thick, full and healthy hair! Now that the baby has left, it looks like her shiny curls too. What gives? Ob / Gyn Deidre McIntosh, MD explains how pregnancy affects your curls – and whether your hair will return to normal.
1. What to say?
Hair grows in cycles. While some hairs on your head are actively growing, others are cooling down in a resting phase. Eventually, during the resting phase, the hair falls out and new strands sprout in its place.
During pregnancy, more hair remains in the growth phase, says Dr. McIntosh. This is good while it lasts. But when estrogen levels drop after pregnancy, the hair finally comes out – all at once. “Women generally lose a lot of hair in the months after giving birth,” she says.
This increase in elimination is known as telogen effluvium. (Although you may know it as “clogged shower channels” and “cowardly rolls”.) It usually starts 1 to 6 months after birth. Although it can take up to 18 months, most women find that their hair grows back much earlier.
Some women’s hair will always be a little thinner than it was before they became mothers. (Hiccups!) “But it will return to normal hair growth stages,” says Dr. McIntosh.
2. Hair, hair everywhere
Some women report that pregnancy makes their hair even stranger. Straight hair is wavy or curly hair relaxes. Although these changes can happen, Dr. McIntosh said that they are quite rare. After delivery, the hair usually returns to something close to what it was before pregnancy within a year.
The story is more than the hair on your head. During pregnancy, high levels of androgenic hormones can cause more hair to grow on your stomach or face, notes Dr. McIntosh.
This extra fluff usually goes away about 6 months after giving birth. In the meantime, feel free to shave or shave if that bothers you, she adds.
3. How to deal with postpartum hair loss
Although postpartum hair loss is normal, there are conditions that can cause hair loss, such as thyroid problems or anemia. If you feel you are losing a lot with nothing in sight, tell your doctor to rule out other problems, says Dr. McIntosh.
However, the only treatment for hair loss after pregnancy is patience. There is no magic vitamin or secret supplement that can prevent a fall, she adds.
If your thinning hair bothers you, try a new haircut or invest in a bulky shampoo. And look on the bright side: with a new baby taking up your time and attention, your hair would probably end in a ponytail anyway.
B. Postpartum Hair Loss
Here’s what causes a new mother to lose hair – even if she doesn’t pull it out – and what to do with postpartum hair loss. If you have postpartum hair loss or hair loss after pregnancy, you will notice sudden flaking – sometimes in lumps – within six months of delivery.
1. What causes postpartum hair loss?
The average person loses about 100 hairs a day, but not all at once, so you won’t even notice. However, if you expect pregnancy hormones to prevent hair from falling out – your hair looks as attractive as a supermodel’s, or so thick that you can barely brush it.
But all good things must come to an end, and that includes your big new role. When these hormones return to normal, the extra hair also falls out.
2. How long does postpartum hair loss last?
Do not despair: you will not go bald, just go back to normal. If you are breastfeeding, some of your extra hair may be stuck to your scalp until you wean or start supplementing with formula or solids.
But, whether you are breastfeeding or not, comfort yourself knowing that your hair loss will be over when the baby is ready to blow out the candles on the first birthday cake – and perhaps have lots of hair of their own. The locks should also look like they were before they were pregnant.
3. Tips for dealing with postpartum hair loss
If you have lost hair since birth, there are a few things you can do about it:
- Keep your hair healthy by eating well and continuing to take the prenatal vitamin supplement.
- Be extremely gentle during the fall season to avoid excessive hair loss after pregnancy. Shampoo only when needed (as if you still have time for shampoo!) And use a good conditioner and a wide-toothed comb to minimize tangles. Use hair ties or barrettes to tie it instead of elastics – and don’t tie your hair in tight ponytails.
- Ignore hair dryers, curling irons and flat irons if you can, and postpone any chemical treatments such as highlights, permes and straightening sessions until the dandruff stops.
- Talk to your doctor if your hair loss is excessive. If accompanied by other symptoms, hair loss after pregnancy can be a sign of postpartum thyroiditis.
C. The 4 Best Treatments for Postpartum Hair Loss
As the delivery date approaches, you are probably looking forward to losing your fat belly and extra baby weight.
But there is one thing that you should not miss: its thick and shiny curls of pregnancy. It is not your imagination. Most women think that pregnancy makes their hair thicker. And it’s not the stress of a newborn that makes your hair fall out! See what’s going on with your pregnant hair, what to expect after giving birth and what to do about it.
1. How your hormones change during pregnancy and after giving birth
During pregnancy, your hormones change dramatically. One of the first to rise is human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This is the hormone that your pregnancy test measured and your rising levels indicated that you were pregnant. Pregnancy also increases several other hormone levels, including estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin and prolactin. Her blood volume also increased during pregnancy, up to 50 percent more than normal at the due date.
Immediately after your baby is born, some of your hormone levels drop rapidly, including estrogen and progesterone. These hormones will be almost back to normal within 24 hours of delivery, although prolactin will remain high while you are breastfeeding. Your blood volume also decreases, but your decrease is more gradual. It will return to normal a few weeks after the baby arrives.
2. How hormones affect your hair
Hormones are the main cause of changes in hair during pregnancy and hair loss after delivery. During pregnancy, its high levels of estrogen prevented normal hair loss. Usually, your hair falls out in small amounts every day. Your hair loss will decrease during pregnancy. The effect is amplified by the increase in blood volume and circulation, which causes the hair to fall less than normal.
After your baby arrives and your hormone levels drop, your hair makes up for lost time falling in tufts much larger than normal. The total volume of hair loss is unlikely to be greater than you would have lost in the past nine months. It seems that everything happens at once. Postpartum hair loss can occur any day after the baby arrives and sometimes lasts for up to a year. It usually peaks around the 4-month mark. So, if your baby is a few months old and you’re still losing tufts of hair, that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic!
3. Postpartum hair treatments to try
It is normal for your hair to thin out after pregnancy. If you’re not worried about it, you don’t need to do anything to treat it. And, unfortunately, nothing has been shown to prevent or delay hair loss after delivery. But if hair loss is bothering you, there are treatments you can try to make your hair look fuller and healthier.
a. Skip the style
If you heat your hair with a blow dryer or hair styler, it may look thinner. Try to break the sophisticated style and let the hair dry in the open air until the thickness decreases. Brushing too hard can also cause hair to fall out in larger tufts. So be careful when brushing and don’t brush more than once a day. You can use the extra time to pet your baby or catch up on sleep!
b. Eat well
Incorporating a variety of healthy fruits, vegetables and proteins into your diet is the best way to ensure that your body receives all the nutrients it needs. Some of the foods recommended by some to improve hair health include dark leafy vegetables (for iron and vitamin C), sweet potatoes and carrots (for beta-carotene), eggs (for vitamin D) and fish (for omega-3s) and magnesium).
c. Take your vitamins
Vitamins should not replace a varied diet, especially if you are a newborn mother with a baby to look after. But they can help as a supplement if your diet is not balanced. No specific vitamins have been shown to affect hair loss, but they are important for overall health. It is often recommended that you continue with prenatal vitamins after the baby is born, especially if you are breastfeeding.
d. Use bulky shampoo
Although there is no evidence to support this, conditioner shampoos sometimes make your hair heavier and make it look thinner and flabby. Volumizers can add body to your hair and help keep it shiny.
4. Is your postpartum hair loss normal?
In most cases, your hair loss after giving birth is completely normal and there is no cause for concern. If you are still seeing lumps on the hairbrush after your baby’s first birthday, it is a good idea to speak to a dermatologist to make sure there is no additional cause for your hair loss.
D. Postpartum hair loss is totally normal—but there are things you can do to stop it
Your hair is falling in tufts and you panic. Hair loss after pregnancy is quite common. This is where it stops and what to do to reduce the leak. A few months after giving birth to her third child, amid sleep deprivation and endless hours of breastfeeding, the hair of 29-year-old Alicia Midey began to tousle in alarming bunches. “It really started to speed up three months after I was born,” says Chesapeake’s mother, Virginia. “I knew it was part of the postpartum process, but that didn’t make it easier to deal with bald spots around the hairline. It was worse than ever with my first two children.”
Stephanie Black, a 38-year-old mother of one in Charlton, Ontario, had a similar experience, although her hair loss took time. “In my case, it only started about a year after my son was born and it happened so fast that I thought I would go bald,” says Black. “My doctor said it was probably related to the pregnancy, but I was surprised it took so long to take effect, as I breastfed only a few months and didn’t go back to work until months after my hair fell out.”
It is not uncommon to have noticeable hair loss in the first two to six months after delivery. Online parent groups and social media status updates are full of new moms writing, “Is this normal? I am getting crazy! ”But the experience may vary with women. “Not all women will have this condition and some may have one pregnancy, but not another,” said David Salinger, director of the International Association of Trichologists in Sydney, Australia. (Trichologists specialize in treating scalp and hair problems.) Officially, the term for this particularly pleasant side effect of pregnancy and childbirth is postpartum alopecia, and up to 90% of women have some form of it.
1. What causes post-baby hair loss?
According to Salinger, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body increase markedly during pregnancy, which keeps the hair in a continuous growth stage and creates thicker and shiny hair. Then, your hormones will match up in the months after giving birth. “The hair remains in this resting phase for about three months before falling out and new growth appears,” says Salinger. “Growth usually takes the form of a ‘baby pony’.
2. How normal is postpartum dandruff?
If you find excess threads on the pillow or clog the shower drain, don’t imagine anything. Salinger explains that it is normal to lose about 80 hairs a day, unless you have just had a baby, but that new mothers lose about 400 hairs a day. Six months after delivery, hair loss should decrease to pre-pregnancy levels.
If you feel that dandruff is not decreasing, other health problems are likely to be at play. Pregnancy can alter your levels of ferritin (a blood cell protein that helps your body store iron) and unbalance your thyroid. So be sure to tell your doctor that you have noticed a lot of hair loss and have blood tests to check both.
3. Is there any treatment for postpartum hair loss?
Taking care of a newborn is a stressful and hectic time and can be a great strain on your body, as well as breastfeeding. First, make sure your blood sugar, iron, ferritin, zinc and vitamin D levels are normal. Then, do as much as you can to minimize stress (definitely easier said than done if you are looking after a child), have a healthy protein-rich diet to help with hair growth and don’t be afraid of shampoo often. “It is generally believed that washing your hair less often will minimize hair loss. The truth, however, is that the frequency with which you wash your hair does not affect the amount of hair lost, ”says Salinger. “The hair that is about to fall will fall out.”
After determining that your blood count is normal, you should speak to a certified dermatologist or trichologist. Treatment options include medications, therapies to reduce inflammation around the hair follicles and homemade lasers that stimulate new hair growth.
In short: although it is far from normal for most women of childbearing age to lose tufts of hair, it really is. “It’s almost a badge of honor for mothers,” says Midey. “I ended up wearing bandanas and strategically parting my hair to cover my bald spot. Sometimes I even used hairpieces. But my hair is now growing steadily. Even if I had to be bald to have my kids, it would be worth it. ”
4. Does hair loss worsen with subsequent pregnancies?
No. However, some women may find that genetic hair loss problems (such as baldness in women, where the hair on the top and front of the scalp is getting thinner) can be triggered by pregnancy. This is the type of hair loss that can get worse with each pregnancy, says David Salinger, director of the International Association of Trichologists.