Postpartum Hair Loss: 7 Most Effective Treatments
You have thick, shiny and fast-growing hair? Then, you are lucky. Having beautiful hair is a dream of every woman. Hair loss is one of the biggest problems concerning beauty and health. And there is one particular group of women who suffer more from hair loss than others – women who gave birth. Majority women look for any treatment for postpartum hair loss when they face this problem.
Postpartum hair loss frightens women more than sleep deprivation, stretch marks and perpetual exhaustion. Women start to panic when they see the clumps of hair on hairbrush or after having a shower. So, why does it happen? How long will it last? How to stop hair loss? Let’s try to find answers to all these questions.
Causes of postpartum hair loss
You might think “I’m going bald” when you see clumps of your hair in your hands every day. Calm down, you are not going bald. Dermatologists claim that it is a normal situation. In dermatology this condition is called Telogen effluvium.
The body of women is totally different before pregnancy, during and after pregnancy. That’s all because hormones in the body. During pregnancy the level of some hormones rises, including estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and prolactin. After childbirth levels of progesterone and estrogen quickly drop and this causes postpartum hair loss. These hormones play key role in hair-growth process.
It is absolutely normal to experience hormonal imbalance after baby delivery. Pregnant women have thick and voluminous hair because of increased level of hormones and no hair shed. After pregnancy hormones normalize and most of the hair switches from growing phase to shedding phase. As a result, most hair falls out and hair growth returns to its normal cycle.
Postpartum hair loss duration
Every organism is individual, so the hair loss after child delivery lasts different period of time for each woman. However, usually it starts anytime between first and fifth months. By six months the process of hair shedding slows down and near to the first birthday of your baby you can notice that hair grows and loses at normal pace.
Normally people lose about 80 hairs every day, but new mothers may lose 5 times more than that in a day. This happens to 50% of women in postpartum period. However, if you continue losing clumps of hair even after a year, you should immediately approach trichologist.
If that big number of mothers experience postpartum hair loss, then what can be done to stop it? Unfortunately, postpartum hair loss is not something that you can prevent. But by getting necessary treatments you may minimize the amount of shedding hair. Here are some the most effective treatments that can help you to deal with your problem.
1. Try to avoid hair styling.
Using hair-dryer, curling or straightening with iron will make the situation even worse. Due to heating your hairs get dry and you may lose more hair. Instead, try to go by natural way and let your hair dry in air. Moreover, reduce your visits to hair stylist and avoid making fancy styling. Right now, baby takes most of your time. So, just make simple and comfortable styling that won’t take much time, like a loose ponytail. Also, pay attention to your hairbrush. Use a wide-toothed comb and brush your hair with gentle movements.
2. Keep healthy diet.
Keeping healthy and balanced diet aids the hair growth, as well as it is beneficial for your baby. Make sure that your body receives all necessary nutrients, especially if you are breastfeeding. Besides a variety of fruits and vegetables, your daily meal should contain protein, vitamins and minerals. Dieticians advise to eat iron-rich products like spinach, lentil and pistachio to encourage hair regrowth. Food containing vitamin A like carrot and sweet potato helps to fasten hair growth, while vitamin D (fish oil, salmon, and egg) improves hair health. Furthermore, don’t forget to include dairy products to your daily consumption.
3. Continue prenatal vitamin supplement.
Studies have found that vitamin supplement helps to improve your overall health after giving a birth. Therefore, along with the balanced diet continue taking your prenatal vitamins to enhance the effect of your treatment. In particular, for breast-feeding women it is highly recommended to take prenatal vitamins.
4. Use coconut and almond oil.
You probably have heard about the benefits of coconut oil for hair. Coconut oil is one of the most effective treatments for damaged and thin hair. It can also help your hair to be longer and thicker, as nutrients in coconut oil are able to improve the overall hair condition.
You can prepare mask from coconut oil and use it when you wash your hair. For that, after showering gently massage your hair by rubbing a small amount of oil over tips of hair. Do it about 15 minutes 3-4 times a week. To achieve a fantastic effect you can mix coconut oil with rosemary oil and leave this mask on your head for one hour.
Just like coconut oil, almond oil is also one of the best oils for hair treatment. Almond oil is enriched with vitamin E, which means it can make your hair stronger and healthier. Moreover, almond oil makes your hair to have softer texture, so when brushing you will lose less hair. Apply some almond oil on clean and dry hair, then slightly massage and leave for 40 minutes.
5. Skip chemicals.
Hairstyling lovers are familiar with most hairstyling products, including hair wax, spray, gel, mousse and hair lotion. Most of them contain high amount of chemicals that can ruin your hair even more. Using hair care products containing high level of chemicals stimulates hair loss, as after using them hair can be seriously damaged. Some hair gels and mousses contain volatile alcohol, while hair sprays contain solvents and propellants. These products can have a drying effect. For that reason, before choosing any hair care product first ask your hair stylist and dermatologist, whether it fits your hair or not.
The same goes for shampoos and hair balms. Let the specialist choose the right shampoo and balm for you.
6. Medical therapy.
Postpartum hair loss normally stops after several months, but if your worries about your hair are that much, then try medical therapy. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is one of the therapies that can help you. Doctors use PRP injection into the scalp in order to reduce the inflammation that causes hair loss.
Another option for you is at-home laser therapy. At-home laser therapy can trigger new hair growth.
7. More patience and less stress.
Postpartum hair loss is not a decease and it will not last forever. Don’t get stressed, be more patient, stress will not help you in any way, but may worsen your condition. Instead, think more about your baby. Now baby is your primary and the most important person you should focus.
As you can see there are many effective ways that can help you to cope with postpartum hair loss. All you need is well eating, taking care of yourself and thinking positive. But, if this will not help you even after a year, then you should approach a doctor, maybe there are other causes of your hair loss.