Being pregnant is probably the most exciting and fascinating time in a woman’s life. After the arrival of your little bundle of joy, you are probably looking forward to losing all the extra pounds you have gained during your pregnancy, but instead of weight loss, you might have noticed that you are losing something else: your hair!
As your hormones change dramatically during pregnancy, postpartum hair loss is nothing to worry about since it is temporary and well treatable. In this article, I am going to explain the link between hair loss and pregnancy and show you how to treat postpartum hair loss.
What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?
When you’re expecting, a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is increased. This is the hormone your pregnancy test measured and indicated that you were pregnant. During your pregnancy, other hormone levels such as estrogen, prolactin, oxytocin and progesterone rise as well.
Your high estrogen levels prolong the growing stage of your hair. This happens due to an increased blood volume and circulation – fewer hairs remain in the resting stage, which leads to a decrease of hair loss.
After giving birth, however, your estrogen levels drop and up to 60% of your hair will go into the resting stage. Within a few months you will start shedding, which usually peaks around the 4-month mark and can last up to a year.
As soon as your hormone levels drop back to normal, your hair growth returns to its normal cycle.
How Much Postpartum Hair Loss Is Considered Normal?
When you haven’t had a baby, losing 80 hairs per day is totally normal, whereas women who have given birth lose around 400 hairs a day. By six months postpartum, the shedding should slow back to normal.
If your shedding lasts longer than that, chances are high that there might be something else causing your hair loss. In this case you should consult a doctor to take a blood test. He will likely test your level of ferritin, which can be affected during pregnancy and bring your thyroid out of balance.
How To Treat Postpartum Hair Loss
By the time your baby turns one year old, your hair growth cycle should return to normal, but if your postpartum hair loss is bothering you and you want to find a solution to it, there are a few things you can do to promote hair growth.
1. Healthy Eating Habits:
You should include fruits, healthy proteins and vegetables in your diet. Foods that are said to improve hair growth and health are carrots (beta carotene), eggs (Vitamin D), fish (Magnesium and Omega-3s), dark leafy greens (iron and Vitamin C), and sweet potatoes (beta carotene).
2. Use A Volumizing Shampoo:
Using a volumizing shampoo can make your hair appear more voluminous and help you maintain a lustrous look. But you should be very gentle to your hair during your shedding season to prevent excessive hair loss.
You can additionally use a good conditioner. Try to avoid pulling your hair into tight ponytails!
3. Skip Heat Tools: Using blow-dryers, curling and flat irons can strain your hair. Therefore, you should stay away from them until the shedding stops.
4. Take Your Vitamins: Vitamins can help as a supplement but shouldn’t be taken as a substitute for a healthy diet, especially if you have to take care of a newborn. It is recommended taking prenatal vitamin supplements, which are especially good for your body when you are breast-feeding.
5. Talk To Your Doctor: When you have excessive hair loss, you should talk to your doctor because this might be a sign of postpartum thyroiditis.
Helpful Tips During Postpartum Hair Loss
1. Experiment With Color: If you want to give your hair body, coloring can be very helpful. Highlighting the front can be an effective camouflage if you have a receding hairline.
2. Get A New Hair Cut: Getting another hair cut can work wonders if you have thinning hair. You can check out different hair cuts for thinning hair in one of my previous articles.
3. Change Your Part: A side part can make your hair appear fuller and disguise thinning hair at the temple.
4. Add Some Texture: Instead of wearing your hair sleek and straight, you should go with your natural curls if you have curly hair. A curling iron can give your hair some oomph if you have straight hair.
5. Wear Hair Ornaments: Bandanas and headbands are stylish and a great way to disguise hair loss and thinning hair.
6. Keep Your Hair Moussed: If you want to create the illusion of full hair, use a volumizing mousse or a leave-in hair moisturizer after washing your hair.
The Benefits Of Prenatal Vitamins
Some women claim that taking prenatal vitamins helps promote hair growth and give your hair a shinier and healthier look. These vitamins are packed with essential nutrients like calcium, folic acid, iron and Vitamin D.
Some women even take prenatal vitamins although they are neither expecting nor trying to conceive just because of the many beauty benefits prenatal vitamins have. Taking prenatal supplements even seems to have become a Hollywood trend.
Experts argue that prenatal vitamins don’t have the same effect as hair growth supplements do. Although they are said to boost hair growth, it is not recommended taking high levels of vitamins your body doesn’t need. Before taking any new supplements, you should always consult your doctor.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions, leave a comment in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
Founder of The Hairy Solution