What You Need to Know When Dealing with Postpartum Hair Loss

Becoming a mother can be very rewarding and simultaneously very challenging. Your body is going through a whirlwind of changes, and in the middle of all this you do not expect your hair to start falling out in clumps. But for some women it does.

This is referred to as postpartum hair loss, telogen gravidarum, and telogen effluvium. This excessive hair shedding occurs most often between two and four months after giving birth, and according to statistics from the American Pregnancy Association, between 40 and 50 percent of women are affected.

But what is the reason for this postpartum hair loss? We asked Dr. Christine Carlan Greves, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Greves has been working with a lot of these cases and is familiar with postpartum hair loss.

“When a woman is pregnant, she has a lot of extra hormones in the body, including estrogen,” she says.

postpartum hair loss
Shedding hair as a post-baby reaction is something that cannot be prevented but it is however a condition that is a temporary one.

“The estrogen helps protect us from losing our hair. Then when she has the baby, there’s a sudden change in the hormone levels, including a drop in the estrogen. And this shift can cause a response in the body that may affect the hair cycle,” she continues, adding that breastfeeding might also be a contributing factor to excessive hair shedding.

“When breastfeeding, the prolactin levels are increased. That hormone, that is responsible for breast milk production, has been associated with hair loss as well”, Dr Greves explains.

Shedding hair as a postpartum reaction cannot be prevented but is however a  a temporary condition. While it does correct itself after some time, it certainly does not hurt to take extra care of your hair during this period. The following remedies are ones that you can easily do at home.

 

Things To Do When Dealing with Thinning Hair

    • Use a Volumizing Shampoo
      Volumizing shampoos tend to contain something called dimethicone, which is a silicone-based polymer that coats and seals the hair. While this does not stop hair from shedding, it will give your hair the illusion of looking fuller to compensate for the temporary thinning.
    • Condition Light
      When conditioning your hair, make sure to only condition the roots. If you condition the strands further out as well, it will weigh the hair down, making it easier to break and fall off.
    • Stimulate Your Scalp
      Use massage to increase the blood flow to your scalp, but also invest in a scalp treatment that will help you clear all the dead skin cells around the hair follicles. This will make the hair follicles stay open, which will promote hair growth.
    • Choose Softer Hairstyles
      Do not pull your hair back too tightly, as the traction can lead to hair loss. Try putting a scarf over your hair instead of ponytailing it.
    • Invest In a Supplement
      Biotin seems to be the natural choice for many people looking for a supplement to help with their hair. But why not try a hair supplement that contains biotin AND other natural ingredients? Nutrafol’s supplement contains enzymes naturally found in the body which help nurture healthy hair growth. It is designed to provide essential nutrients for growing healthy hair and targets the potential triggers of thinning hair. Note: Nursing mothers should wait until they’ve stopped breastfeeding to begin taking Nutrafol.

So if you are currently experiencing postpartum hair loss, are not nursing, and are in the process of growing your hair back, Nutrafol may be a great addition to help your hair remain healthy and strong as it begins to naturally regrow.

Hair Experts Are Now Closer to Predicting the Cause of Male Hair Loss

Hair loss in men and male pattern baldness.

Hair loss is something that everyone experiences sooner or later, but some get it earlier than others. Losing hair prematurely can be traumatic. Because of that, there is an infinite number of products that claim to cure and reverse the problem. But what if you could find out the likelihood that you will experience hair loss so that you could prevent it before the symptoms even showed? Researchers in the United Kingdom have reportedly found a way to predict who is at risk.

More Genetics Linked to Hair Loss

According to the new study, British scientists say they found over 200 genetic markers linked to hair loss. More specifically, the study focuses on male pattern baldness. This type of baldness, also known as male alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss in men. Researchers believe this affects as many as 30 to 50% of men by the time they reach the age of 50.

The study in question, which was first published in the journal PLOS Genetics earlier this year, analyzed the hair growth of 52,000 men between the ages of 40 and 69 in the UK. The numbers: 32% of the men said they did not experience any hair loss at all. 23% said they experienced a little bit. 27% had moderate hair loss, and the last 18% said they were suffering from severe hair loss.

By looking into the genetics of all the men, researchers managed to pinpoint 287 specific genetic variations, located on over 100 different genes. Many of those were located on or close to genes that have been linked to baldness before. Some were found on genes that are known to cause graying of the hair.

Interestingly, 40% of the genes causing male pattern baldness were located on the X chromosome. You inherit that chromosome from your mother. By analyzing all these genes, researchers could also make a “scorecard” which predicts what risk a man runs for experiencing hair loss based on his genes. The hope is that in the future, this could be refined and used to prevent early signs of hair loss.

hair loss men
About 40% of the genes causing male pattern baldness are located on the X chromosome that you inherit from your mother.

Preventing Male Pattern Baldness

Researchers are not sure there are any foolproof ways to prevent male pattern baldness without taking medication or having surgery as of now. But well-known theories state that stress and emotional trauma can cause hair loss by increasing the amount of hormones our bodies produce.

Hair loss and Stress

Male pattern baldness is connected to the male sex hormone androgen. So naturally, reducing your stress levels will also reduce the risk of suffering from the different symptoms that stress cause. You can reduce stress by practicing mindfulness and yoga. You can also cut down on work and make sure to get enough sleep. Minimize your exposure to negative people or experiences. Spending time in nature and exercising also contribute greatly to your mental health.

If hair loss has started, you can treat the symptoms by well-known medications like Rogaine, which contains minoxidil. This treatment comes in the form of a cream that you apply topically to the scalp. There are also medications containing finasteride that help with treating hair loss.

Prevent hair loss through your diet

You can even increase your own natural hair growth by eating the right food. Since hair growth depends on what happens inside of your body, it only makes sense that what you eat matters. Foods high in protein are really good for preventing hair loss, since protein is what makes up the hair. Eggs, fatty fish, beef, pork tenderloin, chicken and lentils are all good. Another general rule is to eat many greens and veggies. Kale, spinach, bell peppers, carrots and onion all promote healthy hair growth. Basically, you need to make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals that the body needs to keep producing hair. If you find it hard to get all the important nutrients daily, you can supplement your daily diet with a specialized hair supplement.

To sum up, hair loss may be inevitable. But if there is a way to find out whether you are at risk for premature hair loss, you can take steps to push it off for a little longer – many times in a natural and healthy way.