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. Dimethicone is a silicone-based polymer and the ingredient coats and seals the hair. While this is not stopping hair from shedding, it will give your hair an 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 to put 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.

So if you are currently experiencing postpartum hair loss 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.

How To Avoid Seasonal Hair Shedding During the Cold Months

Seasonal hair change

The colder season is upon us, and during these winter months it pays off to spend a little extra time and effort on your hair. In a previous post, three experts explained why seasonal hair shedding is occuring. We are continuing with this subject by asking dermatologists Jeremy Fenton and Emily Wise Shanahan what precautions you can take to avoid experiencing seasonal hair loss.

How to Keep Your Hair Health During the Winter Months

“It is always a good idea to make an extra effort in the winter months”, Dr Emily Wise Shanahan tells Nutrafol. “Keep the hair hydrated and moisturized. Use a deep conditioning mask. Likewise, limiting heat styling can be helpful for the same reasons,” she continues.

Dr Jeremy Fenton is of the same opinion: “To prevent breakage of winter hair it is recommended to moisturize with a conditioner. And avoid too much friction from prolonged wearing of hats.”

Another way to give your hair a helping hand when the temperature drops a few degrees is to do what your mother has been telling you since you where little: Take your vitamins!

“You can strengthen the hair that you have by taking supplements”, says Dr Fenton. “Biotin is one of the most effective options out there. And it is available over the counter at most drugstores. It may not prevent shedding, but it can prevent breakage, and also make the hair you do have actually appear thicker.”

What To Look For in A Supplement

seasonal shedding
One way to prevent breakage of winter hair is to moisturize with a conditioner.

Even if a supplement will not stop seasonal hair shedding, giving your body the nutrients it needs will show in the health of your hair. Nutrafol’s supplement is all natural and when regularly taken helps ensure your hair is as healthy and strong as possible throughout the year. One of the benefits of Nutrafol nutraceuticals is that they stimulates the follicles to enter into the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle. This can prevent some of your hair from entering that telogen phase of summer that we have mentioned in previous texts, and ultimately reduce the cold season hair shedding. When using the Nutrafol supplement, it is important to note you might have to give it a few months to notice a difference. As always when starting to take a new supplement, it takes time for the body to adjust to the change.

How Do I Know If It Is Seasonal Hair Shedding?

Make sure to pay extra attention to the part of your hair that is shedding. That way you will be able to tell if the hair shedding is seasonal or if there is a bigger underlying problem – like female pattern baldness. By looking closely, you will also be able to see if what you are experiencing is shedding or hair breaking off.

“With the winter months comes drier weather and hats rubbing against the hair. Dry, brittle hair is more likely to break, and the friction of hats can further contribute to this. Although this is not true hair ‘loss’, it can make your hair appear thinner,” says Dr Fenton.

When Should You Worry About Hair Shedding?

“There is no need to panic if you find a few strands on your pillowcase or clothes”, says Dr Wise Shanahan.

There is no need to push the “panic button” unless you find local bald patches, or if your hair shedding is focused to a specific area, such as the front of your hairline or the top of your head.

“This may represent a different type of hair loss and should be evaluated by a doctor”, Dr Wise Shanahan explains.

 

Seasonal hair shedding explained by 3 hair experts – this is why you should not worry

Hair shedding in females.

We all know that feeling… when you run your fingers through your wet hair and clumps of it cling to your hands. These moments are usually followed by panic, and you start to wonder how much hair shedding is normal. “Is there something medically wrong with me? Am I going to wind up with bald patches?” Questions such as these, will be circling your mind.

But chances are, you are just fine. In fact, you may just be dealing with seasonal hair loss. When the weather gets colder, this kind of hair shedding is no surprise at all, say the hair experts that Nutrafol has talked to.
“There is evidence that people can note increased shedding in the late fall and winter months. The thought here is that perhaps in the summer months, we hang on to more hair. Why? To provide increased protection from the sun. A few months after, when we begin shifting into late fall and early winter, those hairs that we held onto during summer will make a transition into the shed phase. This may result in a temporary increase in shedding compared to your baseline,” Dr. Emily Wise, a Massachusetts–based dermatologist, explains.

Dr. Kristina Goldenberg, a New York–based dermatologist, raises another important factor – age.
“By 50 years of age, 50 percent of women will experience some degree of hair loss. Hair loss is often seen after pregnancy, surgery or illness, no matter what your age is. It is also seen in pre- and perimenopausal women, during their early to mid-50s.”

Some hair loss is genetic, but when it comes to seasonal loss, the blame usually falls on the thermostat. So if you notice more hair shedding during the colder months, do not despair as this is normal. And chances are that the hair you lost during this period, will be back in the future.

New York–based dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Fenton explains it like this when Nutrafol reaches him to discuss seasonal hair shedding:
“There is research that has shown there is some seasonality to shedding. One study showed that human hair has the highest number of hairs in the telogen phase [the resting phase, editors note] in July, and a second smaller peak in April. Hairs in the telogen phase generally fall out 100 days later, which means that people see shedding at the end of the summer and into the fall. These hairs are not necessarily lost forever. As a healthy hair follicle will eventually cycle back into its growth phase. The reason for this isn’t entirely clear. Some postulate that it is based on evolution, creating more hair in the summer to protect the scalp”, says Dr. Felton.

Seasonal hair shedding.
Hair shedding is often seen after pregnancy, surgery or illness.

Q: Does the hair shedding mean that the scalp is responding to changes in daylight hours?
“Yes, I believe that the body is responding in some hormonal manner to the changes in the amount of daylight. The longer hours of daylight in the summer triggers the hair to enter the telogen phase, which then triggers the shedding at the end of that phase. The precise mechanism is not clear,” Dr. Fenton explains.

So make sure to…

…buckle up with some extra vitamin D when the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping. Nutrafol’s supplement contains a good amount of vitamin D which will help your hair to stay strong and survive the seasonal hair shedding. Take them with a big glass of water to make sure you get enough moisture from within as well.