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.

Female Pattern Baldness – An Overview

female baldness

Up to 50 percent of men experience hair loss before hitting 50. Yes, that many, and yes, the issue is that common – as are the treatments. Everything from transplants costing thousands of dollars; to the well known drug Propecia, with its libido-losing side effects; to faithful natural solutions that are long-lasting because they work on making the entire body healthy rather than focusing only on the hair.

The main type of hair loss for both genders is androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern hair loss or male pattern hair loss.

Female pattern baldness may not be as common, but for those affected it can be even harder, as a shaved head is sometimes not a desired look among women as it is for men. No matter the reason for the hair loss, the anxiety and stigma that follows with female pattern baldness is stressful for many.

What is Androgenetic Alopecia?

Harvard Medical School wrote this about androgenetic alopecia:
“As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens. Which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition. Such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine.”

What Causes Female Pattern Baldness?

The causes are many, including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. When the clinicians explain female pattern hair loss, they most commonly use the Ludwig Classification from 1977. The Ludwig Classification divides female pattern hair loss into three categories:

  • Type I is mild, with minimal thinning that can be camouflaged with hair styling techniques.
  • Type II moderate and is characterized by decreased volume and noticeable widening of the mid-line part.
  • Type III is extensive with a see-through appearance (sometimes total baldness) on the top of the scalp.

 

Almost every woman will eventually develop some kind of female pattern hair loss. When it occurs will depend on your DNA. For some it can start as early as puberty, for others during menopause. The risk rises with age, and the risk is higher for women who have a history of hair loss on either side of the family.

What Can You Do?

The most common treatment is through medication – here are some of them:

Anti-androgens
Some anti-angrogens are Aldactone and Propecia, but these androgen receptor-blocking drugs are not really for women to use. There are only a few studies on what affect they have on women, which means little reliable evidence that they are effective or even safe. Therefore these options are really only open to men.

female hair loss
Almost every woman will eventually develop some kind of female pattern baldness. When it will occur, depends on your DNA.

Iron Supplements
When women lose hair, iron deficiency can be one of the causes. Get your clinic to test you and see if you are short on iron. If the iron level is less than 70 nanograms per milliliter, then your doctor may suggest taking an iron supplement.

Botanical Supplements
Going green is always a wise suggestion. Botanical supplements contain many of the nutrients your hair needs. These kind of supplements are usually sourced from herbs and vitamins that go along well. The ingredients target the potential triggers of thinning hair and provide your hair with the essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

Brazilian Blowout: What You Need to Know

Nutrafol for healthy hair

If you are someone who keeps up with the newest in hair care, chances are you have heard about the Brazilian Blowout. A Brazilian Blowout treatment is a hair protectant that gives your hair a glossy, frizz-free, hydrated shine for up to three months. The ingredients used when doing a Brazilian Blowout are the Brazilian camu camu, annatto seed, and acai berries, which sound harmless enough. But studies show Brazilian Blowouts can actually pose a real health risk.

What is a Brazilian Blowout?

Just what is a Brazilian Blowout hair treatment? The treatment is generally recommended for people with damaged, frizzy, or very processed hair. A Brazilian Blowout treatment is meant to make your hair straighter, shinier and frizz-free, which can tempt many of us to try it. But then there’s the question of how long does a Brazilian Blowout last, and it turns out the results only last for about 10-12 weeks. And that is if you maintain it the way the stylists tell you to, which we all know is hard to keep up with.

When you go for your Brazilian Blowout treatment, the stylist will assess your hair and answer any questions you have, from what is a Brazilian Blowout to how to care for your hair following a Brazilian Blowout treatment. The first step of a Brazilian Blowout is to wash the hair and then towel dry it. Next, the smoothing product is applied in sections. After that, the stylist will blow dry your hair while making it as smooth as possible using a brush. After a round of flat ironing, the stylist will rinse the hair out using only water, and then apply a specific bonding spray that will seal the cuticles of the hair. After that, it is time for a smoothing serum before the final blow dry and styling.

Why is a Brazilian Blowout Dangerous?

If you’ve read many Brazilian Blowout reviews, you know a lot of customers are satisfied with the results the smoothing treatment has on their hair. What those Brazilian Blowout reviews usually don’t mention is that Brazilian Blowouts can be dangerous to your health — not because of the process itself, but rather because of some of the chemicals involved in it. While many people want to know “How long does a Brazilian Blowout last,” a better question might be “How long can the potentially harmful effects of a Brazilian Blowout last?”

Did Somebody Say Free From Formaldehyde?

Nutrafol for hair growth
Sulfates are ingredients well-known as a skin, eye, mouth, and even lung irritant

What is in a Brazilian Blowout hair treatment that could be considered harmful? Although the products used in the Brazilian Blowout, and the similar Keratin treatment, are reported as free from the carcinogenic chemical formaldehyde, the air in salons offering these treatments tested positive for formaldehyde. How is this possible?

Some manufacturers list “synonyms” for formaldehyde on their labels. This is because sometimes the formaldehyde has been dissolved in water or another substance, which changes its chemical composition slightly, giving it a new name. The problem is that all these substances can release formaldehyde when subjected to certain conditions, such as the heat involved in a hair smoothing treatment, or even when using heating tools later at home.

For this reason, The American Cancer Society wrote the following about keratin smoothing treatments: “Professional keratin hair-smoothing treatments can contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing chemicals. Using these can raise indoor air concentrations of formaldehyde to levels that could be a potential hazard.”

All of the chemicals listed below are names for formaldehyde under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s formaldehyde standard:

Methylene glycol
Formalin
Methylene oxide
Paraform
Formic aldehyde
Methanal
Oxomethane
Oxymethylene
Timonacic acid
Thiazolidinecarboxylic acid

Is Getting a Brazilian Blowout Worth the Risk?

Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer and tends to be the worst when it is in the gaseous heated stage. It is a “sensitizer,” which means that it can cause allergic reactions of the skin, eyes, and lungs such as asthma-like breathing, skin rashes, and itching. It can also be a health hazard, whether in a product or in the air.

Studies conducted by The American Cancer Society have shown that formaldehyde can increase the probability of nasopharynx cancer and leukemia. One study found that workers exposed to formaldehyde had higher than normal levels of chromosome changes in early white blood cells in their bone marrow. This finding supports the possible link between formaldehyde exposure and leukemia.

Other Everyday Chemicals You Should Get Rid Of

Considering this, maybe it is not worth risking your and your stylist’s health for the sake of beauty. There are other, safer methods of achieving great hair without turning to Brazilian Blowouts. Have you, for example, considered natural solutions and skipping the chemicals for a while? We are not only talking about choosing a supplement made from plants to increase your hair health, we are talking about changing your routines, even when it comes to how you wash your hair. Did you know sulfates, which can be found in many shampoos, are well-known irritants of the skin, eyes, mouth and even lungs? Maybe it is time to take a closer look at the ingredients of that bottle you use every other day.

The study “Exposure to Chemicals in Cosmetics” conducted by the Breast Cancer Foundation shed some new light on another shampoo ingredient — parabens — and what effect it has on the body. The study discovered that parabens can penetrate the skin and act as a very weak form of estrogen in the body potentially making hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow.

So how about getting rid of shampoos containing sulfates and parabens and switching to a sulfate-free shampoo? Sulfate-free shampoos preserve your hair’s natural oils and are also color-safe, which is good if you dye your hair a lot. Instead of buying hair masks, which also have chemicals in them, you can make your own. A hair mask made from avocado, for example, contains vitamin E and is easy to make. Vitamin E is good for hair growth because it is a great moisturizer and also boosts the immune system.

Hair Loss and Cancer – Chemotherapy Does Not Need to Lead to Hair Loss Anymore

Hair Loss and cancer – as if the dreaded disease isn’t bad enough it usually comes with the added burden of hair loss. So when the news hit the world of a new device that helps cancer patients keep their hair during chemotherapy, cancer patients everywhere felt there might be a small amount of relief to everything they already have to deal with.

DigniCap is the name of the device that is supposed to revolutionize hair loss during chemotherapy. It is a scalp cooling system that offers patients the possibility of keeping all or most of their hair during chemotherapy. According to DigniCap, the cooling system was approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. in December 2015.

Modern medicine has come a long way when it comes to handling the side effects of chemotherapy, making many aspects of the treatment manageable for the patients. But hair loss has been one of the side effects that for a long time was unavoidable. Many patients going through chemotherapy has said that they do not like the fact that hair loss makes it so obvious to others that they are are sick.

Dr. Saranya Chumsri, an oncologist specializing in breast cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, a clinic that now offers their patients DigniCap, said in an interview for the local paper that many patients do not want to be reminded they have cancer.

“Even though they, most of the time, feel really well, the fact that they don’t have hair reminds them every single day that they have cancer and are on chemotherapy. With the DigniCap system, just the fact they can keep their hair makes a whole world of difference,” said Dr Chumsri.

 

How Dignicap Works When Dealing with Cancer and Hair Loss

The DigniCap scalp cooling system is a tight-fitting silicone cooling cap. The cap is placed directly on the head of the person. And an outer cap is placed on the first silicone cap, and insulates and secures it.

The cap is connected to a cooler, where liquid coolant circulates throughout the silicone cap, delivering cooling to all areas of the scalp. Before the patients put on the cap, they wet their hair, and sometimes, when the treatment is done, they can actually find ice crystals in their hair. The temperature of the scalp is lowered and the scalp is kept cold, and because of that, less chemotherapy makes it to the scalp.

These are the factors that reduce the risk of hair loss. What determines how long the patients will be attached to the DigniCap, is the treatment that they are getting. But it usually last from four to seven hours.

Dignicap and hair loss
More and more clinics are integrating Dignicap as part of the post-cancer treatment.

Still Unattainable for Most People

Even though DigniCap is revolutionizing the battle of cancer and hair loss, it is still a tool that is mainly for those who can afford it. Using DigniCap is not cheap. In fact, it costs about $400 for each treatment.

Other problems that have been reported are that some of the patients get a headache from the cap, and that the strap on the cap can give some patients irritations on the chin. Nonetheless, more and more clinics are integrating DigniCap as part of their post-cancer treatment, making it a great development when it comes to cancer and hair loss.

William Cronin, the Chief Executive Officer of Dignitana Inc, the company that produces DigniCap, says in an article that he is honored to make a real difference for cancer patients who fear losing their hair to chemotherapy.

“As more and more centers like the Mayo Clinic integrate new innovations like the DigniCap system into their cancer care regimens, we move closer and closer to the day when that fear is a thing of the past,” he comments.

 

Foolproof Tips When it Comes to Hair Growth – Hairstylists Give Us the Inside Scoop

Growing your hair out takes time and patience, so it makes sense that many people are asking if there are any foolproof tips when it comes to hair growth. Nutrafol contacted two hairstylists to ask them for their best advice how to reach the desired result, the easiest way.

“The day you decide to grow out your hair, you have to really start taking care of it,” explains hairstylist Mark Townsend, who can be found at Sally Hershberger’s Los Angeles Salon when he is not busy styling the hair of the Hollywood elite. “To get the length, there are sacrifices, and this is something that I tell all my clients,” he continues.

The truth is that there are no shortcuts to a long luxurious mane. It is a several months long methodical process, a process that starts with a healthy diet and ends with a thorough cleanse.

How to Maximize Your Hair Growth and Get That Transformative Effect

First of all, to keep your hair healthy and strong in order to grow it out, you need to get the right nutrients in your body. A healthy and varied diet with lots of the good vitamins and proteins goes a long way, but you can also take a supplement that is designed to support healthy hair growth. Nutrafol is built to strengthen the hair from within. This is because the nutraceutical ingredients it contains include may of the nutrients known to be needed for healthy hair.

Commit and Do Not Skip Those Regular Micro-trims

“When you go for a dusting – taking off just an eighth of an inch versus a standard trim – you barely see hair on the floor”, says Mr Townsend. And he has a point. If you do these carefully calibrated micro-trims, you are preserving the length. The micro-trims are helping you to get rid of the split ends that have been caused by environmental damage. Among the environmental factors that can damage hair we count traffic pollution, the over-use of hot tools, the heat of the sun, salt from the sea, as well as certain chemicals. So minimize your exposure to these to safeguard your hair as much as possible.

What If You Do Not Commit to Micro-trims?

“If left to their own devices, those pesky split ends can work their way higher up the hair’s shaft,” explains fashion shoot hairstylist Vernon François. Mr François, who works in both Los Angeles and New York and who has created his own brand of hair care products, specializes in different hair textures and hair issues such as split ends. He has dealt with many customers over the years who have decided to hold off on trims, in the hopes of growing their hair faster. It had the opposite effect.
“If you wait too long in between trims, you’ll end up having to take off more length in the end,” says François.
Even if you are not a fan of the micro-trim, the real pros recommend at least three dustings a year in order to keep your hair healthy.

Tips for better hair growth
Pros recommend at least three dustings a year, it will keep your hair healthy.

Commit To a Weekly Conditioning Treatment

A weekly conditioning treatment is good for all hair types but especially for fine, curly or color treated hair. When you do these weekly conditioning treatments, pay extra attention to the tips François advises.
“They’re the oldest and driest part of your strands. They’re thinner and brittle, so giving them extra love will minimize breakage,” he explains.

You can also incorporate treatments into your day-to-day styling routine. If so, choose a mask that will hydrate your hair from the inside and out and boost your hair growth.

Commit to Cleansing Consciously

You have probably heard about cleanses when it comes to your body, but yes – you can also cleanse your hair. And it is something you should do. In fact, a cleansing is the foundation of any hair-care regimen, and it starts before you even step foot in the shower. All you need to do is to soak your strands for 10 minutes with a protective pre-washing tonic.

What Is It Good For?

“It’s going to leave a little bit of film on your hair, so the shampoo won’t strip it from it’s moisture,” explains Townsend.
If you do not have time to soak your hair for 10 minutes before you shower, picking a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate-free will go a long way to help. Shampoos without sulfate will preserve natural hair oils, protecting your hair from becoming too dry. Massage the scalp while lathering up to increase blood flow and stimulate the hair follicles for better hair growth.

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.

 

Movember and You – Tips on How to Make Your Facial Hair Grow Faster

november

With November comes a great responsibility for men, the responsibility of growing as much facial hair as possible during the length of the month. It is famously referred to as “Movember”, which is why a mustache is the preferred type of facial hair to grow, and it is meant to be a time of raising awareness for different types of cancer, in particular, prostate cancer.

The Movember Movement

The movement started in Australia in 1999 and has become so big that it raises not only awareness, but also hundreds of millions of dollars during November every year.

Preparation for Movember often starts the day before, on October 31st. Many men shave so that they can start growing out their facial hair as a symbol of awareness during the month. However, some men experience difficulties growing it out during such a short time frame. If you are one of the men having trouble growing a full beard or a thick mustache in just a month’s time, there can be a variety of reasons why this is so.

Why Isn’t My Facial Hair Growing?

Have you given it enough time? One of the most simple reasons could be just that – lack of patience and time. Some men tend to reach for the razor as soon as their beard starts to itch or they feel that it looks too scruffy.

  • So keep in mind…
    …that it usually takes around four weeks to grow a thick beard. However, it varies by individual so for some men it might take longer than four weeks. Take the opportunity this month to actually see how well your beard grows. Based on your results, you will be able to determine if genetics is the reason your facial hair is not growing in the desired way. Or if it is something else – like alopecia barbae.

What Other Reasons Are There?

How about taking a look at your diet? Keeping a healthy lifestyle is not only important for your body and your hair, it is also important for your facial hair. The rule of thumb to keep in mind is that your diet is an important part of all your hair growth. Many foods have vitamins that help promote healthy hair growth.

Movember is here!
Keeping a healthy lifestyle is not only important for your body and for your hair, it is also important for your facial hair.

Vitamin A regulates the synthesis of retinoic acid in the follicle and is an essential component of hair growth and maintenance. It works with zinc to prevent the drying and clogging of the sebaceous glands in the scalp and lubricates the follicles and roots.

There are eight B Vitamins and they are often referred to as the Vitamin B-complex, which includes B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. This complex plays a huge role in keeping you healthy. They affect your energy, metabolism, nerves, muscles, skin, nails and hair. The vitamin B-complex promotes cell growth and cell division, which is important for facial hair growth. If you feel like your hair is not growing as fast as it normally does, you might have a vitamin B deficiency. In that case, make sure to take your supplements.

Vitamin C has an important role as an antioxidant, that prevents free radicals from damaging the hair follicles. It is also responsible for the synthesis of collagen in the body. Collagen in turn, keeps our skin and scalp healthy and flexible. Vitamin C also works to block the production of DKK-1, a protein that many people who suffer from hair loss have too much of. DKK-1 is sometimes known as “the baldness protein”.