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.
“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.
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.