Dealing with Postpartum Hair Loss

You may have enjoyed lustrous hair during your pregnancy, but now that you've given birth you may start noticing that your hair is beginning to thin out around your hairline and at the crown of your head. Postpartum hair loss is a normal and expected after-birth development and isn't a cause for panic. Learn about why it happens and what you can do about it to put your mind at ease. 


Why It Happens

Hair undergoes three stages of growth: the growing stage, the transition stage, and the resting stage. During pregnancy, alteration in the body's hormones locks hair roots in the growth stage, making hair grow faster and seem thicker. After giving birth, the hormones return to their normal levels and hair roots begin to function normally, causing more hair than usual to enter into the transition and then resting (shedding) stage. Hairs in the last stage of growth usually remain on the head for around 100 days before falling out, which is why postpartum hair loss begins to manifest 3-4 months after birth and continues for a few months afterwards.

You needn't worry about going bald, as postpartum hair loss simply returns the hair to its pre-pregnancy thickness. If, however, you continue to experience excessive hair loss after six months of giving birth, consult with your doctor to make sure there aren't any other underlying reasons for your hair loss.


Other Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss could be the result of severe stress or other medical conditions such as anemia, iron deficiency, and thyroid problems. If you feel unwell or continue to experience hair loss a year after giving birth to your baby, talk to your doctor to rule out the possibility of other medical problems.


What You Can Do

Shedding is a natural process that you can do little about aside from being patient, but you can reduce the chance of excess shedding and encourage faster hair growth by following these tips:


Be gentle with your hair. Don't blow-dry it often and try to avoid using damaging coloring chemicals if possible.

Use a thickening shampoo. Consult with your doctor if you feel your tresses are getting too thin; he might be able to prescribe clinically reliable shampoos that reduce hair loss.

Keep taking prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins are great for skin, hair and nail growth. Other vitamins that can help hair growth are Vitamin H, silica, calcium, zinc, flaxseed oil, and the omegas found in fish, avocados and nuts.

Massage your scalp. Massaging stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which encourages the hair follicles to grow hair. Use the tips of your fingers to gently rub the scalp in circular motions on a daily and regular basis. 

Avoid thick and greasy hair masks and conditioners. Instead, use milder ones that won't potentially clog your pores and facilitate hair loss. Also opt for a refreshing natural hair mask that protects your growing baby hair.

Find ways to de-stress. Stress is a key contributing factor to postpartum hair loss. Try to find ways to decrease the level of stress in your life, and relax. Not only will it help reduce shedding, but it'll also be good for your overall health.