Feeling the blues? blame the pregnancy hormones. Experiencing hair loss? well guess who’s to blame too: yeps! pregnancy hormones again. It is a relatively common phenomenon that women start experiencing hair loss about 3 months after delivery (postpartum hair loss). This type of hair loss is variable from barely noticeable to quite significant.
Why does postpartum hair loss happen?
During pregnancy, the Estrogen hormone levels are on the rise and Estrogen has been known to promote hair growth. So during that time, the hair stays in the Anagen stage (growth stage) longer, making the shedding process slower. This explains why hair seems fuller and more lustrous (due hormones and better nutrition) during pregnancy.
After delivery of the baby, the Estrogen levels start to decrease. The effects are observed about 3 months later. As the hair cycle returns to normal, the Anagen stage becomes shorter and the Telogen phase longer. During that phase, hair seems to fall out more (Telogen Effluvium) than they should and in some cases, they fall out unevenly, even around the foreline.
8 Suggestions to help you with postpartum hair loss
Postpartum hair loss resolves itself by the time the baby is 1 year old, and doesn’t require any medication. However, during that time it can be quite embarrassing and frustrating. Here are 10 things that can be done while waiting for hair to grow back:
- Covering up with keratin fibers such as Toppik in the thinner areas of the hair.
- Changing hair style. Moving hair around can help covering areas that you don’t want to be seen.
- Using volumizing products such as Full from Living Proof, to give body to the hair.
- Keeping the hair and scalp clean. Oily hair sticks together making the scalp more visible while dirty scalp can invite bacteria causing inflammations and other problems such as dandruff, not conducive for hair growth. Regular shampoos cleanse well but using a dry shampoo in between shampoos can be a great addition to minimize damage from lathering. Dry shampoos can also add volume/body to the hair. They are more efficient before the hair is completely oily though.
- In the case of extreme hair loss, wigs can be the way to go for a while. Some well designed wigs have a natural look and feel to them and can be styled or even colored by salon stylist to look like your own hair. Remy hair is the best choice for wigs since, the hair is said to be of the highest quality: carefully selected from virgin hair with cuticles being intact.
- Healthy nutrition for healthy new growth. Making sure that you have a complete diet will assist the new growth to be stronger.
- Avoiding heat styling. Heat styling damages hair if done on a regular basis, resulting in breakage and thinner hair, thereby giving an overall appearance of low hair density on the scalp.
- Avoid chemical processes such as frequent hair coloring. These also damage hair and results in breakage/ thinning of hair over time.