Becoming a new mom brings a lot of surprises. Unfortunately, not all of them are pleasant. Very often after delivery women notice that they start losing more hair than they did during pregnancy. This hair loss can be so abundant that a new mother may think she is going to become bald. Is it normal to have hair loss after pregnancy?
Excessive hair loss after pregnancy is a natural process that has several causes and it definitely will not result in baldness. The major reason for post pregnancy hair loss is hormonal surge. Almost half of women who gave birth to a child face hair problems in average during 4 month after delivery. Generally it happens after 1-5 month after giving birth.
Postpartum hair loss can be that massive that you can lose up to 40% of your hair, but this loss is quite natural and does not require any special medical treatment.
Why Do You Lose Hair After Pregnancy?
Usually 90% of your hair is constantly growing, while 10% of all hair is at quiescent state and later it falls out. As this hair loss reaches in average one hundred hairs every day, you don’t notice it. After pregnancy you can lose up to 500 hairs per day or even more. It is connected to the fact that during pregnancy you did not lose your hair because of high level of estrogen.
Like many other changes that female body undergoes during pregnancy, hair loss after birth of baby is a temporary problem that will completely disappear in 8-12 months after the delivery.
Besides, you have probably noticed that during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, your hair was lush and shiny as if you were a supermodel. You liked your hairdo as it had volume and glitter. There was hardly an occasion when you saw a dead hair on your comb. But after pregnancy the situation has changed drastically: every morning you find dozens of fallen hairs on your pillow, even more you lose while combing, not mentioning those which fall out when you touch your head. No wonder that you want to know how to stop hair loss after pregnancy. To reduce this extreme hair thinning you should understand causes that trigger loss of hair after pregnancy.
Causes For Postpartum Hair Loss
Among the main reasons that cause hair problems after having a baby are hormonal changes. Your hormones gradually balance back and your estrogen level lowers. This affects your hair and that amount of hair which did not fall out during pregnancy, falls out after it. Usually that is 30-40 % of all your hair. Such loses are normal, and you should not worry about them.
The second problem which may provoke hair loss is lack of vitamins and minerals. During pregnancy your body accumulates necessary vitamins and microelements. However, when you give birth to your child and start feeding him or her with your milk, this reserve quickly vanishes and you have shortage of vitamins. This shortage negatively influences your hair. Especially important for your hair are iron, calcium, magnesium and D vitamin.
Sometimes decrease of these elements in your body is connected to loss of blood during delivery, especially if you have undergone C-section. In this case you can develop anemia or B and C vitamin shortage and lack of iron and zinc.
Apart from the abovementioned reasons there is another one that influences the state of your hair: stress and sleep deprivation. As a rule, a newborn requires constant attention from the mother. Even at night you have to feed him or her several times. Prolonged sleep distortions lead to immunity disorders and to hair loss. Besides, a child causes a lot of stress, which in its turn badly influences your hair condition. That is why it is very important that you try to sleep when your baby is sleeping and do not forget about stress reducing techniques – now they are very important.
In addition, the last but not least reason is unbalanced eating. It is hard to imagine a new mom who has time to cook a sufficient meal three times a day. At best you can have more or less balanced dinner, while somebody is babysitting. This diet negatively affects your body, making your hair weaker. To avoid hair loss because of bad eating habits you should regularly eat vegetables and fruits, meat and fish, dairy products and plant oils, dried fruit and nuts. Don’t forget that you need twice more vitamins than usually while you are nursing, as your baby consumes most of them with your milk.
Postpartum Hair Loss Treatment
Postpartum hair loss treatment depends on the causes that triggered this process. Usually this state does not require any cure as within a year your hormonal level comes back to normal. However, if you think that you have severe hair fall, consult a doctor for proper treatment and vitamins. A specialist will do necessary blood tests and investigate your thyroid gland, because thyroiditis can also cause hair fall. You should understand that if your hair falls out because of hormonal disorders, no shampoo can help you.
If you have a shortage of minerals, your doctor can advise you which vitamins to take. Besides, try to eat properly and drink much water. Make sure your diet contains products that have iron, calcium and zinc.
Preventing Hair Loss After Pregnancy
Since problems with hair are quite frequent among new mothers, you might want to know how to avoid hair loss after giving birth. First of all this process depends on hormones and here you can do literally nothing.
However, there are some ways of preventing hair loss after pregnancy, if the problem is caused by lack of minerals and vitamins or improper nutrition. The best treatment for hair loss is a balanced diet. Even if you are very busy with your baby, do not neglect proper nutrition. Now that you have a baby you have to eat for two.
Another option to deal with hair fall is to massage your head. This helps to improve blood circulation on scalp. When hair bulbs get more nourishing elements from your blood, they become stronger.
Treat your hair with special care:
- Do not use a hair dryer or a flat iron;
- Avoid tight hairdos;
- Delay any chemical hair procedures;
- Use shampoo only when necessary;
- Buy special hair care products;
- Use scrunchies or barrettes instead of rubber ponytail holders or crab hair clips.
Postpartum Hair Loss Remedies
You will not stop hormonal hair fall with masks or solutions, but you can alleviate it a bit and add you hair strength and lush with some remedies. One of them is oil mask. Mix sea buckthorn oil with sunflower oil in 9 to 1 ratio. Rub this substance into your scalp and leave it on your hair for an hour. Wash it off with a shampoo for dry hair. Repeat this procedure twice a week during a month.
If you want your hair to grow faster, you can prepare egg and mustard mask. Mix one tablespoon of mustard powder with warm water to get a smooth substance. Add one raw egg yolk and thoroughly mix. Apply to your scalp and keep the mask for 10-20 minutes. Then rinse off with warm water. If you have dry hair type, add to this mask a tablespoon of plant oil. Apply this mask twice a week.
Perhaps postpartum period is a time to think about a short haircut. This hairstyle is better for your hair and safer for your baby, because long hair can easily wrap around baby’s limbs or fingers causing pain.