Postpartum Hair Loss
During your pregnancy, your hair may have seemed healthier and thicker. However, after you have given birth you may find that your hair begins to thin and you may experience hair loss. There is no need to panic. You are not going bald.
The average person loses about 100 hairs each day but during pregnancy, hormonal changes prevent them from falling out resulting in thicker hair. Postpartum, many new mothers will experience hair loss in excess of 100 hairs per day. In fact, 90 percent of postpartum women experience some degree of hair loss approximately two to six months after giving birth.
There is even a medical term for this: telogen effluvium. In response to severe stress such as childbirth, an excessive number of hairs are “shocked” into a telogen (or resting) stage. Old hairs are forced out by new hair that has grown beneath it, causing hair to shed.
Do not despair; this is a temporary condition. Hair growth will return to normal usually by the time your child turns one. In the meantime, it is important to keep your hair healthy.
Supporting Healthy Hair Growth
There are many things you can do to support healthy hair growth:
- Eat well. The Perricone Promise: Look Younger, Live Longer in Three Easy Steps by Dr. Nicholas Perricone suggests 10 superfoods that are excellent in supporting healthy hair growth. Along with salmon and flax seed, Perricone recommends acai, barley, buckwheat, green grasses (like spirulina and wheat grass), nuts and seeds, kefir and yogurt, hot peppers, beans and lentils, sprouts, and foods in the allium family (onions, garlic, etc.).
- Keep your hair well conditioned and moisturized. Try using a leave-in conditioner.
- Be gentle with your hair. Only shampoo it when it is necessary. Use a wide toothed comb for detangling and try to avoid blow-dryers and flat irons.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements can be helpful. B-6, beta carotene, biotin, Inositol and folic acid, zinc, sulfur, magnesium, and silica can help maintain normal growth.
If you experience an exceptional or unusual amount of hair loss, be sure to consult your doctor.