Many women don’t know that post-partum hair loss is very common, so when it happens to them, they don’t automatically associate it with their recent pregnancy.
Some types of hair loss, typically male and female pattern baldness, become permanent and are inevitable, but post-partum hair loss affects up to 50 percent of new mothers, and can be worrying if the cause isn’t understood.
With post-partum hair loss, a new mother’s hair can come out in handfuls. This usually happens when the baby is around three months old. It can be delayed if the mother is breastfeeding until around three months after the end of feeding.
See Also: Top Tips to Prevent Hair Loss
That gives the clue to the cause of post-partum hair loss, which is hormonal. In pregnancy, high oestrogen levels can make hair stay in a growth phase and look particularly glossy and healthy—when oestrogen levels drop, all the hair that should have been shed over the nine months of pregnancy can fall out at once leading to either bald patches, or general thinning. It doesn’t always happen, but there’s no way to prevent it when it does.
The good news about post-partum shedding is that it is temporary, and a good scalp health routine will soon have you back to full hair health – and you can take steps to avoid secondary types of hair shedding caused by stress, lack of sleep or poor nutrition..
So what are the top tips for promoting scalp health and recovering from post-partum hair loss?
- Eat well—a balanced diet rich in protein and iron
- Take supplements—vitamins B-6, C and E, calcium, zinc and selenium are beneficial
- Add nutrients—collagen, keratin and
- Sleep well—regular sleep is important for hormone balance, blood pressure and weight control, all factors in scalp health
- Get a short cut—it will makeyour hair easier to handle while it is recovering
- Don’t pull the hair back into a bun
- Don’t use high-heat dryers and straightners, and comb gently with a wide-tooth comb
- Massage the scalp-—it’s safe to do this every day
- Exfoliate the scalp once a week using a scrub, brush or glove
- Use a modern pH balanced thickening shampoo and conditioner
- Try volumizing spray or mousse prodcuts to improve appearance
If hair loss continues for more than a few months, it’s possible that there is another underlying cause, such as alopecia aerate, and it’s time to see a trichologist, but most cases of post-partum hair loss will recover in six to twelve months.