Post partum hair loss, also called postnatal hair loss, is not uncommon. In fact, it should be expected. But expected or not, dealing with a sudden loss of hair can be frustrating. Who needs another blow to self-esteem just when the post-baby body blues set in?
Where Did All That Hair Go?
During pregnancy, many women get to bask in the thrill of having long, luscious locks of hair. Sure, it may have gotten a bit dry at times, but boy was it thick! Hormones that are surging through the pregnant body also promote hair volume. But once the baby is born, hair starts to wilt. More than that, it can also start falling out, sometimes by the fist full.
Don't worry! It doesn't mean that balding is right around the corner, though it can certainly feel that way.
In the normal cycle of hair growth, everyone loses a few hairs on a daily basis. During pregnancy though, increased estrogen interferes with the normal growth-loss cycle and hair that would ordinarily fall out stays where it is. After birth, when estrogen returns to normal, all that extra hair starts falling out at once, usually within weeks, and continuing for up to six months afterwards.
Gentle hair care is always encouraged.
Still, along with the inevitable hair loss caused by hormones, women lose a lot of hair because of daily abuse. Of course, no one thinks she is abusing her hair, but aspects of hair "care" do just that.
Preventing Excess Hair Loss
To keep as many hairs as possible right where they belong, consider the following tips:
Avoid the unnatural: Blow drying, curl ironing, straightening, hair spray, dyes, chemical shampoos and other products all take their toll on hair. Using appliances and certain hair products can dehydrate and weaken the hair shaft, which leads to dryness and breakage. To keep hair thicker and healthier, keep these things to a minimum or avoid them all together.
Don't overdo it: Over washing, over brushing, over toweling, over use of products, and over-sunning -- all these vigorous activities take their toll on fragile hairs. As a result, hair can fall out sooner rather than later.
Hair takes a beating every time it gets washed. Brushing can also be rough on hair, especially when it's wet. And heat? Heat is one of the worst culprits, along with ultra-violet rays. In short, be kind to hair and treat it well.
Pamper it: Take good care of hair. Use all-natural products without a single ingredient you can't pronounce. Essential oils, plant emollients and extracts are all excellent things to look for. Use a gentle shampoo, moisturizing and protective conditioner.
Focus on the inside out: Nutrition has everything to do with healthy hair. Eat a diet filled with color (not the artificial kind), and ample essential oils. Stay well hydrated throughout the day.
Post partum hair loss can be very upsetting. Use the tips outlined to promote hair thickness and retention, and to minimize hair loss.