Many women often experience loss of hair weeks or months after moving past a pregnancy. Pregnancies do not only change a woman’s body but also cause some unexpected strange changes in the hair. These changes lead to the shedding of hair a few months after delivery, and this condition is known as Postpartum Alopecia.
Before you start worrying if you’re about going bald, you’re not, this hair loss also known as Postpartum Alopecia is not permanent. According to Chijioke Anaele, General Manager, Recare Cosmetics, makers of Natures Gentle Touch haircare range, hairs on our bodies grow in a cycle that lasts between two to seven years. The growing phase of hair is called anagen and it determines the length of the hair.
“After a while, the hair follicle enters a transition phase called catagen, before entering a resting phase called telogen. Shedding also known as exogen then occurs and the process starts all over again.
“During pregnancy, a lot of hormonal changes occur and some of these changes affect the hair positively. Some women will notice that during pregnancy, their hairs are usually healthier. This is as a result of estrogen that is being produced. The estrogen stimulates the hair follicles to start the growing phase, and that is why as a pregnant woman, you’ll notice that your hair grows significantly faster than it did before you got pregnant. After childbirth, the estrogen level drops and returns to the pre-pregnancy level, prompting the hair follicles to enter the resting phase. A hundred days into the resting days, the hair begins to shed,” he explained.
He stated further that it is important to note that besides the estrogen and progesterone changes, stress and nutrition also affect hormone levels which can also affect hair growth. Thyroiditis, which is caused by an imbalance of thyroid hormones can create an imbalance in the thyroid hormones and affect growth.
How do we prevent postpartum hair loss?
Anaele highlighted the following points:
- Ensure that you’re getting regular, gentle-to-moderate exercise. This keeps all the vital organs of your body active and can help regulate the hormonal imbalance during pregnancy.
- Do not underrate the essence of a good diet. Consume a healthy diet rich in nutrients to support your body that is experiencing changes and help its postpartum recovery.
- Take postpartum vitamin and mineral supplements if recommended by your doctor.
What to do about postpartum hair loss?
When you notice that you are beginning to shed hair after pregnancy, don’t panic. You can recover from it in a matter of time. All you need to do is:
- Reduce stress
Reducing stress levels do not only bring about peace of mind but also has the added benefit of regulating hormone imbalances. Practice different relaxation techniques like mindfulness, meditation or breathing exercises.
- Use anti-hair loss cream
While going shopping for your delivery, do not forget to add hair creams that help hair growth during postpartum. The Ginger Anti Hair Loss Balm from Natures Gentle Touch has been proven to be very effective in this regard, both for people suffering from normal hair loss and women in their postpartum stage.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
The hair follicles need nutrients to grow and be healthy. Besides applying tons of cosmetics and hair creams on your hair, another way of supplying nutrient to the hair follicle is by eating healthy food. Take lots of vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruits. Do not forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Take nutritional supplements
Speak to your doctor about taking mineral supplements to help boost your hair growth. Health experts have recommended Vitamin B complex and/or biotin (B7), Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Zinc as necessary nutritional supplements for women going in postpartum.
- Go natural
During postpartum hair loss, avoid colouring your hair or using harsh gels and sprays for styling. Opt for natural oils that are said to help strengthen hair growth and reduce hair loss. Add a few drops of peppermint to your shampoo to help moisturize the hair and give it shine.
- Consumption of fish or flaxseed oils may help restore optimal levels of essential fatty acids like omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9, which promote hair growth.
- Gently massage almond oil or castor oil into the scalp as this can help to stimulate hair growth.
In conclusion, Anaele noted that postpartum hair loss is normal and should not be a cause for alarm when you start experiencing it. Following the steps highlighted above will set you on the right track to recovering faster from it.