Many new moms are surprised to find themselves losing more hair than usual in the first few months after giving birth, but that’s normal. Don’t be panic, you’re not going bald. This is a temporary phase. Patience is the key to dealing with this because the condition will back to normal after about 6 to 12 months after you give birth.
So here’s what’s going on. Normally, an average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day. During pregnancy, the increase levels of estrogen stimulates hair growth while keeping hair loss to a minimum. Hence you have thicker, more luxuriant tresses.
After delivery, the estrogen levels drop back down to normal and this leads to rapid hair fall. This usually starts the third or fourth postpartum and ends by six months, says Joanne Stone, MD, an ob-gyn at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and coauthor of Pregnancy for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons). But some women claim that it last for about a year.
By the way, not all women notice dramatic changes in their hair during pregnancy or the postpartum period. Among those who do, it tends to be more obvious among women with longer hair. The sudden contrast from pre to post-delivery can really affect confidence and self-esteem.
Here are 6 ways that can help you in minimizing hair fall after pregnancy:
1. Live life healthy
It is essential that you eat hearty meals. Try monitoring your diet for protein, iron, flavonoids and antioxidants.
2. Start taking supplements
While you wait for your hormone levels and hair growth back to normal, you can try supplements like vitamins B, C, E and zinc. There is also some evidence that taking biotin in oral form can help with hair loss.
3. Avoid using shampoo too often
It is the best that you avoid using shampoo too often than you need to and choose a mild, nourishing shampoo when you do shampoo.
4. Always use a wide-toothed comb
This type of comb helps detangle your hair gently without causing any damage.
5. Pick the right hairstyle
To minimize hair loss, it is important that you pick a hairstyle that causes minimal stress and damage on your tresses. Tight hairstyles and elastic bands are a NO-NO! Or you can try a new haircut that makes it look fuller.
6. Avoid chemical treatments to your hair
It is best that you stay clear of procedures and treatments like highlighting, perming and straightening. This means, you should avoid curling and flat irons as well as blow dryers.
7. Avoid stress
Being under stress can increase hair fall. Be patient and not panic. But it also important to consult a doctor if your gut tells you that the hair loss is a bit excessive. It could be a symptom of a bigger problem.
A note to new moms with long hair:
Strands of hair can end up tightly wrapped around your baby’s tiny fingers, toes, wrists, ankles and penis and it can be quite painful for your little one. If you find him/her crying for no apparent reason, check carefully for tight bands of hair.