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Postpartum Hair Loss - Causes & Solutions

by andMe Bioactive Beverage 02 May 2022
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Hair is made up of keratin, a protein produced by the body. Each strand of hair has a root below the scalp and a shaft above the scalp. Hair grows from the bottom of the follicle, the tube-like structure that holds the hair in place beneath the skin. The strand, which is made up of living cells, is fed by blood vessels at its base. 

Hair goes through several phases of growth. The first phase is a growing phase, also called the anagen phase, where hair is getting longer. The second phase is called the catagen phase, or transitional phase, where hair growth slows and the follicle becomes smaller. The third phase is the telogen phase, or the resting phase, where the hair doesn't grow anymore. After the resting stage, the individual strands of hair eventually fall out. A new hair then starts growing to replace the one that came out. Hairs are usually in the anagen phase for two to four years. You can expect that 85% to 90% of your hair is in this phase at any given time. Once your hair goes into the telogen phase, you can expect it to stay at one length for two to four months. 

Hairfall after delivery: 

When you're pregnant, your body produces high levels of the hormone estrogen. This blocks the normal hair loss cycle and causes your hair to grow faster. The extra estrogen also extends the life of each strand of hair so that you won't lose as much hair as usual. Once your baby has had, your hormone levels return to their pre-pregnancy levels. The drop in estrogen triggers your hair to go back to the cycle of growth, resting, and falling out. A significant portion of your hair will begin the resting phase right away. Then, several months later, the hairs have completed their resting phase and start to fall out. 

Postpartum hair loss is noticeable because it's much more than the 100 hairs a person typically loses per day. The technical name for this type of hair loss is telogen effluvium, which means excessive shedding. The hormone fluctuations that happen in postpartum women cause more strands of hair than usual to enter the resting stage and then fall out a few weeks later. As a result, you may find that you are losing as many as 300 hairs per day. 

Is Postpartum hairloss permanent? 

Postpartum hair loss, also called postpartum alopecia, is common among new moms. This is because the hormones released during pregnancy and childbirth, cause your body to shed more hair as a way of shedding excess tissue, which is also why you lose your hair when you're menstruating. 

Generally, though, the hair loss should stop once your baby reaches 6 months of age, and you've stopped breastfeeding. Women who have longer periods than usual may find that the hair loss returns before the end of their period. This isn't necessarily due to postpartum alopecia. However, it's most likely due to changing hormone levels. In some cases, the hair loss returns when a woman stops taking birth control pills. 

Causes of Postpartum hairfall: 

If you've noticed more hair in the sink or widened your part, don't worry. Postpartum hair loss is common and usually temporary. During pregnancy, the level of hormones called estrogen and progesterone rises. These hormones help keep your hair in the growing phase — a phase that lasts up to three years on average. Because of this longer growth phase, you'll lose fewer hairs than usual when you shampoo, brush, comb or style it. 

When your body adjusts to normal hormone levels after giving birth, your hair may start to fall out at a more rapid rate than before pregnancy. The rate of your postpartum hair loss depends on several factors: 

  • Whether you had a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section
  • If you breastfeed
  • How much weight do you gain during pregnancy
  • The stress of labour and delivery
  • Your medical history

You may first notice postpartum hair loss two months after delivery when your hair's growth cycle returns to normal. Your hair might seem thinner overall as well as where it once was thickest — at your crown or near your temples. If you notice that only certain sections of your scalp are thinning, see your doctor for an evaluation.  

Solution and prevention of Postpartum hairloss:

Hair loss after pregnancy isn't unusual, but it may cause you to worry about your appearance. Postpartum hair loss is hair loss that occurs as a result of pregnancy. It's normal for women to lose some hair after having a baby, but many women experience abnormal hair loss during postpartum. If you're concerned about your postpartum hair loss, talk with your doctor. They can help you figure out what's causing your hair to fall out and recommend solutions.

  1. Skip hairstyling:
It's normal to shed a few hairs each day. Most people lose up to 100 hairs daily. But if you notice your hair is thinning more than usual, it might be temporary postpartum shedding. Try to hold off on fancy styling and let your hair air-dry till the thinning tapers out. Brushing too hard can also cause your hair to fall out in bigger clumps, so be gentle when brushing and don't brush more than once a day. Instead, you can use the extra time to cuddle your baby or catch up on sleep!
  1. Eat a balanced diet:
To ensure that you get the proper nutrients to keep your hair healthy, you should eat a healthy balanced diet. This includes dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach; sweet potatoes and carrots full of beta carotene; oily fish like salmon, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids; and eggs packed with vitamin D and Greek yoghurt, which is rich in protein. You can also drink plant-based supplements for hair growth like andMe's Biotin drink filled with the goodness of Ayurveda.
  1. Take vitamins:
Vitamins can be a valuable supplement to your diet. It may be essential to continue your prenatal vitamins after giving birth. In addition, if you are breastfeeding, you may want to consider taking a multivitamin that includes vitamin D.
  1. Use volumizing shampoo:

Volumizing shampoos can help fine or limp hair, but there's no scientific evidence that they work. Some conditioners are heavier than others, so these may weigh your hair down and make it look thinner and limper. Volumizers usually add body to your hair, helping you achieve a lustrous look.

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