First and foremost, your body is amazing for being able to carry and deliver another human. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you experienced a lot of changes during or after being pregnant. Postpartum hair loss is a common issue, but it’s not something you can’t manage.
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When you’re pregnant, your body has to literally prepare itself to carry an entirely different body, and in response, your hormones are all over the place. Once you have the baby, it’s normal for you to experience postpartum hair loss, as your body is once again adjusting to a new normal. If you aren’t sure if you’re having hair loss, there are signs.
We actually lose plenty of hair day to day. Statistically, it's normal to lose about 50-100 strands of hair a day. You can lose hair just by existing, but also during regular activities like showering, brushing your hair, or styling it. My husband likes to remind me that I shed my hair all over the house, but men shed hair too!
If you’re having abnormal hair loss, however, it will be noticeable. When brushing your hair, the hairbrush would be filled with clumps of hair, rather than its typical strands that pull out from brushing. Also, in the shower, you should see it come out in chunks, not just a few pieces here and there. If you’re losing a lot of hair, your hair will feel and appear thinner than what you know to be normal. Postpartum hair loss might also be accompanied by other abnormal body changes such as hormonal acne, weight fluctuation, and mood swings.
Parsley Health reports that hair loss “can happen between one to five months after delivery.” Dr. Elizabeth Milbank explains that “the increase in the ratio of ‘growing’ hair relative to ‘resting’ hair during pregnancy reverses postpartum, but normal hair patterns are typically restored by 6 to 15 months after delivery.”
Normal hair patterns are typically restored by 6 to 15 months after delivery.
This all might seem scary, because we like to have control over our bodies, but there are some things you can do to help combat postpartum hair loss.
Balance Your Hormones
The hormone changes your body goes through with pregnancy and delivery are one of the main causes of postpartum hair loss and many other postpartum issues. If you can work that out, then the other issues will eventually resolve too. Parsley Health suggests supporting your hormones after pregnancy by:
Know what to expect. Be informed about some of the changes that can occur.
Get plenty of sleep. This can be challenging when you are raising a newborn baby but do your best to prioritize resting.
Eat proteins and healthy fats.
Lean on your support system.
Don’t cut calories. You’re already losing so many calories from breastfeeding. Make sure your body is well-fueled.
Be patient. Don’t expect to go right back to normal after having the baby.
Take Supplements That Support Hair Growth
Despite what the ads will tell you, there’s no magic pill or product that will make your hair thicker in an instant. But there are supplements and products that support hair growth and repair. Let’s start with one of the most effective ones – biotin.
Biotin is vitamin B7, and it’s naturally found in walnuts, yeast, beef liver, and egg yolk. It’s a popular supplement that supports hair growth. As a hairstylist, I recommend this to clients who have experienced hair loss or feel their hair could use a boost. You won’t see any results from this unless you take it for several weeks, consistently. But everyone I know who has faithfully taken this supplement has seen results.
When your body is lacking in certain vitamins and nutrients, it can cause all kinds of physical responses like fatigue, dizziness, skin issues, and hair loss. So biotin is a great option to treat postpartum hair loss. You might want to take a multivitamin or continue taking your prenatal as well. This will boost your overall health and support your body after pregnancy. B vitamins (including biotin), vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and iron are all beneficial for hair growth.
Biotin is naturally found in walnuts, yeast, beef liver, and egg yolk.
Along with taking supplements, make sure you’re taking good care of the hair you do have. Here are some products that help support healthy hair and repair.
Focus on Your Diet
Something else to consider when you’re trying to get your hair back to normal after having your baby is your diet. Just like I described earlier, if you’re lacking in the nutrients your body needs, then it will affect you in more ways than you realize. Especially if you’re breastfeeding, you’re burning so many calories! You need to be fueled and nourished to stay healthy.
Make sure you’re eating enough food, and the right kinds of food to support your overall health. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, this can also thin your hair. A protein deficiency can lead to brittle and dry hair, which causes it to eventually break off. And besides protein, you still need those healthy fats and carbs to make sure you aren’t lacking in other vital nutrients as well.
If you just had a baby, give yourself some grace. Your body will go through all kinds of changes before it balances back out. Prepare yourself emotionally for this, and remember you’re still beautiful. But if you want to take all the necessary steps to help support hair regrowth and repair, there is a way to do it. Hormone balance will be the key to getting things back to normal, but you can also take vitamins and eat food that aid in hair growth. All of these things, plus protecting the hair you have, will get you on track to a fuller, healthier head of hair.
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