During pregnancy, you may experience a ‘wow’ feeling about your thick and lustrous hair. But the feeling can change as soon as the baby is born. After delivery, hair often starts falling out with increased speed.
Normally, on an average, a person loses 100 hairs a day. The hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy keep those hairs from falling out.
The increased levels of estrogen keep most of the hair in the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle, which causes less hair loss and makes your hair look dense and thick.
But soon after delivery, estrogen levels start declining and all the hair that was in the anagen phase eventually enters the resting phase and starts falling out. Postpartum hair loss can begin any day after your baby arrives.
Don’t freak out looking at the increasing amount of hair you may be shedding. This is a normal occurrence. This process of hair loss may last from six months to one year.
There is not much that can be done to stop it, but simple lifestyle changes and home remedies can keep the hair loss to a minimum as well as promote healthy hair growth.
Note: If hair loss continues with the same intensity for more than a year, consult your doctor.
Here are the top 10 ways to deal with postpartum hair loss.
1. Handle Hair with Care
After childbirth, it takes some time to form a schedule as there are plenty of responsibilities to take care of. This often makes you neglect your hair and, ultimately, your hair ends up in very bad shape.
So, the first step toward hair loss prevention should actually be proper hair care.
- Wash your hair gently but with a good shampoo, 2 or 3 times a week.
- Do not use hot water to wash your hair. Use lukewarm or cool water.
- Don’t comb, brush or tie up your hair when it is wet. Try to keep it loose until it is fully dry.
- Avoid using blow-dryers and other heated hair instruments.
- Be gentle when brushing and don’t brush more than once a day.
- Avoid pigtails, braids and any tight hairstyles that cause excessive pulling.
2. Stay Stress-Free
It is natural to feel stressed once a baby is born. There are so many new things to take care of. But stress is not good for your health or your hair.
In fact, stress can make postpartum hair loss even worse. Stress can disrupt the normal hair cycle and trigger hair to enter the telogen or fall-out phase. Thus, try to keep stress under control.
To manage stress, you can use meditation, deep breathing, soothing music, exercise or other relaxation techniques.
Also, be sure to get your beauty sleep, as the growth hormone is released during sleep.
3. Follow a Healthy Diet
When it comes to hair health, your diet has a direct impact on it. A good diet means healthy hair, while a poor diet can make your hair fall out or impact its quality.
Eat a diet rich in protein and vital vitamins and minerals. Opt for foods high in vitamins A, B, C and E as well as iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and selenium. In fact, if you are low on iron, zinc or any other essential nutrients, your hair will suffer a lot.
Including a variety of fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins in your diet is the best way to ensure healthy hair. Foods that improve hair health include dark leafy greens (for the iron and vitamin C), eggs (for the vitamin D), sweet potatoes and carrots (for the beta-carotene), and fish (for omega-3s and magnesium).
4. Regular Oil Massage
Whether it is postpartum hair loss or any kind of hair problem, a regular oil massage is beneficial for your hair.
Regularly massaging with oil increases blood circulation to the scalp as well as conditions the scalp and strengthens the hair roots.
- Apply lukewarm olive oil or coconut oil generously on your scalp.
- Gently massage your scalp for at least 5 to 10 minuses using your fingertips.
- Leave it overnight, and wash your hair with a mild shampoo the next morning.
- Do this at least 2 or 3 times a week.
You can even massage the scalp with your fingertips without using oil.
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin that aids faster hair growth. This vitamin helps reduce hair lost post-pregnancy because it helps in the synthesis of hair proteins, such as keratin. In fact, lack of biotin has been associated with hair breakage and hair loss.
- Include biotin-rich foods in your diet, such as eggs, yogurt, almonds, nuts, legumes, whole grains, milk and meat.
- You can also take biotin supplements. Before taking any supplements, though, make sure you consult your doctor. In fact you can take postnatal supplements containing biotin and several other essential nutrients.
- You can also use shampoos and conditioners fortified with biotin.
6. Coconut Milk
Another good remedy to deal with postpartum hair loss is coconut milk.
Coconut milk is full of protein, vitamins and minerals that restore hair and scalp health. It even makes hair soft and adds volume to your hair.
When applied to the hair, it provides quick results.
- Apply freshly extracted coconut milk to the scalp.
- Put a shower cap on and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse it out of your hair with cool water.
- Repeat this remedy 2 or 3 times a week.
For added benefits, you can add a little fenugreek seed powder to the coconut milk before applying it on the scalp.