IntroductionHair loss after giving birth is quite common, affecting nearly 40-50% women. High levels of estrogen that kept your hair thick and lustrous during pregnancy suddenly take a nose-dive, which triggers the body’s normal process of hair shedding.
Telogen effluvium is the medical term to describe excessive hair shedding occurring during the months post pregnancy. The high estrogen levels during pregnancy prevent hair from falling out.
However, after birth hormones go back to their pre-pregnancy levels, all the hair fall that should have occurred during nine months of pregnancy, may occur at once.
Telogen Effluvium is a temporary problem since hair regains its normal thickness within 6-12 months.Abortion, stillbirth, miscarriage and hormonal imbalance can also trigger hair shedding post-delivery.
Hair Loss Treatments after PregnancySome home remedies that can reduce excessive hair shedding post-delivery include:
- Massage coconut oil and aloe vera gel onto scalp and keep it for ˝ hour. Rinse with warm water. You can repeat this process 2-3 times in a week.
- Apply a mixture of egg yolk, olive oil, lemon juice and rosemary to the scalp, particularly hair roots. Leave the mixture for an hour and then wash it off.
- Massage an equal amount of almond oil and castor oil onto scalp once a week.
- Boil rosemary leaves in water for 5 minutes. After cooling and straining it, use it for washing hair.
- Soak fenugreek seeds in water at night and massage the strained liquid onto scalp in the morning. Wrap a towel around the head for 4 hours. After that, shampoo and condition your hair.
Prevention of Hair Loss after Pregnancy:Besides a drop in estrogen levels, certain nutrient deficiencies can trigger excessive hair loss post-delivery.
Intake of B-complex vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, Omega 3 fatty acids and proteins is essential both during pregnancy and post-pregnancy since they play an essential role in maintaining healthy and strong hair.
Proteins are the building blocks of hair. Eggs, sprouts, dairy products, chicken and fish are sources of dietary protein.
B-complex vitamins are found in whole grains, pulses, dairy products, eggs and chicken whereas Vitamin A is concentrated in yellow, orange and red colored vegetables and fruits. Watermelon, red meat, soya bean and rice flakes are rich sources of iron. Intake of Vitamin-C rich citrus fruits helps in better iron absorption.
Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods like salmon, walnuts, mackerel and flaxseeds promote a healthy scalp and aid better hair growth.
The American Pregnancy Association (APA) recommends eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables since they contain anti-oxidants which promote hair growth. It also recommends taking Vitamin B, E, C, zinc and biotin supplements regularly to minimize hair loss.
A well-balanced diet is one of the key measures to minimize excessive hair shedding post pregnancy.
Dermatological Tip to Prevent Excessive Hair Loss Post Pregnancy Include:
- Use volumizing shampoos since they contain ingredients like protein that coat the hair, making the hair appear fuller.
- Avoid any shampoo labelled as ‘conditioning shampoo’ as they contain heavy conditioners which can make hair looking limp. Instead, opt for a conditioner formulated for fine hair.
- Always avoid harsh or over brushing.
- Avoid using blow dyers and hot irons for hair drying and let your hair air dry instead.
- Avoid pigtails, cornrows, hair weaves, braids and tight hair rollers which trigger hair fall.
- Do not use hot water for hair washing.
- Avoid using fine tooth combs.