July 30, 2017

Postpartum Hair Loss // Myths & Tips

There are lots of fun things us women go through during pregnancy, as well as after the main event. Often, the less desirable things such as developing those sexy 'cankles' or wanting to pee every approximately 8 seconds just don't get talked about and, if we are lucky enough to be blessed with a pregnancy 'glow', that too tends to soon fade after birth.

Another common thing that can affect some of us after giving birth is hair loss. It's terrifying having a shower and literally pulling what feels like handfuls of hair straight out your head! During pregnancy first time round, my hair grew so thick and long, it was beautiful and full of volume, which was definitely a bonus to pregnancy! Shortly after I gave birth to Alf though, those falling clumps were a regular occurrence in the bathroom. Although men suffering with hair loss can have medication such as Finasteride on hand to help out, it's always a bit of a grey area for us women as to what we can and can't do, particularly if breastfeeding - not to mention lots of myths as to why it happens too.

Why do women lose hair after birth?

After we give birth, our estrogen levels decline, meaning that a lot more hair follicles enter 'the resting stage'. Shortly after, some of us will notice more hair coming out in the shower and on our hair brushes, but it really is nothing to worry about!

The initial 'shedding' will eventually taper off and our hair should be back to our regular pre-pregnancy thickness after around 12 months. After having so many months of glorious locks, it can feel like we have lost more than we started with. Looking back on old pictures may be wise, in order to remind ourselves of how things were so we know we are just getting back to what is 'normal' for us.

Fear not though, not all women experience this kind of hair loss, which is actually a very normal, common and natural reaction to all that our bodies have been through and the sudden shift in hormones. All those added hormones in pregnancy simply encourage us to hold on to our hair, which may then be lost soon after. Don't panic, but if you feel you are losing more hair than you feel may be normal, then do speak to your doctor for reassurance.

What can we do?

Although we can't really prevent this happening after childbirth, we can lessen the 'gap' by encouraging the newer hair growth to appear a little quicker with things like vitamins, head massages and general scalp care over the first year.

Keeping calm and feeling less stressed may help the situation a little, as well as eating plenty of protein which is vital to great hair health and for your overall diet too. As well as this, a general gentleness with our hair is a must, using a soft brush, looking after our scalp as much as we would our skin anywhere else and looking after ourselves inside and out. This is something which often gets neglected when our babies come along.

It can feel really miserable losing those luscious locks and it really is one of those cruel acts of mother nature that we really could live without! There are lots of myths around hair loss of all kinds (as you can see on the infographic below) but rest assured, if you've given birth in the last few months then this is completely normal and just yet another of those 'why the hell did nobody tell me this?' things us women have to endure!

Did you suffer with postpartum hair loss?

*This is a collaborative post

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